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Everyone wants to get a better return from their marketing spend at Trade Shows. Some companies are doing this extraordinarily well. How is your company doing?

Here are three tips on how companies are using sales 2.0 Strategies & Technologies to generate more leads, close more sales and take away business from your competitors at Trade Shows.

1. Pre Convention Marketing - Use a Robot.

Use a marketing automation system, which connects to your CRM system, to automatically perform a number of presale and follow-up tasks

You can gauge interest from the potential attendees before the convention by sending them educational and problem-solving material in videos via email. The material should be focussed on solutions and not slogans or sales.

2. At the Convention.

Use this time wisely. Don't have your marketing people scrambling to collect business cards, writing notes on them which will make no sense in 2 weeks to the sales force.

Have your marketing people engage with the attendees and get the attendees committed to registering for more information, to be delivered at a later date by email.

3. Post Convention Follow -Up Marketing Automation

Engage and follow-up with attendees at least 20 times before, during, and after the trade show.

Automate this process so that your salespeople can focus specifically on communicating with hot prospects rather than sending out emails and postcards.

Don't bombard attendees with overwhelming sales information. Instead, email them links to educational white papers, internet videos, and special reports that will produce a better educated customer.

Now, your hot prospects will request more information--but with no sales pressure. Your company will be considered an invaluable source of information.

For the 5 Most Fascinating Stories in Franchising, a weekly report, click here & sign up.

A couple of weeks ago, I was startled to receive an email from Drayton Bird.

Actually, it was from one of his talented associates, Gerald Woodgate.

Gerald promised to: "reveal the biggest mistake so many websites make"

Ok, say I to myself, what mistake could we be making that was so bad?

Joe and I have only been doing this for about 12 years.

Some clever SEO tactic?

Some shrewd backlinking strategy?

mistake.jpg

Nope, what Gerald told me was so shocking and simple, I couldn't believe that Joe and I missed it!

If you are blogging, content marketing, or just writing & you are trying to sell your services, don't make this mistake --any more.

1. First, what is wrong with this picture?

Here is a week's worth of analytics, from March 7th to March 17th, 2014, for a great post Nancy Friedman wrote: The New Rules of Email Etiquette

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Ok, so what does this tell us?

Nancy had 528 readers, each who spent more than 4:30 minutes reading what she had to say about the New Rules of Email Etiquette.

In ten days, Nancy could have had 528 leads.

But, she did not get those leads --because Joe and I are committing the terrible mistake Gerald warned us about!

2. Our Terrible Mistake - Don't You Make the Same One!

When someone comes to your office, do you offer to exchange business cards?

Or do you shoo them out the door?

No, it would be rude not.

To offer the ritual exchange - it's part of just being pleasant.

But, as Gerald wrote to us: Joe and I are being rude on our website.

What did we offer those people who read Nancy's article & were interested in what Nancy had to say?

Nothing. Nada. Bupkis.

Nothing to see here - just move on.

You see, we made the mistake Gerald warned us about.

What is the terrible error?

---- Not capturing the names and email addresses of interested readers

3. So, Make an Offer to An Interested Reader Who Wants to Buy from You Sometime

Here is exactly what Gerald said, so shocking & simple.

"Remember: People buy when they want to, not when you want them to.

So if you're not in touch with them you'll miss the boat when they're ready.

When you're collecting names and / or email addresses you know when someone's interested in what you do.

After all, they wouldn't have given you their details if they weren't.

All you have to do is persuade them to buy from you. Not one of the competition.

And when you're the one in regular contact with them ... helping them ... advising them ...

Well, who do you think they'll buy from?"

People buy on their schedule & not when your bank account needs them to. So keep in touch.

Oh yeah, you cannot keep in touch unless you have their name and email.

4. And Joe & I Can do Better for You at Franchise-Info, I thought.

Here is what your supplier or vendor directory directory listing will have.

1. Tracking of click-thrus. How many people went to your landing page from our directory?

2. Sharing of Information. Give us your Google analytics, even your own custom code, and we will embed the code into the page. Then, share the information with you.

Since this will be the best Supplier or Vendor directory, we are only going to charge you $97/month. The best deal you can find.

5. But that's not all. We have much more for you.

We are going to give you a way of filtering & separating the prospects from the suspects.

We are going to give you our LinkedIn Verified/Qualified lead program.

Yup, not only do you get tracking, sharing, you get real leads .

Ready for you to sell to.

Yes, I want More Qualified Leads!

