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Is Your Drip Marketing Plagiarism?

December 30 2014

email boxHappy New Year! That is what the HTML template e-mail proclaimed when I received it from a real estate broker in Napa, CA at 6:31 am. At 6:32 am, I get the exact same email from a broker I know in Tampa, FL. But that was not all. I ended up getting seven emails, all exactly the same. Is this good marketing? I think not. It is plagiarism, phony, insincere. It is dishonest to the relationship, cheating, and feels somewhat unethical. It is not a Hallmark moment!

In truth, I have never been a fan of Hallmark cards either. Picking up a template of a sentiment at Rite-Aid has always felt disingenuous. But the reality is that some personalization fixes everything. In the drip campaign that I was bombarded with today, the only customization was the sender's photo, contact information, and logo. The text was exactly the same. If any of the senders had taken a bit of time to modify the template, all would be forgiven. But NONE of them did, which is a disaster that you should avoid in your email marketing.

Great CRM solutions have drip marketing campaigns, and they are very good. In the old days, agents were required to set up a drip campaign and put in all of the content. Since only a small number of agents ever set them up, smart technologists hired designers and writers to do it for them. This template content provided agents with a great relief. They now had something to start with. But that is all.

Customize Your Templates!

Drip marketing is highly effective. Open rates are good and your friends, prospects, and clients appreciate the effort if done correctly. I italicized the word effort on purpose. Just put in a little bit of effort and your marketing will go much, much further. In the context of drip marketing, effort means drafting about two or three sentences that create a paragraph. Put it in context of the drip. In the case of Happy New Year, you would say "Last year was great for the three following reasons. I hope that next year will be even better. Enjoy your celebration."

If you get stuck, ask Google for help by adding a quote. For this article, I used Google to search "famous quotes about Authenticity" and it returned a top search result with 117 quotes. It took me about three minutes to find one that was most appropriate for this post.

"Authentic brands don't emerge from marketing cubicles or advertising agencies. They emanate from personal experiences." -Howard Schultz, Starbucks