To succeed in small business marketing, you must build and maintain an effective plan for converting more leads into qualified prospects ready, willing and able to buy from you. The process is a fragile one. No matter how hard you try, you will have leads that get “lost” and drop out of the lead nurturing process.

In today’s always-on culture of 24/7/365 digital engagement, people are distracted by the never-ending stream of online content — not to mention life’s day-to-day crazy activities. Even if they really want the solution you offer, only 50% convert into a lead and only 25% are sales-ready.

When leads ARE lost, don’t fret. You can still take steps to try and get them back on board. Here a a few ways you can re-engage lost leads that have somehow slipped through the cracks.

An Ounce Of Prevention…

There’s an old saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” Make this philosophy  an integral part of your marketing, and your life will be a lot easier. So what can you do to try and keep leads from leaking out of your sales funnel? Examine your lead generation process to find out where it is breaking down. The problem could be friction – it could be too difficult to sign up or to download and access your content.

lost leads
Image Source: Conversion XL

It could be your content and copy that is causing the problem. Is your content compelling and engaging, or “stuffy” and boring? Is it focused mainly on you and your product, a very common, costly mistake, or focused on your reader and how you can help them solve a pressing problem?

How effective are your content titles? Do they grab and keep your reader’s attention or do they pretty much guarantee your content will be ignored?

Are you even selling the right product or service to the right market? This is important. You wouldn’t try to sell steaks to vegetarians. So make sure the group you are trying to sell to wants and can afford what you offer.

One of the beautiful things about marketing, especially digital marketing, is that it can always be improved and optimized. Lead nurturing effectiveness is no exception. One step you can easily take to find out where leads are bailing on you is to ask them. You can either email them, call them or send a quick and easy survey.

Regardless of how you choose to try to re-engage lost leads, you will need to look at re-engagement as a multi-step process, not a one time event. If they don’t respond to your first, or second, or third contact, try again!


Want to succeed at re-engaging lost leads? Remember this question: “What’s in it for me?” Whenever you ask your lead to take an action that will involve taking another step toward a sale, he’s asking himself this question (at least subconsciously). Ask yourself why he would want to re-engage with you. Then give him a powerful reason(s) to re-engage.

That may involve a special purchase arrangement with powerful bonuses and financial incentives. It may mean that you need to craft special content. Maybe you need to pick up the phone and call him. You want to use the often forgotten, but still effective offline tactic of direct mail.

Have You Considered Retargeting?

Some leads may fall through the cracks because they forgot about you. This may be because your content delivery and nurturing activities were not well-timed. It could be because your lead got distracted by the chaos of life. But regardless of why it happened, there’s a marketing technology solution you might want to consider: retargeting, sometimes called remarketing.

lost leads

We’ve all seen retargeting at work. You visit a company’s website. Now, when you go to other sites, you see ads reminding you of your visit. Retargeting is an effective way to remind lost leads about your business, products and services. You can harness the power of retargeting to spur reengagement. However, don’t proceed blindly or without a solid plan, including an ironclad understanding of what it will cost you. Before you just dive in, check out helpful online resources such as this retargeting how-to guide

Closing The Loop

So what do you do if you have tried and tried to re-engage a lost lead? Eventually, if they don’t respond, you will want to let them go. As a last-ditch effort before you purge them from your list, you might want to send an email such as this one:

lost leads

An email like this will lead to three possible outcomes:

  1. They will reply telling you they are still interested. You can re-engage them at this point
  1. They will reply and tell you they have chosen another option. It happens. You can either move on (this may be your best option), or try to keep convincing them to re-engage with you (and potentially waste a lot of time).
  1. They don’t respond. Your best bet may be to purge them from your list. Not all leads are created equal. Trying to re-engage leads that are truly dead will sap your energy and cause your productivity to plummet. You need to let them go

Let’s say you’ve succeeded at re-engaging a lost lead. Congratulations! But your job isn’t done. Before you start trying to re-engage ANY lost leads, you better be sure you have a solid lead nurturing process in place so you don’t make the same mistake and lose the same lead twice.

By following these simple and actionable tips, you’ll convert more leads into revenue and stay top of mind as your audience makes that always important buying decision — hopefully that decision is to buy from you.