11 Lead Follow up Strategies for Agencies [guide to Re-Activate the Leads]

lead follow upIf you are struggling to “close” your prospects and to get a reply from lead follow up emails – you are not alone.

We put together 11 best strategies  to diversify your lead follow up and re-activate dead leads.

You know the drill:

  1. A client shows interest.
  2. Emails are sent.
  3. You may have even sent some price quotes or a demo.
  4. You’re on the verge of setting up a meeting to close the deal.

Then, suddenly nothing happens.

The prospect stops responding to your emails, and they don’t return your phone calls.

Your previously sales-qualified lead has died off.

Now what?

Is there anything you can do to rekindle the relationship? To turn them into at least a “warm” lead again? If you take the right approach, you may be able to breathe new life into your lost prospects. These following 11 tips to help you accomplish that.

1. Analyze Your Approach – What May Have Gone Wrong?

There are a few questions you can ask yourself as you think about what went wrong with lead follow up and why you have a cold prospect at your hands.

Now, remember, it is not always something you did wrong. You cannot be privy to the inner workings of a potential client’s business.

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There could be budget issues; there could be dissension in the ranks about the best ways to move forward.

Still, it will serve you well to take a look at your approach and ask a couple of key questions.

  • Did you come on too strong? It’s natural to be enthusiastic about what we can offer potential clients, but sometimes that enthusiasm can be interpreted as being “pushy.”

Potential clients don’t like a “hard sell.” If they get that feeling they will walk away.

  • How did you communicate the value proposition the first time around? Given the short attention spans of digitally-oriented people today (and who isn’t?), you have to be powerful and yet brief and to the point.

You may have “overloaded” them with details.

When you do lead follow up this time around, focus in on one problem you believe that prospect has and how you can solve it.

2. Re-Engage with a New Contact

Do your homework about the key players in the organization. The contact that went “dead” may have other priorities or may not have the authority to make decisions.

So, find another “player” and contact him/her. Be honest about having spoken with another person. Make a very brief intro and see if you can spark some interest.

It’s common for more than one individual will be involved in purchasing decisions. You only need one of them to show new interest, and then you can develop a new, improved strategy based upon your analysis in #1.

3. Leverage Your Content

Suppose your initial contact gave you some insight into a problem or a pain point. This will give you a low-key way to re-connect. Here is what you do.

Craft a piece of content yourself – one that relates to that problem or pain point. Send it via email to reactivate that dead lead.

Explain how it might be of benefit.

Don’t ask for anything.

Your goal is to get back on their radar, to let them know you are still thinking about their needs. This gives you an opening for another contact later. Patience. It’s called patience.

And speaking of your content. Who is writing it? If you are small to mid-sized, chances are you don’t have a content writer – you know, someone who can create wildly engaging stuff that people really want to read.

Do yourself a favor. If your content is not educational, entertaining, or somewhat inspirational, you are missing a big opportunity. You may not have the budget for a full-time content writer, but you can contract this out at a reasonable rate.

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Check out this list of the top writing services and see what they can offer. Try one or two out. If you are going to do lead follow up to prospects and/or dead leads, it should be amazing.

4. Leverage Social Media

It is the rare organization that is not social online. There are several ways you do lead follow up with cold prospects on social media.

  • Now that all LinkedIn users can publish on Pulse, get a few pieces of relevant content on there, and leave a note to re-engage dead lead with a link to it.
  • Before you make a re-contact, send a note to the prospect and let them know you’ll be sending an email or calling them.
  • Follow them on any social media channel where they have a presence. Re-tweet or share their posts; comment on them.

Just don’t appear to be stalking. Your goal is to keep your name in their heads. If you do that, it is far more likely they will open an email from you down the road.

5. Notify of New Services/Clients

Has your agency added new staff with specific expertise? Or you have added a white label service that could be valued by your prospects?

These things give you greater credibility and speak to your growing reputation. And those dead leads can be impressed by this.

Put this updated information in a piece of content or in a personalized email that you shoot over to your dead lead. You never know – it might just spark a psychological need to “get on board.”

6. Mix It Up

If you’ve been focusing on just one or two methods of re-contact, with no results, it’s time to change things out a bit.

Make that phone call at a different time of the day; email a prospect on a Sunday night, rather than during the week. Sunday evening is a time when many are online and planning out their coming week.

You won’t know if there are better venues or times unless you try them.

7. Plan an Event

If those dead leads are local, by all means, plan a physical event somewhere – offer food and drink and plan a very short presentation to show them what’s new that you can now offer.

If those leads are long-distance, invite them to a webinar that will be of particular interest to their niche. Perhaps you will be interviewing an influence in their sector; perhaps you will be featuring a demo of your services.

8. Keep Current on Your Dead Leads’ Sectors

You are already an expert in your own niche and the products/services you offer. How about you develop a little expertise in the industry where your leads operate?

That might be a great long-term strategy also to retain dead leads.

Follow industry news. When you find an interesting article related to a lead’s niche, send it over in an email attachment. Your email can speak to the fact that you found this piece of news particularly interesting and thought they would like to read it too.

Flatter them by asking a few questions about the news item and see if you can get them to answer back. This can open an important new door, based upon discussion of their business, not yours.

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9. Come Up with a New Incentive

Perhaps you were offering a 30-day free trial.

For a limited time, how about making that 60 or 90-days?

Do you have a lot to lose by doing this?


And if you are solid in your belief that your solution is the best – re-engaging dead leads with extra trial, should convince them too.

11. Give a Shout Out to Their Content

 Follow the blogs of your dead leads’ organizations. You may find some very interesting stuff there.

For example, perhaps the organization is involved in a charitable cause and supports that cause financially as well as by involvement. Leave a voicemail or send an email with a kudos for their support of such a worthy cause.

Flattery for something that is totally unrelated to their business or yours can nurture a relationship that leads to more communication.

Anything you can do to keep conversation flowing is a good thing.

Now it’s your turn to do lead follow up

You may have a large number of leads that have gone cold in your system. And you only have so much time to spend trying to re-kindle relationships and bring them back “into the fold.” It’s time-consuming work, and your time is valuable too.

Take a good honest look at those dead leads and prioritize them into three categories – those that are probably worth pursuing, those worth pursuing if you have the time and those that are probably in serious decay. Focus your efforts on those worth pursuing, just a few at a time.

Resurrecting dead leads can be a big and sometimes frustrating undertaking. Fortunately, if you have the patience, you may be successful.

“Pick your battles” as they say. Sometimes it might be better to simply generate new leads (here are 15 hacks to get new DA leads).

4 thoughts on “11 Lead Follow up Strategies for Agencies [guide to Re-Activate the Leads]

  1. I agree with your overall sentiment: it is a good idea to consistently review your dead or cold leads, but there comes a time when you must let them go and not waste anymore time trying to reengage them when that time could be spent attracting new leads that may actually go somewhere.

    1. Yeah, couldn’t agree with you more, Adrienne.
      That’s also was our conclusion. Know where to spend your time – sometimes to re-engage dead leads can have a higher return than finding new prospects but other times – that would not be the case. Highly depends..
      When do you move on?

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