5 Steps To Win Back Lost Leads With Lead Nurturing
“Lost leads are dead leads that businesses can never recover.”
If any marketer has ever said this to you, they either know nothing about lead nurturing or are joking. Research by Demand Gen points toward the former being the prime suspect, as it reports that 74% of companies do not have any lead recovery workflow.
Attracting and capturing prospects takes a lot of marketing effort. Even after investing in automation tools and paid campaigns, companies can find themselves losing leads. It results in lower conversion rates and a big dent in the ROI.
Lead nurturing programs can play an essential role in solving this critical problem. B2B companies can nurture their lost leads back into the sales funnel and optimise marketing campaigns for better performance. Through this article, I will dive into the main reasons behind why you are losing leads and explain a powerful 5-step method that can help win them back.
But first things first.
What are Lost Leads?
Lost leads are prospects who made it into your sales funnel but drifted away before making it to the final conversion process. Marketers can lose leads at any stage of the buyer’s journey. Such dead leads fill up your email list and take up space for fresh leads. It affects the overall performance of a marketing campaign if not attended to immediately.
B2B sales cycles can be long, making it harder to plan efficient lead management. When companies report good traffic but meagre conversions, marketers need to check the sales pipeline for leaks. A prospect’s loss of interest in a company or a brand can be due to various reasons, including both personal and professional.
While personal reasons can range from losing the need for the services mid-funnel, budget problems, relocation, job change, etc., as marketers, we have no control over such issues.
But what we can fix are professional issues; let’s understand some prominent ones.
Reasons Behind Losing Leads
- Slow Response time
Effective communication is a vital aspect of marketing. If you cannot connect with your potential clients at the right time, then chances are they will move towards competitors. Slow response to new lead submissions, prospect queries, or any online behaviour indicating the intent of buying results in lost leads.
- No Focused Approach
It is good to expand your B2B services and develop new SaaS tools. But when companies start pitching all their services at once to the leads, it can confuse them. The prospects might not understand what USPs a brand is offering and drop the idea of buying altogether.
- Lack of Relevancy
According to research, 80% of B2B decision-makers prefer to get a company’s information via a series of articles. Every lead wants to know how a tool or service will solve their problem. If shared content is not personalised according to the buyers’ needs, they will lose interest and stop opening your emails.
Understanding why you are losing leads is crucial as it helps decide the next step you should take to recapture them.
Solving all these sales funnel setbacks can take you a long time. A tried and tested method that marketers use to overcome all these hurdles in their sales cycle is lead nurturing.
Suggested Read: B2B Lead Nurturing: The Ultimate Guide
Why Use Lead Nurturing For Lost Leads?
Research says, 98% of B2B leads never translate into sales. While some deals fail because of consumers’ own issues, others fail due to the communication gap between the brand and its prospects. The main problem is businesses not having a dedicated marketing campaign that focuses on prospects with zero to minimum CTR.
Industrial marketers use lead nurturing campaigns to overcome such drawbacks in their lead management. A lead nurturing workflow ensures that businesses interact with their prospects in a personalised and interactive manner. It tackles slow response time with automation, and lack of relevancy with lead segmentation and builds a focused approach towards conversion with lead scoring.
When used correctly, lead nurturing campaigns can reduce lead leakage and shorten sales cycles by 23%, as stated in a report. But with so many potential business opportunities with lead nurturing, you need a solid plan to implement it all.
Let’s discuss the best method to execute lead nurturing strategies step by step.
5 Steps To Revive Lost Leads
Bringing back dead leads is not a one-day process. Marketers must analyse their sales funnel to understand strategy gaps. A step-by-step process can help you examine better.
Step 1: Analyse The Temperature
Before you launch marketing campaigns to get back lost leads, it is crucial to understand at which stage of the sales funnel they got away. It helps in building more targeted content and ensures higher CTR.
Keeping in mind the sales funnel, marketers divide leads into three categories; let’s map them out:
1. Cold Leads
Cold leads are potential customers present at the top of the funnel. Such prospects get introduced to your brand via a landing page, paid ad, or organic search. At this stage, leads don’t know much about a company, so it takes more effort and time to attract and engage them.
2. Warm Leads
Warm leads are present in the middle of the funnel. They have shown interest in your brand by downloading free guides, visiting your website, and doing related online activities. These leads are more susceptible to reaching out to competitors for comparisons.
3. Hot Leads
Hot leads are present at the bottom of the funnel. They have a high intent of buying and are ready to make the final decision.
By analysing the temperature of the lost leads, you will be all set for the next step.
Step 2: Segmenting and Scoring
77% of B2B sales and marketing professionals think personalisation builds better customer relationships. If your sales funnel lacks personalisation, chances are it is the prime cause behind lost leads.
Understanding the funnel stage of the lost lead is not enough to curate targeted content for dead prospects. Marketers need to know why a potential customer stopped responding and how they can mitigate it.
Lead nurturing tackles this problem with the help of lead segmentation and lead scoring.
