Let’s say you’ve taken the time to do your research on a new potential client. You have prepared a presentation that you know is going to knock their socks off, set up a time for a productive meeting and made sure to bring your A-game on the day. After the meeting, they seem interested and they encourage you to follow up with them once they have conveyed the message to their broader team.
So, you wait.
You send a follow-up email a few days later.
You receive no response.
You try calling but you cannot seem to reach the person you originally had the meeting with.
You give up and move on to another prospective client.
If you know this scenario all too well, then maybe it is time to reconsider the follow-up campaign. Small businesses especially may feel daunted by follow-up campaigns, because not only do they take time and energy to create, but there is always that underlying question: Where is the line between being persistent and being relentless?
While it might seem like you are always crossing that line when trying to make a sale, the reality is that most people do not take you up on an offer the first time you make it. If you aren’t organizing a follow-up campaign, you are undoubtedly losing out on converting potential prospects into customers, if they had heard from you one or two more times.
Here is a look at the steps that go into creating an effective follow-up campaign and what tools you have at your disposal to help you along the way.
Step 1: Set Goals
A follow-up campaign without a strategy is probably the number one reason you are not hearing back from potential clients. You need to ask yourself what you want prospective clients to do after being exposed to your campaign or business idea.
Perhaps it is a trial period for your prospective client to see if the service you are offering them is feasible for their business needs. No matter what the aim could be, be specific about the action you want the person to take in all your communications, so that you can tailor your whole campaign towards driving that action.
Step 2: Concise and Personalised Messaging
Think about how many emails you (in your personal capacity) delete in a day. It has to be at least 5 to 10 emails, right? A follow-up email should never be the same content copied, pasted, and re-sent.
Perhaps you own a retail fashion store and you reach out to your database of customers just before Black Friday, enticing them with some of the deals they could look forward to in November. The goal could be that you ask them to ‘wishlist’ the items they want to purchase on Black Friday, to ensure for a speedy check out on the big sale day.
However, to ensure that you make a sale(s), your email is batched according to data you have collected on each customer - people who have been eyeing sneakers, or people who have been looking at designer high-heels. Each email should take a different approach, and be personalised to get the customer’s attention.
Step 3: Timing is Key
There is a bit of a science to the timing of follow-up emails. If you start to send too many emails, too close together, your communications could be seen as spam.
In the same breath, leaving big gaps between communications means you run the risk of missing the opportunity to close a sale. On average, we would say that giving at least two days between emails is better, but it is of course dependent on the type of industry because timing can be different according to your business.
The cycle will always be longer if you are a B2B business, due to the decision-making processes within such an organisation. That means that you will want to allow more time between emails so that your contact has adequate time to run your proposal by the decision-makers at their company and come back to you with either a decision or a request for more information.
Step 4: Create a Human Connection
While email is an obvious choice for most marketing campaigns, there are other channels out there. Sometimes in our messaging-app rich world, we forget about basic communication methods like phone calls.
While it may seem old school, picking up the phone to catch up and briefly explain or remind a customer how your product or service could help them, can be rewarding and a lot faster than waiting for a follow up email.
Let’s say you run an aesthetics clinic. A consumer may have seen your Facebook advert and filled out a form, requesting more information about a facial special. While this can and should trigger an email follow-up campaign, you could also schedule in a follow-up phone call to talk them through the treatment. This personalised approach could be the defining factor that secures you a booking at the end of the day. In a B2B environment, it may involve calling a person a week after a meeting to see if they’ve given your proposal much thought. What they say on that phone call might provide you with the information you need to tailor your next email to their needs and concerns more specifically.
Step 5: CRM Tools to Make a Sale
Even with short and concise personalised emails, with a great call to action, you may still need some extra help, and that is where automation makes it easier to construct, send, and track sales-related emails.
Marketing automation and CRM tools that track your interactions with customers are a crucial step in your follow-up campaign. There are a number of tools out there that combine CRM and marketing automation capabilities. MailChimp, ActiveCampaign or OntraPort for example, can help you manage both the tracking and execution of your campaigns. These tools give you the opportunity to monitor all points of contact you have with a person, and schedule out email follow-ups or SMS campaigns, which can all be triggered by the potential client taking a certain action.
Persistence is key when it comes to closing a deal, and with the help of a marketing automation tool, you can easily set yourself up for success by establishing a campaign that, once you have created it, essentially runs itself.
If you still feel that you need a full end-to-end follow-up campaign procedure for your business, Goodman Lantern are experts at creating personalised and streamlined processes to help your business to close the sales loop. Speak to us today and we will help create an effective follow-up campaign for your specific business needs.