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Return To Pain Mountain: The Successful Digital Marketing Agency Approach To Gaining Clients – Part 2

In our previous blog, we looked at some of the mistakes digital marketing agencies make when trying to secure new business from a potential client, and how they should rework their retainer model to outline plainly how they can help a business to grow through an effective marketing strategy that will increase the client’s website traffic and generate more leads.

Here, we look at the steps to follow once the prospect has been suitably impressed by what you can offer, and how to get that deal in place so you can start doing what you do best and bring them the return on investment they want to see.


Step 1: Setting Targets

One big question a potential customer will ask when you pitch your inbound marketing services to them is ‘what results can we expect from investing in this?’

This should not be answered with vague responses about increased leads or website traffic, but with hard stats they can chew on. As an example, an effective digital marketing strategy should have as its targets:

  • At least 30% of all traffic coming from organic search
  • Landing page conversion rate of 20-25%
  • Visits-to-contacts rate of 1.5-3%
  • Email open rate of 20%
  • Email click rate of 3-7%
  • CTA click-through rates of 2-3% per page

If the client is happy with what you have to say, it’s time to get them on board, and that brings us to the next step – the proposal agreement.

proposal_plan_for_digital_marketing_agency_to_retain_clients.jpegStep 2: Proposing The Plan To Scale The Mountain

A detailed proposal of what you will provide, and how you will provide it over a specified period of time, should be included, detailing the platforms and channels through which all of this will be performed. (We suggest using Panda Doc or Proposify for this)

This proposal shouldn’t present any problems or new issues to tackle as it should simply be a formal document outlining what you have already discussed, so it should be converted to a Service Level Agreement that both parties should sign.

Step 3: The North Face

Once the ink has been put on the dotted line, it’s time to create a ‘Parking Lot’ where all necessary materials can be placed and accessed by all relevant stakeholders, after which you need to arrange a face-to-face meeting to iron out what needs to be done on both sides and to explain further how the process between you and the client will work.

In our experience, one of the main problems digital marketing agencies have is the adherence of clients to the schedules and deadlines required to keep a continuous creation of content going, so emphasising the need for the timely delivery of materials (content, images, downloads, etc) as well as timely sign off of the content you create, is important here.

Step 4: Success In The First Leg

climbing_pain_mountain_to_outline_digital_marketing_strategy_for_agencies_to_retain_satisfy_clients.gifWhile it should be stressed to clients that a comprehensive and effective digital marketing strategy takes time to see real results - the journey has begun but there is still some way to go so it shouldn’t be rushed - you should at this face to face meeting focus on the quick wins that can be achieved over the first 30-45 days.

These could include redesign and optimisation of their website, engaging with their email database, defining buyer personas and market opportunity, content creation for their blog, CTAs at relevant places within their content linking to existing offers or downloads, and a roadmap for future work to be done, offers to be created, etc.

Up front, this should show them the amount of work being done by your digital marketing agency to quickly gain improvements on the client’s website, while also laying the groundwork for the more extensive strategy that will come into place further down the line. This means there will be no danger of the client having buyer remorse while they wait to see the results that will start to appear after around three months.

Step 5: Head For The Summit

Once you have those quick wins in place, you can really start to impress as your full digital marketing strategy comes into play, giving you great results and ROI for your customers, and overcoming your own pain mountain to reach the summit of your industry.


The View From The Top

So what have we learned from this two-part piece on the successful route to gaining clients for your digital marketing agency?

  • Examine your current retainer model
  • Avoid information overload
  • Listen fully to the client’s challenges to build their pain mountain
  • Offer solutions to their initial problem first
  • Outline the cost of not solving their problems
  • Listen for further challenges to get the bigger picture and show how you can solve more problems
  • Stress the value of what you can do together
  • Outline why your agency is the one to bring the client success

When you are ready to offer your proposal, here is what you need to do:

  • Outline the performance benchmarks that can be met quickly
  • Detail what you will do, how you will do it, and how long it will take in a proposal
  • Arrange a face-to-face meeting to iron out the working agreement
  • Focus on the quick wins up front
  • Get the ball rolling on the overall strategy that will bring great results

To find out how Get Focused, the agency for agencies, can help you convert potential customers into clients by booking time with Clodagh.

Talk to Clodagh

Clodagh is currently based in Dublin and is the a co-Director of Get Focused Ltd, the first Irish Platinum HubSpot Partner Agency. She's an accomplished inbound agency sales and marketing coach who has helped hundreds of agencies in the HubSpot Agency Partner Program since 2013, both in APAC and EMEA.


Clodagh Higgins - Founder & Agency Growth Expert

Clodagh Higgins - Founder & Agency Growth Expert

Clodagh is the Get Focused founder and agency growth expert, having spent decades delivering for her own and other agencies across the globe.

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