Making Inbound Marketing Work: Combining New Technology and Old-School Follow Up

new school technology old school follow up resized 600All the talk about inbound marketing and using the Web to generate leads for your business may lead you to think that technology is the most important part of marketing today. The good news is that technology–specifically technology related to the Internet—has actually made marketing more personal and helpful—if it’s done properly.

Technology, however, is just a tool. And while it’s in your best interests (and your potential customers’ best interest) to take advantage of these tools, they will only take you so far. There is no question that inbound marketing techniques can help you generate leads through your website. But you can’t take leads to the bank. You still need to close the deal. And more often than not (depending on your business) that’s going to require some old-school follow up.

Not every visitor to your site is a lead. And not every lead is going to turn into a customer. So how to determine which leads to follow up on?

Here’s how we do it. In many of our blogs and throughout our website we have offers for white papers and special reports, case studies, and other information that is designed to help potential clients. The people that download white papers and case studies (and give us their contact information to do so) are generally more serious about what we have to offer them. Still, some people are simply looking for information and they may download a paper once—and disappear. But if someone downloads several white papers, reports, or case studies—that’s an indication that they are genuinely interested in help.

So we keep track of who downloads what—and when. And if we notice that someone has downloaded a couple of papers or case studies about a particular topic, we may send them an email suggesting some additional information that could be helpful to them (and we include a link to that material). If the individual downloads the additional material, we do something decidedly low tech and old school: We call them on the phone to see if they’d like to discuss a solution in person.

Leads don’t convert themselves to customers automatically. And technology has its limits. We use technology to make information available to potential customers without bugging them and without giving them an unwanted sales pitch.  But when a lead qualifies herself by requesting additional information, we take the next step by reaching out personally.

How are you qualifying your leads and then turning them into customers?