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6 business development tips for digital agencies

In a recent Hubspot survey of 1,000 senior people within agencies, the biggest pain point (60%) was finding new clients.

Here’s the graphic from that report, which also includes other pain points that white labelled A1WebStats can help solve for your agency …

Hubspot agency biggest pain points

Business development within digital agencies applies to NEW client business and also to getting more business from existing clients.

Here we focus on the challenges and also the answer to those challenges.

If you’re the impatient type, feel free to jump to the answer (although you will of course miss the context).

Onto the tips …


Tip 1 – Tease out the pain points

Your existing clients and potential clients have pain points.

Pain points typically relate to a lack of enquiries (or sales) about products or services that they offer via their websites.

The problem is, they may not share their pain points with you.

Why don’t they share their pain points?

Because they think it’ll give you an excuse to charge them lots of money for the potential answers to their problems, but they don’t feel 100% confident that results would be gained from their investment.

So they keep quiet.

You need a brilliant solution that will help you to bring potential pain points to their attention.  THEN they will open up to you, leading to more business gained and them becoming more successful following the work you do for them.

This applies to both existing and potential clients.



Tip 2 – Lack of trust (burnt fingers syndrome)

It’s tough work trying to win business from a company that has had their fingers burnt in the past.

Most companies can tell tales of failed initiatives, out of which the only winners were the agency/developers that they paid.

Whether that be website development, SEO, paid advertising, or any other aspect of work that relates to their online presence, many businesses have had their fingers burnt.

This limits your potential to get them engaged, because there is a conflict.

That conflict is:

“We, the agency really believe we can help you”

— VS —

“We, the company have had a bad experience in the past so you’ll have to kill us first to prise money from our cold dead hands”.

Others in your industry have muddied the waters for those that follow.

You face an uphill battle to build trust with the potential client.

But trust can be built with the right approach.



Tip 3 – Right place at the right time

Many industries believe that there are companies actively searching (in large numbers) for the types of services they can offer.

Each of the following industries (based on our own data from thousands of our subscriber accounts) have much lower website traffic than they think they should have, even when they’ve got strong online visibility (e.g. in search engines):

  • IT Support (the worst)
  • Office furniture
  • Agencies/web developers
  • Telecoms providers

Taking agencies as an example, there is a (misguided) perception that potential buyers are actively searching for agency services.  For example, people searching for ‘digital agencies Brighton’ or ‘SEO companies Brighton’.

While there are SOME potential buyers searching on such phrases, the numbers are much lower than would be expected.

We know this for sure because we have website visitors data for thousands of websites in a very wide range of industries and we’ve seen websites with strong search engine rankings for keyword phrases of importance to them, who get relatively few people landing on those pages.  Worse than that, many of the people clicking through are from competitors.

So there’s a need to be in the right place at the right time – but not necessarily just being top of the search engines.

The right time is when a potential customer is having enough pain that they are ready to have a discussion with an agency.

The clever agencies will have used methods months beforehand to ensure that the potential buyer is aware of their brand over a period of time.  For example, click bait that pulls potential clients into the agency website, and then follows them via remarketing ads.

The agencies that are even cleverer than the clever agencies are those that have found a subtle way to build a relationship with their future potential clients.



Tip 4 – Going for full sex before building rapport

Picture the scene:

A potential client has a need for agency services.

The potential client is in dialogue with a few agencies, none of which they have had any relationship with beforehand.

Your agency is one of them.

Within a short period of time, the relationship with the potential client goes from cold to wanting full sex (winning the business).

One of the agencies will win the business.

There is a better alternative that will benefit you more …

A potential client has a need for agency services.

Your agency has already got a foot in the door, providing something of value for weeks or months beforehand.

You have built up a bit of rapport with the potential client.

The relationship isn’t cold to start with.

At the right time, after a gradually strengthening relationship, you’ll get the ‘full sex’ when the potential client engages you in dialogue about how you can help them, and also doesn’t consider getting other agencies to supply proposals.



Tip 5 – Going offline

How much useful stuff do YOU receive through the post?

How many agencies get creative and create drip-feed campaigns that build dialogue with potential clients by post?

Answer: very few of them.

There’s the factor of postage being an evil cost, plus the cost of printed materials.

