In the video below we walk through a live tutorial on how to create lead funnels step by step.
Additionally, you can click here to download a free lead funnel template built by our staff at Elevacy with a Clickfunnels account. Keep in mind that downloading the lead funnel template requires you sign up for a free trial with Clickfunnels; a small price to pay to learn this vital online marketing skill.
Let’s get started.
Lead Funnels Are The Lifeblood of Any Business
Without leads, your business is dead.
Generating leads for your business can be a daunting or simple task depending on what your offers are.
Generating leads that become paying customers in your business is another matter entirely.
I’m going to assume for a minute that as a business owner or entrepreneur you have your own conception of what a lead is versus what a prospect is.
In case you aren’t aware of the difference, I’ll start off by explaining leads versus prospects since this concept feeds into everything else we’re going to talk about in this article.
What is a lead?
A good definition of a lead is someone that has seen your offer, regardless of what it is, and raised their hand to learn more. The individual may have done this by filling out a form, clicking a button and navigating to a second page where you track their page visit, or even leaving a voicemail on one of your phone lines.
The bottom line is the person has proactively taken one step forward. Usually this is simply a stage of curiosity. The lead is seeking to learn more. They are not in a buying frame of mind yet, however, they are curious.
A lead does not become a prospect until they begin to engage in a “conversation” with you.
This conversation can take place by email, social media, phone, face-to-face, etc. It doesn’t matter how the lead communicates, all that matters is that they do.
This action turns the lead into a “prospect” which initiates the “qualification” process.
The beauty of a lead funnel is that in most instances you can qualify the lead without ever speaking to them.
What is a prospect?
A prospect is someone that has moved beyond the lead stage and physically given you something in return for your offer, regardless of whether it’s free or not. This effectively initiates the “conversation” mentioned previously.
Perhaps you offered your visitor an ebook or a free video training in exchange for their email address. Any opt in would technically turn a lead into a prospect.
In short, all leads are considered “suspects” until proven to be “prospects.”
What is a lead funnel exactly?
A strong definition of lead funnel is: a type of sales funnel designed to capture a visitor’s information so that you can qualify them and ultimately sell them your product or service.
There are many different types of sales funnels, so strictly speaking, lead funnels only make up a small percentage of potential sales funnel builds.
Typically, the first page in any sales funnel is designed to capture visitor information.
The reason this is so important is because by doing this, you effectively OWN the traffic going forward (meaning you no longer need to pay for it).
Initially, you may have driven the visitor to your lead funnel with a Facebook ad, YouTube video, or blog post (none of which are traffic you OWN).
However, by capturing these visitors on a list (SMS or email) you create an asset you can market to over and over again.
This way, should one of your traffic sources disappear that you have no control over, you still control the most valuable asset in the game of sales funnels: YOUR OWN EMAIL OR SMS LIST.
Let’s face it, social media platforms come and go. The next Facebook is right around the corner. And in 10 years Facebook may be like MySpace, gone with the wind.
What stages exist in a lead funnel?
Think of any product you’ve ever purchased online that you hadn’t heard of from a friend or acquaintance.
How did the sales process start?
What actions did you take that ultimately resulted in you buying the product?
If you think hard enough you probably recall seeing something about the product somewhere that provoked your curiosity.
Maybe you saw a YouTube video or a Facebook post.
The next step in the buying process probably was a result of you performing what most buyers call “research.”
Keep in mind, “research” is typically a word describing a defensive mindset where people are looking for reasons “not to buy” the product rather than reasons “to buy” it or whether or not to trade something for it such as an email.
The stages of a sales funnel vary depending upon the TYPE of sales funnel it is.
With a lead funnel, there are typically two to four web pages in the sales funnel. Simple lead funnels usually offer a “lead magnet” in exchange for an email address, followed by a thank you page (2 web pages).
More complex lead funnels offer something such as an evergreen webinar seat in exchange for an email address. These types of funnels usually require four web pages or more. The reason for the additional web pages is due to the fact that these sales funnels require assets such as a webinar broadcast web page and a webinar replay web page in addition to the opt in page and confirmation or thank you page.
