You know the feeling: a potential client reaches out to your digital marketing agency. Excited about a new opportunity, you initiate the sales process. But somewhere down the line, they just disappear.
It’s frustrating because dead leads consume valuable time, energy, and resources that could be better utilized on qualified leads and productive activities.
We get it. But here’s the thing: their silence doesn't always equal a lost sales opportunity.
By strategically approaching dead leads again, you can re-engage them, continue the sales process, and secure them as new clients.
In this article, we’ll cover:
9 Reasons Why Agency Leads Go Cold
Cold leads are a natural occurrence in every sales pipeline. But there are a few known reasons why they go cold. And the first step to turning them back into “hot leads” is recognizing the issue at hand.
Here are some of the various reasons why leads go cold:
Timing plays a crucial role in lead conversion. Leads may become cold if they are not ready to engage with your agency when your sales team initially contacted them, or if something has come up in the interim that has pulled their focus.
They might have other priorities, budget constraints, or ongoing contracts with existing providers.
Or, perhaps, your team simply waited too long to follow up when the lead was generated. According to this study, 88% of leads expect responses within 60 minutes of their query, and 30% want a response within 15 minutes. This means you’ll need to stay on top of your outreach efforts to remain ahead of the competition.
What To Do: Set up reminders or use automation software to ensure you’re contacting leads at the right times. This also helps to give visibility across your agency, so multiple team members aren’t reaching out at the same time.
2. Lack of Urgency
Some leads may not be interested in the type of services you offer or lose interest in them after your initial interaction. They might have explored other options or found your offerings were not the perfect match for what they needed. Or, they like what your agency has to offer but doesn’t see the immediate need for your services.
You may wonder why a lead that doesn’t need your agency’s services would contact your team in the first place, and that’s where the disconnect often occurs. A potential client may be planning for the future, or simply gathering information. Creating a sense of urgency by helping them understand the missed opportunity costs of waiting too long is key to managing these leads.
What To Do: It’s crucial for your agency to communicate a clear agency value proposition to differentiate your agency from competitors–especially if you’re in a crowded market. Show your clients why they should choose you, and why it’s in their best interest to act sooner rather than later by connecting your services to their pain points.
Make sure you have a clear understanding of what value you can deliver to that specific client. Having a clear understanding of how you can improve someone's business makes it a lot easier to close the deal.
Anatoly Zadorozhnyy, CEO of Marketing 1on1
3. Insufficient Follow-up
Inconsistent or inadequate follow-up causes leads to lose interest. If you fail to nurture the relationship by staying in touch, providing relevant information, or addressing their concerns, they will gradually go cold.
What To Do: It’s one thing to tell show your dead leads why they should work with your agency, but it’s another to to show them how your team will solve their specific business challenges. Use a sales pitch deck to prove that your agency has done the research and understands their specific industry.
Leverage automation wherever possible to ensure you always have a way to engage with your audience and nurture them back to your site.
Bryan Lozano, Vice President of Operations at Ad-Apt
4. Changing Priorities
Clients’ business needs and priorities change rapidly. A lead that seemed interested initially may have experienced a shift in their marketing goals, budget, or overall strategy, leading them to no longer require your services.
What To Do: Showcase the lengths your agency goes to achieve maximum ROI for your clients and that you’re an invaluable business partner for their marketing goals.
Leaders are most prone to frustration when they feel they lack clarity on the ROI of their investments and may be surprised if they find out that new "shiny" addition fails to improve their business's performance. In reality, diving into analytics can provide insights into what's working and what isn't.
Alessandra Torres, Sales Development Representative, Consultwebs
5. Competitor Influence
Your competitors may offer compelling alternatives or promotions that attract leads away from your agency. If another agency offers better pricing, additional services, or a stronger value proposition, leads may be enticed to switch.
What To Do: Often a topic of popular debate, choosing a niche for your agency gives you an opportunity to relate to the specific clients you’re trying to win over. It’s a worthwhile strategy to try and stay ahead of the competition.
