Getting the attention of your potential leads at a trade show is only the first step. The key to seeing financial success from your events is capturing that lead, maintaining their attention and converting them. Following up with prospective customers after an event is the cornerstone of this process.
The importance of trade show follow-up
No matter how hot a lead might appear at an event, it can go cold quickly. Remember that there are an average of 2 to 3 people per 100 square feet at every trade show. You will likely see hundreds of people over the course of the event, limiting the amount of interaction you will have with each individual. Likewise, each visitor will be stopping at countless booths. Even though the trade show provides you with a valuable introduction, you need to put the time and energy into developing the relationship.
Not only is the attendee follow up itself important, but you also need to make sure that you do it quickly. It is a good rule to contact leads within 48 hours of meeting them in person — ideally, you should even send out your initial communication the evening of the event to the leads you met during the day. According to Marketo, the click-to-open rate of the first vendor who contacts a particular lead is more than two times that of the third vendor.
Developing follow-up content that will resonate
You want to create content that will be memorable and personalized. You should have separate topics and headlines for those you met at the booth versus those you may have met at any other aspects of the event, such as a luncheon. You can even have a qualification system that identifies the hottest prospects and have them contacted directly by the person they spoke with during the show.
The easiest way to contact many of your new leads will be through email. Most attendees will have their smartphones on them while at the event, making an email marketing campaign a great way to get in touch with these prospects immediately.
There are a few other types of clients, however, who might be better contacted through other means. For example, you might use social media to reach out to leads who are very involved with their platforms. You might also follow up an email with a direct mail piece to provide a multi-channel effort to reach your prospects.
To determine the best ways to reach your new leads, you will want to look closely at how well your pre-show engagement efforts succeeded. Look at email headings, social media efforts and offers that generated the most attention and conversion. Since you will be sending out follow-up messages to the same crowd, this insight can guide the creation of your content to help you maximize your opportunity.
If you are interested in learning more about the best ways to reach your prospects, contact us today. We look forward to helping you get the most out of your trade show experience.