Trade shows are a great place to network and get new leads. However, your work doesn’t end when you leave the event. Afterward, you need to follow up and check in with the influential people you talked to during the event.
But how do you make a good follow-up email and leave a great impression on your trade show leads, so they can be led into your sales funnel? Read on to find out.
Follow-up emails jog a prospect’s memory about your booth and product demo after a networking event, placing your sales pitch at the top of their minds. If your sales team at the show made a great impression, it also allows the potential buyer to re-experience that conversation and make them more receptive to further contact.
You shouldn’t make one follow-up template and send it to everyone you spoke to because you need to treat hot leads and cold leads differently. Make sure to personalize your emails just enough so the prospect can remember who you are and strengthen that connection. Always include your name, company, and the event you connected at, so your prospect doesn’t have to think hard about where they know you from.
Finally, instead of sending out emails immediately after a show, give your prospective customers a day or two so they can get home and settle back in. This way, your email will likely be the first thing they see above a deluge of emails from other vendors.
You may think that you’ve delivered a good enough sales pitch or product demo that you don’t need to nudge the prospect afterward. However, following up after a trade show is essential for these four reasons:
Trade shows are where your sales rep finds leads by conversing with potential clients. While everyone you talk to at a show could become leads, not all will convert. Sending a follow-up email will help them remember who you are and increases the likelihood of them entering your sales cycle.
Sending follow-up emails helps maintain good relationships between you and the potential customers. Even if they don’t end up buying anything from your company, you’ll gain a contact on your email list that you can ask for referrals or recommendations.
Nudging someone with an email after talking to them at a trade show leaves a bigger impression. A well-crafted follow-up email also shows that you think highly of the receiver, which can increase their likelihood of entering your sales pipeline.
As a salesperson, you’re representing your company at trade shows. If you’re nice and considerate to all potential buyers, it reflects well on your company and makes people think highly of your workplace.
So, how do you ensure people will look at your follow-up emails instead of just letting them sit unopened in their inbox? Here are several ways to improve your follow-up process and boost your email conversion:
A well-crafted follow-up email makes you more memorable in the eyes of potential clients. Here are five simple steps to crafting amazing follow-up emails to boost your reply rate:
Before writing your email, make sure that you have an end goal in mind. Generally, there are four objectives when writing a follow-up email:
Whether you’re planning on touching base or putting in a product demo request, make sure to include the appropriate calls to action.
Try to hook your qualified leads early on in the email. A good way to open emails is to provide context and remind the prospect of where and when you met. Starting off with something like “I’d like to continue our conversation from the trade show about accounting solutions” immediately clues the reader in on who you are and jogs their memory.
Once you’ve given them enough context, you should clearly state why you’re emailing them. Be straightforward – instead of saying “Are you available for a phone conversation next week?”, say “Are you available for a phone call next week to discuss the customer support software you asked about?”
A clear closing statement also helps the reader plan their next steps.
While this may sound counter-intuitive, creating your subject line after you write the email body is easier. Since you already know what the email contains, you can make a subject line that accurately reflects its contents.
Generally, the best time to send a business follow-up email is a couple of days after a trade show. This lets your prospective buyer get home and settle back into their routine before they open their inbox. Your email is more likely to be seen and read if you give a short buffer period.
Following up with potential clients after a trade show can be challenging sometimes. Here are some top tips when nudging a prospect after you talked to them at a show:
Sending an email to trade show leads right after the event is an easy way to get your email buried beneath dozens of similar messages. Allow one or two days so the client can settle in at home, and never send your email on weekends.
Sending emails at the right time is the key to a successful trade show follow-up. Try sending your emails at around 10 a.m. when people are having their coffee break or at 2 p.m. when they tend to be looking for distractions or a break from work.
If you talked to the potential client at the show, open by reminding them of the conversation. Thank them for their time and compliment them on any good ideas they presented during your time with them. This also demonstrates that you paid attention and are truly interested in what they have to offer.
Be courteous and professional, but don’t spend too much time with pleasantries – most busy people only have a couple of minutes to check their email. State your purpose early on in the email body so you don’t waste their time. This also potentially increases response rates.
Once you’ve stated what you need, always add a call-to-action at the end of the email body so the reader knows what to do. A simple “please reply with your available times” or “can we do a call at 1 p.m. tomorrow?” clears up any confusion and makes it easier for the reader to reply as soon as possible.
Your prospective client likely sifts through dozens of emails per day. Show that you value their time by keeping your messages short, sweet, and to the point.
Don’t use a cookie-cutter email template for all your messages. Use personalized templates based on things industries, preferences, and interests so your emails don’t look cold and impersonal.
Social proof like positive reviews or glowing customer testimonies goes a long way in building consumer trust. Incorporate social proof and other relevant content into your emails to get the prospect’s interest.
Don’t know where to start with your follow-up emails? Here are two email templates to inspire you:
This email sample is best used if you’re not in a hurry to sell because it gives both parties time to rest after a tiring trade show.
It was great meeting you at the expo last Friday. I had a lot of fun talking to you about our potential partnership prospects.
I’m sure you have a lot to catch up on after the event, so I’ll contact you next week and we can continue our conversation from there.
Looking forward to hearing from you soon,
If you hit it off with a prospect at the show and they showed exceptional interest in your product or service, you can use this email sample.
Thanks for stopping by our booth last Friday. I’d love to chat with you about the manufacturing solutions package you asked about at the show.
Would you be open for a 30-minute conversation later this week?
Following up with emails after a trade show is a fine art. You want to send them at the right time and craft the email’s content carefully to increase the likelihood of turning leads into customers. Fortunately, you can do just that by following the tips above.
To make following up even easier, you can check out the PeopleGlass service from People.ai. It lets you follow up on trade show leads faster thanks to its spreadsheet conversion abilities. Moreover, you’ll also get robust revenue intelligence, account management, and other tools to boost your revenue!
These are the key characteristics of a great business follow-up email that converts leads into customers:
The best and most polite way to follow up with a lead after a trade show is to send an email one or two days after the event. Depending on your urgency level, you don’t need to be pushy – a simple check-in will make them feel like they’re a valued customer and open them up for further sales advances.
The key to not being annoying when following up is to use your best judgment. Don’t shoot an email too quickly and don’t make overly-long messages. Keep your messages brief and to the point to show that you respect the reader’s time.