5 Lead Nurturing Strategies To Convert More Agency Clients

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QUICK SUMMARY:

Lead nurturing strategies, such as social media, email marketing, and developing a presence at industry events, help you convert agency leads into clients (and, ideally, brand advocates). In this article, you’ll learn how to optimize your marketing agency’s lead nurturing program and keep that client roster steadily growing, year after year.

Imagine this: Your business development team has been working hard on lead generation. They set big goals, and they’re hitting them left and right—attracting potential new clients through methods like SEO, paid ads, and networking.

But then something happens. Or rather… nothing happens. 

Your agency has a bunch of great leads, but they’re languishing at the top of your sales funnel. Somehow, they never make it through to become full-fledged clients.

That’s what lead nurturing is for. Don’t let your leads die off in the middle of your client lifecycle. Instead, implement smart lead nurturing strategies to create meaningful relationships and help them all the way through.

In this article, you’ll learn how to communicate with potential clients in a way that speaks directly to them and proves what you have to offer. We’re also sharing our top tips for agencies to help create strong lead nurturing campaigns. 

Let’s get started.

What Is Lead Nurturing in an Agency Context?

Lead nurturing is the process of building and maintaining relationships with potential clients through targeted or personalized communication. By doing this, you guide clients through the client lifecycle:

  • Lead

  • Prospect

  • Opportunity

  • Customer

  • Churned

You nurture your leads during the sales process by providing relevant, valuable content that addresses their pain points. This demonstrates your expertise and positions your agency as the go-to solution for your target audience. 

We leverage a combination of strategies to nurture leads and build trust: a strong referral network of satisfied clients, high-quality content for internal SEO, engaging social media marketing to establish ourselves as industry experts, and utilizing compelling video content to connect with potential clients on a deeper level. This organic strategy fosters genuine relationships and often leads to longer-lasting, more invested partnerships.

Ryon Gross, CEO, Local Leap Marketing

Lead Nurturing vs. Lead Generation

We mentioned this in the introduction, but we’re reiterating it here for good measure: It’s important to make the distinction that lead nurturing and lead generation are two different processes. 

Lead generation comes first. You generate leads at the very beginning of the client journey, attracting new prospects to your agency by capturing their initial interest.

According to the AgencyAnalytics Marketing Agency Benchmarks Survey, the majority of agencies acquire leads through word of mouth and referrals.

graph showing the top ways agencies acquire new clients

Once you’ve turned a lead into a prospect, you move on to the next step, which is lead nurturing. Here is where you take those prospects and cultivate relationships with the goal of converting the leads into paying clients.

Why Is Lead Nurturing Important For Agencies That Want To Scale?

If you’re looking to scale your agency, implementing effective lead nurturing campaigns is a must. Here are a few reasons why:

Lead Nurturing Increases Conversion Rates

Nurtured leads are significantly more likely to convert into clients as they view targeted content that addresses their pain points. Maintaining relationships with leads also gives you more chances to build trust and position yourself as the expert.

Lead Nurturing Improves Efficiency 

Statistics show that organizations that nurture leads experience 451% more qualified leads compared to those that don’t. This makes the job easier for your sales and marketing teams.

Lead Nurturing Boosts Client Lifetime Value 

Ideally, a nurtured lead converts into a client, who then becomes a loyal customer or even a brand advocate—leading to repeat business and referrals.

Lead Nurturing Offers Chances for Scalable Growth 

Effective lead nurturing systems can be automated and streamlined, allowing for sustainable growth without constantly chasing new leads. 

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Lead Nurturing Best Practices

It’s clear why a good lead nurturing strategy is so crucial for your agency. Here are a few key principles that the most successful lead nurturing programs have in common.

Know Your ICP

Gaining clarity on your Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) is an important first step before jumping into your lead nurturing efforts. Your ICP describes your agency’s hypothetical perfect client, drilling down into details like their firmographics and their buying patterns. It’s helpful to understand your ICP so you can create more relevant content, save time on low-quality leads, and allow your marketing team to optimize communications. 

Create your ICP by defining their professional profile, company information, characteristics, and their problems, challenges, and pain points. 

Download our free ideal client profile template

Use this template to build your ideal client profile

Map Your Client Journey

The next order of business in a solid lead nurturing strategy is to map out the client journey. Visualize the stages a prospect goes through from initial awareness all the way up to becoming a client. This will help you identify key touchpoints and create targeted content that resonates at each stage.

Segment Your List

As a marketing agency, you might have a diverse clientele: ecommerce startups, healthcare providers, or B2B SaaS companies, each with their own unique needs and goals.

