How To Creatively Re-engage Cold Prospects

This article addresses ways to bring back prospects who stopped interacting and offers creative ideas on how to warm up, re-engage, and reconnect with cold leads.

People talk about “current” trends, but the best trends are timeless. When it comes to sales prospecting, creativity is the only way to stand out from your peers and competitors who are all doing the same thing. It is the single thing that can get you noticed in increasingly saturated markets. 


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So, what are the creative ways salespeople can use to win back the attention of cold prospects?


Personalize emails with current context 

Personalization is good; so good in fact that everyone’s at it. But is it enough to simply insert a prospect’s name into your email template and fire it out to thousands of recipients? Obviously, no. As the CEO of NetHunt, I get dozens of personalized emails every day, but I barely answer any of them. Why? They all lack context. 

If a prospect went cold during a previous period of communication, it’s likely you couldn’t address their challenges. Spend time figuring out how your product can solve relevant pain points being felt by a recipient at that moment in time. Ultimately, it doesn’t even matter how good your product is; it matters what it can solve on a customer-by-customer basis. Prioritize value-based selling over feature-based selling.

Without insight into how you relate to prospects, and if you can make a difference for their businesses, your product is pointless.


Find email personalization tips from a top sales leader here


If you’ve chosen email as your re-engagement channel, communicate your value based on the progress your product has made in the time since you last communicated. On the other hand, if there is a way you can praise their product or service with an example showcasing where your solution can take their success even further, you should get an answer right away.

To stay in the context of previous conversations, you need to refer to your Customer Relationship Management software. CRM technology has grown by light-years in the past few years, but the core principles and features remain the same. Having full customer context on hand means knowing what has happened in a brand-customer conversation by looking at individual records, even if they weren’t involved in the first place.  


Think outside the box

Typically, you’d find your context, match your business to your wannabe clients, fire off an alluring email campaign, and fire off even more follow-ups to get noticed. You did everything right, and you still can’t get a reply. Typical. Think outside the box and consider a few nonstandard ways of getting yourself noticed. 

  1. A personalized video message. It might not be much help in getting your email opened, but embedding one into your email might just encourage a reply.

Videos convey emotion. A text-based email can have any amount of information, but it can’t convey emotion, tone or body language like a video can. People want to see more; they need to feel a human connection. Above all, taking time to record a video demonstrates your commitment, possibly motivating a recipient to dive in. 

Your main task is to ensure that recipients actually watch your video. Here are some things that can work to this end.

  • Ice-breaking, customized first line of the email.
  • Providing a specific reason to play the video.
  • A personalized video thumbnail.

Instead of using a static thumbnail, choose an animated preview such as a GIF that grabs attention. Another option to try could be to use a whiteboard with the recipient’s name written on it. This kind of personalization helps grab attention and break through the digital noise. Luckily, there are lots of outreach tools that can help personalize on a large scale. Personalization is easy now, and subsequently so is building trust, explaining complex topics, and delivering value. 

Tip. It’s probably not necessary to record an individual video for every prospect. Create a cohort that might have the same pain point, and record a video for them. Remember, you don’t have to name the prospect for something to be personalized. 

  1. A targeted ad campaign, based on the office location of a prospect. While this may sound like a crazy idea and requires some resources like time, budget and creativity; it is worth trying. 

Would you pay attention to a banner on Facebook, LinkedIn, or simply in Google stating “James, we want you. We know how {product} can help you grow twofold?” I think yes, why not? 

Would you click on the banner and continue the interaction. Yes, why not?

Location-based targeting might not be very precise, but there are some techniques such as GPS or Wi-Fi touch points that are considered to be more accurate. 

  1. Dynamic landing pages offer high-level personalization. Your goal is to make your website feel unique for every identified prospect and offered product. Here you can use a lot of variables to personalize, mostly dependent on the end goal you’d like to achieve with a page:
  • To schedule a meeting with a prospect to discuss what has changed by identifying the touch points you can collaborate on.
  • To sell your product by highlighting the value you bring to a certain user.

Check the headline of the landing page, add the recipient’s company name to it, add their logo (if applicable), and mention the benefits your product can provide their company, as well as the results it can achieve. 

Scale it; pre-fill the email address of each recipient on your landing page for a super-quick and easy registration process. A personalized landing page also helps increase conversion, because it emphasizes the final action you’d like a lead to make. 

For example, if you want them to book a personal call, add your Calendly profile to the page for their convenience. If you want them to restart their trial period, add CTA buttons with a data-enriched registration form. Regardless of the channel you’re trying to re-engage your leads on, redirecting them to a specifically designed landing page shows that you’ve done your homework. 


Rethink communication channels to include social selling

If you don’t have the resources to implement outside-the-box activities, there are still plenty of chances to get in front of potential buyers. Adding social selling as another re-engagement channel with your leads and customers can be a new string to your bow.

Social selling is about playing the long game; thinking ahead and having access to the bigger picture is essential. You shouldn’t only rely on this channel as you could very well fail. Instead, add it to the channels you already have implemented. Choose the platform where your potential and existing buyers hang out; I believe that for most SaaS and B2B companies, LinkedIn is a platform they need to be active on.

Considering social media won’t deliver overnight success, consistency is key. Befriend potential customers you’re negotiating deals with, as well as decision-makers from companies of interest. 

It’s the perfect place to warm up leads, putting your business and personal brand front and center of their mind. How can you use social media to this end?

  • Track prospect progress, topics of interest and company news.
  • Join the discussion on industry-related and work-specific topics.
  • Mention them as part of relevant posts.
  • Don’t be too direct. Firstly, float your name, warm them up, and afterwards send a direct message.
  • Keep social conversation to a socially acceptable level–meaning not sending random messages–and start conversations naturally. 

Above all, maintain balance and don’t be obsessive.

Even though it’s very difficult to measure the ROI of social selling, don’t give up if you don’t see obvious results quickly. With social media, slow and steady wins the race.

I’ll say it again for the people in the back: Creativity always wins. Tap into the things that differentiate you from everyone else. Do the opposite of what other salespeople do, and you’ll always win the attention of your prospects. 

Still, you should recognize the fine line between silly and different when it comes to creativity. At the end of the day, make sure your creative efforts remain respectful and backed by research.

Andrei Petrik is the CEO and co-founder of NetHunt CRM. Having been in the industry for more than 12 years, he knows a thing or two about customer relations and business processes. When he’s not churning out code, he’s out on the water catching some fish.

  • Originally published January 7, 2021, updated December 15, 2021