An example of the importance of maintaining contact in a meaningful way with your clients is from a marketing campaign I ran that involved giving away a 50 page long, free report about refinancing. This was then followed by a sequence of automatic emails also about refinancing, flowing on from the report. The whole campaign was demographically targeted and written with a specific audience in mind.

The end result was that we settled 43 loans, totalling $15.74 million from that campaign.

There were no outgoing calls from me to people who had downloaded the report. I just waited for them to receive enough emails with further information about refinancing that they would decide to contact me. When they did make contact, they were a lot more predisposed to use us than were people who just came through our website or had simply responded to an advertisement.

Of significance is that only a very small percentage contacted me as soon as they got the free report. In most cases, it took around 6 weeks, meaning they had received several educational follow-up emails from me.

The lesson was clear, a strong educational lead item such as a free report or book is just the starting point. Yes, it allows you to begin a conversation with a good first impression, but you need to keep giving relevant educational information to build trust over time.

One-hit marketing is wasteful and ineffective. Even if you do get a good response from your initial lead item, co-ordinated follow-up will improve the results. Doing anything less is just leaving money on the table.

So in all cases you want to:

  1. Find out what is relevant to the particular market you are interested in,
  2. create and give a substantial educational item to get their attention, then
  3. have a follow-up process that educates them further.

The starting educational item and follow up sequence need to be congruent and on the same topic, and that topic has to be what your prospective clients want to know about.

The difference from normal marketing is clear. Most businesses market themselves by talking about themselves, their credentials, experience and what they will do for their clients. Instead you need to be giving to them, teaching them to get to where they want to be, not selling to them, otherwise you are just the same as every other ‘try me!’ advertisement they see.

As I’ve said, the exact same formula holds true if you want to build a referral relationship with another business.You must first identify their specific needs that you can help with.