As a blogger, I write my fair share of software reviews, both for paid, and for free software. One thing that continues to irk me when I’m dealing with these companies, is the lack of forethought in their sign up process. All too often, signing up for a free trial results in numerous automated emails after the trial has ended, encouraging me to buy the software, or suggesting some additional benefit that I hadn’t already though of. I understand why this happens; it’s a natural progression to treat beta users and those who show interest in a product as warm leads, and attempt to convert them to sales.
BUT – bloggers aren’t warm leads, nor are journalists. Worse than that, treating them as such, could in fact prove to have negative connatations, as they start to see how aggressive your after sales process really is.
Here is the one checkbox every marketing department should push for in the sales process online.
With the inclusion of that field in your marketing database, you can start to send completely different material to the media than you do to your leads. Product stats, videos, additional marketing material – all the information that they need to do their job thoroughly. Following up with these people will have a number of benefits if you do it right, and by that I mean – DO YOUR HOMEWORK prior to sending out any emails. You may want to record somewhere the following additional extras..
1) The date the blogger / journalist signed up.
2) Has the blogger / journalist written about us yet?
3) Was the review favourable?
4) Are there any details we need to address personally with this individual?
The above information is going to help you send a much more personal message, and leave them with a much sweeter taste in their mouths.
You may want to ask them:
1) Did they get enough information to write about the company?
2) Would they like to hear about other products from the company in the future?
3) Any other questions as a result of their review.
I promise, if you treat the media just slightly differently, you will score goals on a number of levels. Firstly, you can open the door to additional links back to your business site. With bloggers and journalists often being stuck for time, if you nudge them gently after they have signed up to put pen to paper, it can results in additional exposure. Secondly, it gives your company an instant edge over the rest of the web who seem to think its ok to bombard you with information until you buy – I’ve actually removed links on this site from companies who didn’t respect my email address.
I won’t name and shame here, but needless to say, they won’t be getting any additional exposure for free. Please don’t make the same mistake with your signup process.