With a pipeline full of leads, you can consistently hit your revenue targets each quarter and ensure your agency grows into the business you want it to be.
However, it's not always easy – depending on your unique agency, sales team, and customers, different strategies will be more effective than others.
In this guide, we're going to walk you through proven ways to get leads for your agency. By the end, you'll be ready to start implementing them in your business.
Let’s jump in.
Why Does Generating Leads for an Agency Matter?
Your agency offers services to clients that are likely to be priced at a minimum of four figures per month. As a result, your buyers expect a personalized sales process that reflects the value they expect from someone pitching them a high-cost service.
Agencies need to use high-touch, personalized lead-generation channels to get the best results.
For that reason, avoid channels that result in you sending the same message to thousands of people. There may be a time and a place you want to test Facebook or Google Display Ads, but in most cases, your agency would benefit more from a targeted, personal approach.
Inbound vs. Outbound Strategies to Get Leads for Your Agency
Inbound strategies to generate agency leads are enticing. If you can build an effective inbound marketing strategy, you’ll have leads knocking at your virtual door asking to work with you.
The only problem with inbound is that it takes time to build an effective content marketing system.
You'll need to spend months creating written, video, or audio content that's interesting for your target audience. Then, you'll need to promote it in the right places to ensure prospective clients see it. And, even after that, there's no guarantee that someone will see your content and then decide to get in touch with you.
If you want to generate leads for your marketing or advertising agency within a short timeframe - say, 30 days - outbound is the best way to start having conversations with qualified prospects.
You can choose who you want to have as a customer, reach out to them in a personalized way, and start a conversation.
Even if you don't close them as a customer, they'll remember you because you've had a real conversation with them.
4 Proven Strategies to Generate Leads for Your Agency
Do you want to learn key strategies for your email marketing campaigns to generate leads for your agency?
This section will discuss how to generate leads to grow your agency's customer base.
1. Send Personalized Cold Emails and Stand Out in Your Prospect’s Inbox
Cold email outreach is an excellent way to get leads for your agency. You can get in touch with any decision-maker that looks like a good fit and have a real conversation with them.
The good thing about email is that there are no gatekeepers, and you know your potential client will likely check their inbox throughout the day.
It's also a fundamentally simple channel. You need to put yourself in your recipient's shoes, write an email to incite their curiosity and have a conversation. It won't be long before they sign on as a client with your agency if everything goes well.
So, how do you approach cold email for your agency?
Step 1. Sourcing Qualified Prospects
First, you need to source a list of qualified prospects. It's preferable to email fewer people but have them be a better fit as a potential client than to email many people who loosely match your buyer persona.
Company size: 20+ employees
Revenue: $10,000,000+ per year
Location: Los Angeles
These prospecting tools will surface any accounts matching your criteria, complete with contact info and details.
Before reaching out to anyone, always use an email verification tool like NeverBounce to check that your emails are valid.
Step 2. Writing Your Cold Email Templates
The next step is to write compelling cold emails. In your emails, you’ll want to show your prospects why it’s worth having a conversation with you.
This means you need to:
Keep your email brief to avoid wasting their time
Personalize it to show it’s unique to them
Make your email body compelling to spark their interest
Have a call-to-action that’s easy to respond to
Attributes are key snippets of information, such as your prospect’s first name, company name, job title, or even an entire custom sentence or opening line.
These will be in your prospect spreadsheet. When you upload your prospect list into QuickMail, you can then include these in your email templates.
When you send your emails, the attributes will auto-fill each email using the unique attribute, so every single email you send is 100% unique to the recipient.
For example, a template like this:
This would turn into:
Personalizing every email using attributes is vital if you expect a reply and want to create client relationships because decision-makers will instantly delete your email if it's clear you haven't done your basic research into them.
Step 3. Automatically Send Cold Emails and Follow Up
If you try to send all of your cold email campaigns manually, you’ll spend all day in your inbox.
To truly scale your campaigns, you’ll need to automate your email sending using a tool like QuickMail.
You can use the campaign builder to add as many emails as you need to a campaign, with delays in-between each follow-up email.
In the image below you can see the first email is being sent on day #1. Then, after a delay, QuickMail will send a second email if your prospect doesn't respond to the first email.
You can add as many follow-up emails to a campaign as needed. 55% of replies to cold email campaigns come from one of the follow-up emails, so it's always worth adding at least two to three follow-ups.
Once your campaigns run, your emails will be sent on autopilot, and all you and your team need to do is reply to your prospects when they get back to you.
Cold email works well to generate agency leads because it's highly targeted, personal for your prospects, and scalable if you use a cold email generation tool like QuickMail.
2. Use LinkedIn Automation and Cold Messaging to Reach Decision-Makers
LinkedIn is the perfect social media platform for discovering and reaching out to B2B decision-makers and building lasting relationships.
Millions of decision-makers use the platform, making it ideal for your agency's lead generation needs.
Here's how to generate leads using LinkedIn:
Step 1. Optimizing Your Profile
The first thing you need to do is optimize your profile.
Use a professional profile picture, add a benefits-driven profile headline, and make sure your company details are explained in your work history section so if a prospect sees your profile they understand exactly what you can help with.
This step is important because when you reach out to a lead, they’re going to check out your profile. If your profile makes a good first impression, they’re more likely to want to have a conversation with you.
