I’m often asked the cringy question, “should I use marketing funnels and drip campaigns?” Our clients constantly get solicited by a sales rep or guru touting big revenue boosts by using their outreach, drips, funnels, and marketing systems, but is that the right approach for your business and client base? Too often the shiny object ends up costing more than a few thousand dollars. That shiny but sharp tool’s approach often does severe damage to reputation, brand, and income.
These companies are great at marketing to a business’s main focus; generating more revenue with an “easy system.” We’re all looking for ways to work smarter, not harder, but the shortest route to sustainable revenue streams and growth is not to alienate your potential client base.
The Quickest Way To Lose Prospects Forever
I’ve written about this topic before and have strongly held this belief for decades; if you’re marketing to sophisticated and busy individuals, let them come to you. Be present and available, without being annoying with overused marketing funnels and drip campaigns.
Let’s use car dealerships as an example. If you walk onto a Rolls Royce dealership’s “lot” you’re not mobbed by a pushy salesperson. You don’t see commercials or get junk mail with a mock key to come to their dealership to see if you won a new car. They don’t ask for your information so they can spam your emails, text inbox, or call you incessantly.
On the other hand, the cheaper the cars are on the lot, the more pushy and obnoxious people get. By the time you get down to “Bob’s Cars ‘n Deals,” you know you’re in for the most annoying experience of your life. We all know what it’s like once you say you’re ready to buy. It can feel like a kidnapping and robbery situation.
What experience do you want prospects to feel with your brand? If their first impression and experience are pushy sales and annoying “drips” you can kiss that prospect goodbye forever. In addition, they will tell people to avoid you if they’re ever asked about a referral for what you sell.
Proof Drip Campaigns and Marketing Funnels Can Hurt Your Business
If done right, marketing campaigns and workflow systems can help your business and streamline nurturing your subscribers and potential customer/client base. Done wrong like so many I’ve seen (and experienced), you not only get a large amount of unsubscribes, you’ve shown you’re the pushy used car salesperson. Some people will even get annoyed enough to mark you as spam. That goes against your digital reputation and can get your emails/domain on the blacklist for mail servers. Be careful who you listen to about your marketing. When you annoy people and they are ready to buy what you’re selling, they’re not going to buy from you.
A recent study was done by SlickText showing the main reasons people unsubscribe. If you guessed it’s being contacted too much, you guessed right. The survey specifically asked about covid habits, however, their past research and that of others indicate this is true no matter if there’s a pandemic or if things are rosy.
Know Your Audience
If you look at the rest of the survey responses, you’ll see more of what I recommend my clients don’t do in their digital marketing.
If your ideal customer base is more concerned with integrity, quality, and expertise, don’t send them a discount code or limited-time offer campaign.
Unless you are selling something to do with politics (or refuse to work with people “on the other side”), avoid politically slanted language in your marketing.
Long copy “squeeze pages” are out. Don’t make people read a long-drawn-out email or landing page before you get to the point.
Don’t buy other people’s lists or cold market to people who have not granted permission to contact them.
Make your emails personal and make sure you never send out an email that shows “Hey <first name>,” both parts of that are cringe-worthy.
If you’re marketing to a demographic that is easily influenced and susceptible to typical marketing tactics of the average person, those mainstream marketing and sales tactics may work well for you. If you’re marketing about an easy fix that will appeal to people in their desperation, the funnels and drips may work. But if your ideal clients are busy people with a higher sophistication and intelligence, do not use mainstream marketing tactics.
What’s Better Than Using Marketing Funnels and Drip Campaigns?
The quick answer is high-quality content that is written for your ideal clients and audience.
When we asked, “Have you ever purchased something from a company after reading a blog post from them?”, a whopping 56% said, “Yes.”
The type of clients we work with deal with people who are busy, sophisticated, and hate to be sold to. I recommend you write about issues your clients have and talk about your solutions to your audience’s needs. Write about what is important to them and share ideas or insights they will find fascinating, useful, or to add to their knowledge or skill base. Give them an addition to their bag of tricks that might come in handy.
Share something that will make their personal or professional life easier. But by all means, do not annoy them and insult their intelligence with sleazy marketing tactics meant for infomercials.
Show up when they need you by having the answers when they search or when they ask around, people will recommend you from reading your content. Wouldn’t it be great if your post, podcast, book, or video was the source of a referral? Imagine someone saying, “I was referred by a friend that read your post about XYZ and shared it with me. I took a look around your website and love your approach.” That is one part of the strategy for bringing clients to you.
And, of course, high-quality SEO is better than using drip campaigns and marketing funnels for our clients and quite possibly for you if you’ve read this far.