Want to make more money?
Then you need to make more sales.
And that starts with generating more and better leads.
But as a business owner, you are probably already way too busy.
So you might feel that there simply isn’t enough time in the day to give lead generation the attention it deserves.
And you know what? You might be right!
That’s why you might want to consider outsourcing lead generation to a lead generation agency…
What Is a Lead?
A lead is a potential customer who has:
- Expressed an interest in your product or service.
- Has provided you with their contact details (typically their email address).
It’s important to understand that the person needs to meet both of these criteria in order to be considered a lead.
Someone who hasn’t expressed an interest in your product or service but whose contact details you have somehow obtained isn’t a lead (e.g. a random person in your email address book).
Likewise, someone who has expressed an interest in your product or service but who hasn’t given you their contact details isn’t a lead either (e.g. a site visitor who checked out your website but left without subscribing to your email list).
What Is Lead Generation?
Lead generation is the process of converting potential customers into leads by persuading them to give you their contact details.
Typically this is done through a lead generation funnel:
- You create a lead magnet.
- You create a landing page for that lead magnet.
- You drive traffic to that landing page.
This allows you to automate and scale lead generation: the more traffic you drive to the landing page, the more leads you are going to get.
What Is a Lead Generation Agency?
Lead generation agencies are digital marketing agencies that specialize in lead generation.
These agencies sometimes further specialize in a specific traffic generation method (SEO, paid ads, social media marketing, etc.).
There are also agencies that focus on a specific industry or a business model. Say, they might only serve influencers, SaaS companies, etc.
How Much Do Lead Generation Agencies Charge?
Some agencies charge per lead, some charge per month.
The price itself also varies depending on the business type, company size, industry, and other factors that affect the cost per lead metric.
What matters, though, isn’t the price tag itself, but whether the lead generation agency can bring in leads at a cost that allows you to stay profitable.
Should You Hire a Lead Generation Agency?
It’s perfectly fine to handle lead generation yourself.
In fact, if you are starting out, that’s what we would recommend, even if you can afford to outsource it. Why?
Because as a business owner, you want to have experience with everything that’s required to run it, from product development to marketing to lead generation to sales to customer support.
However, if you are at a point where you already have that experience, then you need to start looking for ways to replace yourself by outsourcing each of those tasks to people who are better at them than you.
Here’s how our co-founder Russel Brunson explains it:
Outsourcing lead generation to a lead generation agency is a way to replace yourself with the “level 10” people that he talks about in the video.
Lead generation agency can help you to…
#1 Create a Lead Generation Strategy
We have noticed that online entrepreneurs often focus more on tactics and less on strategy.
This is sometimes called spaghetti marketing because it’s similar to throwing a plate of spaghetti at a wall and seeing what sticks.
And that’s okay when you are just starting out because you need to test a bunch of stuff to see what works and what doesn’t.
However, as your company grows, it pays to become less tactical and more strategic.
A lead generation agency can help you create a long-term lead generation strategy that makes sense for your company, takes advantage of your unique advantages, and resonates with your potential customers.
#2 Create a Super Valuable Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is something that you offer to potential customers in exchange for their email addresses.
It can be anything that they can either download to their device or access online:
- A report.
- An ebook.
- A webinar.
- A cheat sheet.
- A video course.
- An email course.
However, as we always emphasize when we discuss lead magnets, people won’t give you their email addresses unless you offer them something SUPER VALUABLE in return.
Also, your lead magnet sets the potential customer’s expectations for your paid products, so it serves as the foundation of your entire sales funnel.
Impress the potential customer and they will be open to checking out your premium offers. Disappoint them and you won’t get a second chance.
But therein lies the problem:
How can you create a super valuable lead magnet when you barely have enough time to do everything that needs to be done to keep your business afloat??
That’s how entrepreneurs fall into the trap of haphazardly throwing together some random freebie, then wondering why their sales funnel isn’t converting. It’s because the lead magnet isn’t valuable enough!
If you feel that you are simply too busy to create an appealing lead magnet yourself, then it might make sense to outsource that to a lead generation agency. Keep in mind that a “meh” lead magnet can cripple your sales funnel!
So let the agency do customer research, produce the content, design everything, etc. It won’t be cheap but you don’t want to skimp when it comes to your lead magnet.
Would you skimp on the foundation of your house? Then don’t skimp on the foundation of your sales funnel!
#3 Build a Lead Generation Funnel
Here at ClickFunnels, we believe that the most effective way to sell online is the Value Ladder sales funnel.
It consists of four stages:
- Bait. You offer the potential customer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address.
- Frontend. You offer the potential customer your least expensive and least valuable product.
- Middle. You offer the customer a more expensive and more valuable product.
- Backend. You offer the customer your most expensive and most valuable product.
Ideally, you also offer some type of continuity program, meaning a subscription product that generates recurring revenue.
The lead generation funnel is the Bait stage of the Value Ladder sales funnel.
As we have already discussed, it consists of three steps:
- You create a lead magnet.
- You create a lead magnet landing page.
- You drive traffic to that landing page.
Traffic is the biggest challenge here.
The most straightforward way to get people to check out your lead magnet is paid advertising…
But if you don’t know what you’re doing, it’s surprisingly easy to burn through our entire marketing budget without having anything to show for it!
Sure, you can learn how to run paid ads, but the learning curve tends to be pretty steep. And by steep we mean costly.
Meanwhile, a lead generation agency can build a lead generation funnel for you, then run traffic to it, so that you wouldn’t have to worry about making expensive mistakes.
#4 Increase Lead Quantity
The most straightforward way to make more sales is to generate more leads. That way, even if everything else remains the same, your revenue will grow.
However, due to the previously discussed time constraints that business owners often face, that might not seem feasible.
