What Is A Marketing Funnel?
An internet marketing funnel is a visual framework created to attract and convert customers to your business in simple terms. It is a step-wise guide that converts leads to customers and reflects a customer’s prospects throughout their shopping journey.
In a marketing funnel, you constantly channel new leads into your business to generate sales and establish a good consumer relationship. It takes consumers from the introduction of the business to completing their purchase.
- 79% of marketing leads never get converted to sales
- 74% of businesses say that converting leads to consumers is their top priority
- 65% of businesses say generating leads and traffic is their greatest marketing challenge
- 68% of the businesses have not identified or attempted to measure their sales funnel. This becomes a reason for most businesses losing prospects, efforts, huge sales, and conversions(Pardot)
Marketing funnels can be a bit sophisticated, but you don’t need the brains of Albert Einstein to design marketing funnels for your business. In fact, you have been through a marketing funnel at some point in time, whether you realized it or not.
This guide will help you understand and implement a winning marketing funnel in your business.
What Is The Importance Of A Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel simplifies the customer journey from start to finish. A funnel guides the customer to a conversion, whether it’s a form submission or a purchase by mapping each phase of the customer journey and what tools or tactics you are going to use to help move prospects down the funnel.
Creating an internet marketing funnel will reap several benefits.
- It builds a better brand perception and awareness that boosts the chances of converting leads to customers.
- It helps to create a better customer experience since it navigates the whole buying process.
- It helps to generate more relevant content for your target customers.
- A strong marketing funnel builds long-term relations with customers, generates more loyal buyers, and referrals.
What Are The Different Components Of A Marketing Funnel?
This model is now simplified to a three-stage framework for a marketing funnel.
- Top of the funnel (ToFu), that implies raising brand awareness and trust.
- Middle of the funnel (MoFu), that means considering and supporting consumers.
- Bottom of the funnel (BoFu), that implies conversions.
How Does A Marketing Funnel Work?
A marketing funnel works in the three different stages mentioned above.
Top of the Funnel: AWARENESS
The widest and topmost part of the funnel is awareness. In this stage, your target consumers learn about your brand and have the first interaction with your business.
This can happen through:
- Content marketing: Blogs or landing pages on the website, video content on YouTube or Social media content
- Advertising: Ad campaigns on Google, social media, like Facebook or Instagram or retargeting ads
- Organic search: People find for keywords on Google
However, learning that your brand exists is not enough. Less than 1% become consumers or clients just after learning about your business.
You will now have to talk about the problems that your consumers face and how you can help solve them. You will have to raise awareness of their problems.
Help your target consumers resolve those problems and educate them on the importance of solving their issues. Then, associate their issues with your brand, service, or product.
During this stage, you should focus on three key aspects- reach, engagement, and subscription. Every potential consumer falls to the top of the funnel.
To attract your audience and present your brand, you will need to present yourself on all main channels where your consumers exist. Here are a few platforms you should consider:
Whenever you have a question, Google is mostly where you go. It accounts for over 90% of the search engine market and processes around 3.5 billion searches a day.
Having your presence in Google will draw several consumers to learn about your brand. You will need keyword research and SEO tools so that your blogs rank well in the organic results.
After Google, YouTube is the second-largest search engine in the world with about one billion users.
Descriptive video content is also more likely to convince consumers about buying a product or opting for a service. To get ranked on YouTube, you will need keyword analysis, high-quality content, and actionable videos to attract possible leads.
Sometimes people look for personalized answers or lookout for opinions in never-ending discussions. For this, people opt for online communities like Reddit, Quora, Facebook Groups, and Slack communities.
People sharing mutual interests gather, discuss related topics, ask questions, and share problems. This makes online communities one of the best ways to reach out to your target audience.
However, you will have to keep in mind a few principles in online communities. You cannot just paste the link to your website and spam everywhere. This might even get you banned. You will need to gain trust, become a valuable member and then start promoting your brand, products, or services smoothly.
Middle of the Funnel: INTEREST
Interest is the next stage of your funnel, where your customers are waiting to find out more. They know about your brand now, consumed content, and wish to go deeper and understand more.
This is the part of the funnel where most businesses commit a mistake. They either fail here or do not achieve their goals. But the good part is that it is easier than the first stage.
Here are a few things you can do to ensure success in this stage.
Rank for topics with high business potential
Your customers will now make specific searches instead of browsing for broader issues they face. You will need to make sure you rank well for those topics, For instance, instead of wanting to know about SEO, they will want tips for their e-commerce website.
