6 Simple Steps for Creating Your First Client Lead Generation Funnel

Success isn’t complicated.

We just make it complicated in our heads because we want to believe there’s some bigger unknown that’s holding us back.

I read a great book last year called The Checklist Manifesto by Atul Gawande.

In it, Gawande discussed how some of the most complex jobs are those where life and death literally hang in the balance. Think surgeons, airplane pilots, and construction teams.

What do these jobs have in common? They all use checklists.

This simple, pen-to-paper idea that’s been around for ages is responsible for saving many lives in all of these fields. Checklists are also responsible for increasing the quality and quantity of results for clients who sign-up for our done-for-you funnel service.

The following steps are my basic how-to checklist for creating a working lead generation funnel.

If you want more leads in your service business, and you’re not getting the kind of results you want, follow these steps.

(And if you need help or want to save time, you should consider hiring AutoGrow.co to do it for you.)

Let’s dive in.

Step #1: Create a Lead Magnet

The first component you need for your lead generation funnel is a lead magnet. This is the incentive to get prospective customers to visit your page.

We’ve written a lot about lead magnets in the past, but it bears repeating: A lead magnet is an offer (usually free) that is dedicated to giving your website visitor some relevant value in exchange for their contact information (an email address at the very least).

Some examples of lead magnets are PDFs, eBook samples, articles, webinars, and other limited, exclusive content.

Marketers like Andy Crestodina, Jeff Bullas, and Michael Brenner recommend these types of lead magnets. These are sometimes also called opt-in bribes or content upgrades.

Above all else, keep your lead magnet simple. The more complicated it is, the more you may confuse prospective customers. You can use a one-page, actionable template or book sample. Checklists and templates also work well.

In my experience, I’ve found that the simpler your lead magnet is, the better it converts.

Step #2: Create an Opt-in Landing Page

To get your lead magnet to convert, you need a landing page to promote it. That brings us to our second step.

Your opt-in landing page is going to explain the lead magnet, including why prospective clients would want to download it. The copy should be focused on advertising the end benefit the potential client will get if they opt-in to receive it.

Use numbers and stats when you can to add credibility to the offer. Create a list of all the benefits of your lead magnet, including the problems it solves and processes it simplifies.

Make sure your download button is big, colorful, and prominent. Keep it above the fold so prospective clients can’t miss it.

Step #3: Email Follow-up

By this point in your lead generation funnel, your prospective client has converted and is on your email list. Now it’s time to automatically follow-up via an email drip sequence.

You should send at least three email follow-ups. These are meant to engage your new leads.

Use the VACuum formula for these if you’re stuck on what to write.

Your follow-up emails should also bring them back to your website and to your core offer, which we’ll explain momentarily…

Step #4: Create a Service Page with a Call-to-Action (CTA) and Contact/Booking Form

After your prospective client opts in to your lead magnet, they’ll be redirected to your service page.

Pro tip: if you don’t already have a landing page dedicated to promoting your service, you need one, stat.

The service page is where the real action happens within your client lead gen funnel.

Adding a little piece of free content before the visitor arrives on the service page—be that a PDF, webinar, article, etc.—is important because you create a positive lens thru which your offer will be seen.

By giving the prospective client something good, you are starting a relationship where you trade value for value. This context leads to a higher overall percentage of people who visit the service page and make a consultation/booking.

Sure, you could always skip the lead magnet and send traffic directly to the services landing page. You would get some percentage of bookings/consultations, but not nearly as much if you offered your free lead magnet first.

Of course, that also depends on where the traffic is coming from, but that’s a longer discussion for another day.

For your first lead generation funnel, I strongly recommend including a lead magnet at the get-go.

On your service page, you need a few key elements besides great copy, like your CTA, your contact/booking form, and even a phone number. (Phone numbers are very useful for building trust.)

Here are some of my best practices for writing effective landing page copy.

First, including a compelling selling proposition. What makes your services different? Why do people need them? Are you focused on servicing one particular niche?

