Website Lead Generation Techniques: Turn that funnel frown upside-down

Posted by Alec Biedrzycki

Apr 7, 2013, 12:15 PM

Question: what's the one thing that's sad about the below screenshot?

bad-homepage Is it the giant, static banner image?

How about the unnecessary location map that takes up a significant amount of the webpage's real estate?

Maybe it's the lack of context as to what the website is actually about?

Ok, sorry--it's actually sort of a trick question, because there are a lot of things that are sad (although it's definitely not the general mood of the people in the scrolling banner's stock imagery).

But when I refer to "sad", I'm actually referring to the "request a quote" call to action, and thinking sad like this:

Don't get me wrong, requesting a quote isn't an unhappy thing! What I'm getting at here isn't literal sense of unhappiness, but the shape of the frown. More specifically, how it resembles the shape of a funnel. An upside-down funnel. Like so:

frown So, why the long face?

At the beginning of our consulting, a lot of clients that I work with who are looking to bolster their business lead generation have a homepage that is structured similarly to the first screenshot I showed (essentially, the only visible call-to-action caters exclusively towards sales-ready website visitors).

Sure, it's important to have a sales-ready call-to-action on the website to get folks who are ready to buy right now, but neglecting to have calls-to-action that are tailored to website visitors at other stages of the sales process is a very sad thing.

You see, if we define our frown-funnel even further, you'll start to see that a sales-ready call-to-action only targets a small portion of website visitors:

funnel colored top

Those orange and yellow sections sum up to around 95% of a typical website's traffic-- visitors who are still conducting research and aren't ready to pull the trigger just yet. For a more in-depth on these statistics, give this article on the purchase funnel a quick read. These numbers can fluctuate from website to website of course, but for the most part, a typical website has this breakdown of traffic types.

My first recommendation for anyone looking to improve their website's lead generation techniques is to first understand the other types of traffic and then to turn that funnel frown upside down. Like so:

funnel right

So why would you want to do this? A few reasons:

  • To convert website visitors that are in earlier stages of the buying process
  • To create a website that's easier to navigate
  • To better understand your customer's buying process for future improvement and refinement

All good things, and I bet there are plenty more! So I gave you the "why", but what about the "how?" Well first thing you'll want to do is understand what your audience wants at each stage of the buying process. If you can nail down what types of information that the "unaware buyers" and "interested buyers" are seeking, you're halfway there (ohhh, whoa-- livin' on a prayer) in capturing them as leads.

The next step is setting up the appropriate conversion paths so you can get these visitors to convert as leads. I wrote an overview of how you can structure a homepage to accomodate these types of lead capturing content offers, so definitely give it a read (hyperlinked a few words ago for internal SEO building purposes).

And that's about it! Just wanted to shed some light on how you can turn that lead gen funnel frown upside-down to better structure your website to capture leads. Sometimes all it takes is a post like this to have you realize the opportunities you may be missing out on. How do you position your website to capture leads?