Rem Jackson, founder and CEO of Top Practices, LLC, isn't just the King of Marketing for Professionals—he's the King of Killer Follow-Up Campaigns. With over 250 follow-up campaigns under his belt, Rem knows exactly what works and what doesn't, and he knows what will convert and what will repel. This is why we chose to use Rem as our case study on follow-up campaign best practices.
The Numbers Speak for Themselves
Rem has found that when his clients just offer a book—no follow-up campaign in place—there is a 10 to 12 percent conversion rate, meaning that for every 100 free offers sent out, they may convert 11 people to new clients or patients.
However, with an effective follow-up campaign in place over a year's time, the conversion rate shoots up to 25 to 52 percent. So, instead of 11 conversions out of every 100, you're looking at an average of 40 new patients or new clients. This speaks volumes to the success of this powerful marketing tool.
The Anatomy of a Successful Follow-Up Campaign
We were fortunate enough to speak with Rem and get his thoughts on the five most important parts of a successful follow-up campaign. These thoughts make up a detailed case study on the most crucial aspects of a successful follow-up campaign. Rem also offers specific advice on how to make a drip campaign work for you and your practice. Here’s what he had to say:
Utilize different modalities of communication.
Everyone responds best to different forms of communication. Some people prefer a video to the written word, while others would rather read over the transcript of an interview instead of listening to the audio. In order for your follow-up campaign to be a success, you'll need to address this by going beyond automated emails. Using email messages along with snail-mail letters, postcards, CDs, and DVDs meets each person where they are.
There is a good reason Rem urges his clients to move beyond email-only marketing. "I've found that when the only communication is electronic, the return on investment is depressed," stated Rem. So, if you're not seeing the results you want from your email follow-up campaign, it's time to expand your communication repertoire.
Timing is everything.Your first step is to quickly email or snail-mail the requested free offer; the faster you get it to them, the better. Next, follow with a thank-you email, letting the requestor know that you appreciate his or her interest. Soon after, you'll want to get into the meat of your follow-up campaign—a steady stream of electronic and physical communications that keep you front of mind.
Rem finds that a good rule of thumb for the timing of follow-up campaign materials is 18 steps over eight months. Generally, nine of these should be emails, and the other nine should be something the person can touch: the free offer they requested, postcards, a CD, a transcript of the CD, and letters. However, depending on your target demographic, the frequency and mode of communication can vary greatly.
Subject lines have to pop.
People get bombarded with emails 24-7, so yours must stand out to get opened. It's been shown that approximately 23 percent of emails are read within the first hour they arrive in the inbox. After this, opens drop significantly, with only nine percent being opened in the second hour and five percent in the fourth. So, if your subject line doesn't engage the recipient immediately, there is little chance it will ever get read.
Pay more attention to the emails you open. What titles catch your eye and force you to open them to get more information? Also, make sure the content of your email matches the subject line. If you promise shocking information, your email better shock the reader!
Effective calls to action are a must.
Every piece you send related to your follow-up campaign must contain a call to action. You want to compel readers, viewers, or listeners to act on their need for your services.
Rem strongly believes that there are only two effective ways to do a call to action: compel them to either call or request more information. Every other call to action will fall flat and fail to convert.
Patience is key.
People can take a very long time to finally make the decision to pick up the phone and make an appointment with you. This is especially true in the medical world, where Rem finds that it can be a year or two until a person takes action.
After the follow-up campaign ends, it's crucial that your newsletter program kicks off. In addition, be sure that you encourage the recipient to "like" or "follow" you on your social media accounts. If they do so, each post you make will be another way to follow up.
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