Zoe-lee Skelton
Zoe-lee Skelton 17 September 2015
Categories Ecommerce, Email & eCRM

6 Proven Ways To Win Back Lost Leads And Sales

There are a number of strategies you can put in place to help you get those lost leads and sales back. Here are six ways.

Is there anything more frustrating that losing a lead or a sale at the last hurdle? Sometimes losing leads and sales is a fact of life, but when shopping cart abandonments are rising month on month, and sales figures are decreasing, you know the problem most likely sits within your business.

Not all website visitors are ready to buy from you and perhaps someone did just change their mind about purchasing something. However, it’s good to know that there are a number of strategies you can put in place to help you get those lost leads and sales back. Here are six ways.

1. Simplify The Checkout Process

According to research, 68% of shopping carts are abandoned mid-checkout and this is usually due to obstacles in the sales path. From overly complicated form fills, to compulsory registration checkout options, barriers in the transaction turn prospects off quickly and potentially put them in touch with a competitor. A short, clear pathway to purchase will keep customers engaged. Here are a few tips to help you keep the checkout process simple:

  • use the postcode as a way to auto populate addresses
  • let newcomers check out as a guest – it’s convenient and they’ll likely sign up as a member later on
  • integrate with PayPal so they can use their pre-existing delivery address and payment details
  • remove distractions from the site such as pop ups and adverts – it will let them focus on the task at hand
  • Avoid surprise charges – an unexpected add on cost which pushes the price up will likely disappoint. Be clear about overheads such as shipping and VAT upfront.

Finally, let customers know how many steps there are to complete the transaction as this will maintain attention.

ASOS is a good example of a clean interface with a transaction progress visualiser:


Whilst simplifying the checkout process doesn’t address the problem of leads that got away, this tip is more of a preventative measure to stop people abandoning their carts in the first place.

2. Follow Up With Basket Abandonment Emails – Plus A Discount

Have you ever abandoned a purchase, received a reminder email about the product you were going to buy and then purchased the item thanks to a generous discount? Yes? Well then, you should know that this is a fantastic incentive to win back business.

Research has found that 75% of visitors who abandon their carts don’t actually intend to buy from you. As counter-productive as that sounds, thinking of these prospects simply as time-wasters and not trying to get them to follow through with their purchase would be detrimental. You can still recover their interest and the best way to do that is communicate with them.

So, whilst an industry average suggests that 75% of website visitors abandon carts, other statistics show that of those who do go back to buy, 72% do so within 24 hours, highlighting the importance of speedy communication. However, maintaining conversations with your brand is still beneficial as research also showed that 92% of people in the study took up a purchase within 2 weeks of cart abandonment.

One of the best ways to maintain communication with prospects is through email. Ensure that you retarget these potential customers with reminders of the products they viewed or put in their cart. Include pictures as there is a good chance they might have forgotten which item they viewed. You might also include reviews from happy customers as well as a discount to incentivise a purchase in case they think the cost was too expensive.

Here’s a good example of a retargeting email I received from a comparison website after I didn’t go through with a breakdown cover purchase:



What have they done well:

  • They’ve personalised the email with my name
  • They’ve included quick links to quotes I looked at
  • They’ve included the best prices, similar to a discount incentive
  • Included my car details

This is a really handy way for me to pick up from where I left off should I wish to go through with the purchase.

3. Use Retargeting

If you’re not familiar with retargeting I’m sure you will have already been retargeted at some point online. Retargeting is where ads from websites you previously visited a few days ago are shown on other websites you subsequently visit. It works where a small piece of code is added by a business to their website and then a cookie is placed into the browser of every visitor. These visitors then become part of the audience list. This then allows an audience to be created for a campaign that is solely relevant to them. So once this is put into action, anyone who visits your site would then start seeing ads related to your business all around the world wide web.

Ad retargeting can be incredibly powerful because it is often seen as a softer sell, serving as a gentle reminder of purchases you almost made or content, products or services you were once interested in. According to recent research “70% of website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are more likely to convert on your website.” This goes to show how powerful this strategy can be when trying to pull back that 72% of online shoppers who abandon their carts!

However retargeting shouldn’t just be limited to displaying ads on websites, you can also retarget customers through social media. For example, imagine James downloaded an eBook from your agency website about content marketing. He then gets called into a meeting which lasts until the end of the working day. When he arrives back at his desk, he has too many emails to action to look over the guide. That evening, James signs into Facebook and is presented with an advert for your content marketing eBook. He remembers he downloaded it and opens it up to read it, calling your business tomorrow to discuss your services.

