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Should Your Agency Stop Offering Free Marketing Assessments?

Gray MacKenzie
Gray MacKenzie is a true operations nerd who has spent the past decade helping hundreds of agencies build more productive, profitable, and healthy teams by solving the core issues plaguing their project management.

To chat with Gray and have ZenPilot lead your team through the last project management implementation you'll ever need, schedule a quick call here.

In this episode of Inbound Sales Journey, Gray and I decided we wanted to shake things up and instead of talking about just one particular issue, we talked about the issues of the day.

Literally, it was Tuesday and after a busy morning, we found our content for episode #62.

Gray and I both had GuavaBox prospect calls and ended up having pretty different experiences. Which led to a fun conversation about why our experiences were so different. Which led to us deciding to share that conversation with you all.

Throw in a Gary Johnson sighting and that about made it the most fun episode of Inbound Sales Journey ever recorded.

For those who need proof:

Gary Johnson & Ryan Herman

Why You Shouldn’t Offer a Free Inbound Marketing Assessment

From what I can tell there are more agencies around the world that offer a free assessment than don’t. My point being, if you fall into that category you are far from alone. 

I am going to come right out and say it. I am not a fan of free inbound marketing assessments (IMA’s). 

Maybe I am just cynical after too many calls with bad prospects, but it has got Gray and I thinking, there has to be a better way. 

Too many times have I had calls where it is a tiny company with a huge problem and no budget looking for free advise. But it’s not their fault. It’s our fault.

At our agency we did it the same way everyone else did. “Click here for a free 30 minute IMA”. The problem is, hardly anyone ever clicked it, and when they did it was almost never a good lead.

So that got the wheels turning for Gray and I on Tuesday morning. Is there a better option? 

The Alternative Approach

One of the main problems that I see with a free marketing assessment is the expectation that it sets. On Tuesday morning I got on the phone and was asked immediately to breakdown what this guy needed to improve upon to do better marketing.

At first I was thinking to myself that is such a silly thing to ask 30 seconds into a phone call without any background or conversation leading up to that moment. But then I realized, that’s pretty much what you would be expecting if someone offers a free IMA and this is their first business.

Marketing is such a broad term, and your agency likely (should) focuses on only a few services within “marketing”.

So start there.

Instead of an overall marketing assessment, why not try offering a review of specific elements of someones marketing efforts. For instance, a HubSpot portal review, or a blog audit, etc…

That way you are setting expectations around a specific service that you offer and they are likely a better prospect if they are interested. 

Be sure your website content leads them to scheduling time with you.

A big button always floating in the navigation bar is so easy for anyone to click. Instead consider putting links throughout your site in appropriate places leading educated prospects to taking the natural next step.

These are just a few ideas that Gray and I discuss in this episode. We would love to hear your ideas as well!

Your Thoughts

The nice thing about having a niche listening audience is the fact that you all can relate to what I am saying. The other nice thing is that many of you are smarter and have tried things well before Gray and I have. 

If you have any thoughts or experience with a different approach that you would like to share, please let us know!

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