When you segment your client base, you categorize leads into distinct groups according to certain characteristics. Companies that are in different industries will face different marketing trends and challenges, for example, while companies of varying sizes require different levels of resources and support. 

Segmentation helps you tailor your communication and service offerings for each client group, creating a more effective lead nurturing campaign. For example, instead of sending a generic email marketing newsletter, send targeted messages pertaining to the lead’s stage in the client journey, and the key decisions they’re wrestling with at each stage.

Automate as Much as Possible

Marketing automation is your key to take repeatable tasks off your plate so you can focus on revenue-driving activities. Leverage marketing automation software to automate repetitive tasks, such as sending segmented lead nurturing email sequences. 

For example, maybe you’re setting up an automated email sequence that will go out to leads who download an eBook from your blog. After setting up the trigger, you create a series of emails tailored to the lead’s stage in the buyer’s journey, with each email nudging them toward the next step. Schedule the emails to be sent automatically at certain intervals. Nurturing leads through email automation might look like:

  • After downloading the lead magnet: Leads receive an email with the eBook and links to relevant blog posts on your site.

  • Three days after downloading: Leads receive an email featuring a case study showing how your agency helped a client with a similar problem.

  • Seven days after downloading: Leads receive an email invitation to schedule a free consultation with you.

Don’t forget to include touches of personalization in your automated lead nurturing. This adds a human touch that builds a valuable feeling of connection. Address leads by name and tailor content to their interests and needs.

Rather than relying heavily on automated systems, our lead nurturing strategy prioritizes a personal touch. We focus on building relationships through tailored follow-ups, phone calls, and genuine connections on social media platforms. We listen to potential clients' specific needs and tailor our communication to address their challenges, demonstrating our commitment to understanding their individual businesses.

Ryon Gross, CEO, Local Leap Marketing

5 Best Lead Nurturing Strategies For Marketing Agencies

Now that we’ve covered some general best practices for the lead nurturing process, it’s time to really jump in and start pushing leads through the sales funnel. Here are our top five recommendations for agencies for effective lead nurturing strategies. 

1. Social Media

With billions of people and brands (including company decision-makers) using social media platforms around the world, social media is a lead generation and a lead nurturing channel that you absolutely cannot overlook. 

Use social media marketing for lead nurturing tactics such as engaging with potential prospects and positioning yourself as an industry expert. Provide relevant information to potential customers through social media tactics like:

  • Instagram Lives that address leads’ pain points.

  • X (Twitter) threads that share valuable, actionable insights.

  • LinkedIn posts that discuss the latest marketing trends and how they impact businesses.

To further boost the impact of your lead nurturing efforts, add a CTA on your social media campaigns to nudge potential leads toward the next step. Engage leads by inviting them to download a guide or book a consultation. And don’t overlook social media engagement and social media posts as a method of building relationships with qualified leads. 

2. Email Marketing

Lead nurturing emails are an excellent method of moving people along the customer journey. Email campaigns enable you to directly contact a lead with targeted messages. Plus, automation saves you time and makes email marketing easily scalable as your clientele grows. Email lead nurturing also offers measurable results, such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.

Align sales reps and your marketing team on the messaging you want to send. Then engage leads by sending targeted content such as:

  • Welcome Emails. A welcome email series introduces new leads to your agency and your services. With straightforward yet inviting subject lines, these introductory emails provide valuable resources and set expectations for future communication.

  • Nurturing Sequences. Initiate these sequences after a lead takes an action (such as downloading a guide or joining a webinar). Provide follow-up information and consider asking them to book a call.

  • Re-engagement Campaigns. Reach out to inactive leads who have fallen by the wayside with targeted offers and a call to action button designed to draw them back in.

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3. Thought Leadership Appearances

Thought leadership is often overlooked as an effective lead nurturing strategy. While this doesn’t necessarily involve directly engaging with leads, it’s an excellent way to continue establishing your agency’s expertise and building up a library of content you can share on social media or send to leads in your lead nurturing emails.

Thought leadership for agencies will help you demonstrate your industry authority. If your agency or members of your agency are approached to conduct interviews or otherwise participate in podcasts, webinars, and industry events, say yes! You can also seek out similar opportunities. 

By publicly sharing your knowledge and expertise about digital marketing, you’ll have more content to share as you nurture leads, adding to your credibility. 

4. Content Marketing

Another way to build your authority and accumulate targeted content to send to your leads is through a content marketing strategy. Maintain an active blog that provides valuable content addressing the specific needs of your ICP. This positions your agency as a resource, driving organic traffic and building trust with potential clients.

Blogs are also a great way to tie in your services and show how you help your clients build their businesses. For example, maybe your clients are primarily law firms. Keeping an active blog will allow you to elaborate on marketing tips for legal professionals. Share these posts on social media, or in your email newsletters, to further illustrate your agency’s expertise.

