Generating leads for your business should be step number 1 in every business or marketing plan. However, many entrepreneurs and companies are leaving more on the table by not understanding their customers’ journeys.
You might be making sales and having profits but if you are not strategically turning visitors into leads and leads into buyers, is like you are playing blindfolded.
But don’t worry, in this article I’ll explain why a Lead Generation Funnels is so crucial to any business and how to create one that brings leads in on autopilot.
What is a Lead Generation Funnel?
Funnels are way simpler than marketers make them sound and this case is not the exception.
A lead generation funnel is a 2 or 3 step website that has the unique goal of capturing visitors’ emails by offering them a free item known as “lead magnet” in exchange.
The term ‘funnel’ references the fact that there are more people at the ‘top’ who are the visitors and only some of them will get to the other side and become buyers (or in this case, leads).
Funnels are based on the premise that customers follows a purchase journey from the momenet they become aware of their needs and your offer until they are ready to buy.
There are a few different models and theories on this customer path and the marketing steps that accompany it. However the most relvenat point is that a potential buyers needs to hear from you a few times and come to trust you before they even consider buying from you.
This is why sales funnels and lead generation funnels are so important. Because once you collect a visitors email you can build a relationship with them, manipulate and optimize that journey in your favor.
Additionally, lead generation funnels are the first steps into qualifying a potential lead. If someone is not interested in your free lead magnet they will most likely won’t be interested in your paid offer either. So it is a way of filtering and reducing your audience to spend your marketing efforts in those who will generate a return on investment.
Do you need a Lead Generation Funnel?
To put it simply, YES! Generating leads is among the most important activities in sales and marketing. Every business needs paying customers and in order to get them, it first needs leads.
Even if you are already making sales without a lead funnel, you can still benefit from one to automate and scale your process, make more sales, and in consequence, more money.
Here are some of the reasons why your business needs a Lead Generation Funnel:
It helps you narrow down your products and services
If you are just starting out and haven’t yet defined who your perfect customer is and what is the perfect offer for them, a lead funnel can help you do it.
When you first create a funnel and a lead magnet you are going to have to be very specific with the problem you are going to help them solve. If you create a lead funnel and it starts converting really well it means there is an opportunity to explore service around that need further.
On the contrary, if you make a lead magnet for a problem you thought was a good idea yet it doesn’t work very well, you know you need to change your approach. Testing and optimizing with a lead funnel is easy and you can quickly change directions. Without one, you could have spent lots of time, energy, and money pushing an offer that had no audience.
Additionally, you can start a conversation with your leads and ask them directly how you can best serve them which already gives you a huge advantage over your competitors.
It makes the selling process easier
When you use a lead generation funnel, you can “warm” your customer, build a relationship and show your authority until the point where they are practically asking how they can work with you or buy your products.
“People don’t like being sold to but they do like buying”
This saying illustrates why funnels are so successful. People are always looking for solutions for their problems and are willing to pay for them IF and WHEN they decide you have what they need.
A lead funnel allows you to do exactly. You get to provide value first and present your offer as a natural consequence to continue to help them once you have earned their trust.
It lets you focus on what you like doing
As an entrepreneur or business owner, you want to spend more time helping people and creating more content and less time prospecting or pushing your product.
When you have your lead funnel in place, you can focus on what you do best and let the funnel do the rest.
Regales of the platform(s) you use fpr growing your audience and generating traffic you only need to direct them to your funnel and it will do the rest.
It guarantees long term success
Generating leads for your business won’t only help you make sales now, but you’ll be growing a list of people to whom you can sell forever.
Did you know that every email subscriber generates on average $1-$2/month and up to $5 on some niches? That’s why companies don’t mind spending up to $20 to get someone on their lists.
Besides the short term benefits and sales, getting leads for your company is the best way to ensure you are successful in the long term.
It protects you and gives you freedom
Collecting leads for your business means you will have an asset of your own that you have 100% control of.
On other platforms like social media you don’t control the traffic, even you are getting a good reach now, the algorithm can change at any time and you coudl stop getting views. Ir if you are doing paid ads, you account could get banned and you’d lost all your data.
In a similar way, if you are using SEO to brinf traffic to your site, Google’s algortihm can also change and your traffic could drop dramatically.
These are all things that don’t happen so often but they definitely happen. This is why building your own email list in one of the safest things you can do for your business. You own your list 100% and even if one email software company were to close to the account you could simply move to another one.
Additionally, when using social media or paid ads you are at mercy of their limitations and terms and conditions, there are certain things you shouldn’t say and you don’t have complete freedom to market your business. This is also fixed by collecting your own leads since you can say anything you want (within reasons) in your email campaigns.
How To Create a Lead Generation Funnel?
Now that we have talked about the importance of collecting leads and how can it impact your business, let’s explore how exactly you can create your own Lead Generation Funnel easily and quickly.
