Just because you’ve finished up on the trade show floor or at that important event doesn’t mean your job is done. In fact, the real work has just begun! While collecting leads and their contact information is an essential part of attending and exhibiting at trade shows and events, sending that all-important follow-up email will take those leads and turn them into a true return on your investment.
Not only is an email follow-up strategy a good way to thank those who attended the show and spoke with you, but it’s also a good way to nurture valuable leads for your B2B company.
Why Are Follow-Up Emails So Important?
First, follow-up emails are an easy way to show appreciation to your leads that attended a trade-show event. But beyond being a nice gesture, this move also indicates that you’re serious about maintaining contact with them and discussing things further now that the time constraints of the show are done.
A follow-up email will help to build trust between you and your lead, and will in turn help them to build trust with your business as a whole. This is key to the lead-nurturing process, as building trust can lead to brand loyalty down the road.
Leads who receive a robust and personalized follow-up email tend to become more than just a lead to your business. Many will take the next step to further interact with you and eventually make their way to becoming a sales-qualified lead.
How Does a Follow-Up Email Strategy Help Your B2B Business?
Like any lead-generation process, you’re going to need to build a relationship and nurture that lead before it will convert into a potential sale down the road. Depending on the type of business you are in, the sales cycle could be long and complex, involving a variety of stakeholders and steps necessary to convert a lead into a sale. This requires your sales team working to keep leads and prospective customers engaged for a significant period of time.
Since this can be a rather lengthy process, you want to keep leads warm in your lead-generation pipeline, and continuously add prospective customers to this pipeline at regular intervals—which is probably why you were attending that particular trade show or event to begin with.
Another way to onboard strong potential leads is through word of mouth. This has quickly become one of the most trusted channels of marketing when it comes to decision-making. In fact, 92% of consumers trust the recommendations their friends and peers give them.
Setting up a conversation with those new trade show leads will offer them insight into your business and an opportunity to build a stronger personal connection with you as a person, too. Once you’ve successfully built that relationship, there’s a good chance it can extend to others who are looking for your business’ solution in that lead’s external network.
Understanding Follow-Up Email Etiquette
Email etiquette is especially important because this first touchpoint will essentially determine whether the lead is open to continuing a conversation with you. After all, your inbox probably already receives a healthy dose of spam messages every single day—why would you want to add to that for an uninterested lead?
Managing a lead list is an important part of ensuring your leads aren’t being contacted by multiple people within your organization. Learn how to avoid overlapping issues with the help of any program.
Follow these next steps carefully to avoid alienating a potential lead right from the start.
When Should I Send a Follow-Up Email?
You’ll want to send that first touchpoint via email soon after the event ends—within two or three days at the most. Once that has been sent off, it’s time to wait.
If you don’t get a response to that first message, try sending another follow-up email asking if they have any questions about what you discussed during the trade show or event or about your business in general. Don’t give up after the first try!
These follow-up emails should be sent at timed intervals—within the next week or two after the event. Be sure to avoid bombarding them every day, but also don’t leave long gaps without communication. We don’t want them to forget about you and your conversation.
What Should I Include in My Follow-Up Email?
Here are the key elements you want to make sure are included in your first post-event follow-up email.
Start with a strong, compelling subject line that won’t be easily ignored or skipped over.
Then, it’s time to add thank-you messaging about attending the event and personally visiting with you or representatives of your business.
Be sure to add any personal information they may have given to show them you remember them and have paid attention. This will also demonstrate that you value them and their time.
If it’s relevant, include an offer such as an eBook, a case study, or a brochure with additional information about your company. Similarly, if your business was running any contests at the show, let them know about the status of those giveaways.
Finally, wrap up the email by letting them know of any other trade shows or events your business may be attending or hosting, to see if you’ll be able to reconnect with them in person again in the future.
Be sure to sign off the email with all your relevant contact information in case they’d like to follow up via phone.
The Danger of Losing Touch with Trade Show Leads Post-Show
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a business is to not follow up with leads after returning from a trade show or event. In order to nurture your leads and create a personal relationship with them, it’s important to make them feel valued and like they can trust your business. This initial follow-up email will act as that bridge to reconnect you and your lead and will allow you to continue communicating long after the event has concluded.
A strong initial point of contact with a lead often ends in their becoming a paying customer, which is the ultimate goal for all businesses.
Here at LAIRE, we know it can be hard to regularly maintain leads and continuously move them to the next step in the sales process.
We also know how difficult it can be to set up a trade show or event, especially when you want to build brand awareness about your business. Don’t worry—we’ve got you covered. Talk to our team to get started.
Download our free guide on How to Build and Execute a Strategy for Trade Shows and Events for our tips about building your trade show and event: