by Jeanette LeBlanc
Back in the good ol’ days of the Internet, people often had just had one email address, and kept it for years and years and years—even when it might have been embarrassing ([email protected], anyone?).
Today, most people have had multiple personal addresses—often several at the same time. Beyond multiple personal addresses for different purposes, the job market—and frequent career changes—means that professional email addresses can frequently change. Your lead may have been a good one, and even engaged with your content, but if she is on multiple email lists, she may not have remembered to change her contact information when she switched companies or switched back to Gmail.
It’s easier to reengage a former lead than to win over a new one, but in order to do this, you’re going to have to find a way to recover those bounced email addresses. If your opt-in forms only collect name and/or email address, you may be out of luck.
However, if you have collected other data such as a website, secondary emails, or a phone number, some manual effort may bring this lead back into the fold. You could even check out a reliable social media platform, like LinkedIn, to figure out new contact information.
Remember, not every bounced lead will be worth this extra effort, but if your bounced lead was a hot one, with solid engagement and receptivity to past communications, the extra sleuthing may be worth your while.
If you do manage to track down new contact information for a strong lead that has bounced, consider a more personal initial reengagement effort rather than simply adding them back onto your list. Reach out via email or phone (depending on what is most appropriate for your process) to reconnect and to see if they have any questions or concerns about re-engaging with your company.
Unfortunately, many of your hard bounces may indeed be lost into the ether. To minimize the chance that this will happen in the future, and to help you determine which leads are worth the extra effort, consider the following techniques:
1. Progressive profiling
If you only ever collect your leads’ name and email address, your contact options are limited. Instead, consider implementing progressive profiling, where additional information is requested incrementally as a lead engages with your content. Early engagements only require basic information, and subsequent visits collect more specific lead data.
- Leads become more qualified over time
- Conversions increase, as fewer fields are required on each web form
- Additional tracking options in the case of a future hard bounce
2. Lead Scoring:
If you’ve been building your list for long you’ll know that all leads are not created equal. But it’s not always easy to know which leads you should spend time on. Incorporate a system of lead scoring (usually available via your CRM or email software). Lead scoring assigns a score to each lead based on actions they take with your website, emails, or content. This will enable to you quickly determine if a hard bounced lead is worth the extra effort to track down, and help you focus your future marketing efforts.