People are fickle.

Take online dating, for example. It seems like everyone who’s ever tried it has gotten firsthand experience with how fickle people can be. You meet someone, start chatting, and it feels like you’re hitting it off.

Until they disappear. No more texts or likes or anything. Just silence and the painful sensation of your self-esteem shrinking into oblivion (I assume).  The term for this is “ghosting”.

As in, “I can’t believe Ashley ghosted me after one date!”

This same thing can happen with your business leads. Visitors land on your site, opt-in and submit their info, then *poof* disappear.

Just like a ghost. Get it?

It’s always annoying when this happens, but luckily the standards for appropriate behavior for dating and selling are radically different.

Following up with a lead who’s dropped off the face of the earth makes you tenacious and persistent. And it can actually help you close more sales. Repeatedly calling someone who broke up with you is creepy and sad.

And all that gets you is a visit from the police.

Still, a surprising amount of businesses simply give up on leads that don’t buy from them right away. Don’t be like them.

To help you out, here are 3 strategies for reactivating old or “ghosted” leads.

Phone calls

Back before I got into the internet marketing biz, I worked as a real estate assistant. My employee was both an agent and a landlord, so part of my job was reaching out to prospective tenants for his rentals.

We would put up a Craigslist ad, direct people to call a number and leave their info in a voicemail, and then it was my job to call them back. Usually within 24 hours.

So, to recap, these were people who were looking for an apartment and giving out their phone numbers precisely so we could call them. And yet, when I did call back, the call went to voicemail 90% of the time.

In fact, it would often take 2-3 calls to finally talk to someone in person. The lesson here? Don’t give up after one phone call. Be annoying if you have to.  More than once, I would call a renter back, and they’d be angry. Demanding to know how I got their number. I would calmly explain who I was and my reason for calling, and suddenly they were grateful that I’d called back.

This won’t be the case for 100% of your leads, but even one or two extra sales can make a big impact on your business.


I’m sure you’re already using email to follow up with leads (aren’t you?), but here are some specific strategies to help bump up your email ROI.

The first one involves your Welcome Email. That is, the first email a lead gets after they opt-in to your list. Usually, all this email does is deliver on whatever promise was made to get people to opt-in. Most commonly with a download link or attachment.

You always want to deliver on your promise, but you can do a lot more with this first email. This is a good place to plug other, related content you have on your site. Or point people to case studies that might be applicable to their business.

The next tip is that you should be emailing leads consistently for a long period. Initially, you’ll want to follow up with direct 1-to-1 emails or a well-crafted autoresponder series, you also need a long-term campaign like a monthly newsletter to send to leads who don’t initially convert.

Here’s another example from my real estate gig. There are a lot of people who look up the value of their house long before they’ve decided to sell. My boss would send these people monthly emails with the latest comparable home sales in their neighborhood. Every so often, we’d hear from someone who was surprised by how much equity they’d accumulated and decided to sale. This could be months or even years after they’d initially opted in.

Of course, the best way to implement email marketing depends on what you’re trying to sell. If you’d like to discuss some specific strategies for your business, schedule a free consultation with us to get our expert advice.


Remarketing helps you reach people who have previously visited your website.

If I search on Google for a lawyer, I’ll probably visit a handful of sites without actually moving forward with anyone. Now, those lawyers can use remarketing to show me more ads for their firm. Remarketing is great because you’re only targeting people who have raised their hand and shown interest in what you offer.

Most people just put up ads that take you back to their homepage, but my advice is to go one level deeper. Use remarketing to advertise specific content or product pages that you think your lead will be interested.

Going back to the lawyer example, if my initial search was for a DUI lawyer, a good remarketing ad would be for an article on the “Top 10 Strategies to Avoid a DUI Conviction.

Remember: people are fickle.

Getting a lead is only half the battle. Make sure you’re doing everything you can to keep your business top of mind in both the immediate and far future.

Photo credit (modified from original).