Congratulations, you did it! You got those leads. It took a while to build the right infrastructure to get those leads pouring in, but now your business has more leads than it knows what to do with… quite literally in fact. A lot of businesses pour their efforts into generating leads in the hopes of buoying their sales. But here’s the thing...
Lead capture is only half the battle!
Being able to capture leads doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re able to convert all those leads into sales. In fact, statistically, the vast majority probably won’t convert… Ever. Depending on the industry, average conversion rates fall somewhere between 2% and 10%. Still, that doesn’t mean that the majority of the leads you’ve worked hard to generate need to go to waste.
A strong lead qualification criteria is essential in separating the “hottest” leads and ensuring that your sales team get to work on them as quickly as possible to avoid a loss of momentum that could cause them to go cold.
But what about the rest? They may not be the cream of the crop, but that doesn’t mean they’re not still of value to you. Warm or even lukewarm leads that score medium to low-medium on your lead scoring rubric can be turned into white-hot leads that practically zoom through your sales funnel.
Here are some effective ways to heat things up!
Give them highly targeted content
Any marketing executive will tell you that content is king when it comes to moving leads through your funnel. High-quality content delivered on multiple channels helps to build both familiarity and value in your brand for the lead. This content has to be about giving the lead something they want and is of real practical use to them.
Deliver this kind of value-rich, high-quality content and you can establish your knowledge, credentials, and authority in ways that will help to build the lead’s trust. But in order to deliver the kind of content that motivates warm leads, the personal touch is all-important.
Deliver a “drip campaign” of highly targeted content in your email shoots and social media engagements. Deliver offers that will appeal to them or blog posts that will help them to solve a problem that they encounter regularly. Address them by name. Help them to realize that the content they’re getting is just for them.
Highly targeted content can generate the kind of value that converts a casually interested lead into a loyal customer.
Let them know, it’s all about them
Why do consumers rail against marketing and advertising content? Because they see it as brands trying to get something from them, whether it’s their time, their money or their attention. And nobody likes giving to brands without getting anything in return.
Thus, if you want to make warm leads hotter and prevent them from going cold they need to realize that you’re all about them. Enter them into a competition to win something that you know they want. Reach out to them with a free gift or a special discount on their birthday. Have they been looking at a particular product on your website but never pulled the trigger? Give them a personalized and exclusive offer that’s only for them.
Combine this with your highly targeted approach to content and you can make the lead feel truly valued.
Build that relationship
A warm lead can start to cool at any time, which is why it’s important to invest real and genuine effort in building your relationship with them. Leads are more likely to warm to your brand (and, thus, move through your sales funnel) if they feel that you have an interest in them as a person and not just as a consumer. Seek them out on social platforms. Like things that they post (assuming, of course, that they align with your brand’s values). Respond when they tag you or @ you in their posts.
Yes, it can be painstaking, yes it can take a while, but it’s certainly a more sustainable strategy than plowing efforts into generating leads which only go to waste.
Create a network
Warming up leads isn’t just about helping them to find the products, services and content that’s of value to them. It’s also about helping them to find each other. If your leads (and social followers and customers) feel like they’re part of a community, they’re much more likely to engage with your brand.
Identify beneficial connections between leads and you might just find that you increase the value of your brand and your network exponentially. You see that one of your leads has a nascent startup that’s just gotten off the ground? That’s so cool! You can’t help but notice that another is an accountant who specializes in small business taxes. They should get to know each other.
Casting yourself as a professional and social matchmaker can help leads to build a personal connection with your brand… And that’s the kind of value that simply can’t be bought!
What’s more, if you can make this network into an elite club where members get exclusive access to special offers, discounts and promotion, that’s a little extra added value which will help prevent the lead from cooling.
Get them in the same room as you
When all’s said and done, no matter how high in quality your targeted content or how much you agonize over getting the wording of your email shoots just right, there’s no substitute for good old-fashioned face-to-face contact.
Get a lead in the same room as you and you stand an excellent chance of keeping them interested and engaged. Try to convince them to join you for a coffee (or maybe a spot of lunch) and a chat about their needs. While this might not be a viable strategy for every business, it can be a fantastic way of heating up lukewarm leads and creating meaningful and valuable early interactions.
Although it goes without saying that this is not an opportunity for a hard sell. Think of it as a networking opportunity and a chance to get to know the lead and their needs a little better.
A combination of these strategies can seriously reduce your risk of warm leads going cold and help you to gain maximum momentum on the leads you’ve put so much effort into capturing!