10 ideas to turn warm leads into sales

10 ideas to turn warm leads into sales

Author: Lucy Barfoot

Marketing Automation whizz and creative entrepreneur. I love analysing what visually works (and what doesn't) in the marketing industry and helping people to devise marketing campaigns from a creative angle.

Hello there (person interested in converting warm leads) welcome to my blog. You’re in the right place if you want some tangible examples of marketing godliness to help move those warm leads up through the sales pipeline.

I’m excited to share 10 ideas with you today. Each of these three varies quite a lot, but they’re all ways to get those warm leads converting… They’re ideas to get your mind whirring 

But first, let’s make sure we’re all up to speed with what warm leads actually are… 

Gimme the definition of ‘warm leads’ please!

Coming right up. To define what a warm lead is, it’s useful to see it in the context of cold and hot leads… 

What is a Cold Lead?

  • They have little awareness of what you do/offer. 
  • They’re not all that interested in you
  • They need a lot of nurturing to progress them to being a warm lead

And what is a Hot Lead?

  • They have a high awareness level of what you do/offer and how you do it
  • They are interested in your offering
  • They’re hot, engaged and ready to sell to.

PS. A qualified lead is also considered ‘hot’. And, did you know that leads can self-qualify? 

If you get your content strategy nailed, track their behaviour using tags and segmentation, you will be able to see just how ready they are. Have they visited a sales/pricing page? They are probably looking to purchase if so - get in there with some bottom of funnel content to make that sale happen!

So what is a Warm Lead?

  • They’ve already shown interest in your offering - maybe they filled in a contact form, they signed up for something, they started following you on socials, they joined your list, etc. 
  • They want to know more about what you do/offer before they are likely to convert into customers
  • They require nurturing to turn them into a hot lead
  • A sale at the ‘warm lead’ stage is entirely possible but not as likely as if they’re a hot lead

Your warm leads are MUCH more likely to convert than your cold leads, but your warm leads are less likely to convert than your hot hot hot leads. And that’s ok...

Some warm leads will convert from some gentle sales messaging, and some will drop - see that as them filtering themselves out. If they ain’t interested in your offering, we don’t need to waste time doing the hard sell to them. 

warm leads idea time

1. Ask a question

Asking contacts to reply directly to emails is a stellar tactic for connection.

It also allows you to gain insight and improve your sendability reputation. 

You want your warm leads to feel that human connection to you. To feel your warmth and to know that there’s a real person out there. Inviting personal replies does create some work, yes, but there is a lot of  power in this method of connecting with your warm leads. 

Including a question within your email copy is the most obvious way, but perhaps for you it might be more fitting to include it as a PS… or perhaps in your unique business, asking a question could be the content of 1 email. Nothing else added. Now that’s powerful. 

Creating a survey would also be an option here. It’s a golden opportunity to segment your audience based on their answers, as well as a chance to gain valuable insight. Anyone willing to answer a survey is going to be super interested in your offering, so perhaps the survey-responders will graduate to ‘hot lead’ status by answering your questions. 

The fabulous Canva (we really should look into being an affiliate of Canva! We’re not, it’s just such a powerful, straight-forward design tool) has some great templates for graphics you could use in your emails to really make that question pop.  

Here’s some examples… you can find them by searching ‘question’ or ‘poll’ in the templates section.

warm leads question poll 1
warm leads question poll 4
warm leads question poll 2
warm leads question poll 5
warm leads question poll 3
warm leads question poll 6

So get engaging. Spark a conversation to build a relationship. 

2. Send more emails 

A mistake a lot of people make when it comes to selling is that they send too few emails. Now then, a sales campaign should provide a heck of a lot of value, not just hammering them for the sale… so if your content is cracking and your leads receiving the sales campaign are truly warm, then don’t be scared to send several emails. 

A general rule for us is that we run around five emails per targeted sales campaign. Your specific circumstances can obviously affect that, there is no hard and fast rule. Everyone’s audience is different.

