What Do You Do With Leads That Aren’t Ready to Buy?

McKay Allen

What do you do with your leads?

That’s a question a lot of companies (including ours) grapple with.

What about the leads that aren’t ready to buy right now? What do you do with those?

How many leads are ready to buy now?

Only between 2 and 6 percent of inbound web leads are ready to buy immediately. That means if your sales team calls all of those leads, they are wasting between 94 and 98 percent of their time. Instead of receiving an immediate phone call, those leads need to be nurtured, coddled and massaged like the valuable leads they are. Statistics show that up to 30 percent of those leads will eventually buy from you.

So how do you coddle leads, nurture them, and make them feel special? How do you get them to eventually buy from you?

Compile an e-mail list and develop an e-mail campaign

Spend a few extra bucks a month and invest in some sort of e-mail marketing platform (I’ve named a couple below). You can upload lists of leads into this platform and send them e-mails periodically. If you have not developed a weekly, or at least monthly, e-mail campaign for your leads, you should right now. The focus of these e-mails should be useful content. This could be an article, a blog or a video.

Create content

The only way to nurture a lead is with good content. You can't nurture a lead by just sending e-mails that say “buy from us!” You have to provide them useful content that demonstrates your value. This could be a blog that talks about your industry, or a video that explains how to do something useful. You can’t nurture leads without content. Remember, giving them something of value makes them feel loved and nurtured.

Focused e-mail campaign

E-mail platforms like MailChimp and others allow you to send different e-mails to different types of leads. For example, a lead that has opened only one e-mail in your nurture campaign receives a different e-mail than a lead that has opened four e-mails. This sort of customization is vital to the success of your nurture campaign.  Systems like MailChimp run between $80 and $200 per month.

Lead scoring

This is the tricky part. All leads are not created equal. For example if a lead downloads a white paper, attends a webinar, requests a demo and spends an hour on your site, that lead is strong lead. However, a lead that simply downloads a white paper may not be a good lead. More engagement with your site = better lead.

You need to develop a system to give only the most qualified leads to your sales team, this system could be related to demographic data, “touches” with the website, phone calls a lead makes, or number of e-mails the lead has opened. Regardless of how you determine whether a lead is “good” or not, you should have a system.

And don’t give up on a lead if it doesn’t lead to sale immediately. It might take a few phone calls, e-mails or Web visits before they eventually become intrigued enough to purchase. The focus truly needs to be on providing them useful content and providing them with something to do (a call-to-action) in each e-mail.

McKay Allen is Integrated Content Manager at ContactPoint, which develops marketing technology to capture, analyze, integrate and apply phone-based customer intelligence to enhance marketing and sales.