Have you ever gone to an event as an exhibitor, gathered a ton of leads and then realized that you have no plan in place to follow up? Did you panic when you realized that all of the hard work you put in and all of the great leads you generated at your booth were at risk?

If you have, you’re not alone. This is a common issue that event exhibitors face. Without a plan in place to follow up with new leads as soon as possible, you risk the chances of losing them forever or requiring further effort than necessary.

No one wants to lose out on new business.

Having an event lead nurturing plan in place before going to any conference or show will not only help generate new business and revenue, but also prove that the value and ROI for the event is higher because of all the new business generated from attending.

Three-Step Process to Creating an Event Lead Nurturing Campaign:

Step One: Ensure there is a seamless way to add new leads to your audience management system

Right off the bat, a registration form needs be created.  From there, as seamless of a connection as possible is beneficial – having minimal to zero lag time from when someone registers on this form to them being entered into the audience management system.

Ideally, the registration form will be on a tablet or device that can be handheld and quickly completed.  A quality user experience with swift action is much more important than a fancy registration form, especially at an event.

On the form, make sure there is a call-to-action (CTA) asking these new leads to sign up for a company newsletter, weekly updates, etc.  Always emphasize the value that your visitors will get from signing up, which will help to send the message that you are not just taking their contact information for sales purposes. Even though your end goal is to make a sale, potential leads always want to learn how a solution can solve their problem.  Show them you care with your offerings, and then pivot to working towards a sale.

Step Two: Create an automatic confirmation email to deploy immediately upon signing up

This is a step that companies miss out on all the time and it can result in a quick and quality win to jump someone down the sales funnel as a sales qualified lead.

Having a confirmation email sent immediately to the visitors who completed your form will help to keep your conversation top of mind. This also guarantees that you are not waiting until after the event to have an initial follow up with these new leads.

In the digital age of cell phones, it is very likely that leads are going to engage with your email in the following hours after your interaction. Reaching out to them and providing an immediate personal touch will help to strengthen the bond and trust between your new leads and yourself.

Within this follow-up email, include a CTA. A personal note from a specific sales rep, CEO, or other key member of your team asking if the lead would like to sign-up for a demo of your product is a great example of how to immediately engage.  Take this a step further by including an easy sign-up link to schedule this appointment right away.

Step Three: Set up a drip campaign that allows you to nurture the new leads over a three-week time frame

This drip campaign is separate from newsletter or weekly update epromos that leads potentially signed up for. Those that opened the confirmation email and signed up for an offering you have shouldn’t be added to this campaign. The drip campaign is for visitors who weren’t as easy to win over. With the contact information that you gained at the event, you can start targeting these visitors in order to further engage them.

The ultimate purpose of a drip campaign is to take new leads and nurture them as quickly as possible.  As a marketing team, the goal in this situation is to hand over as many leads to the sales team as you can.

A Quick Guide to an Email Drip Campaign

Email One
This email should be about education – focus on something the audience should care about.
When to Deploy: The week after the event
Content Suggestions: Analyst reports, webinars and how-to-guides

Email Two
This email should be about engagement – show the audience how a problem can be solved with potential solutions.
When to Deploy: Two weeks after the event
Content Suggestions: Whitepapers, videos and success stories

Email Three
The final email is completely focused on converting – why is your product the best? Show off your credentials and don’t be afraid to tastefully display how beneficial your services would be to your lead.
When to Deploy: Three weeks after event
Content Suggestions: Product comparisons, solution demo and customer testimonials

By engaging with sales leads either during the event or immediately following, you are jumpstarting their sales funnel journey as quickly as possible to generate new business.  This is an efficient way to pass over the sales team new and primed sales-ready leads. Using this three step process will help to position your company for success within a month’s time.

Prepare, Engage, Convert.  Three words to remember and help guide you when creating sales lead opportunities. Also, keeping your sales lead’s best interests in mind throughout the whole process will help to make the entire process much easier and more enjoyable for both you and your lead.


Photo by Timothy Muza on Unsplash