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Supercharge Your Pipeline

How to Engage Stale Leads

April 15, 2020

By Sarah Mead

Marketing professionals wear many hats—that’s nothing new. We juggle lead generation, demand generation, CRM management, partnerships, teammate training, securing buy-in, and so much more. Among all the responsibilities, one that continues to be a challenge is generating the right amount of traffic and leads for organizations.

Now imagine if you balanced traffic and lead generation with the drive to uncover new value from leads who already exist in your database. Many marketers are sitting on gold and not spending enough time digging.

Don’t Underestimate the Value Of Your Database

Tapping into your existing database can help you uncover tremendous revenue opportunities for your organization, while simultaneously reducing expenses associated with prospecting and outreach.

There are countless opportunities to streamline processes and communication to existing database contacts through lead nurturing and other automations. Think about the expenses you could save if your internal workflows and processes were more efficient!

Finally, outreach to your existing database can give your team useful—and accurate—analytics about the content that works for your audience. Keeping this data in mind can help you be more successful with future lead and demand generation efforts.

Develop an SLA to Streamline Lead Management

You have a massive, sprawling, overwhelming database chock-full of stale leads—where do you begin? My advice is to begin by creating a service-level agreement (SLA) between your sales and marketing teams. 

An SLA essentially defines who does what and can help each team stay accountable to collectively reach your organizational goals. With regard to your database, an SLA will help your teams understand where the line will be drawn and who will be working a given lead. The breakdown will differ by organization, but may look something like this:

Screen Shot 2020-04-15 at 9.59.15 AM

One easy way to draw the line is by using the lifecycle stage of a contact to draw the line. Typically, I recommend that blog subscribers, leads, and MQLs fall into marketing’s domain, while SQLs and opportunities are only touched by sales. Creating an agreement along these lines will help alleviate miscommunications and align expectations from the get-go.

You have leads. Yay! But how do you convert them to customers? Take a look at  this guide.

How to Engage Stale Leads in Your Database

There are a lot of creative ways you can reach leads in your database with the hopes of reviving the relationship and finding a sales opportunity. Here are a few to get you started:

Leverage Email to Increase Blog Activity

  • Ownership: Marketing Team
  • Stage: Top of funnel
  • Triggers/Workflow:
    • Send blog re-engagement email: If lead visited website x times within x amount of time, send email.
  • Goal: Engage leads from offline sources and generate subscribers as well as quality web traffic.

Blog Subscriber to SQL Lead Nurture Workflow

  • Ownership: Marketing Team
  • Stage: Top/Middle of funnel
  • Triggers/Workflow:
    • Follow up blog re-engagement email with enrollment in a blog nurture campaign. Send 3-5 content-rich emails with relevant calls to action (may require more touchpoints depending on the industry).
  • Goal: Convert subscriber to sales qualified lead.

Chat Flows, Bots, and Pop-Up Form Automation

  • Ownership: Marketing Team
  • Stage: All stages (This may seem like a top of funnel tactic, but you can use this to your advantage with re-nurturing people as well.)
  • Triggers/Workflow:
    • Think about the emails you send to contacts in your database and pages on your website that you link them to. Make sure those pages have prominent conversion opportunities (chat flow, pop-up form, and so on) to attempt to capture additional data.
    • Capture activity data and create triggers for content-based workflows.
    • Workflow based on visiting area of the Resource Center.
  • Goal: Re-engage a lead or move them to the next stage of their Buyer’s Journey.

Usage-Based Triggers for SaaS Companies

  • Ownership: Marketing/Sales Team
  • Stage: Bottom of funnel
  • Triggers/Workflow:
    • Set up inactive parameters:
      • Newsletter to be sent based on certain behavior.
      • Reach out if prospect or user hasn’t logged into platform for a certain amount of weeks or months.
      • Send a notification or enroll in workflow once free trial period comes to a close.
      • Set up abandoned cart workflows.
  • Goal: Re-engage once active leads and create new deal opportunities.

Welcome Drip Campaigns for Leads from Offline Sources

  • Ownership: Marketing/Sales Team
  • Stage: Bottom of funnel
  • Triggers/Workflow:
    • Mark as SQL and allow window of time for the sales team to attempt to reach out.
    • If no luck after two weeks, mark as MQL and send through content-based nurture workflow.
    • Use re-engagement workflow after designated time has passed since last outreach (for example, if lead hasn’t opened email in six weeks or if they’ve bounced, remove).
  • Goal: Identify high-quality trade show leads and sales opportunities.

Get Started

These five ideas are simply prompts to get you started, but the possibilities for engaging stale leads are endless. As an organization, remember how much potential value your database already has and prioritize strategies to tap in. You might be amazed at the revenue opportunities and cost savings you find.


Learn how to quickly convert leads into your next customers with:

The Busy Marketer’s Guide to Converting Leads into Customers

Check It Out
Topics: Marketing Strategy, Lead Nurturing, Marketing Automation, Sales Enablement