How to Turn Unengaged Leads Into Customers With Timely Emails

Email marketing is a critical tool in the Inbound Marketers tool belt and an engaged audience is critical to success. But every company has a list of leads that were really well-qualified, but just never converted. Learn how to reignite their passion with this blog on lost lead nurturing.

Conversion of these qualified leads is not a lost cause. Look at that list of non-responders as an opportunity, not a cause of concern. Each and every lead that didn't open your most recent email has the potential for sales and engagement.

Turn Lost Leads Into Customers With Timely Emails

Let's begin with the good news: These leads are middle of the funnel; they already know you. You don't have to start at the beginning, and they are open to hearing from you. How open to hearing from you isn't as easy to determine. Find out by giving your leads a score, the first step in the process.

Slice & Dice (Segment)

A simple segmentation is outlined below. Depending your the CRM or email tool, you may be able to segment even further. If possible, set up a "rolling date" campaign so that as subscribers fall from List A to List B, an automated email goes our to them encouraging additional purchases. Additional segments you might be able to create include: "Coupon Responsive", "Seasonal" "Topic Interest" and specific product/service responsive.

List One: Active customers - Status Quo; these engaged customers should continue to enjoy your compelling and valuable emails as scheduled.

List Two: Past customers that have not opened in 90 days. Something has changed. But what? Learn how to re-engage these lost leads below.

List Three: Active readers that have never purchased. What can be done to ease them further along the buyers journey?

List Four: Subscribers that have never responded. List Four somehow ended up on your list, but haven't been intrigued or tempted to learn more. This list will require a fresh start. Read our recent blog posts about The Art of the Welcome Email or the Sideways Email Series to learn how.

The process of re-engagement is designed to drive sales and profit from your email list specifically from the people that make up Lists Two and Three. Here is how you are going to do it.

Method and Moment

Consider the seasonality of your business, product launches and services these customers may be interested in. When and why would each segment want to hear from you? A great way to investigate this is to look back at your most successful campaigns. Next take a look at the emails they didn't open. Is your content still relevant to them? Look for ideas to nurture their return.

Design Your Campaign

Offer them a special marketing campaign combining customer retention and lead acquisition. Here are the top email re-engagement strategies.

Choose one in order to test which work best for each segment.

  1. Just ask. Send a short survey asking them if something has changed on your end OR theirs. You can cull valuable information from their responses which will guide your next campaign strategy. It's also an effective tool to learn what your list really thinks of you.
  2. Make them an offer. Include a great coupon or pricing. Typically response is highest when the offer is based on past purchase history.
  3. Tell them they're missed. Simply re-establishing your relationship and letting them know you've noticed their absence. Perhaps include information on a fun upcoming event or new product that is perfect for them. The use of emotion as a strategy can be risky and depends on your business and brand.
  4. Set a deadline. Let them know the time has come to part ways unless they take action. Include an opt-in link to establish their commitment to you. Or give them options. Some customers are just overwhelmed by your email frequency. Giving them the ability to reduce the amount of emails they receive from you might be just the ticket.

What about the leads that still aren't convinced?

You have a couple options:

  1. Try another campaign strategy from above. Send 1-2 more emails and see if that does the trick.
  2. Move them to List 4 and try to build the relationship from square one.

And everyone else? Welcome them back!

When leads are re-acquired, record and treat them as past leads or buyers, not strangers. Continue the iterative process and follow up with leads that have come back into the fold.

A simple re-marketing campaign can lead to impressive results. Given that average open rates hover between 20-30%, the ability to successfully drive sales from the remainder of your list is a tactic to build into your inbound campaigns. You already have the names and the relationship?

Half the battle is already won and with the strategies outlined above you are well on your way to success.

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