Here’s a step-by-step guide for automating lead generation to help drive more digital marketing agency leads

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 agency 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 agency leads up to software and I hope to show how huge this could be for your marketing agency.

automated lead generation

In this post there are four 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.

I’ll let you judge the methods.

Develop skills and tool sets that make you better than the best and faster than the rest.” — @gerhard20

Automated lead generation

1 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 to answer live chat. 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.

automated lead generation

Imagine having a real person who was on call 24/7 to field questions about your brand, generate agency 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!”

The Idea: Outsourced 24/7 live chat service that attracts and gathers agency leads right into your CRM.

2 LeadFuze

“Lead generation, automated.”

It’s literally our tagline.

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.

LeadFuze is a software solution to help you build lists of accurate leads automatically, while integrating with sales outreach tools to allow you to reach those freshly verified leads.

LeadFuze Demo

LeadFuze in action. Sign up to get 25 leads for FREE.

Next, with the help of our cold email integrations you can have agency leads that you add to a list, automatically get sent emails.

Once that funnel is set up, new emails will go out. Every. Single. Day.

You want to email 50 new agency 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 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. Click To Tweet

It can be your entire outreach process on autopilot.

Bonus: Not only will this put warm agency leads in your inbox, but you could use it to help your clients grow their business, too. Below these four automated lead generation strategies, I will be sharing how you can have your clients start outsourcing lead generation to YOU. 

The Idea: An entire cold outreach process—fully automated.

3 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 ever SEO 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:

  • Marketing/PR/Ad
  • Sales/Biz Dev
  • Web/Info design
  • Writing/Editing
  • Computer
  • Creative
  • Writing

automated lead generation

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
  • SEO
  • 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:

automated lead generation

Next, go to Feedly and run a search at the top right using the Craigslist URL:

automated lead generation

After hitting enter, you’ll see the result and be able to “Follow” this URL.

feedly-create

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:

automated lead generation

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.

The Idea: 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.

4 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.

automated lead generation

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?

The Idea: 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.

Become a Lead Generation Agency

Outsourcing lead generation has never been easier.

Getting early wins for new clients can be a challenge.

Outsourcing lead generation can help supplement early leads while marketing results take shape.

If you could just outsource it all to another company, that would free you (and your staff) up to take on extra clients, work more on marketing, and hire more skilled workers. 

Paying someone a full-time wage to fill your clients’ funnels may not even be an option for smaller agencies.

Not being able to generate leads consistently is the number one reason small businesses don’t scale.

I’m a big fan of word of mouth and referral marketing, but sometimes you’ve just got to go out and find clients. After all, how many referrals are you or your clients getting next month?

outsourcing lead generation

We may have found created the solution to outsourcing lead generation.

And we’re certain it’s the only one of its kind on the market. 

This post is to explain exactly how LeadFuze (with the help of Fuzebot) can bring your clients fresh leads on a consistent basis.

Emails that never get sent close no deals.” — The folks at Close.io

How LeadFuze Helps You Outsource Lead Generation

To begin, we’ll go into a bit of detail about just how we automate things.

Then, we’ll show how you can use this for your clients by getting into the logistics of what things may look like.

Finding Leads (Meet Fuzebot)

There used to be two ways to get a massive list of contacts to reach out to via cold email.

  1. Build the list yourself by researching and using tools.
  2. Buy a list and hope that the leads still have the same job/email.

If you must do one of these things, we whole-heartedly ask you to build your own list using research-backed data and a good ideal client profile (but you probably already know that).

Doing this could be what your clients are paying you for, right?

What if you didn’t have to spend all that time building lists of leads for your B2B clients?

What if the traits of those buyer personas could be put into an artificially intelligent web-based app that pulls contact data with those exact traits?

And what if it did it every. single. day.?

Meet Fuzebot.

He’s smart enough to use the firmographic data that you and your clients use to qualify leads and put them on your list without your help.

He’s kinda like a private investigator, he finds people.

Consider him a friendly, AI sales assistant.

Here are the categories that you can use to narrow down the search results in the software and give Fuzebot the data he needs to find leads.

  • Industry: Maybe your agency only targets companies in a certain niche, or your B2B clients may find it easier to close deals with a particular space.
  • Role: Are you looking for the person in charge of marketing, HR, or just the founder? All of these titles and more can be targeted.
  • Employee Size: There is typically a sweet spot in terms of size for every B2B product. If you’ve found your number, you can have Fuzebot only pull those leads.
  • Geographic (City, State, Region): Choose the locations where you want us to find leads and we’ll do the rest; every day filling your pipeline with new leads (and sending them your cold emails).

outsourcing lead generation

You can even go much deeper, by telling the system you are targeting companies based on if they’re hiring certain roles, their ad budgets, technologies used, and more.

And Fuzebot is like a ninja, meaning your leads will never know we were involved.