Becoming niche-specific allows you to do certain things that you couldn’t do otherwise, like speak the language of your client, quickly figure out what works and what doesn’t from an advertising standpoint, and create scalable internal operations.
Dan Delmain, Founder of :Delmain
6. Communication Breakdown
Effective communication is vital for maintaining engagement with leads. If there are communication gaps, delays, or misunderstandings, leads may lose confidence (and interest) in your agency.
For example, if a potential client reaches out with a clarifying question or leaves messages, such as asking about how results will be reported, but doesn’t get a response in a timely manner–that will create an instant break in the communication flow.
What To Do: Answer any questions quickly and completely. For the example above, demonstrate how you will communicate your agency’s success with screenshots of an existing clients’ marketing dashboard–with their specific data blurred out, of course–or a demo campaign used specifically for prospecting (all AgencyAnalytics accounts come with one demo campaign specifically for this purpose).
We show a live demo of our 'always on' dashboard and a copy of our monthly reporting. We find that all agencies like to say that they're transparent, it is a buzzword, but this shows we don't hide behind anything or try manipulate the numbers. What you see is what you get.
Kate Thompson, Digital Strategist, squidgy.co
7. Lack of Personalization
Leads expect personalized experiences and solutions tailored to their specific needs. If your agency fails to demonstrate a deep understanding of their challenges or offers generic solutions, they may perceive your approach as impersonal and lose interest.
What To Do: There are many benefits of personalizing your cold outreach. If possible, reference previous conversations or specific points discussed to show that you remember and value the interaction.
It's important to really understand the client's true goals, if you know everything that is important to the client you can tailor a solution that really sets out to solve real problems for them.
Nick Butler, Managing Director, Ireland Website Design
8. Budget Constraints
Budget limitations can hinder lead conversion.
Even if leads are genuinely interested, they may need more financial resources to engage with your agency at the moment, resulting in a cold lead. Your agency pricing needs to reflect the value of the services your team provides, so this isn’t about undercutting your pricing or providing deep discounts just to close a deal. Sometimes, closing a low-value deal is worse than getting the sale.
But, if your team sees long-term value in working with the client, despite them having some short-term budget constraints, look for creative ways to address those issues.
What To Do: Think of ways you can eliminate any possible financial barriers your ideal clients may be facing. Even if they don’t have the resources to hire your agency at the moment, all of your efforts still have the possibility to pay off in the long run.
We have tiers that allow us to flex clients if they hit economic tough times. We try to be that partner that has your back.
Trevor Shirk, CEO & Founder of Terrayn Dispensary Marketing
9. Internal Decision-Making Processes
Depending on your marketing agency’s niche, leads may need to navigate complex internal decision-making processes or obtain approvals from various stakeholders.
For example, if your agency is aiming to attract more attorneys as clients, you’ll need to understand the structure of decision-makers that varies from firm to firm.
This has the potential to prolong the sales cycle and increase the likelihood of leads going cold.
Gain a comprehensive view of your email campaigns' role in your marketing strategy and eliminate the need to navigate multiple platforms.
What To Do: There are countless benefits of being efficient as possible at your agency–namely saving costs and the potential to secure a new client. Streamline internal agency processes to keep things running smoothly on your end. Being ready at the exact moment your potential client is could make or break the deal closing.
Customize each deck specifically to the client's desired outcomes and whatever it is they need to present to their board for approval.
Shoaib Mughal, Director & Founder, Marketix
Show off your agency’s reporting capabilities to help your team close more deals. Get started with a 14-day free trial.
Why Is It Important to Re-Engage?
Re-engaging with dead marketing leads is crucial for your agency’s long-term growth goals. By getting them back into your marketing funnel, you have an opportunity to revive their interest and potentially convert them into active customers.
Re-engaging with your dead leads is more cost-efficient than acquiring new leads because you’ve already invested time and resources into attracting them in the first place. Your existing cold leads have shown some level of interest in your services, so they’re more likely to convert than new leads.
