Ghosted: 4 Ways to Re-Engage Your Ghost Leads

It’s Halloween time and there’s nothing scarier than being ghosted…

You found the perfect match with all the right assets. They seem to be the persona of your dreams. So, you shoot your shot and reach out. You got a response!

You enthusiastically suggest a phone call. Then, nothing. You leave a voicemail, or five… you don’t want to come across as too desperate. You even enrolled them in your best drip. But despite your efforts… radio silence.

You my friend, have been ghosted.

While this may sound like the woes of the dating the world, if you’re in marketing or sales, you know this scenario all too well.

How Can You Prevent Ghosting?

First, let’s talk about two different categories of leads:

SQL vs. MQL

The ideal lead is a SQL (Sales Qualified Lead) meaning they are qualified, and they are currently interested. These leads are typically ready and willing to hear what you have to say and may be interested in moving to the proposal stage.

The truth is, a lot of qualified leads are MQLs (Marketing Qualified Lead). They may be qualified, but they’re just not quite ready to entertain your offerings.

Why is this important?

Because the needs of these two types of leads are vastly different!

Meet Them Where They’re At

SQLs and MQLs can oftentimes be grouped into the same pool of ‘qualified’ leads when in reality, they are in completely different phases of the buying journey.

While SQLs may respond well to persistent sales outreach, that approach may make an MQL run for the hills. 

If a lead isn’t showing interest, perhaps they need more nurturing. Or maybe a lead is interested, but would like a follow up next quarter. Segment your leads based on actions, engagements, qualifications and/or responses to get a better understanding of where they are in the buying cycle.

Then, meet your leads where they’re at and refine the messaging they receive. Customizing your messaging can help greatly improve response rate.

The Reality Is…

No matter how valiant your efforts and how customized your messaging, ghosting happens. It just does.  Leads can go cold at any stage in the process and you may or may not ever know why.

So, Do We Just Forget About Them?

No! Taking time to find leads and qualifying them is painstaking and expensive. Even after being ghosted, there is still a ton of value in these leads!

Here we break down the three major types of ghosters and what techniques on how to re-engage cold leads/ghost leads:

1. Hook, Line and Ghosted

Things were getting steamy with this lead. You were about to close the deal, then seemingly out of nowhere they stop responding. What happened?

Leads who go cold late in the game have typically had a change of heart. Maybe they chose to go with another agency or bring their efforts in-house. Perhaps budget got pulled, or worse, there was something they didn’t like about your offerings. And unfortunately, when they ghost you, you’re left reeling to understand the reason why.

The good news is, this lead was interested. With a reminder, or even longer-term nurturing, it’s possible they could be interested again in the future.

Goal:

With leads who were further along in the process, the primary goal is to get them back on track. Or at least get them to open up about the reasons they’re not committing so you can respond to their concerns.

  • Use re-engagement tactics 1,2 & 3 below

 

2. From Giddy to Ghosted

Maybe you and your lead were just getting to know each other. A few emails here and there, slight hope and innuendos. Then before anything even had a chance to develop, they go cold.

It can be tough to discern the MO of an early stage ghoster. Were they entertaining the possibility of getting in deeper with you – or just being polite?

Either way, you did get some response and that indicated interest.

Goal:

Leads who have engaged in some capacity have shown interest. The goal with these leads is to get a better idea of where they are in the purchase funnel so you can further customize your messaging.

  • Use re-engagement tactics 1,2 & 3 below. If there is any indication of ‘not interested right now’ or ‘we are in a contract with another agency’, engage a nurture drip.

 

3. Ghosted from the Get-Go

Your reach out attempts go unanswered. Is there even a person behind that email address or are you writing to a brick wall? What went wrong? Is it them? Is it you? How do you get the opportunity to find out…?

Especially in cold outreach campaigns, unresponsive leads are not atypical. In fact, no-response is often the norm. As marketers and salespeople, we’re attuned to getting the cold shoulder. However, these leads are still valuable. They may just require more time and nurturing. And although these leads have a longer TTC (time to close), the vaster your lead pipeline, statistically, the more leads you will close eventually.

Goal:

Staying top of mind is the name of the game with unresponsive leads. There is a lot of value in a database of leads, even if they are unresponsive. Stay in front of them so if they do become interested, they remember your name.

  • Use re-engagement tactic 4

 

Re-Engagement Tactics:

Re-Engagement Tactic #1: The ‘Assuming You Didn’t Receive the Email’ Email

We all get busy, inboxes get flooded, life and family matters pop up and things can get lost in the shuffle. And although you have a sneaking suspicion that might not have been the case, using this technique can offer a non-threatening and lighthearted way to elicit a response and give your lead the benefit of the doubt.

Re-Engagement Tactic #2: The ‘Specific Ask’

The specific ask is a voicemail or email (preferably both) where you ask a specific question with the goal of getting some sort of response.

