Don't let it continue!
Offer your visitors a free downloadable product in exchange for their email address. The freebie can be a report, an ebook, a newsletter subscription or even a piece of software. Just make sure it's related to the products you are selling or the theme of your website or blog.
Ok, that sounds easy enough, but what happens after they give you their email address and download the free offer? What do you do with that email address?
Simple... you follow-up and keep following-up. Here's why...
When you don't follow-up with additional information, you let a valuable lead slip through your fingers!
Often, a prospective customer will intentionally put off making a purchase, to see if you find him/her important enough to follow-up with later.
Are you losing profits due to inconsistent, or worse yet, no follow-up?
Following-up with leads is more than just a good idea, it's a necessity if you want to grow your business. Consistent follow-up gets results!
When I first started marketing and emailing prospects, I used a follow-up method that was very basic and labor-intensive. I had a large database containing the names and e-mail addresses of people who had requested free information.
I would write sales letters or newsletters every now and then, and send them, in one mass mailing, to everyone who had previously requested information from me.
I remember agonizing every time I sent these emails, wondering how many would get deleted without being read. After all, I hadn't communicated with my prospects in a long time. How many would even recognize my return address? How many would think they were getting spam from me?
A manual process is not only inconsistent, it's not very effective.
Manual messages do not truly follow-up, since they are sent at random intervals and may have little or no bearing to what your prospect last saw on your website. By their very nature, they are not targeted to the individual or timed to take advantage of a prospect's interest in your products.
OK, What follow-up method should I use?
In a sentence, here's what actually works: Following-up with each lead individually, multiple times, at set intervals, and with pre-written messages, will dramatically increase your sales!
Here's a simple, but effective follow-up plan:
- First, you'll need to develop your follow-up messages. You should have a welcome and "first contact" informative letter. This letter should offer an informative tip or a summary of what your prospect will be receiving in subsequent emails from you.
- Your next 2-3 follow-up messages should be rather short and not hard-sell. They should be mostly informative, referencing a problem your prospect has and offering a solution. You should place a small ad for your "solution" at the bottom of the email or better still, make it flow as a part of the body of the email.
- The next couple of follow-up messages should start creating a sense of urgency in your prospect's mind. Always stress the benefits of using your product to solve their problem or make their life better. You could also increase urgency by mentioning a deadline for a price increase or offer a limited time bonus with their order.
- Phrase each of your final 1 or 2 follow-up messages in the form of a question. Ask your prospect why they haven't yet placed an order. Offer to help them with any questions they may have. Try to anticipate and overcome purchasing objections in your copy.
The timing of your follow-up messages is as important as their content.
- Always send an initial, welcome / informative letter as soon as it is requested, and send the first follow-up 24 hours afterwards.
- Send the next 2-3 follow-up messages between 2 and 3 days apart. Your prospect is still hot, and is probably "shopping around"!
- Send the final follow-up messages 1 week later and separate each message by 1 week.
Now, that's effective follow-up! Following-up consistently seems complicated and tedious, but it doesn't have to be. Not if you automate the process.
How to keep in touch with your leads and customers - automatically
There are programs called autoresponders that can do all the work for you and make your email campaigns totally automatic. All you do is set up a series of pre-written emails, specify the time interval for sending them out and the autoresponder takes care of everything for you.
Not only do your prospects receive a personalized email that's relevant to the offer they originally requested, but they get carefully timed, automatic follow-up messages predetermined by you.
The beauty of an autoresponder is that you can change the messages anytime, and each new prospect starts from the beginning of the email sequence. That way everyone gets the same sequence in the same order. Try doing that manually!
A good autoresponder will also automate signups and opt-outs without any manual intervention. These features are critical to protect you from being labeled a "spammer".
So, Which Autoresponder Do You recommend?
Are you sold yet? Ready for a recommendation for a reasonably priced, excellent autoresponder. The obvious choices boil down to just two: Aweber and GetResponse.
Each have their benefits and drawbacks. To make your choice a little easier, I've reviewed both autoresponders and compared them.
You can check the reviews of each autoresponder below or skip right to my comparison of the two at Which Autoresponder Is Best For You? GetResponse and Aweber Compared.