If you want to grow plants in a garden, you need to supply them with plenty of water. It’s awfully hard to do that if you don’t turn the hose on.
Your business’s lead generation funnel works in a similar way. To grow your business, you need new leads coming through your pipeline… but if you aren’t generating enough new leads, you’ll be hard-pressed to grow your brand.
Of course, successful business growth is about a lot more than just generating any old leads.
This post will walk you through six actionable tips for building a lead generation funnel that actually converts. After reading this post, you’ll have the tactics and tips you need to get started with lead gen and grow your business.
Lead Generation Funnel Basics
Before we get into the details of how to build a great lead gen funnel, let’s talk basics.
What is a lead generation funnel? The process that takes strangers and encourages them to become potential customers. Your lead generation funnel will consist of multiple steps that help provide value to your target audience in an effort to nurture them into making a conversion.
Related Read: 6 Best B2B Lead Generation Companies to Fill Your Pipeline
There are some common misunderstandings about lead generation funnels. Firstly, the misconception that lead gen is all about quantity. If you just click the “more” button on leads enough times, you’ll grow your business… right? Not exactly.
You need to ensure your messaging targets the right people if you want to acquire new customers efficiently and profitably. If you’re bringing in hundreds of leads, but they’re all poor-fit customers, you’re just spinning your wheels and going nowhere.
Another misconception is that building a lead generation funnel is a one-and-done process, and once you’ve created your funnel, you can step back and let it run. But if you’re not continually measuring your funnel’s success, iterating, and optimizing its performance, you’re leaving an awful lot of potential customers on the table.
If you want to build an effective lead generation funnel, you need first to identify your target audience — and we don’t just mean demographics. You need to understand their pain points, needs, preferences, and past buying behavior.
The results of this research will help you create targeted messaging that resonates with your audience and provides them with valuable offers they won’t be able to resist.
As a final note, remember: lead generation is just one piece of your marketing pie.
If you want to grow your business, you need a full-funnel approach that takes the customer all the way through from being a stranger to becoming a raving fan. Taking this holistic approach to your marketing will allow you to fill your sales pipeline with qualified leads, convert them into paying customers, and grow your business.
1. Develop a Compelling Offer
The first step to developing a lead generation funnel destined to convert customers at scale is to create a compelling offer that your target audience won’t be able to resist.
What kind of offer will encourage your audience to part with their closely-guarded contact information?
Take a close look at your customer journey. What pain points is your audience struggling with? What headaches do they wrestle with every day? Once you’ve identified these points, you’re halfway there.
Your next point of order is to create an offer that provides real value around the topics that give your audience the most grief. Create an ebook, webinar, or white paper addressing the burning questions they most need answered.
Related Read: The Best B2B Lead Magnets All Share One Thing in Common
Developing a compelling offer is the foundation of your lead generation funnel. This piece of the puzzle sets the stage for everything that comes after it. By creating an offer that resonates with your target audience, you'll be able to attract high-quality leads genuinely interested in what you offer.
2. Optimize Your Landing Pages
Once you’ve created an offer, you’ll need a place to present that offer to your audience — you’ll need a landing page.
Landing pages are critical to the success of your funnel. You can’t simply throw a form on a page and call it a day. For many customers, this page will be one of their first interactions with your brand. It’s in your best interest to ensure that interaction is overwhelmingly positive.
Every landing page on your website should have a clear call-to-action, compelling copy, and a foolproof, user-friendly layout. Make it as simple as possible for customers to take the next step in your funnel. We even recommend removing the full navigation bar from your landing pages — give them fewer options for where to click, and you’ll see a boost in your conversions.
Optimizing your landing pages is a low-hanging fruit that can greatly impact your lead gen efforts. By making small tweaks to your landing pages, you can improve your conversion rates and generate more leads without spending buckets of time and money.
3. Use a Multi-Channel Approach
If you want to reach a wider audience, you need to be targeting more than one channel. What do we mean by a multi-channel approach? Simple. You’ll need to use multiple avenues to drive traffic to those landing pages we optimized in tip #2.
Some possible channels you might consider:
- Social media
- Email marketing
- Pay-per-click advertising
- Inbound content marketing
When you diversify your efforts and your channels, you can reach more people, increasing your chances of generating more leads who will be a great fit for your business. Additionally, when you use a multi-channel approach, you avoid putting all your eggs in one basket. If one channel isn't performing well, you can always shift your focus to another channel to optimize your results.
4. Nurture, Nurture, Nurture
You’ve urged a visitor to your landing page and they’ve converted, providing you their email. Woo! That means you’re done, right?
You already know the answer is “no.”
Once you’ve generated some leads, you need to be ready to nurture them into becoming a customer.
One of the best ways to accomplish this is by providing them with consistent value in the form of content that can help them solve their challenges. Use email marketing, retargeting ads, and personalized offers to show your leads how valuable your brand can be to them.
The goal of nurturing? Getting your leads to raise their hands and say, “I want to talk to sales!” Your goal as a marketer is not to sell the product — you just need to sell the call.
Nurturing your leads is essential to the success of your lead generation funnel. Continuously providing relevant and valuable content can help you build trust with your audience and position yourself as an authority in your industry.
Plus, by aligning your content with your sales process, you can move leads further down the funnel and increase your chances of converting them into paying customers.
5. Iterate and Optimize Your Approach
If you want to get the most from your lead generation funnel, you must be prepared to continuously improve your processes, pages, and offers.
Track your funnel’s performance. What can you do to optimize your approach and get the most out of your lead gen engine?
You may need to A/B test your landing pages or CTAs, tweak your offer (or scrap it and make an entirely new offer), or adjust the targeting of your ads or inbound content efforts.
Analyzing your results allows you to make data-driven decisions and prevents you from falling into the trap of doing random acts of marketing, crossing your fingers, and hoping for more conversions.
Iterating and optimizing your approach is crucial to the long-term success of your lead generation funnel. By continually improving your approach, you'll be able to generate more leads and grow your business.
6. Delight Your Customers
The last step of a killer lead generation funnel is to delight your customer base.
Does this mean simply offering excellent customer service? Sure, that is a part of the process — if you’re offering poor customer service, it will hurt your funnel’s performance — but it’s far from the whole game regarding customer satisfaction.
How can you provide continuous, unexpected value to your existing customers? Consider offers that might provide additional help, like free webinars or additional content to help customers use your solution to its full potential.
Remember: the easiest way to get a new lead is by referral. If you work hard to delight your existing customers, you’ll have an easier time bringing in those new customers.
Getting the Most From Your Lead Generation Funnel
Using these six tips, you’ll be able to get started crafting a lead generation funnel that draws in the right audience, builds trust and value, and ultimately converts them into paying, delighted customers.
But these tips are just the tip of the iceberg (see what I did there?). If you really want to grow your business and knock your goals out of the park, you need to attack every stage of the buyers’ journey with the same vigor as lead generation.
You need an entire playbook for growth. As luck would have it, we have exactly that playbook!
Check out the Lean Labs free resource, the Growth Playbook, today for more tips and tactics to level up your marketing and grow your business.
July 13, 2023