How to Build a Lead Funnel That Actually Works
Every business needs leads, no doubt about that.
Customers churn, bills and expenses don’t. If you want your business to grow, you need to make sure that new leads that turn into paying customers come in regularly.
In this post, I’d like to share with you a proven method that’ll help you achieve that. It involves building a lead funnel.
Throughout the process, we’ll be using the GetResponse Conversion Funnel (fka Autofunnel).
Don’t worry, though, tips and tactics provided in this post will prove helpful even if you’re building your lead generation funnel using another tool.
Bonus: Get our free guide and learn how to scale your online business with conversion funnels.
Table Of Contents
Let’s start with some theory.
1. What is a lead?
A lead is someone who’s shown interest in your offer and handed you their contact details, so that you can continue the conversation.
The tricky part?
A lead could be someone who came up to you at an event, asked you about your product, and gave you their business card to schedule a product demo.
At the same time…
A lead could be someone who’s downloaded one of your ebooks in exchange for which, they’ve had to leave their email address.
In the first scenario, we’ve got someone who’s clearly interested in your product and wants to learn more.
In the second one, unless we know the topic of the ebook we can’t say the same for sure.
This brings us to the second important term – lead quality.
2. What is lead quality?
To distinguish the good leads from the bad ones, marketers and sales teams use the term lead quality.
But this concept isn’t as straightforward as it may sound.
What makes a lead ‘good’ often varies between companies and could even be different for various departments within the same organization.
For marketers, a good quality lead may be someone that’s downloaded their report dedicated to a particular industry.
For salespeople, a good quality lead might be someone who’s in a position to make a buying decision and has the resources to afford your products.
If you’re going to run lead generation campaigns for your company, you’ll want to make sure that you and your teammates are using the same definition. This will make your life so much easier when reporting on your campaigns’ outcomes.
Alright, now let’s focus on how you can acquire more customers with lead generation funnels.
3. What are lead funnels?
Let’s break it down.
You may have already heard about marketing funnels.
If you haven’t, marketing funnels definition is:
Marketing funnels are visual representations of the process of attracting consumers who are unfamiliar with your brand, turning them into leads and prospects, and finally converting them into paying customers.
Now, marketing funnels can be further divided into several subsets.
Two of the most popular types are sales funnels and lead funnels.
Unlike sales funnels, lead funnels don’t aim to make a sale (not right away, at least).
As the name implies, they’re meant to help you generate leads, whom you’ll either convert at a later time or pass onto another team in your organization, e.g., sales.
Side note: Lead funnels are also often called lead generation funnels or acquisition funnels.
4. How do lead funnels work?
Lead funnels usually consist of five essential elements:
- A squeeze page (a.k.a. signup page), where visitors land and learn about your offer
- An incentive, that your visitors want to get access to
- A lead capture form, through which visitors can exchange their contact details to gain access to the incentive
- A thank you page, where you can say thanks and present your audience with a special offer
- An automated email, through which you’ll deliver the incentive
Naturally, visitors don’t just magically appear on your squeeze page. You need to drive them there first.
There are several main ways of driving traffic to your squeeze pages. The most popular one is to run paid ads among people that may be interested in your offer.
We go over this and other traffic generation methods in our free guide below:
Drive traffic to your pages
Want to learn how to drive traffic to your landing page and promote it effectively? In this guide, we’ll share 9 effective ways you can do it – even if you’re not an expert.
Once people have reached your website, you’ll want to make sure they convert and leave you their contact details.
To achieve that, you’ll need to ensure that your squeeze page is built the right way and that your incentive fits your target audiences’ needs.
And if someone decides to sign up through your lead capture form, you should present them with a thank you page and an automated email that sends them the incentive they exchanged their contact details for.
When you put it together, your lead generation funnel should look more or less like this:
5. How different businesses could benefit from them
Now let’s consider some scenarios of how lead funnels could work in different industries.
Let’s say you’re a dietician who’d like to acquire new customers.
To do that, you’ve decided to give away an ebook with healthy breakfast recipes for those who like to eat while they commute without getting messy.
Of course, this might just as well be a quick diet plan, a weekly healthy shopping list, or some other freebie.
That ebook is your lead magnet.
So, you decide to put it on your signup page, where your potential customers can download the ebook after they’ve left their contact details.
To drive traffic onto your landing page, you’ve decided to benefit from your Instagram and Facebook presence.
You’ve published links to your page and snippets of your ebook to generate interest among your fans, followers, and fellow group members.
Once they’ve visited your signup page and left their details, you’ve sent them a welcome email along with some more information about the content they’ll receive in the future.
Should that be the end of it? Not really.
You should nurture your leads with follow up emails and present an additional offer when you think they’re ready to take action.
