In any type of business, leads are everything. You need to have warm leads in order to sell to them.

The problem isn’t so much in acquiring leads. The problem is acquiring the right leads and then nurturing them.

Too many businesses expect to get traffic and that those website visitors will buy on the first visit. The reality is that 96% of visitors aren’t ready to buy. Without a way to nurture those leads, you’re losing 96% of your visitors.

That’s where effective funnel design comes in. You can build a funnel that gets results for your business. Read on to learn how to create a funnel that nurtures leads and converts them into sales.

What Is a Funnel?

A funnel is a marketing term that is used by every type of business to shepherd someone from a lead to a sale. Think of how a funnel typically works. You add a bunch of liquid at the top of the funnel. That pool of liquid gets smaller and smaller as it goes down at the other end.

Your leads follow a similar pattern. At the top of the marketing funnel, you have a lot of people that visit your website.

A percentage will sign up for your newsletter. The exact percentage will depend on a lot of factors, such as the incentive to sign up, the design of your website and your sign up form.

Out of the percentage of sign-ups, there’s a smaller percentage of people that will convert into a customer.

Good funnel design can influence your sign up conversion rate and your sales conversion rate. Think of what a 2% difference can do for your business.

Let’s say that you get about 100 visitors to your site a day, or 3000 a month. Right now, your sign up conversion rate is .5%, for 15 a month.

Out of those 15 sign-ups, you have a 10% conversion rate for 1.5 sales a month.

Now improve your conversion rates by 2%. You now have 75 monthly sign-ups and 9 sales a month. For argument’s sake, let’s assume your product is priced at $99.

Your sales went from $148.50 to $891 a month. That’s how important a funnel can be to your business with just a 2% improvement.

The Secrets of Good Funnel Design

Funnel design takes careful planning. It’s not something that you just do or you copy what other people are doing because you think it looks good.

Good funnel design lies in understanding your audience and knowing the customer journey they take. That requires a lot of research on your part.

Understanding Your Audience

Do you know what’s important to your audience? Why would someone go to your website? What are they looking for, and are you giving it to them?

These questions serve as the foundation of understanding your audience. You want to get a notebook or document together that gives a lot of detail into your audience and what they’re really looking for.

People generally have a problem that they’re trying to solve on the surface. This is what most businesses address. The best businesses go underneath those surface-level problems to address the emotional needs that a customer seeks to address.

For example, you have a landscaping company. Your business helps customers keep their yards clean and neat. You cut the grass, pull weeds, and trim bushes.

On the surface, your customers are just looking for ways to keep their yards neat and clean. Underneath that, there are a lot of emotions going on.

They don’t want the neighbors to think they’re slobs. They care what others think about them, even perfect strangers and people they don’t like.

They may also want to keep up with the neighbors or appear better than them by having the best-looking yard on the block.

Another example is in fitness. On the surface, people go to the gym to lose weight or get in shape. Under those reasons lie a number of emotions. They want to feel confident or they’re afraid of getting and feeling old.

Discover the Emotional Needs

How do you find out what the emotional needs of your audience are? Research. You have to define who your audience is.

Your audience may be homeowners in a geographic area that have a certain household income. It may be women in their mid-40s that are busy with career and family.

Once you define your audience, you can then look to them to tell you what the emotional needs are. They won’t tell you directly, but you can look online for clues. Look at online forums, Facebook groups, and communities where people share information about a given topic.

The people there are your potential customers and the information they provide is gold.

The Customer Journey

Now that you know your audience, you need to understand that they take a journey from the time they learn about your business to the moment they make a purchase and beyond.

You want to get to know AIDA. That’s not the opera, but a formula for funnel success. It stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action.

Those are the simple steps that people take to become customers. Your funnel needs to be designed to guide people through each step.

The Customer Loop

The mistake that people make is that they think of the customer journey as a line from Point A to Point B. It stops when a person becomes a customer.

That’s not the most effective way to approach it. You need to have a follow-up process in place to make sure your new customers are thrilled with your service and products.

That’s how they become customers of yours again.

The Best Funnel Design

There’s a lot to think about and do before you even design your funnel. Now, you’re ready to create your funnel design.

The Top of the Funnel

Let’s start at the top. Why do people come to your website? How do they get there?

At the top of the funnel, you need to know the user’s intent. Let’s say that you have search engines drive the bulk of your traffic to your site.

Different search terms have different forms of intent. Someone that’s just starting their research has a different intent than someone who’s ready to buy.

They’ll search differently, too. Let’s say that someone is interested in a grill. In the research phase, they may look for ‘gas grills vs. charcoal grills.’ When they’re ready to buy, they’ll look for ‘gas grill dealers near me’ or ‘the best gas grills under $500.’

You want to make sure your content addresses each type of intent. Your funnel will be designed differently for intent, too. It will be much easier to sell to someone who’s ready to buy than to sell to someone who’s just doing research.

Form Design

Your form design needs to stand out but not detract from the user experience on your site. Pop-ups work, but you need to use them sparingly.

Your form should have a strong headline and give a clear benefit as to why they should sign up.

The Lead Nurturing Emails

A sign up is your opportunity to introduce your brand to prospects and build a relationship with them. The way you do that is to provide an insane amount of value.

You’re not giving away things for free, you’re adding value by helping someone solve a problem. That’s what your lead nurturing emails should do.

The Offer

It’s time to close your email funnel with an offer. Again, this needs to be aligned with intent. If your audience is in the later stages of the customer journey, then you can offer them a product or service.

If they’re not, then offer them something that will take them in the next step in the journey.

Measure and Adjust

A funnel is never complete. You have to approach your funnel design as if it’s never perfect, nor is it going to be.

You will always find ways to experiment and improve your funnel to make it even stronger. The way you do that is to measure your results at each step of the funnel.

If your sign up conversions are low, then change the headline on the form or the incentive to sign up. Change and test one thing at a time so you can measure what changes are having the most impact.

You’ll do this throughout the life of the funnel.

The Best Funnel Design for Your Business

There’s no doubt that an effective funnel can work wonders for your business. You can increase your conversions and the revenue business by having a good funnel that works.

A great funnel design starts with your customer and the journey they take. You then have to know the intent they have when they visit your site.

You then design your content around the intent and align the funnel with that intent. Then you deliver the lead nurturing emails and offer. That will lead to a high conversion rate.

Be sure to visit this site often for more great business insights and tips.