Then there’s the message within the printed materials.

Agencies that send stuff that offers their core services are not going to achieve much.

Agencies that send stuff that grabs the interest of companies will be able to start the relationship with recipients.

If you were a business that received printed materials that offered free information about companies visiting your website, would that at least grab your attention enough to investigate further?

Alternatively, what about a business receiving printed materials that gave that business the opportunity to get more enquiries from their existing website traffic, but at no extra cost.

Here’s the worst that could happen:

  1. An agency produces printed materials, designed to be genuinely useful to potential clients. That has a cost.
  2. The agency sends the materials by post. That has a cost.
  3. The agency sends one or two follow up communications (again via post, at a cost).
  4. The agency tries to follow up by phone, checking that that printed materials were received.
  5. Of a test list (say, 100 recipient companies), results are recorded.
  6. The worst outcome: for fairly minimal cost, absolutely nothing is gained in the way of responses.

The brighter view of the mail campaign results would be that some of those recipients will want to engage.

Based on 100 recipient companies, it wouldn’t be too far off to say there would be a cost of up to £10 per recipient company (including postage).

If £1,000 is too much to spend on a test, reduce it to 50 companies (£500), or smaller still (25 companies – £250).

But it’s worth testing – printed material (of something genuinely useful to the recipient – not just a sales pitch of agency services) received by mail will get a much better response than the methods that are failing so much nowadays (email marketing, cold calling, etc.).



Tip 6 – Your competitors may have more tools at their disposal than you have.

You’ve probably experienced this.

You’re one of a few agencies asked to pitch for work from a new potential client.

You lose out to a competitor but you never find out why.

The same happens again (losing out to the same competitor).

What you don’t realise is that your competitor may have had more tools (that are beneficial to the client) than you had.

One such tool would be white labelled A1WebStats, but it could equally be other tools (video tracking software, heat mapping, and much more).



The Solution

Your agency can white label A1WebStats.

Initially free for 60 days.

At this point you may still be unsure of what A1WebStats actually does.  This page, which includes walk through videos, would be worth you viewing at this stage:

You may also want to look at our page that’s seen by potential (direct) triallers, which explains the key benefits of how A1WebStats helps them.  Your clients and potential clients can benefit (via your white label) in the same way as those detailed on the page top reasons why people use A1WebStats.

White labelling A1WebStats enables you to pay one monthly fee that allows you to create as many client accounts as you want to (up to the limit within that tariff level).

The entry level tariff of £200 per month (if going ahead after the 60 day free trial) gives you a data allowance of up to 15,000 visitors per month, spread across as many businesses as you want to.

For example, you could have 30 current or potential clients, who between them, average 500 visitors per month to their website (15,000 per month total).  Your A1WebStats white label would allow you to track website visitors data to all 30 of those potential clients, providing you with a mechanism to nurture them.

Here’s how it typically works …

You, the agency, reach out to numerous businesses that you would like to gain as future clients.

What’s most likely to interest them are details of identifiable companies that have been to their websites, and what those companies looked at page by page, as shown in the example below …

Example of an A1WebStats company visitor

You offer them, totally for free, the following:

  1. Details of companies that have been to their websites, including what they looked at page by page.
  2. Insights into what return on investment they’re getting from their marketing activities.
  3. How to get more enquiries about specific products or services that they offer.

Here’s how you can offer that to those potential clients …

  1. All they have to do is install a piece of javascript tracking code.
  2. Your white labelled A1WebStats will automatically deliver them (by email) details of visiting companies – as if they’re directly from your agency.
  3. We (A1WebStats) will help you to understand how to dig into data into ways that are easier, and also so much more beneficial than, Google Analytics.
  4. You are then in a position to go to the potential client with useful insights about how they could be gaining more business from their website visitors.

Why would you, the agency, spend time on this?

Because it builds a relationship with future potential clients.

It helps to create your future pipeline of business.

Here’s an example of how it works in practice …


Month 1

You have a white labelled A1WebStats account for your agency.

That’s cost you nothing.

You have gained interest from 10 businesses, who are interested in your free offer.

Those 10 businesses have a total of 15,000 visitors between them per month.

During month 1, the system will deliver visiting companies information to those 10 potential clients.

