Yes, it's true. I actually want you to follow up with me.
No. I need you to follow-up.
I'm too busy for you not to.
"Huh? That makes NO sense, Neil."
OK, Here's what I'm talking about...
Me too busy = Me no consume
Let's say you create a helpful guide, white paper or e-book. You offer it for free in exchange for my email.
I expect to hear from you after I download your goodies. I mean, come on! We're all grown-ups here. We know what it means when we give a company our email address.
It's no different than if I hand you my business card. It's an invitation to contact me. To follow up. (I'll write about the sad state of offline follow through some other day...)
So back to how you're helping me...
If you leave me to my own devices, I probably won't read your white paper. Or your case study. Or e-book.
Sometimes I'll read the PDF right away if it's immediately relevant. Other times I'll save it to a folder and think, "I'll read it tomorrow" (which usually never comes).
So, I probably won't get hooked on your product. And I probably won't pick up the phone or write you an email to learn more.
So it was a worthless gesture.
You might have my email address now. But if you don't follow up with me, that's worthless as well.
Sad, but true.
This is why you MUST follow up... After I download your PDF. After we meet at a trade show. After your lunch & learn presentation.
Follow up to help me consume your information. That consumption is the key to your positioning yourself as an expert. That's what you need me to see you as.
The expert resource I come to when I need direction or advice in your realm of influence.
Byt alas... I've been keeping track and most marketers in the building industry are dropping the ball on the follow through. They're losing this incredible opportunity to start a dialogue with their prospects.
Don't make these mistakes I see from way too many potentially effective email follow-up systems.
Here's a recent example:
My local AIA chapter has an Allied membership for building product manufacturers and service providers.
As part of their membership, these vendors have the opportunity to email the AIA members about their products.
So I'll get emails from these manufacturers, sometimes just the standard (forgettable) email blasts saying "we're really-really-good, so you should use our products..." I spend 30 seconds on those guys before clicking "Delete."
But other emails actually offer a juicy white paper or case study I'm actually interested in. So I'll click their link, give 'em my email and download the PDF.
...then crickets. I don't hear anything else from them. I forget about the PDF and I go on to the 1,000 other things I have waiting for my attention.
An effective email follow up series makes sure this doesn't happen.
Well, first, let's talk about what I usually get.
About 50% of the time, I might get a short, generic thank you email but never hear from them again. At least not until the next convention is coming up. But their great, lead-generating PDF is long forgotten by then.
Now, what they should have done (and what smart marketers like YOU should be doing) is have an automatic series of five or six emails in place to drip out to me over the next few weeks.
ONE example of an email series that works...
If one of the vendors in the example above was a client, I'd have them using an email series to automatically follow up with the prospect.
Just in case you don't already know, this is called an "auto-responder email series."
Depending on the product or service you're trying to promote, there are about a dozen different types of email series that can be strung together.
The following is just one you could use...
The email series could start out by reminding me to read the PDF. Highlight some of the product benefits and the common problems it solves.
Then ask for any feedback or invite questions about the content.
Written effectively, you can start generating some great dialogue.
Dean Jackson, co-host of the I Love Marketing podcast came up with the "9-word email." This is a down-and-dirty, super-effective way to get responses from your prospects.
It's a simple short email with just a sentence or two asking a simple question. Go to the podcast's website and search for 9-word email. I guarantee you'll get some ideas flowing.
Next, your email series can ask them if there's a project they're working on that could use some input right now.
After that first week, the series could shift to offering them some related information about your product. Or maybe a similar product or service you offer to solve their problems.
And finally, as the series draws to an end, provide a final call-to-action to call or email you with any questions.
Or, if you have an active blog, ask them to sign-up for your content updates and add them to your list.
The key to your series is to make sure each individual email focuses on ONE big idea. You don't want to overwhelm them with too many choices or ideas.
You'll water down your message and possibly confuse them, causing them to ignore you and stop reading.
And, you want to keep the conversation personal and non-corporate. That's the only way you'll connect.
So, that's the nutshell-version of an effective email follow-up sequence. If you're not already doing this with your lead-generation content, get started today.
If you have any questions, hit reply and ask away.
Or, if you want my help planning and writing your emails, click here and let's schedule a call or meeting. We'll design a plan just for you and your prospects.
That's it for now.
Make today a great marketing day!