How To Build A Successful Lead Generation Model

How To Build A Successful Lead Generation Model

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You can’t expect to grow your business if you approach lead generation in a haphazard manner.

Sure, you might be able to get some customers that way, but it’s going to be unpredictable. And unpredictable means unsustainable.

That’s why you need to develop a lead generation model that would allow you to reliably and effectively generate leads for your company. 

How can you do that?

That’s exactly what we are going to discuss today…

What Is a Lead?

A lead is a potential customer that has:

  1. Expressed an interest in your product.
  2. Provided you with their contact details.

Note that a person has to meet both of these criteria in order to be considered a lead.

Keep in mind that a website visitor doesn’t become a lead until they give you their email address.

What Is Lead Generation?

What Is Lead Generation graphic.

Lead generation is a process of converting potential customers into leads by persuading them to give you their contact details.

This is different from sales prospecting which is a process of cold calling, cold emailing, or cold messaging potential customers, then converting them into a lead by persuading them to take the next step in your sales funnel.

You can learn more about the difference between lead generation and sales prospecting here:

“Lead Generation Vs Prospecting – The Differences Explained”

TL;DR: Lead generation is automated, sales prospecting is manual, which means that the former is scalable while the latter isn’t.

What Is a Lead Generation Funnel?

What Is a Lead Generation Funnel?

Businesses that generate leads online typically do so via lead generation funnels:

  1. You create a lead magnet.
  2. You create a landing page for that lead magnet.
  3. You drive traffic to that landing page.

Once the potential customer gives you their email address, they enter your sales funnel and become a lead.

After that, the next step is to persuade them to buy your product, but we’ll talk more about that later.

How To Build a Lead Generation Funnel

Okay, so let’s take a closer look at each of the three steps of building a lead generation funnel:

Step #1: Create a Lead Magnet

A lead magnet is a freebie that you offer the potential customer in exchange for their email address.

It can be anything that they can either download to their device or access online:

  • An ebook.
  • A webinar.
  • A masterclass.
  • A video course.
  • An email course.


What matters is that:

  1. Your lead magnet offers a solution to a problem that the potential customer is struggling with.
  2. That problem is either the same one or related to the problem that you address with your paid product.

You can think about it like this:

You know how when you go to the grocery store you sometimes see those stalls where you can get free food samples?

Obviously, the reasoning behind this marketing strategy is that if you try a free sample and like it, then you might buy the product.

Your lead magnet is that free sample that should give the potential customer a taste of the value that they can expect from your paid product.

For example:

Matthew Hussey, a world-renowned dating coach, has a lead magnet called “9 Texts” which is a free guide that includes nine text messages that women can copy-paste when texting a guy they like.

Create a Lead Magnet, Mattwe Hussey example.

Now, if a woman tries these texts and gets positive results, she might be interested in buying Matthew’s paid product “Momentum Texts” which provides 67 more texts that she can copy-paste.

Create a Lead Magnet, text example.

See how there’s a seamless progression from the lead magnet to the paid product?

That’s what you want in your sales funnel as well.

Step #2: Create a Landing Page For Your Lead Magnet

A lead magnet landing page is its “sales” page – it’s your opportunity to convey the lead magnet’s value to the potential customer. How will it make their life better?

It doesn’t have to be sophisticated. A simple squeeze page can work well. It needs to have three key elements:

  1. A headline.
  2. An opt-in form.
  3. A call-to-action button.

That being said, additional elements such as images, social proof, copy, etc. might help you increase the conversion rate.

The “9 Texts” landing page pictured above is an excellent squeeze page example, so you can use it as a model for your own squeeze page.

Also, our software comes equipped with a bunch of beautiful squeeze page templates that have been relentlessly optimized for conversions, so if you don’t want to design a squeeze page from scratch, consider using ClickFunnels.

3 Key elements of a squeeze page graphic.

Step #3: Drive Traffic to Your Lead Magnet Landing Page

Once your lead generation funnel is set up, it’s time to start driving traffic to it. 

However, before you blow your entire marketing budget on it, make sure to test the funnel first to see if it actually works. How can you do that?


Create an ad campaign on Facebook, set a small daily budget, then start running ads to your landing page and see what happens.

Once you are sure that your lead generation funnel:

  1. Converts – people are signing up to your email list.
  1. Is profitable – you are in the black after you deduct all expenses from your revenue.

…then you can start:

  • Scaling your ad campaign on Facebook.
  • Experimenting with other advertising platforms such as Instagram and LinkedIn
  • Working on long-term traffic generation strategies such as social media marketing and SEO. 

But never, ever, ever allow yourself to assume that your lead generation funnel will work because you “just know” that it will.

Always test funnels before you start pouring money into them.