Some of those potential clients will capitalise on that information, using it to their advantage.

You have some dialogue with those potential clients during their first month, determining how useful they find the information that’s been provided to them for free.

While you could incorporate Month 2 strategies into Month 1, the first month is mostly about you building up trust with the potential clients, by giving them something that they see as being valuable (information about companies visiting their websites).

You have spent nothing on the A1WebStats white label within month 1 and  you may go into month 2 thinking “I want a return on this investment if I’m going to pay for this after the free trial”.


Month 2

Three of your potential clients haven’t been engaging well with you.  You decide to reallocate their data allowance to three other businesses (this is easily done within the white label agency interface).

Of the other seven, you start to drip feed them information about their website visitors, including using a series of questions.

For example: “I was looking at your website visitors data over the past month and I see that you had 50 UK visitors who got to your red widgets page, but another 150 from other countries also got to that page.   Does your business actively sell to countries outside the UK?”.

That sort of questioning starts dialogue.  If, in the example above, it turned out that the potential client DOES sell to other countries, but it’s clear that the website doesn’t have enough of a “look at who we’ve served around the world” message, then that provides you, the agency, the opportunity to open the dialogue further (about ideas you have to get more business from those target markets).

Another ‘drip feed’ type activity could be using the system to identify outcomes from spend on paid search, leading to questions to the potential client such as:

“I can see that you had 300 Google Ads clicks to your widgets introduction page in the last month, but the data shows that 240 of them (80%) of them didn’t get beyond that page and into the pages about specific widgets (red, blue, green, and yellow).   I wondered if  you were aware of that?”

Such questions provide the opportunity for dialogue and dialogue provides the opportunity for the agency to gradually introduce core services.

During that second month (earlier, ideally), we at A1WebStats encourage agencies to have screenshares/calls with us, running through their potential clients data and building an understanding of how the A1WebStats system can pull out useful information that the business should know, and also that the agency can potentially assist with.

By the end of month 2 you’d still have spent nothing on your A1WebStats white label but should by that point have built enough rapport with those potential clients to have achieved at least one of the following:


Basic level service

The potential client likes seeing details of companies going to their website, and has had the free service for several weeks, but aren’t yet ready to engage your agency in additional services.

Your agency could charge that company a monthly fee to continue getting access to the companies data (e.g. £40/month, but it’s your choice), and so recoup some of what would be £200/month spend if continuing with the white label account.

At a later point, you may turn that same potential client into a client that spends more with your agency, as you chip away at them with useful insights about their website visitors.


Small service

You have identified opportunities for the potential client to be gaining more business (the A1WebStats system has helped identify that, and prove it via what the data says).

You offer the potential client some paid work that is low cost enough for them to consider it not a risk, but will have an outcome that benefits them and is measurable.

For example, you may have identified a high bounce rate from Google Ads, and have identified that changes to the landing page will get people clicking to where they should be.

You do the work and prove to the client (via stats from the A1WebStats system) that engagement levels have improved.  Hopefully, the client will also have noticed increases in enquiry/sales levels as a result.

The door is now open to further work for that client and the cost of your A1WebStats white label starts to become covered by work you are getting.


Bigger service

The more effort you put into using your white labelled A1WebStats to pull out opportunities for improvement within potential clients websites, the more chance you get of providing a bigger service to those potential clients.

For example, you could have used A1WebStats to identify the following within the website of a potential client, and the potential client feels that they should engage you in a planned project to fix all those problems:

  1. High bounce rates from paid search campaigns.
  2. Identifiable companies who aren’t making contact, having looked at pages that need to be stronger.
  3. High traffic website pages that should be getting higher levels of enquiries.
  4. Pages that should result in people clicking to sub-pages, but that’s not being achieved.

By the end of month 2

The overall objective by the end of month 2 is to have done the following:

  1. Identified potential clients that can be monetised, so that you can get to the point where the A1WebStats white label cost becomes easily covered by what you gain.
  2. Removed potential clients that became nothing, however much you tried to offer them help.  Unfortunately, there are many businesses that, even faced with clear data and facts about their underperforming websites, still won’t take action.  They should be replaced by other potential clients who can utilise your monthly data allowance.
  3. Be much more familiar with how to fully utilise the power within your white labelled A1WebStats system.


