3 Missed Opportunities: Lead Nurturing to Maximize Conversions

lead generation, lead nurturing, sales funnel

November 30, 2014 by

Lead generation is a tricky thing to get right. And if you’re not doing a great job of nurturing those new leads through to a purchase, your efforts will all have been in vain anyways. There are many tried and true ways to keep your leads interested and engaged, and hopefully your marketing and sales teams are already on top of them.

lead nurturing

So where is there room for improvement in your sales funnel and lead nurturing program? Only a thorough examination of your analytics, CRM system and sales figures will truly tell you what personalized steps you should be taking to maximize the number of new leads who make it through to a purchase. But there are several trouble spots in the lead nurturing process that most businesses struggle with, so you can start there.

These missed opportunities can cause you to lose a lead forever – whereas handling it in the right way can earn you a loyal customer instead. Maximize conversions with proactive steps and hands-on management of the sales funnel for all your leads. Look out for these opportunities to connect with leads, and don’t miss them when they come around.

1.  Abandoned Shopping Carts

I’m an expert on these because I abandon shopping carts myself – a lot. Many times a week, probably. I blame a lack of commitment combined with the sticker shock that comes with seeing the final total after shipping and taxes are added in. It’s not a social experiment, but I have to admit I’m always curious to see how the business in question will handle it, if at all.

If you’ve ever abandoned your shopping cart before clicking the Place Order button, then you probably know the answer to this one: most businesses don’t do anything about it. Since you are likely browsing their webshop as a guest (i.e. not signed in to an account associated with an email address), the business generally has no way to contact you. For many, the only recourse for following up is through retargeting, which we’ll get to later in this blog.

Related Class: Demand Generation: Email Marketing Messaging Best Practices

The businesses that stand out to me are the ones that have the ability to follow through, and act on it. Today I got an email from a site I browsed recently, with the subject line “Your cart misses you.” In the email were tempting images of the items I had considered purchasing, along with the clincher: a voucher code for $15 off my purchase if I act soon. This is a smart move no matter what type of business you’re running. If you have the ability to contact shoppers after they abandon a cart, use it. You might lose a little on your profit margin by offering a discount or free shipping, but otherwise it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’re going to lose the whole sale.

2.  Shoppers Who Browse and Leave

Any eCommerce business is likely to see a lot of these users; they come to your webshop, look at a few products, and take off without purchasing. This is an opportunity that is very often missed since, as I said above, you don’t have an email address to contact them. But you can still follow up with them in a different way.

Related Class: How to Set Up Social and Display Retargeting

Retargeting is essentially pinpointing those users who have visited your site, and getting relevant online ads in front of them. With the right tracking technology, or the help of third party agency, you can automate ads to be for exactly what that user was looking at or searching for. Did they browse your site and click on a few winter jackets? Did they search your site for the term “down parka”? With retargeting, you can show them ads of jackets they considered, and other items that seem very relevant to their needs. It’s generally said that only 2% of online shoppers buy at first sight; retargeting is designed to get the other 98% to come back to your site for a second look (and hopefully a purchase!).

3.  Leads with Little Information to Support Them

Unless you have a business that sells one very specific commodity or service, it can be difficult to know what a lead is looking for when they sign up for your mailing list or fill out a form. This missed opportunity is essentially not asking for enough information to personalize the marketing emails and offers that you will need to use to cultivate the lead.

Obviously this is a fine line to walk, since a form that is too long or asks for too much information risks a high rate of abandonment. Consider offering a freebie, discount code or guide that is significant enough to warrant the longer form and thus more of the user’s time.

It can be difficult to know why someone who has never dealt with your business would sign up for your mailing list, or why they’re choosing to download your latest whitepaper. That’s where a few extra questions can help you form a clearer picture of the lead you’ve gained – so that marketing can tailor emails to the needs or interests of that lead, rather than sending a standard email. But weigh your needs versus the lead’s time carefully, and consider offering an incentive to ensure that they follow through.


These are just 3 of the most common missed opportunities – no doubt you can look at your own sales funnel and pinpoint other problem areas that need your attention. Sometimes lead nurturing can seem like the less exciting cousin of lead generation, but one without the other is sure to lead to less-than-stellar sales numbers for any business.

Looking to learn more about lead nurturing? Check out this class, Content is Opportunity: Developing Content for Every Stage in the Buying Cycle. You’ll find out about which content is best at each step, for leads them come back and convert.

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