Before we dive deep, its important to understand the main elements that it has:
- Lead Magnet: is the free item or “freebie” that you’ll offer visitors in exchange for their emails.
- Funnel: this includes the Opt-In Page where visitors will be presented with your lead magnet as well as the Thank You Page.
- Email Sequence: This is the email campaign(s) you will send you collected leads in order to nurture them and convert them into buyers.
Now lets explore each one in detail….
1. Create your Lead Magnet
Naturally, the first and most important part of a lead generator funnel is the lead magnet. Your conversion rate, as well as the type of visitors you will attract, will depend hugely on it
How to create the perfect lead magnet to attract your audience? There are a few key factors you can consider:
- It is quick and easy to implement. You want your lead magnet to be something your audience can take action on and see results fast. This way they’ll get immediate satisfaction and will be more willing to take the next step with a paid offer.
- It is really specific. This relates to the previous point but it’s important that you focus on one specific problem or pain point your audience is facing. If you try to go too broad you won’t be able to provide a quick solution and the value of your lead magnet will dilute. People don’t put too much value on free stuff so they are most likely to take prolonged action on something they have paid for than on something free.
- It is part of the bigger problem your paid product solves: Your lead magnet will help you pre-qualify your potential customer for your paid products or services. So it should be something that your perfect audience will be also interested in.
Let’s say for example your paid offer is a 12-week fitness program, you could your lead magnet a 1-week challenge. Or if you paid offer is a Social Media Management service, you can make your lead magnet a free pdf guide on 10 tips to create a social media profile. The point is that you can later introduce your offer as a natural next step in their path to solve their problems.
Some examples of attractive lead magnets are:
- Mini Ebook
- Ultimate Guide
- Recipes / Meal Plan
- Case Study
- Cheat Sheet
- Polls, Quizzes, and Surveys,
- Video Course/ training
- Resource list
- Free trial
- Free consultation
2. Create your Funnel Pages
Once that you have your Lead Magnet ready is time to create your actual funnel so you can begin capturing emails. It should consist of two pages:
a. Opt-in Page
This is also known as landing page since it is where people will “land” after clicking on whichever traffic source you are using (more on that later).
On this page, you will present your lead magnet in the most attractive and efficient way possible. The goal is to encourage visitors to give you their email to get access to it.
Your opt-in page should be simple and direct and only contain a few key elements:
- Headline: This is the first the will see when they land on your page. It should present the benefits of your lead magnet in a direct and enticing way. A good formula to follow for your headline is “Discover how to [Result] in [Timeframe]Without [Thing You Hate Doing]”.
Check out this article later for more Catchy Headlines Ideas.
- Lead Magnet Mockup: This is optional but having a physical representation of your lead can help make it more tangible and increase its perceived value.
You can create your own lead magnet mockup easily using one of Canva’s templates. If rather pay someone else to do it you find some very affordable designers on Fiverr.
- Benefits: Present a few key benefits they will achieve by downloading your lead magnet. Remember to focus on something that is easy to implement and that delivers quick results.
- Email Form + Call To Action: Last but not least, invite people to opt-in with their email and use a clear call to action button. Make sure this part is above the fold, meaning it is visible without them needed to scroll down.
The least information you ask, the better so try going for the email only or include the name if you consider it essential.
b. Thank You Page
After someone decides to opt-in to get access to your lead magnet, they should be taken to your Thank You Page. Naturally, this is where you’d place a Thank You message but there is a couple of other things you should consider:
- Deliver your lead magnet: You can include a link here so people can download your lead magnet or you can choose to only send it via email.
- Tell them what to expect: You can use this page to tell your subscriber what they can expect from you. Will you send them valuable information, promotions, discounts? etc. You should be emailing them frequently so this way they are a little bit more predisposed to open your emails when they land in their inbox.
- Offer an upsell: If they have already opted in to your lead magnet why not use this opportunity to start offering a paid product? some of them will choose to buy it and those who don’t will already have in mind that you have more to offer in the future.
You can do this by placing an order form in the Thank You Page or by presenting the offer and including a link that takes them to a checkout page.
- Link to your other channels: If you don’t want to present an offer yet, you can still use this page to drive traffic to your other platforms whether than is your blog, social media, or website.
How to design your lead funnel? What Software is best?
If you are wondering how to create the pages themselves, there are many drag-and-drop builders you can use that require zero design or coding experience.
I personally create all my funnels and pages in Clickfunnels. It is very easy to use and you can have a page ready in minutes.
It also has lots of templates based on the type of page you want to create e.g. opt-in page, thank you page, check out page, etc.
You can import a Lead Generation Funnel template with one click and simply tweak it for your own copy, logo, and images.
Just tick the box for the upsell on the order page – very good value.
3. Create your email sequence
Once you start collecting leads, you want to nurture your relationship with them so you can convert them into your paying customers — which is the ultimate goal of getting leads in the first place.
