Top 10 Places to Find Lost Leads No. 9 and 10: The Inbox
by Jeanette LeBlanc
If you’ve been following our series about where to find lost leads, today is the day we tell you the final places to find your lost leads and how to reactivate them to turn them into customers.
Top place to find lost leads No. 9: On vacation
Taking a vacation is good for us by improving health, increasing productivity and relieving stress. And even though we don’t do enough of it, chances are a significant portion of the folks on your email list takes a vacation at some point during the year. And if you happen to send a message to your list during this time, you may receive an out-of-office email.
Those out of office emails are most often ignored, but they can provide a valuable source of additional information on your lead or the company they work at—giving you a clearer picture of the lead, along with additional contact information or contact information for colleagues and higher-ups in the decision making chain.
Aside from the valuable data you may discover, it is important to consider what often happens when your lead returns to the office. With potentially hundreds of emails to scan through, there is a good chance that your lead may never read the communication or offer made while they were away.
Set up a task or calendar reminder to review your campaign responses or out-of-office replies. Take note of the data obtained within the email, and update your lead’s contact information with any relevant data. Create another task that will alert you when your lead will be back in the office so that you can reach out with a more personal email, if appropriate.
Top place to find lost leads No. 10: Lost in your sea of emails
Admit it—it’s been a long time since you’ve gotten to inbox zero. If you’re like most small business owners, your inbox is probably a complicated mix of business emails, personal correspondence, newsletters, and client or lead messages. As vigilant as you may be, it is highly possible that some of your important messages are slipping through the cracks. Whether you miss the email initially, or you mean to reply and get distracted by one of the countless tasks related to running your small business, the result is the same—a potentially lost lead.
How to get your leads out of hiding:
1. Utilize website forms
Though you will always have your email visible on your website for client contact, as much as possible, direct your website visitors to use a contact form to get in touch the first time. Creating a filter for these form responses will keep the majority of your new leads in one place, making it easier to stay on top of responses.
2. Implement an inbox management system
Systems like SaneBox can help you manage the deluge of email you get each week, creating folders of emails to help guarantee that you see the emails that you need to see. By prioritizing important emails, summarizing the rest, and calling your attention to messages that have not received a reply, your inbox can move from out of control to manageable.
3. Flag all important messages for follow-up
You just received and responded to an email from a lead; immediately flag your message and create a follow-up task to remind you to look for a reply, or get back in touch after a period of time has gone by. If you use Gmail, use Boomerang to set a reminder if no reply is received in a specific time period. If your lead does not respond, the system will make sure you follow up.
4. Create a personal system that works for you
Not every system will fit your personal work style. If one of the out-of-the-box systems is not your style, research other methods to tame the inbox beast. The most important thing is making sure you don’t end up drowning in a deluge of incoming emails and missing the leads that need your personal attention.
5. Create an automated follow-up campaign
Instead of risking missing emails going to spam, and instead of spending so much time manually following up with your contacts, set up an automated follow-up campaign that addresses the most common questions, issues, objections, or topics that you usually cover. This doesn’t mean you’ll never have emails that require manual response, but it will significantly cut down on both the emails that slip through the cracks and the emails that require your attention.
As a small business owner, you work hard to build your list, and to nurture your leads. It’s frustrating to know that you’re losing valuable leads when you’ve put our heart and soul into your businesses and the products and services you create.
Just as you continue to focus on growing your list and your leads, make sure you devote time each month to seeking your leads in each of these 10 hiding places, and enjoy knowing that your funnel is being refilled with valuable and engaged leads.
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