Lead nurturing journey – A case study: cold-warm-hot

Our story:

Way back in 2011, when I was in the early stages of my marketing career with our newly started e-commerce business, I have witnessed the miserable failure twice. We were wondering how that happened to us, in spite of doing all the market studies and considering every potential customer equally.

But it took another couple of months to realize that what we considered our best method of lead nurturing was the villain. Other than sales we hadn’t optimized the campaigns for the leads. We never thought whether all customers were in equal need of our service or they just wanted a piece of information from us.

Realization: No two leads to your business are alike.

Lesson #1- targeting different audiences

While concentrating on different lead generation tactics (pls provide internal links), we must gather a huge variety of leads. Some leads won’t ever realize whether or not you are providing the services they are searching for. Spending too much on them will be a mere waste of time and money. Once you identify the original buyer personas, customer-oriented campaigns must be your first step and you can expect the most viable leads in your business.

Lesson #2 – Analyze web traffic

People believe that building a customer relationship is the cardinal custom in the lead nurturing process. But I would say that rather you concentrate on the customer behaviour analysis well ahead of that.

I must acknowledge that, then as a startup company, making a thorough research on customer behaviour gave us a firm grip of the field. We had greatly depended upon the heat map analysis to identify the functional and non-functional areas on our website. The heat map tool will provide you with the exact idea of the route map of your visitor’s journey, including where they spend most of their time on your page. I strongly recommend the use of all possible dimensions of different heat maps such as hover maps, attention maps, click maps, scroll maps, and envelop heat maps etc. related to different matrices.

Lesson #3- recognize distinct lead types

You will feel more comfortable to work with a group of like-minded leads, instead of covering diverse leads under the same umbrella of strategies. In that aspect, categorizing the whole lead group into three classes – cold, warm, hot – will be highly beneficial.

The entirely diverse feature of each of these leads calls for varying action plans in lead nurturing. At this point in the nurture sequence, a deep insight into the funneling process is inevitable.

  • Cold leads

It may sound strange that people who know nothing about your business happen to be on your page. If it happens it is a good indication and proof of your website’s SEO optimization capabilities. As their problems got a match with your content keyword, they might have rerouted to your page. Otherwise, your ads were promising enough to catch their attention. But they are in no way related to your brand earlier. Such leads are cold leads.

The cold leads can be a casual browser or someone who are in search of the ultimate solution to their problems. In either case, as your brand is new to them, the chances are very less that they immediately indulge in business with you. Does that sound disappointing?

If your answer is yes/no, you must be ready with all your marketing tactics to create a strong bond with such low-level leads. Build trust in them, hoping, at any point of time they will become your clients.

The lead warm-up journey is for tolerant marketers. If you hastily lead the cold leads directly into your sales page, the results will be negative. Instead provide sufficient lead magnets like videos, podcasts, blog-contents, how-to-do guides, or some free resources which are helpful to them. Your tempting contents always leave back their email address with you.

Once you have their contact details, you can segregate your leads based on their age, demographic details or their piece of interest on your page. Now, it’s time to apply all your trust-building tactics mainly through newsletters or email offers.

Monitoring the moves of these leads after this process will help you opt for more probable leads. If they are fascinated by your power blogs, they will have a natural inclination to your brand. Understand, it’s time to take them to the next level by getting them signed up for your newsletter.

  • Warm leads

As wisely put by Holger Schulze- the CEO of Cybersecurity Insiders, ‘Your future prospects resemble your best customers, and that’s the place you should start.’ So, just after your warming up process, you should uplift the lead nurturing strategy. The warm leads are well aware of your brand, products and services. They are already sharing a bond with you and have gone through your contents.

This point may appear as a saturation point to many, but actually, this is a turning point. At this juncture, the best strategy will be handing over the leads from marketing to the sales team.

The warm lead must say that ‘million dollar yes’ to a purchase and, up to the level sales marketing must be done. You can think about the following contents for warm leads:

  • Strong technical white paper  or e-book
  • Free tools and pdf downloads
  • Product demos
  • Trial classes/Webinars on trending topics in the field
  • Events and offers
  • Hot leads

When you reach a point where everything between you and the customer is transparent with a previously successful business, you will be handling hot leads.

Do you have any guess on the keyword for hot leads?


Now you become their loyal business partner and expect more business in the future also.  If they are on a business expansion plan, surely, they will require additional services and upgradation tools.  

In order to sustain the business with hot leads, you can focus mainly on two things:

  • pushing the existing customers for some extra business
  • reconnecting with your good old customers who have not made some recent purchases.

Two attract these customers, you can initiate a one-on-one call, proposal, meeting or anything of a personal touch. Other great ways to sustain them is to set up the Pay Per Click ads for them. Choosing the latter, you must generate lead magnets like landing pages, sales pages, product pages, offer pages etc.

What we have learned:

  • In the world of digital marketing, don’t be copycats. Sort out the unique lead nurturing methods for you.
  • Identify your cold, hot and warm leads and prepare different lead magnets for each.
  • Follow the lead scoring practices.
  • Maximize the use of automation tools in lead nurturing journey and go an extra mile with chatbots.
  • Let trust-building be your ultimate mantra, as the basic characteristics of the three leads are deeply rooted in their trust on you.

We love to hear

We, as emerging entrepreneurs had got inspired by many success stories then, and that only has motivated us to share our story with you. What if your story also can win hearts and businesses alike? Do create one such successful business and let the world hear from you !!


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