A further illustration of how you gain from white labelling A1WebStats

Levels of traffic to websites vary widely, including within individual sectors.

If you have an allowance of up to 15,000 visitors per month (for £200 per month) then you want to use that wisely, so that you at least recoup your monthly spend.

Say you had 10 potential customers and they had 15,000 visitors per month between them.

Out of those 10 potential customers, your end goal is to gain clients that utilise your agency for services ongoing.  The following is a pessimistic view compared to what actually happens …

Month 1

You’ve spent nothing on the trial in month 1.

10 potential clients are receiving free information about companies that visit their website.

By the end of the month you have:

  1. Found three of those companies that would benefit from further data analysis, which you’ve sent to them.
  2. Got two of those companies who really don’t want more than companies data at the moment, but will pay you an ongoing sum (e.g. £40 per month each) to continue getting that data.
  3. Identified three of the ten that aren’t engaging with you at all, so you stop their data and allocate data to more potential clients.
  4. You have spent nothing and gained income (e.g. £40 x 2 per month).


Month 2

You’ve still spent nothing.

You have three fresh potential clients who are getting data about companies visiting their website.

You have two companies who are paying you just for companies data.

The other five have now been further nurtured by you, as a result of finding patterns in their website visitors data, that they should be considering.

Two of those five now want to use your agency services to make their websites/marketing stronger.

You have spent nothing and now have clients paying  you a small amount (for the basic companies data), other clients paying you for core agency services, and others using your data allocation, who still need further nurturing.


Month 3 onwards

If continuing into month 3, you’d be subscribing at the basic level (£200 per month for an allowance of 15,000 visitors) or a higher pricing tier if you needed a higher data allowance.

By month three you would have some potential clients who need further nurturing (maybe they don’t have a lot of website visitors, and so don’t use a lot of your 15,000 visitors allowance), and you’re happy to allocate data to them, as you see their future value.

You will also have some of your data allowance being used by businesses that have become clients in some form (small or larger purchases).

And then there will be those others who are utilising your data allowance, and (with our assistance if you need it) will need to be moved along your pipeline to become customers or become people who can no longer utilise your data.


Over time

Here’s what happens to agencies over a longer period of time …

  1. Much of the 15,000 data allowance becomes mainly allocated to businesses that are paying the agency for services.
  2. Because the new clients have benefited from the services of the agency, those new clients recommend the agency onto new potential clients.
  3. The agency grows to need a higher data allowance from A1WebStats (the next tier is up to 25,000 visitors per month, which is priced at £300 per month).  That higher data allowance is used to add more potential clients to the future pipeline of work for the agency.


In conclusion

Agencies that white label A1WebStats are armed with a tool that enables them to build a pipeline of business for the future – initially free for 60 days.

By providing potential clients with data they view as being useful (companies visiting their websites), as well as useful insights into where their websites could be improving (which comes from the A1WebStats system data), a relationship starts to form.

The agency chooses how long each relationship can be nurtured (we’ve seen agencies let a potential client have free data for many months, before they then become a paying client).

Clients also become quite locked into the agency because the agency is often using data to identify further opportunities for the client to gain more business from their website visitors.   This stops competitors from getting a foot in the door, as the agency becomes seen as a partner instead of a supplier.


Dipping a toe in the water

Not many agencies want to go straight into a white label account.

Until now, you may not have experienced how A1WebStats can help businesses gain much more success from their websites.

That’s why we offer an easy way for you to dip a toe in the water first via our first steps to white labelling A1WebStats page.

That page takes you through how to set up one or more trial accounts on behalf of your client(s) so that you can absorb what the A1WebStats system provides … and then build up towards white labelling.

All totally for free and including our support to help you fully understand how the system helps you and your clients.


Any questions?

We’re here to help with any questions you may have about white labelling A1WebStats.  Many questions can be best answered via booking in a screenshare/call that lets us show you the white labelled system, and focus on how it could help your agency.

You may also be interested in some of these links:

Survey of 1,000 agencies biggest pain points, and how A1WebStats addresses some of those.

See the 7 ways that white labelled A1WebStats helps agencies to gain more business for clients and yourselves.



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