What is it?
Nothing scary! Don’t worry! Quite simply, a marketing funnel is the set of steps in a marketing process. Every business has them, although some are more complex than others. The more each step of the process is optimised for the customer and the business, the more your sales and customer referrals will increase.
Your funnel is the journey a person takes from being part of your target audience, to become a paying a customer.
An example that you may be familiar with is Amazon;
- See advert on Google for a pair of trainers you like
- Visit Amazon.co.uk
- View a product
- Add a product to the basket
- Amazon suggests matching laces
- Add additional product (laces) to the basket
- Confirmation email is sent to you
- Further email is sent showing similar products that they want to upsell that they feel may be relevant to you.
The great thing about marketing funnels is that you can plan your content marketing and lead generation activity according to the interest level at each stage – all the way from initial awareness at the top to the decision to purchase. The funnel does not stop there after the purchase stage but as this is an introduction, we will show you where to start your funnel.
Awareness stage: Firstly, you need to let people know that you exist. Usually you will want to direct them to a website or a landing page with more information about you and the product and / or service that you offer. This can be achieved through blog posts, media, advertising, paid listings on search engines, referrals, events, trade shows, infographics, research reports, how-to guides and social media activity related to your industry. These are all elements designed to attract visitors to your website or landing page and turn them into potential leads.
Well done, the potential customer is now aware of your service or product! But, will they choose you to buy from? The customer will probably be looking at a few options and may compare you against your competitors as they want the best product or service at the best price. Great content and imagery is important here. You may also wish to use videos, encourage them through social media posts, email marketing, e-books, case studies, free trials, expert guides or quizzes about your product or service. These should all be designed to provide value to the customer and build trust in your company. These should be designed to turn those potential leads into marketing-qualified leads (as well as filtering out those with a passing interest). If they come to your website and do not buy, you can even show that visitor ads that follow them around the internet as a reminder that you can offer them something amazing!
Yay, they choose you! The customer is ready to purchase the product from you. The purpose of this stage is to make the purchase as easy as possible. If you have an e-commerce website this will be by adding items to their cart and making a payment. If you do not have this, it may be sending an enquiry on your website or social media pages. Whatever it is make it easy for the customer to purchase. You may also wish to showcase other items that will compliment their chosen purchase at this stage so that you can get the highest possible amount during the transaction. Ask us if you need us to reccomend plug ins or more information on how to do this. We are happy to help!
Many people think that once the sale is made, that is it. You have achieved your goal. But no, you want the customer to be a long term customer of yours right? Look at the purchase stage as a first date, and if you want another one, you need to put some effort in. You have their name and contact details at this stage so now is the time to look at developing the relationship further. The main way to do this is from offering the customer valuable communications from here. This doesn’t mean that you spam them (this is frowned upon) but you want to remind them that you exist and that you have something worth paying attention to. Stay in contact with your customer. You can do this through email marketing, forums, social media, newsletters, offers, great content, and by sharing knowledge that will be useful to them.
Next, you want the customer to recommend you to other people and become an advocate of your brand. You may want to do this with a refer a friend promotion (again, we can recommend some great plug ins!), writing great blogs or content that people will share on social media. You may even want to take it a step further and develop an affiliate marketing system. Even if you are not aware of affiliate marketing systems, you have probably seen them before! Have you ever signed up to something and been asked to share a link with your friends, sometimes with a reward if you do? This is affiliate marketing! It’s asking customers to recommend your company to others.
Depending on your product or service, each stage will vary in level of detail and information required. For example, if you are selling your services as a carpenter, there is no need for white papers or infographics however case studies will be important to your customers. If you are selling double glazing, technical information is a must. Event planners will need to provide data on previous events, size of venues, footfall etc.
Everyone is different and what you use at each stage will depend on the industry you are in and the types of customers that you want to attract.
And I need this because?
It’s a way of organising all of your marketing activities into a logical, targeted, successful and measurable approach. E.g. You wouldn’t want someone at the first stage to be bombarded with so much technical information that you scare them off! Creating a successful funnel is about making the user process as smooth as possible and optimising it is a continuous process as you gather more and more data. Data will tell you where you are losing people and where your funnel is leaking.
You aren’t limited to using your funnel strictly for signing up and/or purchasing. You can put funnels all over your website to see how visitors move through a specific website flow.
For example; You may want to track newsletter signup (Viewing newsletter signup form > Submitting form > Confirming email) or a simple page conversion (Viewing a signup page > Submitting signup). Figure out what your goals are and what you want visitors to do on your site, and you can create a funnel for it.
Let’s take a software business as an example – you see their adverts everywhere “sign up for a free trial”.
Here’s how a very simple funnel may look for them:
- See an advert on Facebook
- Clicked the advert
- Visited site
- Signed up for a trial
- Used product
- Upgraded to paying for the full product
How can I track my funnel?
You can use Google analytics to track your funnel or sign up with a specific software or CRM provider. They will give you the tools, but what then? If monitoring funnel drop offs and taking the customer journey by the reins sounds scary, please don’t stress. We can help!
As a company we have invest thousands of pounds a year into amazing funnel software which gives our clients templates of tried and tested funnels that work, mapping and tracking. You might as well take advantage of it!
Want your funnel reviewed for free?
If you want to know how effectively are you moving clients down your marketing funnel and need clear planning and direction from an experienced professional, we are here to help. To get this, just complete the form below for your FREE 1 hour Funnel Review and Marketing Planning Session or contact us – whatever floats your boat!