| May 21, 2024 | | 6 min read

What Does Automated Lead Generation Look Like?

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Automated lead generation converts tedious manual marketing tasks into more efficient automated workflows designed to capture leads and support a better customer service experience. It’s not a case of taking humanity out of marketing and lead generation processes but of pairing people-powered funnels with the right tools to support scale, cost savings, and enhanced KPIs.

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For the digital agency, understanding what automated lead generation looks like and how to implement it across various channels is important. 

What is automated lead generation?

For digital agency startups or any other business, automated lead generation refers to a process or technical system that removes some manual work from lead-related tasks. One of the most common examples of automated lead generation is seen with email marketing.

When someone clicks on a landing page and signs up for an email offer today, automated event chains are triggered. A thank you or welcome page may display immediately rewarding the consumer for their action. Drip campaigns might kick off in an attempt to keep the new prospect engaged long-term. An email or offer page might automate the process of providing a free download or coupon code. 

These are just some examples of the types of lead generation tasks you might automate. 

Why is automation important for lead generation?

Automation can help you scale efforts in finding clients for your agency. It also helps you create efficient, high-performance lead generation machines for your clients without investing in a large in-house staff. 

The efficiencies you get from automation can also help you grow your marketing agency strategy to serve new client types or connect with new markets.

Benefits of automated lead generation

Some specific benefits of automation of lead generation include:

  • Increased efficiency and productivity. AI, machines, and automated processes can work 24/7 to find and nurture leads. This lets your team spend their working hours on more human-centric or creative tasks, supporting better productivity overall.
  • Improved lead quality and conversion rates. Automated processes can score leads within the funnel, delivering only high-quality leads to various decision points. This reduces strain on your sales pipeline while increasing conversion rates at every step.
  • Cost-effectiveness and time-saving. It’s typically less expensive to run an automated process than a manual one. Automated ad management, email marketing, and even, to some degree, social media management can reduce the time your team spends generating leads. 
  • Enhanced customer targeting and personalization. Automated processes that leverage AI can process massive amounts of data, supporting better analysis within your marketing campaigns that leads to more tailored customer targeting.  

How to automate lead generation

Knowing how to integrate automatic lead generation into your digital marketing strategy effectively allows you to enjoy the benefits discussed above.

Identify your target audience and create an ideal customer profile

Start by understanding your target audience. When you have an ideal customer profile and know the best niches for your agency, you can build processes that support these potential clients and markets. This information also helps you better understand:

  • Which channels are most likely to perform well for lead generation
  • What type of messaging will resonate with your target audience
  • What needs your ideal customer might have within the customer journey that you can serve with automated processes

Implement lead scoring and nurturing strategies

When it comes to automatic lead generation processes, lead scoring is a prime task that can be converted to automations. AI is especially equipped to consider leads, sources, and other data points and apply logical rankings to leads, prioritizing the highest quality leads so your team can give those more or immediate attention.

Lead nurturing is a critical agency skill that automation can help with. Tools such as chat bots, automated email campaigns, and interactive processes on your website can engage potential clients early in the funnel without draining your human capital resources. Automation also works to nurture leads and engage your audience at all times, even when your office is closed for the night or weekend. 

Utilize marketing automation software and tools

Whether you’re launching a marketing agency with no experience or integrating automated lead generation into long-term processes, it’s important to select the right software and tools. You can find a list of five tool types for automated lead generation at the end of this article. As you consider software and tools, look for:

  • Options that fit your budget. Many of these tools are offered as SaaS with subscription models. Consider the total cost of the tool over time, making sure to factor in whether you have to pay for each team member to have a seat.
  • Whether the tool grows with you. Look beyond your current needs for marketing automation to ensure that you’re investing in tools that will support you well in the future.
  • Privacy and security. Ensure any vendors you work with are committed to protecting yours and your clients’ data.

Integrate CRM systems for seamless lead management

Look for ways to foster seamless lead generation strategies, such as integrating customer relationship management software to catalog and manage leads once you have them.

Continuously analyze and optimize your automated processes

As you should be doing with all your marketing agency services, review your automated processes regularly. Ask and answer questions such as:

  • Are these processes still serving your agency and clients well?
  • Has new technology entered the market that might be appropriate to integrate into your automated processes?
  • Have marketing, client, or consumer trends changed in a way that requires you to evolve your automated processes?
  • Are there pain points within the process for your team or clients that you need to address?

By addressing these questions regularly, you can continuously improve your automated processes so they drive more and higher-quality leads while offering a better customer experience. 

Five tools for automated lead generation

Your automated lead generation processes should be somewhat unique to your marketing agency. Your agency ownership style, the audience you serve, and team preferences all play a role in how you create automated processes. However, the five types of tools below are helpful for most agencies. 

1. Customer relationship management (CRM) software

A CRM solution is a must-have for most marketing consultancy businesses. By capturing and managing your client data in a single location, you can support the automation of a variety of processes, including:

  • Customer segmentation. AI can analyze your customer data and suggest segmentation and categorization that might enhance marketing campaign performance.
  • Sales forecasting. AI can leverage customer and order data to create intelligent forecasting that helps you make decisions about agency growth and staffing.
  • Proactive customer service. You can layer automated customer service tools, such as chatbots, on your CRM data to ensure clients have a seamless experience when engaging with your website or other channels. 

2. Marketing automation platforms

Marketing automation platforms are designed to help you maximize marketing efficiency and reach without sacrificing important components such as agency brand identity. These tools identify patterns and data and take proactive actions as programmed, such as sending emails, launching and managing ad campaigns, or responding to social media messages. 

3. Lead capture and landing page tools

Automatic landing page tools are critical to efficient lead capture. Some common ways to automate landing page activity include:

  • Automated landing page beta testing. You can set up various test scenarios, such as having ad campaigns directed to two different landing pages or testing where a call to action performs best. Automated systems can run these tests for you, gather the data, and analyze performance to present conclusions about which landing page version is best.
  • Gathering leads. Most marketing agencies automate landing page lead gathering via options such as sign up forms.
  • Immediate engagement with leads. Lead generation activity, such as a click or sign up, can trigger an automated response such as an email or welcome page that helps keep the prospect engaged. 

4. Email marketing automation tools

Whether you’re a small boutique marketing agency or a large full-service marketing company, email marketing automation is an absolute must. Yes, there’s always room for manual email and the human touch, but you can’t scale your processes and keep up with all your subscribers and prospects by typing a single email at a time.

5. Social media management and monitoring tools

A fifth common automation option when it comes to lead generation is related to social media channels. You might:

  • Leverage automated social listening tools. These tools gather data from across platforms and sites to get an idea of how customers see your business. You can use these insights as feedback to enhance your marketing campaigns and service options.
  • Use AI to respond to messages. AI-based chatbots can hang out in your DMs when your team isn’t able to respond in a timely manner. These bots can provide information and links in response to prospect messages.
  • Enhance comments with automations. Growing your social engagement is a good thing, but eventually you may cross a threshold where social responses are difficult to manage given the number of comments you receive. Creating automated scripts can help drive efficiencies with this task.

If you want more information on automations for marketing or how to start a digital marketing company, we can help. Browse some of our other pages today.

About the Author

Lawrence Dy is the SEO Strategy Manager at Vendasta. His career spans from starting as a Jr. Copywriter in the automotive industry to becoming a Senior Editorial Content Manager in various digital marketing niches. Outside of work, Lawrence moonlights as a music producer/beatmaker and spends time with friends and family.

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