Person sitting on couch with green and yellow pillows in living room while smiling and reading a new business message via WhatsApp


5 ways to nurture and re-engage cold leads with messaging

June 28, 2023

Marketers’ top objective is building awareness, according to our internal research. But marketing teams also need to show their campaigns’ ROI — and that can be challenging when you’re focusing on the awareness stage.

A business messaging platform can help. With this channel, you can consolidate awareness marketing in one place and track how it’s leading to sales. Business messaging was even the most popular awareness channel in our internal report, with 56% of marketers using it to stay in touch with leads.

Read on to learn how you and your marketing team can use all the classic cold lead nurturing tactics within business messaging platforms.

Person standing in living room in front of a bike and plant while reading a personalized business message via WhatsApp


Many marketing teams know that shoppers — including cold leads — want individualized treatment. According to our internal research, nearly half of marketers use personalized offers and product recommendations to engage leads and customers.

Messaging app conversations give your brand plenty of opportunities to offer this individualized marketing.

In our research, 26% of marketers said that sending personalized offers is a key benefit of business messaging platforms. Additionally, 38% of marketers also said they think customers would be receptive to personalized product recommendations on business messaging platforms — compared to just 34% when marketers were asked the same question about all marketing channels.

To send personalized recommendations to cold leads, consider setting up a chatbot on your business messaging platform.

Say you’re an outdoor gear brand’s marketer, and a new shopper sees your ad. They like the bike picture in the ad, so they click on it and are directed to your website. The lead browses a few products and then clicks on the site’s chat icon to ask for bike recommendations. Your brand’s chatbot then offers bike suggestions based on the products the person was browsing.

Two people laying on opposite sides of the couch and laughing with their heads touching in the middle. They are surrounded by empty moving boxes.

Content marketing

Build cold leads’ trust in your brand by offering them high-quality content, like how-to guides and tutorial videos. Shoppers will have a reason to consider your products down the road if you start the relationship by sharing something helpful.

But potential customers may never see your content if they have to dig through search pages and websites to find what they need. Make it easy for cold leads to discover your resources by sharing them through a business messaging platform. A bot or agent can determine what new shoppers need and then recommend the best content right in the chat.

To see how in-chat content recommendations work, imagine a potential home buyer. They search the keyword “loans for first-time home buyers” on Google, which leads them to a website for a bank they’ve never heard of before.

On the website, the shopper tries to understand the steps of mortgage applications. They click a “chat with an expert” link and are directed to a messaging platform. They chat with an agent who answers their questions and sends them the bank’s blog post about the mortgage application process for first-time home buyers.

Car salesperson and customer looking inside the trunk of a new red car at a dealership


Most people won’t be convinced to engage with your brand, much less buy a product, after a single interaction. Retargeting ads help you connect with cold leads repeatedly, so you can strengthen your relationship and gradually move them down the funnel. These promotions are customized based on individual shoppers’ online activity, so they’re enticing and click-worthy.

Retargeting ads typically lead consumers to individual products, but these pages might not be enough to convince a new shopper to make a purchase. They may want to ask questions before placing their order, especially if the product is expensive.

Nurture cold leads and build their confidence in your brand by creating retargeting ads that lead to messaging chats, also known as click-to-message ads. Through messaging, an agent or bot can answer consumers’ questions and give them recommendations that encourage them to consider a purchase.

Say a shopper visits a car brand’s website for the first time, and they browse their vehicles. The cold lead views a red sedan’s product page for several minutes and then moves on to another site.

A week later, they see a Facebook click-to-message ad with a picture of the red sedan. The lead clicks on the promotion, which brings them to a messaging chat with an agent from the car brand. After asking a few questions about the car’s fees and safety ratings, the shopper sets up a test drive appointment.

Person smiling and showing a makeup palette and brush while filming a makeup tutorial

Follow-up messages

Retargeting isn’t the only way to nurture cold leads once they find your brand. You can also follow up with them one-on-one to check whether they’re still interested in your brand.

That said, it’s hard to get consumers’ attention with follow-up emails because so many businesses flood customers’ inboxes. Another option is calling leads, but shoppers just learning about your company may find that annoying — phone calls take time, and many people don’t trust unknown numbers.

A follow-up messaging chat is a great alternative. You can reach leads quickly and directly without taking up much of their time. It only takes consumers seconds to respond, and they choose when they reply.

Keep in mind, you can only send these follow up messages if a shopper opts in to the chat or if your brand replies within the conversation window of the initial contact. But with so many messaging entry points — like click-to-message ads and website chat icons — there are plenty of ways to get cold leads to start that initial conversation and opt in.

A beauty brand might publish an Instagram promotion that invites cold leads to chat with a makeup expert. Once a shopper engages with the click-to-message ad, the brand is connected to them on the messaging platform and can follow up if the consumer opts in to messaging.

Say a person clicks on the ad and messages the brand’s chatbot about an eyeliner product. The company asks the shopper if they would like to opt in to receive messages, and they say yes. A few days later, the chatbot can message the shopper to ask if they’re still considering purchasing the item.

Person sitting on a blue couch surrounded by plants in the living room while holding a guitar and reading a business survey sent through WhatsApp


Figure out what campaign elements are resonating with cold leads (and which ones aren't) by sending them surveys through your business messaging platform. Based on their responses, you can refine your marketing tactics.

Messaging surveys are low-friction ways for cold leads to share information with your brand. They can share answers right in the chat without clicking a link and leaving the messaging app. Depending on how many surveys you’re sending, you may need to integrate your business messaging platform with a survey tool to compile and analyze responses.

Say you want to know whether you could make your website’s landing page more engaging for first-time visitors. You might set up a messaging survey for people who click on your site for the first time and click on the chat icon on your homepage.

An agent or bot can chat with these new shoppers to answer their questions. Once the conversation is ending, the agent or bot can ask, “How would you describe our website experience?” and share pre-set answer options to make the survey easy to complete.

Person sitting at desk and smiling at phone while engaging with a click to message ad

Run click-to-message ads to start messaging cold leads right away

The ideas in this post are a great starting point for nurturing cold leads. But it’s true that some tactics require a few steps before any messaging happens. You might need shoppers to discover your brand through search or browsing your website to find the chat icon.

Speed up the process by running click-to-message ads. These promotions bring new leads directly to a messaging conversation with your brand. From there, your team can start building the shopper’s trust and guiding them down the funnel.

Learn more about creating click-to-message ads in this blog post on Getting Value from WhatsApp Messaging.

Source for all claims: WhatsApp Business Platform Marketing Use Case Research, Dec 2022

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