Step 2. Using Sales Navigator to Find Agency Leads
Next, you’ll need a Sales Navigator account. This has a few benefits, including:
Improved search functionality so you can source ideal clients faster
Increases your invite limit
Makes your account less likely to be restricted if you use external LinkedIn automation tools
Using Sales Navigator, you can filter LinkedIn users by criteria like:
It will even tell you the recommended leads at a company based on the type of decision-maker you usually get in touch with.
As you build your prospect list using Sales Navigator, you’ll quickly accumulate a list of qualified leads and potential customers.
Next, it’s time to reach out.
Step 3. Automatically Reaching Out to Prospects on LinkedIn
There are various powerful tools that let you message prospects on LinkedIn, such as QuickMail.
With QuickMail, our platform simplifies campaigns by introducing specific campaign steps that can be automated along with email, call, and SMS.
Quickmail helps you:
Stay within LinkedIn’s limits
Increase your connections
Avoid slow and tedious outreach
Connect with prospects and clients across multiple channels
We’ve noticed that LinkedIn tasks are a key connection point that many teams integrate into their daily workflows.
If you build momentum and send outreach messages on a regular schedule, it won’t be long before you start getting replies.
Even if your leads don’t reply, there’s a high chance they will visit your profile and notice that you run an agency and can help solve pain points in their business.
LinkedIn outreach is a highly personalized channel, and agencies can see excellent results with it.
3. Use Targeted Cold Calls to Have Real Conversations
Cold calling is often seen as an old-school sales tactic when there is an abundance of digital channels available. But there’s a reason why SDRs in fast-growing companies around the world still rely on cold calling.
You can have a real conversation with your agency leads from anywhere in the world.
It’s a good channel because it’s genuine and can’t be faked. Your prospects know it’s really you on the phone, which is why research has found that 82% of buyers are happy to accept meetings that come from a cold call.
So, how do you effectively cold-call to generate leads for your agency?
Step 1. Sourcing Prospects and Finding Their Phone Numbers
First, you’ll need a list of prospects and their direct dial numbers.
B2B database tools like Uplead will let you find qualified leads based on hundreds of filters and then show you their contact information – including a phone number.
Once you’ve uploaded your prospect list into the tools, you’re ready to start reaching out.
Step 2. Calling Through Your List with a Sales Dialer
Cold calling tools like Aircall incorporate automatic sales dialers. These are tools that will work through your prospect list, automatically calling each person with the phone number you uploaded.
If someone doesn’t pick up, you can leave a voicemail. Then, your sales dialer will automatically call the next person on your list.
It’s a highly productive way to work through your list.
Step 3. Adding Cold Calls as a Touchpoint in Cold Email Campaigns
You can also combine cold calling with other cold outreach and digital marketing strategies.
For example, if you reach out using a cold email but don’t get a reply, add a new step to your campaign.
Then, choose the Call option.
You can then add any notes, call actions, or key information about a prospect so you and your team have all of the context you need to handle the cold call with ease.
This enables you to call prospects directly from QuickMail, using your Aircall account details. It means you can manage your entire agency outreach process from one place.
Whenever you make a call, the interaction will be logged in both of your accounts, so you never need to add or transfer details to your sales tools manually.
Cold calling can be a core growth channel for your agency if you use it effectively.
The key to success is to always be organized, work through your list, and have a plan for every conversation.
4. Find Niche Networking Groups to Build Your Reputation
Networking is a strategy that takes time and effort.
But, if you approach it in a genuine way and seek to add value to other people and their businesses through it, you’ll end up generating new sales leads through it.
The key is to find networking groups that include people matching your criteria for a prospect.
Step 1. Finding Local Groups and Add Value to Networking Events
For example, if you want to get leads for a digital marketing agency that sells SEO services to clients in a particular city, you could start by joining events focused on business owners in that location.
Rather than just turning up to networking events and pitching, consider offering value. Many events will host speakers or workshops, so if you can offer free information to people at the event, consider doing so.
You can find events on sites like Meetup. Add in the keywords related to your industry and your location. You'll see a list of possible events that you can attend to start expanding your network and adding value to.
Step 2. Networking Remotely with Prospects
Alternatively, your agency might work with business owners all around the world, but you focus on a particular niche. For example, this could be an e-commerce marketing agency helping businesses create and host their online stores on Shopify.
In that case, you could find online groups on platforms like Facebook, or interact with people matching your ideal customer persona on Twitter.
You can share content, answer questions, and be someone that your prospects look to for advice.
Over time, you’ll build a reputation in your industry as someone who can offer value and help if anyone has problems.
Networking is the slowest of these outbound strategies, as it takes time to build a personal brand and become known as someone who can offer expertise to people in your network.
But, over time, it becomes self-fulfilling, and you’ll start receiving referrals from people who know and trust you, even if they’ve never personally worked with you.
Wrapping Up – Creating a Lead Generation Strategy for Your Agency
If you're wondering how to get leads for a digital marketing agency, lead generation agency, or similar type of agency that works with a specific type of prospect, it can be difficult if you don't have a focused strategy.
We'd recommend following one or two of these strategies to generate leads for your agency at first. All of these channels are reliable, predictable ways to grow your pipeline.
Ultimately, the best option for your agency will depend on the channel that leads to you having the most conversations.
When you’re ready to start reaching out to prospective customers and leads using cold outreach, sign up for your free trial of QuickMail.