Want to make more sales?
Then you need to start generating more leads.
Today we are going to share how to create a super effective lead generation campaign in seven steps…
Introduction to Lead Generation
Okay, so before we get into our step-by-step guide, let’s make sure that we are all on the same page when it comes to lead generation.
What is a Lead?
A lead is a potential customer who has:
- Expressed an interest in your company.
- Provided their contact details.
Note that a person has to meet both of these criteria to be considered a lead.
Site visitors who checked out your website and left without giving you their email addresses are not leads and neither are random people whose email addresses you have somehow obtained.
It’s important to make sure that you use the correct definition of the term “lead” if you want to create an effective lead generation campaign.
What is Lead generation?
Lead generation is the process of converting potential customers into leads by persuading them to give you their contact details.
In the context of online marketing, “generating leads” typically refers to building your email list by obtaining potential customers’ email addresses.
What Determines Lead Quality?
Lead quality is determined by how likely that person is to buy something from you – the more likely, the higher the quality.
This is an important concept because generating leads isn’t about collecting as many email addresses as possible, it’s about getting the contact details of your dream customers.
Always remember that email list size is a vanity metric – it’s the lead quality that matters, not lead quantity.
Step #1: Understand the Value Ladder Sales Funnel
Let’s start by putting lead generation in its proper context – your sales funnel.
What is the Value Ladder Sales Funnel?
We believe that the most effective way to sell anything online is the Value Ladder sales funnel.
It was developed by our co-founder Russell Brunson who then used it to grow ClickFunnels from zero to $10M+ in annual revenue in just one year (it’s at $100M+ now).
The Value Ladder sales funnel has four stages:
- Bait. You offer the potential customer your lead magnet in exchange for their email address.
- Frontend. You offer the potential customer your least expensive and least valuable product.
- Middle. You offer the customer a more expensive and more valuable product.
- Backend. You offer the customer your most expensive and most valuable product.
Ideally, you should also have a continuity program of some sort, meaning, a subscription product that generates recurring revenue.
The reason why the Value Ladder sales funnel is so effective is that it allows you to:
- Start the relationship with that person by offering free value.
- Nurture that relationship by continuing to provide free value via email.
- Build trust by providing progressively more paid value at each stage.
Here’s how Russell explains it:
What is a Lead Generation Funnel?
The first stage of the Value Ladder stage funnel, the Bait stage, is also known as the lead generation funnel.
Here’s how it looks like:
- You create a lead magnet.
- You create a landing page for that lead magnet.
- You drive traffic to that landing page.
The goal here is to convert the potential customer into a lead by persuading them to give you their email address.
Once they do that, they become a lead, enter your sales funnel, and progress to the Frontend stage.
Never Lose Sight of the Big Picture!
It’s important to always think about lead generation in the context of your entire sales funnel.
Otherwise, you might fall into the trap of lead generation myopia, which is when you focus on lead generation for its own sake without considering how those decisions affect your bottom line.
A common mistake is to optimize for lead quantity as opposed to lead quality.
Say, if you sell a SaaS product for software engineers, it might be tempting to start creating content that appeals to people who want to learn how to code despite it making zero business sense. Why?
- Content like that is much cheaper to produce than content aimed at software engineers.
- Software engineers are much more selective than newbie coders when it comes to subscribing to email lists.
So it’s cheaper and easier to generate leads with “learn to code” content…
The only problem is this:
People who are still trying to figure out how to make a computer say “hello world” doesn’t have any use for your product!
So even if you build an email list of 100,000 subscribers, you will struggle to make sales because the majority of your subscribers will be people who don’t need your software.
Meaning, the money that you have spent on lead generation will have been wasted because these low-quality leads will never convert into paying customers.
Also, keep in mind that low-quality leads not only don’t add to your bottom line, they subtract from it because maintaining an email list costs money!
So when you are designing a lead generation campaign, always ask yourself how is this going to play out throughout the rest of your sales funnel. How likely are these people to buy from you?
Ultimately, the only thing that matters is profit, so don’t get mesmerized by vanity metrics such as email list size, new email subscribers per day, etc.
Watch your bottom line instead.
