Commentary
2/25/2011
05:20 PM
Michele Warren
Michele Warren
Commentary

Marketing 101: Don't Forget To Follow Up!

Nowadays, marketing your business is a different ball game than it was even six months or a year ago. Radio and print media are being eclipsed by social networking and e-mail messaging. But one thing hasn't changed, and it probably never will: how you follow up with prospective and existing customers.



Nowadays, marketing your business is a different ball game than it was even six months or a year ago. Radio and print media are being eclipsed by social networking and e-mail messaging. But one thing hasn't changed, and it probably never will: how you follow up with prospective and existing customers.Here are some tips on follow-up from the folks at e-mail marketing company Infusionsoft.

Follow up immediately. Don't put valuable prospects on hold. If someone expresses interest in what your company has to offer, follow up right away and start building a relationship.

Manage the frequency of your follow-up. This is critical, and it can be tricky to find that perfect middle ground. Follow up infrequently and you risk falling off someone's radar screen; follow up too often and you risk being viewed as an annoyance. Neither will win you any new accounts.

Practice "permission-based" marketing. The key is not to catch anyone off-guard. Infusionsoft execs recommend that you not e-mail anyone unless you have their express permission to do so. "This is as simple as including an 'opt-in' button on your web form or on whatever lead-capture method you're using," they say. "Once you have [subscribers'] permission, they're less likely to send your messages to the spam folder and more likely to respond." And be specific; that is, tell them exactly what you'll be sending them, when, and how it'll benefit them.

Be persistent. "Remember that 80% of your prospects may not be ready to buy right now, but they will be ready within two years or so," say Infusionsoft execs. "Don't give up on the opportunity to stay in touch with these prospects through special offers, helpful tips, coupons, industry news, etc. You never know when one of them will be ready to buy."

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