Seth Godin always answers my emails - quickly & directly. Now, I am not special and for all I know Seth Godin answers everyone's email quickly and directly.

But, once somewhere on the web, Godin stated that his preferred length of email response was three lines. (I recall that he was quoting, with approval, some other A-list blogger.)

Godin answers my emails quickly & directly because I make it easy for him to reply substantively in three lines or less. We both gain from his quick & direct response.

I told you that parable to introduce a more general idea.

People waste your attention and mine with long email signatures, or sig files.

While they have our attention, they direct us to some list or item that has no quick or direct response.

Look at this sig file, for example.

signature file.jpg

No offense meant to Allison Smith, but when you get her email, your attention is focused on this impressive list of contact information.

What does the Allison want you to do with this list?

There is nothing to do - her email directs you to do nothing. You comply quickly & directly by deleting her email from your attention box, and hurriedly move on.

Why did Allison waste your attention?

(If she wanted to provide the important contact details, I believe that it would have been more courteous to give her audience a v-card - a list of contact details that can be downloaded or imported quickly & directly)

So, should your email end only with a a stock or traditional phrase?

No, give your audience the option of doing something quickly & directly that will benefit both the author and reader.

For example, end your email with just a simple but interesting tagline, hyperlinked to where their attention should go.

Here is a good idea.

Look at Perry Shoom's email signature.

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Perry, who has a fascinating five part article on franchising, the internet, and research as a public good, wants his readers to know that his business is providing franchise systems with comprehensive surveys.
When his audience shows interest, they are whisked away quickly & directly to a page which describes his company Franchise Facts and his supports.
Look at his supporters.
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With one simple email, Perry's tagline has converted an interested audience into a an impressed audience - every time Perry sends an email. (Imagine the multiplier effect if Perry was using this technique in his email newsletter.)
So, where can you get some practical advice on creating interesting tag lines?
One source is the Tag Line Forum, on MarketingProfs. A free registration is needed. Tell me which expert helped you the most.
It can get pretty lonely writing a newsletter, coming up with engaging articles on a weekly basis.  Worse, and you know the feeling, is when your audience seems asleep. 

Over Silver Pop there is a nice article about how to wake up your sleeping email newsletter audience, with a number of tips.  Here are four that I like.

  1. Segment your inactive subscribers into customers who have made a purchase and prospects who have done nothing more than open a message. 
  2. Create reactivation campaigns that give recipients clear opportunities to re-engage or unsubscribe. 
  3. Manage nonresponders, for instance by sending less frequent, more aggressive offers. If you become confident they're unlikely to re-engage, remove them from your active database. 
  4. Monitor and optimize your reactivation campaigns based on the results you see.
What does this mean in practice?  

First, what does it mean to say that "your audience is asleep"?  Your audience is asleep means that they are not clicking on any of your articles, purchasing services, or buying memberships - the click through rate is below the industry standard of 2%.  

Next, you take your big email list and segment it into various categories.  I try to use categories that are relevant to our suppliers or vendors, to see what information channels I can create.

Based on what information channel a subscriber belongs to, you can send more focussed information, track their interest, and eliminate those who were just looking.

The one idea I am not sure about, is what to do with non responders.  I prefer to treat them as people lurking around just waiting for me to find a topic of interest for them - and they don't get less timely information than the rest of the subscribers.

Grow More Than Grapes

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Attention is the basis of the new economy, not scarcity.

How do you obtain and retain your customers with attention, when they don't have a lot of time for your pitch?

Aweber, a email vendor, has a neat list of strategies for email marketing they used for a winery.  But strategies can be used by any franchisee.

"As a winery, email marketing lets you reach your regular visitors, area restaurants and retailers and even consumers separated by distributors. 

And it's worth noting that millenials, the newest generation of wine drinkers, prefer their wine promotions online."


Here are a couple of their ideas, modified for franchisees: 

1. Have a contest. Announce it on your website for a few months. Require an email subscription and send the entry form as an autoresponder. (Broadcast the form to your existing list so they can participate, too.) 

2. If you are a QSR franchise, rent a booth at a state fair or farm show. Offer tastings - for free or for a fee - and ask those who participate to sign up for your emails. 

3. Web-savvy food consumers are found at many social networking sites. Create a profile, connect with users in your area and clearly display a link to your sign-up form on your profile. 

4. If you sell gift baskets, add a card inviting the recipient to join your club by subscribing to its emails. Direct them to a web form specific to club members.

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