Are Your Lead Nurturing Funnels Optimised for Conversion?

If your lead nurturing funnels have been set up without putting much thought into conversion or optimisation, you may be wasting valuable time and effort. You likely know that you need funnels in order to grow your lead nurturing campaigns. A good funnel has the ability to take your potential leads through a process that helps them get closer to making a sale. When you try to rush a lead at any point, the result is often a lead that is lost forever. With that in mind, you can see why it is so important to put thought and planning into your lead funnels so that they are designed for maximum conversion at every point.

Before we share our tips on how to improve your funnels at every point, it is very useful to get an idea of how the majority of lead nurturing funnels work. There are many different models, many of which offer insight and benefit. One of the most classic models is the AIDA model, which uses Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action to take leads through a marketing process from advertising to sale. The steps outlined by the AIDA model include the following:

Attention. Lead gains awareness of product or brand through some sort of advertising or campaign.
Interest. Lead becomes interested in learning about the benefits and usage of products or services.
Desire. Lead starts to show a favourable inclination towards the brand, officially becoming warm.
Action. Lead takes a step towards conversion, downloading content, starting a trial or making the purchase.


Image: BronHiggs, Wikimedia.org

What makes this model a tried and tested outline of the typical process that leads follow from the moment they find your blog post or website page is that it is simple and applicable across every industry and niche. Your lead generation campaigns have the power to reach a huge audience. Only some will gain awareness. Only a few will continue on with interest in taking it to the next level. Only some of those will express desire and just a few will proceed to the final stage to take action.

Over and beyond the AIDA process flow, there are also three significant points in every funnel, which will affect how leads find you and how you approach your leads. How leads follow your funnel comes down to your steps not only at each of the AIDA stages but also within these three broader points of the funnel – the top, the middle and the bottom.

Getting the Most from Your Lead Nurturing Funnels

How do you go about planning for each of the three parts of your lead nurturing funnels? Let’s take a look…

Top: Traffic Generation

The biggest part of the funnel is the top. This is where you get most of your traffic from various sources. You may think that there is not much you can do to optimise this area, but, in reality, there are a few ways to improve your traffic generation efforts. For starters, you will need quality content that is optimised for search engines so that your leads can find you in the first place. You also need to have a good idea of HOW people are finding you, though. A 2015 study done by the Content Marketing Institute shows that 83% of marketers have a content strategy in place, yet only 21% of them bother to track their ROI.

When you are spending a lot of time and effort adding content and lead magnets without bothering to track core metrics, you are essentially wasting valuable time. Traffic alone does not equate to conversion. What matters more is engagement. How are people engaging with your content? Are they scrolling past or actually reading, clicking and following through to download magnets or get in touch? Take a good look at your traffic sources and focus on the areas that indicate conversion. Note the content that drives content and aim to include more content like this on your website. This will do far more than trying to please everyone with generic content that may not add real value. Stats to track include engagement (comments, shares, number of pages visited, and time on site), as well as your content areas (social media, newsletters, blogs, articles etc).

Middle: Conversion

The middle of the funnel is where conversion really begins to become a reality. At this point, you have gotten attention and you have a real chance of hitting it home. Don’t assume that your work now is done. Rather than churning out content, your goal at this point is to engage on a deeper level. You may have plenty of content that is being read and even shared without conversions ever happening.

There are a few reasons that people may not take action at this point. The most common reasons could include not needing your product or service at this point, not having the money to use your product or service at this point, not having enough trust just yet or even not being fully ready to make a decision. Whatever the case, relationship and trust are both key focus areas at this stage. You need to get smart and try and work out how you can address common conversion barriers. This could include sales, special offers, third-party reviews and testimonials to build trust, limited time offers, guarantees, competitor comparisons, FAQ or any other type of content that helps to drive trust and awareness.

Bottom: Acquisition

When you have gotten leads to this point, you are very close to signing on the dotted line. Your work is not quite done yet, though, so don’t get too comfortable. Even the warmest lead can suddenly go cold if you have not taken the right steps to bring them home. The bottom of the funnel comes down to acquisition. You will soon hand over leads to sales but first, you will need to be fully sure that the leads are ready. Some of the ways that you could optimise this part of your lead nurturing funnel could be to focus on all the final details that make or break a sale – checkout process, payment options, trust, customer service and support, sales service, after-sales, and even order size and value.

How you hand over leads to sales is everything. The more seamless your handover, the more optimised your entire process becomes. You want to pass leads over in a way that is fluid, without leads being aware that they are being handed over to sales at all. You also want to ensure that they receive the best customer service to help them complete their sale and hopefully return again next time.

We hope that these tips make it easier to target your leads at every point of the process. For more advice on how to create (and grow) your lead nurturing funnels, visit the digital marketing blog or get in touch with the Grapevine team.

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