B2B Marketing Lead Reactivation “Phoenix” Project

B2B Marketing Act NowHow to Generate Revenue from Your Dead Lead Pool

Most companies have a database of contacts that have gone stale. There are a variety of different names for these lists including: the dead lead pool, lapsed customer list, or inactive database. But whatever we call it, this group of people/companies often have significant revenue potential. In other words, the dead leads are not so dead after all. Like the legendary Phoenix bird they can rise from the ashes to help make your revenue goals a reality.

Consider how people came to be in your inactive file in the first place. Perhaps they were unresponsive to your emails or phone calls. Or maybe they told you they weren’t in the market at the time or purchased from competitors. The first two groups may have been a timing issue – they just weren’t ready at the time you first interacted with them. But please remember that with an average B2B marketing promotion, only 3-6 percent of responders are in an active buying cycle. Another 7-10 percent are not ready to buy at the time but will enter a buying cycle within six months. And a whopping 30 percent-plus will buy a similar product or service sometime in the future.

Don’t Give Up

In other words, for every suspect who became a viable sales opportunity, there are 4-6 who will do so in the future. So the last thing you want to do is to give up on these people. My suggestion is to give them soft offers (information-oriented, not hard sales) to get them to re-engage with you. It is also important that if you contact them via email, you include an opportunity for them to opt-out of future emails. Typically, response rates to this type of reactivation program will be much higher than a similar size promotion to a new list. This is why lead nurturing can be even more important than the original lead generation programs.

What if you don’t have email addresses as part of your contact information? If this is the case, by all means make phone calls instead to the list. You may not catch that many prospects on the phone so make sure you leave a strong compelling message. For example: “Hi. I’m Chris Ryan from Fusion Marketing Partners. I know that we haven’t been in contact for a while, but I wanted to let you know we have a great report showing how companies in your industry have cut their lead cost by 60 percent and increased their sales close rates by 32 percent. I’ll rush a copy to you if you call me at 719-357-6280.” This sort of message gets straight to the point while also offering an enticing reason to return the call.

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The Leads Might Not Be Dead Yet

As for the third group that comprises your “dead lead pool” – just because they purchased from a competitor doesn’t mean you should stop communications. These leads have a strong chance of being reactivated because they may now be unhappy with their purchase, their contract has expired, or a myriad of other reasons. And if they dislike their current supplier, you may even get some referral business, as they take a few clients with them to you.

Several years ago I read a book about sales where the author was an experienced B2B sales manager. Because he was afraid to waste valuable inbound leads on his rookie sales reps, he told them to follow up on the so-called dead leads. Although he expected minimal if any positive results, he told the new reps that the leads were valuable. You can probably guess the punch line – the new reps generated a bunch of revenue from the dead lead pool, proving that there was more than one Phoenix in the bunch.

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Christopher Ryan

Christopher Ryan has 25 years of marketing, technology, revenue growth experience. As both a marketing executive and services provider, Chris has created and executed numerous programs that build market awareness, drive lead generation and increase revenue.
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3 comments

  • Myron Berg July 21, 2010   Reply →

    Thanks for the interesting statistics on contacts and when they’re ready to buy. It really puts things in perspective when you consider that only 3% – 6% are in an active buying cycle. The numbers certainly make a strong case for ongoing and long-term lead nurturing.

  • John Leavy July 21, 2010   Reply →

    Great post Chris,
    It makes a lot of sense to never consider a lead “really” dead. The marketing automation paractices of today help be letting companies nurture those “dead” leads with little effor through vehicles such as email marketing campaigns. Thanks.

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