5. Attend Industry Events

Our final recommendation for lead nurturing strategies: Attend industry events where your ICP is likely to hang out. This allows you to connect with potential clients and build relationships in a more personal setting. You might find yourself crossing paths with the same people again and again, allowing you to nurture those leads face-to-face until they eventually turn into paying clients.

Similar to our thought leadership advice, you can also try securing speaking opportunities at industry conferences relevant to your ICP. You’ll be able to showcase your agency’s unique approach to marketing challenges.

Our best source of leads is really going to conferences that are in our niche and meeting people face to face. It makes a huge difference.Our ideal clients, our niche is very relationship based. So being able to just talk with them, sometimes sharing a lunch and talking about their business, and quite frankly offering free SEO advice is usually our best source of clients. 

Jessica Tappana, Founder, Simplified SEO Consulting

If your client base is primarily in the healthcare industry, for example, look for events or conferences based around healthcare marketing. Offer to discuss healthcare marketing ethics or showcase a successful campaign you’ve executed in the industry. This type of event opens up a world of opportunities to connect with new people and nurture existing leads.

Common Agency Mistakes During the Lead Nurturing Process

Nurturing leads through the sales cycle isn’t always straightforward or easy. Often, it can feel like a delicate balance trying to push potential clients through to the client stage, without pushing them so hard that they bail. As your sales team works through your lead nurturing program, make a point to avoid the following common lead engagement mistakes:

Inconsistent or Low-Quality Communication 

Many agencies fail to maintain consistent communication with potential leads. Don’t let any qualified leads slip through the cracks. Keep up with each one, continuing to provide valuable insights and personalized communication.

Relying Too Heavily on Automation 

Automation is a great way to save time and streamline communication. But make sure your messaging doesn’t lose that human touch. It should be aligned with your overall brand tone of voice, staying consistent with all other content and communications coming from your agency.

Our personalized approach might seem 'old school' to some, but it allows us to build strong connections with potential clients. We go beyond just the marketing ask–we want to understand their company culture, how they treat customers, and their internal processes. This ensures a good fit for both parties. We continuously analyze what works best in nurturing these relationships, always striving to find the ideal clients who truly value the partnership we offer. This approach fosters long-term success for both Local Leap and our clients.

Ryon Gross, CEO, Local Leap Marketing

Lack of Segmentation 

Not all leads are created equal. As you think through your nurturing campaigns, remember to tailor your messaging and content to each specific lead rather than treating all leads the same. 

Not Having a Clear CTA

Each touchpoint in your nurture sequence should guide leads toward a desired action. Without clear CTAs, leads may lose interest and drift away without taking the next step into paying clients—which, after all, is the whole point of your lead nurturing campaign.

Neglecting to Track Progress

You can’t master what you don’t measure. When an agency accrues leads but loses track of their progress in the agency sales funnel, they lose key opportunities to re-engage and enlist buy-in from those leads. Tracking lead progress keeps leads warm, and will naturally present additional opportunities as the relationship progresses.

While we prioritize personalized outreach, we also leverage a custom internal dashboard to track our leads. This gives our team complete visibility throughout the lead nurturing process, from initial contact to project wins.

Ryon Gross, CEO, Local Leap Marketing

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How To Measure Your Lead Nurturing Process

Finally, you’ll want to measure the success of your lead nurturing strategies across all marketing channels to get an idea of your progress and identify areas you can improve. Track metrics like:

  • Email open rates and click-through rates

  • Website traffic and engagement 

  • Conversion rates

These metrics help indicate whether your lead nurturing efforts are effective. Keep an eye on these analytics to gain insight into which parts of your lead nurturing campaigns are resonating with your audience. Then tweak your nurturing strategies where needed.

Lather, rinse, repeat. As your team experiments with these 5 lead nurturing strategies for agencies, incorporating data to demonstrate results, and learning more about what works best for your ICP, you'll develop a strategy you can own and hone.

Effective lead nurturing makes it easier to scale, meaning the sky's the limit for client conversions... as long as you're willing to put in the time and effort to build those relationships along the way.

Optimize your agency's lead nurturing strategy with AgencyAnalytics! Lean on our world-class customer support team, available for live chat 24/5, making it easy to launch a seamless start. Sign up for a free 14 day trial today.

Hailey Hudson Headshot

Written by

Hailey Hudson

Hailey is a full-time writer and content marketer based in Atlanta who specializes in providing unique insights into the worlds of wellness and digital marketing. A storyteller at heart, she is a self-admitted nerd about all things digital.

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