How to Improve Your Marketing Agency’s Lead Conversion Strategy

How to Improve Your Marketing Agency’s Lead Conversion Strategy

Updated 1/29/2024

Marketing attribution is one of the toughest areas of a business to measure, but most lead generation companies and marketing agencies don’t get replaced due to a lack of demand or lack of inbound leads.

Rather, many are dropped because they aren’t able to help their clients engage, qualify and nurture the prospects they are helping to generate. 

Let's walk through the strategies you can use to get your lead conversion strategy looking like a million bucks.

Troubles with Lead Generation and Lead Conversion

Let’s face it, lead generation isn’t as easy as it once was. According to a report from Hubspot, 61% of marketers consider generating traffic and leads to be their biggest challenge.

Generating traffic is a constant challenge infographic

Your marketing agency's performance will be measured by your ability to generate more leads. However, you are also measured by the new strategies you recommend and put in place. These strategies will enable your clients to engage, qualify and nurture the prospects you help generate.

Defining Lead Conversion Strategies

Before we discuss ways to improve your lead conversion, we need to define what we mean when we talk about your marketing agency’s “lead conversion strategy.”

Generally speaking your lead conversion strategy is the process of turning leads into paying customers. This includes all the marketing practices that make you want to buy a product or service and push a lead toward a purchasing decision.

Some examples of lead conversion strategies include: 

  • Writing high quality blog content. 
  • Adding live chat, virtual assistants, or chatbots to your website.
  • Building an SEO strategy for your website.
  • Optimizing your website landing page designs. 
  • Utilizing social media channels to generate leads. 
  • Email marketing to your relevant niche.

You have likely heard your clients say, “The leads you provided us were low quality.” Or: “We called the lead a bunch of times but couldn’t get a hold of anyone.”

These statements are red flags indicating a process or strategy needs to be updated or implemented to ensure leads don’t fall through the cracks.

One of the best ways to identify weaknesses in a businesses lead conversion strategy is to conduct a lead audit.

Conducting Your Lead Audit

A lead audit is a measure of the number of leads you are generating from different marketing channels that’s measured with a traffic-to-lead conversion rate.

When marketing agencies perform a lead audit for their clients, they usually find that:

  • Good leads are generated but never receive a response from sales.
  • Leads that sat in the company's CRM for a day or more before a sales member sent a response.
  • Qualified ready-to-buy prospects who bought somewhere else because of a lack of quick engagement.
  • Long-term leads that needed nurturing over time, but didn’t receive adequate follow-up messages (sales moved on after only a few attempts to connect).

The issues highlighted in this audit show that by failing to establish speed-to-lead, omnichannel communication and a nurturing strategy, the leads the clients are paying for are going to waste. 

marketing agency lead generation marketing lead audit

Source: Instapage

It will be challenging to convince your clients that all these issues aren’t their fault. These clients will blame your marketing efforts and leave your agency feeling like they’ve wasted their money and time.

So what can you do to prevent this situation from happening?

Solving The Lead Conversion Gap

As a marketing agency your primary goal should be to help your clients engage, qualify and nurture the prospects you are helping to generate. That means ensuring your clients succeed by helping convert these cold online leads into qualified, sales-ready opportunities.

When your clients succeed, your agency succeeds as well.

Solving this lead conversion gap for your customers is essential in creating a successful partnership. The more your clients succeed, the faster they grow with you.

Establish a Quick Engagement Strategy

The time it takes to engage a qualified prospect makes a huge difference in how likely they are to convert. A 2019 study found that following up with online leads in less than 5 minutes makes them nine times more likely to convert into paying customers.

This is significant when you consider that a lead is 21 times more likely to convert when contacted within five minutes of filling out an inquiry versus 30 minutes or later. 

calling within 5 minutes is 21x more effective

Source: LeadSimple

Even just contacting a lead within five hours is 40% more effective than contacting a lead 24 hours later or more like the majority of sales teams do.

So how do you make sure your sales agents are responding within 5 minutes? 

Modern AI-powered chatbots, live chat agents, and CRMs are capable of responding automatically to your customers for you. By offloading this task from your sales team and helping you to drive those conversions while spending less.

Develop Omnichannel Strategies to Engaging Customers

Offering a seamless shopping experience has become a key differentiating factor when it comes to deciding where to shop. 

Wherever your clients are offering their services, a customer should get a consistent, seamless shopping experience whether it be via desktop, mobile device, phone, or even brick and mortar store.

omnichannel vs multichannel marketing

Credit: Robert Katai

Many sales teams still rely on emails or phone calls to generate new leads. That’s not going to cut it anymore. 

In fact, nine in 10 consumers prefer to text over call or email, and 87% of consumers will not answer a call from someone they don't know.

SMS as a Lead Generation Strategy

Two-way text communication can help a sales team connect a lot quicker with leads and make the consumer more comfortable. 

In fact, SMS chats are 49% more likely to convert into leads than regular chats.

SMS chats are 49% more likely to convert

Whether you choose a live chat service or other chat applications, the goal is to offer prospects options for their preferred contact method when talking to the business.

