Sales Funnel Recycling 101: Re-Engaging Old Leads & Customers

Post by
Chris Mitchell
Minute Read
January 23, 2020
Last Updated:
October 19, 2020

Extensive market studies have shown that you're 60-70% likely to sell an existing customer, while the success rate with new prospects is only 5-20%. If you're looking to quickly boost revenue without spending a fortune to acquire a new audience, try focusing on the leads and customers you already have and how you can help them progress down the sales funnel to become customers.

Sales funnel recycling is a good way to capitalize on these leads and convert them into opportunities. By focusing on people who are already familiar with your brand and offerings, you can reduce the amount of time needed for them to engage with you and get down the funnel.

What Is Sales Funnel Recycling?

The idea behind sales funnels recycling is to re-engage old leads that may already be interested in your services but may have stalled out at some point as they progress down the funnel. There can be a variety of reasons contacts who were once interested in and engaged with your brand become unresponsive, and many of them have to do with timing. Maybe the company has freed up a budget or the contact has moved into a more senior place in the office, giving them the ability to decide on hiring your company or purchasing your product. These people are worth approaching again to see if they are now ready to move forward.

The Benefits Of Sales Funnel Recycling

There are many benefits to recycling old leads, including:

Cost Savings: If you’re paying for new leads, generating business from people you already have in your database can save you money. 

Time Savings: Businesses who use salespeople and events to generate more leads can scale back on these activities.

Success Rate: The chance of conversion with these warm leads is higher than with new, cold leads that may just be starting the journey. They also take less time to close, improving your metrics on how long it takes for a lead to become a customer. 

Database Accuracy: If the old leads you have taking up spots in your database are old and outdated, they can bounce and lead to major email servers viewing your emails as spam. Discovering that these addresses are no longer valid and removing them will help cut down on the number of emails that bounce and improve the accuracy of your database.

Increase Conversions With Lead Nurturing

Nurturing leads through the process can mean creating content to help them progress through each stage of the funnel.

lead nurturing workflow

A special nurturing campaign for these people can leave out many of the awareness pieces you would send to totally new people to help familiarize them with you. Instead, you can start the campaign with a short email that reminds the reader who you are, what you offer and how they can find out more. From there, you can delve right into the more persuasive sales language you might normally save for later in the process. 

Refining Your Marketing Funnel - Four Strategies to Boost Your Email Marketing

Generate New Leads and Referrals 

Tapping into the power of referrals can help fill your database with fresh names who may already be looking for the product or service you offer. People put a lot of trust into referrals friends and coworkers give them, so getting your current customers to pass your name along can lead to a spike in interest and a surge in new business. You can send an email asking for your existing clients to pass your contact information along to others, or try a more trackable approach like asking them to share a social media post about your brand or giving them a referral link to provide to interested potential customers. These approaches will allow you to see how effective each tactic is in terms of how many people view or click on the link or posting. 

Turn Customers Into Brand Advocates

brand advocacy

Happy, satisfied customers are less apt to leave reviews than those that are upset or unsatisfied. If you're seeing negative reviews of your business on social media or a lack of any reviews at all, asking your customer base to leave a positive review for you is a good starting point.  Customers that are genuinely enthusiastic about your brand can become your best evangelists on social media because the praise they offer comes from an authentic place. If you’ve never asked for reviews or testimonials from your customer base, a simple email with a link to your social media profiles can generate a surprising amount of traffic. Most customers will leave a review for a business they are happy with, provided it is easy and convenient to do it. Giving them a direct path to where they can quickly rate your business makes them much more likely to actually do it. 

Sales Funnel Recycling Strategies

Use the tools and information you have to target these leads and help them overcome the objections they may have that are stopping them from purchasing. Some effective strategies include: 

Custom Tailored Offer

Create a new offer for those people who have an issue with your pricing. If you aren't able to lower your prices, emphasize the value you provide to help these leads understand why your product or service is worth the expense. 

Address Concerns and Objections

Address their concerns in targeted marketing pieces. Identify common objections that come up during your sales process, and use content pieces to neutralize these concerns. 

Automate Lead Nurturing With Visual Workflows

As you become more adept at sales funnel recycling, you're likely to find ways to automate the process and make it effortless for yourself. You can build workflows with marketing automation to help contacts who have gone unresponsive to engage with you after a certain amount of time has passed. Those who have turned down a proposal or sale can be put into a workflow with very few emails to allow you to remain in contact but in a non-aggressive way. Using the information you have in house about your sales funnel and how long it takes the average person to buy, you can customize the time frames during which these emails are sent to improve your chances of success.

Generate & Qualify Leads With Inbound Content and Marketing Automation

Marketing automation visual workflow

Sales funnel recycling gives you an opportunity to reach out and build more of a relationship with people who may need what you offer, capture valuable referrals and turn your best customers into brand advocates. Segmenting these people, so they receive specific information that compels them is often the key to a successful campaign.

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