Does sending an e-card once a year keep a relationship fresh? No. Would you consider proposing to your sweetheart by text? Hope not. In the same way, marketing works best when social media is combined with actual human interaction. You can send emails, post on Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, but if you want someone to say “yes” to your offer, there’s nothing more effective than picking up the phone and following up with a real conversation.
We tried it—and liked it
Black Tulip stepped up to the challenge this spring. We set up an email campaign that delivered weekly messages to a targeted list. In our humble opinion, the messages were brilliant (if we must say so ourselves). But they would have been a waste of time and money if we hadn’t done the next step: followed up with telephone calls from our equally brilliant follow up specialist, Cheryl Scoffield from Kickstart Your Company.
Our experience (and a 26% response rate!) taught us a lesson we’re anxious to share with our wonderful clients and associates. When telephone calls and social media are combined in a united marketing strategy—competitors, watch out.
Do I really have to talk with a human being?
The need today for human interaction has never been greater. Findings reported in Accenture’s white paper “Digital Disconnect in Customer Engagement tell us:
- Customers want human interaction so balance digital exuberance with a human touch. What’s needed is a strategic mix of digital and non-digital options that allows customers to engage with providers in multiple, highly satisfying ways.
- If you want to close the sale, there’s no better way than with a human! In nearly 70 percent of B2B sales, there was a human interaction that occurred, either in person or on the phone.
Integrated and blended not “either/or”
Cheryl agrees. She works with business owners and professionals to maximize the sales potential buried in their lists of leads. “When you’ve delivered the right message to the right list,” she says, “there is such potential just waiting below the surface.”
Too often she watches as everyone pats themselves on the back after an initial campaign is complete, assuming their marketing effort is complete. “But once a lead has been put in a database,” she says, “it never gets touched or nurtured again.”
Cheryl identifies the misconception that social media and telemarketing are “either/or” choices. “They certainly are different tools,” she says, “but they work best with a plan that integrates them.”
The plan doesn’t have to be complicated but it does need to happen. A typical strategy may be an email campaign, followed up by telephone calls and additional information, depending on your prospect’s questions. If you think we’re pushing the point too hard, consider this: According to Research by Sirius Decisions indicated, approximately 80 percent of sales leads are never followed up by a field sales representative!
I just want someone to talk to
Social media offers tremendous potential for building your brand and making sales, but it is not the panacea for all things marketing. Human touch matters. For most businesses, this translates as “pick up the telephone and follow up.”
Relationships are built and nurtured through what Cheryl refers to as “in-person” and “real-world conversations” over a period of time.
These are the kinds of conversations you only get by talking face to face or over the telephone, listening for tone in the voice, answering specific questions, showing empathy, taking the conversation where it needs to go, clarifying next steps. And like any good relationship, you work at it continually, not just when the chips are down (or Hallmark tells you to send a card).
Never forget (and remind us here at Black Tulip if we ever stray), there’s nothing quite like a human voice to make a connection.
“I just want someone to talk to and a little of that human touch” — Bruce Springfield