Generating local leads requires different strategies and tactics to lead generation on a national or international scale. You need to be highly targeted and ensure every person you contact with is qualified for the services you’re selling.
Luckily, local lead generation doesn’t need to be complicated. There are proven channels that work exceptionally well for local lead generation.
In this guide, we’ll show you how you can use them to generate local leads for your agency or for your clients in a specific area.
We’ll be covering:
Let’s dive straight in.
Local lead generation is the process of generating leads from one particular location. This could be a single postcode, city, or region – the key is that it’s focused.
It’s an effective way to generate leads for a small business or agency selling lead generation services working with clients in one area. It ensures you keep your resources focused on a specific audience and don’t waste time trying to contact everyone in a whole market that roughly matches your buyer persona.
If someone is located in the market that your client or your own company works in, and matches the buyer persona you’re targeting, you know it’s worth having a conversation with them.
There are two main ways to generate local leads: inbound strategies and outbound strategies.
1. What is Inbound Local Lead Generation?
Inbound local lead generation involves setting up a system that drives local traffic to your website. There, you’ll ask them for their contact information, and can review if they’re a good fit and reach out to them.
Historically, this has been the most popular way to generate local leads. After the initial investment and setup process, inbound local lead generation can be relatively passive, as you generate leads through SEO, or ranking for Google My Business.
2. What is Outbound Local Lead Generation?
Outbound local lead generation involves reaching out to people matching your buyer persona with a targeted message, typically over channels like cold email, LinkedIn, or with a cold call.
It’s an effective way to approach your local lead gen efforts because it’s targeted. When you reach out to someone, it’s because you’ve chosen to. Every conversation you have with a lead will be with someone highly qualified to be a customer for you or your clients that you’re running the lead generation process for.
1. Cold Email Outreach to Start Conversations with Local Business Owners
Cold email is an excellent way to connect with local business owners. Nearly every business uses email to support their clients, book meetings with potential customers, and talk to team members.
Here’s how you can run cold email campaigns and generate local leads:
Identifying Prospects and Sourcing Contact Details
First, you’ll need to source a list of potential prospects. If it’s for your business, you’ll know precisely what type of people will be a good fit. If you run a lead generation agency and are sourcing prospects for your clients, you’ll need to work with them to define who you need to be reaching out to.
Source: Software Advice
These tools contain millions of prospect records, and let you filter the database by criteria like company size, location, revenue, industry, and include a verified email address (and phone number) that you can download.
You can export the prospects you find into a spreadsheet, formatted into columns. Each column will contain data like your prospect’s first and last name, company name, job title, and anything else that you might want to mention in your cold emails.
As your local lead generation will be targeted in one area, you can also look at the Chamber of Commerce directory for that area. Most will list businesses by category, and often have contact details publicly available.
For example, if we wanted to target Attorneys in San Francisco, browsing the public directory gives us 20 results, each with contact details.
Once you have a list of prospects ready, you can start creating your cold emails.
Using a Cold Email Tool to Automate Your Outreach
Emailing every prospect one by one isn’t scalable. Instead, you need to use cold email software to automate the process.
You can get started with QuickMail in minutes. Once you’ve connected your inbox, you’re ready to go.
The first step is to import your prospects. You’ll need your prospect list ready as a CSV, and formatted like we mentioned above, with all of the details separated into separate columns.
You’ll need to add each of these fields during the import process in QuickMail. This is so you can use the fields in your email templates.
Next, it’s time to write your cold email copy.
Each email needs to be personalized, relevant, and brief. You want your prospect to understand exactly why you’re reaching out and see that you’ve researched their business.
For example, let’s take the template below:
It includes a personal note about an event you saw your prospect hold a talk at. It’s brief, personalized, and the call-to-action (CTA) is easy to respond to.
There aren’t many channels where you get the chance to send a personalized, one-to-one message to a decision-maker, but with cold email, you can.
Following Up After No Response
If your prospect doesn’t respond, don’t worry. They’re busy and won’t see every email in their inbox.
55% of replies to emails come from a follow-up.
To follow up automatically after no response, you can add new email steps to your QuickMail campaigns.
You can have as many steps as you need in your campaign.
Your follow-up emails will be a key driver of conversations with new leads.
Scaling Your Cold Email Campaigns
When your cold email campaigns are working, it’s time to scale up.
But, scaling campaigns is difficult. Most cold email software isn’t designed for agencies with multiple team members or clients, and you’ll end up switching between accounts all day and consolidating campaign data in messy spreadsheets.
As you grow, you need a cold email tool like QuickMail that’s designed for scale.
There are a few key features in QuickMail to help you scale your local lead generation efforts.
Firstly, you can add as many team inboxes as you need to.
Once you’ve added your team’s inboxes, you can scale campaigns using inbox rotation. Your emails will be sent from multiple accounts, and the sending volume will be spread between them.
This reduces the chance of any single account getting flagged for sending too many emails, and helps you avoid the spam filters.
You can also easily move campaigns between accounts. For example, if you have a campaign generating good results from one account, you can clone an entire campaign onto another account.
To ensure your campaigns always land in the primary inbox, you can warm up your email inbox using the MailFlow's free email warmup tool, which natively integrates with QuickMail.
MailFlow automatically warms up your email addresses to improve your email deliverability by sending emails back and forth between real email addresses in a network of inboxes.
If your emails land in the spam folder, the MailFlow Auto Warmer will remove it from the spam folder, and reply, showing email service providers that your emails are trustworthy.
