Connecting the Dots Between In-Person and Online Lead Generation

Posted by: Chris Marentis

Connecting the Dots Between In-Person and Online Lead Generation

Do’s
Don’ts

Most business owners today spend a large percentage of their time in front of a computer, especially when it comes to marketing. Although social media and emails are powerful networking tools, it’s also equally, if not more important to connect face to face with colleagues and customers offline. Following are 3 powerful tips exploring key ways businesses can bridge in-person and online marketing efforts.

iStock_000020425454_ExtraSmall - CopyLead People to Your Website

After an in-person event, you’ll likely get some website hits from attendees who took an interest in your business. One way to track them is to create a unique landing page with content targeted to the event audience, such as a webform that enables people to download slides from your presentation. Then you can find out how many people downloaded your slides, and thanks to the online form, you will have their email address and can follow up with a personal email message.

To reach even more people, send out quick Twitter and Facebook messages that thank your audience and provide them with the link to download the slides.

Although it’s always a good idea to provide your in-person contacts with your website URL and email address, it’s better to send them to a specific landing page whenever possible. You can use a free URL shortening tool such as bit.ly to create a short, memorable URL for any landing page. (Also, if you create a bit.ly account, you can use the site to track the number of clicks your bit.ly link gets.)

Build Trust by Asking for a Favor

Many business owners hand out coupons for free products and services to draw in new customers and create buzz. You can go a step further and take this to the next level. When handing out gift cards or other promotional items to an audience, simply ask for this small favor in return. Connect with them on a personal level by requesting that whoever redeems the gift card, send a message to you about their experience with the company. By asking for this favor, you take advantage of one of the principles of influence, the Rule of Reciprocity. Simply stated, your audience will feel compelled to send you a message of what they purchased with their free credit. Its human nature to feel obligated to repay a favor.

As you receive these emails from your customers, it provides another excellent opportunity to further connect with them. By asking for this favor, you take a step towards creating a stronger, more personal relationship with the customers who might otherwise have spent their gift cards without a second thought. In this case, customers feel more invested in the company through this personal interaction.

Testimonials Go a Long Way

The most surefire way, if there is such a thing, to getting a customer to buy whatever it is you’re selling is to share stories about others who have already done so. During a one-on-one conversation at an event, after you’ve provided the value of your offering, share testimonials of satisfied customers or clients. Be sure to include one from customers who converted to your product from a competitor. You can even have them be present to personally share their story and to answer questions. It never hurts to include photos along with it as well.

This provides an opportunity to showcase your worth and credibility while playing into another principle of influence, the Rule of Social Proof. After hearing and seeing how many others have enjoyed their experience with your product or service, your audience will realize that they need what you’re offering. You can provide a link to a landing page that contains all your reviews and testimonials from clients for your audience to contact for further assurance. This simple measure will convert even the most skeptic audience member.

Turn to Professionals for Help

These are several suggestions to merge your online and offline efforts but there are plenty of more ways to go about it.  If you find yourself struggling, conduct a bit of research. By simply doing a Google search, you should be able to find effective methods to assist you. Remember to check out the principles of influence as well. However, if after you are still unsure of how best to unify in-person and online leads and want more ideas for both forms of marketing, you can turn to local marketing experts for help.

Chris Marentis

For nearly three decades, Chris Marentis, Founder and CEO of Surefire Social, has been responsible for driving innovation and sales growth for large media and e-commerce brands as well as start-ups. With a long-history of counseling local businesses about their marketing efforts, Marentis provides insight on what it takes for small businesses to succeed and thrive in today’s evolving digital environment. His notable career includes creating the foundational blueprints for online marketing, e-commerce and content branding for AOL’s Interactive Marketing group, where he served as Senior Vice President. While CEO of Clearspring Technologies, Marentis developed one of the most widely adopted venture-backed Web 2.0 technology platforms. Marentis is a frequent speaker at local digital marketing conferences and a contributor to SMB and technology-focused publications.

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