We as marketers work tirelessly to get leads to opt-in or subscribe…but then what? Often times, we see those new leads simply added to the standard email cadence, frequently without paying attention to how that lead came in, what their interests are, or why they’d be likely to buy.

Well, at least they’re hearing from you, right? But then we wonder why leads don’t turn into customers as predictably as we’d like.

This Happened to Me…

I signed up for a newsletter from a company that sells health supplements. I did this as an experiment, to see what they would send me. In the thirty days after I signed up, I received 38 emails from that company. The quantity of emails, in and of itself, might not have been an issue IF THE EMAILS HAD BEEN RELEVANT TO ME.

But they weren’t. In fact, I had never clicked through on any of the emails, had never visited their blog, had never done anything that could have indicated my true interests to that company. So they blasted me with information about pretty much any topic, from sleep disorders to weight loss to anxiety to focus… well, you get the idea.

Had I not been watching this as an experiment, I would have either opted out or blocked the sender.

Enrolling new leads into a “let’s give them everything in case they’re interested in something” email strategy is a strategy for DIS-engagement and failure.

So What Do You Do With New Leads?

The first thing to do is to pay attention to how that lead came in. If they took you up on a content offer, obviously the first thing to do is to deliver the content they’ve requested. Do that via email (don’t just land them on the PDF when they click submit on the form) so you know you’ve got a valid email address and can begin the engagement process.

And, if they’ve come in on a content offer, the next step is to follow-up on that content. You might offer additional blog posts they can read to augment the content they’ve received, or perhaps another download that will deepen the conversation around that topic.

If your new lead came in on a “subscribe” or “sign up” button, the most important thing to do is to figure out what that lead is truly interested in knowing more about. (This is where you find out if they truly are your perfect potential customers.)

That calls for a classic strategy we call a “Segmentation Strategy.” For new leads, the way this is executed is with a “Getting To Know Each Other Sequence.” This is along the lines of a “Welcome Series” but it’s different in one key respect: a classic Welcome Series is very “presentational” and has a simple goal of feeding that new lead some content. We call it a “Getting To Know Each Other,” or “GTKEO” sequence because the goal is to find out the interests of each specific lead.

Get To Know Each Other

The GTKEO is more than throwing content at a lead. A GTKEO Sequence is intended to deepen engagement, build trust, and advance the conversation we can have with each person who joins our list.

We follow a pretty simple recipe for ours that could work for you as well:

  • Email #1: Thanks the person for taking a committed approach to helping their online marketing get the results they deserve. In this first email, we promise to send future emails about new tools, checklists, shortcuts and other goodies to help them in their quest to gain knowledge and improve results. We also promise that in the coming days, we’ll deliver our best-of-the-best tips.
  • Email #2: Gives the subscriber a sneak peek into Kim’s (Genoo’s president) personality along with a candid non-business photo of her. This adds a certain level of emotional connection. We also deliver one or two of our most popular attractors (downloadable free offers of valuable content) that will help with key aspects of their marketing. This email has a more conversational tone. Have fun with it.  We expand the lead’s understanding about who Kim is as a person while providing a link to some of our best content.
  • Email #3: Reminds the subscriber what they’ve received thus far and encourages them to go back and check them out if they haven’t already. Our best attractor is sent with this email because that is what the subscriber will remember last. As a P.S., we reiterate what they’ll be receiving in the coming weeks and ask them to whitelist our email address.

The best part about a GTKEO sequence is that open rates are great, clickthrough rates are fantastic, and opt-outs are zero or pretty close to zero. AND… based on what a person clicks on and what offers they take, that person is adding themselves to certain segments – and we can follow-up appropriately on the interests expressed by those clicks and downloads.

(One other note: if a new lead has joined your list for a specific download, the first way to engage is with follow-up emails related to that download. Since you don’t want a new lead to get several emails from you on the same day, it’s perfectly okay to delay the send of your GTKEO sequence until the new person on your list is partly through (or all the way through) your first follow-up email sequence. You can also look at the scheduling of your sequences, think through different scenarios, and ensure your sends are staggered.)

No More Random Emails

When we understand the interests of our leads, we can deliver emails that have value and are relevant to the people who join the list. While 38 emails in 30 days is a LOT of email, if the emails had been relevant to me and aligned with my interests, I wouldn’t have minded one bit. Your leads won’t mind either.

But… when new leads are just dropped into random email sequences, we lose them. Whether they opt out or block sender or simply stop paying attention, the opportunity to engage has passed by. Which means… you guessed it… that if that new lead didn’t make a purchase right then and there, they’re now disengaged and possibly disinterested in doing business with you.

When new leads are engaged with relevant content, predicting those who will become customers becomes much easier.

IMO, it would be better to send no emails at all than to paper a new lead’s inbox with irrelevant, random emails. Think about how YOU would react to 38 irrelevant emails in 30 days? How many days would you have paid attention?

And would you have paid attention if the emails were relevant to you? See what I mean?