Working with Your Customer Outcomes Manager on a Lead Results Strategy
By Jen Amundgaard

This is the second part of a two-part article. Part one discusses what to do with your lower-quality leads. Part two discusses how you can work with your Conversica Customer Outcomes Manager to achieve the best results.

Once you have completed the three steps of evaluating how you’re targeting lead segments, studying the lead quality report, and identifying the sources of your lowest-quality leads, you should have a good sense of what’s broken. Now is the time to reach out to your Customer Outcomes Manager (COM) to share what you’ve learned and create a strategy for improving your results.

Your Customer Outcomes Manager has worked with many customers in different industries. They are happy to share best practices and help wordsmith to improve the targeting of your outreach. As you create your plan, note that different metrics can indicate different strategies.

Example indicators include bounced emails, invalid emails, unsubscribes, spam complaints, and do not email requests. Let’s look at each of these now.

“Email Bounced” (as a status that we apply to a lead) can indicate any of the following:

  1. A temporary issue such as the user’s mailbox is full. Note that when Conversica encounters a temporary issue, we retry delivery up to three times before considering the email a hard bounce.
  2. A permanent issue such as the mailbox not existing. For example, sometimes people will enter email addresses like “[email protected]” to get past a web form to access your content.
  3. The lead’s mail server has classified your domain as a spammer and refuses to accept your messages.

A high rate of bounced email addresses typically indicates very old or very busy leads and we recommend that you either call them or simply disqualify these leads. If these leads were acquired recently for cost, you could download a report of them from your Conversica dashboard and seek compensation from the source.

“Invalid Email” (as a status that we apply to a lead) means that our third-party validation platform has identified your lead as too risky to email. If you have a high percentage of invalid emails, we can explore options for adjusting risk settings to make sure that we’re maximizing Sales opportunities while protecting your domain’s deliverability. The cost of validation is one we bear in order to ensure that we can continue driving amazing outcomes for our customers.

“Unsubsubscribed” (as a status that we apply to a lead) indicates:

  1. Emails are being sent to leads who haven’t asked or don’t remember asking to be contacted by you.
  2. Leads haven’t opted-in to receive emails from you recently.
  3. Our email content is inaccurate or feels irrelevant.
  4. Leads are receiving too much outreach from your brand.
  5. For leads with addresses provided by Gmail, this can also indicate that your lead has marked our email as spam. Gmail automatically unsubscribes users who report spam, and they send the complaint to us as an unsubscribe request.

A high rate of Unsubscribes typically indicates that the leads we’re working are either too old or are receiving too much contact from your brand. We recommend that you evaluate all outreach efforts to these leads and consider pausing your nurture, drip, and phone outreach while Conversica is active with these leads.

You could also consider setting a younger maximum age from opt-in. If leads don’t remember opting-in to receiving your emails, or don’t remember expressing interest in your brand because their need was met ages ago, they’re more likely to unsubscribe from our emails. It is always best to start with your youngest leads and work your way back to your oldest leads while keeping an eye on your Unsubscribes. At some point, there will be an obvious point of diminishing returns which indicates to all the oldest you can go without launching robust nurturing to re-educate your leads before sending them through Conversica again.

Finally, you should compare the content of our emails with the data you have for these leads to make sure that the emails we’re sending to them reflect what you know about them. With older leads, it can help to add reminders of who you are and your value proposition or competitive advantage. These leads need you to remind them of their pain points and how you’ll alleviate them.

“Marked as Spam” means that your leads are communicating to their email providers that our emails are spam. They’ve likely clicked on a link or button in their email Inbox complaining that our email is Spam. To be clear, this is not a button we provide, but a button provided by their email provider or browser.

Sometimes this means that the data we’re receiving from your CRM or MAS isn’t accurate. If this is the case, we’ll likely receive responses from leads saying things like “My name is not Janet; it’s Bob” or “I have never downloaded anything from your site ever — you have the wrong guy!” In cases like this, we can ignore lead names in your data and our AI is able to use generic greetings. This solution isn’t likely to perform as well as highly-personalized emails, but is certainly better than risking too many spam complaints. We see this happen in situations where, for example, your reps are making typographical errors or your leads are entering false names to access your content. We’ll partner with you to get to the root of the problem and work to resolve your data quality.

“Do Not Email” means your leads are taking the time to send personal notes to your Intelligent Virtual Assistant requesting removal from your list. This indicates that they believe your Intelligent Virtual Assistant is a human and respect your brand (this two-way dialogue helps to protect your domain), but simply do not want to receive further marketing.

You should treat these as you do unsubscribes, opt-outs, or do not email requests and remove these leads from all of your other marketing and sales efforts. On our side, Conversica will add this email address to our internal suppression list for your account and cease emailing this lead at this address again on your behalf.

We’re in This Together!

When you hire one of our Intelligent Virtual Assistants, we become partners and we will do everything we can to flag for you opportunities to improve your success.

We all prefer if these opportunities come in the form of hot leads who want to speak with Sales. But we are also here to help:

  • Point out opportunities to clean your data: Were you recently hired and inherited a dirty or suspect CRM? Do you need evidence to demonstrate that a serious cleansing is required?
  • Improve your workflows: Are there multiple points of leakage in your funnel? Are you wondering why leads from Content Syndication or a specific vendor just don’t seem to perform well?
  • Protect your domain: Ever wonder why your customers report that your emails are going to their Spam folders or are placed in a less-prominent folder in their email browser?

Each of these pieces is critical to our joint success and your success overall.

As we reach out to engage your leads and contacts, we do so at a pace that far outstrips what your humans ever could (i.e. two BDRs can handle—at best—3,000 contacts per year; a single Conversica Intelligent Virtual Assistant could easily and adequately handle that volume in less than a week). Thus, if we’re reaching out to unhealthy leads, your domain will feel the impact of this much faster and earlier than if your humans alone were reaching out.

As a good partner, we alert you when we see signs that you need to take action to avoid the negative consequences of emailing low-quality leads. At a minimum, we need to offset the bad with the good, so we recommend that you never have more than 25 percent of your weekly lead volume constituted of cold or low-quality leads. It is possible, though risky, to continue working lower quality leads as long as the majority of the leads you work are high quality.

Inherent in partnering with you is a commitment to sharing the risk and remediation process together. As we work to improve lead health, we’ll improve your overall inbox placement, your data, and your ROI with Conversica. We want to improve your ROI with Conversica and we want to improve your ROI with all of your other marketing efforts as well.

Now, let’s make some money together!