A few years back, I was hanging at home on a lazy Saturday morning when my cell phone beeped with a text from the mom of one of my daughter’s friends. She was checking in to see if my daughter was coming to her daughter’s birthday party that afternoon.
Turns out, I never got the invite. And if she hadn’t taken the initiative to follow up, rather than just assume we weren’t coming, my daughter would have missed the party. A party to which her friend had informally invited her, and talked about non-stop, months before in school. A party to which most of her friends were going, making memories they would then talk about (again, non-stop) in school for months to come.
And let me tell you, missing out on all the swimming and trampolining (yes, I know that’s not a real word :)) going on would have been devastating to my then 6-year-old girl.
Thankfully, we didn’t have plans that afternoon and were able to grab a quick gift and head over for the festivities. Crisis averted!
And then it hit me.
This type of situation happens in business. All. The. Time.
Biz owners spend hours/weeks/months (or potentially 100s of dollars) putting up an amazing free offer to generate leads and (fingers crossed) entice prospects to invest in their paid programs, products, or services. The freebie gets some nibbles from potential clients, who download with the best of intentions.
And you leave it at that. You don’t follow up with these new prospects. Never mind the fact that they obviously want and even NEED your help. You leave it be because you don’t want to bug people, or because you assume (and you know what that means, right? :)) folks got the invite to work further with you and just aren’t interested.
But quite often, those invites get “lost in the mail.” Both literally (in the case of emails getting sent to spam folders or just plain getting lost in cyberspace) and figuratively speaking, like if the prospects never get around to consuming the freebie, or they start reading/watching/listening but got distracted and had to stop halfway through, or they finished the freebie and aren’t quite ready to move to the next stage of working with you (yet).
Maybe, just maybe, they saw the invite but got distracted before they had a chance to sign up, and then flat-out forgot in the busyness of everyday life.
So the program/event/whatever you’re promoting might offer exactly the solution they need, if only they knew about it.
If only you’d sent a note (or several) to follow-up.
If only, if only, if only.
I can’t even begin to tell you how many times I’ve sent one last follow-up email for that free webinar/paid program/etc. and received a flurry of last-minute sign-ups, many of whom went on to become active participants who greatly benefited from the info. And who would’ve never had the chance if not for those extra emails.
The Rule of Seven
You’ve likely heard that it takes 7 touches, or 7 viewings of a company’s ads or marketing materials, for a customer to actually take out their wallet and buy a product or service.
And yet, companies will put work into creating a killer free report that builds their database with warm leads for their products and services and expect those leads to step forward after that first contact and buy your service packages or products.
The reality is that, in most cases, you need to work those leads up to the buying point, especially if you sell high-ticket products and services, as many of you reading this article do.
The beauty is that if you’re already using your website to generate leads, you can use a simple email management program to automatically send new subscribers of your newsletter list follow-up emails (otherwise known as autoresponder emails) that keep them engaged in the buying process with your company. So that when they ARE ready to buy, it’s you they come to – NOT one of your competitors.
Successful online marketers use a series of 3-7 autoresponder emails to keep new subscribers engaged. The first email should go out immediately and contain a link to the report, with a reminder (and perhaps an incentive) to read it. (Because although you’ve jumped the first hurdle in getting your prospective client to subscribe to your offer, there’s no guarantee they’ll actually read the free report you took such care to write.)
So, here’s the 7-step formula for keeping new subscribers engaged (and more likely to buy!):
Send new subscribers 7 email autoresponders to hook their interest and keep them engaged!
Here’s how it might look for your business:
Email 1: Welcome, with a link to the download
Email 2: Share a tip related to the product/service you wish to promote (how to use, best practices, etc.)
Email 3: Send a reminder email to read the free report and perhaps claim a limited-time offer
Email 4: Give a specific piece of advice to help them solve one problem related to your products/services
Email 5: Final reminder to read the report and claim the special offer
Email 6: Send a little-known statistic or quote related to your product/service (especially related to how it might be useful for readers)
Email 7: Invite readers to schedule a get-acquainted phone call with you to move your relationship into the “client” stage
If you put these 7 components in place, you will not only serve to welcome new subscribers with open arms, but you will leave them seeing you as the gracious, knowledgeable authority that you are.
Not sure what to write in these emails?
Check out our Instant Follow-up Emails template package, which walks you step-by-step through the process of writing follow-up emails that build relationships with new prospects, grow your expertise in their eyes, provide value, AND, last but certainly not least, sell your products and services. This package comes complete with in-depth instructions, easy-to-use templates, and “get it done” guides to help ease the writing path. Click here to learn more and get started now.