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Lead Generation Sales Funnels: The Complete Guide

If you’re running an online business, then it’s likely that you already know the importance of generating leads. After all, without them how will your business grow? 

However, lead generation isn’t a simple task and there are many moving parts involved with getting people to willingly hand over their information. In this guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of creating effective lead generation sales funnels.

WHAT IS A LEAD GENERATION FUNNEL?

A lead generation funnel is an approach where your main goal is to generate leads – your potential customers. A lead is every person who subscribes to your email list. When people come to your website, the goal is to catch their attention and get them to leave you their email address and permission to email them. That is done by using different lead magnets. 

WHAT IS A LEAD MAGNET AND WHY TO USE IT?

A lead magnet is something that will attract your customers. A free, useful gift that will make them say “Yes, I want this! It looks like something I could use”. It might be a free PDF file with some tips, a short course, or an option to attend a free webinar.

Every lead magnet serves one purpose – to motivate your audience to leave you their email address so you can start communicating with them.

lead magnet example
An example of a lead magnet done for one of our clients

WHAT IS THE BEST LEAD MAGNET FOR YOU?

Knowing your audience, their needs, and struggles will help you create the best lead magnet for your business. Lead magnet needs to have a high-perceived value as well as high-real value for your customers when you show it to them. It needs to be something that they want and that is useful for them.


For example, if you’re selling language lessons, your lead magnet should solve one problem that people who are learning languages face. If you’re selling services about funnel building, your lead magnet should be something about funnels that’s useful for them. For example, on our website, we use the revenue calculator which helps people calculate how much more money they would be making if they had a funnel in place.

lead magnet funnel revenue calculator

If you’re not 100% sure what to choose and you’re having a hard time deciding, you can always ask your customers. Run a survey and ask them what their biggest frustration and pain points are. 

Then, based on their answers, create a quick fix (eBook, checklist, calculator…) that will solve a part of their problem quickly – there’s your lead magnet! You may even be able to “splinter” it from one of your existing products. 

EXAMPLES OF LEAD MAGNETS

There are a lot of lead magnets you can pick through, depending on the business you are in. We are mostly working with course creators and people who sell online courses. Here is a list of lead magnets that are the best choice for this type of business:

1. Courses and training videos

2. PDF files with tips, ebooks, workbooks

3. Free trials

4. Templates for writing emails

6. Case studies

8. Checklists

9. Free webinars

LEAD MAGNET PLACEMENT

1. Inline banner

It is a sign-up form that goes somewhere in your actual blog post, either at the beginning, middle or end.

lead magnet paintable

2. Sidebar

It is a sign-up form that goes in the sidebar of your blog posts.

lead magnet plan your federal retirement

3. Pop-ups

You can have a regular pop-up placed on your website – once someone opens your page, the lead magnet will appear on the screen showing the free offer you have for them.

a) Exit-intent pop-up

It is a lead magnet that will appear when a potential customer starts moving their cursor towards the exit button. They are very good at catching people’s attention and if designed well, they can work very well. The example below comes from our client’s website who specializes in teaching English.

lead magnet English language courses

b) Time-delayed pop-up

This pop-up is like the intent exit pop-up, but it appears after a potential customer spends a certain amount of time on the website.

c) Footer Banner

Lead magnets can also be placed in the website footer as banners, like the one we have used on our website. It is a good way to inform your potential customers about your offer without interrupting them while they’re reading through the website.

HOW TO BUILD A LEAD GENERATION SALES FUNNEL?

lead generation sales funnel map

First of all, you need traffic. 

The traffic can come from different sources such as Organic, through Facebook, podcasts, Google ads, YouTube etc. 

Once people come to your website, you attract them with your lead magnet and they leave you their email address. Once people become your leads, they start receiving the welcome email sequence. That’s where you thank them for opting in, give them a lot of free resources and then you start presenting your offers and give them general information about what you do and what you have for them.

The next step is to take them to your sales funnel. A sales funnel is everything that happens after your potential customers use the lead magnet on your website and subscribe to your email list. They can be taken to the sales page directly after signing up for your lead magnet or you can use the welcome email sequence to show your offer and provide them with links to the sales page.

We are mostly focusing on two possible sales funnels: the tripwire funnel and the webinar funnel. That is the next step in the lead gen funnel – to set up one of those two funnels that will follow your lead magnet.

A TRIPWIRE FUNNEL

A tripwire is a low-priced offer designed to turn a prospect into a customer. 

It is a good option to use if you have a lot of offers with different prices and you want to implement them all in your sales funnel. In a tripwire funnel, you can use order bumps, upsells, downsells to catch your customers’ attention.

Tripwire allows you to test different options, get customers to buy low-priced offers so that later you can show them your more expensive product.

We have covered this topic in more detail in this blog post, read it if you need any more information.

A WEBINAR FUNNEL

A webinar funnel is a tool used to automatically convert leads into buyers. 

In a webinar funnel, you start with a webinar promotion or indoctrination sequence. It’s a set of emails letting your audience know about the webinar, what it will cover, why it’s beneficial for them, and giving them all the information they need to know. 

Use the emails to remind people about the webinar date and time. Make sure they get a link to the webinar registration page and then the link for watching the webinar.

The point of the webinar is to show your knowledge, expertise, give them useful tips and build trust. At the end of the webinar, you close with information about the offer you have for them and direct them to the sales page

Read more about the webinar funnel in this blog post 

LEAD GENERATION RESULTS FROM CLIENTS

The more subscribers you have, the bigger your profit can be. Usually, businesses have anywhere from 0.4% to 1% opt-in rate and that is considered normal. A 2% opt-in rate would be considered good, everything over 3% very good, and if you can get 5% that is just excellent.

Let’s look at some examples from my clients so that show you how an optimized lead magnet can influence your business.

PAINTABLE

Going from a 3.5% opt-in rate to 9.3%

This client has started with an exceptionally high opt-in rate because it was already above 3%. This can look like an amazing deal for some people, but we knew it can get a lot better. And it did. After just a few months of work, we managed to improve the opt-in rate up to 9.3%!

PLAN YOUR FEDERAL RETIREMENT

In this client’s case the opt-in rate was below 2% so it was as good as in the previous example. After applying all the changes, the opt-in rate grew to 3.37% which is very good considering lower numbers at the very beginning.

How do you check what your opt-in rate is? 

Take the number of your email subscribers, divide it by the number of your website visitors and multiply the result by 100.

For example, if you have 200 subscribers and 10,000 visitors coming to your website, your opt-in rate is 2% which is good!

I hope this will give you an overview of why lead magnets are important and how they can improve your business in just a few steps. 

We can’t help but be excited about the possibilities of what is to come.

We’ve made it our goal to work with as many course creators as possible and bring them more leads without spending a single dollar on ads. This will no doubt provide a better experience for those who are looking for your courses, in turn making you more money. 


If you feel like you could use professional help optimizing your lead generation & funnels, get in touch.