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Disqualifying Leads Without Alienating Them as Future Customers - Part 2: Cultivating Non-Leads with Automated Marketing
In the modern marketing industry, there is a disturbing trend of alienating non-leads through unkind jokes, blunt re-directs, and content denial. In the first half of this article, we talked about how many companies are taking a short-sighted approach to their lead qualification content, going so far as to ask non-leads to insult themselves when refusing to join a newsletter or sign up for a service.
A Solution for the Alienated Lead Problem
"No thanks, my customers don't need great service" the button says, and you can't help but feel a little offended. Last time, we covered the true value of a non-lead, whether they are a future customer, a potential influencer, or researching for a decision-maker. Today, we're here to solve the problem we have framed. The answer to this undervaluing of disqualified leads is as simple as the problem: automated marketing.
The true misconception to the shortsighted alienation is that it's not necessary. Companies may feel like they are "wasting resources" on "non-buyers". But in reality, automated marketing is infinite. So you have nothing to lose from opening your digital doors to leads and non-leads alike.
With Automated Marketing, There's No Need to Alienate Today's Non-Leads
Alienating non-leads with an automated message is foolish precisely because that message is automated. It costs your business nothing to send the pop-up, so why use it to turn "non-leads" away? We've already discussed how important the attention and approval of non-leads can be. The next step is realizing how effective automated marketing is at taking care of those leads without using up any real company resources like support agent time or scheduled sales demos.
Chatbot Time is Infinite
Sales and chat agent time may be valuable, but a chatbot can hold an infinitely long conversation with an infinite number of leads without costing the company any additional resources. So you have every reason, in fact, to encourage non-leads to get all their answers through your static help section and from automated chatbots rather than sending them away when "disqualified". Keep them engaged and partially-qualified instead, and see what happens.
Welcome Your Non-Leads to Come Back Any Time
When your automated marketing tools determine that a lead is not going to buy at this time, don't send them away. Welcome them back. Remember that there's always a chance this person will come back to buy later or will recommend your services to a friend, colleague, boss, or readership. If you have truly gated content and reasons to keep that gate mostly shut to non-customers, consider creating a special landing page just to tell non-leads that they are welcome to come back at any time, or to direct them toward content that is free without making an account.
Instead of booting non-leads, help them enjoy your brand in ways that non-customers can enjoy without using up company resources, revealing gated information, or confusing the sales team.
Provide Resources and Links for Non-Leads Making Recommendations
Consider the very likely possibility that an engaged but non-converting lead might be researching for someone else instead. Your "non-leads" may feel that they're not the right person to make a customer account or that they can't commit to any scheduling for demos or consultations because they are not the decision-maker. Rather than booting these leads because they are not important or decisive enough, equip them instead.
Give non-leads who seem interested in your content an automated guided tour. Provide links and suggestions for other content you offer that they might be interested in. In fact, you might even consider putting together a few automated or video demos so that researching leads (this should probably be a new lead category, especially for B2B) can make truly informed recommendations and come away with a great impression of your brand's helpfulness.
Open Up Gated Content for Journalists
Journalist non-leads are valuable beyond measure because they have a readership of potential customers waiting on their recommendation or review of your online content. The last thing you want to do is slam a content gate in their faces or insult journalist leads for not being paying customers.
For companies that welcome in-depth journalistic reviews or recommendations of their products, consider an alternative to the mailing list for gated content. Journalists often want to see your infographics, white papers, and automated demos, but they certainly don't need to sign up for thousands of mailing lists just to write about companies and products.
Always Keep an Open Mind and Open Funnel for All Leads, Qualified or Disqualified
Finally, no matter what specific tactics you use, remember that all leads are valuable. Keep an open mind when considering the difference between qualification and disqualification. Today's non-lead could be tomorrow's customer, an influential journalist, or someone who will recommend your brand to others even if they never buy for themselves.
Through automated marketing, you can open your arms, content, and brand to these non-leads rather than using those same resources to send them away. For more insights into automated marketing and the best tactics for your company's true goals, contact us today.
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