What kind of an offer? For example a one-on-one consultation that comes with a complete training program and an individually-prepared diet plan.
Want to build a funnel like this?
Create a funnel using this made-for-you template »
Now let’s see how an ecommerce business could use a funnel to acquire more leads and turn them into customers.
For this example, we’re going to imagine you’re an online store owner selling various types of accessories and fashion items.
To generate leads you’ve decided to create a set of gift guides – a gift guide for those who love to travel, sports and activities amateurs, and finally a guide for those who are crazy about a specific movie or game.
Now that you’ve selected the lead magnet, you have to place it on your signup form and start promoting it.
To drive tons of traffic, you’ve decided to run Facebook ads, targeted at people with specific set of characteristics and interests.
Once someone fills out your signup form, they receive a thank you email with a link to download the guide.
That could be the end of it, or you could turn that lead funnel into a sales funnel.
To do that, you just need to add more emails into your lead nurturing sequence, present your best-rated products, and give them a discount code for their first purchase.
As an extra step, you could also run retargeting ads for those who abandoned your sales page or run a Lookalike audience ad based on contacts who’ve already bought something from you before.
Want to build a funnel like this?
Use this ready-made lead funnel template »
How about a coaching business?
Of course, you can use funnels in your lead generation process, too 🙂
The lead magnet you’d use could be a strategic guide, a video course, toolkit, framework, or something else that’s relevant to your audience.
The rest of the funnel would be roughly the same. The only difference would be in the methods you’d use to drive traffic, and the content of your autoresponder email series.
Here’s a complete walk-through, along with best practices for building lead funnels for coaches, from Sean Smith.
And here’s the template Sean discussed in his video, which you can of course use yourself in the GetResponse Conversion Funnel.
Build your own funnel using this template »
Let’s now see the exact steps it takes for you to create a lead funnel using GetResponse Conversion Funnel.
6. How to set up a lead funnel using GetResponse Conversion Funnel
If you’d rather watch this as a video, here’s one that covers the full list building funnel scenario.
Alternatively, you can carry on and read the individual steps below.
Step 1. Accessing the GetResponse Conversion Funnels (fka Autofunnel)
To access the funnel creator, click on the menu icon in the navigation bar at the top and select the GetResponse Conversion Funnel.
Step 2. Choose the right funnel type
Next, name your funnel and choose the middle option – Build a list.
The name you’ll choose here will be used to generate a new list of contacts. This is where your newly acquired leads will be added after you’ve successfully converted them with your lead magnet.
Step 3. Create the signup page
After you’ve successfully named your funnel, you should have arrived to the funnel wizard.
That’s where you’ll be able to manage all the elements of your funnel, like the signup pages, automated emails that’ll go after, and so on.
Here’s what it looks like:
Let’s now create a signup page, by clicking the button to your right.
Step 4. Select and edit the template that’s right for your business
Now you can pick a landing page template or build a page from scratch.
Unless you’re a designer, I’d recommend playing around with the available ready-made templates first, as they’ve all been created by our team keeping your conversion rates in mind.
Once you’ve selected your favorite template, you have to edit it.
This video explains how you can do this.
When editing the template, remember to edit the signup page, exit intent form, thank you page, and the mobile versions of the two.
Change things like the headline, main copy, and links.
And, of course, think about how you’re going to share the lead magnet.
If you’re going to do it on the thank you page, then make sure to add the download link there.
If you’re going to share it only in the welcome email, then you can skip that process for now.
Once you’ve finished editing your squeeze page, it’s time to focus on the message you’ll send to those who fill out your signup form.
Step 5. Add an automated welcome email
In the funnel wizard view, click on the second button – create an email.
This will take you to the autoresponder settings view, where you’ll be able to adjust the elements like the subject line of your message or the from address.
Once that’s done, you get to either create an email from scratch or use one of our email templates that match your signup page.
Pick one and then you’ll be taken to the email creator view. There, you’ll be able to alter the copy and polish off your welcome email.
Remember: if you haven’t shared the download link for you lead magnet yet, you should add it here.
Step 6. Promote your signup page
Finally, it’s time to promote your signup page.
To speed things up, you can use the social ads creator or even run Facebook ads in GetResponse.
Post it everywhere you think it’s relevant – your Facebook groups, Instagram, and Facebook accounts, or even your blog.
This way you’ll put enough fuel into this lead generation machine that you’ve just launched.
7. The next steps
The fun part starts once you’ve successfully published your first funnel.
This is when you should start thinking about new ways to drive more traffic, select a better lead magnet, increase conversions, and optimize your email open rates.
With the GetResponse Conversion Funnel, you can do all that within one single tool, without having to pay extra for additional services.
If you’re interested in giving it a spin, sign up for a free account and see how quickly it can help you generate more leads.