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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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.