How to Build Your Own Lead Funnel and Get Your Prospects to Self-Identify
If email is vital to your business, you’ve probably looked into ways of building your address list by adding qualified leads. And if you’ve looked into that, you may have found that increasing your email list size isn’t easy. After all, renting a list is expensive and ultimately unreliable. And you can’t send emails without permission, or you may find you get flagged as spam.
So, is the only way to build your list slowly, one at a time, over time? The short answer is “no.”
With a little planning, some smart marketing, and inexpensive social media ads, you can attract qualified leads to a landing page AND persuade them to hand over their email address for remarketing.
In this blog, we’re going to tell you all about Lead Funnel Campaigns, the secret to building a powerful email list, and explain exactly how they’re done.
Step One: Identify Your Audience and Your Timeline
Before you start building your Lead Funnel Campaign, spend some time thinking about which kinds of people/email addresses do you want to target? Do you want people just beginning to think about the purchase, or would you rather reach audiences that are ready to buy in the next few days? Will these people age out of your market quickly, or will they be in it for a long time?
Your products or service may provide the answer. For example, if you are promoting a four-year university, you know that parents and students start thinking about their choice of education two to three years ahead of their final decision. So, these marketers will want to capture names years before they make a choice.
This highlights another important part of the process. For some marketers, it’s important to categorize leads by where they are in the process. Customers just entering the decision process have different informational needs than customers who are about to buy. For example, high school sophomores may be much more interested in the location and breadth of majors, while seniors might want to know more about financial aid or meal plans.
Step Two: Identify Qualifying Attributes
Once you’ve identified your audience and timeline, think about the qualities and features that flag people as your best customers. Qualifying attributes may include needs and behaviors. For example, people who just got a new job may be a good prospect for a new home. People who join gyms might be good candidates for weight management programs. Correctly identifying your target audiences' qualifying attributes is foundational to the success of your Lead Funnel Campaign.
It pays to take time to think about what your best customer really needs. For example, if you are a dog trainer, you might think your customer's qualifying behavior is a need to stop an undesirable behavior, and to get dogs to listen consistently. However, if you are a dog trainer that specializes in agility competitions, you might do well to add agility training and competitions as a qualifying attribute.
Step Three: Create Bait
Now that you’ve decided on who your audience is, and what type of qualifying attributes they possess, you are able going to irresistible content. This content might be in the form of a tip sheet, a report, or even an e-book. The information in your bait should be specific, actionable, and not readily available. This information should be so valuable to them that they will give you an email in exchange for that information.
For example, if you want more people to sign up for your classes in training hunting dogs, you might create a free report that appeals to people thinking about getting a hunting dog. That content might include a list of qualities or traits to look for. Tell them how to find and evaluate breeders. Tell them about breeds that are usually chosen as hunting dogs. You might even include a lesson for three basic commands that every hunting dog must know.
The goal is to create information that is appealing only to the people you want to attract. After all, you want a powerful and productive email list, so this is your chance to qualify your lead. Only offer the type of information that your best prospects want.
Your job is to create the right bait for your customer. The content you create should appeal only to your best customers. It should be specific enough and deep enough that they see real value, and will give you an email in order to get it.
Step Four: Set up an Automated Email System
Not so long ago, creating an automated email system was a lot of work. Today, there is a wide range of programs to use, ranging from simple, easy-to-use beginner programs like Emma, mid-range options like MailChimp, and super sophisticated powerhouses like InfusionSoft by Keap. If you haven’t tried these programs in a few years, you should give them another shot. They have become much easier to use, more flexible, and less expensive.
These kinds of cloud-based email programs will allow you to build and manage email lists, build landing pages, and create emails that deliver your reports or e-books automatically. You can create A/B tests against all kinds of factors, including the subject line, content, images, or attachments. You can even schedule follow-up emails at intervals that you time to meet your needs.
And almost every email program on the market has a relatively sophisticated reporting system, so you can analyze the performance of your Leads Funnel Campaign quickly, usually with colorful graphics and easy-to-understand comparisons.
Step Five: Use Social Media to Promote Your Bait
Whether you choose to use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Snapchat, YouTube, or another platform, it’s easy to find ways to reach your best leads and most qualified audience. Start by scheduling an effective ad to attract people to opt-in, so they can give you their email in exchange for the “Bait” report or e-book you’ve created. You can target people by interests, profession, geography, age, website usage habits, and more.
It’s smart to test different messages to see which is most effective for your audience. And remember that messages work differently on different platforms, so a home run on Pinterest may fall flat on Instagram. Testing is key.
Connect your ads to your email program via a URL link, and you’ve got everything you need to start building powerful email lists that you can use to grow your business and generate even more profits.
Step Six: Lather, Rinse, Repeat as Needed
Maybe you set up everything perfectly and your campaign produced lots of leads, for a few weeks, and then it slowed down. Maybe your campaign just isn’t gaining steam, and your results are lackluster.
Maybe your campaign is working on LinkedIn, but not on YouTube. In social media marketing, optimization and change are the names of the game. There is no such thing as “set it and forget it” in social media. That means that you need to check ads regularly and be willing to tweak and test them throughout your campaign.
Think you’ve landed on a winning combination? Don’t get too comfortable. The complexity of algorithms in social media means that the addition of other ads or audiences (or the removal of them) can alter the algorithms and throw your momentum off. So be patient and keep working at improving your audience and your results.
Step Seven: Don’t be Afraid to Ask for Help
Companies like Cup O Content are here to help you create and operate Lead Funnel Campaigns. If you want help getting started, if you want a coach to teach your team how to run a Lead Funnel Campaign, or if you want us to handle every aspect of your campaign, contact us today. Let’s find out if we can help you create an email list that will change the way you do business.
Want to read more blogs about lead generation? Check out these Cup O Content articles.