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Lead Development: Learn the Specific Strategies

There is no “one size fits all” lead development strategy. Developing different types of leads requires different follow through and nurturing strategies. Getting the most out of a lead takes diligence and attention to the different components that influence that lead’s decisions and actions.

What works for one consumer probably won’t work the same for the next, so studying different lead scenarios and laying out strategies for them will increase the lead development success rate dramatically. Figure out what categories your leads fall into and then use a specific strategy to follow up with them.

Event Leads

Event leads are the potential customers and clients that come along with any kind of event. Whether they are face to face contacts or just on an email list for the event, they are an event lead. One of the best strategies for nurturing event leads is sending emails before and after the event.

The pre-event emails will be most effective if they are focused on targeting the right people, the ones who are showing interest. Arrange automations that customize emails to reach those who have actually opened and looked at the past emails. After the event, follow up emails should be sent to everyone who registered.

Generally, you should to send 2-3 follow up emails that are specifically related to the event. The way the lead responds to these emails will determine how they will be categorized in your database and what methods will be used to reach out to them in the future.

Cold Leads

A cold lead is the most challenging lead to handle. Cold leads are those who have stopped responding to the sales representative or who have not had initial contact with the representative. In order to convert cold leads, the ideal strategy is to send a steady stream of emails that attempt to incite a response from the reader.

Before you invest in an email campaign in attempt to convert a cold lead, it can be useful to determine whether the lead is interested in your brand. If there is no response or interaction from the lead ,you should refrain from sending emails. If there’s some kind of response, use that to gage what stage they are in and send them emails specific to that stage.

Cold Database

This type of lead comes from tradeshow lists or purchased buyer lists. All of these cold database leads are similar because they are usually found in large, unspecific lists that give you very few clues about what stage these leads are in. It can be hard to figure out how to follow up correctly on leads like these.

To figure out what stages these leads are at, you should automate the system so that you can gather as much data on the leads as possible. Automating the data accumulation saves a significant amount of time and delivers valuable data on your leads’ preferences. Once you find out what stage each lead is at, you can categorize them correctly and send them more specific marketing materials that reflect their preferences.

Referral and Recommendation Services

It is a well known fact that one referral or endorsement can be more effective than hundreds of marketing emails and presentations. To get more referrals, businesses often use rewards that can be applied to the lead and to a contact of the lead. This way, the lead and the lead’s contact both benefit from the deal. Once someone has been referred to you by someone they trust, much of the work has already been done.

However, it is still crucial to set these newly referred contacts up for success by following up immediately. Once the contact has expressed interest, expressed their needs, and shown preferences, they should be contacted with specific offers and rewards that keep them engaged. Setting up a referral partnership between similar non-competing companies can help you manage and track referrals.

Collaborating on the referral data and sharing the flow of interaction for every referred lead will save time for everyone involved. It will also be much more effective since you will be able to track how each lead interacts with each partner service.

Networking Leads

Networking leads are a consistently more affordable way to market due to the many inexpensive networking services available. Networking is often thought of as a small scale, face to face strategy. This kind of networking is a great way to market, but it’s labor intensive. Networking on a larger scale can be made efficient by automating most of the process.

This method focuses on nurturing leads that will help find other leads. Through incorporating social networks and reviews into your site and email campaign, your clients and customers will end up reaching more people, more effectively than you ever could on your own.

For example: when a client posts a picture of a product they love and is able to tag your company’s Facebook site in the picture, they are advertising you to their personal network. Simply ensuring that your business is connected to your current client network or easily accessible, you are making it easier for them to connect their personal networks to your company.

Repeat Clients

It can cost up to 7 times more to generate new leads than to gain loyalty from existing clients. However, there needs to be a strong follow up strategy to keep existing customers. The most important thing to remember when marketing to an existing client is that the client is already familiar with the brand and what it has to offer.

You can assume that the client already trusts you, knows what you do, and understand how you do it. With repeat clients, most of the work has to do with reminding them that you know what they need and that you are able to deliver. Existing customers will appreciate the fact that due to familiarity and experience working together, less direction is needed to get the job done right.


Managing leads correctly is extremely important to the success of a marketing effort. Once leads are generated or acquired, you’re not in the clear. Even when you have successfully acquired a client, you are still not done because they are still a future lead for repeat business.

Following up with generic or unspecific messages to these leads may end up not engaging the consumer at all. Therefore, have a strategy ready for each type of lead you work with, and make it flexible and in tune to how each lead is responding. Flexibility and a customized follow up will nurture each type of lead in just the right way and not let them go to waste.

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About Sean Donahoe

Sean is one of the most recognized industry leaders in business and marketing. As a popular speaker, author, consultant he has helped over 50,000 students world wide find success in their businesses and has consulted with Fortune 500 companies and businesses of every size grow and thrive...

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