How To Nurture Cold Leads in an Outbound Sales Campaign

Have you ever got so busy that you completely ignore email and voicemail for a week? Maybe you were on vacation. Or you were out sick. Or maybe you just had your head down wrapping up a big project on a tight deadline and had no time for external distractions.

Prospects are no different. During any given week, there's a real chance someone who you're trying to reach might be interested in your product but is just too busy or distracted to respond.

For whatever reason, it's just not the right time to have the conversation you want to have. One day, this person might make a great customer. But definitely not today, probably not this week and maybe not even this quarter.

If all your campaigns are set to hit prospects five or six times within a single week, you're leaving sales on the table. Worse, you're probably annoying someone who could be interested in your product with too many messages too close together.

To get around this, I borrow an idea from the long-tail marketing playbook and set up what I call an outbound nurture campaign.

The Outbound Nurture Campaign

There are no hard and fast rules for this type of outbound campaign. But in general I start with a couple of touches during week one, on back-to-back days.

Then I wait. And wait and wait and wait.

Sometimes I wait as much much as 90 days between my third and fourth emails. Sometimes just 45. I mix it up. The point is to let a real length of time go by to give prospects time to deal with whatever it was that might have been distracting them and hopefully catch them at a better time. Then I send the next couple of touches in a burst on back-to-back days again.

Touch 3 sounds something like this:

"Hi {first name},

I wrote you a note a few months ago and never heard back. I know you're still in {role} at {company} and I want to talk to you about {value proposition} for {my product}. Are you free tomorrow at 1 p.m. for a call?"

The next touch isn't much different but might highlight a customer success story from a company in a similar space or share a piece of interesting content.

If I see these prospects are still opening my emails, not opting out of my campaign but not responding, that's great. I take it as a sign of some level of interest in the product. They stay in the campaign and after another 45 to 90 days, they'll get another quick burst of emails.

Even if the only result after 6 months or a year is these people visit my website and and learn more about my product, I consider that success. Especially in the world of SaaS sales, any education my prospective customers get about my product is going to be helpful in the long run.

In previous roles, I've closed deals with this method. Big deals. Deals where I didn't get a response from a prospect for more than year. Then, all of a sudden a prospect becomes a customer.

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Stay tuned for more of the latest in outbound sales best practices and methods.

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