One of the most important aspects of digital marketing is knowing how to generate leads to nurture into sales. In an ideal situation, you will gain a lead, send them some offers, and have them make a successful purchase. The problem is that sometimes, despite your best efforts, leads will start to lose interest and slip away.
This means that your marketing and sales teams will need to optimize their approach to target leads that are at various stages of the sales funnel. When leads lose interest or are not properly re-engaged by your business, you lose the opportunity to earn revenue from them now or in the future – and you want to maximize the amount of revenue that is coming in. It’s also important to consider that it’ll be easier to re-engage previously interested parties and sell to them than it is to pick up brand new leads.
These are the 7 reasons why you should follow up with old leads for recurring revenue.
1. Approach Old Leads The Right Way
When it comes to re-engaging leads that have lost interest, you’ll need to consider several things: what caused them to lose interest in the first place, and how you will approach them.
The first step you want to take is to evaluate what caused the lead to slip away in the first place, and to avoid taking that approach. Remember that a key part of refining your sales funnel and approach to leads is taking a closer look at what is working and what isn’t. If you find that leads tend to drop out during a specific part of your sales process, think about how you can improve it before reaching out to them. Once you know what the pain points are and have addressed them, you can take the next step which is reaching out to the lead directly.
For the purpose of re-engagement, it’s better to remind them of an old conversation first rather than jumping directly into your sales pitch. You want them to remember what they have spoken to you about before, and use that in your messaging. For example, if John emailed you a few weeks ago saying he was looking for a specific solution, you can pose the question to him:” John, are you still looking for a solution for X?”
Another protip for lead management is implementing a customer relationship management tool to be used by your marketing, sales and support departments. Using a CRM, you can store data about all of your leads and group them depending on which stage of your sales funnel they are at, including those slipping away, and set reminders that will notify you to contact them before it’s too late.
Their response to your messaging will also be important to pay attention to. If they bring up specific pain points they have had with your business before, take the time to research their problems. Is there something preventing them from taking the next step in the sales process and can you address it?
2. Get Straight To The Point
Research has shown that individuals receive nearly 150 emails a day on an average basis. This means you need to target your messaging and not beat around the bush. The reality is that this can be much easier said than done.
Depending on the industry you are in, you should aim to get a minimum open rate from the emails you send out. Research indicates that good open rates for emails range between 19 and 25%. In order to get those hard-to-convince leads to open your emails, you need to send them something that will catch their eye between all the other emails in their inbox.
Trends for email marketing campaigns are constantly shifting. Nowadays, people respond less to generalized, pushy marketing messages, and instead prefer a more personal, one-on-one touch.
Get straight to the point when you are contacting old leads – it’s important to address any pain points they may have had in the past in your message. Don’t be afraid to send out a list of features or changes you have introduced since they originally contacted you.
You want these leads to make quick decisions. If they are interested, it means no effort or time has gone to waste. If they don’t respond, don’t waste resources pursuing them further and move on to another lead instead.
3. Entice Them
Sometimes old leads can be re-engaged by providing them with an enticing deal. They may have thought about purchasing in the past, and offering them something extra could be just the incentive they need to become a sales conversion. There are many different freebies or bonuses you could offer to these leads without being detrimental or cost-intensive for your business.
The easiest way to do this is to send them content that can be of true value to them in their everyday lives -think free ebooks, checklists, blog posts, or guides. Many businesses use blog content to drive sales indirectly.
Another option is to spend some time hosting webinars, giving product or service demos and tutorials, and inviting old leads to join. These are high-value opportunities to give leads a first-hand tour of what you have to offer, gain their feedback, and respond to questions directly. Seeing your product in action may convince them to take the step towards becoming conversions.
4. Share Good News
When you’re contacting leads that have previously gone cold, you can open up the conversation with good news about your brand. For example, if John from our previous example hasn’t had touch with your business for a while, sending him an email showing how it has grown and improved will change his perception. Growth is a serious trust-factor when it comes to business, and leads will be more willing to purchase from you if they feel that your business is going somewhere and achieving great things.
By sending leads some of the recent achievements your business has attained, you can show them the value that your business has gained during the time they weren’t paying attention and take them by surprise. This strategy is especially important for newer businesses and brands that are still establishing themselves within their industries.
An easy way to put this approach into action is to create a specific media section on your website, featuring news about your company and your most recent awards and press releases. From there, you can direct leads to this page through email campaigns.
Social media is also a powerful tool for sharing more about your business with your leads. If your business wins an award, launches a new product, or is recognized by another brand, sharing these updates on your social pages is another way to show your leads the behind-the-scenes growth you have been doing.
5. Use Social Media
As briefly mentioned above, social media is another way to connect with leads that have started to lose interest. The secret to making this strategy work for you is to study the demographics of your leads and find out which social platforms they spend the most time on. This allows you to find and take the best approach for your target demographic.
For example, older leads may prefer Facebook and LinkedIn as their main social media platforms, while millennials and younger are more likely to use Instagram, Reddit, or Snapchat.
From there, you can connect with them by sharing content, engaging with their posts, and replying to any of their queries in real-time. The theory is that by engaging with them online over longer-terms, they’ll be more open to your offers and sales pitches in the future. You can think of this approach as ‘playing the long game’.
Engagement will be the biggest driver of meaningful relationship-building with both your existing customers and your potential ones. This isn’t the only thing that social media is useful for, however – you can also use it to gain key feedback using polls, and surveys directly shared on your social pages.
6. Talk One-On-One
Oftentimes, the best way to get an old lead to convert to a successful sale is by having a one-on-one call with them. Falling into the ‘personalized messaging’ category we briefly covered above, this is a method that really responds well with leads.
Even with all the technology out there today, a simple phone call still ranks highly as a method of lead management, especially for those hard-to-convince leads. The key is that you have to call with a compelling reason and to use this approach with leads that have indicated previous interest in your business.
Doing a one-on-one call allows you to explain all the benefits your brand can offer them and gives you the opportunity to get valuable feedback in person. Beyond these reasons, a one-on-one call gives your business a more personal touch and helps leads put more trust and weight in your offer.
It’s important to remember that this approach is easier if you have fewer old leads – if your list is larger, this method may be too time-consuming. You should also pay attention to their feedback, and be sure to ask lots of questions. You can ask them specifically what they thought was good about your sales process, and what was bad and use this as a chance to respond.
7. Make The Sale
With all these tips in your toolbelt, you can successfully move on to the sales pitch. Sometimes getting a conversion will require several demos, sales calls, or even a free trial or two depending on the type of business you have. Depending on the industry that you are in, the end of the sales process will differ.
Once you’ve re-engaged an old lead, you can run them through your closing stages and earn revenue from a source you would not have been able to otherwise. When these leads feel that they have been provided with personal attention and unparalleled service, they will not only convert to sales but also become more likely to spend more on your business in the future or refer you to others.
Following up with old leads is a great way to keep the interest in your brand high. It will also assist you in bringing in recurring revenue and referrals, and by using a good CRM tool you can manage and organize these leads more effectively. The main takeaway is that leads today expect to deal with businesses that can personalize their marketing, sales, and support and that are highly trustworthy.
At the end of the day, the most important part of working with leads that are almost slipping away is addressing pain points in a clear and tangible way.