How to Build a Lead Funnel That Actually Works
Lead generation is important – I’m sure you know that already.
Too often, though, we’re becoming too busy with other tasks we enjoy doing more and we neglect the lead generation process altogether.
And that’s a huge mistake.
Leads that turn into customers are the ones who pay your bills.
Even if you have the best business idea, it won’t matter.
If you’ve got no leads, your business will sink.
The same goes if you to attract the wrong kind of audience.
So, how do you generate leads that turn into paying customers?
There are many ways you can achieve this.
In this guide, for example, you’ll find 11 lead generation tactics that’ll most likely work for your business, too.
Today, however, I’d like to focus on one method that you will not find in this guide. It’s got to do with lead funnels.
If you’re new to the term lead funnels or aren’t sure how to build an effective one yourself, then keep on reading.
In a moment, you’ll learn everything you need to create your first lead funnel.
To make it easier, we’ll be showing the steps using the GetResponse Autofunnel, our funnel creator tool that comes with all the features you need to build, manage, and promote your lead generation funnels.
Let’s start by defining what lead generation and leads are, so that we’re on the same page.
What is a lead?
This may come as a bit of a surprise, but each company, marketer, or salesperson, usually has their own definition of a lead.
They know well what lead generation is, but their understanding of the terms like lead, prospect, or lead quality usually varies.
More or less, this is a definition that most would agree on:
A lead is someone who’s shown interest in your offer and handed you their contact details, so that you can continue the conversation.
The tricky part?
A lead could be someone who came up to you at an event, asked you about your product, and gave you their business card to schedule a product demo.
At the same time…
A lead could be someone who’s downloaded one of your ebooks in exchange for which, they’ve had to leave their email address.
In the first scenario, we’ve got someone who’s clearly interested in your product and wants to learn more.
In the second one, unless we know the topic of the ebook we can’t say the same for sure.
This brings us to the second important term – lead quality.
What is lead quality?
To distinguish the good leads from the bad ones, marketers and sales teams use the term lead quality.
But this concept isn’t as straightforward as it may sound.
What makes a lead ‘good’ often varies between companies and could even be different for various departments within the same organization.
For marketers, a good quality lead may be someone that’s downloaded their report dedicated to a particular industry.
For salespeople, a good quality lead might be someone who’s in a position to make a buying decision and has the resources to actually afford your products.
If you’re going to run lead generation campaigns for your company, you’ll want to make sure that you and your teammates are using the same definition. This will make your life so much easier when reporting on your campaigns’ outcomes.
Alright, now let’s focus on how you can acquire more customers with lead generation funnels.
What are lead funnels?
Let’s break it down.
You may have already heard about marketing funnels.
If you haven’t, marketing funnels definition is:
Marketing funnels are visual representations of the process of attracting consumers who are unfamiliar with your brand, turning them into leads and prospects, and finally converting them into paying customers.
Now, marketing funnels can be further divided into several subsets.
Two of the most popular types are sales funnels and lead funnels.
Unlike sales funnels, lead funnels don’t aim to make a sale (not right away, at least).
As the name implies, they’re meant to help you generate leads, whom you’ll either convert at a later time or pass onto another team in your organization, e.g., sales.
Side note: Lead funnels are also often called lead generation funnels or acquisition funnels.
How do lead funnels work?
Lead funnels usually consist of a few essential elements.
The most important one is your page, usually called a landing page, squeeze page, or a signup page.
That’s where your users become a lead, after they’ve provided their contact details.
The second key element is traffic.
Some of the most popular ways of driving traffic to your squeeze page are:
- promoting the page via organic posts on social media
- running a paid ad campaign via Facebook, Instagram, or Google Ads
- sending an email to your contacts list
- publishing the link on your blog
Once you’ve managed to attract some visitors onto your page, the time has come for the third element of the lead funnel puzzle – your offer.
With your offer, you need to convince your signup page visitors to leave you their contact details.
You can do this by designing your landing page according to the best practices and offering something of great value that’s worth exchanging their email address for.
We call that a lead magnet.
Your lead magnet could be anything that your audience finds interesting, relevant, and worth giving you their email address for.
I’ll give you some examples in a moment, but you can also check out this other post we’ve written on lead magnets.
If your landing page and the lead magnet weren’t able to drive action, you can also show them an exit intent form with a counter-offer.
Once that’s done, we need the fourth and final element – an automated email.
You can either write it as a welcome email or a thank you message. It’s your choice what angle you’ll go for.
Why bother with that step?
The fact is that welcome emails get an average email open rate of above 80% and click-through rate of around 25%. They’re marvelous when it comes to driving engagement.
Not to mention the fact that they’re great for your deliverability, too.
Alright, we’ve covered the four elements of a successful lead funnel.
When you start building your own, don’t forget about the tips I’ve shared in my previous post about marketing funnels.
The same rules apply here, if you want your lead funnels to be effective.
- Make sure to drive quality traffic onto your pages, not just any kind of traffic
- Optimize your communication for all devices
- Pick the right lead magnet to maximize your signup page’s conversion rate
- Nurture your leads with drip campaigns and automated emails
- Use objectives that are tied to your business goals
- Test, experiment, and observe to increase your conversions
How different businesses could benefit from them
Now let’s consider some scenarios of how lead funnels could work in different industries.
