drip trainingA very effective approach to lead generation and nurturing is something called “drip marketing.” The idea behind the tactic is that you design a series of contacts, via email, postal mail, or phone, that are routinely dripped out to a prospect as a reaction, for example, to them signing up for an event. The power of this technique is that for the most part the entire process, once designed, can be automated with technology. This automation makes it easier for you to focus on other forms of engagement with the prospect knowing that they are receiving consistent touches and gentle reminders that you are there when ready to serve their needs.

I believe this same autoresponder drip marketing approach should be utilized internally as well as a way to supplement the training of staff. Small business are usually pretty bare when it comes to training. Who has time, right? Basic job functions are usually about the only thing that’s taught, but everything else that’s going in the company, important as it may be to the total engagement of the team, is often left to chance after the first day of orientation.

Why not set up a series of emails delivered over a 90 day period to each new hire do things like

  • teach important product and service features
  • share detailed information about the ideal customer and core differentiators
  • contain real live customer success stories and testimonials
  • outline the marketing plan for the coming year
  • feature other staff members and their stories

I’m not suggesting that you can use this approach to replace processes, manuals and human interaction, but even in very smallest of organizations, this type of drip training would allow you to go much deeper that you might, while helping your new team member feel much more a part of team, no matter what the job title. Remember, marketing is everyone’s job and the best way to send this message is to educate your staff as though they were a customer.

You can employ a low cost autoresponder tool such as AWeber, iContact, Constant Contact to handle the automatic delivery of your content. All you have to do is write the series of email once and then enroll each new employee as part of the hiring process.

Image credit: Steve Beger

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John Jantsch

John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, speaker and author of Duct Tape Marketing, Duct Tape Selling, The Commitment Engine and The Referral Engine and the founder of the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.
  • John

    I agree.

    Small business owners must keep reinforcing what they say with their actions and regular repeats.

  • Hi John –

    First, I would recommend that if someone plans to implement this that they check their CRM first to see if it already does it. Of the top of my head I know Heap CRM (f.d. my company), Zoho and Salesforce do, but I imagine there are probably more.

    However, I think this can't be a replacement for a good knowledge base. My experience with most users is they will ignore any training and start thinking about lunch unless they see an immediate use. It seems to me that really the focus should be on having a library of information that is easily available for the employee when it *they* decide it's important.

    Anyhow, just my opinion.

    • Hey Ben,

      Great thoughts as always. I was really just planting a seed with this idea because so many small biz folks I run across do nothing in this category. CRM system idea is right on and Heep is a great place to start, but as you know Outlook is the #1 CRM system for the small biz 🙂

      The knowledge base notion is dead on as well and another piece of the fully developed puzzle.

  • Internal Drip Marketing works! In the old days I would put a note with each paycheck on things that I thought people would like updates on. Even threw a lotto ticket in once in a while to make it interesting.

    Good suggestions John! You could even “embed” an employee of the week in it!

    • Like that lotto ticket idea – I've used that in some Lumpy Mail campaigns and it really gets the mail opened.

  • Great article John. Drinkin' your own Kool-aid 🙂

  • Great article John. Drinkin' your own Kool-aid 🙂

  • Great article John. Drinkin' your own Kool-aid 🙂

  • This is a very cool and creative idea! I love it.

  • Great advice as this is also a way to get the small business started in social media as they will be practicing internally while providing valuable content to their staff. From there they can expand that and be comfortable with the process.

    Internal drip marketing works – I have put little notes at the end that say “Ok now you can go home”. This was a test to se how many employees opened the email and read the entire piece.

    Suzanne Vara

    • Suzanne – amazing how many things get better when we do them internally! – like your sneaky notes too

  • This is an awesome approach in keeping employees/staff members engaged. Other than emails, personalized (targeted) landing pages/sites would make the experience even more engaging. An email would invite them to visit a personal URL with content relevant to their function within the company. There are technologies that enable the setting of rule-based and trigger based events to make the entire process (application) fully automated and self-efficient.

    Thank you for the Post, Steve!


  • I really like the idea of doing this for internal staff. I have done it for prospects but it is a nice idea to keep your staff in the loop. Could be good for an internal branding launch, like a teaser over weeks to create interest.

  • jingerjarrett

    I don't really have a staff though as I work for myself. Can this process be applied to affiliates too?

    What would you suggest?

    I try to use automation in as many areas of my business as possible. My time is worth a whole lot more to me than the money I spend.

    Great article.

  • Very important info for small business owners.

  • This is a great technique. We utilize this to sell our products and services on our site as well. It helps to give the prospect a bit more information on your product, without being too overwhelming.

    Great article.

  • What a great idea, thanks! stumbled…

  • What a great idea, thanks! stumbled…

  • What a great idea, thanks! stumbled…