Here's how to keep your leads warm

Your follow-up strategy can make or break your ad campaign. It doesn’t matter how low your cost per click was if your leads don’t convert. What you do after someone gives you their email can make all the difference.

Wait too long to communicate with them, and they’ll forget how you even got in their inbox. Make a hard sell too early, and they’ll unsubscribe or mark you as spam.

So what does a good follow-up strategy look like? How do you prepare your new leads for a sales pitch?
Here are three tips for warming them up.

1. Follow-up ASAP

Imagine your friend sent you a link to a helpful YouTube video. You follow the link, push play . . . and then you have to wait a few hours—or even days—to watch it. By the time you could actually watch the video, you probably wouldn’t be interested anymore.

And that’s exactly what you do to your leads if you wait too long to follow up with them. Something sparked their interest enough for them to give you their contact information. Maybe you offered them a white paper, a demo, or a consultation. But the longer you delay in giving them what they want, the more likely they’ll forget about you or lose interest.

Every time you create a campaign to generate leads, you need to think strategically about what happens after they sign up, and take steps to ensure that it happens quickly. Ideally, your first follow-up communication should come in minutes or seconds, not days or hours.

2. Use a drip campaign

When someone first joins your lead list, it’s important to think about why they’re there. Odds are, they didn’t sign up to hear a sales pitch. (Unless that was your call-to-action.) The key to keeping your leads warm is giving them more of what they want.

And if you’re not sure what that is, you can always ask them. The best lead nurture campaigns (also known as drip campaigns) are segmented based on what people are interested in hearing about. That helps your leads feel like they’re in control of the relationship, and it helps you provide the most relevant content.

With a relevant drip campaign that addresses your leads’ interests and overlaps with your services, you can build a valuable relationship over time, instead of letting them get colder over time.

3. Retarget them with ads

Another way to keep your organization top-of-mind is with retargeted advertising. If your leads are on an email list, you can upload the list to an advertising platform such as Facebook or Google, and then create specialized ads that address your leads specifically. These ads could point them to more of your content, offer another resource, or even nudge them to take the next step in your sales pipeline or marketing funnel.

Like a drip campaign, these ads will keep your leads warm by introducing them to more of what you have to offer, and helping them encounter your brand in more places.
Similarly, a direct publisher relationship can help you keep your leads warm by showing new ads to the same pool of people. If your leads have largely come from banner ads on one website, or print ads in a particular magazine, there are opportunities to reach that same audience (which likely includes many of your leads) with a new message that compliments and builds on the ads you’ve shown them before.

Keep your leads happy

In every batch of qualified leads, there are bound to be some people who are interested in your services, and some who aren’t. But most of your leads are probably somewhere in the middle, and what they’ll do depends on how you treat them. 

Let them go cold, and they’ll forget they were ever interested in you. Ask for big commitments too early, and you’ll burn them up and have to find new leads. The trick is to keep them happy, so they stay warm until you (and they) are ready for the pitch.

It’s a long-term strategy. The payoff isn’t immediate, but building healthy relationships with all your leads—not just the low-hanging fruit—produces the best long-term results. 

All you have to do is find the right way to keep them happy.