Yes, I do plan to write future installments in this series of posts on drip marketing. But, even if I don't, guess what: the title still works. The first part of a drip marketing campaign is not deciding what to write. It's not picking a domain name or designing a landing page. It's not setting up your contact forms and automating the campaign. Part 1 of any drip campaign is figuring out who actually cares about what you have to say.
Determining who cares could be more aptly stated: who do you want to care. You hear it in advertising, in networking, and from business coaches everywhere — find your niche. This is exceptionally important in drip marketing because before you can drip you need a lead; and to get that lead you need to offer something of value; and how do you know what's of value until you know who's buying?
That's right, “buying.” Face it, even though you're not asking them to open their pocket book, you're asking people to buy something off of you–presumably some content you've developed for their benefit. Now, they don't buy with money. The currency that buys knowledge from savvy marketers is not dollars and cents. The currency is contact information… and the inflation rate is sky high.
A can of soda used to go for a nickel, right? True, and a valid email address used to go for a guest book entry (remember those). Not any more. Every prospect browsing the web carries a pocket book full of their data–email address, phone numbers, and even demographics. Those who ask for that contact data without offering anything of value in return are like the paupers of internet marketing, begging for currency purely at the grace of the giver. Instead of begging, make a fair deal. Offer something of value such as free tips from respected authors, a free whitepaper PDF, a free seminar or event, or my personal favorite, an e-course. And, the more you want to charge (i.e. the more detailed data you ask the lead to provide) the more value you must create. Otherwise, you'll find yourself selling a soda for a $10 bill without many takers.
Now, it's the “who” part of this who cares that really starts to matter. You see, the value in what you're offering is directly related to who you're offering it to. If you know who your audience is, then (and only then) can you develop a product that they will be willing to buy at the price of their contact information. In essence, you should spend as much time developing the product you plan to sell for contact data as you do the product you plan to sell for money. After all, without the former there's little hope for the latter.
So, if you're thinking of starting a drip campaign, ask yourself “who cares?” Polish up an offering that's worth what you're asking in return–don't be a marketing pauper. And, once they've bought, be sure to deliver.