Here’s the Easiest Way to Create a Successful Lead Generation Funnel
You must’ve heard about lead generation in many contexts. And no, we’re not referring to leaders of your generation here, but to the Lead Generation Funnel.
So, what’s a funnel, anyway? Shortly, it is a process that has the ultimate goal to persuade a targeted audience to finally make a purchase. This process has different stages through which the members of the audience go through, each with its own set of rules and specifications.
After moving your leads through all the stages of your funnel, these leads can eventually turn into actual customers. In any case, the lead generation funnel is a good exercise for every business seeking to understand the pain points and concerns of its target audience and use that knowledge to inform and improve their offering.
Understanding the Lead Funnel Stages (the 3 Lead Generation Pillars)
There might be various ways to explain how lead funnel stages relate to each other and what they do exactly. But the easiest way to envision it is to think about them as parts of an inverted pyramid: you have the top, middle, and bottom of the funnel. And each part complements the other.
The bonus? Their names are easy to remember and create an impact – you would’ve thought that TOFU cannot refer to the “Top of the Funnel” as you were looking at the illustration above, right? Let’s meet this TOFU and see what it does, as well as MOFU and BOFU.
1. TOFU (Top of the Funnel) – awareness
If you were to describe this stage using one word, then that word would be awareness. The top of the funnel represents the first point of contact you have with a (potential) client.
At this stage, you have the opportunity to interact with a large number of people that share a certain problem. And they are seeking a solution to that problem. That’s when they come into contact with your business. It’s usually safe to say that the wider your audience is, the better, but there’s a catch here.
Targeting an audience works from two perspectives: you can either choose the audience that worked well for you in the past, or you can go towards an audience that is new and you’d like to get in front of. The catch here is that the strategies you’ve been using for the first type of audience might have to be changed a bit to attract the new audience. In the end, resonating with your audience is a must.
If your lead is part of an audience that is already familiar with your product, chances are that they are going to continue investing in you, as well as keep an eye on you to discover new offers that you bring to the table. A new audience might be a long shot, and this is why having more leads is a good idea – the more leads you have, the more likely you are to turn them into customers.
The TOFU stage is considered very important, as it can make or break your future attempts of catching the eye of any potential leads. There is one thing you might need to take into account though: anything that sounds remotely sales-like might drive away your prospects. Think of TOFU as an information point – where people come looking for information and find exactly what they’re looking for.
There are a few strategies that can help you raise awareness in the right way:
- Social media
- Lead Ads
2. MOFU (Middle of the Funnel) – nurture
The second stage, also considered to be the critical one, is when you start nurturing. MOFU, or the middle of the funnel, represents the point where the prospects start interacting more with your product. It’s true, your audience can engage with you in the TOFU stage as well, once they start getting familiar with your product or service. But in MOFU, they get more drawn to your business and can be one step closer to becoming a qualified lead.
If TOFU meant exposing the problem and offering information about it, MOFU comes with the solution. And this is the point where your audience becomes a targeted one.
The second stage is the one where you can insert the benefits your products or services have to offer and how your product and features work together. By pointing out the benefits your clients have when they choose to use your product, or even giving them the chance to try the product themselves, you can position yourself top of mind with your audience.
Of course, the purpose is not to spam them with your products, but rather inform them and give them a bit of insight into how your services or products can help them out.
Here’s how to nurture your targeted audience:
3. BOFU (Bottom of the Funnel) – the final push
Last, but not least, once you’ve successfully gone through the first two stages – it’s your time to shine.
This is when you narrow down your audience and your potential leads have become actual leads — they are ready to invest in your product. Congrats, this means that you’ve managed to lead them all the way to the Bottom of the Funnel (BOFU)!
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Markets are competitive, and people have many options. Even though people might be ready to invest, they are probably checking your competitors as well, comparing different options, such as prices, advantages, or disadvantages. Taking this into consideration, making an offer could determine your audience to choose you.