Usually, in webinar funnels, there will also be an offer at the end which leads to the lead funnel having an order page and order confirmation page as well (a total of six web pages).
Depending on where you go to research lead funnels online you will find varying answers to the question regarding lead funnel stages.
In general the stages look something like this (the concepts are all similar):
Awareness -> Traffic -> Lead Capture -> Marketing -> Qualifying Leads -> Qualifying Prospects -> Customer Sales -> Upsell or Increase Lifetime Value (LTV)
Keeping these concepts in mind, let’s dive into the 22 tips for building a lead funnel that converts.
Lead Funnel Tip #1: Build a Customer Avatar
A customer avatar is simply a mockup of a real human with real characteristics that define your ideal buying customer.
Building a customer avatar is the most critical step since it clearly defines who will be most interested in buying or accepting your offer.
And providing your lead funnel converts, your customer avatar will also help you determine the best type of lead magnet to offer your visitors in exchange for their email address.
We could spend an entire article on building a customer avatar, but for the sake of time I recommend you download the Elevacy Customer Avatar Worksheet to work through this important task.
Lead Funnel Tip #2: Build an Irresistible Offer for Your Customer Avatar
An irresistible offer should be congruent with your customer avatar’s deepest wants and desires.
Additionally, an irresistible offer does not simply refer to the “paid” offer in your lead funnel. It should apply to every single product or service you give them in your funnel, regardless of what you ask for in exchange.
Your free lead magnets should be irresistible. Your core offers should be irresistible. And finally, your upsells and profit multipliers should be irresistible.
Lead Funnel Tip #3: Determine The Best Lead Funnel Type
The best lead funnel to use should be contingent upon what you are ultimately offering in your funnel.
A good measuring stick for determining this is your price point followed by the type of customer you are marketing to.
For the sake of a lead funnel we will assume your offer on the first web page is free (aka a lead magnet).
In this instance you typically only need a two page lead funnel that looks like this:
Squeeze Page (or Opt In Page) -> Thank You Page
If you have multiple paid offers prepared in your sales funnel then it may be better to prepare a webinar funnel or at a minimum a standard video sales funnel (commonly called a Video Sales Letter or VSL).
Standard Video Sales Funnel or VSL
Squeeze Page (or Opt In Page) -> Sales (VSL) or Order Page -> Upsell Page -> Order Confirmation Page
Standard Webinar Funnel
Squeeze Page (or Opt In Page) -> Webinar Registration Page -> Webinar Broadcast Page -> Sales or Order Page -> Upsell Page -> Order Confirmation Page
Typically, products with price points beyond $297 require a webinar funnel to achieve desired conversions based on our testing. Again, this varies from niche to niche, but it’s a good thumbrule.
Live webinar funnels and auto webinar funnels can typically result in decent sales conversions for offers as high as $1997, however beyond this price point it becomes exceedingly difficult unless you have incredible brand strength and social proof.
Usually this price point requires phone sales to achieve desired conversions, but again this is a thumbrule and dependent upon a number of variables.
Lead Funnel Tip #4: Use Videos to Sellucate Cold Leads
Videos are amazing tools to build trust and bond with your potential customer. It may take multiple interactions for a visitor to ultimately buy from you so why not start off on the right foot by using video.
I recommend using a video on every page if you can take the time to record a quality message.
I also recommend using InVideo for your videos and creating a brand driven intro and outro for your ad videos and YouTube videos.
If you’re using a blog article like we are here to build trust first, an intro and outro are ok. However, intros and outros are not recommended inside the lead funnel itself. People have short attention spans, don’t give them too many reasons to bail before they’ve seen your offer.
Here are a few more rules to keep in mind when you record your lead funnel videos:
- Keep them short
- Follow a TTT approach: tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them
- Always conclude with a strong call to action: tell them what to do next.
Lead Funnel Tip #5: Use Strong Calls to Action
A strong call to action (CTA) should be used where appropriate and whenever possible.
Calls to action in your lead funnels need to be short, to the point, and describe exactly what the reader or listener is supposed to do next.
CTAs should be placed at the end of your videos, on every clickable button, and at a minimum above the fold on each page and end of each page.
