How To Resurrect Dead Leads

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How To Resurrect Dead Leads

Can you bring your dead leads back to life, and actually get some money out of them?

Businesses, collection companies, independent professionals, and even nonprofits are all chasing new leads. It consumes most of their attention and budgets. Yet, inevitably everyone ends up with stacks of ‘dead’ leads. Sales staff get tired of working them after a call or two, and then management is under pressure to produce fresh ones consistently, and in high volumes, no matter what the closing ratio was last month.

Even a small business can pile up thousands of cold leads, in a very short period of time. It becomes dead weight that requires storage and security, but they typically cost a lot of money to acquire. Even if cash flow is strong, rarely are leads being fully capitalized on. Some may need a little polishing to become diamonds. Others just require a fresh approach and tactics to reveal their true value.

The big question is, how do you resurrect these dead leads effectively and efficiently?

Understanding ‘Dead’ Leads

Perception is a big part of the battle. Too often leads are written off after the first or second attempt to contact them. It’s important to accurately assess them, if a business is ever going to maximize their ROI and revenues. Even if you cringe at the thought of dialing the same people again, these lists and databases may be a gold mine, and there are other ways to revive them, and cash in on them and monetize them.

So, the first step is to get a handle on why they are being considered ‘dead’.

Are they really trash? The only time when leads probably should be considered completely dead is if they are fake, and the contact information is bogus. Aside from that, or the fact that you really don’t want to do business with that client, then there is always hope and opportunity.

Other reasons these leads end up in this pile include that they were not followed up with well and no contact was made, they bought from someone else because follow up was too slow, the salesperson failed or wasn’t a good fit, or the lead just wasn’t ready at the time of content, or wasn’t qualified at that time.

It is important to know where the issue is, especially to prevent so many leads dying or going stale in the future.

Lead Triage

The next step is to quickly assess and organize the leads. Just like they do in a battlefield hospital. You’ve got those that are going to be fine. They may not be perfect, but they’ll be okay. Others are going to need some focused work and resuscitation. Then there are those that may not make it, and may end up as donors.

You can use a more complex lead scoring system with points. Or divide them into three buckets.

  1. Those that are ripe for following up 
  2. Those that need some nurturing 
  3. Those you can’t use

Lead Nurture

Some leads just need a little nurturing. They may need some prep work or time to ripen. Some may need extra education or information. Perhaps they need to be sent case studies, given a demo, or dripped a series of tips. This may be done by social or email.

Some just need time. Use drip campaigns, or automated reminders in a CRM for timely follow up.

Others may need specific help. For example; credit repair, or financing in order to buy. You may be able to partner with another business to provide these services, or bundle them with your own to expand revenue streams.

Follow Up Leads

Some of the leads will be ready to work. It’s just a matter of reaching them. The key is getting in touch with these leads, without making your team hammer old leads again and again. Then you can be adding new lead flow, with uncovered profits, and flow them in at a better rate - that your teams can handle timely.

Three methods of doing this to generate more income from your leads and convert them into hot inbound connections are:

  1. Retargeting ads
  2. Ringless voicemail drops 
  3. SMS text message marketing

With more coming in from leads you had written off, and high conversion rates going forward, you can acquire more new leads.

You may even find one of the most cost efficient methods of this is acquiring ‘dead’ leads from others, and putting them in your ringless or text campaigns. You can buy them for pennies or partner and split profits when you get sales, or just refer the business back if you can both gain a transaction out of it. For example; if you are a mortgage company and can get lead lists from an insurance company or Realtor.


There may be far more life and revenue in your ‘dead’ leads than you know. The vast majority are still probably worth something. Even if you sell off the worst of the worse to someone else. With the right tools and tactics you can also cash in many of them by converting them to hot inbound leads with and text. That is a win-win for both management and front line sales teams.

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