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How many times should you message leads before you give up?
It’s a fine line to walk—you don’t want to leave opportunities on the table, but you also don’t want to overdo it and annoy someone who clearly isn’t interested in your product or service. But over the decade we’ve been helping companies drive revenue through AI-powered conversations, we’ve found that the optimal number of attempts for initial exchanges is higher than you might think.
We set the default number of attempts at seven for most initial exchanges as we found it to collect the most responses without over-messaging leads.
Sometimes, we have users that balk a little at that number, assuming that messaging unresponsive leads that many times in a row will cause issues.
Our Conversational AI platform makes it easy to adjust the number of attempts within the schedule editor if you really want, but we strongly advise against doing so, at least in the beginning. We’ve found that lowering the number of attempts will impact the overall conversation performance in several ways.
Over time, we’ve found that disabling attempts decreases Conversation Qualified (a.k.a. “Ever Hot”) and Conversation (a.k.a. engagement or response) rates. That being said, reducing the number of attempts may have one upside: it can also decrease unhealthy lead rates.
Conversation Qualified and Conversation rates decrease because your Revenue Digital Assistant™ loses opportunities to convert a lead in the later attempts. At the same time, unhealthy metrics such as Unsubscribe, Do Not Email, email bounce, spam and invalid email rates decrease as leads have fewer chances to unsubscribe or respond with DNE when there are fewer messages sent.
However, the decrease in unhealthy metrics simply doesn’t make up for the missed opportunities for conversion. When your goal is to uncover revenue opportunities, persistence is key; more attempts will give you a higher likelihood of sussing out interest, at least to a certain point.
Based on these results, we recommend that you do not skip attempts to boost your Conversation and Conversation Qualified rates despite the marginal difference in unhealthy metrics.
Figure 1. Percent of Messaged by performance metric before attempts were disabled (default), and after attempts were disabled for more than 90 days.
Figure 2. Health Performance Percent of Attempted and Breakdown of Unhealthy metrics before attempts were disabled (default), and after attempts were disabled for more than 90 days.
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Every company, industry and audience is unique, and while seven is our default number, there are cases where it needs to be adjusted.
As a best practice, only disable attempts if you notice a trend of hot and engaged leads dropping after a certain number of attempts or you receive multiple responses that leads are getting too many messages.
If you choose to skip any attempts, avoid disabling more than one attempt at a time as it could result in a significant drop directly after.
Use the Conversica dashboard reporting tools to review the impact on your Conversation Qualified leads, and to ensure you aren’t experiencing a drop in performance. Evaluate the conversation 60-90 days after disabling attempts to allow time for the changes to reflect on the performance.
If you’re wondering how we observed the impact on performance from disabling attempts, we used a variation of this experimental process explained in a post by Customer Insights Analyst Faythe Harris.
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