The Importance of Following Up
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Following up with customers is a type of marketing, and can be a valuable asset when growing your business. Your potential customers’ inboxes are crowded, so you need to break through the noise. This is done by creating a personal connection, instead of cold-calls and pitches.
Customers need to know how much you care. This is true if you are a startup or an established business. But how do we accomplish this? By making a conscious decision to send a physical card or gift in lieu of an email.
Following up after a meeting or major life event, or even a simple “thinking of you” message can help you solidify relationships and make customers for life.
Inbound Marketing is Persistent Communication
Inbound marketing is about persistence, and following up is a key component of it. There are four parts of inbound marketing, and they work together to help you achieve the growth you need.
- Attract prospective customers through search engine results, advertising, social media, or other avenue that provides value.
- Convert these prospects into leads when they submit contact information for following up.
- Close the deal by offering consistent content that prospects will find valuable.
- Delight your new customers by developing loyalty through more valuable content and engagement. (This is key!)
The companies that have seemingly overnight viral success are those that know the value of inbound marketing and of following up. These companies build buzz around their product or service while rewarding loyalty.
When you’re passionate about your customers, your customers will be passionate about you. As John C. Maxwell explains, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.”
Appreciation Over Self-Promotion Is Key to Inbound Marketing
It’s important to remember that relationships will win over constant, impersonal selling. When interacting with both current customers and prospects, we need to emphasize appreciation over self-promotion. Eighty percent of your communication should be relationship-building, while the remaining 20% is sales-focused.
This is particularly important in email marketing. We have a direct line to inboxes, but we can’t abuse it. Show your appreciation by thanking them for their purchase, sharing customer stories, and other content that isn’t related to getting another sale.
Then, once you’ve built that relationship, you can move in for the sales pitch. The trust you’ve built can help you sell, but be careful.
After the sale, you shift back into appreciation-mode by mailing a handwritten thank you note to surprise and delight your customer. The cost of a stamp can help you bring in a lifelong customer that will share your story on social media and by word of mouth.
Follow Up with Customers to Make an Impact
Janie Montague, a follow-up expert, says that following up with both prospects and current customers is about making an impact and staying top of mind. Handwritten notes are a rarity today, which is why the simple act of writing a thank you card or celebrating customer life events can be so effective.
Janie speaks to the importance of maintaining relationships with current customers so they feel valued. “A physical card, and possibly a gift, shows your appreciation” she shared. This strategy can help you continue to build an impactful, mutually beneficial relationship with your customers as well as increase referrals.
Following up with customers is an art, but it’s an easy one to learn. When you practice appreciation over self-promotion in your inbound marketing strategy, you can build relationships and avoid the inbox clutter that most companies are stuck in.
With these tactics you can go from zero to hero and build the buzz you need to grow your company by following up.
By Marc Apple
Marc Apple is recognized as a leader in the marketing industry and has 20+ years of experience helping businesses of all sizes improve their digital marketing. He specializes in website design, SEO, social media, and paid search programs. He is a frequent contributor to other marketing websites and speaks regularly about marketing to small business owners and startups. To learn about Marc and to contact him, visit his author bio page.
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