What is A Lead Generation Funnel And How To Create One

You are ready to tap into the potential that the internet offers and get more leads and sales for your business. Am I right? Individual marketing tactics don’t make a lead generation funnel. Your website alone, won’t cut it. Neither will posting on social media.

A lead generation funnel is a different animal. It is a vital piece of your digital marketing. It is very often overlooked. Even by big businesses spending hundreds of thousands on their marketing.

You are not going to make the same mistakes in your business.

Arm yourself with the information in this article. Get ahead of your competitors, and build lasting relationships with your customers. A lead generation funnel is not hard or complicated. So, once you understand how funnels work, it is simple to get setup and start seeing results.

Let’s dive in…

Marketing is the process of ‘identifying, and satisfying customer needs profitably’. (Chartered Institute of Marketing definition). Lead generation is the start of the interaction process with those customers.

It is identifying the people interested in what we have to offer. To clarify leads aren’t customers. Leads are potential customers. If you are looking to increase sales, then generating more leads for your business should be a core focus. The funnel is the process that, well ‘funnels’ potential leads through your business to convert them into customers. Lead generation funnels can range from simple to a bowl of spaghetti depending on how complex your sales process is.

A simple lead generation funnel can look something like this…

Image: LogicalFox

The best funnels are tailored to your business. But if you don’t have any lead generation funnels at all, the above is a good place to begin. Is something better than nothing right?

Once you are familiar with how they work, you can iterate until your heart’s content.

In the example above it, all starts with traffic.

Traffic can come from three sources:

  • Paid media (advertising, pay per click).
  • Owned media (blog posts, website, social media, content marketing).
  • Earned media (word of mouth, referrals, reviews).

Converting this traffic into leads is the first stage of your lead generation funnel. When we buy anything,

we go through a process. From first becoming aware that we have a problem need, to considering the options and taking action that will meet the need.  The goal here is not to make you an expert in marketing theory. But to help you understand enough of the theory to enable you to move the needle in your business. Wouldn’t you agree?

“Your lead generation funnel should help move potential customers from attention to action.”

This flow from attention to action is usually illustrated by a funnel shape. Pour traffic into the top and customers come out of the bottom. The problem when it comes to lead generation is the funnel does not have any sides, so potential customers could leak away at any stage. In other words, you only get out of the bottom a fraction of what you pour into the top. The better you understand your customer needs AND the journey they take to becoming a client, the better your funnel will perform. You can address objections and sticking points along the way.

The concept of conversions becomes super important. The more website visitors you can convert into leads the better.

The more customers you can convert into repeat buyers the better.

You get the idea…

Okay okay, I get it. Lead generation funnels are super important, but how do I get set up? What are the steps? You need to start by mapping out the process your clients go through to becoming a customer.

Where do they first come into contact with your brand? Social media post? Your website? An advertisement? A video? A blog post? Or all of the above?

The difficulty with mapping the customer journey is that the process is not linear. One customer might view a tweet, visit your website, call into your store. Another might see an ad and read a blog post. Don’t worry, this is normal. Check out this blog post for more information on mapping the customer journey. Seek to map out all the points of contact you have with your customers. Then it becomes easy to bake lead generation into all your marketing. Your goal should be to exchange a visitor’s email address for something of greater value. Once you have their email address, you can nurture them through the decision process into becoming a customer.

Take a look at your website.

Are there opportunities for visitors to take the next steps with you?

These are ‘calls to action’.

If you have blog posts, are there opportunities within and around the posts for readers to take the next steps with you?

Look at your Twitter account or Facebook page. Do you have pinned posts that guide people into your funnel?

When someone telephones an enquiry, do you capture their data?

Can you see how the start of our funnel can be anywhere?

Anywhere people come into contact with your business.

What you should do is ensure every point of contact facilitates the conversion from visitor to lead. Let your customers decide when they want to take the next steps.

Put these opt-in mechanisms in place to capture leads.

Online this means having many opt-in opportunities and clear calls to action.

A useful mechanism for stimulating the conversion from visitor to lead is to provide valuable information in the form of a lead magnet.

A lead magnet is a piece of value-driven content that satisfies a potential client’s arm falling off issue. To learn more about how to create irresistible lead magnets read this post.

Create one or more lead magnets to entice visitors to submit their email address.

Okay, so we have our customer journey map, a handle on all the touch points and our lead magnet(s). What next?

Next, we look into the nuts and bolts of building out your lead generation funnel. The pages and pieces you need.

Create landing pages for each of your lead magnets with opt-in forms to capture lead details, plus thank you pages that encourage social sharing.

Link your landing page opt-in forms to an Email Service Provider (ESP), and then the relationship building magic can begin.

You can create a sequence of emails to nurture your relationship with leads and convert them into lifelong customers.

NEXT STEPS

Here is a summary of what you need to do to build out your lead generation funnel.

  • Map out the customer journey in your business.
  • Map out the points of contact you have with your customers.
  • Create one or more lead magnets to entice visitors to submit their email address.
  • Create landing pages, opt-in forms and thank you pages.
  • Link to an ESP to capture email address and deliver lead magnet and lead nurture email sequence.

This is part of a process I run through with my coaching clients to get lead generation funnels in place that convert like crazy.

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3 Website A/B Testing Tools

A/B testing is becoming more and more common as teams realize how important it is for a website’s success.

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]The Web is a huge, competitive marketplace with very few (if any) untapped markets, meaning that being successful by offering something unique is rare. Much more common is that you’re competing for the business of your customers with several other websites, so attempting to convert every visitor into a customer or upselling/cross-selling your services better could make all the difference to your bottom line.

Due to this, the market for A/B testing tools and CRO (conversion rate optimization) tools is growing exponentially. But choosing one can be quite a time-consuming challenge, so in this article, I’ll compare the best A/B testing tools to help you decide which is most suitable for you or your team.

A/B testing is about experimenting with visual and content changes to see which results in more conversions.A/B testing often follows usability testing as a means of testing a solution to a flaw in the user experience identified using metrics like bounce rate in an analytics tool like Google Analytics, and thanks to the depth and quality of A/B testing tools available now, A/B testing is accessible to designers as well as marketers and developers.

 

1. Optimizely

Optimizely is one of the leading — if not the leading — A/B testing and CRO tools on the market today. It offers analytics tools to suit users of all levels and a multitude of A/B testing tools. (You could think of it as the Google Analytics of A/B testing, with a much simpler user interface.)

Consider this scenario: You have an eCommerce store built with Magento. You’re aware that in certain cases it may benefit stores to add a one-step checkout solution instead of the standard multi-page checkout, but you’re not sure if your store fits that use case. You need to test both options and compare the results with/without the one-step checkout experience. You know that running two versions of the checkout simultaneously requires changes to the code, which is a complex matter.

With Optimizely, you can send a certain amount of your users to a totally separate checkout experience to collect conversion data. If the experiment yields negative results, you delete the experiment and the original checkout web page still exists and works fine. No harm was done.

With their Web Experimentation tool, which offers an easy-to-use visual editor to create A/B tests without requiring a developer (optional), the ability to target specific user types and segments, and create experiments on any device, Optimizely has all your bases covered.

Although you can run A/B tests without a developer, your variations can be more targeted (for example, your variations can go beyond color, layout and content changes) if you have the skills and/or resources to develop custom experiments with code. By integrating your A/B tests into your code, you can serve different logic and test major changes before pushing them live.

Also, if your product extends beyond the web, Optimizely works with iOS, tvOS and Android apps. Optimizely’s Full Stack integrations make it possible to integrate A/B tests into virtually any codebase, including Python, Java, Ruby, Node, PHP, C#, Swift, and Android.

2. Google Optimize

Google Optimize is a free, easy-to-use tool that integrates directly with your Google Analytics Events and Goals to make A/B testing quick and easy! It’s ideal for traditional A/B testing, focusing on comparing different CTA (call to action) elements, colors, and content.

Developers aren’t required for implementing Google Optimize since it’s as simple as adding a line of JavaScript to your website and then customizing your layout with the visual editor. With this, you can change the content, layout, colors, classes, and HTML of any element within your page.

It’s not as sophisticated as Optimizely, since it doesn’t allow you to create custom experiments with code/developers, but it’s free. It’s great for those starting out with A/B testing. For each Google Optimize experiment, you’ll need to specify which Google Analytics Goals or Events will be the baseline for your A/B tests. For example, if you were A/B testing a product page, you could use an “Add To Basket” event that you’ve defined in Google Analytics to evaluate which of your variations converts the best. The Google Analytics report then gives you a clear indication of which variation converts best. It’s ideal for those on a low budget!

Just don’t get carried away, as Google famously once did, by testing 40 different shades of blue to see which converted best!

3. Unbounce

Unbounce focuses on landing pages and convertible tools. Convertible tools use triggers, scenario-based overlays and sticky bars to A/B test offers and messages to learn when, where and why your visitors convert. An example? If a user tries to leave your site, they’re shown a discount code in a modal or a sticky header, and a test will determine which is more effective.

Landing pages can be an amazing way to validate your ideas, build excitement around a new product, and/or re-engage dormant customers. The problem with them is that they can result in false positives. If you get very few conversions you may feel like your idea is invalidated or demand for the new product doesn’t exist, when in reality users were just unimpressed and/or unconvinced by the landing. Unbounce helps you to determine what your landing is missing.

While you can choose from over 100 responsive templates designed for many markets, goals, and scenarios, and then customize it with your own content using their drag and drop UI, you can also integrate Unbounce with your own design, making a terrific solution for designers and marketers who need to collaborate. Unbounce also works with Zapier and Mailchimp, so data can be transferred across the other apps and tools that marketers use.

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Author: Jamie Murphy
Source: sitepoint.com

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