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Re-engaging Old Leads With Email Workflow

Date published: December 29, 2015
Last updated: December 29, 2015

You have a database of leads. You’ve had it for a while – maybe a year, maybe a few months. Depending on your business, you likely have some kind of an attrition rate. In other words, you probably have leads that have gone cold.

Baby, it’s cold outside. It’s time to warm up your cold feet leads.

Common sense tells you that if a lead hasn’t heard from you in a while, they’ve probably forgotten who you are. We’re fighting for attention – and REtention – more and more each day.

So, how do you re-engage old leads? Is it worth it? Are there risks involved, like getting flagged as spam?

At AmeriFirst, we tackled these issues over the last year, and have found success in turning cold leads into warm prospects and even potential customers. Here’s a look at how we did it.

1. Refine the List

First, we honed in on a list we knew was a bit stale. For our purposes, we developed a list of leads that seemed interested in credit and mortgages.

In HubSpot, we created a list of everyone who had visited a product-specific web page during a specific time frame (this calendar year) and wasn’t already a customer. This list fed a workflow that sent an email to re-engage them or allow them to opt-out of future communications.

It’s important to note here that we were clear in why we were emailing them and we offered an opt-out feature. Because this list had leads who had potentially forgotten who we were (shocker that someone might forget a business when signing up for emails, I know), we wanted to remind them of why we were already connected. This reminder at the top of the email helped keep spam reports low.

amerifirst email workflow opt-out

In the email, we gave a choice: do nothing & get more email or let us know you want something different. If they didn’t open it at all, they were automatically opted out, too. This put the power in the hands of the contact. They could choose to stay or make the effort to do something else. Our opt out CTA linked to our Learning Center, giving them one last chance to possibly find another resource of interest.

2. Implement the Workflow

Those contacts that chose to re-engage put themselves back into circulation. Then we walked those folks through the process of getting their credit mortgage-ready. They expressed an interest in credit and what that means during the home buying process, and they let us know they want to learn more.

The workflow is essentially a lead-nurturing email journey that takes them through the steps to rebuilding credit, establishing credit, and generally understanding the world of FICO scores and mortgage loans.

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Because we wanted to make sure our leads stayed engaged (and that we were helping them, not just spamming them), we established two points in the workflow with branching logic to once again re-engage if needed. Each of these milestones in the campaign helped us keep the most interested leads engaged, completing the workflow and (hopefully) moving on to the sales team.

For instance, if a person hadn’t opened an email in a specific amount of time, we sent an email right away with a personalized subject checking in with them. We addressed the fact that they hadn’t opened emails (without being creepy) by saying something like, “Sometimes we miss the mark, and our content doesn’t speak to you. We get it. Help us help you better.”

This gave them the chance to once again opt-out by clicking on a CTA. It’s kind of like the old choose-your-own-adventure books. Your fate is up to you.

As you can see in the example, click-through is zero percent, which is what we want. By opening and not clicking the opt-out CTA, you stay in the email workflow.

hubspot email workflow results

3. Analyze The Results

Success is “Leads that turned into Sales Qualified Leads”( i.e., people who are ready to talk to a mortgage consultant) and, obviously, those who closed.

We started with a list of 555. Of those, 131 made it into the workflow (23.6 percent of the original list) and 73 completed the whole workflow (55.72 percent of all who started).

We have 14 customers, 12 of which have close dates after the start of the workflow (10.69 percent of those that started the workflow became customers) and 83 SQLs (63.36 percent of those that started the workflow became SQLs).

We called this a successful campaign to re-engage our cool-to-cold leads and will be duplicating these efforts in future. You, too, can reap these kinds of benefits from similar work.

First, narrow in on a segment of your audience that’s been low on engagement and send them an email to let them know you’re ready to reconnect. Then, make opting out easy—but make opting in even easier. Finally, over time, nurture them with highly relevant content, and consider checking in at multiple points in the campaign to make sure they’re still engaged. Monitor the impact of your efforts and, if it’s successful, plan to repeat the process periodically.

Special thanks to the AmeriFirst marketing analyst, Jill Perney, for providing the statistics and for doing the heavy lifting on this workflow.


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