Today, I am wrapping up a series on automated program ideas that can be used to build out your first drip nurturing campaigns. We’ve looked at how you can nurture your new customers, nurture new subscribers into leads, and nurture researchers into evaluators, so today we’re going to take a look at what to do if you have leads that just aren’t taking the bait.
Through several of the programs we’ve looked at, I mention moving leads to a “cold leads” list if they don’t take any action. Below is a program that we can use on this cold leads list or a list of contacts that have not shown any signs of engagement.
Program 4: Re-Engage Cold Leads
This is a program that serves a two-fold purpose. It will attempt to re-engage with leads that have not been to the site or opened any emails over an extended period of time. If leads still take no action, it will remove them from your list of leads, resulting in a more accurate database and helping to make sure that you are only spending time and money marketing to leads that are at least somewhat interested.
Step 1: Create a new list or segment of your leads of contacts that have not visited the site, filled out a form, attended a webinar, or opened an email in the past six months. This will be your source list for the program. Contacts will only be added to this list if they go six months without taking any of these actions. You could also add contacts to this list if they go through other programs without taking any of the desired actions.
Step 2: Start your program by sending a “We’ve missed you” email to these leads. But give them a good reason to come back. Link to a popular piece of content from the past six months, or offer some sort of discount or free demo. It has to be enticing – remember, they haven’t bothered to come to the site in 6 months. Also, consider doing some A/B tests on the subject line of the email because these are leads that are unlikely to open anything from you unless the subject line is interesting enough to get them hooked. All of the email best practices are even more important here.
Step 3: Wait. Give them some time to open the email and click through. Remember that they are cold leads, so give them more time than you normally would – maybe five to seven days.
Step 4: Check to see if they have opened the email or clicked through to the website. If they have, great, you can exit the program, as it has done it’s job of getting the lead to re-engage with your brand. If not, we’ll continue to step 5.
Step 5: If they didn’t open or click on the first email, now it’s time to get serious. Send a second email asking them to confirm their subscription. Basically, we’re telling them that if they want to continue receiving email from us, they need to re-subscribe. Otherwise, we’re kicking them off our list.
Wait….what? We’re threatening to remove leads from our list!? Don’t we want to grow our lists? Yes, we do, but only with actual leads. Someone who doesn’t ever open email or visit the site is not a good lead, so we don’t want to waste the time and money marketing to them. Also, if your list of leads stays clean, without these non-leads, then your open and clickthrough rates are also going to start rising.
Step 6: Again give them some time to react, then check to see if they clicked through to confirm their subscription. If they have, great – they are at least interested in continuing to receive your email, so they can exit this program. If not, continue to Step 7.
Step 7: If they still haven’t taken any of your bait, and did not click through to stay on your list, then now you have to put your money where your mouth is. You can now move them to your opt-out list or to a separate “inactive leads” list. Regardless, we need to remove them from our actual leads pool. You may also want to update their subscription status field and mark them as unsubscribed.
Most likely, people who enter this program will end up being removed from your list. But there will be cases where leads re-engage, so it is a worthwhile campaign as it allows you to save those interested leads instead of just cleaning out leads after 6 months of inactivity.
Here is what an automated program like this would look like in Act-On: