Mastering the Art of Building Effective Lead Generation Funnels

How to Build a Lead Generation Funnel

The business landscape has experienced significant changes in recent years. Small businesses, in particular, have had to adapt to shifts in customer behaviour, from remote work trends to economic fluctuations. To thrive in these uncertain times, it’s crucial for businesses to have a robust lead generation strategy. A well-structured lead generation funnel can be your lifeline, allowing you to adapt to changes in the market effectively.

In this blog post, we’ll take you through the steps to create a powerful lead generation funnel, sharing insights from our own journey at LeadHarvestor. Keep in mind that while our strategy may not be an exact fit for your business, it’s designed to spark ideas that will elevate your lead-generation efforts.

Lead Generation Funnel

Understanding the Lead Generation Funnel

A lead generation funnel is a process that involves attracting potential customers and nurturing them into qualified leads. Think of it as a fishing expedition: you set your sights on the type of “fish” you want, figure out where to find them, choose the right “bait,” and then skillfully reel them in.

The lead generation funnel typically consists of five key stages, each mapping to a specific part of the funnel: awareness, interest, appraisal/desire, action/confirmation, and conversion. These stages are often associated with different sections of the funnel—top-of-funnel (TOFU), mid-funnel (MOFU), or bottom-funnel (BOFU).

Building Your Lead Generation Funnel: A Step-by-Step Guide

Lead Generation Funnel Guide

Here’s a step-by-step process that we followed at LeadHarvestor to boost our sales:

At LeadHarvestor, our primary goal was to build a network of loyal brand ambassadors, known as affiliates. These affiliates would promote our services in exchange for a commission. We aimed to create a self-sustaining system where affiliates would drive our marketing efforts. Our target audience was bloggers who could effectively serve as brand ambassadors.

We recognized that bloggers often seek to monetize their websites through affiliate marketing once they generate substantial traffic. To reach them, we devised a strategy: we created an in-depth blog post highlighting the best affiliate marketing programs for bloggers.

Create Valuable Content (and Other Lead Magnets)

We produced this content, and over a few months, it began generating around 500 daily visits. Initially, we did not feature our own program at the top of the list to avoid appearing too self-promotional. Once we observed that our content was valuable to readers, we added our affiliate program to the list, albeit at the second position.

This blog post served as a lead magnet, providing value to our target audience. It’s important to understand that valuable content is essential for drawing potential leads. However, content alone may not guarantee conversions. This is where calls-to-action (CTAs) come into play.

Utilise CTAs to Guide Traffic Down the Funnel

At LeadHarvestor, we employed two types of CTAs to boost our lead generation efforts: sticky CTAs and exit CTAs. Sticky CTAs are subtle banners designed to encourage readers to sign up for our affiliate program. Exit intent pop-ups, on the other hand, aimed to capture the email addresses of visitors about to leave the website.

While some readers might find pop-ups intrusive, they can be highly effective in capturing leads. Sticky CTAs target readers further along in the funnel, while exit CTAs engage those who require more time in the interest phase.

Engage Leads with Email Marketing

Email marketing became a pivotal part of our lead generation funnel. It allowed us to keep leads engaged, provide them with relevant content, and ultimately move them closer to signing up for our program. We used a tool like ConvertKit to segment subscribers based on their interests and sent automated emails accordingly.

Each subscriber received a series of emails, starting with a welcome email containing helpful resources related to affiliate marketing. As the series progressed, we gradually introduced our affiliate program.

Optimizing Your Lead Generation Funnel

After building your lead generation funnel, it’s crucial to optimize it continually:

Qualify Leads: Focus more effort on leads that are likely to convert, based on their behaviour and engagement.

Choose the Right Tools: Utilise lead generation tools that integrate seamlessly into your workflow, such as lead capture forms and automated email marketing systems.

Experiment and Learn: Embrace a culture of experimentation to discover what resonates with your audience. Test different strategies, content types, advertising methods, and landing pages.

Analyse Rejected Leads: Investigate why some leads didn’t convert. Examine the source, level of engagement, and gather feedback to understand what went wrong.

Ensure Swift Responses: Implement lead management automation to maintain quick response times and keep leads engaged.

A well-optimised lead generation funnel, when automated effectively, operates as a salesperson working around the clock to bring in new clients. While you’ll need to continue creating lead magnets and content, an automated funnel can handle much of the heavy lifting, giving you more time to focus on other essential aspects of your business.