Automated Lead Generation for Agencies (Step-by-Step)
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Here’s a step-by-step guide for automating lead generation for digital marketing agencies
I know when I started my first company (a digital marketing agency), the idea of automated lead generation seemed impossible.
Even an agency owner with the most amazing results can have trouble generating leads from time to time.
You get busy trying to provide results for your existing clients, hiring new people, or managing contractors. It happens to everyone.
But there are ways to have leads drop right into your lap. Sounds cheesy and borderline snake oil level, but you really can achieve automated lead generation.
It may sound scary to leave your inflow of leads up to software and we hope to show how huge this could be for your agency.
In this post there are five different ways to pull off automated lead generation, most of which I’d be willing to guess you’ve not heard of—and definitely not tried.
We’ll let you judge the methods.
“Develop skills and tool sets that make you better than the best and faster than the rest.” — @gerhard20
Number One: Lead Chat
Chances are good that you understand the benefits of live chat.
Getting to speak with inbound traffic as soon as they have a question can lead to a very short sales conversation ending with a new client.Even with all of the benefits, it's difficult to have someone on all the time. Click To Tweet
Even if you, or someone from your staff is available, it can be hard to keep up with. Then, there is all the time that you’re not (supposed to be) working.
So how is this automated lead generation?
Lead Chat isn’t a plugin or software, it’s a service.
Imagine having a real person who was on call 24/7 to field questions about your brand, generate leads, and even nurture them a bit without having to hire a small, full-time staff to make it happen on your own.
See the value there?
They’ll even integrate in your CRM and input the data, just like any other rep. Your mind may have already begun to worry about cost.
While they don’t have pricing available upfront, the cost doesn’t seem to be outrageous.
According to Lead Chat’s site, “We’re up to 50x cheaper than hiring a full-time employee to manage your live chat. And you get access to our entire team of agents and experts!”
Gist: Outsourced 24/7 live chat service that attracts and gathers leads right into your CRM.
Number Two: LeadFuze
“Lead generation, automated.”
It’s literally our tagline.
You can do a few things to make leads come in automatically, but what about the entire outreach process?
LeadFuze (with the help of Fuzebot) is an AI-based automated lead generation tool. Users simply input some details about their ideal buyer (e.g. industry, employee size, role, keywords, etc.), and Fuzebot finds thousands of emails of fresh leads that meet those exact requirements.
All emails are double-verified and ready to roll.
Next, with the help of our cold email experts help develop your outreach strategy and the copy to put in your emails. Once that funnel is set up, new emails will go out. Every. Single. Day.
You want to email 50 new leads each day?
1000? More? It’s all possible.
Those who don’t respond can get scheduled follow ups that come from your email account to fully exhaust the leads generated and those who do respond will be pulled from any further automation.
The thing you have to do is talk with the people who have already shown interest.
The only thing that you have to do is talk with the people who have already shown interest in your business by responding.Cold emailing is one of the most effective ways to generate leads for your business and this tool does it all for you. Click To Tweet
It can be your entire outreach process on autopilot.
Bonus: Not only will this put warm leads in your inbox, but you could use it to help your clients grow their business, too. Imagine combining inbound and outbound methods to really ramp up your results for your accounts—with minimal effort. Here is how agencies use LeadFuze.
Gist: An entire cold outreach process—fully automated.
Number Three: Craigslist + Feedly
Sometimes you probably think that your main competition isn’t other agencies, but companies that decide to hire dedicated people to handle the services you provide.
This was a strategy I implemented to land my first client (at $2k/mo no less).
The beauty is, they have budget and need… after all they are looking to hire someone full-time for this role.
Instead of using another company, they’re upping their game and hiring full-time employees to handle a couple of things that you offer.
Our next strategy is a bit devious (not really) and very underutilized.