Two things that can come into play here to increase/decrease the number of 5 are:

  1. How powerful your sales emails are
  2. How long your consumer cycle is.

Related content: Sales Campaigns: What is the Right and Wrong Way to Do Them?

3. Make sales content feel more gentle by sharing ‘supporting content’

Are you worried about pushing too hard? I get it. If you have some great sales content but you feel like you’re at risk of ramming it down your audience’s throat, here’s a solution:

Share that content as a resource within your emails. This is your way out of feeling like your sales messaging is too intense.

Creating and linking to  supporting content on your website can feel more subtle and make emails feel less sales-led. ‘Click here to find out more about x’ type of wording would work here. Bonus is that you KNOW those people who click are hot hot hot, and you could segment them further if your marketing automation allows. 

4. Plan out your customer journey in its entirety

Not planning when it comes to the sales process is a bad call. 

We see it happen very very often, and it’s an easy mistake to make, right? Getting a whole customer journey designed can be quite an undertaking. I’s not just about the ideal customer’s journey, you have to also design for all the journeys your non-ideal customers might take to get to that first conversion. 

There’s also future conversions to design for, and all the buckets where people fall out along the way. Those leaky buckets need mopping up! 

Plus there are the important tasks of connecting/talking to your audience’s psychographics and awareness levels. 

All these things need to be designed into your customer journey. 

Only once you’ve designed the customer journey, can you get creating your sales campaigns, drafting out your sales pages and crafting your sales copy. Planning is key. Don’t just wing it. 

And we can help you with this (if you'd like us to). Customer Journey planning is our bag, in fact, our Prime Ninja - Kenda Macdonald - built everything we do around the customer journey. 

What you might not know, is that the ideal customer journey follows a very straightforward framework. No matter what you're selling, who you're selling to, or what type of company you are. 

We simply take that framework and adapt it to suit each individual client. I say simply - there's definitely a bit of a knack to it - we've been doing it for years, for hundreds of businesses, so we're pretty clued up on the whole thing!

5. Ask them outright if they’re interested

Have you thought about asking your list if they’re interested? 

Here's a scenario for you.

You have a sales campaign comprising 5 emails, which you’re sending out to warm leads who have indicated their interest in something. E.g. they downloaded a buyers guide (lead magnet) two weeks ago... Now, you want to sell a product which relates to that guide... 

Consider this, in that first email include some copy that openly asks them if they still have an interest. It shows that you’re clearly listening to their wants, needs and interests.

It also stops them from getting email fatigue and doing the dreaded delete-before-opening behaviour us email marketers are scared of. 

It shows you’re human.

Opting out from specific campaigns is something we do for our clients and with our in-house marketing. We like having this level of transparency - here’s two lots of sample wording for you:

“Every year we run promotions for Mother’s Day - because we know how much people love to treat their mums to something a little special. However, if you’d prefer not to receive these emails, just click here and we won’t send you them anymore.”
“You downloaded our 'Guide to Great Copywriting' two weeks ago. Are you still interested in improving your copywriting skills? If not, just click here and we won't send you anymore copywriting hacks and how tos.”

6. Create a cart abandonment closer

If you’re tracking cart abandonment (a really good idea - even if you don't have an online store), make sure you’re taking action based on that valuable information. It’s liquid gold.

When someone abandons their cart, it usually shows that they are a hot lead. They’re telling you a lot with their behaviour. 

And cart abandonment campaigns are not just for ecommerce companies. If you’re educating your contact about your product/service and tracking clicks to a purchase page, you KNOW they are interested. 

You also know something has stopped them from completing their purchase. They’re not ready to commit yet. Maybe they need some more information?… You can get super specific in your cart abandonment campaign so they get all the answers they’re looking for. 

The follow up you send to your card abandoners needs to be different for these people who have clicked on the sales page compared to the people who never clicked at all. 

You could ask them personally what it was that stopped them, if feedback is your jam… The people who don’t click, you should be talking to them differently. 

I have a little teaser here from our ‘Sell Playbook’ which shows you exactly how this sales campaign should be set up.

The cart abandonment closer campaign structure: 

cart abandonment closer for warm leads

Step 1: Make the offer.