You should also add the top three benefits of your product or service. This acts as a quick overview that attests to the value of your company.

As you present your selling proposition and your top benefits, make sure to write with clarity. Clear and simple is better than long and wordy.

Be sure to include lots of social proof in the form of testimonials and case studies as well.

Step #5: Funnel Tracking

Before we turn on the fuel to activate this little system that we’ve set up here, we want to put tracking in place. This gives us a read on valuable information, such as:

  • How many people visited the opt-in landing page
  • How many of those people opted in to get the lead magnet
  • How many of those people clicked on the sales page
  • How many of those people who were on the sales page booked a consultation

Tracking is something you can set up in Google Analytics. I’ve written about creating an analytics sales funnel to track leads and revenue before, so check out the tutorial there to get started.

Step #6: Traffic Increase

Last but certainly not least is your traffic.

At this point, you have a basic funnel and funnel tracking in place so not it’s time to fuel your sales engine with traffic. To do that you want to start running ads on Facebook and/or Google Adwords.

You want to start with Adwords first. It will cost more per click, but you can start with a budget as little as $20-$50 per day and begin pulling in quality leads. The traffic from Adwords should be pointed directly at your service page.

With traffic from Facebook, there is no search intent, so you’ll need to warm up the lead first before they will be ready to buy. For this reason, you want to use the full-funnel and point traffic from here to your lead magnet landing page.

Now flip the figurative switch and let it run itself!

Your job isn’t over yet, though. It’s important to make tweaks and adjustments as you go along. This lets you discover where the biggest leaks are in your client lead generation funnel. You can then plug these and continue to iterate, optimize, and grow sales.

Lead Generation Funnel Case Studies

Finance Company Creates Multi-Step Lead Generation Process

Investment company Super Finance offers a service called Self-Managed Superannuation Funds. These investments were in-demand, so Super Finance director Yannick Ieko decided to work on his company’s lead generation before all his leads dried up.

He did this by following five steps.

Step #1: Website redesign. The new Super Finance site focused more on marketing automation, lead nurturing, and sales messaging.

Step #2: Google AdWords. With this step, Ieko could learn more about who was visiting his site and when.

Step #3: SEO. Ieko was now at the stage to focus more on his website’s search engine rankings.

Step #4: Split-testing. This let Ieko know which pages would convert most.

Step #5: Automated lead nurturing campaigns. These campaigns pushed leads into prospects and then into customers.

The lead generation funnel was a success. In only six months, Super Finance had a nearly 20% jump in leads via its website.

Church CMS Ekklesia 360 Uses Lead Generation to Get More Traffic

Besides its CMS services, Ekklesia 360 is also responsible for building websites for ministries, churches, and other religious organizations. Years ago, the company decided to work on its own website traffic and used a lead generation funnel to do so.

Through inbound marketing, Ekklesia 360 created a means of finding new leads. Besides that, they had a 175% jump in social media traffic and an 18% spike in overall site traffic. It only took five months for the company to see results.  

If you want to skip all the heavy lifting and save time, consider our done-for-you funnel service where we create your client lead gen funnel from A to Z and even manage and optimize your ads.


Want to supercharge your lead generation? Sign up for my five-page email course, “Double Your Leads in 5 Days.”

By following these six simple steps you will create for your business a basic, working client lead gen funnel for your business.

These steps also give you a quick glimpse into the work we do for our clients every day as we build out their online lead gen funnel.

To review:

  • Lead magnets are essential for nurturing a relationship with a new lead.
  • Your lead magnets should be simple. Think more along the lines of one-page articles or templates instead of multi-page book samples.
  • Your email and sales copy must be strong and present your unique benefits clearly to get more opt-ins and to attract more qualified client leads.
  • Use Google Analytics and a spreadsheet to set up simple funnel tracking.
  • Once the funnel structure is in place, get traffic flowing fast with Facebook and Google search ads.

In what ways do you think a lead generation funnel will be useful for your company? Which of the six steps do you anticipate will make the biggest impact? Let me know in the comments.

Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused,


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