Go to Craigslist and look at the “Jobs” and “Gigs” sections. There are a few marketing-related links including:
- Sales/Biz Dev
- Web/Info design
A quick search led us to see a marketing job post for a very popular fast-casual pizza chain. Taking a look at the requirements we were able to find a lot of buzz words that you could target. Things like:
- Develop a marketing plan
- Build brand awareness
- Generate new customers and increase frequency
- Build community
- To grow app users and encourage app use
- To represent and be the ‘face’ of [company] to the communities
However, more specifically I would look for things like:
- Digital Marketer
- Content Manager
- Search Engine Optimization
- Internet Marketer
Here’s How to Pull it Off
First, automate things by setting up an RSS feed for every city or area as well as the key terms that match up with your services. Things like digital marketing, seo, content marketing, or writer.
After that, it becomes a little more “hands-on”, so you’ll want to focus on just a few terms and locations to avoid being overwhelmed.
For example, we’re looking in the Phoenix area for the keyword “SEO” and going to get the given URL:
Next, go to Feedly and run a search at the top right using the Craigslist URL:
After hitting enter, you’ll see the result and be able to “Follow” this URL.
Click on “Create a Collection” and give it a name that’s easy to identify. In this case, I used “CL – SEO” for the name.
Now, you’ll see the RSS feed inside Feedly:
The best part about this is it will automatically update when new job postings match this criteria.
Set up as many feeds like this as you’d like and be alerted (bold with a number next to it), when there are new job postings that match your criteria.
Contacting Job Posters
This is a post about automated lead generation, but with this one it’s only partly true. These are job postings and the company is expecting to hire a full-time or part-time person to physically (or remotely) show up and do a job.
In their mind, they need a time-clock puncher, not a digital marketing agency.
Getting your foot in the door is going to take some finesse. There are a couple of rules here to think about before you manually reach out.
- Don’t “Apply” for the Job: Some places (more hip to the inbound game) will even say something to the affect of “no agencies” in their job description. Even if they don’t, you don’t want to send in an application with your company where they are expecting an actual name.
- Do Mention Their Job Post: A company may not know the benefits of hiring a service versus an employee. Instead of the app, send an email regarding the posting. It will probably get opened and do your best to show the benefits (aka results) your agency can give. At a lower cost, no less.
Obviously, your goal is to sell them on why working with you makes more sense than hiring someone (cost savings, team of experts, etc).
Bonus: This automated lead generation process can work for other job sites, too. Think Indeed, Glassdoor, Inbound.org, etc. and just repeat for those channels.
Gist: Get fresh leads in your inbox from job postings on Craigslist (or other sites like it) by targeting keywords and setting up an RSS feed.
Number Four: Socedo
Socedo is a “social demand generation platform”, but don’t let that fancy title throw you off.
Imagine if you could target hashtags and keywords that people are using via social that may indicate that they are good leads for your business.
Yes, you (or your reps) can do this manually, but the results aren’t that great for the time put in and there is no way that you’d be able to track all of those valuable terms. That’s where this tool is so awesome.
Socedo automatically targets those keywords and when someone uses one—they get a direct message from your account. You can then either start the conversation, or include a call-to-action in the message that sends them to a resource or landing page.
It’s a lot like LeadFuze in the automation department. The difference is these leads are talking about things you’re selling in a place where you’re allowed to talk with them directly.
You’ll always be in the right place and the right time on Twitter and LinkedIn with this tool.
I know a lot of people say that social is only a trickle of leads at best, but what if that trickle could be consistent and done for you?
Gist: Tracks the words being used by people to target new leads and sends them to your funnel or allows you to directly interact with them.
Ready to Automate Lead Generation?
Hopefully, your mind is running and you’re just thinking about the different ways you can use one (or more) of these ideas.
That was the point. We all know leads can be found all over the place.
However, not everyone knows that those leads can be found without human eyes. Really, no one even has to do the reaching out either.Do a couple of these tricks and you can just get back to doing what you love—marketing. Click To Tweet
Which one of these automated lead generation tactics are you most excited to try and why?