Above the fold simply refers to what a web page visitor sees before they begin scrolling.
Give them a reason to take action right away, some people will.
There’s no reason to drag out a message before giving visitors the option to act if they are ready right away.
Here are some strong calls to action as examples:
- Click Here to Buy
- Click Here to Download
- Click Here to Learn More
- Click Here to Shop
- Click Here to Share
- Click Here to Order
- Click Here to Submit Form
- Click Here to Visit Page
The most common format for any CTA is: “Insert Action to Benefit.”
A good place to find CTAs for use is Facebook. Simply create your own Facebook Page and look at the available options for CTAs on your page.
They’ve likely spent millions of dollars at Facebook figuring out what works best. Why reinvent the wheel.
Lead Funnel Tip #6: Use Bonuses With Real Value
When you have an offer that is similar to other offers in the marketplace it’s vital that you differentiate yourself from the competition.
There are several ways to do this, but one of the best ways is by offering bonuses.
It’s important that the bonuses have REAL value to them. In other words, if the visitor can find them for sale somewhere else for a listed price that will usually suffice.
Typically a potential buyer looking at bonuses will go no further than the website that sells the bonus, or a trusted website known to them (amazon, ebay, etc.).
Think about what you would do personally to validate the value of a bonus on a sales page. It’s likely you aren’t far off from what a real visitor would do.
Lead Funnel Tip #7: Always Use Testimonials
Testimonials are a powerful way to encourage visitors to exchange their contact information or hard earned money for whatever it is you are offering.
The best testimonials are video if you can get them, but in most cases comments and quotations are fine.
One step better than a simple video testimonial is a video testimonial interview where someone off camera asks a previous customer a question on how the offer specifically helped them.
There’s no stronger form of social proof than a happy customer that’s able to articulate on camera with emotion how your offer helped them.
Use testimonials in your lead funnel even with your free offers (lead magnets), your conversion metrics will thank you.
And if you are just getting started and don’t have any testimonials yet, I recommend you give your product away for free to some influencers in exchange for testimonials and backlinks to their website.
Lead Funnel Tip #8: Use an Email Autoresponder
There are plenty of autoresponders out there to choose from: Aweber, Mailchimp, Infusionsoft, and even Clickfunnels now can manage your email lists.
This is one of the most powerful ways of controlling your own traffic so don’t neglect it.
Create a form inside your autoresponder account, integrate it with your opt in page, and ensure you are collecting email addresses.
Additionally, make sure you are segmenting your email lists.
Every time someone buys one of your offers, you should progressively move them up what’s referred to as your value ladder and segment them into new buyers lists in your email autoresponder account.
The reason this is so important is because it tells you which email lists are more likely to buy from you in the future.
It also helps you tailor your communication to each email list based on their purchasing behavior.
Lead Funnel Tip #9: Strong and Congruent Copywriting is a Must
Copywriting is the backbone of any lead funnel, sales funnel, or webinar funnel you build.
The definition of copywriting in its simplest terms is: writing designed to persuade.
Sometimes it’s referred to as advertising in the written form.
Arguably the most important piece of copywriting in a lead funnel on any web page is the headline.
The headline is critical and if used correctly can be used to generate curiosity in the reader so they click to read more in the case of an excerpt, or perhaps scroll to read more if they’re already on the page.
One way you can test your headline copy is by using a free online tool such as Advanced Marketing Institute’s headline analyzer.
Similar to a blog article, the most important piece of copywriting in an online ad is the headline.
The headline in an ad such as a Facebook ad is designed to do one thing, generate a click.
The rest of the copywriting in the body of any web page or ad is designed to educate, cause emotion, and ultimately generate action as well.
Lead Funnel Tip #10: Perform A/B Split Testing
A/B split testing is the science of creating duplicates of every web page a potential customer visits.
By changing only one variable on the page and monitoring conversions you can quickly determine which page is performing best and eliminate the losing variable.
This process allows you the ability to continuously improve the performance of your lead funnels.
Some examples of variables you can test in an A/B split test:
- Button Color or Text
Keep in mind again when you split test you should only be changing one variable on the variation. If you change more than one it will be impossible to know what change caused the improvement.
