Blogs How to Advance the Sales Cycle with Effective Email Campaign Follow Up

Written by Paula Chiocchi on 2016-08-31

 

So you’ve created and sent out a great email campaign -- one laser targeted to your audience. From valuable content that addresses their daily challenges to a call to action (CTA) that generates clicks -- job well done, right?

 

Wrong.

 

While most B2B marketers focus on the outbound email itself, many don’t have a strong plan in place for follow up. So what’s the best approach to take for responding to those who reply positively to your email message? Here are three ways to conduct effective follow up for today’s most common categories of email campaigns:

 

  1. Event Registration: For campaign respondents who register for an upcoming event, live webinar or other upcoming activity, you might have an automated message at the ready (or even better, pre-programmed) thanking them for their interest. This message should also remind them to mark their calendar and include any relevant pre-reading materials or instructions, as well as next steps to take in advance of the event to come.

 

After the webinar or conference, follow up with all participants, offering additional information such as a recording of the event or other related resources, or an opportunity to set up a consultation. You should also create a special message for those who registered for your event but didn’t actually attend (start with “sorry we missed you” and offer additional information and potentially the sales engagement).

 

  1. Content Downloads: For those prospects that downloaded the desired CTA content (whitepaper, e-book, video, etc.), here too, a follow-up email can be sent automatically, thanking them for their interest and offering any assistance should they have any questions. Alternatively, you can have your sales team email the same offer, along with an invitation to set up a call to review their situation, answer questions and suggest solutions.

 

  1. Sales Calls: Assuming you collected the prospect’s phone number, a direct phone call may also be in order, but there are pros and cons.

 

  • Pros: Some prospects might appreciate the immediate response, as they may be in the midst of conducting research to address an immediate challenge that they want to solve quickly. Immediate responses also give the impression that your company is well organized and standing by to get the job done.

 

  • Cons: On the flip side, some prospects may not respond well to a speedy phone call. They may be conducting general research or feel an instantaneous call is a bit too sales-y or even overkill. If this is the case, offer to follow up via phone later (such as in a week or two). Also, be sure to add them to a special list for more specific help (such as “you recently expressed interest in solving XYZ…how can we be of assistance?”)

 

Your decision to call or not lies in your target customer, your company’s style and product, and your call to action itself. If your CTA is more general or might be considered early in the buying cycle, an immediate call may not be in order. If the CTA is nearer to the end of the buying cycle, perhaps a follow-up call – or additional incentive – can close the sale.

 

It’s clear that sending out the initial email campaign is just a part of the marketer’s journey. To be successful, you need a good follow-up plan that nurtures your prospects into paying customers. This plan should be built into your campaign right from the start.

 

In next week’s blog, I’ll provide some recommendations for following up with those prospects who didn’t respond to your campaign at all. Obviously, they’re missing out!

 

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Outward Media’s accurate, targeted email data can help you expand your email marketing reach, and ultimately, convert more prospects into customers. Ask us how. Also, take a look at our complimentary new e-book on building a successful email marketing database.

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