Any response is the goal here. If you get some engagement, even if it is to close the file, then at least you have succeeded in possibly re-opening a line of communication.

Re-Engagement Tactic #3: The Alternative

Find an alternative point of contact at the company and reach out. Let them know you were in talks with their colleague and see if they can point you in the right (or different!) direction.

This is a fresh new person and they may be more willing to get back to you. You may also find out that your contact has been reassigned or has been out of the office for an extended period and you weren’t in the loop.

Re-Engagement Tactic #4: The Nurture Drip

The nurture drip comes in all types of flavors, but at its heart, it is a non-salesy email campaign designed to keep your company top of mind. Typically, nurture drips are informational in nature and offer content, tips and resources that your ICP (Ideal Customer Persona) would find valuable.

Nurture drips can be basic or very sophisticated depending on your lead base, as well as your own resources.

The takeaway is to enroll your unresponsive leads in some sort of ongoing nurture campaign, so if they do become interested in your services, you’ll be the one in front of them – not your competitor.

 

It may be the spookiest time of the year, but ghosting happens all year long. The scariest part? Losing out on potential value by letting unresponsive leads go cold.

You’ve already toiled to find these leads, so continue making attempts to re-engage them throughout their purchase journey. With some persistence and a solid nurture plan, you may just bring some of these ghosts back to life.

5 Strategies to Get Your Email Holiday Ready

October marks the unofficial kickoff to the holiday season with half of all marketers launching a holiday marketing campaign by Halloween. Are you sweating yet?

As I sit here with fresh flip-flop tan lines, it’s hard to believe that we’ve just barely exited summer and it’s already time to think about the holidays.

Yet, here we are.

As marketers, we can’t escape the fact that the major holidays like Black Friday, Cyber Weekend and Christmas are only months away.

So, let the holiday planning begin!

Enhance Your Email, Holiday Style

There is no shortage of articles and resources regarding digital marketing planning for the holidays. Today, we’re going to keep it simple and inch into holiday readiness by talking about holistic email approaches to consider for the 2019 holiday season.

And while there is still some breathing room for planning, here are the five things you should be considering for a successful email campaign:

Quick: What are the key success metrics for your email campaigns this holiday?

Did you hesitate?

As we all know, ambiguous metrics like “sales” fail to offer a defined and actionable path to optimize your campaigns.  A better answer is “revenue per emails delivered”, and an even better approach, if you can get there, is “gross profit per thousand emails delivered”.  These types of metrics provide you with a more straightforward way to rate the effectiveness of your campaigns.

Of course, you can have different metrics for each campaign. Your Black Friday campaign might be geared towards sales, while an after-purchase/thank you campaign might be focused on refer-a-friend.  But the most important factor is to choose just one metric that forms the basis for optimizing your campaigns. Multiple metrics, while tempting given all the available data, will just muddy the program. Choose one (the right one) and set your campaign tracking accordingly.

One of the most impactful things you can do to plan for a successful campaign this year, is to take a peek back at campaigns you’ve run in the past years. Look at the data and glean insights around what worked and what didn’t.  Do a comprehensive audit looking at the following key elements:

  • Offer Type – Which offers created engagement and ultimately sales? Consider whether a discount, an incentive, free shipping, etc. generated results. Hopefully, following the metric-setting above, you factor in the total cost of the offer to get an accurate comparison (i.e. “gross profit per emails delivered”).
  • Creative – Which email designs worked best? This is a broad category, so break it down accordingly.  Single product versus multiple products versus no products?  Offer versus no offer? Image versus no image?  Static versus video?  There are several ways to split and score email creative. Task your team to develop the most relevant comparisons.
  • Holiday Timing – How did timing affect your email blasts? When were your metrics achieved?  Example analysis might center around pre-black Friday, day-of, or post-black Friday when you’re in a less cluttered period.

Focusing on these three strategic elements will set your holiday email campaign program up for maximum success and allow you and your team to focus on the tactical optimization opportunities.

It’s great to recreate strategies that were effective for you, but remember: the sky’s the limit! Avoid the plateaus and stagnation by testing at least one new approach that you may not have considered.

For example:

  • Offer a ‘Holiday Gift Guide’ rather than just basic product presentment.
  • Sync your email blasts with social remarketing.
  • Give your customer a gift for referring a friend.
  • A/B test different offers
  • Customize your blasts to different personas
  • Customize your blasts based on previous buying behavior

Test at least one new idea per season to continuously re-charge your holiday email program. And who knows, maybe you’ll discover a tactic that was even more effective than the original!