It doesn’t have to come down to just making an offer: in this situation, you can secure a potential lead through several methods: showing that your brand follows simple, yet unique principles, presenting your audience with content that is highly qualitative and tailored to their needs and communicating with them on an ongoing basis.
This brings us to what you can do specifically:
- Free trials
- Case studies
There are two more components worth mentioning here: Loyalty and Advocacy.
You already know what your customers are looking for, but how do you influence them to make more than one purchase? Customer loyalty is one thing to keep your business going, and knowing how to create it is vital.
At this point, your customers are looking for something more tailored to their needs, and this could include even anything from sending out personalized surveys, up to special promotions.
And this brings us to our last point: that of advocacy. This is where your customers start spreading the word about your business and convince other people to give it a try. This can happen through social media reviews and shares, word of mouth, or recommendations. Some businesses often resort to referral programs and provide their customers with free gifts or discounts.
Now that we’ve discussed these aspects, it’s time to find out how to create your first funnel.
How to Create Your First Funnel
Identify Your Customer Journey
You must’ve heard that knowing and understanding your customer is crucial for your success. And the situation is not that different in this case either, as properly identifying your customer’s journey is the first step you need to take in order to build a valuable lead generation funnel.
Identifying the journey of your customers is not an easy task though: all the information you need to improve your site sits in the data you can pull: from conversion rates, up to bounce rates, and how your site’s traffic is looking in general. But where do you get information about your audience?
Your audience needs to have their interest piqued, so an actual conversation with them brings you all the details you need for painting the bigger picture. People are all different, and it’s essential to figure out what they like or dislike, and what they have in common. Surveys or interviews are one of the best tactics you can use in order to find out specific information about your audience.
The next step is creating content that is not only valuable but catches the attention of your audience too. That’s why they’re often called “lead magnets”, as they’re able to get people to pay attention. Knowing what makes your audience tick is a great path to create content that will make them engage with your business.
Content can imply anything from posting on your blog to sending out eBooks or putting together informational videos. What is important to mention is that there are different types of content for each of the three stages we’ve talked about at the beginning.
- TOFU: Infographics, Social Media Posts, Blog Posts, Videos, Podcasts.
- MOFU: White Papers, Testimonials, Case Studies, eBooks, Guides.
- BOFU: Special Offers, Discounts, Webinars, Demos.
Another point that is useful for creating valuable content for your lead magnets is that it can be simple, and still have an impact. This is still an early stage and our leads still sit in the “potential” area, so bombarding your audience with content that is too complicated or long might make them look away and turn to your competitors.
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You can have your own Guide, eBook, Checklists, or any kind of lead magnet you have in mind, created for you in no time!
A pay-per-click campaign means a paid advertising strategy and is useful especially when you want to give your audience what they’re looking for and tailor your messages based on that. The people who form your audience are interested in the products or services you have to offer, and this type of campaign can only benefit them and your business.
PPC campaigns drive traffic to your website quite fast, and they’re also not time-consuming. One thing to mention about PPC campaigns is that you are not tied to an algorithm of the search engine, as you are to how much you spend. The more you spend, the more click from visitors you get.
In our specific case, one of the best PPC examples is Facebook Lead Ads, where you don’t even have to leave the platform in order to download a resource. Capturing leads is also possible with the help of a landing page for your resource. You can choose to host your landing page on Facebook directly, which will capture leads without the necessity of leaving the platform, or host in on an external website.
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If you think about it, the social norm has become… social media, more or less. Nowadays, you can find a platform for almost anything you have in mind, and businesses are aware of that.
Traffic can be driven through social media if you know how to use it properly. A good start would be promoting your content: if you posted something, let your audience know.
Speaking of your audience, engagement is another key move: the more connected your audience feels to your business, the more chances you have to drive traffic to your business. Engagement doesn’t have to be complicated – it can mean as little as replying to your followers or including them in different challenges or posts.