Step 2: Track the people that click to the sales, but don’t buy.

Step 3: Give them a window of time to complete the purchase.

Step 4: Send the non-purchases that have exceeded the time period you set an abandonment series to ease them towards the sale. 

Use cart abandonment to ease them towards that purchase. 

If you liked this campaign idea, you’ll love our Sell Playbook - it’s  the perfect tool for you to move your warm leads into being hot leads and nailing the sale-ing. 

Sell Playbook

7. Create a sale with time-expiring urgency

Here’s something which landed in my inbox from the makeup brand Glossier. I’ve been keeping an eye on their marketing for a while now and they keep showing me the marketing goods. This is the third time I’ve used Glossier as an example in my blogs now.

Go Glossier!

I feel like they were sending this sales campaign to me based on segmentation. I shall never know if this is the case or not... They may also have blasted their entire list (not so great), but because Glossier keeps getting things right, I’m going to give them the benefit of the doubt. 

Here’s how their sales campaign landed:

Glossier example 1

This sales campaign was very appropriate to me - with this work email address I’m signed up with. I have not purchased before, but I do regularly open their emails and click on the links within.

Because I LOVE a good example, let’s take one of those sales emails - the ‘Last chance to shop the sale’ email. 

It’s super short and sweet:

Glossier sales email example

And it works its magic! I felt very compelled to buy and get that sweet discount.

This 3- email approach would not work for a cold lead. The contents of the emails is fully sales messaging, and they are sent just 24 hours apart! 

If I wasn’t already a warm lead, this would be too much, and I’d be likely to unsubscribe / delete without opening the email. That results in some real crappy sensibility issues for Glossier further down the line. No one wants that! 

Sometimes urgency is needed to close the sale. This is applicable for sales campaigns like a one-off ‘Summer Sale’. It's also applicable to an evergreen sales campaign - which is within your customer journey - with the deadline being bespoke to when the warm lead comes into the sales funnel. 

Including clear deadlines in your emails (I do like a countdown timer for that extra graphic element) is the key here.

Push on that urgency and don’t be afraid to remind your warm leads that time is running out. It’s a natural deadline for action.

8. Reintroduce yourself - start from the beginning

Have you got warm leads who have been on your list for a long time but have never purchased? 

Illustrator extraordinaire and friend of mine, Veronica Dearly (her website is now shut, but there's a link to her Instagram), recently sent an email out to her list which reminded everyone of what she’s all about... and I loved it. 

The subject line drew me in:

Veronica Dearly inbox example

I love ‘Let’s start over’... Maybe it’s me, the queen of reinvention, moving things around and starting afresh, but the idea of starting over is a great one. 

Here’s her email in full!

Veronica Dearly email example
Veronica Dearly email example

What a great way to get those warm leads heated up.

She’s injecting some freshness into her warm leads’ experience of her brand and that can only be a good thing. I imagine that in the world of ‘making nice things’, there is a lot of bloat on someone’s list… People who may never buy, they just like her vibe… and that’s ok.

This is a great thing I think she could do every year to remind those people who she is and that buying something would be quite a good idea! 

10. One final thing - have you got a plan for Customer Lifetime Value?

It’s not just about getting those warm leads to make their first purchase, you have to plan for getting that sweet Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). I’m talking up sells, cross sells, down sells… Once someone has purchased, you want to keep them nice and warm forever.

When you’re creating your customer journey, you need to be planning an idea for what you want your CLV to be and how you can get it. 

Having a plan for CLV means better ROI and customers sticking around for longer. It’s an art form in itself! 

Related content: The Epic Marketing Show – How you Keep Customers

So there we have it, 10 ideas for turning your warm leads into sales. Why not pick one and play with it. You could experiment on a subsection of your list.

Don’t be shy!

Once you have your warm lead, your smooth engaging and nurturing of them has paid off and they’re ready for some targeted sales. It’s time to sell. And you can do it powerfully. 

Remember to make it REAL. Show that you’re a human. And don't be afraid to speak directly to their objections.

Go forth and be an incredible sales advocate!