I’ve heard it many times from entrepreneurs and managers in small businesses. The story goes something like this:
We’re been to a few trade shows and gathered a lots of email contacts but we don’t know what to do with it. We have no idea who these people are and trying to get in touch with them would just be a waste of time.
That quote is nearly verbatim what a small business owner told me a few months back. Whenever I hear something like this, I am always astounded. It sounds like pure insanity! Someone decided to give you their valuable contact information and you don’t think it’s worthwhile following up? Sure, a good number of them are probably dead leads—especially if you’ve been sitting on the list for a while. The longer you wait to reach out to your database, the more likely these leads have moved on to different companies and have different emails. Still, late is better than never.
What Have You Got To Lose?
Sending an email isn’t like direct mail—it won’t exhaust your marketing dollar. And who knows, hiding within your database, you may just find a handful of great customers. Just letting these leads sit in your database isn’t doing you any favors. Instead of allowing your database to be clogged with garbage leads, reach out to them and see what happens. Yes, you’re likely to get plenty of unsubscribes and see a good many marked a spam. This will only help you discover who the real leads are.
What Should the Email Look Like?
Two important things to remember, especially if you’re emailing a bunch of unknown leads, are don’t try to over-sell your company and give them useful information. Instead of providing a purely promotional offer, an email that provides your database with information will likely see a higher open rate and a higher click-through rate. Your website should be set up to sell your business and it can do a much better job at that than an email can. Build trust with an email that provides valuable information.
Have more than just an email? Use it! The more ways you can engage your database the better. Give them a call and improve your customer information. By cleaning up your database, you will be able to realize more effective marketing and sales campaigns and you will have more accurate customer information. Don’t let dead leads weigh down your database, start reaching out to them and start earning new business.