In this week’s Surge Session, we cover five different strategies that agencies could use to generate leads and obviously sales. Whether you’re a creative agency or b2b company, use these inbound and outbound lead generation tactics to attract qualified prospects. Our CEO, Duran Inci, is joined by our Director of Marketing, Joseph Hassun.
Challenges of Generating Leads for Marketing Agencies
The reason that we wanted to talk about this is we get a lot of calls and questions from people who are running smaller agencies, who want to start their own agencies, who want to build clients to be able to produce results for them.
Regardless of whatever your marketing agency or your branding agency is doing, it is possible to generate leads online both inbound and outbound so we’re going to talk about that today.
It’s really hard for these agencies to generate leads and one of the reasons why is a lot of these agencies fail at one of the following: 1) they are not familiar enough with their product offering and/or their services, 2) they really don’t know what their target demographic should be, and 3) more importantly they haven’t identified what their value proposition is, and that’s extremely important.
If you can’t easily explain your value proposition and stand out from the rest of the competition, then you won’t be able to get prospects’ attention and generate leads.
The most important thing is don’t over-promise and under-deliver because marketing overall gets a bad reputation. So if you don’t know what you are doing, if you are not an expert, start slow.
The reason it’s so difficult getting new clients in our industry is that most of the clients are already burned out because they went cheap and they basically threw their money away.
Use Cold Email Lead Generation for Agencies
So let’s get into it. The first tactic that we’re going to talk about is cold email. There is a way for you to build leads and get conversations going with cold email, but you have to know how to do that.
The first thing you have to do is build your list. You need to build the right list, and again that goes back to identifying who your target is. Once you have that list, you can now personalize it specifically to that industry, making it a little bit easier to then penetrate their inbox.
If you’re trying to get, for example, real estate agents as clients, you don’t send it to one million real estate agents in the United States. First of all, you’re not going to go into the inbox, second of all it’s not going to be a targeted message. It’s a combination of things. Most people don’t understand that.
So you have to have your core structure right, and the core structure when you’re sending cold emails to people is you have to 1) validate those emails and 2) you have to use the writing for a structure, for which we recommend Mailgun as well as Mailem, which is the UI client for Mailgun.
So cold email works like a charm. We do it here at Optimum7 but we do it on a very targeted basis. We get leads usually for anywhere between $2 and $10 when we do cold email.
We don’t work with every single agency, we pick who we work with, but if you want us to do this lead generation for you, we’ll be happy to as long as you’re a legitimate creative agency or a marketing agency, and you have value.
How to Use Reporting to Improve Sales for Your Agency
The second tactic is what we call reporting, but it’s more of a value proposition. What is your value proposition to start a conversation with somebody? That is very important.
One of the things that you could do, for example, is run you a visibility report online for a prospect. Now, we get a lot of emails like this where people are sending us these reports even though we’re their competitors, and they are very generic, they provide no true value.
So what should this report or value proposition have if an agency is trying to get somebody else as a customer? It goes back to the personalization of it, and one of the best ways you can really make it personal is by doing a screencast report.
Don’t just send over a report. Actually go through the report with them, step by step, and have your webcam on so they can actually see you. It humanizes the process. Explain to them what they’re seeing, whether it’d be their website, how they can convert better, their online visibility, what their SEO is like and things like that. This tactic has been extremely effective.
You have to be confident, you have to be able to provide value, and you have to create some pain point on that Screencast or on that offer. You need to trigger the owner or the decision maker to actually listen to you. Remember, a sale always starts with a conversation.
Also, you have to have your own internal processes, and you have to track these processes as well. This is critical.
Why Local Agency Partner Relationships is a Win-Win
The third tactic that we want to talk about that has worked very well for us is partner relationships. We have partnerships with over 10 agencies that do the same or similar things to what we do.
But remember, when you build a partnership with another agency, the other agency has to complement yours, and you have to compliment theirs.
At Optimum7, for example, our value proposition is that we run our own e-commerce operations, our own lead generation operations. We’re not just an agency but we have multiple businesses in SAS, in lead generation, in consulting, in manufacturing, etc.
We know the business side of things really well. We know software and integrations really well. So ask yourself, what is your agency’s value proposition when you’re building these partnerships with another agency? Once you nail that down, then what you want to do is you want to start reaching out to people, to other agencies.
Again, identify where your strong suit is, what your weaknesses are, and be self-aware. You must know that you’re weak in certain areas and look for agencies that complement your agency.
When looking for agencies to partner with you should start off by searching locally, writing a good copy for outreach, and trying to meet up with at least one agency a week. Make a list of 10 agencies and make it a goal to at least hit one agency a week. They’ll be more than happy to meet with you.
Keep in mind, if you have these meetings and you are not an expert in something and you don’t know what you’re talking about, they’re going to dismiss you. So you have to have your stuff ready, your pitch ready, your value proposition ready.
Agency partnerships are one of the easiest ways for up-and-coming, young agencies to start generating new clients. It’s really difficult to go after a client in an industry when you have no portfolio to back you up.
Nine times out of ten, if you approach another agency, they’ll be willing to agree to a partnership. Even knowing that on the backside they could get burned. They’ll most likely take that chance.
So agency relationships are a great way for young and upcoming agencies to get some leads.
How to Use Great Content to Get High-Quality Leads
The next topic we want to cover is the importance of writing great content. You have to commit to generating quality content.
If you look at Optimum7’s blog, we have a lot of articles and blog posts there, some of them over 4,000 words, which gets us a lot of inbound traffic.
You have to communicate about your expertise. What problems did you solve last week for your clients? What new things did you start doing? What software did you develop? You have to look at all of these aspects and you have to write about them. If you don’t write about it, nobody knows about it.
Then once you write the content, you have to optimize it, you have to promote it on social media. Twitter is a good angle for this, as well as Facebook Ads.
You have to practice what you preach. It’s very difficult for an agency to obtain a new client and offer a product or service that they can’t actually execute themselves for themselves. When generating this level of content, really just dive in. Don’t overthink it, just sit down, put your head down and start writing content.
Facebook Bot Lead Generation: How to Use Messenger to get Sales
The last topic that we want to talk about is Facebook bots, which is a great lead generation strategy. Obviously, you have to be doing Facebook marketing and you have to be doing retargeting. AdWords retargeting is extremely expensive, but Facebook retargeting can be better.
If you can create a video and target for impressions on that video, Facebook marketing can be very effective. But bots are a great way to pull people out of your ads and send them offline to start a conversation with them.
When leveraging these bots, your ad is important, as well as your target audience.
When it comes to leveraging these bots for lead generation, the cost-per-lead varies. For some industries, it could be as high as $250. But now that we’ve already optimized our bot and we’ve been doing this for a long time, we’re now down to the $20 to $50 range per lead.
Remember, your sales process and your sales funnel have to be really good. You have to have sales people who follow up on these leads and who nurture these leads. If you don’t have the back end or the sales structure, don’t even spend any money on lead generation because you’re going to waste money.
Here at Optimum7, we went through all these phases, so we know it’s very important that your back end is able to sell. That’s one of the most important things.
Everything that we just talked about would be for nothing if you don’t have the back end setup.
Do you need help generating quality leads and increasing sales for your own marketing agency? Want to learn more about the strategies we covered in this Surge Session?
Contact us. We’re here to help.