customer relationship managementIn a post at the Lunch Pail blog, bride-to-be Casey Barto recounts a visit to a bridal expo. “On the day of the show with pen in hand, I scribbled my email address and name on the contact lists of vendors who interested me most,” she says. What happened next taught her a few best-practices about following up with prospects met at tradeshows.

Here are four key tips based on her experience:

Follow up promptly. “After the show was over, I was ready to receive at least a few welcome emails,” she says. “I checked my email throughout the first week after the show—nothing. Didn’t they want my business?” Then, nearly two weeks later, they flooded her inbox en masse. By the time she got all the messages, she had a hard time remembering who was who.

Explain why you’re making contact. Jog a recipient’s memory with a quick reminder of how you met or why you’re touching base. “I can’t tell you how many emails I’ve received … that have gone in the junk folder because I didn’t remember talking to someone or signing up for something,” she notes.

Avoid industry clichés. In Barto’s case, the sentence “You’re getting married!” dominated subject lines and introductions. “Of course I’m getting married,” she says. “That’s why I signed up for your emails. Tell me something I don’t know, like why I should do business with you, or what features may interest me.”

Beware the opt-in faux pas. A vendor who was unavailable on Barto’s wedding day continued to send promotional email. “Not only have you made it obvious that you don’t know me as an individual,” she says, “but now you’ve annoyed me.”

Take notes. Don’t alienate tradeshow leads with an email campaign that treats them like they’re still just a face in the crowd. Personalize your follow-ups.

Source: Lunch Pail.