Step #2: Create a Super Valuable Lead Magnet
People won’t give you their email addresses unless you offer something super valuable in return.
And that’s why you need a lead magnet…
What Is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a freebie that you offer to potential customers in exchange for their email address.
It can be anything that they can either download to their device or access online:
- A report.
- An ebook.
- A webinar.
- A video course.
- An email course.
How to Create an Effective Lead Magnet
What’s important is that your lead magnet offers a solution to a problem that your potential customers are struggling with.
Keep in mind that the more specific the value proposition, the more effective your lead magnet is going to be.
Nick Stephenson, a bestselling author and a business coach that teaches writers how to market their books, has a lead magnet called “$0 to $1k Per Month”.
It’s a video course that teaches writers how to go from zero to making $1,000 per month in book royalties.
So Nick is offering a solution to a problem that is super common among writers – they know how to write books but they have no idea how to sell them.
However, instead of going with a vague “make more money selling books” value proposition, he went with a specific one – “make $1,000 per month selling books”.
Also, note how the result Nick promises seems humble compared to all those grandiose claims you often see online, yet it also seems achievable and is enough to make a real difference in someone’s life.
Don’t shoot yourself in the foot by promising something that you can’t deliver just to get someone’s email address. Cool, they’ll give you their email, then what?
They are certainly not going to buy anything from you if you pull a bait-and-switch with your lead magnet!
How Does Your Lead Magnet Fit Into Your Sales Funnel?
The purpose of your lead magnet isn’t just to lure in the potential customer.
It should also give them a taste of the value that they can expect from your frontend product.
Ideally, your frontend product should address the same problem as your lead magnet but provide much more value.
That way, you start priming the potential customer for the sale before you make your sales pitch, which means that they will be more open to your offer once you do. This is a concept known as selling without selling.
Matthew Hussey, a world-renowned dating coach, has a lead magnet called “9 Texts” which offers nine text message scripts that women can copy-paste when texting guys they like.
And then his frontend product is a guide called “The Momentum Texts” that offers 67 more text message scripts.
See how there’s a seamless transition from the lead magnet to the frontend product?
When you structure your sales funnel this way, there’s no need for a hard sell because the lead magnet does the selling for you!
Of course, the success of this approach is predicated on the potential customer being impressed with your lead magnet.
That is why you need to make sure that the solution you are offering actually works!
Step #3: Create a Landing Page for Your Lead Magnet
Just because your lead magnet is free, doesn’t mean that you don’t have to “sell it” – you still need to persuade the potential customer to get it in exchange for their email address.
And that’s why you should create a landing page for it…
What Is a Landing Page?
A landing page is a type of web page that is designed with a single conversion goal in mind.
Landing pages are the highest-converting web pages. That’s why we recommend creating one for your lead magnet as opposed to simply promoting your freebie on your website.
What Is a Lead Generation Landing Page?
A lead generation landing page is a type of landing page that is designed for the purpose of persuading the visitor to provide their contact information.
How to Create a Lead Generation Landing Page
You can start with a simple squeeze page that has these three key elements:
- A headline that conveys how your lead magnet will make the potential customer’s life better.
- An opt-in form where the potential customer can type in their email address.
- A call-to-action button that encourages the potential customer to submit their email address and get the lead magnet.
You might also want to add:
- A relevant image.
- Copy that provides more information about the lead magnet.
- Social proof in the form of “As Seen On” badges, customer testimonials, endorsements from well-known people, etc.
These additional elements might help you increase the conversion rate of your landing page. Just make sure to A/B test everything.
Here’s an example of a high-converting lead generation landing page:
Step #4: Create an “Indoctrination” Email Sequence
You also need to prepare an “indoctrination” email sequence that will be automatically sent to every new subscriber.
The purpose of this sequence is not so much to sell your products but to introduce yourself to the potential customer.
That being said, all throughout this sequence you should be priming them for a sale, which is again “selling without selling”.
We recommend this six-email structure that is similar to how we get to know new people in real life:
- Email #1: Who Are You? Provide a short introduction + share a story that is relevant to where the potential customer is at right now.
