A few years back, Greg Behrendt and Liz Tuccillo wrote a book called “He’s Just Not That Into You: The No-Excuses Truth to Understanding Guys.” According to Behrendt and Tuccillo, “He’s just not that into you if he’s not asking you out.”
I like to use the dating analogy when talking about building a relationship with leads. If your leads are not opening your emails, “They are just not that into what you have to say.”
Here are some common excuses we hear over and over again, along with best practice tips for turning these excuses into buyers.
The “Maybe they’re just not ready to buy” excuse:
I have these leads that just don’t seem to respond to any of my emails. We have a long sales cycle and I’m reluctant to stop communicating with these leads because I don’t want them to forget about us when they are finally ready to buy. I want to make sure they remember we’re here. We strive to stay “top of mind.”
If your leads are not opening your emails, they are just not that into your message. If your content was compelling, reaching the right audience and addressing a specific need, believe me, your leads would respond. Relentlessly sending the same blanket message over and over again, “hoping” that eventually someone will open it is costly. You might be “top of mind”, but you don’t want to be remembered for being annoying.
One way to engage your audience and learn more about their preferences and interests is to launch a ‘stay in touch’ campaign that actually asks those exact questions. In reality, you’ll always have some leads that don’t engage or unsubscribe, and that’s ok. What you will gain in return is far more valuable and that’s a greater understanding of those who really are interested and how best to communicate with them.
The “But, they gave me their email address” excuse:
We recently returned from a trade show where we gathered several hundred business cards with email addresses as part of an iPad giveaway. We loaded all of these leads into our MA system and have launched an email campaign with a call to action that asks to set an appointment with one of our salespeople. Only 3 people have completed the form. Two of them were looking for a job and the 3rd was already a client. On top of that, about 3% of them unsubscribed. I don’t understand why we haven’t converted more of these leads. It’s my job to show ROI for this event. What can I do?
Dear Coming on too Strong,
Who among us doesn’t have iPad envy these days? I would gladly give up my email address for a chance to win an iPad. But that is not an indicator of my willingness to buy a company’s product or service. While these tactics have their place on the trade show floor, it’s important to remember that, at this point, they are nothing more than a prospect.
Timely trade show follow up is crucial. I applaud your efforts on this point. But what is even more important to quick follow up is the message. The truth is, these prospects don’t know you that well. Now that the show is over, they’ve moved on to trying to catch up after being out of the office for several days. And, they are used to being bombarded with post-show emails.
The natural tendency is to hit delete or unsubscribe. If you really want to engage your trade show audience, provide them with a piece of content that helps them get to know you better before you ask them to “go steady”.
Here’s a Bonus Tip: Divide your trade show attendee list into two categories. Those you actually spoke to about your product or service and those who just dropped their card in a fish bowl. Different messages will resonate with each group.
The ”They may not be opening my emails, but they didn’t opt out” excuse:
I have roughly 200,000 contacts in my database. About half of them have not responded to an email in over a year. If they weren’t at least somewhat interested in my content, wouldn’t they just opt out?
Dear Head in the Sand,
There is a phenomenon out there called the “passive unsubscribe” and it’s real. Think about the first thing you do when you log into your email account. You clean out the junk. It takes far less effort to delete than it does to unsubscribe. By hitting the delete button, you are passively communicating your lack of interest.
If the target you are emailing doesn’t know you, or your subject line doesn’t resonate, he will hit delete. The same holds true even if the target does know you, but she just doesn’t find your message compelling. What if the person you’re emailing isn’t the right point of contact? You guessed it… delete.
Many marketers are reluctant to ask the question: “Do you still want to hear from me?” because they are afraid of the answer. However, there is power in knowing your audience and weeding out those who “just aren’t that into you”. It’s far more costly to keep them in your database as inactive than it is to opt them out. By giving people the opportunity to opt in or out, you are learning valuable information about your database that will enable you to market to them more effectively.
The “More Is Better” excuse:
People keep talking about the importance of segmentation and sending the right message, at the right time, to the right people. I just don’t buy it. We have a large database of leads and I really feel that the more people I try to reach, the greater chance for conversion. After all, it is a numbers game, right?
Dear More Is Not Always Better,
Why is sending an email to your entire database not a great idea? For one, it is skewing your results. Let’s say that you are holding a live regional event in Georgia. Consider the vastly different results based on the following three scenarios.
Scenario 1: Send invite to entire database of 200,000 leads, which consists of people located all over the world. 100 people submit the registration form. This results in a 0.0005% conversion rate. This would be considered a failure.
Scenario 2: Employing a bit of segmentation, to cull the list to include leads located in Southern and Mid-Atlantic States, results in 10,000 leads. This yields the same 100 form submissions, but results in a 1% conversion rate. Not stellar. But, improved.
Scenario 3: Take those 10,000 leads in the southern and mid-Atlantic states and narrow them further, filtering on job titles. Let’s assume this results in a list of 1,000 leads. Sending that same email invite to the highly targeted list of 1000 also yields 100 form submissions, which results in a 10% conversion rate. That’s a huge difference.
The bottom line here is that the best results come from knowing your audience. A one-message-fits-all approach rarely works. If you are relentlessly emailing your database without regard to their preferences and interests, or if you’re coming on too strong, too soon, your results will suffer.
Don’t fall prey to the “he’s just not that into you” rut. If a target isn’t interested, find out what does interest him and provide content that appeals to that interest. If she still isn’t interested, move on to someone who is and spend your efforts cultivating that relationship throughout all stages of the buy cycle. You’ll be glad you did.