This is a 2 part series written in conjunction with SEO.com.
If you sell any type of product or service, getting leads and turning those leads into loyal customers are paramount to the success of your business. Ideally, each and every lead you acquire will quickly go through the sales funnel and love your product and build a trusting, lasting relationship with your brand. Unfortunately, this doesn’t happen and inevitably, not all your leads are qualified leads and some of your leads will simply fall through the cracks somewhere in the sales pipeline sales stages. There are many reasons why this may occur. These leads may not be the ideal ones who need or can benefit from your service or product, they were contacted the wrong way, using the wrong platform (i.e. the sales person reached out to them via phone call instead of through email or social media or vice versa) or there was either too little or too much follow-up, resulting in the leads either forgetting about your product or service or they getting annoyed with the excessive contact. Sometimes the sales outreach was simply done at the wrong time where the lead is interested in the product or service, but because of circumstances, is unable or not interested in making a purchase right now.
The abovementioned leads are examples of dead leads, also called cold leads or bad leads. These are leads that make it hard for salespeople to get into the conversion funnel and eventually change into converting customers. With dead leads, many salespeople make a note to eventually follow up at a later date. Other salespeople, however, immediately dismiss dead leads and no longer bother to pursue them as it is clear they aren’t interested and never will be interested in the product or service. The problem with both these common approaches to dead leads is that the company ultimately losses out on potential buyers and loyal customers.
No lead should be easily “given up on.” By the same token, a company shouldn’t exert more time and energy into dead leads that clearly won’t budge or produce a lead conversion.
How does one revive dead leads?
Look for Opportunities to Re-Connect
Calling or sending an email all of a sudden from out of the blue may work for some dead leads who simply forgot about your product, service or brand or who was interested in what your company has to offer in the past, but was contacted at the wrong time, this seemingly random “reconnection” can quickly and easily be disregarded by other dead leads.
Instead of looking desperate or suspicious in suddenly making an effort to “reconnect,” why not look for opportunities and reasons to follow-up with a dead lead?
Two of such opportunities include when your company comes out with a new or updated product or service that would benefit the dead lead and when there has been a significant, positive change in the lead’s life and you can reach out with a simple “congratulations.”
It is important that the “reconnection” is about the lead, not what the sale will do for your company. When the dead lead sees you’re paying attention to what is happening in their life and when your company thinks about him or her when a new product comes out, trust is formed and your brand will more likely remain on the top of their mind.
Change Up Your Contact Routine
If you’re reaching out to a dead lead on the same days at the same time, and not getting through, there may be multiple reasons as to why your message goes unanswered. The dead lead may genuinely not be interested in what you have to offer and ignore your calls and emails. It can also mean that you’re reaching out to them at a time that isn’t convenient for them.
Try changing up the times and days you call to see if you make any headway. An interested dead lead will eventually get back to you.
Segment and Target Your Content
Your company likely utilizes a CMS that enables you to segment your leads. Most companies separate out their dead leads from other types of leads. Segmenting your leads helps you form specific, targeted content to be sent out to the appropriate lead category. If you’re sending the same content to your dead leads as to your other leads who are on different parts of the sales funnel, the messaging won’t be successful. Dead leads may be resistant or hesitant toward investing in your product, service or brand. Your brand isn’t at the top of their minds. They are not going to be interested in your e-newsletter where you talk about how great your products are like someone further along in the lead funnel would be. For the dead lead, you must build a relationship with him or her. Tailor your dead lead messaging so that it focuses on the individual person or his or her business and how your brand has their best interest in mind.
Prepare to Reconnect
Your dead leads may not have gotten any contact or communication from your company for a few weeks or a few years. The longer a lead hasn’t been contacted, the more thought and planning needs to be done to prepare for the “reconnection.” These dead leads will be the hardest to bring into the marketing funnel as they have likely all but forgot about your brand, services or products. More effort will be required to re-establish that trusting relationship between the lead and your brand.
When preparing to “reconnect” with a dead lead, make sure the conversation is about them. Introducing yourself and your company will likely need to be included in order to get the lead reacquainted with your brand. Similar to catching up with an old friend you’ve been too busy to call, learn what is new and happening in the life of the lead or his or her business. Learn what is going well and what areas are sources of frustration for the lead. It helps to do your homework on the lead beforehand so you know what questions to ask as well as points to bring up in the conversation. The point of this “reconnection” outreach is to remind the dead lead of your brand, not to make a sale, so don’t even think about asking for money at this point.
Engage The Lead
The dead lead may be passively getting monthly email update or the occasional paid Facebook ad on their news feed. If they are remotely interested, they may briefly glance at the content. Otherwise they will just dismiss or ignore your messaging.
While keeping even dead leads informed and in the communication loop is a great foundation in keeping in touch with dead leads, not progressing to interacting with or engaging with he leads will keep them at a distance and away from possibly becoming customers.
Engaging with dead leads and customers in general is now easier than ever thanks to social media. Salespeople can now “like,” “comment,” “share” and “chat” dead leads across multiple social media channels.
In this day and age about instant communication and gratification, people’s time is more valuable than ever. People’s attention span and amount of patience has also grown shorter. These factors combined with the personal, casual nature of social media make online engagement and interaction highly successful.
When a salesperson reaches out to a dead lead online through social media and encourages engagement, the lead will more likely have a favorable view of the company and will more likely become a qualified lead that starts at the first stage of the sales funnel.
How do you facilitate engagement with dead leads? With social media, there are many options available including asking a question and inviting people to leave an answer, do a giveaway with great prizes, give free things away as a thank you for subscribing to a newsletter, liking a page, leaving a review or making an online purchase, and through competitions and games where a winner is announced and given a prize.
If you have a large number of dead leads, that’s a problem. It is a good indication that your sales and marketing outreach efforts are targeting the wrong audience who either doesn’t need or care about your products or services. In order to get qualified leads, you need to do some research about your targeted audiences and implement strong SEO utilizing strategic keywords your desired audience may use in an online search. SEO does more than generate more leads, but it attracts higher-quality leads that will more likely convert in your digital marketing funnel. Unless one has a strong understanding of SEO, it is recommended that your business work with a reputable digital marketing agency that has a great record of SEO success for their clients.
At Aktify, we know the value of dead leads to your business. We offer a variety of conversion marketing tools and services, like sales funnel templates that pave the way toward “reconnecting” with dead leads and transforming interested leads into potential customers. Our products and services are compatible with many CRMs including Salesforce. If you’re stuck with unresponsive leads in your sales pipeline, contact us at Aktify to learn more about our products and services and how they can help increase the growth of your business.