Once you have the client leads, you’ll need to start sending cold emails on their behalf (more on this in a minute).

Here is a monster guide on helping you craft awesome cold emails. <<< I recommend you bookmark that one and read it once you’ve finished this post. 

Getting Responses (Meet Your Warm Leads)

Just so we make this service abundantly clear: After you set up your ideal client profiles and get your cold email sequences in order — new leads will be emailed for you.

Without your direct involvement at all.

And you can set this up for everyone of your B2B clients!

Of course, you’ll have to tweak here and test there.

That said, you won’t have to search for contacts, buy lists, or even send the emails.

You start your part when a cold lead has been warmed up by the email. Click To Tweet

They already want to talk to you.

If you want the process visualized and boiled down into a two-minute video. Here ya go!

Logistics for Your Clients

Hopefully, we’ve gotten you excited about the potential of outsourcing lead generation using LeadFuze (and Fuzebot).

Although, you could be wondering how your current and future clients can be brought onboard to use the service. The best part? They never have to know we’re involved!

Let’s go over the details:

Set Up a Separate Domain

We recommend setting up a separate domain (like the .net or .co version of their clients domain) or asking them to setup a specific email account on their server for this purpose.

Ideally, some sort of derivative of the person who they will end up speaking with.

So if they have first.last maybe just create firstlast with no period to do the email sending.

This can keep everything separate and allow you to keep track of all the metrics that will improve over time.

Set Up Separate Accounts

Each client would have their own user account in LeadFuze. Since individual user accounts are cheap enough, this gives you freedom to give your clients access to their own lists.

Alternatively, you can create lists for each client separately inside one primary account.

The challenge with those two methods, is that you will never add the same lead to multiple lists. In order to have some overlap, they would need to have completely separate accounts from yours. 

If you go this route, sign up for the affiliate program so you can get 20% of the commissions!

Input the Data

Set up the client’s ideal customer and save that as a Persona (takes less than a minute if you have the persona already).

Fuzebot will build the list automatically.

Connect your email sending tool of choice. I recommend going with one of the tools we are integrated with so that it is a seamless experience.

Once you have put together your client’s cold email sequence, just connect the email account so it looks like it’s coming from the client and not from you or us.

Once it's all set up, it'll run like they have a lead gen team. Click To Tweet

Reroute the Incoming Mail

Set up the inbox to either forward everything to the client’s inbox, or you can have one centralized inbox where all leads get forwarded and someone on your team can then forward along accordingly (making it look like you’re raining leads on your clients).

Just make sure it is the positive responses can get forwarded to your client so they can take over the conversation.

Stopping Cold Emails

Generally, the cold email tools we integrate with will automatically stop following up with leads when we detect a response.

So there’s nothing to worry about there.

Ongoing Maintenance

Then Fuzebot inside of LeadFuze automatically builds all your lists day after day, month after month.

You no longer need an army of virtual assistants to pull this off.

The contacts are gathered and the emails are sent.

This is something we used to charge thousands of dollars for, and now have a system to automate 100% of the process.

Why You May Want to be a Lead Generation Agency

If your agency doesn’t offer lead gen, this can be a nice service add-on to your existing efforts.

You may be thinking, “We do inbound. Why would we offer outbound services?”

Even though you do your best to explain that the results of inbound aren’t immediate, clients get inpatient.

If you’ve been in the game long enough, you may have had clients leave at the three month mark because they weren’t number one in Google for “Chiropractor”.

We’ve all dealt with those “gems”.

Anyway, using LeadFuze is a perfect solution to start using for new clients.

It’s the equivalent of instant gratification.

They don’t need to wait for SEO, content, or even marketing to start kicking in before seeing results.

Outsourcing lead generation using LeadFuze (with the help of Fuzebot) can supplement those inbound efforts and give you a more immediate win, increasing retention and customer success.

Of course, you'll always need to change or add personas and test everything. Click To Tweet

But can you imagine what outsourcing lead generation could do for your time, resources, and business?

Ad Agency Lead Generation

The best part, you can use these leads in other ways aside from just cold email. How about using the leads to build a custom audience on Facebook? 

With the ability to do that, you can become an ad agency lead generation solution. 

If you have any questions about outsourcing lead generation, feel free to check out LeadFuze!

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.

Do a couple of these #leadgen tricks and you can just get back to doing what you love—marketing. Click To Tweet

If you’ve implemented one (or all) of these automated lead generation tactics, I’d love to hear about it. Connect with me on LinkedIn and let me know!

Editors Note:

Want to help contribute to future articles? Have data-backed and tactical advice to share? I’d love to hear from you!

We have over 60,000 monthly readers that would love to see it! Connect with me on LinkedIn and let's discuss.

Justin McGill
About Author: Justin McGill
Justin McGill is the Founder of LeadFuze - a lead generation platform that discovers new leads for you automatically. Get 25 leads free.