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You may not have heard of drip email marketing, or email drip marketing, but I can assure you that you know what it is. You have either sent it, or received it, or in some other way come into contact with it.
Wikipedia – not always the most reliable source, but in this case accurate – describes drip email this way: “E-mail drip marketing is a form of e-mail marketing where a company sends (“drips”) e-mail messages to subscribers on a scheduled basis established using e-mail marketing software.”
In other words, it’s essentially using an auto-responder.
Drip email marketing – and the term itself – is very common in the real estate industry. It’s a way to keep your name in front of a contact so that when they are ready to buy, they will think of you, and, hopefully, buy from you.
This isn’t necessarily a bad idea, so why am I going to tell you not to do it?
The irony here is that in our own article on the top 5 mistakes that email senders make in scheduling their mailings, we talk about how if you donâ€™t send email frequently enough, then people will forget who you are, or that they signed up for your mailing list. Then, when suddenly after two years, a user gets email from you, seemingly out of the blue, they hit â€œthis is spamâ€? – because they donâ€™t remember you.
So, sending regular email to your list is, generally, a good idea.
The problem is that, typically, when someone talks about drip email, and for some reason, particularly in the real estate industry, there is one little item that is often missing from the equation – one thing that the sender for some reason tends to overlook.
They don’t have the permission of the recipient to put them on a mailing list!
Apparently, for some reason, in the real estate industry it is not uncommon to get a prospect’s email address, say to correspond with them about a particular house, and then to take that email address and put it on a mailing list to send the prospect information about other houses – and to drip them hints and tips about the real estate market – without the prospect’s permission.
Perhaps not coincidentally, because it ought to be so obvious, Wikipedia got this part right too, when they say of drip email marketing:
“As with any form of e-mail marketing, e-mail drip programs must be constructed carefully so that the messages will not be intercepted by spam filters.”
Where “constructed carefully” means with the full permission of the users to add their email address to your mailing list, for pete’s sake!
“Drip email” really is a euphemism for one of two types of email: if you have the permission of the recipients to put them on your mailing list, it’s called “an auto-responder”. If you don’t have the permission of the recipients to put them on your mailing list, it’s called “spam”.