Lead funnel – what is it and how you can build yours

A lead funnel is the way you get new leads for your business. According to Blogspot, new business requires about 8 touchpoints before a prospect will interact with you.

What is a touchpoint?

A touchpoint is any interaction prospective customers has to you and your brand.

Touchpoints can be:

  • An article / case study on your website
  • Paid ads on social media (Facebook, Linkedin ads, Google ads)
  • Seeing your brand in the Google search engines
  • Appearing in their social media feed such as a Like or Share

Golidlocks and three distinct stages

For most businesses, the customer journey has three distinctive stages:

Awareness stage

The first stage is to build awareness. At the top of your funnel, prospects want to know what do you do and how you help people. A common mistake first time founders make is that they assume their audience already knows. No, they don’t.

Ever felt that selling sucks? It’s because you’re trying to cramp in too much too soon in the awareness stage. Keep it light. Three tactics you could try to increase your visibility in front of your prospects:

  • Increase your organic traffic with content marketing
  • Specific social media posts on your prospects pain points
  • Search engine optimization (such as keyword research) on your existing content marketing

Consideration Stage

This part of the sales process is where most founders & entrepreneurs are strongest. By this point, you’ve already built awareness, now the focus switches to building trust and competence. In the old days, this used to be cold calling or random email / brochers. These days, its more about case studies, examples / mockup scenarios & discovery sessions.

Decision Stage

This is by far the shortest stage and is more focused on the logistics. We’ve qualified leads and now the prospect wants to become a customer. What happens next? (ie the onboarding process) and how do they go about this?

As with Goldiocks, you don’t want to be too hot or too cold on any of these phases.

Building an effective lead generation funnel

The primary goal of any sort of funnel is to move your prospect from attention to action

What is a lead magnet?

Your lead magnet is something small, (relatively) cheap to produce and has a quick win for your prospect and sits on your landing page. Your prospect gives you something specific about them (generally their name, email address and perhaps job title). In return they might receive:

  • 5 ways to increase sales, immediately!
  • how to fill your social media calendar in half an hour
  • get your free __________
Hootsuite’s social media template
Tim Ferris’ ebook download

What format should my lead magnet be?

It doesn’t matter what format you use for your lead magent, so long as its easy for your prospect to use and consume. An Ebook / Video / Podcast / or a combination of all are great examples. So long as its downloadable content you’ll be good to go.

A compelling call to action

Its weird, once you know this, you’ll start to see it everywhere! The call to action format is as follows:

  • Your name (who you are)
  • Who do you help?
  • How do you help them? (the benefit – the good stuff)
  • The pain point – what are they trying to avoid

Take these examples:

Sometimes it can be more subtle. On Tony Robbins’ website, he asks you to self select:

Other benefits of a lead magnet

Assuming you have your google analytics and other right tools in place, the big benefit is the tracking. Once your prospects enters your lead funnel, you can track what content of yours they’re interested in and then either retarget them or send them an offer.

Common mistakes founders make with their funnel leads

Miss their target audience

By far the easiest mistake first time founders make is that they try and target everyone! The best example I use is Donald Trump. Regardless if you love or hate him. One thing he did very well was focus (solely!) on his target audience.

Love him or loath him – Donald Trump know’s his audience.

Use jargon with their potential customers

I see far too often founders will get excited when talking about what they do. Passion, excitement, enthuasism are all great. Slow your sales efforts down.

The rush to paid advertising

While paid ads can increase your outbound marketing, too much too soon is just a waste of money. The problem is the language you use with your target audience. What are their pain points? What do they want help with? And by when?

Working with your marketing team to build a strong lead generation strategy will have you generating leads in no time.

With the right messaging, and a great customer journey, you’ll be able to increase those conversion rates, turn those potential customers into real customers.


Christian Payne is a technologist and entrepreneur with a passion for innovation. He has over 20 years of experience in engineering and product development across enterprise and consumer sectors. He has experience at both small start-ups and enterprise level generating +$2M per month. When he's not hard at work on his latest project, he spends his time involved in Men’s Support Groups, Leadership training and Mentoring.

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