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From a purely business sense; the goal of any marketing strategy or campaign is to generate leads for your business. You want to attract people to your marketing funnel who are most likely to buy your products or hire you for your services. 

In a perfect world the marketing content you develop and publish would generate leads and each and every one of those potential customers would become a paying one. 

Unfortunately we do not live in a perfect world. A lot can happen to a lead on their path from the top of your marketing funnel to the bottom

Here are some common ways that a potential hot lead becomes a lost lead:

  • The lead decided they are not ready to make purchase at this time
  • The lead was shopping around and decided to go with another company
  • For one reason or another, the lead got lost in your system and are no longer receiving any sort of marketing content from you

There are other ways leads get lost, these are just the most common that I have seen. No matter the reason for a lost lead, you worked hard to gain the lead. If possible you would like to see if something can be done to get that lead back on track. 

Well I have some good news for you. There is something that can be done to recover lost leads.  Let’s see what you can do. 

Before we start, I do want to note that to recover a lost lead you need some way to contact them. Email address or a phone number would be the best options. 

Do Your Research

Start recovering lost leads by understanding how many lost leads you actually have and what is the nature of them. Go through your CRM or however you track your clients to see where all the potential leads got lost. 

Categorize them into different groups. An example of the would be “HOT” for leads who were close to buying, but for one reason or another did not. I would avoid getting too granular at this stage. You primarily want to understand how many lost leads you have and where the majority of them fell out of your marketing funnel.

Prioritize Lost Leads

Once you have an idea of how many lost leads you have and their nature, prioritize them in terms of who you would want to reach out to first. You most likely want to reach out to the leads who were the hottest at the time they fell out of your funnel. However if you wanted to test some new messaging or potentially a new lead magnet, I can see going after some of the cooler leads in your system first.

Whatever the case may be, you want to outline the order of who you are going to reach out. This makes it easier for you to plan and for your team to communicate. 

Outline Process to Follow Up With Lost Leads

Speaking of planning, you want to have a plan on how you are going to retarget your lost leads. Determine what you are going to be offering to the lost lead to re-engage with you. Is it going to be a free download with valuable information? Maybe a discounted product or service? Or possibly  an invite to a special event you are hosting? O something entirely different? 

You need some sort of hook to get them back on track. 

There are two different things to note here:

  1. Outline different paths for people who had shown a different level of interest at the time they fell out of your funnel. People who were closer to buying when they became lost were further down the funnel than someone who downloaded an ebook and dropped out without expressing any additional interest. The approach to these two groups does not have to be drastically different, but you should acknowledge where the potential customer was at when they initially fell out of the funnel. 
  2. Detail what happens after initial contact or if there is no contact at all. Make sure everyone knows what happens when a lost lead shows interest in your new offer versus someone who does not show interest versus people who do not respond to your emails or phone calls.

Start To Reconnect

Now it is time to start reconnecting. Above I mentioned needing an email address or phone number. If you are working with email addresses, you can send an email to everyone who you deemed “HOT” at one point with information about your hook. If you are working with phone calls, you can assign someone to make follow up calls to generate interest in your offer. 

Be Patient, Work Through Your Process

Depending on how many lost leads you are working to recover, this can be a long and potentially frustrating process. I have a client who recently combed through his CRM and found about 150 lost leads over the past several years. He assigned a salesperson to review all the lost leads and identify the one worth contacting again. They came up with a list of around 50 lost leads. His salesperson spent a few weeks making calls and was able to schedule a few appointments. They were able to close two new customers. This was enough to make the process worth it for my client. 

The key is to understand your goals for this, know your process, be patient, and work through the process with confidence that you will accomplish what you wish to accomplish.

Document What Happens

As you work through your process, instruct your team to document what happens. You want to know if email or direct call appears to work best. If you are using a lead magnet to re-engage your lost leads, which leads magnet worked best? Most of all you want to know how many lost leads became paying customers, which lost leads got back into the funnel (and where in the funnel are they), and which lost leads appear to be gone for good. All this information will help you improve your overall processes so you can become a better marketer. 

Lost leads happen. But they do not have to be the end of the road. At one point, a lost lead exhibited some level of interest in your products and services. A lot can be gained by trying to reignite that interest. All it takes is a little planning and effort. 

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