Every business needs customers, but how do you find the customers who need your product or service and convert them from potential leads into loyal customers? You need a lead funnel. Lead generation and brand awareness are two strategies at the very top of a lead funnel to draw in your target audience and keep them engaged all the way until they buy your product or service.

An effective lead funnel is the best way to clarify what action you want your potential customers to take and encourage them to take that action to boost retention, sales, and revenue.

What Is a Lead Funnel?

Imagine a funnel: It has a wide entrance that narrows down to allow whatever is in it to pass through. A business lead funnel works the same way! This marketing pipeline tracks the process between a potential customer’s awareness of your brand and the moment they become a paying customer.

Your lead funnel should:

  • Find people who are interested in your product or service.
  • Keep them engaged to the point that they make a purchase.

The Stages of an Effective Lead Funnel

Before a new customer makes a purchase, four stages typically occur. Whether your potential customer found you through a Google search or social media, your lead funnel should guide them through several steps, like signing up for emails, filling out a quote form, or providing their contact information so that you can convert them into a paying customer.

At the very top of the funnel, you have a large pool of potential customers. In the middle, the product or ad is getting attention through brand awareness. You can see the conversion process or the transition of receiving better sales, traffic, and brand awareness through the funnel.

  1. Discovery or Awareness of Brand – At the top of the funnel showcases, your leads will see your ad, social media post, or marketing content and become aware of your brand. The goal at this stage is to get the lead to visit your website to learn more about your business.
  2. Piqued Interest – At the middle section of the funnel, your prospects may not be ready to buy but have interest in a product. At this stage, you want to encourage the lead to engage with your posts, subscribe to a newsletter, or give their email or phone number to learn more.
  3. Desire – Still in the middle of the funnel, customers want to make a purchase and are exploring your brand. If a customer has previously signed up for emails, you could send a retargeting email to remind them about your product or service and why they need it. At this stage, offer free trials, demos, or promo codes, especially when a customer has left a product in their cart.
  4. Action – At the bottom of the funnel, you close the deal and finalize the conversion, whether that means the customer buys your product or pays for your service.

An effective lead funnel will continue this process, using reviews and testimonials from existing customers as social proof to show other potential customers that you offer exceptional products or services. This boosts conversion rates and restarts the cycle.

Best Ways to Design a Lead Funnel

After you understand the basic steps of a lead funnel, it’s time to design it. Let’s look at the four tactics that each lead funnel must have to address psychological needs during the buying process.

  1. Map out the journey of your ideal customer. Analytics is just one small piece of the funnel puzzle. Ask questions such as: who is my customer? What are they looking for? Knowing the basis of your customer’s journey provides personal insights that numbers cannot. This helps you understand how your prospect thinks and feels so you can develop content that meets their needs.
  2. Create meaningful content like blogs, videos, social media posts, and free e-books. The goal is to connect with your customers’ pain points and show how your product or service solves them. Include clear, concise calls to action (CTAs) to drive your leads to the next step in the lead funnel.
  3. Publish reviews, testimonials, and social media posts from past customers or brand ambassadors to build social proof and establish authority. You may also ask your influencers and past customers to post on your ads giving them the social proof you are looking for. There’s nothing better than an ad that addresses a problem you have and it seems too good to be true, so you go to the comments to read them and find out that existing customers are saying its true and posting pictures of the proof – this is the gold you want in marketing. Marketers often will pay their influencers or reward loyal customers for doing so.
  4. Set up retargeting campaigns to reach out to qualified leads who tried a free trial but didn’t make a purchase. Retargeting ads convert customers faster than any other ad because the customer has already been primed with ads, blogs, reviews, social proof with photography, and word of mouth. This is the lowest hanging fruit with all the effort you have put into your strategy.

How Lead Generation Marketing Strategies Promote Business Success

Acquiring new customers is tricky; most leads (from social media, SEO, and landing pages) will not open your website and immediately buy.

A typical lead gen landing page will have a conversion rate of 2% or less, so you need to build your lead funnel with lead nurturing strategies. The middle of the lead funnel contains a pivotal point for maintaining interest, which is the key to turning an interested person into a paying customer. This is where you need to engage your audience with the aforementioned blogs, tips, and content supporting the challenge that your product or service ultimately solves.

The middle of the funnel (MOFU) is a crucial stage in the customer journey where potential customers have already shown interest in your business but haven’t yet made a purchase decision. It’s the stage where they are actively considering your product or service and evaluating whether it’s the right fit for their needs.

Engaging users in the MOFU is important because it can help you move them closer to making a purchase decision. Here are some tips on how to engage these users:

  1. Provide educational content: Offer content that helps potential customers understand their problems and how your product or service can solve them. This can include whitepapers, case studies, videos, and webinars. Educational content can position your business as an expert and help potential customers make informed decisions.
  2. Personalize the experience: Use data you have collected on the potential customer to personalize the experience. For example, you can send targeted emails based on their previous interactions with your business or suggest products that are similar to ones they have previously shown interest in.
  3. Build trust: In the MOFU, potential customers are looking for reasons to trust your business. Provide social proof such as customer testimonials or reviews. Offering a guarantee or free trial can also help build trust.
  4. Offer incentives: Providing incentives such as discounts or exclusive offers can encourage potential customers to take the next step and make a purchase.
  5. Communicate regularly: Stay in touch with potential customers by regularly sending them helpful content or updates on your product or service. This can help keep your business top of mind and increase the likelihood of them making a purchase.

By engaging potential customers in the MOFU, you can help them move closer to making a purchase decision and increase the likelihood of them becoming a loyal customer. This is where your focus needs to be intense with testing on copywriting, customer journey segmentation with persona line up, and imagery testing. This is the most intense part of understanding what is resonating with your customers. Be sure to use a testing platform that will give you true multi-variate or A/B testing.

The repetition of the engagement will get those that intend on purchasing through your funnel and those that are by standers will join or eventually move on.

Once you master the funnel, you’re ready to move on to loyalty marketing – this turns loyal customers into evangelists. Learn more about loyalty marketing here>>

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