If that's not enough, here are the top three reasons why it’s important to re-engage your cold leads:
1. Relationship Building
Re-engaging dead leads helps to build or rebuild relationships with them. Demonstrate your agency’s commitment, provide value, and address their concerns to establish trust and strengthen your connections. This leads to long-term customer loyalty, potential referrals, and the opportunity to get more clients to grow your agency.
Great emails are a conversation. The only way to assess how what you are saying is perceived is by studying the reactions to your email. Whether someone clicks, shares, and/or replies are the "facial expressions" and "words" that a person shares back that can tell you how well your conversation is going.
Seth Giammanco, Principal, Strategy and Technology at Minds On Design Lab
2. Customer Insights
Cold leads provide valuable insights into your target audience. Re-engaging them gives you a better understanding of their needs, preferences, and pain points.
This information helps to refine your marketing strategies, improve your offerings, and tailor your messaging to better resonate with your ideal client profile (ICP).
3. Brand Visibility and Awareness
At the very least, if a cold lead doesn’t end up converting, re-engaging helps keep your brand visible and top of mind. They may still engage with your content, refer you to others, or become customers in the future.
10 Ways to Re-Engage Your Agency’s Dead Leads
So how can you reconnect with a cold lead without coming across as too pushy or forceful? It's a balance between:
Understanding the prospect’s pain points and how your agency solves their current (and future) problems
Finding a way to deliver value that impacts their bottom line
Showcasing your expertise so they know why to choose your agency over others
Let's hear some advice from agency leaders.
1. Analyze Why They Went Dark In The First Place
Understanding why they became a cold lead is crucial before you start your next game plan. For example, if they cannot afford your marketing services at this time, you don’t want to continue bombarding them or coming across as insincere.
Analyzing why you have a cold lead helps you identify any weaknesses in your outreach, refine targeting, enhance lead nurturing, optimize the sales funnel, and tailor solutions. It’s an opportunity to improve and aim for better engagement and higher conversion rates.
A great email marketing report is straight to the point, highlighting the KPIS for the analysis timeframe and providing actionable insights.
Bryan Lozano, Vice President of Operations at Ad-Apt
Integrating email marketing data with a reporting tool like AgencyAnalytics is simple, time-saving, and easy to set up.
With top email software integrations like Keap, Mailchimp, and Klaviyo, to name a few, you’ll be able to monitor what’s driving business growth (and what isn’t). Start your 14-day free trial today.
2. Re-Engagement Emails As Part of a Re-Engagement Campaign for Cold Leads
Creating a re-engagement email strategy helps re-engage cold leads. With proper timing schedules and great copy, this is a great way to convert those leads. Sending multiple emails increases the chances of getting higher email open rates.
The key is to set up audience segmentation to deliver more targeted content wherever the lead is in your sales funnel. But how often should you email your list of cold leads? You’ll want to use email automation software to build the most efficient schedule. According to Campaign Creators, your email re-engagement campaigns should be on a timeline of weeks or, at most, a couple of months.
Track your agency’s email KPIs in one dashboard to stay on top of your outreach efforts. AgencyAnayltics helps you monitor email performance and optimize your campaigns to convert more leads. Start your free 14-day trial.
3. Show Them Why They Should Engage
Combat any sales objections you may be facing by showing cold leads why they should engage in the first place. Your initial client discovery should reveal any pain points or opportunities for your agency to offer value. So, your goal is to help them understand your value and visualize the effects on their bottom line.
For example, sending case studies or testimonials via email helps re-engage dead leads because they highlight the success of your services and their benefits for the client.
4. Send Dead Leads a Survey Email
Get in touch with dead leads by asking them questions and gaining valuable feedback. This shows your agency’s commitment to improvement and provides an opportunity for them to voice their opinions.
We use a survey to really qualify our prospects. This lets them engage to tell us more of what they want. What budget they have and pain points in their business. Then we use the strategy deck to really craft a story for them. Providing the best approach for them within their budget while being able to show how they can be the hero with our service by addressing any problems they shared.
