About a month ago, I wrote this blog post for the Marketing Technology Blog. I had a number of interesting comments about the article, so I thought I would republish it here.

Don’t Let Your Drip Campaign Become Chinese Water Torture

An effective technique to move Random Strangers to Raving Fans is to use a “drip campaign”.  To begin your campaign, identify a select group of people who fit a particular demographic, or better yet, share a common interest and send them messages. Email, voice mail, direct mail, or face to face are all viable methods to send the message..

To be effective be sure your campaign provides information relevant to your target customer, comes in regular, but not annoying intervals, and moves the prospect toward a purchase decision.

As you plan your campaign, be sure to avoid this mistake:

Over eager business owners or marketers try to accelerate the process by sending too much information, too soon, or too often. The result? Instead of being impressed your prospect is annoyed.  Not only do they fail to buy, they tell you to go away, permanently!

As an email marketer, I am usually pretty patient with other marketing programs, but recently, Ratepoint wore out their welcome. How? Well it started innocently enough, with a postcard, an email and an offer for a free trial. Then there was the phone call during which I asked a few questions. Before the conversation ended I told them I was unlikely to use their product because I was a reseller for Constant Contact and AddressTwo, so there was no compelling reason for me to change.

Instead of taking the polite no, they moved me into an entirely different group and I became a prospect. There were more postcards, more email and more phone calls. As their sales people became increasingly annoying, demanding to know why I hadn’t activated my trial, I found it harder and harder to remain polite. (Lets face it, I am from NY and on a good day it is hard for me to remain polite)

If I would have ever considered trying their product, I am unlikely to now. The lesson? Too much marketing is not a good thing. If someone indicates they are not a prospect, let them opt out, and move on. Water may erode mountains, one drip at a time, but it won’t move someone to buy.

Want to learn more about effective drip campaigns as a way of moving prospects from random strangers to raving fans?   Join Matt Nettleton and I on May 6