There’s a lot of information out there about online leads. The most common questions around following up with online leads are when should I reach out to the lead and how often should I follow up with them? Here are some guidelines on when to follow up with your online leads while using the right channels!

Choosing the right channel: Phone or email?

Before we get started with the “when”, it’s important to tackle the bigger question, do I follow up with phone or email? The right answer is both! Each method has its own pros and cons, and by using both channels, you can improve your chances of reaching your online leads.

The great thing about a phone call is that it requires immediate action by the lead. It’s a good way to get a quick response. A phone call also allows you to build a human connection. It’s easier to build trust and mutual interest through a live conversation. However, you should be prepared to leave a voicemail since people may be preoccupied, away from their phone or generally avoid answering unknown numbers.

Tip: An effective follow-up voice message is around 20-30 seconds long. Be clear, concise, friendly and make it easy for them to call you back!

The biggest challenge with phone calls is that they can be too invasive. To avoid being irritating, limit your contact to no more than 3 phone calls. Instead of leaving a second voicemail, consider texting them instead!

For a balanced approach, emails allow leads time to view the content on their own time and when it is convenient for them. While this might take more time given how emails can go unseen, it gives you the opportunity to be persistent with your follow-ups since they are less invasive than phone calls. Studies show that you should be more persistent with emails since 80% of non-routine sales occur only after at least five follow-ups.

For the best results, create a strategy where you use both phone calls and emails. What if the lead does not leave a phone number? No problem! You can still follow up successfully by email only. Send them a few listings similar to what they are interested in or encourage them to sign up for your monthly newsletter. Check out this article for more ideas on how to follow up with your leads. Remember, work with what you have and create an approach that works best for you.

When to follow up?

Your first follow-up should be as soon as you receive the new lead! You know they are available since they just left their details, and it is still fresh in their minds. It is statistically proven that you are more likely to get a response if you follow up within the first 10 minutes after a lead submits their information. Remember, when leads are in the market, they are often being pursued by multiple agents as well. You need to get in first and be the most knowledgeable and personable agent, just like with other types of leads.

Other ideal times to contact a lead are later in the week when they are not busy planning their week and prioritizing their work. Wednesdays and Thursdays are ideal days for follow-ups. Reach out between 4 pm and 6 pm in their respective time zones. These times work best as people are winding down and wrapping up their day. Finally, consider contacting your leads 5 minutes before or after the hour. They might have just left a meeting or getting ready for another one to start, and they have a few minutes to spare. These are some suggested times to try, but if you don’t get through, try changing it up as everyone’s schedule is different!

How often to follow up?

It can take up to seven follow-ups to hear back from a lead for the first time. The ideal number of touchpoints is anywhere between seven to twelve. It’s important to find the balance between staying persistent and giving your lead enough time to respond to you. Creating a schedule to plan out your follow-ups can help you do just that. After the first three follow-ups, it is good practice to keep these leads on a slow-rotation schedule. Just because they did not respond now, does not mean that they are not interested at all.

We recommend a schedule similar to this:

Day 1: first touchpoint

Day 3: second touchpoint

Day 7: third touchpoint

Day 14: fourth touchpoint

Day 28: fifth touchpoint

From there you should try to follow up once a month until you get a response. In between, you can add these leads to your newsletter database to keep up a cadence of “soft touches” to nurture them into fruition.

Even if your initial follow-ups do not get any responses, have a second phase ready where you reach out every month for meaningful contact. Your goal is to create trust and build a personal connection with the lead that can eventually lead to a sale. The better the experience your lead has, the more likely they are to recommend you to their own contacts.

If you haven’t heard a response up to this point, consider sending your lead a breakup email. This acts as a final touchpoint to prompt a response from your lead if they are interested but have simply been busy. It lets them know that you will stop reaching out to them, but they can still reach you if they change their mind.

Tip: Make it easy for your lead to reach you. Have a clear call to action in all of your touchpoints & make sure they can easily find your contact information.

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