How digital marketing agencies are driving leads into their business during uncertain times [with real-life examples]
By Catherine Howell | Mar 19, 2020 | Blog
We’re living in a surreal time with economic uncertainty at an all-time high. Generating leads, drive them into your business, and ensuring you have a fat healthy cashflow pipeline has never been more important. Easier said than done though – according to a recent survey undertaken on digital marketing freelancers and agency owners, the number one problem stopping most from growing is lead generation.
But gone are the days, when the only way to drum up new business was to pick up a phone, and start making your way through a brick of phone books.
Think you need to have the ins with people high up, in order to land the trophy accounts? Think again! Sure agencies may still be required to wine and dine in order to land million-dollar contracts. But for mid-sized contracts ranging anywhere from $5K/mth – $35K/mth, there’s a new kind of lead generation on the block that’s changing how agencies are able to generate new business.
WHAT ARE AUTOMATED LEAD GENERATION FUNNELS
The simple definition of a funnel is a sequence of landing pages, or messages (ads, emails etc) that nurtures a cold lead (someone who has ever heard of or worked with you before) into a customer. At the basic level, you send traffic into a funnel and out pop clients. Sound good right!
An automated funnel is when you use paid ads, such as LinkedIn ads or Facebook ads, to drive the traffic into your funnels. This means that the whole process – once setup – can be very hands-off and only really requires someone to manage the ads and take the sales calls.
This allows for rapid scale frees up time-strapped agency owners who already have enough on their plate.
A typical agency funnel will usually send leads into a calendar sequence – meaning you’re trying to get leads to book straight into your calendar and a qualification process (which is also done by the funnel).
Here’s a quick overview of how a typical funnel works:
Note: agencies with strong brand presence or case studies are often able to bypass the lead magnet part and go straight into the landing page with the hook.
To support the funnel above the agency would also set up an email sequence to nurture leads (and or use a Facebook Group is they are interested in building up their own audiences and potentially selling courses down the line).
The email list is normally composed of six emails spaced out is a day apart (or use the Fibonacci sequence if you want to get real fancy here) and showcase case studies, direct response, and storytelling to draw leads in.
BENEFITS OF AUTOMATED LEAD GENERATION FUNNELS
Here are some of the perks of lead generation funnels for digital marketing agencies:
- They save time – especially great for founders who are finding themselves wearing a million hats in their business and struggle to scale simply due to lack of time to prospect for new leads
- They allow for rapid scale – because automated funnels are driven by paid traffic, you can essentially choose the level of volume you want coming in – like a tap! If you need more leads, scale your advertising, if you need to slow down, pause some campaigns!
- They pre-qualify leads – a big issue with most agency websites is the simple “contact us” form doesn’t really give a good insight into whether or not that lead will be worth the agency’s time (or vice versa). Automated lead generation funnels allow you to collect a fair amount of necessary information ahead of time to determine whether a lead is the right fit for your business. Leads that fit the bill are redirected to a calendar page and those that don’t are sent through to a “dud” confirmation page
- You can warm leads up and build trust to help the sales process – because there is usually a lead magnet involved and email sequence in the process this means you can showcase your work, testimonials and build affinity & authority before even getting on a call with the lead. This will help to annihilate many of the standard objections of “how can I trust you”, “I’ve been burned before in the past”
FIVE EXAMPLES OF AGENCIES USING AUTOMATED LEAD GENERATION
Below are five examples of agencies using automation to drive leads into their business. They are categorised as follows:
Difficulty: How much technical skill is required to implement
Time: How long it takes to build, roll out and test/validate this type of funnel
Quality: Quality of leads that will come through
Example #1: Lead Magnet Hook
Difficulty: Relatively difficult
Time: 1-2 weeks
Quality: High quality
A lead magnet is a method of attracting leads into your business, literally a “magnet” for leads. This is usually a free piece of content or training that provides value and – because it’s free – is an easy “yes” for potential prospects to commit to.
The lead magnet will then send prospects into an email nurture sequence to build authority and affinity and send leads into the application process (usually a consultation request).
The key to creating an effective lead magnet is to make sure it’s aligned with the service you will be ultimately providing and that it won’t just appeal to DIY sorts. For example, if you’re offering Instagram growth strategies to businesses, you may decide to use a lead magnet that showcases various competitors that utilise the strategy to grow but you don’t necessarily want it to be a “how-to” guide as you may just end up attracting lots of marketers or the do-it-yourself types.
Example #2: Direct Response
TIme: 1 week
Quality: Ok quality
Example #3: The Straight Up
This type of funnel is generally fairly simple to pull together and can be whipped up in under a week. Because no real lead magnet is being used there is a lot less testing involved and the funnel takes far less time to “crack” (ie: to become validated).
The premise with this funnel is to send traffic directly to the landing page which then uses a hook. In the digital marketing space, there are really 4 main hooks an agency can use for these types of funnels. In this example, you’ll notice the hook is a “Free Audit”.
Interested prospects are then directed to a form where they complete their information and ideally a calendar where they can then book straight in to speak to someone about their need.
TIme: 1 week
Quality: Good Quality
Traditionally referred to as a “straight-up” funnel, this approach also uses direct response (ie: sending traffic straight into a page that asks prospects to book a call in with the agency) but this example leverages case studies to establish trust and authority.
It’s not uncommon for these funnels to also showcase short videos introducing the process and service offer or the team behind the brand itself.
Lead quality from this type of funnel typically tends to be slightly higher as they are drawn in by messaging that resonates with their desire needs and outcomes, and then funnel itself isn’t too difficult to put together (the hardest part is how you present and collect your case studies).
There you have it – above we have shown you three ways that agencies are automating their lead generation and hopefully opened up your eyes to the potential and possibility of automating this side of your business.
If you’d like to have a custom funnel built for your agency to help you drive leads into your business on autopilot then reach out to us today to find out more about our done-for-you solutions!