July 20, 2022

Lead Generation Funnel: What Is It And How To Create One?

What you need to know to make a lead gen funnel

Did you know that 53% of marketing teams spend over half their budget on lead generation? Whether you’re a B2C or B2B company, every business needs high-quality leads to grow. 

Are you looking to build your lead generation funnels to attract relevant and consistent leads month to month? Follow our beginner’s guide to building and optimising your lead funnel marketing campaign.    

Whether you’re a seasoned sales and marketing expert or new to the field, we’ll take you through the funnel stages so you can begin generating more leads.

What is a lead generation funnel?

A lead generation funnel also referred to as a lead funnel or sales funnel, is an analytical and systematic approach to attracting potential customers — known as leads. Essentially, it’s the process of funnelling target audiences through several distinct stages until they are ready to buy your product.

B2C and B2B lead generation are essentially the same — you use the same strategic marketing channels to attract a different audience. An effective lead generation funnel could range from a straightforward approach to complex strategies.

Inbound and outbound lead generation

The difference between outbound lead generation and inbound leads is that you make the first move to approach the customer (such as cold calling or paid advertising) with the former. Inbound lead generation means making it possible for the customer to discover your company on their terms. 

Why are lead generation funnels important? 

As with any part of your digital marketing strategy, lead generations increase your brand awareness. The more awareness, the easier it is to grow your business. However, it’s not just about brand awareness but also building trust. 

You want to make a relationship with potential customers so they become repeat customers. A higher volume of customers means more revenue. Keep reading to learn the steps to building your lead generation funnel.

What are the different stages of a lead generation funnel? 

We’ll take you through each funnel stage so you can build your lead generation strategy to start generating leads and improving conversion rates. 

How to Create a Lead Generation Funnel That Works

Image credit: Selling Signals

1. Top of the funnel

The top of the funnel (TOFU) generates awareness for your brand, and this might include both an outbound and inbound marketing lead generation campaign. Before starting lead generation, you need to advertise your brand through blogs, videos, podcasts, and other content marketing. 

At this stage of your lead funnel, potential customers want a solution to their problem. The goal is to make your company, product, or services the answer to their question. An ideal funnel strategy will position your business as a leader in the sector. 

2. Middle of the funnel 

By now, you’ve proved that your business can provide answers to questions in your sector. Now, you need to nurture your leads and convert them into customers. 

Offer more detailed content to keep your leads on your website and further promote your company as the leader in the industry. For instance, you could offer eBooks, whitepapers, and case studies. 

3. Bottom of the funnel 

The final stage of your funnel lead gen is to convert your website visitor into a customer. It would help if you began building a relationship with them. Free trials, demos, and discounts are excellent ways to generate leads. Furthermore, try to capture lead information, such as visitor tracking or contact details, to turn customers into repeat customers. 

How to create a lead generation funnel?

Now you know the different stages of an online lead generation funnel, but how do you create one? Follow our step-by-step guide to begin your lead capture funnel. 

Step 1: Define your buyer persona 

Firstly, you need to define your buyer persona. These are potential leads based on your ideal customers. Define your target audience. 

Create and Use Buyer Personas to Drive Sales : Wordtracker

Image credit: Wordtracker

Start by creating a fictional customer profile. This will help you create relevant content and insight into building the most effective lead generation funnel. Defining your buyer persona will help you:

  • Empathise with customers.
  • Identify current and future needs.
  • Understand how and why customers make purchase decisions.

As a result, your lead magnets will generate a higher-quality, more relevant selection of leads.

Step 2: Map the customer journey 

Next, you need to consider mapping your customer journey. This part of the sales process helps you visualise the steps taken when anyone visits your website. 

Customer journey map: What it is and why you need one

Image credit: Delighted

Mapping out the extract touchpoints throughout the customer journey helps you:

  • Effectively nurture leads.
  • Measure lead quality and conversion rates.
  • Uncover new channels.
  • Streamline your lead generation process.

Mapping your customer journey could improve your lead generation strategy infinitely.

Step 3: Drive brand awareness 

Now you have your ideal customer’s journey mapped out, you need to start driving brand awareness. The most effective strategies are using content marketing and social media platforms.

7 Sure-fire Tips to Increase Brand Awareness with Emails - Business 2  Community

Image credit: Business2Community

Content marketing is one of the best ways to build brand awareness. This strategy includes anything from blog posts to webinars. To optimise its effectiveness, create valuable, relevant content that directly responds to your ideal customer. Types of content include:

  • Blog posts.
  • eBooks.
  • Infographics.
  • Videos.
  • Podcasts.
  • Webinars or live events.
  • Case studies.
  • Social media, for example, Facebook ads.

As well as creating valuable content, it would help if you devised a strategy for promoting your content.

Step 4: Drive traffic 

The whole point of your content is to begin driving traffic to your website. Search engines are an excellent way to push brand awareness and increase traffic to your website. Your lead generation tools might use paid ads on social media and search engine optimisation to drive organic traffic. 

39 Ways to Increase Traffic to Your Website - WordStream

Image credit: WordStream

Other marketing strategies to drive traffic include:

  • Paid advertising.
  • SEO.
  • Social media marketing.
  • Email marketing.
  • Cold email or phone marketing.

Step 5: Convert leads into customers 

You have completed lead nurturing; you need to complete the sales pitch by turning your lead into a paying customer. You have attracted your audiences’ attention and encouraged them to sign up for your offer. 

How-to-convert-prospects-into-customers-Fileboard • AeroLeads Blog

Image credit: AeroLeads

Next, you need to collect lead contact information to improve your conversion rates. It would help maintain your quality leads if you had a good customer relationship management database.

How to optimise your funnel?

Your marketing team can’t just create a lead funnel and leave it. Unfortunately, there is always more work to do. You need to optimise your lead generation funnel continuously. Here’s how:

  • Get the correct data: Gather valuable analytics to give you insight into how your channels, campaigns, and landing pages support your lead generation funnel and revenue. 
  • Use the right lead tools: Visitor tracking tools and other analytics will support each funnel stage.
  • Qualify your leads: You need to qualify leads to ensure they’re ready to convert into customers.

Summing up

The core of lead generation funnels begins with creative, strong, relevant, and valuable digital content to drive brand awareness, traffic, and loyalty. Campaignware offers interactive digital tools to help grow your online business presence and create a successful lead generation funnel. 

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