With a new email lead comes the hope of a new professional relationship, both for your network and your direct business. But often the leads that show the most promise and set our hopes the highest become unresponsive or disappear. Don’t give up on these cold leads–warm them back up, instead.
Place yourself in your customer’s position. They, like everyone, are distracted and busy with day to day business. Most of us are guilty of reading an email and waiting until we urgently need some help to respond. Or we wait until the perfect time to respond, weigh our options before making any decisions, and often the perfect time to respond never comes.
But that doesn’t mean a lead that’s gone silent isn’t interested in your product. You can revive the relationship with a combination of marketing, technology, and a fresh mindset.
These new, different, and advanced tactics make sure that you won’t let anything promising slip from your hands. It’s not too late.
1) Automate Marketing in a New Way
Yes, we are sure you have heard the advice to automate time and time again. But the secret here is time, consistency, and careful thought put into the wording you use in your automated messages. A study done by Entrepreneur recommends sending B2B emails on Tuesday at 10 A.M. for the best response. By sending automated re-engagement messages on Tuesday, your message doesn’t get lost in all the weekend emails, and by sending at 10 A.M. you avoid the busy morning rush. For the average worker who has a typical 8 to 5 work schedule, Thursday 10 A.M. also works well.
Getting the timing right is the easy part. Sending an email your customers will not just read but love and engage with is entirely different. A study done by Technology Market Research Firm, The Radicati Group shows that 205 billion emails are sent every single day and that the average business professional receives 122 emails every day. Not everyone should receive the same email anyway, so segmentation is key to your engagement success.
Try using trigger-based emails to send specific content that is catered and curated especially for your customer. Amazon has done this by using browsing history and analytic consumer data to actively follow up with customers. Saying things like “don’t forget about product X” or “We see you liked product X. Why not look at product Y?” feels personalized and will help you avoid sending messages that don’t interest the recipient.
2) Be User-friendly All Day, Every Day
Being customer- and consumer-focused means being available to address a customer’s needs at all times of the day. Obviously, it is not realistic or even healthy to personally be on call at all hours of the day, but it is important to ensure that the seamless customer experience is carried from email to your website.
If customers have a question they will contact their service rep but most users will use a customer service portal if it’s available. Link to your self-service knowledge base directly in your emails and prominently on your home page.
Your website should also be user-friendly with lots of helpful product information and clear calls to action. Good user experience doesn’t just mean easy navigation and clear company branding, but also that your site offers immediate value to your customer. You can expand the usefulness of your website by keeping the blog and site updated with new and fresh content, that gives customers a reason to want to stay in touch with you and what your company is doing. Using your marketing segments, send updates about your product changes and recent helpful blog articles that match the customer’s original interest in your product to pique their interest.
3) Remind and Re-introduce
First impressions are everything, but the speed and volume of modern communication mean customers often forgive a bad first impression if they receive stellar follow-up communication.
A good CRM is essential to track any and all communication with each lead and manage your customer relationship in order to ensure you have an accurate understanding of your relationship. Use these records to your advantage when it comes to refreshing their memory by specifically calling out previous. Not only will this build a more solid foundation upon which to establish a more healthy and growing relationship, but it will build brand recognition for your entire company. Keep track of your experience with each customer every time you speak with them by using a good quality CRM and learning good habits that help reps use it actively.
4) Try Some New Technology
If you sit in any restaurant, you’ll notice that the majority of patrons have their phones in their hands occupying their attention or sitting next to them in case a message was to light up their phone. Reaching a customer’s cell phone is like striking gold. It can feel a little casual, yes. But that does not change the fact that you are directly reaching your customer’s fingertips.
Follow up with cold email leads where they spend most of their time: their phones. By using the correct language and keeping the text as short as possible, you will be on the cutting-edge of customer communication. According to Forbes, even attorneys are now using SMS marketing. Use that to your advantage to initiate conversation in a different, meaningful, and more intimate way this time around.
5) Use Your Network Strategically
Success in business can often be about whom you know, and this is particularly true in the field of sales. Use your network to find common ground with cold leads. Perhaps you have a connection between one another that previously went unnoticed, either by you, the customer, or even both. By checking social networks and sales engagement tools, you can nurture your network rather than just expanding it.
Forbes suggests expanding your networking by attending industry events or going to relevant meet-ups. Make sure you gather business cards and contacts in a central location, and follow up via email and social media, even if there isn’t an immediate sales opportunity. By expanding your network, you have a better chance of connecting on a personal level with leads that have gone cold.
6) Offer Incentive
Give leads a reason to come back. You know that they should, but they might not be sold yet. Huffington Post recommends the offer of a gift, time-sensitive discount, or a free offer like a knowledge article or whitepaper to re-engage cold leads. Your offer does not have to cost the company a lot, either. Talk to management and discuss a solution that works to build the relationship while making sure not to lose or miss out on too much profit.
According to a study, it takes an average number of eight cold calls to reach a lead, and 80 percent of sales require at least 5 follow-up calls to convert them into a solid lead. Don’t be one of the 44% of salespeople who give up after one attempt. It is important to try to revive cold leads–unless they tell you to go away. Communicate with each one every couple of months. You don’t have to maintain constant communication but do maintain consistent communication. After all, they should know where to find you in case they ever need you.
|Neha Tandon is a writer for TechnologyAdvice. She is a graduate student of journalism at Syracuse University. With a background in marketing, PR, and advertising, her true passion is for business journalism.