Imagine you have several hundred email subscribers, who have been on your company list for three years.
During that period, they occasionally opened your emails. Maybe there was a six-month blip where they basically forgot about you…. But then one of your subject lines caught their eye, and they started reading you again.
They’ve never bought, mind – but they keep an eye out for your marketing material.
Are these leads worth anything?
Are you wasting your time by emailing them week in, week out? Or is there hope that one day they’ll convert?
It’s not hypothetical. If you’re sending out emails you’ll have many subscribers just as I described.
Same thing if you’re posting on social media, or blogging. The majority of your readers are quietly reading you once in a while, without making any kind of enquiry.
It’s only natural that you start wondering whether they ever will…!
So today, I want to give you a new way to think about these frustrating leads.
I think of them as points on a thermometer.
Right at the top, you have the ‘hot’ temperatures – the leads who know, like and trust you, have an urgent need for your product or service, and are just waiting to hand over their cash to you…… These are your keen buyers. Unfortunately they’re also a tiny minority!
A bit lower down you have a bigger group – those who are ‘warm’. They, too, need you, but they’re not quite ready to buy yet. They want to hear more about how you’re going to help them.
Then, at the bottom, are the cold ones. They’re interested in what you have to say, and could even use your services, but it’s not urgent at all for them. They might not even fully understand that they have a real problem, and certainly don’t understand how you can help. They are the majority.
Your job as a marketer is to gradually warm up all those leads until they hit ‘hot’.
That means you have to help those at the bottom of the thermometer – the cold ones – understand that they have a problem they need to deal with….
You need to help the warm leads grasp how you can help them…
And you need to get the hot leads to commit to buying now.
Just as different materials heat up at different speeds, people heat up at different speeds too.
Some people can zip up your thermometer in a matter of days. Others take years.
Take me. Last month, I bought an online course from a marketer whose email list I joined on November 15, 2014.
In other words, I’d been receiving his emails for over two years. In that period, I had heard from him exactly 904 times but until December, wasn’t even thinking of buying.
His persistence paid off.
Similarly, we recently recovered our sofas. Every week, I noticed an upholstery ad in the Saturday Times and thought, “Yeah, I really should call them,” but it took an entire year before I actually picked up the phone…
Not everyone, of course, will reach ‘hot’. The majority won’t.
Keep on nurturing them.
Not just once a month or once a quarter – but really regular communication – a drip, drip, which over time has a cumulative impact.
As Alec Baldwin says in Glengarry Glen Ross (and this time, unlike a couple of weeks ago, I’m going to quote him approvingly), “A guy don’t walk on the lot lest he wants to buy.”
If they’re still opening your emails, it’s usually for a reason. They’re somewhere on that thermometer.
It’s your job to warm them up.