If an online visitor expresses interest in your company’s products or services, don’t let them slip through the cracks. Follow up right away to start building a relationship. Every single second that passes after a visitor has submitted a form or sent an email is a time delay that could cause them to contact another company. Time is of the essence; do not under-estimate the need for speed with today’s online consumer.
Gather up your best and brightest sales people to determine the optimal frequency for your automated follow-up campaigns. If your follow-up is too sporadic, contacts may forget who you are. If you follow up too often, you risk being viewed as a pest. It has been my experience that follow-up is too often “bunched” meaning the poor visitor is bombarded right away, and then forgotten over time. Follow-up frequency should be tactical in nature and tested (and tested) and then retested!
The best form of follow-up is through the use of permission-based marketing. There are many services that can be utilized on the internet, and it is wise for a company to choose the service that works best for their industry and their forms and reporting needs.
The most important functions of these services are reliability, support, and features. They will be responsible for helping you maintain contact with your online visitors and are greatly helpful in gaining return visits and sales. I have used three services during the past five years, and all of them are most likely adequate for your business:
I started my email marketing many years ago with Constant Contact, but was not really happy with its operation. Of course, when I got started, I just started … I did not do much research. With hindsight, I wish I had taken time to check them all out, as it would have saved me considerable time and effectiveness.
Now, I use both MailChimp and Aweber, though 99% of what I do is on Aweber. Aweber is hands-down the top email campaign marketing solution on the internet, as most of the top online marketers rely on its reliable service and superior support. Fortunately, whatever solution that you choose, they are all very cheap. You can try a free version of MailChimp or a $1 trial service of Aweber to test them out. I recommend you look at both and get a feel for which one is easier for you to operate. In the end, if you end up being highly active on the internet, you most likely will gravitate towards Aweber as their reports and support are second to none.
Permission Based Marketing
Permission based marketing is simply email marketing to people who have given you permission to do so. This is as simple as including an “opt-in” button on your customer capturing tool (form on website). Once you have their permission, they are less likely to send you to the SPAM folder and more likely to respond to your messages.
Additionally, we want to compel them to “opt-in” by showing them the benefits and what they can expect by doing so. If we manage their expectations for frequency and style during opt-in, most like we can avoid “unsubscribes” and SPAM complaints in the future. Most complaints come when subscribers are surprised – so tell them what you will be sending, how often, and how happy they will be.
Remember, the majority of your visitors are in the information seeking stage of their journey when they first encounter your compelling opt-in form, so create a follow-up plan that goes longer than the full cycle of time that your typical consumer requires.
The exciting thing is that even if the visitor opts-in and does not buy, you have a direct link to that person through your follow-up campaign. You can motivate and inspire this person to help you gain new followers and new business if you have a valuable follow-up campaign, so consider your follow-up campaign the heart and soul of your marketing efforts for the coming years of your business operations.
We will provide tips for your follow-up campaigns in tomorrow’s blog, so check back to the Internet Squeeze to find out exactly what you need to do to turn your online visitors into customers of your company.