Creative Brainstorming

Mental Whittling: Re-Engaging Customers and Cold Leads


When it comes to marketing, high-impact big ideas deservedly receive the most attention. What affects new growth the most — be it optimized ad campaigns or accurate remarketing — is often the primary, and sometimes the only, focus. However, it's important to remember that often this type of marketing focus leaves existing customers out. Learn how to re-engage cold leads and customers.

To combat a lacking or lost focus on an existing customer base, at VANQUISH Studios we do something called mental whittling. This is where we take a close look at marketing efforts that could be easily obtainable and toss around a few ideas. Generally this involves how a company interacts with cold leads or their existing or prior customer base that isn't as engaged as they used to be.

What is Mental Whittling?

Mental Whittling is essentially creatively brainstorming marketing and engagement ideas. The key difference is that the immediate goal is not to determine what specifically to do, but rather if opportunity to re-engage cold leads and existing customers possibly exists. We call it Mental Whittling because you're brainstorming in a fashion to whittle down various potential focuses to one or two focuses. Again, we're not yet determining what to do, and we're not trying to bring in fresh leads. What we're trying to do is aim for the lowest hanging fruit amongst customers that already have some sort of connection to you.

Determining Where to Focus Remarketing Efforts

There are several key questions that can be asked when starting to whittle down re-engagement opportunities that allow for remarketing to existing customers or cold leads. Examples of great questions to ask of your target market are listed below:

  1. Why are some existing customers not engaged?
  2. Why did some leads turn cold?
  3. Of the existing customers not engaged: are they still receiving a high level of value from your services or products?
  4. Is my business offering services or products that would increase residual engagement?
  5. Are my existing customers or cold leads aware of new product or service offerings?
  6. Are my marketing efforts too generic?
  7. Can customers and leads be segmented into groups where my business can more effectively speak to their needs?

Answering questions like those above can help get you pointed in the right direction.

We're experts at this. In a free 30 minute call we can help you start to whittle down areas to focus remarketing efforts on.

Re-Engaging Leads and Customers with Remarketing

At this point, you should have be able to whittle down your focus to 1-3 customer segments to focus on. Seeing as we're whittling here, we don't want to get too focused yet. The key, again, is to identify low hanging fruit that you can re-engage. This allows for several potential benefits to your marketing effort

Increase Customer Satisfaction with Remarketing

Sometimes low-engagement customers are happy enough with your services or products. That's great! Re-engaging these customers provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate your loyalty to them, offer customer service, answer questions they may have, and even spur interest in your latest products. What we're talking about here is a classic nurture campaign, but one with a personal appeal and offer to go above and beyond. This type of behavior by businesses has proven to increase the likelihood of converting customers into brand evangelists, thus increasing customer satisfaction and undoubtedly leading to more sales.

Raise Awareness of New Products or Services

For existing customers, reaching out about new products or services not only provides opportunity to increase sales, but it also keeps existing customers engaged and aware of your business. New product announcements certainly aren't a revolutionary thought, but with customer segmenting you'll be able to tailor your announcement to specific customer types.

For cold leads, new product or service announcements can help spur engagement. Perhaps your new offering is now of interest to them, when prior offerings weren't. For this reason, it's important to consider the customer when announcing new products. Simply talking about the product isn't enough; it's important to highlight why the new product or service is offered in the first place and how it solves problems not solved before.

Demonstrate Loyalty to Customers Instead of Requesting it From Them

As with offering great customer support, you may want to consider offering product samples, early bird pricing, or prototype trials to existing customers. This also has the potential to covert customers into brand evangelists, especially when considering the power of social media and word of mouth. Do not under estimate the power of offering something to existing customers — most of the time you don't have to offer much to demonstrate your commitment to them! In turn, their loyalty to your business is a lot more likely.

At VANQUISH Studios, we demonstrate loyalty to our current and past clients by watching out for them when possible. If we notice a copywriting error or broken image, we'll shoot a quick note via email. This goes for current clients as well as clients from many years ago.

Use CRM Data to Effectively Engage Leads or Existing Customers

Ideally, your business should be using a Client Relationship Management software. Most CRMs allow for the addition of custom fields to your leads and customers. In fact, this is one of the most important aspects of a CRM. Tagging customers with products or services they are interested in or have purchased, alone, offers powerful remarketing capabilities.

For leads who previously engaged with a service, such as filling out a specific lead generation form or speaking with a sales agent, you'll be able to drip a remarketing campaign to them or include them in email campaigns about that service.

For customers who purchased a product, you'll be able to send creative and engaging emails about that product to help them get the most of it — such as a short series of "How To" emails.

With the proper CRM setup, you can even track engagement levels of customers to help determine when to reach back out — be it monthly or quarterly. With enhanced knowledge of the products and service they're interested in or have purchased, you'll be able to craft exceptionally effective outreach campaigns that increase sales and grow your business.

Remember The Goal: Re-Engaging Cold Leads and Existing Customers

Remember that you aren't trying to obtain fresh leads with re-engagement campaigns. It's far more cost effective to engage your current leads and customers. While this may be harder if you don't have an existing CRM and data (this is common, and it's never too late to start), even more generic outreach campaigns to your existing customer list can be highly effective.

If you're interested in mentally whittling with us, send us a message today. We'd love to speak!

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