Over time, you can track your email deliverability performance across inboxes and see if there are any potential problems that could hurt your campaigns. As you scale your email sending volume, you won’t have any issues with deliverability.
Finally, you can see all of your client campaign metrics in one dashboard.
For example, if you’re running campaigns for clients in multiple cities at once, you can easily jump between them and ensure you always know what’s going on in each one.
When you’re ready to start sending cold email campaigns and have more conversations with qualified local leads, start your free trial of QuickMail.
2. Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to Capture Inbound Local Traffic
The next local lead generation strategy ideal for agencies is local SEO.
Local lead generation using SEO is generally done in two ways:
Optimizing a lead generation website to rank for important keywords
Setting up and optimizing Google My Business (GMB) listings
Both are effective ways to attract new customers.
Optimizing Your Website for Local Lead Generation
You may already be familiar with the rank and rent term if you already run a digital agency.
It refers to ranking a website for a relevant local keyword, such as “IP lawyer in [city]”, then passing leads who come to that website to your clients for a fee.
Local SEO is effective for generating local leads because once you’ve created your website and optimized the landing pages you want, it works for you in the background. Over time, it will continue to rank and deliver results even if you’re not actively working on the page.
As leads come to the website and fill out your contact forms, you’ll gather their information and pass on the details to your agency clients, or get in touch with the leads directly.
Over time, you’ll need to regularly update your website and landing pages to ensure they continue ranking, but once they’re in a high position for a coveted keyword, you’ll see leads rolling in daily.
Generating Leads through Google My Business
Google My Business is an excellent way to generate new leads.
When your listing is optimized, you’ll show up on Google Maps, and for keywords related to the business, you’re generating leads for.
First, you’ll need to set up your Google My Business profile for any accounts you want to rank for. If you run an agency, it’s best to set these up using your clients’ credentials so they have access to it.
Next, you’ll need to optimize it. This includes:
Sharing contact details that customers can use to get in touch
Adding opening hours and location
Adding photos of the business to boost trust
When a potential customer finds your clients’ business on Google, seeing an optimized profile will help them take action. Considering an average company using GMB receives 59 actions per month on their listings, it’s a strong opportunity to generate local leads.
You also need to encourage your clients’ customers to leave reviews on the GMB listing. Over time, these positive reviews will add up and act as excellent social proof that will help your listing get organically noticed, and generate more leads for your clients.
3. LinkedIn Automation to Connect with a Targeted Local Audience
If you’re sourcing leads in an industry where your target audience is likely to be on LinkedIn, it’s a powerful lead generation channel. 59% of B2B marketers say they generate leads from LinkedIn for their business.
You can use it in two main ways: inbound and outbound.
Growing Your Audience with LinkedIn Posting and Engagement
You can use LinkedIn like any other social media platform, even though it has a B2B focus. As you post content relevant to your buyers, you’ll generate engagement, grow your audience, and generate leads.
First, you’ll need to optimize your LinkedIn profile. This means:
Use a professional headshot
Add a cover photo that represents your brand
Use a headline that describes your line of work
Include a profile summary that gives prospective clients an overview of what you can help with
Once your profile is ready, you can start posting content relevant to your audience.
When posting content, think of what type of content your ideal customer would want to see in their feed. It could be stories about your industry, tips to help them generate leads or solve problems in their business, or even sharing content you’ve published recently, such as links to your company podcast, YouTube, or blog.
These tools also include analytics. That means you can track what type of content is most engaging for your audience and use your insights to optimize future content you publish.
As you grow your authority in your market, you’ll have sales leads reaching out to you and you’ll be generating inbound leads.
Running Outbound Campaigns on LinkedIn
You can also use LinkedIn to run outbound local lead generation campaigns for your agency or for your agency clients.
You’ll need a Sales Navigator account, as this opens up powerful search criteria that enable you to find local leads more efficiently. You can then start identifying leads based on the criteria you need.
For example, you can search for companies by filters such as size, industry, whether they were mentioned in the news recently, as well as by region, state, and postcode.
Sales Navigator lets you build lead lists directly inside LinkedIn, and it won’t be long before you have a qualified list of prospects ready to reach out to.
You can then run outbound campaigns to these leads. One option is to use InMail. You get credits to send InMails as part of your Sales Navigator plan. The other option is to use LinkedIn outreach automation tools (be careful, as they can lead to your account being banned – always research thoroughly before choosing a tool to ensure it’s safe).
These tools let you build outreach campaigns like you would in a cold email tool. For example, you can create multi-step campaigns that automatically send messages to prospects and follow-up if there’s no reply.
Like with cold email, make sure your messages are brief, relevant, and personalized.
Over time, you’ll start receiving responses from interested leads, and you can then start a conversation and move them through your intended sales pipeline or send the lead to your client.
LinkedIn is a powerful channel for generating local leads, if you combine inbound with outbound, and stay laser-focused on your target market.
If your company needs to run local lead generation campaigns for clients, these strategies will help you fill your pipeline and deliver the results you promised you could.
Depending on your market, different options may work better. For example, if your clients have email addresses listed on their website, you know cold email could be a good channel. Or, if you know there’s significant search traffic for keywords related to your client’s industry, you know that local SEO will be a powerful channel.
The best thing to do is to test each strategy and see which one works best for your goals. For example, you might get the best results with one single channel, or by running campaigns on multiple channels at once.
When you’re ready to start running outreach campaigns to generate leads, you can start with a free trial of QuickMail. You can start sending personalized cold emails to key decision-makers at local businesses and filling your pipeline with leads.