Let’s say you’re a dietician who’d like to acquire new customers.
To do that, you’ve decided to give away an ebook with healthy breakfast recipes for those who like to eat while they commute without getting messy.
Of course, this might just as well be a quick diet plan, a weekly healthy shopping list, or some other freebie.
That ebook is your lead magnet.
So, you decide to put it on your signup page, where your potential customers can download the ebook after they’ve left their contact details.
To drive traffic onto your landing page, you’ve decided to benefit from your Instagram and Facebook presence.
You’ve published links to your page and snippets of your ebook to generate interest among your fans, followers, and fellow group members.
Once they’ve visited your signup page and left their details, you’ve sent them a welcome email along with some more information about the content they’ll receive in the future.
Should that be the end of it? Not really.
You should nurture your leads with follow up emails and present an additional offer when you think they’re ready to take action.
What kind of an offer? For example a one-on-one consultation that comes with a complete training program and an individually-prepared diet plan.
Want to build a funnel like this?
Now let’s see how an ecommerce business could use a funnel to acquire more leads and turn them into customers.
For this example, we’re going to imagine you’re an online store owner selling various types of accessories and fashion items.
To generate leads you’ve decided to create a set of gift guides – a gift guide for those who love to travel, sports and activities amateurs, and finally a guide for those who are crazy about a specific movie or game.
Now that you’ve selected the lead magnet, you have to place it on your signup form and start promoting it.
To drive tons of traffic, you’ve decided to run Facebook ads, targeted at people with specific set of characteristics and interests.
Once someone fills out your signup form, they receive a thank you email with a link to download the guide.
That could be the end of it, or you could turn that lead funnel into a sales funnel.
To do that, you just need to add more emails into your lead nurturing sequence, present your best-rated products, and give them a discount code for their first purchase.
As an extra step, you could also run retargeting ads for those who abandoned your sales page or run a Lookalike audience ad based on contacts who’ve already bought something from you before.
Want to build a funnel like this?
How about a coaching business?
Of course, you can use funnels in your lead generation process, too
The lead magnet you’d use could be a strategic guide, a video course, toolkit, framework, or something else that’s relevant to your audience.
The rest of the funnel would be roughly the same. The only difference would be in the methods you’d use to drive traffic, and the content of your autoresponder email series.
Here’s a complete walk-through, along with best practices for building lead funnels for coaches, from Sean Smith.
And here’s the template Sean discussed in his video, which you can of course use yourself in the GetResponse Autofunnel.
Let’s now see the exact steps it takes for you to create a lead funnel using GetResponse Autofunnel.
How to set up a lead funnel using GetResponse Autofunnel
If you’d rather watch this as a video, here’s one that covers the full list building funnel scenario.
Alternatively, you can carry on and read the individual steps below.
Step 1. Accessing the GetResponse Autofunnel
To access the funnel creator, click on the menu icon in the navigation bar at the top and select the GetResponse Autofunnel.
Step 2. Choose the right funnel type
Next, name your funnel and choose the middle option – Build a list.
The name you’ll choose here will be used to generate a new list of contacts. This is where your newly acquired leads will be added after you’ve successfully converted them with your lead magnet.
Step 3. Create the signup page
After you’ve successfully named your funnel, you should have arrived to the funnel wizard.
That’s where you’ll be able to manage all the elements of your funnel, like the signup pages, automated emails that’ll go after, and so on.
Here’s what it looks like:
Let’s now create a signup page, by clicking the button to your right.
Step 4. Select and edit the template that’s right for your business
Now you can pick a landing page template or build a page from scratch.
Unless you’re a designer, I’d recommend playing around with the available ready-made templates first, as they’ve all been created by our team keeping your conversion rates in mind.
Once you’ve selected your favorite template, you have to edit it.
This video explains how you can do this.
When editing the template, remember to edit the signup page, exit intent form, thank you page, and the mobile versions of the two.
Change things like the headline, main copy, and links.
And, of course, think about how you’re going to share the lead magnet.
If you’re going to do it on the thank you page, then make sure to add the download link there.
If you’re going to share it only in the welcome email, then you can skip that process for now.
Once you’ve finished editing your squeeze page, it’s time to focus on the message you’ll send to those who fill out your signup form.
Step 5. Add an automated welcome email
In the funnel wizard view, click on the second button – create an email.
This will take you to the autoresponder settings view, where you’ll be able to adjust the elements like the subject line of your message or the from address.
Once that’s done, you get to either create an email from scratch or use one of our email templates that match your signup page.
Pick one and then you’ll be taken to the email creator view. There, you’ll be able to alter the copy and polish off your welcome email.
Remember: if you haven’t shared the download link for you lead magnet yet, you should add it here.
Step 6. Promote your signup page
Finally, it’s time to promote your signup page.
Post it everywhere you think it’s relevant – your Facebook groups, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, or even your blog.
This way you’ll put enough fuel into this lead generation machine that you’ve just launched.
The next steps
The fun part starts once you’ve successfully published your first funnel.
This is when you should start thinking about new ways to drive more traffic, select a better lead magnet, increase conversions, and optimize your email open rates.
With the GetResponse Autofunnel, you can do all that within one single tool, without having to pay extra for additional services.
If you’re interested in giving it a spin, sign up for a free trial and see how quickly it can help you generate more leads.