Lead generation is the top priority for marketers, according to HubSpot.
In theory, it’s a simple concept. A visitor browses your website, fills in a form, and converts to a lead. With a little bit of attention, you can nurture these leads into paying customers.
However, much like baking a cake or planning a road trip, you must approach lead generation in stages. Otherwise, you run the risk of disengaging your leads and losing them before the finish line.
This is where the all-important lead generation funnel comes into play.
What is a lead generation funnel?
A lead generation funnel is a systematic approach to turning your visitors into buying customers. Envision it as a reverted pyramid, split into three stages:
- Top of funnel (TOFU). This is the ‘awareness’ stage. Visitors know nothing about you or your services. Rather, they’re searching for answers that could solve the problems they face.
- Middle of funnel (MOFU). This is where leads begin to show interest in your company and are willing to engage with you. They may also start showing signs of a desire to buy by downloading content and reading case studies.
- Bottom of funnel (BOFU). At this stage, a lead is preparing to take action - whether it's with your business or a competitor. For instance, they may request a free trial or video consultation.
How to guarantee success at every stage
A TOFU lead isn’t in the same headspace as a BOFU lead. Therefore, you should tailor the way you interact with and nurture them.
At this stage, you should focus on: attracting visitors to your website, educating them with trustworthy content, and converting them into leads.
To do this, create SEO-optimised content that not only ranks highly on search engines but answers your lead’s fundamental questions. You want to make them aware of the problems they face and the solutions that can make their lives easier.
Of course, your marketing team will need contact information in return.
So, go beyond sharing social media and blog posts. Create valuable gated content that allows you to capture information on these visitors and classify them as leads. From here, you can engage with them through relevant email outreach.
Keep the momentum going. You want to build trust (and interest) without slamming your foot down on the ‘sales’ pedal.
Stick to the long game and focus on nurturing your leads with targeted messaging and email workflows. Share quality content based on their online history, including practical assets such as ebooks, white papers, and webinars. As these leads are considering their options, product comparison content will work well.
You can also begin to share case studies and instances of social proof to further instil trust.
You converted your visitor into a lead and nurtured them with relevant, high-quality content. Now, it’s time to step up your offerings.
This will differ depending on your business model and what you’re selling. But we’d recommend providing:
- Free trials of your software or service.
- Tailored demo walkthroughs.
- Consultations with your in-house experts.
- Discounts or special offers for your product.
- Interactive pricing calculators.
Ultimately, you want to prove that your offering is the right choice for your leads. Once you convince them of this, you can prepare them for your sales team.
Prime your funnel for success
Forget the laws of gravity - the lead generation funnel isn’t a quick or predictable process. A visitor won’t fall into becoming a sales qualified lead like an apple dropping from a tree.
Lead generation requires patience. It also requires an understanding of who your leads are, what problems they face, and how close they are to making a purchasing decision.
It can be a lot to manage. And, for businesses without the right data to lean on, the lead nurturing process can feel a lot like educated guesswork.
So, if you’d like to prime your funnel for success, why not find out the benefits of high intent data? With the right behavioural analytics in your toolkit, you can tweak your TOFU, MOFU and BOFU efforts with confidence.