How do we take a stranger and turn them into a paying, loyal customer? It’s a big question to answer, but it can be answered in part by a lead generation funnel.
Lead generation funnels provide signposts and maps that help guide someone from obscurity to a client or customer. These potential customers are everywhere. They’re on websites, flicking through social media, and clicking on adverts that catch their attention. That attention span isn’t huge. The very opposite, you might say that it’s fleeting at best. So how you can grab them at the right moment?
When you use a lead generation funnel, you break the customer journey down into actionable and understandable stages. It’s a blueprint that shows you and your team the best ways of attracting, engaging with, and converting prospects into leads and customers.
In this article, we’ll share the outline of the various lead generation funnel stages before exploring what it might look like in your business.
- What does AIDA mean?
- What can a business do at each stage of the funnel?
- How is a lead generation funnel different from a sales funnel?
What is a Lead Generation Funnel?
Think of a funnel. The same that you’d use to pour liquid neatly into a bottle. That’s the visual representation that we use when talking about lead generation funnels. The top of the funnel is where your potential customers enter. Then, as they travel further down the funnel, they are slowly filtered out. By the time you reach the bottom of the funnel, only your most loyal customers remain.
The analogy of a funnel works because the number of people at each stage decreases in the same way that the funnel narrows. Your audience is incredibly broad at the top of the funnel. You could be talking to absolutely anyone and everyone. They may have absolutely no idea who you are. Then, as you move further down the funnel, the audience is refined. These are the people that are interacting with you and showing a higher level of interest.
The idea is to use each funnel stage to guide your marketing and lead nurturing tactics. If you understand where a person is in their customer journey, then you’re more likely to share content and value that resonates with them.
Stages of a Lead Generation Funnel
The lead generation funnel is divided into four distinct stages. These stages are often referred to as the AIDA framework. Each requires a different approach in marketing, content, and approach. By understanding these stages and approaching them individually, you’ll be best set to nurture relationships and generate leads.
The Awareness Stage
At this point of the funnel, you’re setting the scene and introducing yourself to prospects. It’s where strangers become aware that your brand exists and that you have a potential solution to a problem that they’re having.
That first encounter could come in many forms. They may have performed a search on Google and found a piece of your content. Perhaps they saw one of your posts or ads on social media. A friend might have shared one of your links directly. Whatever the method, they now have an awareness of you.
Your aim here is to maximize visibility. You should adopt a holistic approach to the awareness stage based on what your projected audience likes to engage with. That would likely include:
- Content marketing
- Social media
- Cold emails
The Interest Stage
You’ve piqued their interest. Now, you need to hold it and build interest. You should leverage any method you can think of to build the level of sales engagement. If the awareness stage was a spark, you’re now adding kindling to it. The hope is for the fire to catch.
Now your prospects have reached this stage, your content needs to become more tailored. Engagement builds through more interactive methods such as webinars or personalized email campaigns. Personalization is difficult when you’re targeting your whole audience. You should be segmenting everyone in your funnel into smaller parts.
The Desire Stage
Your prospects know that they have a problem. They’ve also become aware that you offer a solution. During the desire stage of the funnel, you need to present your product or service as the best solution.
Prospects will want to hear from your previous customers. Give them this opportunity by using case studies, testimonials, or reviews. You could also allow them to test the water for themselves through free trials. The aim is to show the value of your offering through the effectiveness of your solution.
Don’t worry about selling here. Your sole aim should be to build a relationship and have the prospect trust you.
The Action Stage
If this were a sales funnel stage, we’d be looking for a conversion and sale at this point. This is a lead generation funnel. At the action stage, we’re looking for someone to express a commitment to further action with your brand.
It could be as simple as filling out a contact form or booking a meeting with a sales representative. It’s the step that proves they are a qualified and engaged lead. To achieve this, you need effective call-to-actions across your website and marketing. They should encourage prospects to make use of your enticing offers.
The concept of this funnel is simple. Take strangers and turn them into leads. The implementation takes considerably more effort. You’ll need to develop tactics and marketing methods for each stage. Once implemented, lead generation funnels have the power to change a business completely. Delivering leads so effectively that your business growth explodes.
- The more direct and personalized your messaging is at each stage, the more impactful it will be.
- Remember, you’re generating leads here rather than focusing on sales. Nurturing relationships should be your priority.
- Always reflect on the success of your funnel and consider where it can be improved.
Cold outreach is a great way of introducing your business to prospects who have yet to hear about you. Sending thousands of manual emails isn’t an effective strategy. Automating it with a powerful tool like Instantly is. Get started with Instantly today.