Many small businesses risk closures because of their dependence on a handful of clients. The goal, then, is to widen your customer base. Marketing experts believe that introducing new products and services helps brands and companies penetrate new markets.
In this video, I explore how you can develop a leads generation funnel to penetrate new markets or widen your existing customer base through a 5-step process.
A lead generation funnel helps you move your potential leads or customers from learning about your products and services to making a purchase. A funnel involves several steps, with the first step typically involving a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a marketing term for a free item or service that you will give to your potential leads in exchange for their name and contact details. The lead magnet introduces your products and services, but more importantly, it creates awareness on how your products and services can benefit customers or solve a customer pain point.
How do you develop a lead generation funnel?
- Identify which customer pain point you want to solve through your product.
This step is crucial in your lead funnel because this will help you craft an appropriate lead magnet and design a communication strategy that will attract the right people.
- Figure out what lead magnet you will use.
When thinking about your lead magnet, consider the cost of creating this magnet. FREE isn’t always free because creating a lead magnet requires time and energy to conceptualise, produce, and distribute. There are many ways to offer something for free, and each form offers different levels of engagement with recipients. Popular examples of lead magnets include:
- Webinars or online workshops
- E-books, white papers or reports
- 30-day free trials of a service
More recently, professional services have started offering what you call social media challenges. Most challenges last 5 days, but some may extend for a period of 7 to 30 days. These challenges involve inviting potential customers, often through social media, to work towards a goal over a period of time. Each day, participants are challenged to accomplish a task to help them achieve their goals.
These challenges are popular among coaching and consultancy businesses because of how it ties in with the nature of their services, specifically because of the educational component of the challenge. The level of engagement with potential leads makes this lead magnet popular, especially when compared to alternative lead magnets. For example, while webinars may place you in front of potential leads, engagement is limited to that hour or two when you are hosting a webinar. With these challenges, there are many opportunities for engagement throughout the period. This is because these challenges are carried out in multiple platforms: potential participants sign up through a landing page or on a website, and receive their daily challenges through email. They then engage with the challenge host and other participants through social media, typically a Facebook Group.
Participants are engaged for the entire duration as working on a personal goal through your guidance. Once they achieve this goal, they will feel a sense of accomplishment, which will likely motivate them to continue working with your or your business to maintain the goal they have achieved or help them achieve their next goals.
- Plan out your funnel and figure out each step.
How do you plan for your funnel? Let’s begin with the basics: planning out the stages of your funnel and identifying how you will distribute your lead magnet.
First, identify how many funnel stages do you plan to do. The straightforward funnel is to offer something for free, then upsell a paid product. For example, after a 30-day free trial, customers are immediately offered the paid monthly service. Or, at the end of a webinar, hosts will typically pitch a paid program, product, or service that will help customers beyond what they’ve learned from the webinar.
Next, how will you distribute your free offering? Most businesses use a mix of tools for their lead campaign. Social media is used to direct people to a website landing page that collects contact information. The lead magnet is then sent to the lead through email.
Most marketing funnels use email marketing because there are tools available to automate the process. Tools like MailChimp and Kajabi can be used to design and execute an email communication campaign to help you distribute the lead magnet and upsell your leads.
- Create your content
If you’re planning to give a free trial of the product, you can skip this step. But if you want to provide a downloadable e-book, host a webinar, or organise a 5-day challenge, you’ll need to prepare content in written or video format. If you’re holding a webinar, you’ll also need to prepare a presentation program, a deck, and an engagement strategy to encourage participants to ask questions and provide feedback throughout the event.
A 5-day challenge will require a 5-day program that is challenging enough for participants to feel engaged and accomplished throughout each step, but not too challenging or too boring that leads quit before the end of the 5 days.
- Execute, pivot when necessary, and follow up!
Finally, it’s time to execute your plans. But closely monitor your leads, and tweak the process when you see fit. It’s natural that things don’t go as planned and that you realise that some steps need to be changed. Most importantly, don’t forget to follow up on your leads.
Here’s a quick recap—here are the 5 steps to help you develop a lead generation funnel:
(1) identify which customer pain point you want to solve through your product
(2) Figure out which lead magnet you will use
(3) Plan out your funnel and figure out each step
(4) Create your content for your lead magnet, and
(5) Execute, pivot when necessary, and don’t forget to follow up with your leads.