Also, you might come to a point where you feel like you have hit a ceiling in your lead generation efforts. What if you simply don’t know how to get more leads?
Outsourcing to experts can help you get past that ceiling.
#5 Improve Lead Quality
When it comes to lead generation, it’s important to remember that it’s not only the lead quantity but also the lead quality that matters.
After all, generating leads isn’t about getting random people added to your email list, it’s about getting the contact details of your ideal customers.
Online entrepreneurs often get fixated on the number of email subscribers that they have when in reality that’s a vanity metric.
Remember that just because someone signed up for your email list to get the freebie doesn’t mean that they are going to buy something from you.
Focusing on quantity at the expense of quality can lead to wasting a lot of time, energy, and money on people who will never convert to paying customers.
So how can you improve lead quality?
Typically, that involves analyzing your customer data, identifying the traits that they have in common, and then using those traits to calibrate your marketing campaigns to attract more people like that.
Sometimes, it might even make sense to put some hurdles in place to make sure that you disqualify low-quality leads immediately (e.g. asking them to fill out a short survey), though that’s a tactic that works best for high-touch products where sales can’t be automated.
But of course, we run into the same problem of time constraints, so you might want to consider outsourcing all this to a lead generation agency instead.
Note that increasing the average lead quality doesn’t only mean that more leads will convert into paying customers but also that more paying customers will convert into repeat customers.
In other words, it has a positive cascading effect on your entire sales funnel, so it’s definitely worth investing in.
What Is the Opportunity Cost?
Ultimately, you need to think about the opportunity cost of the resources required to handle lead generation yourself, primarily:
- Your time. Would the time you are spending on lead generation be better spent elsewhere?
- Your energy. Would the energy you are spending on lead generation be better spent elsewhere?
Note that you need to consider not only the energy required to get things done but also the energy that you spend on thinking about lead generation, trying to come up with ideas, looking for ways to reduce the cost per lead, etc.
Hiring a lead generation agency can help you free up that time and energy so that you could focus on tasks that you believe are more important at the moment.
Can Hiring a Lead Generation Agency Help You Become Better At Delegating?
Entrepreneurs often struggle with delegating tasks because they feel like no one can do those tasks better than they can.
Deep down, they are afraid that if they start hiring or outsourcing to other people, those people might run their business into the ground.
But it’s impossible to be an expert at everything that is required to run a business, so this assumption of “if you want it done right, do it yourself” is simply wrong.
As Russel explained in that video, at some point you need to start replacing yourself with people who are better at specific tasks than you are.
And in order to do that, you might need to let go of the need for control, since you won’t be able to effectively delegate if you are unwilling to trust people to get things done without you micromanaging them.
In that regard, outsourcing to an agency might be easier than hiring freelancers or employees because you typically:
- Only have one point of contact with the agency.
- Don’t have to train the people who work at the agency.
- Couldn’t micromanage them even if you wanted to.
So if you feel that you are struggling with delegating tasks, working with reputable agencies might help you get better at it.
Keep in mind that there’s only so much one person can do, so if you are unwilling to delegate tasks, your business will hit a ceiling where growth is no longer possible due to your personal limitations.
That’s okay if you want a lifestyle business, but if you intend to go beyond that, you will have to learn how to extricate yourself from the day-to-day of running your company so that you could focus on the big picture instead.
What Should You Look For When It Comes to Lead Generation Agencies?
So how can you find a great agency to work with?
Here are some tips:
Look For an Agency That Specializes in Serving Businesses Like Yours
You will probably get the best results if you choose an agency that specializes in generating leads for businesses similar to yours.
Say, if you run a SaaS startup, then consider working with a lead generation agency that specializes in generating leads for software companies.
Of course, hiring an agency that servers a broader range of businesses can also work out well, so this isn’t some iron law, just a suggestion.
Look For an Agency That Has a Proven Track Record
Anyone can talk a big game on the Internet, but not everyone can back that up with results.
That’s why before you sign a contract, you should make sure that the agency in question has a proven track record, meaning, that they have successfully executed lead generation campaigns in the past.
Ask for verifiable customer testimonials from real people you can reach on LinkedIn (not “Jane, business owner, Texas”).
Also, see what people are saying about this agency on Reddit, Twitter, YouTube, personal blogs, agency review platforms, and so on.
Digital marketing agencies typically don’t generate a ton of buzz, but there should be at least some chatter.
Look for an Agency That Doesn’t Require a Huge Commitment
Before you commit to working with a particular agency for an extended period of time, you want to make sure that they can deliver results.
That’s why it’s best to give preference to agencies that allow you to hire them for just a few months to see if the partnership is working.
Note that while signing a contract for a few months is still a risk, you can’t expect to see serious results if you don’t give the agency enough time to understand your business, create a lead generation strategy, and implement it.
Beware of the Super Cheap Agencies!
You want to avoid super cheap agencies that compete on price, especially if they are also making grandiose claims.
The reality is that lead generation agencies need to hire all kinds of experts to build lead generation funnels. And that costs money.
So if they are able to offer extremely low prices, it’s likely that they are cutting costs when it comes to their team’s salaries. And underpaid people tend to do shoddy work.
It’s much better to spend more money but work with an agency that employs experts and pays them accordingly. Well-compensated people tend to produce better results.
Want to Learn How to Build a Sales Funnel That Converts?
A lead generation agency can help you bring in more and better leads, but you still need to convert them into paying customers and into repeat customers.
And that’s what sales funnels are all about.
Our 5 Day Challenge will show you exactly how to implement them in your business.
You will learn how to:
- Generate unlimited leads.
- Create your first lead magnet.
- Build your first sales funnel.
- Create a simple 6-email follow-up sequence.
- And launch your funnel!
…in just five days.
So don’t hesitate.