The Dos and Don’ts of Trade Show Follow-Up Marketing

The most promising conversations at a trade show will mean nothing without follow-through. It’s important to have a plan in place for moving leads through the sales funnel following a show.

Email is an excellent way to follow up with prospects. However, it’s important to not spam prospects. Here are some helpful tips to help you avoid being annoying.

Don’t Forget About Social Media

While focusing on emails and phone calls is important to move leads through the sales funnel, social media can help you reach new people and keep your brand top of mind after the show. Use your business Twitter or Facebook account to post a recap of the show and share any professional pictures or video you took.

Make sure to tag any attendees or influencers you met so they can see your content. Social media can also be a great way to reach out to any cold leads you collected, sending them a personalized LinkedIn invite to connect.

Make sure to personalize these messages as much as possible based on your conversation with the lead at the show. They saw hundreds of booths at the trade show and your message should help them recall your discussion. Avoid using generic, stock responses like “I enjoyed talking to you” or “Thanks for reaching out.” This makes your business sound robotic and cold.

Don’t Forget About Email

A follow-up email is a great way to thank your leads for their time at the trade show and provide them with additional information about your company. It jogs their memory of your booth and product demo, making them more receptive to further contact.

It also helps you differentiate your business from other exhibitors who may be forgetful or lax in their follow up after the event. Your email should clearly ask your lead to take action, such as scheduling a sales call or demonstration, downloading a white paper or case study, or signing up for your newsletter.

Be sure your email follows up on a Monday, when many people are returning to their office after the weekend. Also, keep in mind that your emails should be tailored to each lead — don’t just dump your new prospects into a general marketing list. Instead, consider a nurture program featuring different types of relevant content, such as industry insights, online events, special promotions, and more.

Don’t Forget About Phone Calls

While it is important to send a nurturing email with a call-to-action that focuses on what transpired at the show, it’s equally important to reach out to key stakeholders over the phone. By leveraging a mix of email and phone marketing, you’ll be able to keep your brand at the forefront of your leads’ minds post-show, while also closing sales faster.

Don’t use email as your only follow-up mechanism, as most emails receive a cursory glance and are then relegated to the “later” or “never” folder. Try using a trade show follow-up template that combines email and phone calls for the best results.

Keep in mind that every person you spoke to at the show is at a different stage of the sales journey. Some may be hot, while others are simply interested in learning more. Create a follow-up plan that has different communication schedules for each group of prospects and you’ll be sure to see an impact on your pipeline.

Don’t Forget About Follow-Up Meetings

When it comes to trade show follow-up emails, timing is everything. If you send them too long after the event, your brand, product and services are no longer fresh in recipients’ minds. Additionally, sending them over the weekend increases the risk they will be deemed spam come Monday morning or get lost in recipients’ deluge of emails as they catch up on work.

Your first email should briefly reintroduce yourself, and ideally include a photo from your booth so that your prospects can put a face to your name. You should also make it clear that you are reaching out to schedule a phone call or meeting.

After a show, it is important to categorize your leads as hot, warm and cold, with the goal of getting your sales team in front of the best prospects as quickly as possible. Then, use your follow-up communications to nurture each lead into a sale. You can even consider outsourcing your post-show follow-up phone calls to an experienced team like VoiceLogic.

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