Face-to-face meetings with large Expo audiences are one of the most cost-effective ways for companies to generate leads. However, even the most encouraging of interactions can fall by the wayside in the absence of a timely follow-up strategy. While almost all companies accumulate sales leads at Expos, Cahners CARR Research shows that 70% of these leads are never followed-up on. To avoid losing business, experts suggest contacting prospects immediately, while the exhibit and brand message are still top of mind. Develop a communication plan before the Expo starts so the conversation can be kept going.
A research by Exhibitor Online shows that email constitutes over 50% of the initial post-Expo follow-up, with automated emails accounting for 19% of this number. Most companies opt for emails as their first mode of contact as they can be easily automated and are less intrusive than phone calls. Studies* also reveal that companies consistently rank email as the most effective way to raise awareness, while acquiring, converting and retaining leads as they offer the broadest reach and generate the highest return on investment. * Gigaom Research
The Radicati Group reports that the total number of email accounts worldwide is likely to grow over 26%, from 4.3 billion in 2016 to 5.5 billion by 2019. Companies choose e-mails as part of Expo follow-up strategy because they can be scripted in advance, easily personalized and completely automated. Organizations are increasingly using lead-capture and response tools or app that help track and prioritize leads and personalise follow-ups.
Personalised subject lines increase the chances of prospects opening mail by 26% according to a study by Experian Marketing Services. Follow-up emails can be made personally relevant by including valuable information instead of just a ‘thank you’ for visiting the booth. When prospects receive content they can’t get elsewhere (such as a white paper on a hot industry topic) it increases the likelihood of the communication being read and received better.
Emails also create a virtual paper trail that can be accessed when needed. This ease of access is highlighted by the fact that emails are moving beyond the PC to multiple platforms, which makes sending and receiving emails convenient for businesses. Yesmail’s ‘Email Compass: The Mobile Effect’ report shows that 30% of consumers now read emails exclusively on mobile devices.
Additionally, emails allow for an immediate response, especially when links are provided for prospects to register or subscribe. Being quick and easy to share, emails encourage prospects to share or forward the brand’s message, which results in new leads. Companies can also send emails to targeted customer groups, which can help to build trust, engage effectively with customers and increase the chances of converting leads to sales.
However, it’s important to remember that while a memorable follow-up email portrays the brand as thoughtful and reliable, marketers need to be consistent. Decide on proper intervals for subsequent follow-ups and stick with it to avoid losing out on leads.
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