All about Lead Funnels

All about Lead Funnels

lead funnelsLead funnels are not funnel cakes, unfortunately, but they’re just as sweet. You’ve probably heard the term, lead funnel, but what does it mean, and what does an effective lead funnel look like? 

First things first, lead funnels are not like funnel cakes. I’m sorry for the tease, but don’t they look delicious?

Now, back to being serious: A lead funnel is a tool we use in web marketing to usher our ideal customers from the point at which they find out we exist to the much-anticipated point at which they actually become our customers. It’s called a funnel because it narrows as it goes, to nearly a point, where we get the chance to put our “ask” in front of a now-educated and informed prospect who’s well-positioned to sign up and get started with whatever service, product or program we’re selling.

A prospect who has gone through your lead funnel comes to the purchase page primed, as a result of our well-crafted lead funnel, to take the next step in working with you or engaging with your business.

Funnel your Leads to Prospects

Let’s start by identifying what a lead is: A lead is a person who has some interest in what you have to offer. Maybe they’ve visited your website, or stopped by your table at a marketing event. Perhaps they follow you on Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram. These people are all leads. Something about what you offer piques their interest.

A well-built lead funnel aims to take your leads, gather contact info, and then present them with information that helps move them from someone who’s interested in your offers to a real, live, paying customer. 

Help your prospects prospect!

Once a lead opts in to your list and shares their contact info with you, they become a prospect. Prospects are people who have essentially said to us, “Market to me. Sell me your services. I’m ready to hear more.”

When used as a verb, to prospect means:

1. to search or explore (a region), as for gold.

2. to work (a mine or claim) experimentally in order to test its value.

(Source: dictionary.com)

What that means: Our prospects, or list members, are on our list to test our value and find gold in our services or offers. 

And guess what? The lead funnel is how we show them!

Much of what plays out in our lead funnels happens with the prospects – offering them information, education, and opportunities to take that next step and become a client rather than just a prospect.

Start with asking questions

The first step in the lead funnel magic is finding out why each signup came to your site and what they’re looking for. We do this by asking questions from the very beginning. Check out my entry step in the example below:

Components of a Good Lead Funnel

Once your leads have shared their contact info by “opting in” or signing up for your mailing list, they become prospects. A prospect is simply a lead who has reached out to say, “I might be a customer of yours someday”. Your prospects want to get to know you better, and likewise, you want to get to know them better, so you can effectively offer exactly what they want.

As leads progress through your funnel, your outreach methods will get more and more personalized to exactly what your prospects are looking for. If you refer again to my general lead interest form, I ask for my leads to tell me why they came to my site, which of my offers is most attractive to them. This lets me send follow up emails that speak specifically to those wants and needs, increasing my chances of converting them to clients or customers. 

The 4 stages of an effective lead funnel:

ATTENTION

The attention stage is the first stage. At this stage, the customers are experiencing pain points, but they haven’t quite recognized the problem yet. Your job is to create content to draw their attention to this problem and make them feel like it’s something that can be fixed.

INTEREST

During the Interest stage, customers are actively seeking or interested in information that will help them solve their problem (the problem you made them aware of in the attention stage). This is your opportunity to hold their attention and stoke their interest with your solution – the offer that you have that will help them solve their problem.

DESIRE

In the desire stage, customers have moved on from exploring whether or not they have a problem. They know they have a problem now, and they desire a solution that will make it go away. As marketers, we can hook into that desire, hear it, and respond to it, chiefly with our offers. 

ACTION

The last and final stage of the lead funnel is called the Action stage. In this stage, the prospect is ready to take action and make the purchase decision that will solve their problem. Your job is to make it easy for them to say “yes”. It’s important that the final message in your lead funnel has a strong call to action and makes it easy for the prospect to take that next step and actually work with you. The easier you make it, the more sales you’ll get from your lead funnel!

Need help with your lead funnel development

Kate M. Gilbert, experienced web developer and WordPress expert, is available for hands-on, live web support via Zoom Office Hours.

During these 1-on-1 sessions, you get the undivided attention of a tech expert who’s been there, has worked with your software, and is passionate about helping you figure it out, too, so that you can rock your web marketing.

The Know, Like and Trust Factor

The Know, Like and Trust Factor

The Know, Like, Trust Factor

AKA the progression your customers will take from discovering you to engaging with you or your business online.

What’s the Know, Like and Trust Factor? It’s the pathway we all take when we buy a product or choose to participate in a program, class or workshop. And it’s critical to keep in mind when you’re planning a website or online marketing campaign. Because the Know, Like and Trust Factor is the progression your customers will take from discovering you to engaging with you.

Let’s break it down:

What is the Know, Like and Trust Factor?

Basically it represents the journey that a person takes when getting to know your brand. They first have to KNOW you. Once they know you, they start to LIKE you and your brand. Once they know and like you, TRUST begins to develop.

#1 Your target customers have to know you exist, that your product or offering is out there, ready to help solve their problems.

If they don’t know about you, you’re nobody. The first thing you want to focus on is getting your brand in front of your target audience so that they can know who you are how you can help them. Knowing is the beginning.

#2 Then, you need to get them to like you.

Once you’ve got the attention of your target market, you want to focus on getting them to like you. Your product or service could be everything on their list, but if they don’t get a good feeling when they interact with you or your brand, they’re not going to buy. Endear yourself to those who will make the purchase decision, they have got to like you first.

#3 Lastly, your customer needs to trust you.

The last and final part of this formula is the hardest – for the sale to happen or the offer to be accepted, your customer needs to trust you. It might take them a while to get here, and that’s okay. You might spend a lot of time on this step, and rightly so, as it’s the most important. When we trust, we invest – our time, our resources, and our money. Without trust, there’s no exchange. Build trust and you’ll build a business relationship that could blossom into so much for both you and your customer.

For more about the Know, Like and Trust factor and why it’s crucial to your site’s success, check out this article.

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Create sites that hear the visitor

Create sites that hear the visitor

A client emailed me recently with a link to a site that she really admired. It wasn’t the content, images, or even layout she liked – the business was in a totally different industry – but the tone. “It’s very approachable,” she told me. “How can we build something that feels so… inviting?”

What made that site so approachable was it’s direct attention to the needs and wants of the site visitor. As soon as I clicked through to check it out, I felt listened to, and heard. Rather than talk about how they’ve served others in the past, this site talked about how it could serve me, today. I felt like this business really understood my problems and was ready with a solution.

This is key capturing leads – visitors don’t want to browse through your top hits and see how others have benefited, they want to know how you’re relevant to them and how you’re going to solve their problems.

A good web site anticipates the problems visitors bring to the site, validates that “pain”, and readily offers actionable solutions. Whether you’re selling items, outlining services, or serving up content, be sure your copy and content always puts the visitor first. Do your research, understand why and how people will come to your site, and turn that experience into a satisfying solution that will bring them back again and again.

Action Plan:

Develop “personas”, or profiles of a variety of potential visitors who will come to your site. Who are they, where do they live, what do they do with their time? Then consider why they’re looking at your site, what problem(s) they’re trying to solve, and what action steps they’re ready to take today. And, most importantly, make it easy to take those steps through intuitive navigation and clear calls-to-action through the site. Understanding why they’re browsing helps us to give them the buttons and tools that make taking that next step easy.