This is usually done through a series of preplanned emails called email sequence or email campaign. This is the part where automation happens and you get to see sales coming in without you doing anything.
The first email you should send is the one that will deliver the lead magnet immediately after they opted in on your landing page. After that, you should start your email sequence with the purpose of introducing yourself and your products or services.
One very famous and effective email sequence you can use is a “Soap Opera” sequence. It is called that way because it uses a little bit of drama to hook people in and leaving them wanting to hear more.
Ideally, your email sequence should be like this:
- Email 0 Welcome: Lead magnet delivery email
- Email 1: Set the Stage: This is where your first and best chance to create a connection with your prospects and leave them wanting more. One way to do so is by mentioning you have a secret that has given you great results and you will share it in the next emails
- Email 2: High Drama: Now that your prospect is hooked it’s a good idea to start with a backstory. Think about the hardest time in your business growth where you might have almost failed, except for one thing. You want them to realize they are going through the same problem, but somehow you’ve found the solution.
- Email 3: The Epiphany: At this point, your readers are hooked and want to learn how you overcame your problem and found a way how to succeed. This is where you present your epiphany and link it to your product. E.g.: I realized I needed to automate this process with a software…” They can now start to see the value of your product.
- Email 4: The Hidden Benefits: Now that your readers have an idea of your offer, you need to help them understand all the different ways that they can benefit from it. You can now add your link so they can make a purchase.
- Email 5: The Call to Action: In the last email of this sequence, you can add a compelling offer with a sense of urgency. Alternatively, you can add a couple more of emails to this sequence with a time deadline reminder and even a last-minute deal.
That concludes your first email sequence that should result in your leads turning into buyers! You should continue to stay in touch with your subscribers on a regular basis sending not only offers but also valuable content.
How to set up an automated email sequence?
You can use an email autoresponder to send your email sequence on autopilot every time you collect a lead.
I have tried almost every email software out there and nothing compares to ActiveCampaign. You can create every automation you can imagine and it is really easy to visualize and integrate with your funnel.
You can separate contacts based differect criteria like if they open an email or not, if they clicked on your offer, bought one of your products, etc.
They also offer a free 14 day trial without a credit card required so you can try it out without worries.
4. Send traffic to your Lead Generation Funnel
Now that you have your high converting funnel and email sequence in place, is time to send traffic and get those leads coming!
If you already have a platform like a website/blog or social media account where you are getting significant traffic, you can definitely start using them to direct people to your funnel landing page.
If you don’t have a audience yet, you can use paid traffic sources like Facebook, Google or Youtube Ads.
Each one has its own benefits and withdrawals but the best is to start with one that you are more comfortable with and stick with it until you have master it. Paid traffic takes some time to optimize so if you don’t stick with one long enough you won’t get to the results parts and will end up losing money.
If you want to learn more about the best traffic strategies for your Lead generation Funnel and your business in general, I definitely recommend this FREE BOOK by Clickfunnels creator Russell Brunson. You only need to pay $7.95 shipping.
5. Track and Optimize
Once your traffic is sending prospects to your opt-in page you can seat back for a minute and appreciate your funnel bringing leads on autopilot.
But you should also take a look at your statistics and strive to optimize them so you can bring more leads for less money.
All the tools I have mentioned along the post allow you to see the stats of every part of your funnels and emal sequence so you can know exactly how each piece is performing and where it could use some improvement.
Some statitics to look at are:
- If you are using paid ads, its click through rate, conversion rate and cost per lead. This will tell you how good your images, copy and targeting are.
- In your funnel: your opt-in rate and conversion rate if you include and offer in your thank you page. You can split test any element of your pages with just one click on Clickfunnels so you can improve your statistics continuously.
- In your email sequence: your open rate which will depend on your subject line and your click through rate on your links which will depend on your email copy. In ActiveCampaign you can also split test your emails to see what performs best.
Lead Generation Funnel FAQ
How do you make a lead generation funnel?
To create a lead generation funnel that brings qualified leads on autopilot, follow the steps outlined in this article:
1. Create your Lead Magnet
2. Create your Funnel Pages
3. Create your email sequence
4. Send traffic to your Funnel
5. Track and Optimize
What is lead generation marketing?
In marketing, Lead generation is the process of capturing the contact information of potential clients. This leads are then nurture with the goal of converting them to paying customers.
What is b2b lead generation?
B2B lead generation is a business model in which companies take care of the lead generation process with the goal of later selling those leads to companies in a certain niche or market.
Automating your Lead Generation process is the first step to grow your business and continue to improve your sales and profits. You can not grow a business without sales and you can not sales (efficiently) without leads.
This system will allow you to get qualified leads from on autopilot, nurtured them, and converted them into paying customers 24/7.
If you want someone to take your hand while you launch your fist lead generation funnel, I can not recommend this 30-day challenge enough. Even after 10 years in the digital marketing world, I got amazing value from it. And if for any reason you don’t like it, you can get a full refund back no question asked.