The value of optimizing your holiday email program starts at the strategic versus the tactical level. Still, you will do well to split test the many tactical elements of an email campaign, such as:

  • Subject Lines
  • Degrees of Personalization
  • Offer Types
  • Calls to Action
  • Design
  • Day and Time
  • Frequency and Sequencing

You could go A/B crazy thinking about all the elements you could test!  Rather than obsessing about endlessly testing everything, you need to consider the return you’ll get on your testing efforts as well.

First, you’ll need to set up a testing architecture to guide your testing program.  Arguably, the process is as important as the elements you’re testing. Three things to keep in mind for effective testing:

  • Stick to the Plan – Avoid random, off-the-cuff testing which is not part of the plan.
  • Stick to What’s Significant – Ensure that the tests are yielding statistically significant differences. Otherwise, what’s the point?
  • Stick to What You Can Readily Implement – Make sure that you can quickly integrate the test results into your holiday email program. It will require an agile team, but rapid optimization based on data can really maximize your holiday conversions.

The email industry is quickly transforming with the application of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which gives an email marketer super-human power.  With email artificial intelligence, you don’t need to guess what type of offers might work best, what creative will convert, or what time of day you should send. Consider testing an AI vendor with a sample of your holiday email campaign around the following areas:

  • Segmentation – AI gives you the ability to micro-segment, going beyond traditional demo and geo breakouts. Now, you can drill down to language and emotion within the copy at the recipient level.  Dell used AI marketing provider, Persado, to segment their holiday emails by language, which led to a 50% increase in email CTR as well as a 46% average increase in email conversations.

  • Email timing – AI data can also tell you the ideal time that each customer is expected to open and engage with your email. Setting up and deploying these ‘rules’ will maximize your open rates and ultimately your conversions.
  • Test subject lines – You already know that a powerful subject line is critical to email that converts. These snippets of copy will determine whether your holiday email is opened or is sent to the trash bin. AI is capable of not only analyzing effective subject lines, but also creating them.

Talk to Us 

Effective email marketing during the holidays is a must for most businesses. Whether you have a new or already-established plan in place, using these key strategies will help garner more positive results from your holiday email program.

But if you need help, you know where to find us!

 

 

 

 

 

Scale Your First Page Rankings with the Keyword Multiplier Technique

When it comes to increasing visibility on the search engines, it can sometimes feel like you’re told the same tactics over and over again.

Just use the keywords you want to rank for and then hope they gain traction.

But how do you incorporate keywords in a meaningful way? And how do you know which keywords to choose?

Well there’s a ‘new’ keyword optimization method on the block that optimizes for keywords in a much more actionable and scalable way. Introducing the Keyword Multiplier Technique.

We say ‘new’ because although the technique itself is just now picking up in popularity, it’s something our agency has been doing for a long time.  And now that the secret is out, we’re going to show you how to do it as well!

How it Works

When most businesses think about rankings, they vie to rank for the most competitive, high search volume terms. While ranking for those terms is a good goal, it’s not typically a good starting point.

The keyword multiplier technique capitalizes on keywords that your brand is already ranking for on the search engines and then strategically boosts and multiplies them. This allows the page to grow organically and ‘multiply’ your rankings until you build enough authority to rank for your goal terms.

We’ll break down how to do this in a few simple steps.

1. Use Google Search Console to find a page from your website that is already ranking in Google.

 

  • Head over to the performance report and select the URL of that page.
  • Click into the URL and select ‘Queries’ to see the keywords that are ranking and associated with that URL.
  • This will give you analytics that show you the word, number of impressions, click through rate, and how many clicks you’re getting.

2. From that list of terms, find the words that are ranking well, but not in the first 3-5 positions. We call these striking distance terms and are the low-hanging fruit you can tackle first.

 

  • Analyze your striking distance terms and look for high impression keywords that are receiving some clicks.

3. Optimize your page for the striking distance terms you are now tracking.

 

  • Incorporate these terms into your on-page SEO strategy, working them strategically into your content, title tags, internal links, etc.

 

4. Track these pages in Google analytics by creating a shortcut and watch them grow on a month to month basis.

 

  • By isolating pages in your reports, you will have a clearer understanding of what techniques are working so you can further customize your SEO strategy

5. Rinse and repeat.

 

  • This is a multiplication process, which means that it can be done repeatedly. Do it with every page on your website and then maintain the pages and keep them up to date, constantly adding new keywords. When you write or add new pages, you can use your keyword knowledge to preemptively add in stronger keywords.

Why it Works

The keyword multiplier technique provides you with an opportunity to see what’s working on your website currently and expand upon it, and this technique is scalable as well. Once you understand which terms are most effective, it will also assist you in creating more content that will be equally, if not more, successful on your site.

Begin building your keyword foundation, and soon, you’ll be able to optimize for more competitive terms. Your goal keywords don’t seem so elusive now, do they?

 

Questions on this system, or on-page techniques? We’d love to chat!