Two stories.

Story One. I was at a large tradeshow recently. There must have been close to 1,500 exhibitors. I walked around the exposition floor and somehow managed to have my badge scanned by 25 companies. I had little to no conversation with any of the booth staff, but they were pretty aggressive and scanned my badge.

The day after the conference I received 20, "Thank you for stopping by the booth, lets jump on call" emails. The same day, l also received 10 follow-up phone calls. Over the course of the next two weeks, I received 57 follow-up calls and 224 follow-up emails from those 25 companies, follow-ups like...

  • "Did you receive?"
  • "When can we connect?"
  • "Curious to know if you are interested?"
  • "I'm just circling back to my previous email?"
  • "I am keen on establishing a conversation?"

My list of such nonpersonal follow-up examples could go on forever. We all get them. We all delete them, but marketing today is playing a numbers games, so this type of correspondence will continue to grow.

Now, to add one more layer of complexity to story No. 1, I received another 110 emails from other companies that were exhibiting at the conference that I did not even visit. Somehow, they managed to find my email, maybe by testing out our email nomenclature or going through my website to get my email. So, my official scoreboard of inbound communications from that one single tradeshow so far has been 411 follow-ups.

Story Two. I was doing some research for a new SaaS-based business simulation that my company is developing. I needed to better understand some of the business models, financial results, and challenges in the industry; so, as part of my secondary research I downloaded five whitepapers from five companies that I found as a result of a Google search. What happened next was astounding.

Literally within two minutes of downloading, I received an email from all five companies. Within five minutes of the download, I received four phone calls. I did not even have the chance to look at any of the articles or whitepapers before I was inundated with follow-up communications.

Within two weeks of downloading, I received an additional 42 follow-up emails and 17 phone calls. The scorecard from downloading five articles was 68 new inbound communications.

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image of Jim Brodo

Jim Brodo is chief marketing officer at Advantexe Learning Solutions, which uses computer-based business simulations for training and performance improvement.

LinkedIn: Jim Brodo

Twitter: @jimbrodo