For example, if you are a fitness coach who has struggled with weight loss in the past and now helps others lose weight, you can tell a story of that time when you ate 5,000 calories of McDonald’s food in one sitting.
The goal here is to establish an emotional connection by telling the new subscriber “Hey, I have been where you are now, I know what it’s like”.
- Email #2: Where Did You Come From? How did you get to where you are now? This is where you share your origin story.
For example, you can share how you struggled with weight, what made you decide to lose it once and for all, how did you get into coaching other people, etc.
- Email #3: What Do You Do? You have already mentioned what you do, but now it’s time to go into detail.
What problems are you addressing, what solutions are you offering, how are you different from your competitors, etc.
- Email #4: How Did You Learn To Do This? So how did you become an expert in what you do?
For example, how did you discover an effective weight-loss method, what makes you think it works, what credentials do you have, etc.
- Email #5: Who Do You Do This For? Define who your dream customers are + share a case study on how you helped someone like that get the results that they wanted.
For example, if your ideal customers are new moms who are struggling to get back in shape after giving birth, share a case study on how you helped a new mom do just that.
- Email #6: How Can You Do It For Me? This is where you give your new subscriber an overview of your entire Value Ladder.
Think of this email like a buffet – you give them links to all your offers and they can pick and choose whatever they want.
Also, you should add a call to action to each of these emails where you ask the new subscriber a question and encourage them to reply.
We recommend responding to as many of these messages as you can.
By the way, we discuss this indoctrination sequence in detail on the Day 4 of our 5 Day Lead Challenge. You can watch the video here:
That being said, if you are serious about lead generation, we recommend you to sign up for the challenge and go through all five days.
Step #5: Test Your Lead Generation Funnel
Now that you have everything set up and ready to go, it’s time to test your lead generation funnel to see if it works.
You can do that by driving traffic to your lead magnet landing page with Facebook ads. Simply set up a small daily budget, then sit back and watch what happens.
Only start scaling your ad campaign once you are sure that your lead generation funnel is profitable.
Step #6: Drive High-Quality Traffic To Your Lead Magnet Landing Page
What’s the difference between high-quality traffic and low-quality traffic?
- High-quality traffic consists of your dream customers.
- Low-quality traffic consists of everyone else.
You will always get a mix of low-quality and high-quality traffic.
However, you should work to reduce the former and increase the latter as much as possible.
Step #7: Keep Optimizing Your Lead Generation Funnel!
Your lead generation funnel is not a set-it-and-forget-it type of thing – you should always be optimizing it.
Look for ways to improve the conversion rates of the individual pages within it as well as the funnel as a whole.
Russell explains how in this video:
You should also work on increasing lead quality:
- Study your sales data to learn what people who buy from you have in common.
- Use those common traits to make your marketing campaigns more precise so that you would attract more people who fit the paying customer profile.
Also, you can apply the Pareto principle, aka the 80/20 rule:
For many outcomes, around 80% of the consequences come from 20% of the causes.
In this context, it means that it is likely that around 20% of your customers generate around 80% of the revenue, meanwhile, the remaining 80% of your customers generate just 20% of the revenue.
Obviously, the exact distribution might be different, so don’t get fixated on the 80/20 ratio.
The point is that it’s likely that a small percentage of your customers generate the majority of your revenue.
This means that you could drastically increase your revenue by attracting more people who fit that profile.
So figure out who your most lucrative customers are, learn what traits they have in common, then use those traits to target similar people with Facebook ads.
Also, as we have discussed at the beginning of this article, you should always stay focused on the big picture.
Don’t generate leads just for the sake of generating leads. See the entire sales funnel, not just its first stage.
And always watch your bottom line because that’s all that matters. Everything else is just vanity metrics that can be helpful at times but should never become your primary focus.
Want Russell To Teach You How To Build Your First Sales Funnel?
Let’s keep it real:
Building a sales funnel from scratch can seem like a daunting task.
That’s why we created our 5 Day Challenge where Russell walks you through it step-by-step.
You will learn how to:
- Generate unlimited leads.
- Create your first lead magnet.
- Build your first sales funnel.
- Create a simple 6-email follow-up sequence.
- And launch your funnel!
…in just five days.
So don’t hesitate.