By Amanda Polk
As a professional marketer, I like to build new client relationships on a foundation of proper expectations. No glitz, glamour or empty promises here! Marketing works. Of course it does! But you have to be artful in your implementation.
Executing a solid strategy goes way beyond the creative (even if it’s straight genius). You’ve got to think about what happens when someone responds to your message. How well you have this part figured out can make or break even the strongest campaign.
Whether you’re partnering with a pro (we highly recommend this) or taking a stab at this yourself, here are a few things to consider before you make your big debut.
Who Is Answering Your Phone?
“Making the phone ring” is the goal of any good campaign, right? And in 2020, people don’t just call businesses for fun. They call when they’re serious. So if they’ve dialed your number, you better be ready. It’s time to roll out the red carpet.
Businesses often put their lowest-level employees in the driver’s seat of answering the phones, but here at Miller Public Relations, we respectfully disagree with that approach. The person or people answering your phone should be your A-team bringing their A-game.
They should be sales (and service!) minded and equipped to have engaging conversations with prospective customers. To move them down the line, to capture and convert them. There’s no other opportunity that should be taken more seriously than when someone has made that first move over the phone.
The team should be ready to zig, zag and reach the finish line respectfully. Graciously. And like a real human. This starts with a genuine understanding of your brand, your values, your product/service and how your company solves people’s problems.
Is Your Website Running?
…and no, that’s not a prank call joke. I’m not going to tell you to ‘go catch it,’ but I am going to tell you to make sure it’s running. As. Fast. As. Possible. Nothing kills a campaign faster than a slow-loading linked-up landing page.
This is something I see all too often – a great digital campaign that isn’t converting. There are a few reasons this could be happening, but more often than not, the culprit is a slow-loading site.
Think about it. Have you ever been scrolling mindlessly through social media, stumble across something that you’re ready to buy, and when you click to the site, it won’t load? Do you stick around and wait for it to finally show up, or do you move on?
Exactly. Your potential customers don’t want to wait for anything. Make sure your site can keep up with today’s right-now-or-never mindset.
What’s Your Online Lead Protocol?
How much time do you let pass before you respond to an online lead? If the answer is any longer than an hour, you need to reconsider your strategy. Leads are 10x more likely to lose interest if you take longer than 60 minutes to get back to them. They start losing steam with every minute that passes by.
Remember what I said about that now-or-never mindset?
You have to follow-up in real-time, in real ways, using the same platform on which they’ve reached out to you. Does that mean you should never call an online lead? No. But your initial reaction likely shouldn’t be a phone call unless you’ve cued up that expectation beforehand.
Think about it. Have you ever sent an email to someone asking a question that could easily be answered with an email in response, but the recipient calls you to answer the question? Annoying, right?
The thing I’ve seen work the best is asking prospects how and when they’d like to be followed up with. It’s as simple as adding a couple of questions to your online form, and it goes a long way in establishing rapport with leads early on. They feel heard. And, you’ve put them in control of the situation, which is far more likely to result in the response you want.
Moral of the Story
The big takeaway here is this: Look internally before you put anything out there externally.
- Prepare a checklist of all of the ways that someone may respond to your marketing campaign.
- Polish up those processes.
- Make sure your website is in tip-top shape.
- Test. And test again.
Still not sure where to begin? We here at Miller Public Relations are happy to be of service. We eat, sleep and breathe helping businesses succeed from the inside-out. Whether you just need a little help getting started or you want someone to take the reins, we’re here for you!