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A Practical Guide to Lead Generation for Marketing Agencies: Strategies, Tools and Implementation

By Umbrella Staff on Mar 29, 2024

It’s not enough to know how to serve your marketing clients well. Before you can provide your clients with the best marketing services (whether implemented by you or white label marketing experts), you need to find them. You need to find hot, qualified leads who need your services. You need to optimize lead generation for marketing agencies.

Lead generation is the lifeblood of marketing agencies. It’s about identifying potential clients who are interested in your services, nurturing their interest, and ultimately converting them into paying clients. A robust lead generation strategy not only fills your sales funnel but also ensures that your agency remains competitive and relevant in a crowded market.

Read on for successful strategies and recommended tools,

Strategies for Effective Lead Generation for Marketing Agencies

Attract Attention Through Content Marketing

A cornerstone of any lead generation effort, content marketing involves creating and sharing valuable content to attract and engage a clearly defined audience. This is particularly important for marketing agencies, because you want to set yourself up as expert in your niche, the agency who is in the know. In an Semrush survey, 93% or marketers proclaimed success with their content marketing efforts.

Publish helpful blogs and LinkedIn articles. Look for guest blog opportunities with industry partners. You want to connect with people and have them look at you as an expert.

Reel Them in with Lead Magnets

Lead magnets are a valuable and common tool for lead generation for marketing agencies. Create valuable content that your target audience is eager to consume. This could be in the form of eBooks, whitepapers, exclusive reports, or industry insights. Offer this content for free in exchange for their email addresses. Ensure the content is directly relevant to your audience’s interests and challenges to encourage sign-ups.

Consider Gated Content on Your Blog

If you run a blog, consider gating some of your more premium content. Readers would need to provide their email address to access these in-depth articles, videos, or resources. This method ensures that you’re capturing leads who are genuinely interested in your content.

Optimize Your Website for Sign-ups

Ensure your website has multiple, visible email opt-in forms for a newsletter or other content. These can be embedded in the header/footer, as a popup, or within blog posts. Use clear and compelling calls-to-action (CTAs) to guide visitors towards signing up. Test different placements, offers and CTAs to find what works best for your audience.

Use Expert SEO and SEM

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) are critical for lead generation for marketing agencies and increasing agency visibility online. By optimizing your website and content for relevant keywords, you can attract more organic traffic.

SEM, on the other hand, involves paid advertising on search engines to drive traffic and generate leads. SEM is a good way to get results fast and to expand your reach, but optimizing SEO is vastly important over time.

Be Creative with Social Media Marketing

Social media platforms are invaluable for lead generation for marketing agencies. By engaging with your audience through regular posts, ads, and direct messaging, you can create a community of followers interested in your services. Platforms like LinkedIn are particularly effective for marketing agencies (and other B2B businesses).

Don’t just publish posts and talk AT your clients and prospects. Consider how you can capture their imagination and engage them. Take surveys, answer questions, and brainstorm how else you can engage your clientele.

Promote your lead magnets on your social media channels to encourage your prospects to sign up for your email list. You can also boost your posts to reach a broader audience beyond your current followers.

Form Partnerships with Non-Competitive Businesses

Building strategic partnerships and networking within your industry can open up new avenues for lead generation. Attend industry conferences, webinars and networking events to connect with potential clients and partners who can refer business your way.

Collaborating with non-competitive agencies or related businesses to offer complementary services can also be a fruitful source of leads. You can recommend the other company to your list and they can do the same for you.

Give Webinars and Online Workshops

Webinars and online events are powerful tools for list building and showcasing your agency’s expertise. They offer value to attendees while giving you the opportunity to collect email addresses during the registration process.

Clients respect agencies who offer them valuable information and education. Webinars give you an opportunity to engage directly with potential leads in a personal way that has a lot of impact.

Write Testimonials and Case Studies

Social proof is a powerful tool in persuading potential clients to choose your services. 73% of B2B clients say case studies are a primary reason they decide to purchase. By relaying testimonials from satisfied customers and detailed case studies of successful campaigns, you provide tangible evidence of your agency’s effectiveness. This not only builds trust with prospective clients but also highlights your agency’s capability to deliver results.

Use Account-Based Marketing (ABM)

Focus on leads that are most likely to become lucrative clients. Use a lead scoring system to prioritize leads based on their engagement and demographic information.

ABM is a strategic approach where marketing and sales teams work together to target high-value accounts with personalized campaigns. By focusing resources on a select group of accounts, you can create highly customized experiences that make a huge impact and greatly increase the likelihood that prospect will hire your agency.


As a marketer, you know that it can take multiple exposures before a company will take an action such as signing up for a newsletter and giving you their contact information. Not all visitors will convert on their first visit to your website.

Retargeting campaigns allow you to stay top of mind by showing targeted ads to users who have previously visited your site as they browse the web. This keeps your agency in their line of sight, increasing the chances they’ll return to engage with your services.

Seek Influencer Recommendations

Partnering with influencers within your industry can extend your reach and lend credibility to your agency. By collaborating on content creation or having influencers endorse your services, you can tap into their audience, generating leads that trust the influencer’s recommendations.

Implement a Referral Program

A good referral program can go a very long way toward good lead generation for marketing agencies. If you aren’t asking your current clients for referrals, you are leaving money on the table. Encourage your current clients to refer their colleagues. A referral program can turn your current subscribers into brand ambassadors.

Attend Networking Events and Trade Shows

Many marketing agencies specialize particular industries. Be sure to attend industry events and trade shows to meet prospects and press the flesh. Set up appointments to meet prospects in person. If you have a booth, devise ways to get contact information such as offering a drawing for a prize.

Keep Your Email List Clean

Maintain the health of your email list by periodically removing inactive subscribers or those who consistently fail to engage with your content. This improves your deliverability rates and ensures your efforts are focused on engaged subscribers.

Continuously Test Your Strategies

Regularly test different strategies for growing your list and refine your approach based on performance metrics. A/B testing can be particularly effective in determining what types of content, lead magnets, and CTAs your audience responds best to.

Tools for Lead Generation

The right tools can streamline your lead generation process, making it more efficient and effective. Here are some essential tools for that will greatly help lead generation for marketing agencies.

CRM Software

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software helps you manage leads, track interactions, and personalize your marketing efforts. Tools like Salesforce and HubSpot are popular choices that offer a range of features to support lead generation and nurturing.

Email Marketing Platforms

Platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact allow you to design, send, and track email marketing campaigns. They offer analytics to measure the success of your campaigns and features for segmenting your audience for targeted messaging.

SEO and SEM Tools

Tools like Semrush and Ahrefs provide valuable insights into keywords, competitor analysis, and SEO performance, helping you optimize your website and content for better visibility.

Social Media Management Tools

Managing multiple social media accounts can be cumbersome. Tools like Hootsuite and Buffer streamline the process, allowing you to schedule posts, engage with your audience, and analyze your social media performance.

Lead Capture and Management Tools

Lead capture tools like Leadpages and Unbounce help you create optimized landing pages that convert. Additionally, lead management tools ensure that you can effectively track and nurture these leads through your sales funnel.

Start Getting More Leads

Lead generation is not a set-and-forget task but a continuous endeavor that requires ongoing adjustment and optimization. By staying abreast of the latest digital marketing trends, experimenting with new strategies, and constantly refining your approach based on data and feedback, your agency can not only generate a steady flow of leads but also ensure they are of the highest quality.

Umbrella can help with lead generation for marketing agencies. Contact us through our website or calling (866) 760-2638.

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