Without paying customers your business will fail. To get paying customers you need to make sales, to make sales you need leads, and to be effective at generating leads you will need a lead generation funnel. Generating leads is among the most important activities in sales and marketing. But lead generation isn’t quite as simple as it sounds.
In this article, we’re going to discuss lead gen funnels and how they can benefit your business. Let’s start by taking a look at a simple definition…
What exactly is a Lead Generation Funnel?
A lead generation funnel is a process that funnels prospects (potential leads) through a series of steps to produce highly qualified leads that are likely to convert into paying customers.
You start with a lot of prospects (traffic) entering your funnel and at each stage, people will drop out. This is a good thing because you want to filter out those prospects who are not a good fit for your service or product. Therefore, those that emerge at the end of the funnel are highly qualified leads who are more likely to become paying customers. As a result, making sales will be a lot easier and you will be working with or selling to people who meet your criteria.
The lead gen funnel process looks like this:
You need traffic. Where does your ideal customer hang out and how will they discover your services?
- Social Media?
- PPC Ads?
- Content Marketing?
Once you know where they’re located, you can target them with a lead magnet / irresistible offer that fixes a common problem that your ideal customer experiences.
2. Lead Magnet / Irresistible Offer
Your lead magnet or irresistible offer should offer something that your ideal customer desires by fixing a pain point of them. Give them a quick, easy win. For example…
- “how-to” video
- cheat sheets that fix a common problem
- an ebook or whitepaper
- discount voucher for 1st-time visitors work well
3. Landing Page
Keep your landing page really simple. Make sure it is congruent with the ad / social media post that you used to acquire the traffic. Restate the offer and provide further information if necessary. Consider adding social proof if available.
The art of getting your landing page (and funnel) to convert better is known as conversion rate optimization or CRO for short. My top tips for this are…
- Keep links that take the potential lead away from the landing page to a minimum.
- Ensure that your CTA is above the fold for both desktop (including laptops) and mobile devices. Landing pages where the call to action button is below the fold convert at a lower percentage than those with it above the fold.
- Another important factor for landing pages is the load time. People are impatient – the longer a page takes to load the more people will close the window or click the back button.
4. Lead Capture / Opt-In
Next, you will need to capture the prospect’s details. Only request an amount of information that justifies what it is that you are giving in exchange. The more info you request, the fewer people will opt-in! For example…
- A simple cheatsheet – an email address is sufficient. Sometimes a first name is asked for as well.
- “How to” video – once again the email address and first name are sufficient.
- Discount voucher for a service – name, email address & telephone number. In this situation, asking for the telephone number is a must. It will allow you to contact the person and schedule the appointment for whatever you were offering.
- Consultations – In this scenario you might ask for more information. Use the extra questions to help further qualify the lead. For example, a loan officer would ask for estimated credit scores, the value of the loan they are seeking, etc…
5. Thank You Page
Whoop – You’ve got a lead!
Depending on what you offered, you could direct them to your online booking system in order to get them to schedule an appointment. Alternatively you could offer them an upsell that fixes a related or the next problem they will likely encounter. Don’t forget to include details of the next steps and what they should expect. If appropriate, include your contact details. If you’re a local business include a map of your business location on the thank you page.
6. Follow Up Sequence
The money is in the follow-up. You’ve got to follow up to make sure that the sale or next step in your process happens. Send confirmation emails and SMS messages. If you’re aiming for appointments, call back your leads ASAP. And add them to a welcome email sequence. Nurture those leads to keep you and your business top of mind. In other words, make sure you follow up ASAP!
A lead generation funnel is a valuable tool for determining who your absolute best leads are, as well as understanding where those people are in the overall lead generation process. It will also outline clear steps that need to be completed in order for a lead to move down the funnel. Those that complete all the steps are more likely to become paying customers.
How Will A Lead Generation Funnel Benefit Your Business?
As a business owner or marketer, it’s vital for you to understand this process. In doing so, you can successfully convert leads gathered through your various marketing efforts into loyal customers. There are many benefits to understanding the lead generation process, some of which are listed below:
1. It can help you figure out exactly who wants your products & services
A lead gen funnel will help you determine your target market. If you’re in a huge niche, it can help you find more specific targets so you can gain new leads that you might have missed initially. You’ll be able to more easily determine if there’s a market for your products or services and if there’s room to grow within a particular niche.
2. A funnel can help you develop awareness and interest in your products & services
The art of creating interest in your business’s offerings is something that a lot of marketers still struggle with even after years in the business. A well-developed lead gen funnel will make it easier for you to know the exact steps to take in generating awareness and boosting interest in your business and brand.
3. A lead generation funnel will help you make the sale
Each step in the lead gen funnel is designed for one thing – to qualify prospects and move them down to the next step in the funnel. Every step in the funnel is equally important and plays a vital part in getting you to the end goal. If you nurture your leads through the funnel, you’ll stand a much better chance of successfully executing the sale at the end.
4. It will allow you to make more sales
Imagine making more sales because you are only having more conversations with people who are interested in your products and services. This is what a successful, automated funnel will achieve. Simply put, you will spend less time prospecting and more time making sales.
Lead generation funnels are essential for all businesses. When set up and fully operational, you will spend less time prospecting and more time having conversations with people who are most likely to become paying customers.
Now that you understand a digital marketing lead generation funnel and how it can benefit your business, take the time to implement some of the best practices to ensure that your funnel will work effectively for your business and your brand.