Lead Funnel Tip #11: Ensure Your Graphics Design is First Class
Did you know when your visitor lands on the first page in your lead funnel they will judge whether or not they want to move forward in the first seven seconds?
A large part of this first impression is influenced by the web page design.
Strong design builds trust. Shoddy graphics design tears trust down.
There are plenty of free tools out there you can use to help with design.
Canva.com for example is a great third party platform you can use to build graphics for your lead funnel pages.
If you aren’t comfortable with this, you can always find a Fiverr gig to have graphics done on your web pages.
Lead Funnel Tip #12: Don’t Neglect Your Thank You Page
The thank you page is an opportunity for you to do two things:
- Thank your customer in a video for whatever they opted to give you in exchange for your offer.
- Ascend them up your value ladder using something like a webinar funnel.
Most internet marketers will stop at the thank you page.
However, savvy internet marketers will use the thank you page as an opportunity to educate customers and promote other offers through something like a free webinar training.
Don’t let your thank you page go to waste.
Lead Funnel Tip #13: Use Data and Analytics to Improve Processes
Typically, most marketers fail to use data and analytics until paid advertising is implemented.
I would argue that it is vital you start tracking data and analytics the second you launch your first piece of content.
Regardless of where traffic is coming from you’ll want to know early on.
By doing so this will allow you to determine early what type of content your potential customers are interacting with the most and may prefer.
When you do move into paid online advertising it’s important that you track the right Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as well.
Some of the common KPIs you may want to consider include:
- Return on Ad Spend (ROAS)
- Cost per Click (CPC)
- Cost per Acquisition (CPA)
- Average Cart Value (ACV)
- Click Through Rate (CTR)
- Quality Score
Lead Funnel Tip #14: Domain Map Your Pages on 3rd Party Platforms
If you use a third party platform such as Clickfunnels which defaults all of your lead funnel pages into subdomain format you’ll want to make sure you purchase your own domain and domain map it to the lead funnel you use.
A subdomain is a default web address that looks like this: username.clickfunnels.com.
Rather than a www, your username is inserted on the front of the 3rd party platform URL.
Setting up your lead funnel without a default subdomain is an absolute must for several reasons.
First, paid advertising platforms like Facebook will not allow you to run paid ads to a default 3rd party platform subdomain.
Second, a domain mapped URL looks much more professional and establishes trust with your visitors.
Finally, a domain mapped URL can be crawled and ranked by Google, giving your lead funnel SEO benefits.
Lead Funnel Tip #15: Optimize Each Page for SEO
Here at Elevacy we offer a fully blown SEO course if you really want to drive deep called Alpha SEO.
However, the benefit of optimizing for SEO is extra FREE traffic you would otherwise pay for to acquire.
The easiest way to optimize without buying a software tool like Market Samurai or paying for a service like SEMRush is to use Google itself.
First, type your keyword phase into the search bar.
Second, look at the top 3 search results and review the content on each page for the following:
- Image count, alt tags, file name
- Headline copywriting
- Body text, keywords and keyword phrases
- Video file names
- Word count
Finally, scroll to the bottom of the Google search page and look at the section titled “Related Search Results” to acquire related keyword phrases to include in your content if it fits.
Obviously there are additional SEO techniques you can implement, but for now this is a great start
Lead Funnel Tip #16: Ensure The Landing Page Has Social Sharing Functionality
The first page in your lead funnel should have the functionality on it to be shared on social media.
I recommend you at least include the big four: Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and Pinterest.
Social sharing has already been recognized by name brand SEO companies through reverse engineering as a ranking signal for Google.
There are a number of plugins if you are using wordpress that you can use to include social sharing functionality.
Lead Funnel Tip #17: Drive Online Traffic Using PPC
Once your lead funnel is setup you’ll ultimately want to launch a PPC campaign for cold website traffic.
Online advertising is the secret ingredient most businesses fail to recognize as vital when it comes to scaling sales.
It is important you calculate what your average cart value is and what your desired ROAS is before scaling your ad spend.
