How to build efficient trade show follow up emails?
When you are at an event, adrenaline and motivation are through the roof. You talk with lots of people, receive valuable feedback and hear promises of future orders.
But as the trade show ends and you return to your office, what happens?
In average, it takes 7 days for companies to follow up on leads collected at exhibitions. It means that between the time you meet with a potential customer and the time you send a trade show follow up email, 7 days have passed. In many cases, there is no follow up at all and the business cards end up in a shoebox somewhere.
Exhibitions are very costly – in both time and resources. Organizing the event, promoting it, preparing the samples and paying for the booth is a very time & money consuming exercise… and all the efforts are wasted when no business comes out of it!
Let’s start with instant follow up
Think about it: the person you’ve met at the exhibition has probably met with a hundred other suppliers such as yourself . Do you think he will remember you a week later? Probably not.The best way to handle trade show follow up is to start with an immediate thank you email. Just after your discussion, send a short email with basic background information (your website, catalog or even price list) to your prospect to make sure he will remember who you are. Be faster than your competitors and don’t let promising business fall behind!
Continue with thorough follow-up
The quick introduction email is a great way to make sure your prospect remembers you, but it won’t be enough to convert him. As mentioned, traditional businesses take an average of 7 days to send a follow-up email, if any. You should do this right away and use this speed advantage to take market shares from your competitors!
If you have recorded your customer information correctly at the expo, you should go back to the office with a complete list of leads. Don’t delay and send a personalized email to each of them as soon as possible and as precisely as possible. Take elements from your notes to remind them of your earlier conversation and provide them with proper answers to their business needs.
Make your follow-up emails stand-out
You have speed on your side and it is a great advantage. But there is more you can do to maximize your trade show follow up email outcome.
It is a great strategy to use email templates to save hours of work. Nevertheless, you will need to customize these template before sending out your trade show follow up email.
Add personal elements collected earlier to rebuild the connection you had in your booth. For example, if the visitor explained he was about to go to Thailand for holidays, ask how it went. If he told you he’d rather have you call him “John” than “Jonathan”, do so. These minor elements help to create an environment of trust and comfort.
Add photos. Remember: your visitor has seen many other booths and talked to many other exhibitors. If you want him to remember you, having a few photos will surely help. It is good practice to add your profile photo in your signature and attach a couple fo pictures to the email (your crowded booth for example, or pictures of the products he had shown interest in or even a selfie with him!) The purpose is to remind him of who you are.
Add additional elements ONLY if they serve a purpose. For example, having your price list or catalog could be a great idea. But do not add 15 documents “just in case”, attach only what is relevant. You should make your visitor’s life easier by sending over what is needed to convert him, no less, no more.
Finally, never send a trade show follow up email without a proper CTA (Call To Action). If no action is taken from him side, the deal is dead. Have him do something: confirm an appointment, arrange a visit, sign a contract, receive a sample, etc.
The right way to record data and send instant emails
We all know that time is key at exhibitions. You go from extremely busy times when you must juggle with several visitors to idle times when you have literally nothing to do.You certainly won’t have time to write detailed emails for each person you meet.
Luckily, there are some tools out there that simplify this aspect of trade shows!
myfairtool enables you to prepare standard dynamic follow-up emails ahead of time and simply send them each time you meet a new user. All you have to do is record digitally, from your laptop, tablet or smartphone, all your prospect details along with some comments based on your discussion and your follow up email will be sent instantaneously along with files (price list, catalog, brochure, etc.) and photos (your booths, selfie with your visitor, products, etc.).
Once you are back to the office, you will be able to download a list of leads data collection and manage deeper follow up to convert them into valuable customers.
Get the best of your exhibitions with the ultimate leads follow-up checklist!