Similarly, for online retailers, imagine Claire is quickly browsing your shoes on her mobile during a bus ride: then she has to get off the bus quickly in case she misses her stop. This means Claire forgets all about the nice pair of blue trainers she was interested in. Later on, Claire logs onto Facebook on her desktop and is presented with an ad for your store’s shoes in her newsfeed.



Claire remembers she wanted the blue trainers and clicks through to purchase them. Not only is this retargeting across different channels but notice that the interaction originally began on a mobile and ended with a desktop purchase. It’s important to remember that retargeting should not only target different channels but devices too.

Running this simple campaign to custom Facebook audiences who interacted with your website is so simple but can yield big returns, helping to reel in a customer who was at the top of funnel into a paying client.

4. Use Multi-Channel And Multi-Device Marketing

What if your automated marketing emails were arriving in a prospect’s junk folder? Or what if your direct mail was going to the wrong address?


There are many genuine reasons as to why your leads may not be biting and this could have nothing to do with their lack of interest in your products or services. However, to reduce the chances of your marketing not being seen, it’s important that your follow up marketing spans both devices and channels.


While you need to consider which channel(s) you use to retarget your lost prospect, you can use your automation sequences to combine tactics like social retargeting, emails, PPC advertising and retargeting as well as follow up phone calls. A multi-approach not only helps to remind prospects of their previous interests, but it also eliminates the likelihood of a lead not seeing your marketing.


Plus, this multi-faceted approach embodies the way that the modern browser interacts with your business and the online world. The interaction between different channels and content isn’t siloed any more, but is part of an overall user journey and path. Going back to the example above where Claire remembered she wanted a pair of blue trainers thanks to a Facebook ad, the retargeting only worked because it crossed different channels and device type.

5. Build In A Lead Nurturing Process For Lost Leads

If you lose a lead, the worst thing to do is to sulk and do nothing. The most proactive thing to do is to slowly rekindle their interest by placing them in a lead nurturing cycle.

Lead nurturing works by drip-feeding your content to leads over the long-term. If someone enquires about your services you can place this prospect into a lead nurturing cycle which will educate them of the benefits of your product or service, helping to slowly resolve their objections and uncertainties.


For example, if someone enquires about your content marketing services, downloaded a number of guides, but still didn’t sign up when you reached out on a telephone call, you can place this customer into a nurturing cycle which educates them on the further benefits of content marketing, e.g. ways they can implement a content marketing strategy, perhaps sharing an content marketing success story, followed by an article on how to measure the effectiveness of content marketing.


Similarly, for ecommerce, you might find that a customer objected to a purchase because the price was too high. You can then place this prospect into a lead nurturing cycle which targets them with special discount emails or even ads on social media which show similar products to the one they viewed.


Many marketers forget the power of continuing communication once the lead or sale falls through, however according to a recent survey, 86% of survey respondents said that improving lead management and nurturing was the “number one benefit of marketing automation software” – so don’t forget to put all of your lost leads into the marketing automation mix!


How you nurture your leads depends on your business. Most nurturing sequences however, will typically make use of a combination of articles, webinars, videos and other educational content formats to build trust and turn cold leads into warm ones.

6. Install Call Tracking To Get A Full Lead Sales Picture

Until now we’ve been talking about lost leads from web only sources. But sales and enquiries are still made over the phone. In fact “43% of all
search-related queries conversions happen over the phone
” for the majority of industries.

Numerous sales and leads can be lost at this point in the sales path, but how can you ensure they’re followed up and how can you gather information about what led up to the call to help with your retargeting and marketing automation? Technology such as phone call tracking software from providers like Mediahawk works in two ways to help bridge the gap between the online and offline world. The first utilises a piece of small JavaScript code on a website to generate a unique user ID and telephone number so that the user journey can be tracked on the site up until a phone call. This data will even show you which marketing source drove the call.

Secondly, you can apply unique static phone numbers to your offline marketing collateral such as print, posters and direct mail to ensure this marketing is attributed. But how can you use this technology and prospect information to reconnect with lost leads and sales?

Well, call tracking software has a number of features which help with lead management and stop lead leakage such as missed call alerts to help your teams follow up with interested parties quickly as well as integration with your CRM to identify where actual sales come from to help to judge budget allocation.

Ending Thoughts

Losing leads and sales happens. Fact. But what you do once the lead is lost can make all the difference in winning back business and boosting conversion rates. Whilst it’s important to ensure you get these lost leads into your nurturing cycle and marketing automation as quickly as possible, it’s important not to forget your other areas of response because many sales still occur over the phone.

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