Media Planning & Buying

Don't overlook this important facet of your online advertising

Posted by Zephrin Lasker on January 29th, 2009 at 12:00 am

You might have deployed landing pages or direct response ads to capture leads from consumers that are interested in your brand. But now that you have the leads, what’s next?

You have to follow up with your leads to keep them engaged with your brand – and do it quickly.

Auto-responders are a great way to follow-up with your leads in real-time and keep them engaged with your brand. Auto-responders are automated emails that are sent out in real time to consumers that have expressed interest in your offer. You know the email you get when you register at a site – that’s an auto-responder.

But as with all things in life, there’s a right way and a wrong way to design auto-responders.

Here are some simple steps to design effective auto responders:

1. Focus on clarity: Clearly state what the user has signed up for. If possible, specify where they saw your offer. Include a clear call-to-action.

2. Act in a timely manner: Send lead data to your database in real-time so the auto responder can be sent instantly upon receipt. If real-time posting into your database is not possible then include copy that speaks to the delay in transmission in informing the user of the next step.

But remember that in an information-deluged age, a few minutes can be a lifetime and a few days could very well be an eternity: one where your message is condemned to the depths of oblivion.

So always try and follow-up through auto-responders in real-time.

3. Measure & Optimize: Always include track able links in the auto responder so that you can track performance post-transmission. This will enable you to better design more relevant future marketing communications to your prospects, so that you close out a sale or acquisition more easily.

4. Customize: As far as possible, segment your database to enable more relevant communications.

a. Create follow up marketing campaigns to leads that have not followed through with registration or acquisition. Clearly specify the campaign for which they had expressed interest in the first place.

b. If needed, provide an incentive to the user to complete their acquisition.

c. Customize the subject line to help clarify the offer they signed up for.

d. As far as possible, personalize the message to the user.

Acquiring qualified leads in a cost-effective way is only the first half of the online advertising puzzle. When done right, auto-responders enable you to convert these leads into sales and acquisitions, and solve the other half.

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