Every Friday since the pandemic shut things down last March (here in the U.S.), we’ve highlighted communicators and marketers who at first were trying to figure out which part of the sky just fell on them in My Hot Mess. Then we shifted to those who are crushing the pandemic with Survive & Thrive

Now it’s time to get back to business, even if it’s not totally normal. We’re going to do that with an Ask Me Anything series—an elevation of our previous Spin Sucks Question series.

Welcome back to another Ask Me Anything, which is a new series where we talk to our friends, our viewers, and our community. about what they would like to know.

Let’s take a look at the mailbag. This week’s question is:

If you use cookies to identify and track website visitors and eventual marketing leads and you’re having a lot of good interest in a piece of relevant content and want to do some outreach to those known consumers of the content, do you reference the fact that you know they read the content in your email/phone call? How do you make that NOT super stalker-ish, creepy?

Creepy Sales and Marketing Ideas for Following Up On Marketing Leads

We can all track now who comes to our website, what they read, how they participate, what they engage with and what they don’t. We’re marketers. We know this is a thing. So it’s not creepy if someone says to us that they saw us on their website.

But not everybody knows that we have the ability to do that, so it can come across as a little bit stalker-ish or creepy.

How you handle it really depends on the culture of the sales organization.

I’ve spent a lot of time with HubSpot, with Pardot, and with Salesforce. And when I do that, I have found that they will contact you and they will say, “Hey, I saw that you were reading our content. I saw that you did this, this and this.”


And that is one approach, for sure.

Non-Creepy Sales and Marketing Ideas for Following Up On Marketing Leads

Another approach is something we do for our clients where we show the sales team everything the person has consumed on the website—free and gated content, livestreams, podcasts, and the like.

One of our clients has all of their prospects uploaded into HubSpot and they are tagged as prospects We don’t email them. We don’t market to them, but we have them tagged so that when they do come to the website and they do engage with content, we know what they’re doing. And we know that they are prospects.

So when somebody is on our prospect list and they do engage with the content, we can say to the sales team, “Hey, so-and-so title from brand X has been on the site. Here’s what they’ve looked at. This is what it looks like is of interest to them. Here’s some content you can send them.”

And they’ll send an email and just say, “Hey, I noticed that you’ve been interested in this type of content.”

Still a little creepy, but it works far better because you’re offering them more content they’ll be interested in.

Them, of course, we know if they’ve opened it, read it, or forwarded it on. We can track all of that.

It works really, really well.

Usually what happens is the prospect will say, “You know what? I was just on your site and I got some really great information! I’d like to have a conversation.”

That probably happens about 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time the salesperson has to say, “Hey, would you like to schedule a call?”

That’s the way I like to do it. It’s still a little bit creepy, but it works because the content brings the guards down because you’re offered something of value.

It also helps guide our editorial calendar because if we see there are things prospects are looking up and they need more on the topic, we can create it.

Some More Non-Creepy Ideas for Following Up On Marketing Leads

You can also do some retargeting, particularly if you’re not ready to hand the lead over to sales.

Anybody who comes to the website or specific pages on the website, such as the blog or specific landing pages, can be retargeted with social media ads.

This also works really well because they’re getting ads in their Facebook stream or their LinkedIn stream versus the salesperson calling.

Eventually, the salesperson does have to call, but the retargeting can add one more valuable buffer between information gathering and conversation.

So that, by the time the salesperson does email or call, the prospect is pretty qualified.

Have a Question For Us?

If you have a question for a future AMA, you can drop it in the comments here or join us in the (free) Spin Sucks Community.

Ask it there, drop ideas for multitasking I can do while answering your questions, engage with your fellow marketers, and have some fun.

I’ll see you next week for another enlightening AMA.

Gini Dietrich

Gini Dietrich is the founder, CEO, and author of Spin Sucks, host of the Spin Sucks podcast, and author of Spin Sucks (the book). She is the creator of the PESO Model and has crafted a certification for it in partnership with Syracuse University. She has run and grown an agency for the past 15 years. She is co-author of Marketing in the Round, co-host of Inside PR, and co-host of The Agency Leadership podcast.

View all posts by Gini Dietrich