Let’s say that you run an effective cold campaign and you generate more traffic to your site, but you don’t see the increase in sales you’d like.

Here’s why: More than 97% of visitors will leave the average E-commerce site without converting.

Can you believe that? 97%? Sounds hard to believe, but it’s true.

Once you’ve built your cold campaign, your next question should be, “how will I convert the traffic from my cold campaign into sales and leads?” Luckily, there are some great tactics you can use.

Who are your Cold Prospects?

E-commerce data shows that more than 90% of all visitors to the average website are new visitors – these are your cold prospects. Cold prospects are people who have never heard of your business. They haven’t been “warmed up” to the idea of your brand or products yet.

Cold prospects come from cold traffic sources like display ads, Facebook posts or cold emails. A common behavior of cold prospects is browsing generic content like your blog or introductory materials.

The first thing you need to understand is that cold prospects are not ready to buy yet. You can’t expect them to make a purchase decision the first time they visit your site. They’ll want to get to know you, and after they trust you, they’ll make a purchase. It’s very much like they are “becoming friends” with your business.

The Four Main Stages in the Buying Process

To understand how to treat your cold prospects, it helps to understand the four main stages in the buying process.

The four main stages in the buying process are:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Decision
  4. Retention.

Your early-stage prospects are in the Awareness stage. For these prospects, your goal is to increase engagement and awareness of your offer. You should only start lead generation and list building in the Consideration stage, when your visitors begin thinking about a purchase. In the Decision stage are people who are ready to make a purchase, and in the Retention stage are your existing customers.

All cold prospects are just starting the Awareness stage, becoming “aware” of your products for the first time. Trying to make an immediate sale, or even trying for an immediate signup won’t work because they haven’t reached the Consideration stage yet. Let’s take a closer look at how you can increase the level of engagement and promote your offer to your cold prospects, helping them move along in the buying process.

Let's jump into our 3 Tips to turn cold prospects into high-quality leads.

3 Tips to turn Cold Prospects into Leads

  1. Promote soft goals.
  2. Target cold visitors specifically on your website. 
  3. Don't let your visitors forget you.

Promote Soft Goals

A soft goal on your website is typically a secondary conversion goal, such as a subscription, instead of trying to make a “hard” sale. All your soft goals are also known as micro conversion goals, or micro conversions, which lead to the ultimate objective, a purchase.

To encourage people to subscribe to your list, you should provide some valuable content in return. You can offer an eBook, or another free resource such as a webinar, case study, or demo. When you provide something useful for people, they are more likely to give you their email address. Once you have their contact details, you can communicate with them directly and nurture the relationship until they are ready to buy.

Target Cold Visitors on your Website

It’s important to use unique landing pages for the traffic you generate from your cold campaigns. If you only follow one piece of advice from this article, then it should be this one: direct your cold visitors to a unique landing page that is customized for their needs.

Following the buying process, the goal of this page should be increasing the awareness of your offer. Clearly present your offer in terms your customers can understand. Use attractive design and testimonials from existing customers to build trust and credibility. You can even go a step beyond the landing page and really create a unique first impression.

You can learn from the approach BOOM! By Cindy Joseph takes]. They direct their visitors to a presell engagement page with great content that engages people in a conversation. Then, once awareness had been raised, they lead visitors to a solution. They created a unique landing page and also personalized the secondary offer they displayed to visitors who attempted to leave the page. For visitors who don’t show any engagement, they offer a free eBook. However, for visitors who add something to their cart, but don’t finish their purchase, they offer a coupon: As this example from BOOM! shows, sales promotion is not always the “right” goal for every visitor.

By creating unique landing pages for your cold prospects, and using unique marketing messages, you can accomplish the soft goals needed to convert cold prospects into hot leads.

Don’t let your visitors forget you

Follow-up, follow-up, and follow-up. In addition to creating unique landing pages, this is the best advice I can give to you.

The buying process takes a lot of time. You need to stay in your prospect’s mind throughout the process. You should send emails regularly. Not simply to remind your cold prospects about your business, but to also give them a chance to get to know you. This builds trust to keep them moving along the buying process. It’s also very important to follow-up with cold prospects beyond the first interaction (e.g. visiting your website or answering a cold email).

You should send them educational videos or useful blog posts to stay on their mind. The Facebook remarketing ad below is a great example because it doesn’t promote the final goal which would be: apply for the course. It has a soft goal and helps prospects move forward in the buying process, while offering to answer any questions they have – a nice personal touch. Facebook remarketing is a great tool, but it has one limitation: marketing to cold prospects takes place outside of your website. That’s why it’s worth using it together with onsite retargeting.

You’ve got a second chance to capture cold prospects with onsite retargeting because your offer is displayed while your visitors are still on your site.

To Sum up: 

Turning cold prospects into hot leads is not easy, but once you understand the buying process, as well as soft goals on the way to a sale, you can be sure to present the right message to your cold prospects. Create unique landing pages and marketing messages, and be sure to follow-up and stay on top of your customers’ minds. Good luck!

Posted by Csaba Zajdó
Csaba Zajdó
Csaba Zajdo is an ecommerce specialist and founder of OptiMonk, an award-winning onsite retargeting platform, which helps SMBs leverage the power of onsite retargeting. Csaba has been involved with web marketing including search, lead generation, ecommerce, CRO, PPC, and analytics for over 10 years. He is also a frequent presenter at seminars and conferences.

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