How to build a Successful B2B Lead Generation Funnel
For businesses to operate rationally, you need to have customers who are up for purchasing your products or services. But, how can you engage these potential buyers? The answer is, you need to acquire leads that can be turned into prospects, which you can finally convert into customers. Most businesses invest a lot of time grooming their lead generation strategies so that the leads keep showing up. To do so, you need to improve the lead funnel.
A proper lead generation funnel allows you to sustain a sleek conversion process. You will determine how many leads establish a connection with your business and how many have turned into customers. This is how you will figure out why leads are converting and even why they are not.This information enables you to tighten up your sales funnel, increase your conversion rates and boost your revenue notably.Building your first lead generation funnel can be difficult for any newbie. But optimizing your first lead generation funnel doesn’t involve that much rocket science. It’s all about having the proper ingredients to make up the right dish.This blog post will discuss what a lead generation funnel is and how to build one in five simple steps. Let’s get started.
Lead Generation Funnel - In a Nutshell
A lead generation funnel, also known as a lead funnel, is a systematic methodology to generate leads that are potential customers. It involves the process of funneling your target audience through different stages until they decide to purchase with high probability. A lead generation funnel can range in complexity from very simple to very hard in terms of understanding. A simple lead generation funnel appears like this:
Understanding lead funnel phases (Operations-based Division)
Lead funnels possess three phases in general. Let discuss each of them.
Phase 1. Top of the Funnel - TOFU
The first phase, the top of the funnel, is related to awareness. The top of the funnel is your company’s first contact with a potential lead, and you meet with the opportunity to introduce your purpose of presence to a future customer. Content during this phase involves articles, images, videos, etc.
Phase 2. Middle of the Funnel - MOFU
Once prospects filter to the middle of the funnel, they start to interact with your company. It requires you to continue nurturing and harvesting them. You can feed them via various specialized content such as ebooks, whitepapers, and case studies. The best way to do so is to run email campaigns for free trial users.
Phase 3. Bottom of the Funnel - BOFU
Finally, there is the bottom of the funnel. You’ve turned random website visitors into leads until this phase and started to establish a trusted relationship with them. They believe in your company and need a final thrust to become active customers and start buying from you. Optimal BOFU content involves a series of demos, consultations, and discount offers. This three-stage funnel is intended to turn random visitors into paying customers. But can you develop such a funnel? Let’s embark on an answer.
How to Build a Lead Generation Funnel
You will find these five steps to build a lead generation funnel very beginner-friendly.
Step 1. Mapping your customer experience
The first step to create your first lead generation is to acknowledge and understand your customer’s journey. It is important to sense that if you don’t know them, their likes and dislikes, their problems, and what they are looking for, etc. Won’t you be able to find and engage them? Using Google Analytics, start to extract data such as bounce rates, traffic stats, and conversion rates.
These reports showcase the actual entities that need to be improved on your site. But, you can’t expect a complete revolution just by adjusting numbers as they fail to give you more human and personal insights into your customers.
Knowing your customers by conducting interviews and carrying out surveys. You will be able to know their trigger points.
Mapping your customer journey is what initiates the stream from the first touchpoint to purchase. If you want to understand your customer’s experience in the more rational way possible, communication is the key.
Step 2. Creating a state of the art content
Once you’ve mapped out your customer journey, your next responsibility is to create surprising and pleasing content to drive this process further while holding the first lead. The content can be anything from blog posts, podcasts, videos, ebooks that connects with your customer. You don’t need a huge team and unlimited funds to create amazing content to engage your audience. Here’s how you can craft exceptional content. Beat the competition. Take a look at your rivals and the sort of content they’re creating. Then create better content. It’s all about quality, not quantity, as more words alone can’t make a difference, but more value will. If you don’t know what to write, try to outperform an article on the same topic from your competitor.
Optimize for SEO. Ensure that your content is optimized for SEO. This is how your potential audience will find you naturally as they surf the web to solve their problems. This goal can be achieved by enriching structured data, header tags, and internal linking on all your online content. Create content for each lead funnel stage. Produce content for each stage of your lead generation funnel. Articles, social media posts, and YouTube videos work well for the top of the funnel. Downloadable and directed content such as ebooks, survey reports, statistical reports, and case studies serves a purpose for the middle of the funnel. At the same time, free trials and discounts offer help at the bottom of the lead funnel.
