I recently attended a women’s conference that had a vendor area set up for businesses that offered products and services that appealed to women in the health and wellness space. The conference offered a scavenger hunt of sorts where each participant was encouraged to stop by the vendor booths and have their card signed off on – kind of like a Girl’s Night Out where you have to visit all the businesses to get in on the grand prize drawing.
What I noticed was that every vendor was giving away their own prizes and every single one of them had pen and paper “Enter to Win” forms on their table.
And, not only do I not like the time it takes to manually fill out the form, it creates a long line of people, and in most cases I’m just going to walk on by and not even do it, even though I may have interest in their product or service.
As I write this, it’s been several days since that event and I haven’t received even one follow-up from all of the entry forms I completed. Hmmm….makes me wonder why they wanted my name, right? Did they really just get my information because they wanted me to win their prize? I highly doubt it, but since they didn’t follow up with me within a couple of days after the event, they have most likely lost me and my willingness to listen to their messaging if and when they ever do decide to connect with me. Does that make sense?
If you’re a business owner who takes the time and spends the money to participate in vendor expos and trade shows, what are you doing to capitalize on the traffic you’re getting at your booth? If you’re still taking the old school approach and manually collecting names, you’re not doing yourself any favors.
Let’s be real here – what are you going to do with all those little slips of paper? Are you going to put them in your computer (if you can even read all the handwritten info), with the intention of either sending an email or making a follow up phone call? Do YOU have the time for that? Are you going to pay your kids to do it? And when are you going to get around to writing the email or calling everyone? Is it going to be a one and done? If no one responds after that first connection, do you have a follow up plan?
I’m sure you know about the “Know, Like, and Trust factor”, right? Unless your clients know, like, and trust you they won’t do business with you. So, how do you build that? By nurturing a relationship with them. And that does NOT happen with a one and done, even IF you ever do get around to putting all those handwritten slips of paper into your computer and following up! Put yourself in the shoes of the person attending the event…how likely are they to do business with you based on one encounter? Probably not very…
Sometimes “Old School” is best, but not this time…
There is a MUCH better way, one that is more user friendly for the people stopping by your booth and way more effective at helping you nurture a relationship with these potential clients. And the good news is that I’m going to share the 4 step process with you right here and now!
The people who visit your booth will scan the QR code with their phone. It will take them directly to the form where they will enter in their name and email (or it will autocomplete, making it REALLY easy for them), and Viola! You’ve now captured their contact information so you can easily follow up with them in a timely manner. And they didn’t even have to experience the dreaded “booty bump”…SCORE! 🤣 Plus…major bonus points – you will be able to read their info because it’s not handwritten, and you won’t have to manually enter all that info into your computer yourself!
So how does this all work behind the scenes? If you’re not familiar with email marketing, this might all seem like magic to you....and it is, sort of! 😉 There are a number of apps and programs you can use to accomplish this, but very simply, this is what happens:
As I mentioned, there are a number of apps and programs that can be used to accomplish this, and which one you choose really depends on what you are already using in your business for a CRM, email marketing system, web provider, etc. There are probably as many combinations as there are businesses, but just know that this can be accomplished even if you don’t currently have any of these types of programs. You can replace the manual “enter to win” process today with the power of a Google form.
Where the Real Magic Happens
What you do with their information once you have it is where the real magic and payoff come in though. To really make the most of your investment in these types of events, you need to have a system in place to effectively follow up and nurture those leads, and a one-and-done approach is not going to cut it. You need to put yourself in front of those people on a regular basis, educating them about what you do, showing them how you can solve a pain point in their life, and building the know, like, and trust factor. The easiest way to do that is by being in their inbox on a regular basis. If you are providing value, they will let you continue to show up in their inbox, and will ultimately do business with you when they’re ready. This simple approach is the foundation of all successful marketing campaigns and can be implemented relatively quickly with minimal cost. If you’re technology-challenged or aren’t quite sure how to start, this is something I am available to help with, so don’t hesitate to contact me.
Email marketing is so much more effective than social media, and you’re meeting your potential clients on a platform that you own and control. You don’t have that control with social media – when everyone’s crying about the changes in the algorithm, your emails will still be showing up every week in your potential clients’ inboxes. Your success will not depend on the whims of the most popular social media giants. Now that doesn’t mean you don’t want to have a presence on social media, but when it comes to your biggest marketing investment, it should be on a platform you own and control.
Do you currently have an email list? Are you connecting with your subscribers on a regular basis? If you answered no to either question, this is a huge area of opportunity for you and your business, and it’s one of the things I love to help with. Let’s hop on a call to see how I can help you make the most of your business marketing efforts! You can schedule your call with me here.
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