A new email pops up in your inbox. Someone has submitted a form on your website, asking for more information about your product. What do you do next?
“Reply back” is the obvious answer, but it’s also only one part of the equation. When an active prospect engages with you in this way, there are several additional steps you’ll want to take to help draw them further into your sales funnel.
One of the worst things you can do after receiving a contact form is to set it aside. Yes, if you’re a small-business owner, you likely have 100 other tasks on your plate, demanding your attention. But that doesn’t mean you can afford to let new outreach linger.
Make quick responses the norm — even if you can’t do it personally. Consumers expect it, according to research from Hubspot. “Speed is everything, and patience runs out at 10 minutes,” Hubspot says. More than 4 out of 5 consumers say an “immediate” response is important or very important when they have a marketing or sales question. And customers define “immediate” as 10 minutes or less.
If you can’t guarantee you’ll be able to drop everything to respond within 10 minutes, you can also automate the process and send personalized emails to new prospects immediately. You’ll need an email lead capture form that can be integrated with a personalized email automation tool. Begin by setting up a lead capture form with the following fields:
Then, build an email template that leverages the information prospects submit through the form. Here’s an example that you can adapt to your needs:
Hi [first name],
Thanks for reaching out to [your company]. I see you had a question about the following:
[Question or description of problem]
I’m happy to help and will be back in touch within 24 hours with more information.
Play around with the language and fields to suit the kinds of questions prospects ask you. You may also have to adjust the process here if you receive a significant volume of spam submissions. Even though a template like this doesn’t solve the prospects’ problems or get them the information they’re looking for, it at least provides a point of contact during that critical 10-minute window.
In addition to triggering a post-submission email, set your form up to automatically create a new record in your CRM. There are a handful of CRMs with these capabilities including HubSpot or Salesforce. If yours doesn’t currently offer this feature, it may be worth looking into an option with more functionality.
If you aren’t able to do this through an existing integration, put a process in place to do it manually. For example, if you use a task management system, you could add a recurring task on a daily or weekly basis, reminding you to create new CRM records from recent form submissions.
The same Hubspot research cited earlier found that consumers want to communicate with companies through several different channels. That said, the types of communication consumers want will vary depending on where they are in the sales process.
Email, for example, is:
That’s why a good post-submission nurture sequence involves multiple touches across several different channels, depending on the most frequently used platforms in your industry.
Your post-submission cadence might look something like the following:
When structured appropriately, a post-submission cadence gives you a number of opportunities to gather more information about your potential customers and to encourage them to engage further with your brand. For instance, within the nurture emails you send, you could direct prospects to content on your website that’s gated with dynamic form fields so that you can learn more about them.
Some of these interactions can be automated. As an example, you can connect Zapier to add autoresponders in Paperform, which will allow for fast and further interactions with prospects. This type of automation can also include redirecting prospects to a new page upon completion, such as a “thank you” page.
Others – such as phone calls and social media outreach – must be conducted manually, though your CRM may help here, too. If available, use the system’s automated tasks to remind you of each manual step in the sequence so that nothing falls through the cracks.
Don’t think of your cadence as being set in stone. Instead, monitor how new prospects engage with each step you’ve laid out. If, for example, you always get responses to your emails, but find that those who submitted your forms never pick up the phone when you call, that could be a signal to focus more on email outreach than calls. Iterate your process based on the data you’re collecting to improve your overall results.
It’s also important to plan for the end of this sequence. Not every visitor who completes a form on your website will become a customer. If you’ve completed the sequence and you don’t hear back from the customer, don’t waste time reaching out to unqualified prospects. Instead, move forward and focus on the next possible customer.
Plenty of business owners and salespeople are guilty of letting a submitted form slip down their to-do lists. But as the data shared above suggests, time is of the essence. Show your prospects how much you value their time and interest through prompt, yet thorough follow-up – all without adding extra work to your plate.
Sujan Patel is a partner at Ramp Ventures & co-founder of Mailshake. He has over 15 years of marketing experience and has led the digital marketing strategy for companies like Salesforce, Mint, Intuit and many other Fortune 500 caliber companies.
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