Trade shows are a great way to make a splash in your industry. It’s a giant room full of people who can become customers and advocates for your business. Your team puts a lot of thought and planning into attending trade shows. To get the best return on your investment, you need to strategically follow up after the event is over. Deploy these tips to take your trade show follow ups to new levels:
Segment Your Leads
Leads have a temperature: hot, lukewarm, and cold. Hot leads need to be followed up immediately, lukewarm leads should be followed up within a week and cold leads can receive occasional communication. Leads can also be segmented by show leads, prospects who registered at your table, and show attendees, which are a provided list to exhibitors of all prospects that attended the trade show. It’s important to organize them in separate lists so you can create unique follow ups for each segment and know what stage of the buyer’s journey they are at. You don’t want to annoy a cold lead with being overly pushy or brush off a hot lead with a vague email.
Qualify the Leads
Once you have the leads, you need to qualify them. To do that, provide 2-3 options that appeal to a range of prospects. These options could be request a demo, download a white paper, watch a short video or subscribe to our newsletter. These call-to-actions offer ways to further engage with your company and allow you to gather more information on the prospect. Based on what option that the prospect selects will help you uncover hot leads and prioritize who should be reached out to first.
Switch It Up
Using the same follow up email for every show is a quick way to get your messages ignored. You want to make sure that you always identify the specific show, by name, in the subject line or at least the first paragraph. You can even go further by pulling inspiration from the show theme. For example, if it’s a football theme, use a headline such as “Score with [Company Name]!” or “Our Advantages Take Your From First Downs to Touchdowns!”. Remember: don’t start the follow up conversation with a sales pitch. Start it with referencing your conversation from the trade show and then segway into the next steps on how your company can help them.
Make It Snappy
Trade show follow ups is a game of time. You want to make sure that you are reaching out to trade show prospects as soon as possible after the show ends. Within a few days of returning home, send a thank you email for visiting your booth. This acts as a trigger for attendees to remember your company name and what you’re about. For an extra memory boost, include a photo of your booth in the email or highlight a specific talking feature you used. This thank you email can be your generic follow up for all attendees and then a more customized email can be sent later for hot leads to set up a time to speak.
Connect On Social Media
Branch your trade show follow ups away from direct mailers and email blasts by connecting on social media. Social media is a less formal way to market your business, but it’s still an extremely powerful resource to push out relevant information. Even people who aren’t necessarily interested in buying your product or service now might become converted customers if you keep in contact with them over social media.
The best channels for business connections are LinkedIn and Twitter. When you take the time to find your show prospects online, make sure you follow both the specific individual you met and the business they work for.
Pro Tip: On LinkedIn, send a personal invitation message that includes a reminder about how you met. It will help the prospect recognize your name and create an opportunity to build on that conversation you previously had.
If your business is ready to take your post-trade show communication to a new level, learn more about our outbound marketing programs at www.nationwideoutbound.com.
By: Rebecca Clausen