Research has shown that at least 7 continuous follow-ups are required before a typical sale is made.
Most people will not buy right away. You need to keep in touch, and slowly sell them the benefits of your offer, while removing any doubts and building a stronger relationship.
From what I have observed, only the top companies in each industry follow-up with their customers effectively. The rest of them move on to other prospects who are more likely to purchase right away.
Maybe traditional follow-up methods just take up too much energy and time. Another problem is that with traditional methods it's hard to determine who will end up as a customer, and who is just wasting your time.
This is probably why a lot of companies focus on getting the immediate sale only - not tomorrow, not next week, and certainly not next month. That may work for a while, but in the end it's the company that learns how to follow-up effectively that makes the lion's share of profits.
Sending automated follow-ups is pretty easy when you have a good autoresponder software.
Your website visitor just needs to submit his name and email address via a web form. Then, you can send them an automatic follow-up message for weeks or months, with almost no effort on your part.
With email autoresponders, you create predefined messages, at predefined intervals, to follow-up with prospects.
That way, you can plan in advance exactly what you want to say to prospects at different stages of the sales process.
Here's the best part: When you've done that successfully, you can follow-up with thousands of prospects at the same time, and the most interested will contact YOU for more information.
What about those who aren't interested?
The real secret in creating an effective follow-up campaign using autoresponder software like Aweber or iContact, is allowing your prospects to "unsubscribe" automatically from your emails.
All they need to do is click on the "Unsubscribe" link within your email itself, and they will never hear from you again.
I remember when I created my first automatic follow-up campaign, I was shocked when a lot of people unsubscribed after getting my first follow-up email. This increases after the second, third and forth emails, so on.
Initially I took it personally.
"Am I doing something wrong?", I used to think. I would try my best to make them happy and provide them with everything they needed, yet people still unsubscribed.
It wasn't until later that I realized these people who unsubscribe are just letting you know that they are not interested in your offer. That's all! It's not personal, it's just business.
If you're following up using traditional methods like a phone call, uninterested prospects may feel obliged to answer your call and perhaps even put up with you for a few minutes, but ultimately you're not going to get a sale from them.
With automatic follow-up emails, you actually filter out the bad leads automatically.
By unscubscribing, they're telling you that they are not interested. Just focus on the ones that are still subscribed, forget the rest. Send them more information, and the sale is yours.
I find it rather surprising that a lot of small businesses still aren't using some kind of autoresponder software to create automatic follow-up campaigns.
If you're one of them, I strongly recommend that you get yourself a mailing list software capable of automatic responses and automatic follow-ups, and start collecting leads right away.