Just read a great article in BtoBOnline about what companies can do to improve email response rates. Many are seeing response rates on a steady decline and are not sure what to do, but the answer is to integrate your emails into a mix of communications techniques and not give up prematurely.
One key to creating effective campaigns that will reach larger purchasing teams, reach higher into an organization and help you stand the test of time for long purchase cycles is to include an outbound calling element and voicemailwith your email and direct mail campaigns. Mail – electronic and traditional, might be a super way to communicate information, but there is still an important role to be played by adding in a personal voice contact.
Another critical element in creating successful integrated sales and marketing campaigns is the combination of patience and persistence. As a sales person, that’s the label I placed on the need to make repeated, varied contacts placed close enough together to still feed each other, far enough apart not to overwhelm (and annoy) the contacts and stretched over enough time to allow the messages to finally intersect with the need/buying cycle at a favorable time. How long does that take?Maybe years.
Have you ever stood on a beach and counted the waves? You had to have noticed that they’re not all the same.They move in cycles.I recall every seventh wave as the biggest and if the number seven isn’t correct, that doesn’t matter. The point is that there is a repeating pattern and sales and marketing programs to attract new customers need to follow a wave pattern as well. While never overwhelmingly intense, you need to mix your emails, direct calls and voicemails so that they’re feeding into each other and lifting the awareness of your solution with your target group and if, after 2-3 months of communication there aren’t any bites, back off for three to four months.
According to the article in BtoB Online – which was written by Dan McDade of PointClear, you will only generate 40-50% of your total opportunities on the first cycle of 12 combined touches. So, after a short rest – judgmentally I’d say about 12-15 weeks, do it again, and again, until you have a tangible reason to stop.
No response is not a reason to give up. The greatest challenge for any team is to sustain the effort over time in such a way that an apparently diminishing return will still produce a positive ROI, which is where services like synchronized voicemail/email and live message campaigns come into play.