When someone fills out your contact form, you’re liking not the only person in your industry that they contacted. We often contact 5, 10, maybe even 15 people about the service needed. So, how do you stand out among the crowd once a potential client has said “I’m interested!” to you and a ton of other people?
I’m sharing ONE easy way to stay top of mind with a potential client in this episode. This easy touch point can take you from getting constantly ghosted by potential clients to QUICKLY turning them into REAL clients.
LISTEN TO THIS EPISODE NOW:
Two summers ago, I was looking to book a photographer while my husband and I were at the beach with friends to do a branding shoot. I was super unfamiliar with the area, so I was doing my hunting on a mix of Instagram hashtags, Pinterest, and Google to find someone with a style I liked.
So, I emailed or filled out the contact form of around 5 different photographers. They all really started to blend together after looking over so many websites for 30 minutes or so. So I finish my reaching out knowing that hopefully one of them will be available for my dates and at the right price point. I looked in my inbox, and 1 of the photographers had already emailed me! It was an automated email confirming that she got my message and included some more information that we’ll get to later in this episode.
Each of the other photographers replied at various times over the next few days, but you know who I got to know in the meantime? The gal who had the automated email. That’s who I ended up booking!
Who gets remembered between the contact form fill out and them hearing back from you personally? The one who replies first, and yes… even if we know it’s automated. That person gets remembered and has a leg up on everyone else.
Ready to find out WHY you need this automated touchpoint after the initial inquiry, HOW to do it, and WHAT to include? Let’s dive in!
Why you need an automated reply to your contact form:
- It keeps you top of mind with potential clients and sets you apart from the possibly 5 to 10 other people that they just contacted. It’s every business’ dream for customers to make the buying decision quicker. Right? So, why not start that process immediately? And by immediately, I mean as soon as they’ve opened up the conversation about working with you.
- It helps potential clients start to fall in love with you NOW before you even get to your computer to reply.
- It helps set expectations and professionalism around your brand. You will also have a leg up on others as the more professional and memorable one. Your potential clients want a good client experience, and a fast response is a part of that.
I have done this automated email thing practically the whole time I’ve had my business. I’m telling you it DOES increase bookings. It DOES move the process along.
How to set up an automatic email response:
I recommend using a tool like Dubsado or HoneyBook (both CRMs) to set up your contact form and automatic reply. You can’t do this sort of thing with a standard form in Showit or Squarespace or wherever your website is.
- In Dubsado, set up the form and follow my directions in episode #48 of this podcast about what should go on your contact form. If you’re wondering “what makes a good contact form?” that episode is for you!
- Add a drop-down with options to choose WHY they are reaching out. I always recommend having a “generalized option” in addition to your services or products that could be if someone wanted to interview you on a podcast or invite you to an event, or anything random! By getting specific on what they are wanting, you can tailor the follow-up email to that. If there’s a question people ask every time about a particular service, you can also be sure to answer that question in the follow-up email just as a note in it.
- Apply a workflow to each of those dropdown options. I recommend naming the workflow to match what the option is so you can keep it all straight!
- Set the workflow to send an email to the person after they submit the form with that answer.
What to include in your follow up email:
Make sure the contents of your follow up email are specific to the service your potential client is reaching out about and not generic or vague. If you have multiple ways to work with you, this becomes really important.
Here are some must-have elements for this email.
1. Show your personality! Be friendly. I love to thank them for reaching out. Remember that every potential client is a gift and something to be grateful for so you can say that you’re excited that they want to work with you.
2. Set expectations about when they can expect a reply. This has been helpful lately for me because I have had people emailing me and expecting immediate replies, almost treat it like texting.
If you have a problem with people asking you why you’re not replying on the weekends or something like that, then I’d recommend specifying the WHEN.
Listen to the full episode to hear an example of what I use in my emails. Please remember that I am giving this as an example and not to be taken word for word to use as your own.
3. Point them to resources to interact with in the meantime. This is where the “falling in love with you and staying top of mind” happens! Do you have a resource related to the offer they reached out about? Link to it and tell them why they should click. Get them to hang out on your website longer.
4. Get them to follow you on social media. I mentioned doing this in 4 Must-Haves For Your Email Welcome Sequence. When someone has just decided to interact with you via email, a form, however, they are at their prime for wanting to get to know you! So, this is an excellent time to get them to interact with you on social media.
I recommend picking 1-2 platforms. Tell them in your copy to go interact with you there and link to it! For me, I link to Instagram in most of the automated emails because that is where I hang out the most.
I really think you see a difference as you stay top of mind with potential clients when you start sending these emails. You will be able to start that amazing client experience from the very first interaction and not have to wait until later on down the road!