Tyler Hanson, Owner, Hite Digital (Chandler, AZ)
Surveys are a great part of your overall email marketing strategy and help to remind leads about your agency's offerings and value proposition. The questions you ask don’t need to be lengthy and can be about a topic they know about that might also help identify new ICP information for you. Win-win!
5. Use Trigger Events as a Chance to Reconnect
Remember, building relationships takes time and effort. Look for recent events or developments that may have an impact on the lead's business. This could include product launches, industry awards, or news articles featuring their company or industry leaders.
6. Build a Re-Engagement Campaign and Nurture Campaign
Building a re-engagement and nurture campaign lets you strategically approach your cold leads and gradually move them close to becoming clients. The key is to craft compelling messaging on the channel that resonates with this audience with a clear call to action.
You want to guide prospects to the next step in their engagement with your agency and then measure and optimize what worked.
Track important re-engagement metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions in a live dashboard. AgencyAnayltics helps you refine your content, timing, and approach for better results over time. Start your free 14-day trial today.
7. Find a New Person To Contact at the Prospect’s Company
When a lead goes cold, it could indicate a lack of interest or disengagement from the previous contact. Reaching out to a new person gives you an opportunity to rekindle the conversation and potentially receive a fresh response.
A different perspective or approach might resonate more with the new contact, leading to renewed interest and engagement. Establishing connections with multiple individuals within the prospect's company increases your visibility and credibility within the organization. You may even get access to the decision-makers who can evaluate your proposal and take action.
However, you want to be careful to avoid becoming an annoyance emailing too many people from the business simultaneously.
8. Provide New Content
Establish your agency as a thought leader by consistently creating and sharing high-quality content across various channels.
This includes publishing articles, podcasts, or videos that offer valuable insights and innovative ideas, positioning your agency as an authority in your field, and reigniting interest from dormant leads.
If your potential clients benefit from some advice in your content, why wouldn’t they choose to partner with you? For example, Shop Marketing Pros created additional ways to offer value to their automotive repair niche with a private Facebook group, podcasts, webinars, and training.
Providing valuable insights, industry trends, and practical solutions showcases your agency's expertise and encourages engagement.
9. Offer Incentives
Create exclusive offers or discounts to revive dead leads. Try tailoring them for a specific paint point your dead lead may be facing. This incentivizes them to re-engage and consider your agency's services, especially if they perceive added value or a limited-time opportunity.
You want to make your services enticing to your prospective clients. However, you should never be giving away services for free. You don’t want to put your agency (and your team) at risk of landing toxic clients who end up draining all of your time, money, and resources by asking for the moon. If you do get yourself in this situation, here’s how to deal with crazy client requests.
My number one advice to agency owners is don’t give anything away for free. Know your value. We love what we do, and we love our communities. But if you don't set your prices where you’ll be profitable, you won’t be able to serve your clients anymore.
Kelsey Wagner, Owner of MyMediaMatters
10. Segment Your Leads for Effective Re-Targeting
There are so many benefits to segmenting your leads, such as personalized messaging that speaks directly to cold leads’ pain points.
It also lets you test different messaging, content, and approaches across your different segments. Comparing each segment's performance and response rates identifies which strategies are most effective and helps you optimize your agency’s re-targeting efforts accordingly.
The most important aspect of email marketing is the ability to share highly targeted messaging. Segmenting these customers into appropriate email marketing lists helps businesses target these groups more effectively.
Bryan Lozano, Vice President of Operations at Ad-Apt
Converting your agency’s cold leads requires a strategic and personalized approach. By understanding the unique needs and challenges of each lead, segmenting them appropriately, and crafting tailored messaging, you increase the relevance and engagement of your communications.
Remember, converting cold leads takes persistence and continuous optimization. Following the steps listed above, your agency will turn those cold leads into loyal clients who trust your team to drive their success.
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