Use an AMA Session to Send Follow-ups: How to Convert Inbound Leads Into Sales
Vol. 4

illustration with ants carring follow-up emails

 

Have you heard about “Ask Me Anything” sessions hosted on social media sites and forums like Reddit, Growth Hackers, Quora or during live streaming on Facebook or YouTube?

Essentially, an “Ask Me Anything” session (abbreviated to AMA) means that you – a question taker – stay online for a defined set of time, answering all questions that come up from your audience. It’s a popular marketing strategy to hold AMA sessions with some well-known specialists and get leads.

If you’re interested in hosting AMA session, I found a couple of guides for you, such as this one and this one. Yet, what those guides fail to cover is that in order to convert those leads into sales, you need to follow up with them once the session is over. And I would like to teach you all how to do it.

AMA sessions: things to focus on

Organizing an “Ask me Anything” session can give your brand recognition. In fact, it can help you grow. If you’re super selective (or at least, strategic) when inviting people to join the session, you may get a pretty good source of prospective customers. How to do an AMA session to find leads? Here are a couple of things you should consider.

#1 Decide between hosting a live or recorded AMA

First, consider this, do you want to host a live session or will you ask people to email you questions beforehand? When you’re holding a live event, the question-givers might be more engaged and attentive until the very end of the event. The AMA event is going to attract more people because they will wait to get a chance to ask their question before anyone else.

Nonetheless, by asking them to send questions over the email, you’re already opening up a conversation with them over that medium (email), which gives you a perfect pretext to keep talking with them over email. Isn’t that clever?

#2 Pick a platform that respects your goal

You need to find a channel to host your AMA on. What is your choice? Well, to generate a buzz around your brand, you can pick one of your strong social media channels — let’s say Twitter. Yet, there’s a small concern – you don’t know exactly who will show up and how to get in touch with those people after the AMA is over. In other words, you might not generate any leads.

When you aim at getting leads with your AMA session, organize the session on the medium that you can gate the access to — preferably with an email address. In return, you will have a ready-made list of people to follow up with that you can put straight into Woodpecker. What to use? Well, you can use your blog or a video streaming platform like Zoom.

#3 Find people to invite for the session

The way you source the prospective leads can affect the end goal you’re trying to achieve. Your plan is to generate new leads from an inbound tactic, an AMA session. You can put a pop-up on your website, blog or social media, yet if you care about laser-focused targeting, invite the attendees personally.

Find a compromise between the accounts that fit your ICP and the ones who might be interested in joining your “Ask Me Anything”. That’s a fine line, but it pays back. That’s what we did when we used Quora to invite people for a  webinar that we were hosting.

Bear in mind that you need their email address to convert them. If you’re in Europe or targeting Europe, remember that you need to respect GDPR when processing data in the European Union member states.

#4 Choose an AMA host

Now it’s a good time to choose a person who is going to run the “Ask Me Anything” session you’re organizing. There are at least three options you have:

  • CEO – a great choice for an AMA host once you have an established brand and most people in your niche knows what it is about;
  • inside topic expert – a great choice when you’re hosting an AMA for your inbound leads that checked your website and blog before taking part in this “Ask Me Anything”;
  • thought leader – a great choice if you’re just starting out, if you can convince a person who’s recognized in your field to answer questions, you will attract their fans and their brand sort of brushes up onto you, well, it’s a method used in TV ads.

Here are your options. Consider them carefully. Let’s jump in into how you can convert attendees into sales leads.

How to follow up after the AMA session?

Throughout the “How to Convert Inbound Leads Into Sales” series, I’m trying to show you two things.

  1. Prospecting opportunities don’t end with reaching out to potential customers on LinkedIn, so be creative and use other ways to generate a stream of leads;
  2. In order to convert people with your follow up email, think about where they are coming from, what they know about you, and a kind of impression you want them to have.

When it comes to following up with people after the AMA session, work starts during the event. Make yourself a part of the event. Become one of the commenters. Write short “That’s a good question, {{first name}}, comments, streamline the discussion. Great job, you build rapport with the attendees.

Then, when you’re going to send the follow-up, you’ll be a familiar face. When they see an email from you, they will open it without a doubt, because you’ve built a relationship with them prior to following up.

Your follow-up email after AMA session should be simple. Thank your prospects for attending. Tell them a behind-the-scenes anecdote, show some friendliness. And then, take one question from the webinar and write a quick study of how you would solve it if you two worked together. That’s a great conversation starter.

What do you think?

There is everything I wanted to say about following up after an AMA session organized by your marketing team. I hope you will refer back to those tips when your marketing team organizes an event like that. Hope you share it with them!

This is the fourth part of our “How to Convert Inbound Leads into Sales” series in which we share how to use Woodpecker to change your marketing leads into sales qualified ones. The first one covered following up after a webinar, filling out form submission, then we covered using your website to generate leads.

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