We all know that telephone inquiries are your highest quality leads, and you invest time, money and resources to improve telephone intake. Unfortunately, practices spend little or no time strategizing how to convert email leads (website form submissions), which we all recognize are harder to close.
In addition, you spent lots of time and thought developing strategic email forms on your website. In fact, if you go to your website now, you will likely find an email submission form is one of the most visible calls-to-action on almost every page of your site, or at least your “Contact Us” page.
If 2016 is going to be a breakthrough year, improving your email sales follow up needs to be at the top of the list. Here are 13 tips to help you develop more effective email follow up, and convert more inquires into consultations.
telephone intake leads. That is why it is so important to collect contact information during the telephone intake process.
- Prospect Expectations – The first tip is to empathize and put your feet in the shoes of your prospects. Don’t just think about what questions they will submit, but in what state-of-mind; where are they (at work/home); what device are they using (desktop/iPad/phone); what motivated them to visit your site and contact you. And when they press the “submit” button, what are their expectations? What will I get back? When will I get it back? What will I be able to do after I get it?
- Timing – Statistics indicate that email leads grow cold quickly. Your lead-conversion success rate can be based on how quickly you reply, as much as the depth or quality of your response. A Harvard Business Study indicates you are 7 times more likely to have a meaningful conversation if you respond to website leads within an hour. If you wait 24 hours, you are 60 times less likely to connect. Identify key intake personnel and give them the ability to respond quickly.
- Answer the Question – In many cases, email leads are perceived as low quality or “shopper” leads based on the questions they pose, particularly when they ask about cost or money. Many practices instruct intake staff to avoid giving an answer and redirect into “selling” the consultation. At some level, you will need to answer their question; otherwise they will mistrust you and ask themselves, “What are you hiding?” How to do it in a manner that continues to move the discussion beyond dollars is the key to effective follow up.
- Start A Dialog – Rather than just providing curt answers or deflecting the questions, strategic intake starts a dialog through asking better qualifying questions that can lead to a telephone or in-office consultations. Projecting a helpful spirit through the ability to ask better questions is essential to effective intake. I suggest, end your initial inquiry with a question.
- Leverage The Internet: LINKS! – Strategic follow up also includes leveraging key resources you develop through the use of links to key “destination” pages of your website. Getting them back to your site connects your follow up email with your brand and gives prospects the credible information that will separate you from others they have contacted.
- Sales Support Pages - As part of your follow up strategy, it may also be important to develop new sales support pages. Be creative in strategizing what helpful materials will help prospects move through the decision-making process. Some effective support pages may include more substantive and creative information including infographics, videos, checklists, etc.
- Write For Your Top 5 Percent - When you identify or develop new pages specifically for the purpose of follow up, keep in mind that these prospects are likely further down the decision-making process than the vast majority of your visitors that may stumble on website pages. Even on high lead-generating websites, about 95% or more of visitors are not ready to take the leap in contacting your office. For those that have reached that point they are ready to take the next step. Make sure the information you provide is appropriate for consumers at this stage of the buying cycle.
- Be Hyper-Relevant - When you provide prospects links in your follow up, make sure they are to interest-specific pages. If they ask a question about a certain service or practice area, make sure you provide the most relevant information and links. Take the conversation to a higher level. Follow-up pages can provide more substantive information and have more detail than introductory website landing pages.
- Frequency – One-and-done email follow up will definitely minimize your ability to move prospects through the decision making process. Also, simply moving one-time follow-up leads into a quarterly or monthly newsletter database does not address the window of opportunity that hot leads present.
- Think Mobile – Your staff may be sending emails to prospects through their desktop computer, but the majority of your leads will likely read you follow up using a mobile device. Make sure you send mobile-responsive email. Statistics indicate that mobile-responsive emails are more effective and have higher conversion rates than non-mobile responsive. Also, make sure you write your emails in a style that is conducive to reading using a smartphone.
- Think Relationship – An important part of any sale or transaction with a service provider is relationship. People choose to do business with people they like and trust. The key to building that trust and rapport with new prospects is to quickly break down social and communication barriers. Use a conversational, yet professional tone in email follow up. Address them by first name. Use an empathetic tone and word selection. Include a signature with your name, title and picture and contact information. Winning the competition for consultations is based on developing trust, credibility and rapport faster than your competitors.
- Streamline – In most cases, there are very common questions and inquiries that you need to address on an everyday basis. There is nothing wrong with developing effective template email follow up options for your most common submissions. The key is to make sure you customize them in the most effective manner, so that they appear custom (which in many ways, they are).
- Apply To Telephone Leads – Many of these same strategies that address email leads should also be incorporated into your follow up with even your
Today, high ROI internet marketing is more than just showing up on Google or simply attracting more traffic. It’s about understanding online consumers on a deeper level, how to satisfy their needs, and building stronger online community and communication.
If you would like us to evaluate your email sales process, email us, or give us a call at 800-916-3886.