re-engage past clients | woman sitting at desk with hands folded in front of computer

How to Re-Engage Past Clients and Leads Who Never Converted 


Marketing is a lot of work. It requires time, brain power, and money, yet far too many companies (of all sizes) focus their marketing on acquiring new leads. It’s even more important to re-engage past clients and leads who never converted.


The statistics back up this strategy:


The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%, while the probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. 


And guess what the best marketing channel is for this group? Email.


For our purposes, I define past clients as ones who you are not actively working with. Maybe it’s been a couple of months or a year since you’ve worked together. They already know, like, and trust you. Marketing to them just makes sense.  


As for the leads you acquired but never converted, well, we’ll dig into them more below. 


Three ways re-engage past clients


Even without statistics to back up this strategy, it just makes sense that if someone already bought from you, they’re likely to do so again. 

Here are three easy ways to re-engage past clients that I use for Jansen Communications and our clients. 


Send a personal email just to say hi


Every week, I email a past client to say hi. I pick and choose from this list. Did I like working with them? Then they get an email. 


In this email, I don’t ask for business. I ask them what’s new and give them a quick update on how I’m doing. My response rate is 50%, and yes, this strategy has resulted in new projects. 


Follow up on your last project with them


For one-time projects, like a landing page and lead nurturing email series for a new product launch, I make it a point to follow up and see how sales are going. This often leads to a conversation and sometimes to new business.


Send them a special offer 


This is one marketing strategy I use for other clients, but as I type this, I realize I have not used it for my own agency. I will right that wrong this week!


Anyway, you can send clients special comeback offers like a 15% discount on the same product or service they purchased in the past – or you can upsell them on a new one. If you do this, be sure to add a deadline so they take action quickly (rather than letting the offer languish in their inbox). 


Four ways to re-engage leads 


Is it worth pursuing this group when your conversion may only be in the 5-20% range? 


I make this call depending on how far along we got in the sales process and the value of their potential business. Potential clients that received a proposal but didn’t sign are worth it for me to follow up with. Likewise, those that have a potential lifetime sales value in the tens of thousands of dollars are also worth pursuing. 


Two of the above strategies work here – an email to say hi and a special offer. However, I would tailor these approaches a bit more. 


Send these leads valuable information


Because leads don’t yet know how wonderful you are to work with, send them an article or statistic they might find useful. This shows you are paying attention to what’s important to them. I guarantee that they’ll remember this gesture. 


Create a special offer just for them


One strategy I use with a client is broad rather than targeted. Because they haven’t purchased from you before, let them choose the best product or service for their needs. Offer them a discount on any of your offerings. 


Check in on the project 


The project that you discussed might have been delayed. This happens a lot, especially in marketing, as budgets and priorities shift. I have found that this kind of check-in email can re-ignite the sales conversation. 


Share a case study/completed project 


This is a strategy I use with potential project partners, rather than clients. It allows me to show off my expertise in a more direct way. And it serves as reminder that, “Hey, I am good at this! Let’s work together!”


But what if you don’t nurture leads – at all? 


Pause while I hold my head in my hands and slowly shake it back and forth.

If you’re not going to nurture the leads you do get, why bother marketing? You’re just throwing away time and money.


Leads need to be nurtured. People who sign up for your email list are telling you, “I’m interested in what you have to say, and I probably want to buy what you sell!”  


Don’t make them wait for your monthly newsletter. They need an automated welcome email series that further introduces them to your brand. (If this is something you’d like to put into place, let’s talk!)


How do you re-engage past clients? 


I don’t pretend to know everything, so I’d like to hear from you. How do you re-engage past clients? And do you also reach out to leads who never converted? What works and what doesn’t?


  • Tiffany Turley
    Posted at 09:19h, 12 July Reply

    I don’t have any extra ideas to add, these were all great ones! I especially like to just shoot a quick hey how ya doin email, like you said, not asking for ANYTHING, just letting them feel seen and cared for. Great article as per usual!

    • Monika Jansen
      Posted at 09:18h, 19 July Reply

      Aww thanks Tiffany! Your lovely comment made my day.

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