How to Build Your Prospect Lead Bank: Part 4, Stay Connected

stay connectedIt can take five to 25 touches – emails, phone calls, mailing, in-person conversations – to get a prospect sells-ready. Finding a prospect who is already thinking about a purchase or a need that you can fill can cut down that number — which is why lead generation campaigns are so important.

After all, a 2012 report from MarketingSherpa says prospects who have had previous contact with your company are more likely to buy from it. Your prospect lead generation materials create that first connection.

But after making that contact, you need to continue to reach out to them. You’ve got their contact info; now it’s time to make the most of it.

Last month, we learned about how to create a landing page that convinces interested prospects to trade their contact info for the useful bit of information you’re offering. This month, we’re going to conclude our lead-generation campaign series by looking at what to do with that info.

Keep writing to them

You’ve written (or had written for you) online ads, a flier, emails and other marketing tools announcing your offer. You’ve written an effective landing page. The writing’s not finished yet. Now, you need an email thanking them for downloading your offer – with a call to action offering them a consultation or a one-on-one discussion or link to buy your product.

Follow up with periodic emails to remind them you’re around. Don’t focus on selling to them. Sure, tell them about the benefits of your product, and maybe offer them a special deal. But make it a soft sell. Tell them an interesting story that happens to connect with your service or solution, or about an industry trend or development.

An effective autoresponder will start soft and get harder with its sales pitch as it moves along, but it will never smack a prospect upside the head. It will always be about them – what they can get, what they can expect to experience. You don’t want to lose him/her to the “unsubscribe” button (For more on how to craft an effective autoresponder email, check back next month).

If you have an e-newsletter, put them on that mailing list. Add their names to your CRM or (if you’re old school) Excel spread sheet so that you can include them in your next direct mailing campaign.

Get on the phone

If you decide you want to reach out more tangibly to the prospect, you’ll want a phone script that, like your other lead gen materials, hits on the pain points your prospects are experiencing and the solutions you offer. This is made easier because you know what your prospect is thinking – that thought process led him/her to download or access your offer so that they can get help dealing with a challenge. Hit at that, and put in a clear, strong call to action.

The point is to remember what a lead generation campaign is about: subtlety, building connections that lets you get into the sales cycle. Use the contact info you collect to move the prospects down a rung, making it easier for your sales team to close the deal.

For more information:

Speaking of lead generation materials, here’s a pretty good one: “The 30 Greatest Lead Generation Tips, Tricks & Ideas” (link takes you to the landing page)

Lead Generation Success Center

Photo credit to Bowen Chin.