Top 3 Lead Generation Mistakes

Now let’s take  a look at the top three lead generation mistakes that you need to avoid at all costs:

Mistake #1: Low-Quality Lead Magnet

When it comes to lead magnets, we always emphasize this:

People won’t give you their email addresses unless you offer them something SUPER VALUABLE in return.

Look, there’s just no way around it, if you want your lead magnet to be effective, it needs to be something that your potential customers desperately want.

In fact, you should create something so valuable that people would happily pay for it should you choose to charge them, then give it away for free. It has to be that good.

Honestly, like 80% of lead generation problems are caused by having a “meh” lead magnet, so make sure to get it right. Everything else will be much easier if you do.

Moreover, your lead magnet is not only the foundation of your lead generation funnel, it’s also the foundation of your entire sales funnel. Why?

Because potential customers use the quality of the lead magnet to determine the quality of your paid products.

If you got a free food sample at the supermarket and it was horrible, would you then go and buy more of that food? Of course not!

So know that if you disappoint the potential customer with your lead magnet, they won’t give you a second chance.

As the saying goes, you only get one shot at making a great first impression.

Top 3 Lead Generation Mistakes graphic.

Mistake #2: Low-Quality Traffic

When it comes to lead generation, there are two types of traffic:

  • High-quality traffic aka your ideal customers.
  • Low-quality traffic aka everyone else.

The problem is that typically getting low-quality traffic is much easier so it’s tempting to focus on that in an attempt to maximize the unique visitors metric. But guess what?

The unique visitors metric is a vanity metric!

Who cares how many people have visited your website if they aren’t your ideal customers?

This extends to the email subscribers metric as well. The more low-quality traffic you drive to your landing page, the more people will sign up for your email list…

But email list size is also a vanity metric!

What’s the point of having a ton of email subscribers that will never buy anything from you??

Ultimately, the only metric that matters is profit, which is what you should be optimizing for. 

And the way to do that is by driving high-quality traffic to your lead magnet landing page. 

Yes, it’s likely going to be harder, probably more expensive as well… But it’s your best bet at making sales!

Remember, the purpose of lead generation isn’t to collect email addresses of random people, it’s to get the contact information of your ideal customers so that you could sell your products to them!

Low-Quality Traffic graphic.

Mistake #3: Viewing Lead Generation in Isolation Instead of in Its Proper Context

Lead generation isn’t some isolated activity, it’s the first stage of your sales funnel and it should always be viewed in that context.


When you are thinking about lead generation, you need to always think about how what you are doing now will affect the rest of your sales funnel.

Say, as we have already explained, a low-quality lead magnet can wreck the entire sales funnel.

If your lead magnet is garbage, it doesn’t matter how great your products are, no one will want to check them out anyway.

Another potential issue is a mismatch between your lead magnet and your product.

Say, your lead magnet is a free “Learn to Code in 90 Days” guide but your product is an expert-level programming course for software engineers.

In that case, the lead magnet can be amazing, but it will attract people who have no need for your online course because they are still trying to wrap their heads around basic programming concepts.

There might also be a mismatch between the lead magnet and the paid product in terms of price.

“Wait, but I thought the lead magnet was supposed to be free?”, you might think.

Yes, the lead magnet should always be free, but if you go:

 “Here’s a free ebook, now buy my $2,000 online course!”

…this price jump will be too jarring and scare off even those who could afford to pay for the product.

So avoid lead generation myopia:

Always ask yourself how your lead generation funnel fits into your overall sales funnel!

The Value Ladder Sales Funnel

But how should your sales funnel be structured?

Here at ClickFunnels, we believe that the most effective way to sell online is the Value Ladder sales funnel.

It has four stages:

  1. Bait. You offer the potential customer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address.
    (This is the lead generation funnel that we have discussed in this article.)
  2. Frontend. You offer the potential customer your least expensive and least valuable product.
  3. Middle. You offer the customer a more expensive and more valuable product.
  4. Backend. You offer the customer your most expensive and most valuable product.

Ideally, there’s also a continuity program of some sort, meaning, a subscription that generates recurring revenue.

The Value Ladder graphic.

The reason why the Value Ladder sales funnel is so effective is that it allows you to:

  1. Start the relationship with the potential customer by providing free value.
  2. Nurture that relationship by continuing to provide free value.
  3. Build trust by providing progressively more paid value at each stage.

That way, you maximize the revenue of your sales funnel because you ask for a small commitment, then a bigger one, then an even bigger one, and so on.

This works much better than pitching an expensive product right out of the gate (the “Here’s my free ebook, now buy my $2,000 online course!” problem we discussed).

Here’s how Russell, the co-founder of ClickFunnels and the creator of the Value Ladder sales funnel model, explains it:

Want Russell To Show You How To Build a Sales Funnel That Converts?

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.

Join our 5 Day Challenge today. It’s completely free!

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