Step 3. Driving traffic
For now, you’ve created different pieces of state-of-the-art content, and it’s time to drive traffic to it. This milestone can be achieved in several ways:
Search Engine Optimization - SEO
A relevant and right SEO strategy is a fruitful way to drive traffic to your content in the long run. SEO is the only way your target audience reaches you by making different searches as per their interests. In search of their answers, they start pouring into your funnel.
Almost 50-60 percent of marketers say email marketing is their most effective strategy for boosting ROI. It’s a perfect practice to promote your company’s content. If your organization has an active and likely email list to engage the audience, you can utilize it to inform your new content subscribers and push them to check it out.
Social Media Platforms
Social media has transformed the lives of both individuals and the collective over the past 15 years. It’s a way for businesses to engage their target audience. So refrain from hesitating to inform your social media followers whenever you publish new articles, videos, or podcasts. If you’ve been using your social media platforms in the right way, you’ll be surprised at how much traffic a single post or a story can drive. It’s crystal clear that social media is worth the time, effort, and investment.
Last but not least, if you have a sufficient budget, don’t hesitate to invest in advertising your content. Google Ads and Facebook Ads are examples of popular mediums for B2Bs.Similarly, other search engines and social media platforms have advertising options as well. The practice is intended to explore the right platform for your unique audience as per your feasibility. By doing so, you can start utilizing them to target your market and start engaging customers for your esteemed content.
Step 4. Collecting prospect information
Now, you know about your audience, crafted content, and driving traffic to it. What’s the next step? Keep in mind that all the world traffic won’t create an opportunity for your business if you don’t have a way to collect visitor information. The mainstream way to collect the relevant information of visitors is to create a lead magnet that you give away for free in exchange for an email address. Your lead magnet could be anything, but it must sustain your target market and audience’s interest and relate to your business.
At this stage, must ensure a rich difference in mainstream content and that of a lead magnet as it must be valuable for that very unique and selected audience. When your lead magnet is ready, take a flight, make it active and available via a landing page. Once website visitors fill out the simple form on your landing page, they’ll gain access to the very unique and valuable gated content.
Step 5. Closing the sale
It’s a big-time now as you have the contact information of a website visitor, they termed as a make sure we’re both a good fit. Closing the sale is different for every company. For some, it will begin with your marketing team harvesting your leads to sign-up. But, for others, it will begin with sending qualified leads to a sales team to trigger the conversation and close the deal. Determine as per your feasibility and circumstances what works well for you and start turning those leads into potential customers.
How to Optimize your Lead Generation Funnel
Congratulations! You’ve now built your first lead funnel, but you’ve not finished it yet. The climax must possess completeness. If you want to cast more leads, you need to optimize your lead generation funnel. Let’s discuss how.
1. Employ the right tools
Several software tools help you generate more leads. You’ll be able to learn what company your visitor work for, how much time they spend on each of your web pages, and get detailed content information for employees at that company. By deploying this data, you just have to adjust your already existing lead funnel process appropriately and strategically. If you have extra pennies in your budget, don’t hesitate to acquire tools to make lead generation more effective. Remember to sync said tools in all the five-step of the processes mentioned above.
2. Qualify your leads
Not all leads are going to produce benefits. It’s in your best interest to qualify leads and spend your time and effort on the ones that are the most likely to score a purchase. To rationally qualify a lead, first, evaluate how they have interacted with your content. Those who download anything directly linked to your business, such as a case study, are plausibly higher quality leads than a visitor who just opened your careers page. You can also qualify leads based on the nature of interactions they make with your company once they’ve given you their contact information.
- Do they consistently check your emails?
- Are they up for taking surveys?
- Do they answer your sales calls?
The answers to these questions will tell you a lot about the quality and nature of lead.
3. Never abandon experimentation
Finally, refrain from abandoning experimentation. Nothing is 10 out of 10, and they’re always a space to improve your lead generation funnel as what worked in the past might not work today. Your audience is continuously evolving with the changing market trends and global events, so your lead funnel needs to reform and evolve with them. Don’t hesitate to create different kinds of content to check what your ideal customers connect with best. Also, adjust your advertising strategies, landing pages, and sales efforts whenever required.
