Participating in an industry event is hard work for marketers. From designing and building the booth, to creating content to hand out, to working long hours engaging new leads, understanding prospects’ needs and documenting the conversations. The marketing team can go all out to create a big impact at the event….
And then nothing. The sales team doesn’t follow through with any of the leads. Not because the leads didn’t meet the ideal profile, but because prospects were not ready to buy and sales was busy closing other deals. Sound familiar?
From a marketing standpoint, it can be frustrating (and a waste of money!) to see new leads aging on the shelf. But solving the problem is actually easy! All you need to do is build a lead nurture program specifically for the leads who had engaged with your company at the event.
To make the user experience smooth and to stay top of mind as soon as a conference has ended, build the nurture program before the event takes place. There’s always time to tweak the details post-show, but the majority of the program and content should be in place so communications can begin as soon as the event concludes.
This strategy leverages lead nurture best practices - with a few twists - because the leads originated from an event:
- Communicate With A Cadence that Works for Your Leads. Communicate on a bi-weekly basis for four months. Tests on our audience showed this frequency and duration work best.
- Engage with Solutions. Copy must be focused on your leads. Write about benefits, solving problems, and addressing issues. Your communications should not include descriptions of the features and functions of your products. In some cases it may be advisable to send letters and postcards through the mail to cut through the noise of email.
- Provide Value with Amazing Content. In each communication include an asset that supports the premise of the email. By doing this, you deliver something of value; content that’s fresh and on-point. Examples of content types include: white papers, case studies, research papers, and videos.
- Make it Personal. Be clear about where you met the lead. Communication can include tidbits of information from keynote addresses and other event-specific happenings that align with your brand and key message. Visuals aligned with your booth space can also be used.
- Monitor Engagement and Convert Sales Ready Leads (SRLs). Set up a lead scoring program that monitors lead activity. The program should monitor and assign points for reactionary activity generated from your outbound communication as well as proactive activity like website visits. The points were based on the level of activity; for example, a site visit might accrue 20 points while simply opening an email may accrue 5 points. Leads whose overall activity indicated they were sales-ready converted to the sales team.
Once you have a nurture program in place, keep the conversations going after the event so that leads don’t grow stale and fall out of your funnel.
If you follow these steps, I hope you’ll find that the truly qualified sales-ready leads will bubble to the top through the lead scoring program. Then the sales team will no longer need to spend time culling through all the leads and can engage with those leads that are ready to buy.
By implementing a post-event nurture program, the ROI of your next event participation can sky rocket.