If you’ve ever procrastinated on giving the-birds-and-the-bees talk to your kid or having an uncomfortable conversation with a friend, you know that we tend to put off difficult things.
We avoid difficult things in business, too. Often, we do the easy-to-understand thing over and over again, even if it produces poor results. The hard-to-understand thing promises better results . . . but it can feel so complicated!
We run into this thinking with associations when we talk about lead generation funnels and customer journeys. While no association executive has ever held their ears closed and said, “La la la, I can’t hear you!” when we talk about lead gen, we can tell from their frightened looks and body language it’s what they want to do.
If you’re afraid of a lead generation funnel, you’re afraid of the wrong thing. A lead gen funnel is the only thing standing in the way of your association becoming obsolete in the next five years. Tactics like random fishing on LinkedIn and buying lists to import into your database may have been effective once, but they no longer work.
You have to be smarter.
The good news is, we make it easy for you because we’ve done the hard work of engineering smart funnels that guide prospects along the journey they choose, so they wind up at your landing page, clicking “Join Now.”
What is a Lead Generation Funnel?
Lead generation funnels solve a big problem for member organizations: They help you increase membership and event attendance. They do this by expanding your prospect pool, turning your prospects into qualified leads, and then turning your qualified leads into members.
A lead generation funnel is essentially a holistic, digital map that guides your prospects along a journey. It’s fully automated and built out using an “if/then” system.
- IF a prospect clicks to watch a Facebook video, THEN they are taken to a landing page with a simple call-to-action to stay connected.
- IF they enter their email on that page, THEN they go into a drip/nuture email campaign with its own set of “if/thens.”
- IF they don’t enter their email, THEN they are re-targeted on Facebook, or perhaps another platform, and the process repeats.
A good lead generation funnel engages with multiple social media platforms and uses responsive list management software that ushers prospects through the journey.
Because it’s automated, after you create your funnel, all you have to do is hit “go.”
Know Your Numbers: Prospect Pools, Qualified Leads, and Conversion Ratios
A lead generation funnel helps you get clear on your numbers.
For example, do you have any idea how large your prospect pool is?
This is often the first stumbling block for associations. They have no idea what number they are starting with. Is it 500? 5,000? 50,0000?
This math matters, because you need to know how many people you’re starting with so you can keep track of the percentage of those people who become qualified leads, and then the percentage of qualified leads who become members.
These are your conversion ratios.
If you don’t know these ratios, you’re just guessing. And while guessing is a legitimate strategy on a standardized test when you don’t know the right answer, it doesn’t tend to hold up as a sustainable marketing strategy.
Your funnel will help to determine your ratios. You’ll be able to track how many people you are talking to each step of the way, so you know your numbers.
Conversion Assets: High Quality Content That Inspires
Your automation has to be spot-on, but your funnel is only as good as the content that feeds it.
You always need high-quality, sticky content, including captivating videos, well-written stories, and compelling graphics.
Though your prospect pool is large, you still need to think carefully about what will catch a prospect’s eye and hit their pain points. At each point along the way, you need strong conversion assets. These assets include landing pages, emails, videos, blog posts, social media posts, newsletters, webinars, and direct mail pieces.
Just because you’re introducing math into the mix, it doesn’t mean you can stop focusing on inspiring people. In fact, you need to focus even more strongly on inspiring people.
More than anything, you need to shift your thinking from one-off campaigns to a holistic approach that blends extraordinary storytelling with the best that marketing automation can offer.
Why put it off when it can make all the difference for the future of your association?
Instead of spinning around in overwhelm, let us walk you through what a lead gen funnel could look like for your organization. Contact Us Today >
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