Once you know these numbers and have met these goals there’s no limit to what you can do.
Here are a few helpful online advertising tips when you start your PPC efforts:
- Consider starting with Facebook ads due to the wealth of data they possess. It makes targeting easy.
- Ensure you developed a customer avatar since this feeds into your audience targeting. By targeting the right audience you will spend a lot less on advertising out of the gate.
- Be prepared to swap your creative (images) daily on your ads. As you scale PPC campaigns you will usually find ads experience fatigue quickly
- Don’t spend more than $100 to test an ad. Agencies will tell you it requires $1000 to test a single ad campaign. This is not true. We require $1000 in ad spend to test, but we never spend more than $100 on any given ad campaign to determine success. In many instances we spend far less than this to find winners.
- Use data and analytics to measure ad effectiveness, and don’t forget to use a tool like Geru to map out your financial metric requirements in each step of the lead funnel to ensure profitability.
Lead Funnel Tip #18: Drive Online Traffic Using Social Media
Once the lead funnel is live and ready for sharing it’s important to launch a social sharing campaign.
Share it on all of your social media channels and then reach out to your email list and ask them to read and share it on their social media channels as well.
Here are a few tips to consider when sharing the first page of your lead funnel on social media:
- Use matching headlines across your social media platforms.
- End the description on your social media platforms with 3-5 relevant hashtags.
- Include a call to action at the end of your social post with a link back to the first page of your lead funnel.
- In your description don’t post the whole article. Post a partial description and leave them wanting more. This will encourage them to click the link and read the full article.
Lead Funnel Tip #19: Don’t Discard Offline Traffic Methods
Offline marketing efforts can produce significant traffic.
Just make sure that whatever offline source you use you track the visits using hard data.
There’s nothing worse than buying an expensive radio or TV ad and not knowing the end result.
Be smart and track your advertising traffic.
Here are a few offline traffic tips when you get to this stage that can help you understand where your traffic is coming from:
- Offer a discount code or promo code your offline traffic enters, this will help you differentiate offline from online sources
- Create a separate lead funnel and only use this new funnel for offline traffic
- Use a tracking link service that redirects to the lead funnel URL
Lead Funnel Tip #20: Create a Professional Standardized Footer
Standardized footers add a layer of professionalism that builds trust with your visitors.
It is also recommended to include your company name, the copyright symbol, and current year.
Here is an example of a professional footer:
Additionally, there are plenty of pages you can mimic out there on other websites for templates on these pages.
Always consult an attorney of course, but understand that for the most part you should be able to get a good start by duplicating what other top websites are already doing.
You have express permission to copy and revise our footer here at Elevacy if you’d like.
Lead Funnel Tip #21: Know Your Numbers
Every professional internet marketer in the game knows their numbers and you should know yours.
Professional online marketers are business owners. They treat their businesses like a business.
They understand every financial aspect of their online business and what it takes to turn a profit.
Additionally, before any online marketing effort is launched, a cost profit analysis is conducted to analyze risk prior to execution. This is exactly what we do here at Elevacy.
Financial losses need to be taken into consideration before time (which is turned into currency in calculations) and money are spent on any effort.
Get into the habit early of performing your own financial risk analysis. It will be worth the effort and it’s just simple algebra to conduct.
You don’t need to be an accountant to figure it out.
Lead Funnel Tip #22: Use HTTPS
HTTPS simply stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure.
Ever since Google added this to their ranking factor it became a must for online businesses to secure their website address URLs.
Using HTTPS versus HTTP ensures communication online is secure for visitors on your site.
Make sure your lead funnel is domain mapped and the domain is secured through your domain registrar.
If you use Godaddy it’s usually as simple as calling customer support or just logging into your dashboard, selecting the domain, and then adding it as a service.
If you are going to use Clickfunnels, you can do this from your Account Settings Domain options with a couple clicks.
Lead funnels are the lifeblood of a business. Without them you simply can not scale your online marketing effectively.
If you read this far make sure you grab the free lead funnel we built specifically for you. If you’re thinking of running webinar funnels in your business to sell your product or service we’ve done 50% of the work for you. Enjoy!