Last, but not least, posts that go viral can benefit your site’s traffic. In this case, anything from memes, visual content, and up to campaigns can have a powerful impact on the number of visitors you get on a weekly basis.
Social media is leverage and we are aware of that. SocialBee has a 14-day free trial available for you to get the best out of the online world. This includes automating your social media posting, planning your posting calendar, or managing social media accounts.
Social media implies the existence of instant messaging, but even so, emails are still a powerful marketing tool and they can also drive traffic to your website.
One of the most important things about emails is that they can be easily automated and tailored in accordance with the needs of your audience and your business. Email automation is of great aid, especially when you want to send out promotions to your database. And tailored emails are of even greater aid when we’re talking about audience engagement.
Qualitative email copy is another factor that persuades your audience and eventually helps you convert. The details are in the content, and in this case, everything from the subject line to the email body should help you achieve your goals and determine the prospect to act.
But remember – your audience consists of people who have different ages, interests, and thinking patterns, and a generic email might not work its wonders in terms of traffic. Instead, you can use custom variables based on the information you already have on those leads.
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You can have several email copies created for you, so you can automate your email nurturing sequence easier than ever.
The higher you rank in search engine results, the easier it becomes for any potential customer to click on your site and discover your business.
You can drive traffic through SEO by taking into consideration aspects like optimizing the landing page of your website or your meta-descriptions. In regards to the first aspect, people spend a lot of time on their phones, and a website that is not optimized for all screen sizes can easily become a deal-breaker. Optimizing for multiple screen sizes will improve the experience of your users and thus, attract them to what your business has to offer.
Meta-descriptions, mainly those that are clear and engaging, can convince a user to click on your link, out of all the other links present on the page. They can drive more traffic by improving your click-through rates.
Another thing that you can do to obtain better SEO rankings is to improve your page loading speed. This can contribute to your Google rankings and also help you provide a better on-page experience for users.
Capturing the leads refers to the process of saving the information from your leads, in an attempt to transform them into paying customers later on. There are a few mechanisms that involve lead capturing: incoming phone calls, e-mails, or messages on social media. If you don’t have the information of the company or person that’s calling you, for example, they will become a new lead.
Once you’ve gathered all the information you needed, it is time to actually start selling your products. It will all be different depending on the customers, but you need to be aware that the 3 stages described above will come in handy here.
Lead to Prospect
Lead Gen Tools for Emailing
Generating leads is not a manual process – not only would that be time-consuming, but it would also leave plenty of room for errors. There are many tools on the market that can be used for the purpose of emailing, as they can help you generate, nurture, and convert leads. And contribute to customer retention as well.
Here are a few tools that could be useful for your business:
Prospect to Sales-Qualified Lead
A prospect can be considered a person who can potentially become a client, as they have shown interest in what your business has to offer. A Sales Qualified Lead is also considered a person who has the potential of becoming a customer, the difference being that they have engaged in a two-way type of communication with you and your business. But how do you transform a Prospect into a Sales Qualified Lead (SQL)?
The simplest answer is through communication. Once a Prospect has engaged in communication with you and has also given you bits of information about them, you can consider them interested in finding out more about your solution and ultimately make a purchase.
Sales-Qualified Lead to Customer
There is one last jump you need to make before leaving this page – and this calls for a question: how do you transform the Sales Qualified Lead into a Customer? There are many tips to help you achieve this, but these are some of the most important:
- Be quick in replying – Following up with someone increases trust and thus, can have an impact on the purchase.
- Make an offer – Sometimes, people need to be nudged. And in this case, an offer might be it – who could resist a great offer or a coupon?
- Offer your support – Selling something doesn’t just concentrate on selling. It also concentrates on helping your customers and assisting them in any situation.
Reaching the end of this article means that you now know how to create a lead generation funnel. The tips enclosed in this article are enough to give you a bit of insight into how successful lead generation funnels look.
There are many cases where some examples might apply, while others might not necessarily be the best fit. Nonetheless, it’s all going to depend on your business.
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