Understanding Your Sales Funnel, Part 2: Generating Leads

Now that you have brand / product / service awareness, it's time to start converting all of these eyeballs into paying customers. Here is a visualization of (one version of) the sales funnel again for reference:

Image via  optinmonster.com

Once you've created awareness by activating various networks, you'll want to convert all of these eyeballs into leads (consideration + preference in the above). This is where you capture email addresses, followers and likes and impress the hell out of them. You'll want to impress them so much that they have an insatiable desire to buy your products and attend your classes & events. 

Right now the best way to attract digital leads is to create awesome content that adds value to your readers / viewers / attendees' lives and guide them down a clear path to your email distribution list where you continue to serve them exceptional content. Once you have folks on your email list, you will be able to segment lists, rate leads, track engagement and conversions and ultimately sell more products / services (I'll discuss these processes in Part 3). 

This process is both a game of numbers and quality content. The more folks you have on your list and the more value you add to their lives, the better your chances of converting leads into sales. Here are a few different content marketing strategies that can help you build your email lists: 

  • Sweepstakes
  • Events
  • E-books
  • Webinars

Once you've driven traffic to your site by creating content and sharing it throughout all of your networks and beyond, it is important to guide the user through an easy email sign-up.  Tools like landing pages and email capture pop-ups like Privy and SumoMe can help you make this process seamless. 

Once you capture these emails, you'll need to put them to use in a CRM (customer relationship management) and email service. In my (and most of the experts who I work with's) opinion(s) MailChimp is the hands down the best email service. MailChimp can serve as a rudimentary CRM where you can keep track of opens and clicks over time which can give you incredible insight into your potential customers interests and activities which can help drive sales. 

Next week I'll talk about how to convert leads into sales - stay tuned!

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