- Lead Segmentation
It allows you to divide your leads into groups based on various attributes. It assists in deciding the type of content a particular set of prospects would like and gives ample direction to the other marketing strategies.
Prominent characteristics marketers use for lead segmentation include:
- Stage of the sales funnel (cold, warm, hot)
- Job title
- Online Behaviour
I would suggest reading this article to understand lead segmentation in-depth: Things to do Before Setting Up a Lead Nurturing Plan.
- Lead Scoring
Lead scoring is a method through which B2B marketers award points to a lead based on their online activities and other information. After businesses have grouped lost leads with lead segmentation, it is time to decide which dead leads you should target first.
By allotting points to the lost leads’ different attributes and past behaviour, try to filter out the ones with the highest scores. For example:
- Opening email: +2points
- Downloading lead magnet: +5 points
- Booking a call: +20 points (even if not attended)
Suggested Read: How To Create A Lead Scoring Model For Impactful Lead Nurturing
Now that your list of lost leads is ready let’s understand what marketing campaigns to use to re-engage them.
Step 3: Curate Targeted Marketing Campaigns
Lost leads result from your old marketing campaigns not working for a set of prospects.
Remove dead leads from earlier promotional workflows and build new ones primarily focused on bringing them back into the sales funnel. Create content that focuses on problems the lost leads might be facing or provide advice related to their business. Marketers use webinars, blogs, newsletters, whitepapers, case studies, etc., as content formats to deliver and educate lost leads.
For delivering personalised content, companies need to develop campaigns that can set up a bridge between the brand and the lost lead. Retargeting through ads and email nurturing sequences help here.
- Retargeting through ads
Retargeted ads help companies promote content to prospects who have shown interest in its services. They act as a reminder for the lost leads to revisit and re-engage with the company.
To recapture lost leads, marketers use personalised landing pages with each advertisement. The design and content of such landing pages aim at reintroducing the brand that caters to the specific needs of a dead lead. Such landing pages have special discounts, offers, and lead magnets that motivate prospects to interact with the company.
- Email Nurturing Sequences
Email nurturing sequences to get back lost leads need thoughtful planning. Marketers must first check the email campaigns the lost leads were part of to understand what the lost leads definitely don’t want in their emails. Next, build a new email sequence that starts with ‘how have you been?’ and further talks about new features in the services, changes in the buying plans, and other related things that might interest them.
Start the email nurturing series with a survey or a questionnaire if you don’t know much about the lost lead. Include questions like business goals, present problems, etc., to get an insight into current issues of the lost lead.
Suggested Read: A Simple Guide For Email Nurturing Campaigns With Examples
Step 4: Deliver with Precaution
Marketers often think by developing great content, they can convert prospects in a shorter timeframe. It is fair thinking, but what if the content never reaches the target lead. Businesses need to utilise the right channels and proper timing to effectively communicate with lost leads.
- Relevant Channels
Sometimes businesses lose leads because the prospect has changed their email, job, or location. It can result in a sudden loss of communication with the lead. While retargeted ads will reach out to such clients on their own, companies can also use social media to reconnect with such types of lost leads. For example, if the prospect has changed their email, you need to reconnect with them through channels like LinkedIn or Facebook.
- Relevant Timing
If you have ever sent a business-related email during the holiday season, you might have received an auto-generated reply, which is not very exciting. Delivering content at the right time is crucial to having a good open rate. Businesses can figure out what timing doesn’t work for lost leads from past marketing campaigns. Marketers can define a new timeframe for content sharing to lost leads and update it according to the CTR.
Also, keep in check that your emails do not end up in the spam folder. You can check out this to understand how you can avoid such a situation: Prevent mail to Gmail users from being blocked or sent to spam.
Step 5: Refining and Retrying
To avoid your lead recovery campaigns from filling with lost leads who are not interested, you need to analyse and refine your target leads now and then. Progressive profiling and tracking the right metrics are crucial in making your lead nurturing process more efficient.
- Progressive Profiling
It is the process of gradually collecting information about a lead to build hyper-personalised content. Instead of asking a bunch of questions and overwhelming the prospect, through progressive profiling, businesses slowly collect lead data and, step by step, nurture them.
Visit your lead lists regularly to understand what information is missing to create a better user experience. Use surveys and landing pages to collect the required data.
- Metric to Follow
Click-through rate is the metric companies need to keep an eye out for to re-engage lost leads successfully. There are always chances that some prospects from the lost leads are actually not interested in your product. CTR will help you filter such leads out and focus on those with a higher chance of returning to the sales funnel. For example, if a lost lead shows no reaction to the lead recovery campaign for six months, it is better to remove them from it.
Important Suggestion: Don't miss out on this opportunity to download the sales funnel mind map and gain invaluable insights to enhance your sales efforts.
Ready to Recover Lost Leads?
A multi-stage marketing campaign like lead nurturing helps you reach out to lost leads through all channels. Lead segmentation and lead scoring clubbed with retargeting connect your brand with the right leads and stop them from going to a competitor. Email nurturing campaigns actively target lost leads with content that provides solutions to their concerns.
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