If you’ve been using inbound marketing and automated lead nurturing for a while, chances are your list of contacts includes a number of leads who downloaded one piece of content, but then went dark.
You sent all of the nurturing emails, and maybe they opened one or two, or even clicked through, but failed to reach the end goal of your workflow. (Find more about setting workflow goals in this post: 5 Best Practices For Lead Nurturing Workflows)
And for the last few months, they just been sitting there in your list. What now?
Don’t just give up on those leads.
HubSpot recommends implementing a re-engagement campaign or workflow designed to accomplish one of two things:
Remove those leads who simply have no place on your contact list, and could potentially be damaging your sender reputation.
Warm up leads with potential by encouraging engagement.
Let’s talk more about these goals.
Thin your contact list to improve sender reputation.
As an email marketer/inbound marketer, your company’s standing with email service providers is dinged each time an email goes unopened or marked as spam because the receiver doesn’t want to see it.
One aspect of your re-engagement workflow should include giving leads an option of whether they want to continue receiving emails from you or not. This could include asking them to update their email preferences or to visit the website to confirm their desire to continue receiving your emails.
Obviously, you would drop anyone who specifically asks to be removed, but you should also consider dropping those who, by the end of the workflow, simply haven’t responded. If they aren’t motivated to click through or even open your emails, they probably aren’t likely to convert as sales anyway.
Warm up leads with potential by encouraging engagement.
You may find that some leads have simply forgotten who you are, or why they ended up on your list. These leads need to see a reminder of the value your emails provide, in useful information, low-pressure offers or even incentives such as discounts.
Especially if your industry has a long sales cycle, you may find that they are still researching options, and you can put your brand back on their radar.
Steps for creating a re-engagement workflow:
1. Identify your target group
Before you create a re-engagement workflow, pinpoint who will be on the receiving end of those emails. Consider creating your list based on questions such as these:
What form did they fill out to that added them to your leads list?
How long ago did they fill out that form?
What stage of the sales funnel does that offer fall under: awareness, early engagement, consideration or decision?
What topic is covered by that offer?
When was the last time they visited your website?
Each of these questions will help you determine what type of content to include in your re-engagement workflow.
2. Send emails intended to reignite the fire
At one time, these leads wanted something you had to offer. Perhaps there is still a smoldering need that you can bring back to life.
Include emails in your re-engagement workflow that remind them of the value of receiving emails from you with useful information and links back your site to blog posts and other low-pressure pages.
Choose your content based on the group of leads being targeted.
For leads who were already accessing material toward the bottom of the sales funnel that indicated they were seeking a specific solution and could be nearing a purchase decision, your email might start out with something like this:
It’s been a while since you downloaded our case study on improving collections from past-due accounts. Have you chosen a vendor for outsourcing your collections services or developed a new process in house?
Our new report on medical payments shines a light on ways hospitals can work with patients to recover past-due amounts without resorting to a formal collections agency. Download it here, or schedule a meeting to talk to us about our accounts receivable training program for healthcare providers.
On the other hand, if you are developing a workflow for a group of leads who converted on awareness level offers, you will want to focus on less sales-oriented content with a lower level of commitment.
Re-engagement workflow emails could also offer incentives for remaining engaged, such as links to discounts or exclusive downloads.
3. Have an endpoint in mind
As with your other lead nurturing workflows, re-engagement workflows should have an endpoint. After so many emails, if there is no engagement with your website from a lead, it is probably time to scrub them from your list.
While the ultimate goal for the re-engagement workflow may have been to shift the lead into the next level of the sales funnel (from early engagement to consideration, for example), the health of your email list will also benefit from either getting a confirmation that they want to maintain contact on a lower level of commitment or an answer that shows they don’t want to receive your emails any more.
HubSpot suggests that a final email in the re-engagement workflow could take advantage of the concept of urgency and scarcity by adding a deadline. Ask leads to indicate their desire to remain on your list by a certain date, and make it easy for them to click on a CTA that says “Yes, keep me as a subscriber!” or something similar that will sign them up for your blog updates, regular e-newsletters or other email outreach.
If they don’t respond, let them go.
By using re-engagement workflows, you have the potential to warm up leads that may have gone cold, or to scrub from your list those that will never warm up, resulting in the ability to focus efforts on those most likely to result in a sale. Find templates and tips to help you with all of your lead nurturing workflows—both primary workflows and re-engagement efforts—in our Lead Nurture Toolkit.