Inbound Marketing is the process and practice of convincing potential customers to get in touch with a business by providing information via such an online or platform for social media that draws the interest of a potential customer and prompts an individual to reach out to the company. It is against Outbound Marketing, which encompasses traditional practices of marketing like advertising, participating at trade shows, mailing out press releases, and calling cold as a way to reach out to potential customers.
Both methods can be successful and it is suggested to employ both to an extent or less dependent on the type of clientele one is targeting. Inbound Marketing is the rage these days in certain quarters due to its possibility of delivering self-selected leads. As of 2009 US firms have spent $22.7 billion on online-based advertising that aimed at driving Inbound Marketing to both B2B and B2C clients. However, as with everything in life, following-up matters. The fact is that time is the biggest adversary for Inbound Marketing.
Do it now
If the product you offer is able to be bought online quick follow-up to Inbound Marketing inquiries is vital. A study done in 2010 by Harvard Business Review revealed that the typical response time of an Inbound Marketing lead is 42 hours. Research has revealed that waiting for more than two days to respond to a potential client could be a reason to miss out on a chance. In 2006, James B. Oldroyd, professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Sloan School of Management, collaborated with sales technology company Inside Sales to address the issue of the best follow-up period for leads that were generated on the web.
Dr. Oldroyd studied three years of cold call data from six different businesses: 15,000 sales leads resulting from 100,000 + cold calls. He discovered the following: Inbound Marketing leads have an extremely short shelf-life. His research revealed that 5 minutes was the ideal time frame for a response and any response in the following 30 minutes is just a waste of time.
If follow-up calls were made in less than five minutes chance of a sale resulting was four times more likely than if the callback took between five and 10 minutes following the request. Solopreneurs might interpret this as meaning that our follow-up must be completed within 24 hours. Waiting for even two days to call to get someone back could cost you.
Time is on your side.
There are many theories floating around regarding the best times and days to reach a customer. Oldroyd researched the subject as well and found that the hours of 8:00 AM to 8:30 AM as well as 4:00 pm to 5:15 PM are the best times to contact. Between 1:00 and 2:00 pm is the most ineffective time of day to try contact.
There is a popular belief that Monday is by far the worst day to talk to anyone, and there’s an opinion that says Friday is the ideal day for clients, as they appear to be in a positive state of mind as they relax and enter the weekend. The study of Oldroyd revealed that neither of these days is optimal.
In the case of cold calling or following up Thursday is the top day to call and follow-up, while Wednesday comes in a close second. Friday was deemed to be the worst day to contact and other days fall somewhere between. If you’re unable to respond in the time frame that is ideal for your customers an acceptable alternative is to contact them on a Thursday, between 8 AM and 9 AM or between 4:00 PM and 5:15 PM.
The moral is quite simple, in fact. If you decide to channel important resources to an Inbound Marketing strategy, ensure that you and your team are prepared to address potential customers quickly.
Thank you for reading.