How to Convert Leads That Don’t Buy: The 90-Day Funnel Strategy

Keith Perhac
Founder @ SegMetrics

There are two outcomes to any marketing funnel. Either the lead purchased the product you had for sale… or they didn’t.

Today I want to talk about those customers who chose not to buy from you, despite having gone through an excellent, carefully structured nurture sequence — and why you shouldn’t write them off quite yet.

Let’s begin by looking more closely at what going through your funnel looks like from their perspective.

What It’s Like to Not Buy From You

Maybe they found one of your blog posts via a Google search or a friend shared it on Facebook. Maybe they were up at 2am looking for the solution to their biggest business problem and encountered a PPC ad.

Regardless, they found an opt-in magnet somewhere on your website that led them to opt-in sign up for your email list.

For this example, maybe they’re struggling with copywriting and downloaded a checklist you had available. It promised them the most persuasive blog post headlines from the last decade all compiled in one PDF.

After getting their download they were enrolled in a relevant 90-day marketing funnel.

They went through your hero’s journey nurture sequence and learn a little about you, a little about the solutions your products offer, and then were asked if they’d like to buy your Ultimate Copywriting Power Class, written specifically for new copywriters.

You did all the right things in the right order, so why might they decide not to buy?

At first glance it certainly seems like a fit — they indicated they were interested in copywriting help when they downloaded that particular opt-in magnet, and maybe they even stayed engaged throughout a significant portion of the funnel.

Ultimately, though, they didn’t purchase the class. Why not?

Most likely, their reason falls into one of three categories:

  1. Price
  2. Topic Niche
  3. Skill Level

Since we know that price objections really just mean you haven’t done a good job of communicating value, let’s talk for a moment about the other two.

When this fictional lead signed up, they chose to download an opt-in magnet specifically related to blogging and specifically related to headlines. That means a general copywriting course may be way too big or general of a topic for their needs.

Maybe a better product for that person would be an intro to blogging course, or a ebook on writing better headlines. This mean there is a topic niche mis-match that led them not to buy.

Alternatively, the class we pitched was “The ultimate copywriting power class for new copywriters.”

But what if they’re not a new copywriter?

Maybe they’ve been copywriting for 5+ years — they were just looking for some new headline ideas. That means your class was targeted below their current skill level. You’d be better off offering them an intermediate or advanced level class.

In either case, it doesn’t mean that lead isn’t interested in purchasing from you. It just means they aren’t interested in purchasing that specific product from you.

Which is why it’s so important that you follow up with them, even after they fail to buy.

Where To Go From Here: Building the Next Step In Their Experience

After you initial offer, it’s a good idea to give them a break from marketing-focused content. Instead, move them over to your regular weekly newsletter for a few weeks, so that they receive updated, new content, live.

When they click through on something, it’ll be clear to them that they’re getting your latest work.

After leaving them on your newsletter list for a few weeks, it’s time to figure out what funnel or product makes sense for them next — and the best way to figure this out is just to ask them.

We can either do this literally or figuratively.

So we might send them an email that asks them, “Are you interested in blogging? Click here. Are you interested in sales page copywriting? Click here.”

Or we might send them an email with a few additional opt-in magnets or links to a few articles that are clearly targeted at a specific topic and then infer what they’re interested in by which posts or downloads they choose.

Either way, their actions in response to that email will determine which funnel you want to enroll them in next.

This second funnel should be for a different product than the first product we pitched them on. It’ll likely last a week or two — and if they still don’t purchase, it may try sharing additional testimonials or offering them a webinar.

Looking at the Big Picture: Your Funnel Roadmap

Ultimately, it may take a few funnels before we “guess” right and find the perfect product for any one specific customer. The better your automation sequences, the fewer it will take — and over time, your goal should be to evaluate what’s working and what’s not, and to improve.

Initially, you’ll likely need to make some educated guesses, but as data comes in, you can refine the process.

One important note however — you don’t want to be selling to someone all the time. So be sure to including “breaks” in your automation sequences, between funnels. During those breaks your contacts can receive your regularly weekly newsletter or other updated content, but they should get a break from all sales-related content.

What If You’re Not There Yet?

Don’t have several products or funnels quite yet? That’s okay — everyone starts somewhere.

While obviously your process won’t be optimized for every user, you can push them through the funnels you DO have in whatever order makes the most sense, even if it isn’t necessarily responsive to their specific needs.

It’s always better to offer something than nothing; it’s just a less tailored approach.

How many funnels do you have? Share a little about your email marketing nurtures in the comments!

Keith Perhac

Founder @ SegMetrics

Keith is the Founder of SegMetrics, and has spent the last decade working on optimizing marketing funnels and nurture campaigns.

SegMetrics was born out of a frustration with how impossibly hard it is to pull trustworthy, complete and actionable data out of his client's marketing tools.

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