Where do leads come from? This is a question that has spurred thousands of marketing campaigns and tactics. It’s true that some channels are going to be more productive for your brand and customer base than others. But the fact of the matter is that modern leads come from everywhere. They come from search engines, from friend recommendations, from affiliate links, and from social media. Leads will come to you from all directions. Therefore, to build a complete full-funnel experience, it’s vital to consider every entry point for the top of your funnel.
Today, we’re here to talk about mapping your top-of-funnel entry points so that you can map the full funnel experience for each lead, no matter where they may have come from.
The Funnel Conversion Strategy
For those of you who haven’t run into the funnel model yet, welcome to the marketing game. The funnel is the most common way in the current marketing industry to talk about the user experience. This is because of the way you ‘narrow down’ your audience from the very widespread group of people who notice your brand to the far smaller number who complete a purchase. At each stage of the ‘funnel’, we lose more people but also refine our true core customer base.
Recognizing the funnel is the first step, followed by analyzing what causes people to stay through or drop out. From there, you can begin to craft a complete customer experience from awareness to purchase, now known as the ‘full-funnel’ conversion strategy.
Starting At the Top of the Funnel
Some brands work the funnel backward, determining what makes a buyer based on what buyers do and read right before they convert. But the most common way to work your funnel experience is from the top, by mapping every possible entry-point where a member of your target-audience decides to jump onto your website, begin shopping, and perhaps eventually buy.
This is why it’s important to map your entire top-of-funnel, so you know where your customers are coming from and then create an online experience that encourages them along the funnel to the final purchase. With analytics, strategy, and a bit of luck your funnel will ‘widen’ so that more people are converting out of the original pool of brand awareness.
Mapping Your Top-of-Funnel Entry Points
SEO Content Results
The current top of the heap for lead sourcing is search engine results. To win these results, you need either PPC advertisement, great SEO content copy, or both. Search engine leads come to you because they are looking for something specific and your website seems to provide it. Your search engine leads are looking for information that can be found in your blog or on an informative services page. Sometimes, they are already searching for a product or service that you offer.
PPC Shopping Results
PPC links usually win more directed leads, people who know exactly what they want and are happy to follow an ad-link to get it. There are search result PPC leads which boost your natural SEO results, but some of the most effective PPC leads are those done with shopping results. Google and similar search engines have really upped their game on showing searchers images and prices of the items they are most likely to want.
Third-Party Platform Recommendations
Then there are third-party platforms. Amazon, Yelp, eBay, or Orbitz, and other industry-specific platforms specialize in helping leads find what they’re looking for outside of the bounds of your website. Third-party platforms sometimes sell your product as a marketplace, and sometimes serve simply as a source of trustworthy recommendations and review sharing that direct leads to your website.
Google Map Local Results
Google Maps is an incredibly powerful source of leads for local businesses and any business with a brick-and-mortar location open to customers. Many people search for what they need locally and Google Maps (or other map programs) and follow the suggestions from there. Be sure to claim your business location, tailor your profile, and collect Google reviews for the venue.
Loyalty Program Recruit
Loyalty programs are a fantastic source of new leads when current customers recommend a friend. This is why so many brands offer incentives to current customers to recruit their friends and family, an interaction that should result in rewards for everyone involved. Loyalty program recruits aren’t just new leads, they’ve got a personal motivation for joining.
Social Media Conversions
There’s a reason you spend all that time and effort building an engaging social media campaign. When you catch the eye of a non-customer social media user, they can easily become a lead. Getting involved with your brand online can guide a person to show interest in your brand, check out your website, and enter the conversion funnel independently.
Affiliate and Micro-Influencer Conversions
Never underestimate the power of micro-influencers. Popular bloggers who love your product, social media e-celebrities, and podcast supporters can all draw in leads through affiliate links. These are effective because leads find you through a trusted source, their favorite micro-influencer, and are more likely to be seriously considering your product when they make that first click.
Last but not least are leads who come to you because they’ve seen your product in action. They admired it on the desk or kitchen table of a friend. They saw a coworker using your software to get ahead. Or they asked a relative the secret to their success and found themselves on your website. Real-world conversions are fantastic because these leads have already seen that your products or services are good quality and want some for themselves.
Each of these types of lead may come to you from a different direction, but they all set foot into your conversion funnel and need to be guided through a full-funnel experience. For more insights on how to build your funnel so that it can encompass every type of new lead from the beginning to the end of their buying journey, contact us today. We’d love to help you build your funnel into a concierge experience that leads will love and return-customers will come back for.
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