Build a Long-term Lead Nurture Strategy

Whether we want to believe it or not, the harsh reality is that most leads aren’t sales-ready. In fact, a study by Marketing Sherpa found that almost two-thirds of all leads aren’t sales-ready.

percentage of total lead volume that is sales-ready

Credit: Marketing Sherpa

While this isn’t ideal, it also makes sense. Some leads have a longer sales cycle, they want proof or more information to justify handing their hard earned money. We all do this to varying degrees, so nurturing or keeping the lead "warm" will ensure more revenue from lead generation efforts. 

There’s also major upsides to patient sales and marketing teams that take the time nurturing leads. Nurtured leads spend 47% more than non-nurtured leads. (Source: Annuitas)

Building a relationship between your sales team and the qualified lead results in a higher chance of them buying larger purchases. After all, you’ve provided more value to them via email, case studies, videos, testimonials, etc.

To get them ready, marketing teams need to engage with them and move them down the sales funnel.

Provide Authentic Human Conversations with Prospects 

Speed-to-lead and authentic human conversations go hand-in-hand when discussing lead conversion. Many consumers are less likely to purchase when they can see they're talking to a bot who cannot care about their problems or needs. 

Finding the balance between the speed of a bot and the problem solving capabilities of a live agent should be considered here.

According to Econsultancy, 79% of consumers say they prefer live chat functions because they don’t have to wait on hold and get their questions answered immediately.

why is live chat preferred?

Credit: Econsultancy

This doesn’t mean chatbots should be completely ignored. But most of the time your customers would prefer to speak with a live representative during the decision making process.

When qualifying a lead, ensure a human is available to step into a conversation where automation would fail to connect. 

Recommended Read: Chatbots vs. Live Chat - Is 2021 the Year of the Chatbot?

Live chat and chatbots work best when they’re implemented together. Make sure whatever you choose has the ability to connect to a live representative. 

Offer Scalable and Efficient Solutions

While the human touch is a necessary and important component, humans can sometimes be less efficient when there’s a lot of lead volume. 

When you have clients with a lot of website traffic, technology such as AI paired with humans on standby can keep qualification and conversion processes efficient and effective.

This ensures the speed-to-lead standards by your team, while also providing the customer with the best possible experience when visiting the website.

When considering these types of solutions you should look for the following features:

  • How much web traffic your client gets to their website.
  • The ability to integrate with most major CRM tools.
  • 24/7 live chat/virtual assistant availability, including weekends (so you don’t miss any leads outside of typical business hours).
  • Software that offers chat escalation capabilities (i.e. chats are transferred to your team or dedicated live agent).

Timelines for Proper Evaluation of Solutions

There are a lot of different lead conversion softwares or AI/human technologies available, and many of them can get pricey. 

Do your due diligence when evaluating potential tech solutions, including how long it’ll take to get the service set up for your clients.

Consider leveraging a solution with an all-in-one integration approach to keep things streamlined. 

Tips for Getting More Leads for Your Marketing Agency

Online marketing is all about converting website visitors from potential clients to actual customers. There's a lot to this, and we've written extensively about both lead generation and engaging with your target audience in the past.

While connecting with your potential customers is the goal, nothing beats getting more leads. With that in mind, here are five tips to help you get more leads for your marketing agency.

1. Revise Your Lead Generation Landing Pages

Search engines reward fresh content, so you should periodically take the time to refresh your landing pages with content that will continue to draw visitors. Keep the content within the silo you originally wrote it for, making slight changes as the need arises, but focus your revisions on updating materials and keeping the words on the page relevant to the traffic you're trying to attract.

2. Optimize Lead Generation Forms

No matter how good your current lead capture system is, it can always be better. Most of the potential customers who make it far enough to read your CTA, only to bounce before conversion, are turned off by a poor lead generation function. Either you're making it hard to find, asking for information visitors aren't comfortable sharing or working with an old or poorly developed contact form. Try out different tweaks to see if your conversion rate improves with a relatively low-investment quick fix.

3. Offer Live Chat for Visitors

Live chat gets results. Not only is it a selling tool, it can also drive higher rates of traffic by creating a more responsive, altogether more helpful interface. A high-functioning live chat, human or bot, can even drive traffic from one side of your site to another by referrals for new products and services. An example of this would be a customer service chat box that identifies the customer's frustration at not being able to use a product and offers an upsell to the premium version with better features. The chat session then ends with a link to the product page and a new conversion.

4. Create and Maintain High-Quality Content

While there are plenty of tricks you can use to drive increased traffic, nothing makes a better conversion rate than old-fashioned quality content. Website visitors, who came for information and stayed for the call to action, are the definition of a well-qualified lead, so it would be a shame to waste their visit by letting them bounce. Invest in great content, and draw a steadily increasing stream of potential customers.

In conclusion, successful marketing agencies and lead generation companies help build out or leverage lead conversion tools, software and processes to help their customers maximize their engagement rate.

When sales teams can focus on booked appointments and closing deals with ready-to-purchase consumers, they become happier and more efficient as a result.

The takeaway here is this: A decent marketer will generate inbound leads for their clients, a great marketer will help the client convert these inbound leads into qualified, sales-ready opportunities. 

Provide that value and watch your client-base grow.