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Strategies to improve lead generation and follow-up

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“It was great meeting you … I’ll be in touch.”

“Let’s meet for lunch some time—I’ll call you.”

“I look forward to continuing our conversation … I’ve got your number!”

Have you heard any of these lines before? Perhaps at the end of a bad date? It’s sad to say, but we’re actually talking about tradeshow leads and the depressing stat that indicates 80 percent of leads leave the floor, never to be contacted again.

There are numerous reasons exhibitors fail to follow up: a business card gets lost, you forgot the person despite having their contact information or you’re just too busy. This e-newsletter will provide several tools and strategies to increase the likelihood that leads are contacted after the show.

  • Designate a lead keeper: Designate one person as the lead keeper and another, who didn’t attend the show, to follow up. This will streamline prospecting and assigns the important responsibility of follow-up to a staff member who isn’t bogged down with catching up after the show.
  • Use quick response (QR) codes: QR codes can be very effective if used properly, but they have to have a purpose—in this case, lead generation. Imprint your code on something that will be seen, perhaps a display banner or floor sticker, and promote a reason for visitors to scan the code. For instance: “Scan for a chance to win a Wenger® 21″ Wheeled Carry-On.” The QR code should direct visitors to an event-specific landing page with a form to collect contact information. Let this concept travel through your exhibitand imprint the QR code on giveaways, such as luggage tags or Passport Organizers.
  • Make a connection: Let’s face it, it’s impossible to meet every attendee at the expo. Whether some visitors hang back and take it all in or there isn’t time to connect, there could be missed opportunities. Placing tablets throughout the booth or at strategically placed stands provides prospects the opportunity to leave their contact information to connect at a later time. Use a prize drawing to encourage attendees to leave their business card. Tablets or solar chargers make great prizes.
  • Use gadgets: Handheld scanners allow you to instantly capture attendee contact information with a simple scan of their badge—no business cards required! Or, lead-tracking smartphone apps, such as Bartizan Connects or Zoho®, can be used to capture data, designate lead owners, assign follow-up tasks and send emails directly from the app during the show.

Take advantage of every opportunity to build a beautiful relationship with those you meet at your next trade show. If you say you’re going to call, call. Otherwise, you may be projecting the message, “I’m just not that into you.”

Steelman, Katie. “Tradeshow Marketing – Best Practices for tradeshow lead follow-up.” PLS Launch Solutions. N.p., 12 Feb. 2013. Web. Retrieved 02 Apr. 2015.

Hovde, Kristin. “4 Tools to Help You Generate Leads.” Trade Show News Network. N.p., 30 Nov. 2014. Web. Retrieved 02 Apr. 2015.

“Capture Trade Show Leads Directly into Zoho CRM.” Zoho.com. N.p., n.d. Web. Retrieved 02 Apr. 2015.

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