| May 13, 2024 | | 7 min read

Supercharging Your Agency with a Winning Lead Generation System

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You don’t have to reinvent the wheel to find clients for your digital marketing agency. With the right lead generation system, your pipeline can function like a well-oiled machine, freeing you up to focus on other parts of your business. 

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In this blog post, we’ll cover exactly what a lead generation system is, why your agency needs one, and how to create and maintain a system that reliably delivers results for your business. If you want to spend less time searching for and chasing clients—and more time closing deals—read on.

What is a lead generation system? 

A lead generation system is a structured framework designed to attract prospective customers, capture their contact information, and nurture them along the agency sales funnel with the ultimate aim of converting them into paying customers. It provides a way for agencies to streamline and systematize their approach to customer acquisition, which is important for new and established agencies alike.

Why agencies need a lead generation system

Lead acquisition is a non-negotiable activity, but without a system to help automate the process, it can feel like you’re stuck on a hamster wheel just trying to get enough new clients to replace the ones that churn out.

Roadblocks to effective lead acquisition

To understand why implementing a lead generation system is unignorable for agencies, it’s helpful to think about the most common challenges faced in finding new leads:

  • The competition is fierce. There’s no shortage of agencies offering similar services. Failing to act swiftly on an opportunity usually means a competitor will swoop in to fill your prospect’s need.
  • Pipelines go through periods of feast and famine. Without a systematized approach, the flow of leads to your agency can be inconsistent. This makes it difficult to forecast revenue and to properly respond to opportunities when they arise. 
  • Startup agencies are short on time and resources.  Going about lead generation for marketing agencies manually demands a level of staff time that most small agencies simply can’t afford to spend.
  • Identifying well-aligned dream clients is difficult. If you’re always on the proverbial hamster wheel, you’re more likely to pursue any prospective client you can find rather than identifying and focusing on high-value prospects that align with your agency brand and goals.

The benefit of a systematic approach

A systematic lead generation process can help agencies of any size overcome these obstacles by introducing consistency, efficiency, targeting, and—crucially—scalability to client acquisition.

By using a consistent framework to attract and nurture leads, you can obtain a much higher degree of control over your pipeline, ensuring a steady flow of prospects rather than a stressful feast-or-famine situation. Let’s take a closer look at how a lead generation system can benefit your agency.

  • Greater efficiency: Instead of manually searching for prospects in Google and other directories, your system can automatically capture lead information and handle much of the lead nurturing process with automated email flows and alerts indicating when you should take action.
  • Optimizing for conversions: By using dedicated lead management solutions you can easily identify high-potential prospects and focus your efforts on them, leading to more conversions.
  • More predictability: Your automated system works for you around the clock, so you always have fresh leads to pursue.
  • Lower costs: Since much of your system can be automated, you can spend staff time on other high-value activities and keep your lead generation costs to a minimum.
  • Effortless scalability: The ease of scaling a largely automated system means the only limit on how many leads you pursue is your capacity to deliver services.

Essential components in a lead generation system

So far, we’ve focused a lot on what a lead generation system can do for your agency. Now, we’ll examine the nuts and bolts that comprise any well-oiled lead generation machine.

Lead capture forms

For a lead to enter your pipeline, you need some basic information about them. Lead capture forms are the entry point for prospects into your system.

Your lead capture forms will typically live on your website and other landing pages and social media pages. To obtain a visitor’s contact information, you’ll need to offer something of value in exchange. This might be access to your newsletter full of the latest marketing tips and strategies, or it could be a one-off lead magnet like a white paper on a subject of interest to your ideal client or access to a webinar where they can see your expertise on display.

Landing pages

Landing pages are distinct from your main agency homepage and are usually created as part of a specific marketing campaign or promotion. They might be optimized to appeal to a specific segment of your target audience or to tie into a limited-time deal, for example.

The north star of any landing page worth its salt is conversions. The conversion event doesn’t have to be purchasing your services, it can also be capturing a lead.

Email marketing

Once a prospect is in your lead generation system, the focus turns to nurturing them. This refers to the process of building enough trust and interest in your agency that they want to become paying customers. 

Email marketing is an ideal lead-nurturing tool because it can be automated while still retaining elements of personalization. By segmenting your audience according to inbound lead source, age, marketing niche, or any other relevant criteria, you can create different email flows optimized for each segment. 

Customer relationship management (CRM) platform integration

Your CRM software is the central hub of your lead generation system. It provides a unified dashboard where all lead information can be stored, including contact information, communications, and behavioral data such as time spent on your website.

The best CRMs today integrate with your website, email marketing platforms, and other tools to centralize information and generate valuable data. For example, your CRM can alert you when a prospect is interacting with emails or downloading items from your website, suggesting a high degree of interest. This enables you to act quickly and close the lead when they’re most motivated to buy.

How to create a robust lead generation system

Not sure how to put the pieces of your lead generation system together? We’ll walk you through the process step by step. 

Step 1: Define your audience

Start by clearly defining your agency’s audiences. Start at a high level, then break it down into smaller segments.

For example, let’s say your agency will focus on small and medium service-based local businesses in your region. You might break that down into legal practices, medical practices, and financial services businesses. This will enable you to craft more targeted lead magnets in the next step.

Step 2: Craft your lead magnets

Lead magnets are valuable resources or offers created in exchange for lead contact information or newsletter signups. Lead generation ideas include: 

  • White papers about industry statistics or trends
  • Ebooks or guides providing some DIY marketing strategies
  • Customizable templates or worksheets
  • Access to live webinars
  • Free trials
  • Discounts

Your lead magnets should be based on real needs faced by your target audience. This is a chance to get their contact information, but it’s also an opportunity to build up your agency’s reputation and showcase the high quality of your work.

Step 3: Set up your email marketing platform, CRM, and intake forms

Next, choose an email marketing platform and set up your intake forms. These will live on your landing pages along with your lead magnets. Choose a CRM and set up the integration with your email marketing platform.

Pro tip: Short and sweet is the name of the game here. The fewer fields prospects are required to fill out, the less friction you’ll generate, and the likelier they are to sign up.

Step 4: Build optimized landing pages

Depending on your target audience, you can start with a single landing page or you may jump right in with a variety of landing pages geared toward each of your audience segments.

These should be beautifully designed and optimized for conversion. Ensure your layout, colors, and typography reflect your brand. Be clear and concise with your calls to action (CTAs), and place one above the fold so users don’t have to scroll down the page to sign up. Integrate your landing page with the intake forms you set up in the previous step.

Step 5: Set up automated email flows

Head back to your email marketing platform to create your email flows. This is the sequence of emails a prospect receives once they’re in your system. Here. you can create targets that trigger the next email in the flow. For example, an email can be sent at a certain interval after signing up, or when the prospect takes an action like browsing your website or clicking on an email link.

These should be regular, but not too frequent. You want to keep prospects engaged, not annoy them.

Step 6: Leverage different channels

There are many types of lead generation activities, so think about how you will drive prospects to your landing pages. Consider advertising, social media marketing, or even partnerships with complementary agencies you meet through agency networking

How to maintain a lead generation system

To maintain your lead generation system, adopt a mindset of constant optimization. Keep an eye on important metrics like:

  • Conversion rates
  • Website traffic
  • Cost per lead
  • Email open rates
  • Email click-through rates

Your CRM and email marketing platform should have built-in tools to track these metrics. Based on this data, refine your landing pages, email flows, lead magnets, and marketing efforts to continuously improve your outcomes. 

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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