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How to Use Lead Nurturing to Re-Engage Your Contact List

How to Use Lead Nurturing to Re-Engage Your Contact List

September 3, 2014

By Amber Kemmis


Do you have a big contact database that may or may not include actual, qualified leads? If you do, you’re not alone.  Every year 25% of contact databases will expire and many will do nothing to clean out this list. Instead, marketers send email after email to this database because they believe the more people they reach the more successful email marketing will be. Contrary to this belief, holding onto your entire contact database over the years is actually harmful in a number of ways including:

  • Old contacts can consume your budget, especially if you are paying for each contact to be housed in your database

  • Email marketing analytics become convoluted from contacts who will likely never buy from you

  • Your brand reputation may be at stake. Do you want to be known as the spammer? Sending email blasts to a database that hasn’t been cleaned in years may result in your brand being known as a spamming company.

While many of these contacts may be dead end leads or customers who won’t be coming back, you won’t know the true quality of them if you don’t clean out your database and try to re-engage those that are worthy. Although completely dependent on your sales cycle, I’d recommend cleaning out any contacts who haven’t clicked an email, downloaded your content or visited your website in the last 6 months before sending any new emails.

Once your list is cleansed, you can use lead nurturing to re-engage those who haven’t engaged in a while but are still quality leads. Because lead nurturing is an automated process for email campaigns, it’s the ideal method to re-engage contacts. Once you establish re-engagement campaigns through the use of lead nurturing, you can keep these campaigns in place to continually clean out contacts.

5 Ways to Re-Engage Your Contact List with Lead Nurturing

1. Surveys

Why won’t your contacts open your emails? Is it because they don’t find your content valuable? Are you being too promotional and they’d rather receive informational content? The best way to find out is to ask. Below is an example of a great re-engagement survey. Not only does Stoneyfield make it easy to opt in or out, they also use fun and engaging copy to ensure contacts want to stay in touch.


Working on building relationships with your personas? Download "The Lead  Nurturing Campaign Planning Workbook".    

2. Segment & Personalize

If you aren’t already segmenting your list by the contact’s marketing persona or unique characteristics, it is no wonder why you have a giant database of unengaged contacts. Not only should your lead nurturing emails be customized to the contact’s name, they should also be drafted to appeal to that contact’s pain points, objectives and interests. To re-engage your database, set-up lead nurturing campaigns that show you really know who the contact is.

3. Show Them Why They Should Engage

When I say show them, I literally mean to give them something visual. We all get hundreds of emails in a week so you have to make your emails eye catching to stand out in the crowd.  Keep in mind that visually appealing content doesn’t mean clutter.  If design is too busy, the contact won’t know what you want them to do next. Keep your email’s objective in line with design.

4. Serve Up Fresh Content

It’s nearly impossible to re-engage contacts who’ve already read your content and know all there is to know about your product or service.  To re-engage contacts, one of the most important things you can do is develop new, compelling content that is relevant to them.  

5. Offer Incentives

If you are often sending out newsletters, promotions and some drip campaigns, your contacts likely think that you’ll always be around when they need you, but what can you do to make them need you now? Offer discounts or limited time offers to incentivize contacts to re-engagement today rather than tomorrow.

After running several re-engagement campaigns, clean out all those contacts who still aren’t engaging despite your continued efforts. Your brand, budget and those contacts will appreciate you so much more.


Nurture your leads through the pipeline with:

The Lead Nurturing Campaign Planning Workbook

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Topics: Inbound Marketing, Email Marketing, Lead Nurturing, Growth Hacking