Now you have a complete roadmap to build and optimize your first lead generation funnel. Suppose you follow these simple yet important five-step processes and optimize your funnel accordingly. In that case, you’ll embark yourself on the journey to build a sustainable lead generation funnel and drive more ROI.
GA4 vs Universal Analytics: Key Differences & Limitations
The Google Analytics 4 (GA4) has changed the whole analytics epoch. This short article will explain how google analytics 4 replaces the goal with conversion events.
These events/goals are very special because we can share them with Google Ads to optimize the advertising spend. (for example, you’re aiming to optimize your campaigns for Lead Submission Event)
Both goals and conversion events utilize the same motive: to track a visitor’s activities that are key to your business.
Why GA4 is different?
Google Analytics 4 is an event-based tool, with the concept that any interaction can be captured as an event. On the other hand, Universal Analytics is based on sessions and the principle of a session is not highlighted in GA4 as it was in the legacy versions.
The motive of a goal is very simple just to provide you information about a specific action during a session. The legacy version of GA only shows you a count of goal completions against the sessions. Goals do not increase if the action was completed multiple times during the session.
In GA4 a conversion event describes the user action. If the action occurs multiple times within a session, the count of conversion events will increase with each. This aligns Google Analytics with the industry-standard approach for measuring conversions and the Google Ads conversion code already works this way (as you can see in the screenshot below).
Important limitations of Conversion Events:
In the Universal Analytics of Google Analytics, you could create 20 goals per view.
However, Google Analytics 4 does not have views. For that reason, google provide you to place 30 conversion events.
The Acquisition reports include a Conversions column that is similar to the Goal Completions column in Universal Analytics. However, we have a dropdown that allows us to choose a specific event.
Additionally, the conversion metric has been added to the Exploration Report. You can incorporate this metric with “Event Name” as a dimension to see all of your conversions in a custom report.
Efficient E-Commerce Liquidation Solution
Ramadan is about to start - one of the biggest shopping seasons in Pakistan’s retail. Retailers plan to capitalize on this season to generate max sales. But due to COVID-19, the government has again imposed a ban on shops to be opened for a short period of time during the day.
Many brands have opted for a discount strategy to pull the traffic on their websites especially Gul Ahmed. The brand is offering Clearance sales since COVID-19 first hit Pakistan and it's still going strong. It’s a good strategy to liquidate the stock but at the same time, it hurts the brand's image as well.
Our digital & e-commerce specialist team at Shopistan.pk approached this use-case differently and tried to develop a solution in which we are liquidating the stock without having too many discount/promotion campaigns.
Let's look at an example of similar fashion brands like Gul Ahmed and Khaadi. The brand is fashion retail which offers clothing & accessories for women & men. They had the same problem, wanted to flush their stock to generate cash-flow but without affecting the brand.
First, we sorted inventory into the following group. (how to make such product sets)- Women full price items- Women discounted items- Men full price items- Men discounted item- Women discounted clothing- Men discounted clothing
Using Facebook’s catalog sale product we ran the campaign based on the above-segmented inventory and got some awesome results.
Problem was to flush old discounted summer stock. The usual solution to this sort of problem is to offer huge sale campaigns. We didn’t want to opt for that since, in the long run, it hurts the brand’s image and also we consider ourselves as technology experts and wanted to come up with a more creative and technical solution.
Fashion e-commerce has seen a huge growth in the last couple of years. Fast-moving fashion is now considered the same as perishable goods with a very limited shelf life.
If a user goes to a website and views a product but doesn’t complete the purchase then it's a missed opportunity and we should re-target the user with a window of 7-day window to make a purchase out of him.
We decided on using up-sell logic through the Facebook catalog ads. We wanted to somehow show customers fresh stock inventory (in which he showed interest) for 7 days and if during that period, if he didn’t interact with that ad, we wanted to show him similar products but at discount.
It was easier said than done. Since Facebook doesn’t allow such complex targeting in its built-in up-sell product, we decided to use custom rules. That was the hardest part. We came up with various combinations but nothing worked. Even had a detailed session with our Facebook account manager but couldn’t come up with a reliable solution.
Finally, after a lot of internal brainstorming, we came up with a combination of custom rules that actually worked
Using this strategy our clients are able to liquidate their stock even on mark-down price but without announcing a sale campaign to maintain the brand image.