Last week, we started the lead generation conversation because one of the questions that continually comes up is, “How do you do lead generation for your agency right now?”
It’s unfortunately not a one-size-fits-all answer and there also isn’t a short-term fix.
It takes time, patience, a lot of elbow grease, and some marketing chops to do it well.
It’s not impossible; in fact, it’s kind of fun to watch your business grow from this work. But also isn’t something you can implement when you lose a client and you have to replace the income pronto.
It’s a process that should be constantly working for you, even if you’re at capacity.
While we’ve focused the title of this on doing it for an agency, the process works for organizations, too. This is the process we use for ourselves—and for our clients.
Last week, we began with website reorganization and funnel creation (or tweaking), content development, and list development.
Today we’ll focus on:
- Email marketing;
- Lead nurturing; and
Are you ready? Let’s get started!
Email Marketing In Your Lead Generation Program
I really love to create email drip campaigns, These allow us to target specific individuals with specific messages.
For instance, you can do a:
- New subscriber campaign
- Reengagement campaign
- Seasonal campaign
- Post-purchase campaign
- Triggered email campaign
- Cart abandonment
There are plenty of others, but as you think of the types of lead generation you’ll do, I would focus on new subscribers, re-engagement, triggered emails, and a newsletter.
Now I know many of you reading this will think, “No one wants more email.”
And that’s absolutely true…if the email is bad. But if it’s good? Everyone wants it.
Go back to part one of this series where I said you have to create the best content on the internet for your topic.
If you do that, everyone will want your email. So get that notion out of your head and let’s focus on delivering great content everyone wants.
Make sure that every email has a call-to-action.
In some cases, it might be to join the Spin Sucks Community (OK, that only works for us, but you know what I mean) or, depending on how far along your prospect is in the process, it might be to get on a video chat with you to talk about your services.
Email works. If you do it well.
Lead Nurturing In Your Lead Generation Program
Now that you have your email marketing ready to go, it’s time to move on to lead nurturing.
Your email marketing will build your marketing leads; your lead nurturing will build your marketing qualified leads.
It’s one thing to have a bunch of blog subscribers. It’s quite another to have prospects who want to work with you.
In the past, lead nurturing was left to email marketing. Today, though? You have an incredible opportunity to use a multi-channel approach.
This most commonly involves a combination of marketing automation, email marketing, social media, paid retargeting, dynamic website content, and direct sales outreach.
Because there are so many tactics involved and to execute this properly, you need to ensure that sales and marketing are well aligned and working cohesively.
We have a client who keeps their CRM on the glass windows of their conference room. It stresses me out so much that I take a photo of it every time I’m there. Now that it’s been more than a year since I’ve been there, I ask them all the time if they can take a photo for me.
Even though I make fun of them, and this is absolutely the WRONG way to track sales (aka do not do it!), my team and I know exactly where their sales team is at all times. I’ll often pull up the photo on my screen and share it during our team meetings.
There are two other things your lead nurturing program should include: follow-up and scoring.
Lead Nurturing Follow-Up
Let’s start with follow-up. You may be thinking this is ridiculous. Of course there is follow-up. And I would tend to agree with you.
There is not always follow-up. When we work with clients to get their systems set up, I have access to all of the data so I’ll say, “Hey, what happened with the lead from HOT PROSPECT A?” And they look at one another wildly.
No. One. Followed. Up.
Don’t assume there is follow-up. Work with sales to figure out how and when they’ll follow-up with a marketing qualified lead.
You’ll also want to determine what takes someone from lead to marketing qualified to sales qualified, which is where lead scoring comes into play.
Lead Nurturing Scoring
For those who are new to the concept of lead scoring, it is used to rank prospects, typically from 1-100.
One would be someone who is likely not to buy from you, while 100 is “get the CEO on the phone with this person…now!”
You can use lead scoring in just about every marketing automation software on the planet. They all allow you to assign numbers to certain behaviors.
For instance, for one client we simplified it and have a 1-5 scale.
We consider a one as a lead, a three as marketing qualified, and five as sales qualified. We’ve also worked hard to determine what it means to be marketing versus sales qualified—and all agreed on the metrics.
If someone downloads 3-5 pieces of content, they score a 3. If they fill out a form, such as contact us or request a demo, they score a 5.
We also have to sort out the competitors and universities and reporters who download content or fill out forms. And we remove anyone who fills out the contact us form to apply for a job.
Everyone else are considered leads.
Conversion In Your Lead Generation Program
And then it’s time to convert those bad boys to clients!
For the above-mentioned client, they are an MQL if they take an initial meeting and a SQL if they take a second meeting (and accept a proposal).
The same theory works for those of you in professional services. You won’t convert someone on a first conversation; you’ll need to have several of them and then submit a proposal or scope of work.
But you can absolutely use this process and your content to move them from stage-to-stage so that, by the time you talk to them, they’ve already qualified themselves and are ready to hire you.
It’ll be up to you, then, to close the deal.
And that’s the process!
Typically, it takes about six months to get it all set up, agree on logistics, and make sure it’s all working.
You can absolutely keep marketing during that time, but if we’re starting anew with a client, that’s how long it takes.
I really love this work because it combines my passion (content) with my goals (grow the business).
It’s not easy. It’ll be frustrating at times. But it works. And once you figure it out for yourself, you can help clients do it, too.
What Questions Do You Have?
You’re always welcome to join the free Spin Sucks Community to discuss this (and other fun topics) in deeper detail with other smart marketers.
Or you can leave a comment here, too.