Suppose you decide to create and make a White Paper available for download from your website.
And suppose that 50 people – some clients and some ‘potential’ clients – download it in the first three days.
That’s great! Now what?
It’s a dilemma many firms face. They invest the time, effort and money in lead generation, but have no plan in place to follow-up with those downloaders (or booth visitors or webinar attendees, etc.) to help move them through the buying funnel. If that describes your firm, here are 5 follow-up strategies for you to consider…
#1. Your CRM.
First and foremost, make sure all sales leads generated are entered immediately into your CRM/sales database. Then, at the very least, you’ll be able to stay top-of-mind with them when you send out your monthly e-newsletter (you are doing that, right?).
But, before you enter them into your system, take a minute to do a little homework. First, go to the company’s website to see what additional information you can learn about them (Industry? Type of company? Number of employees? Location?). Then look up the contact’s information on LinkedIn (Title? Function? Seniority?). Add any new information to the CRM.
#2. Reach out immediately.
Reach out to the downloaders – by email and/or phone – very shortly (1-2 days) after the download, while the White Paper is still fresh in their minds. For sales prospects, the goal is to learn a little about their company, understand their needs and begin qualifying them as a potential client. But be prepared for ‘crickets.’ Many people simply won’t respond, especially if this was their first download from you. Further, not every downloader is a prospective client – they might just be interested in the White Paper (but you’ll never know that unless you reach out to them).
For existing clients, their downloading tells you something about their current interest. So, pick up the phone, thank them and see what’s happening there that prompted the download.
#3. Drip campaigns.
Consider a targeted email drip campaign. It works like this… their download of the White Paper automatically triggers a series of follow-up emails (usually 2-4 emails, each 1-2 weeks apart) each sharing additional information related to the White Paper topic. Should a recipient go through the entire email series – accessing all available information – they are showing themselves to be seriously interested in the topic. Time to pick up the phone and reach out to them.
Someone who downloads one White Paper isn’t necessarily proving themselves to be a buyer (they may be looking to learn something, not find a new supplier). But what if before they downloaded the White Paper, they had visited your booth at a conference and attended one of your webinars? Those multiple touchpoints are showing them to be very interested in what you have to say. Reach out to them today!
Once you know the disposition of a sales lead – opportunity or not – reach out to them to connect on LinkedIn. But do wait a bit… doing it too early in the process may come across as a little pushy. As a connection, you’ll be able to stay top-of-mind with them when you post regularly to your LinkedIn profile (you are doing that, right?).
Lead generation is the real start of the buying-n-selling process. So, the moment that your marketing team starts planning a lead generation campaign… make sure your sales team is planning the appropriate follow-up activities. Without them, your marketing efforts are a waste of time, effort and money.
Need help with your Lead Gen efforts, take a look at our Lead Builder Program™.