Lost leads are a common part of any business, especially for online or SaaS businesses. No matter how strong your Call to Actions are, or how well your drip campaign converts, you are still going to lose a portion of your leads to competitors or lack of interest. This fact can bring a lot of dismay to many business owners and can keep them from utilizing these leads to their fullest potential. What many businesses fail to realize is at one point every lead showed some level of interest in your business. They visited your website or blog, they signed up for your email newsletter or trial account, and keeping this in mind can better serve you when addressing how to handle these leads. Simply dropping them into the trash to never be seen again is never the right action. Instead consider the following to get the most out of your lost leads.
One of the breakdowns in the sales process is not understanding the leads research process, and many businesses can dismiss leads because they may not commit immediately but they could be a good long term lead. The first thing to establish is if a lead becomes a no or a not yet. The problem with these leads is that sometimes it is hard to distinguish the “not yet” lead from those who truly have little interest in your product or service. The best way to handle these leads is to make sure that you have a strong follow up drip campaign weeds the “not yet” lead out. Be it by email or phone, getting an answer from the lead as to when they are looking to commit to a product such as yours can be a crucial element to your conversion strategy and also is what can keep them away from your competition. Once the “not yet” has been established, try and secure follow up phone calls or updates to keep their interest high. Though you are not closing them immediately and are creating more work in the long run, long term leads will always pay off in later and greatly help to increase your monthly sales numbers.
Keeping your lost leads well organized can greatly help when launching “win them back” campaigns. Breaking them up in lists based on their needs and addressing their need can be the difference in them being back in contact with your business or getting you another unsubscribe. Company or feature updates need to be tailored specifically to their specific needs and be made as personalized as possible. Adding merge tags to email blasts and keeping templates as modest as possible can humanize the inbound process and make them more interested in your new offer or feature set. If you think about how many emails your leads receive on a daily basis, offering them content designed specifically for them can go a long way for your business.
No matter what you will get a few active ghosts; leads that open emails or may dabble in their trial accounts but never commit to your product or service or ever have a conversation with you. These leads can easily be a bane to your existence, but also can be treated as a testing ground. A/B testing is always a great solution for new marketing material and using your active “ghosts” lists as a control group is a great way to get some feedback and data without jeopardizing future campaigns. If you are testing new template layouts, color schemes or landing pages, always run a preliminary test with your active “ghost” lists first.
The cold lead list is always a great resource to go back to, but also should not be over analyzed. Spending too much time trying to bring back lost leads can take your concentration away from new leads and even current customers. Focusing on creating a strong “get back” campaign should be a main focus and having this campaign well prepared is crucial for those slow seasons or downturns in new leads you will inevitably run into. Turning to your cold list to try and drum up some new business can help get you through.
Bio: Nick O’Leary is the co founder and Vice President of Ricochet Consignment Software. After starting his first record label at 25, NIck has gone on to start several small business and excels at inbound marketing strategies, video content, and SEO.