It used to be that trade shows were vital for direct sales, however across a wide range of industries, trade shows have become much more important for marketing i.e. capturing leads. So while the importance of attending shows and making a great impression is just as critical as ever, collecting as many important leads as possible is the true aim.
Having a system to capture leads effectively, and then organize them so you can begin the process of connecting and converting those leads is vital to keep leads warm and retain new customers. Right now there are two common methods for lead capture, both of which are highly flawed.
1. The business-card-in-the-fishbowl method
First of all, we see the old school business-card-in-the-fishbowl method. This unwieldy process has several drawbacks. One is that once you leave the show, all you know about your potential customer is the information printed on the business card, and this might not be the information that is going to help you with follow-up and closing a sale. While that information is valuable, there might be additional questions which will help you craft the most effective email funnel campaign follow-up. Not to mention you’ll also have to manually enter all of the information on the business card into an automated device before you can even think about emailing anybody. Ultimately with this method at the end of the trade show, you have a fishbowl filled with scraps of paper. That’s not the easiest thing to turn into well-crafted follow up emails.
2. Expensive (exhibition-
owned) badge scanners
That brings us to the technical approach. At first glance, this seems like the preferred method. It should be able to allow you to ask the right questions that will enable you to close sales down the road, and it should make it seamless to go from the show to follow-up emails. But the most common method for this, expensive rented badge scanners, is not a whole lot better. Badge scanners are typically rented by the trade show organizers and leads captured are only returned 2 weeks after the show has ended. So follow up with a potentially interested customer is delayed. At the end of the day, it gathers the same information as a business card (and sometimes provides less information than the old-fashioned business card). And not only is it expensive, it’s prone to failure. If the signal goes out or is weak as often happens at large venues, your entire capture system can fail. Plus, for an expensive, technology-heavy method, it’s surprisingly difficult to take those leads and effectively create an email campaign without a lot of hassle.
Goodbye paper forms and badge scanners. Hello lead capture app!
So what’s the solution? Enter the lead capture app. Simply install software such as QuickTapSurvey, onto the tablet of your choice, and set it up so that it will collect only the information that is most valuable to you and begin collecting leads. Rather than just collecting generic business card information you can ask qualification questions, such as:
- How soon are you ready to purchase?
- Who is the decision-maker?
- What is your project budget?
Benefit 1: Speedy Follow-Up
When seeking to convert leads no virtue is more important than speed. A warm lead quickly degrades into a cold one, and your chance of making a sale decreases exponentially. You’ve invested precious resources in attending a trade show and creating a set-up to make sure your product is displayed at it’s very best. The key is to capitalize on that investment by following up with your lead while the impression is fresh.
Benefit 2: Stand Apart from the Crowd
By using a lead collection app that makes follow-up seamless, you’ll have that much extra time to invest in creating a follow-up that looks it’s very best. Create informative and appealing graphics and customize communications so that follow-up emails make maximum impact.
Benefit 3: Seamless Follow-Up Email Campaigns
With mobile lead capture apps, you can immediately sync the collected leads to a CRM or the email marketing platform of your choice, such as MailChimp or Salesforce and automate initial follow-up immediately and seamlessly ensuring that you make a great impression on potential clients and have the edge on the competition.
Benefit 4: Competitive Advantage
A quality mobile lead capture app will allow you to collect the data that’s most relevant to your industry and product. Use that data to create several follow up responses that are perfectly tailored to different categories of clients. You’ll be able to easily provide both a personalized touch and better service. And you’ll be able to ditch the scraps of paper as well as unreliable and expensive hardware that ends up just making your job harder. Using mobile technology to collect leads is not only the best way to automate lead collection, it’s the best way to ensure seamless and powerful follow-up because even warm leads are only as good as the ability to convert them into sales.