Ensure you use keywords with high business potential. You will first have to educate them on the topic and then offer your services to them.
Persuade potential customers to follow you
After they decide your content is valuable, you will have to persuade them to follow you. They might be the supporters of your brand, but they still are not customers yet.
The next thing you can do is get them to follow you on social media pages, like Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. You can also get them to subscribe, sign-up, or follow your blog.
Make your leads discover the reasons to choose you
Your potential customers can still opt for products from other brands. Now you will have to convince your customers that only you can sell the product or service at the value you offer them.
You will have to develop a unique selling proposition (USP) and help your leads discover why your offer is the best.
Use keywords to dominate the SERPs
Imagine you are looking for the best trimmer brand. Earlier you would prefer going to a salon, but the pandemic has made us change our major life choices. So you will search for the best trimmer brand, or if you have to choose between two products, you will search ‘Wahl vs. Andis’.
Another way to convince your targeted customers is to use modifier keywords like ‘best’, ‘ultimate’, ‘benefits’, ‘top’, ‘vs’, and so on.
Formulate a sequence that makes them choose your brand
Everyone loves a good story. So, nurturing your potential customers through a narrative to persuade them to buy your product is one of the best techniques.
In your narrative, you can explain:
- Why your product is different,
- Why should they consider buying from you,
- The value of your product and the problems it can solve.
You can introduce new ideas in your story while educating them about your product and making a winning comparison with other products in the market.
Bottom of the Funnel: CONVERSIONS
The last stage of your funnel is conversions. This stage is about presenting your sale offer to your customers.
The three key aspects every customer keeps in mind before making a final purchase are price, value, and support. You will have to make a concluding nudge so that your target consumer gets persuaded to hit the buy button.
Here are a few ways through which you can make your final move.
Always make sure you offer an efficient, easy, and smooth buying process to your customers.
You can remind them about the items they left in their cart, or notify them that the product is going out of stock soon. However, never lie about this.
Offer discounts or cover shipping charges that compel them to make the purchase. Many e-commerce websites offer some discounts on the first purchase to get new customers.
If you have more than a product, bundling can prove a useful tool in sales. It creates a space where both parties benefit. Let’s understand this with an example.
Suppose you own an e-commerce website and sell men’s apparel. You can make a bundle offer by combining two t-shirts or three pairs of socks. Those items when brought together would be at a lower price rather than bought individually, making an attractive offer to your potential customers.
This is a marketing strategy several organizations use at the conversion stage.
You are ordering online food or getting a takeaway. When you opt to buy your meal, the app or the person at the restaurant offers you to buy an upgraded version of your meal with an add-on, like juice or soda. This marketing strategy is an upsell.
You can offer upsells before or after your consumer has made a purchase.
Examples Of Remarkable Marketing Funnels
Netflix is one of the best and most preferred entertainment mediums. Every one of us either had a Netflix subscription or plans on buying one. It has implemented a seamless marketing funnel to draw customers even before they realize it.
For awareness, they create a buzz for upcoming movies or series by posting or advertising short clips with interesting summaries before the release. For consideration, they design a methodology for the users who might be a little hesitant with investment. This gains the trust of potential customers. For the last stage, they keep the buying process very smooth and clear and make all the options available to the consumer.
They execute their funnel in a manner that feels natural and seamless. They have around 27 million followers on Instagram and their capital in 2020 was $225.79 billion.
Crazyegg is one of the best optimization tools that help you analyze your website’s behavior.
When they started to spread awareness, they didn’t have a million-dollar marketing budget. But they still went all in and used the best ideas in their marketing funnel. They started by offering free $99 Crazyegg accounts to popular blog owners and asked for reviews only in return.
Another reason for their success was their blog. It has the best content marketing tools, insights, and advice. If people don’t use their tools, they still end up returning to their blog for worthwhile content.
People around the internet quote from Neil Patel’s pages, the founder of Crazyegg and the genius of content marketing strategies.
Basecamp is a project management and team communication software that is valued at $100 billion and reaps annual capital in millions.
The awareness of basecamp is through the group of happy customers that suggest their platform even without being asked. Also, besides a blog, basecamp has started a podcast.
When the potential leads visit their website, they are hooked by the simplicity and intrigued by the social proof that 3,847 companies signed up the previous week.
After the awareness and consideration stages, it is easy for the leads to convert to customers because of the seamless buying process and the simplicity of their customer care service.
Mailchimp is one of the best email marketing services that doubled its net worth to $4.2 billion in two years.
The traffic of MailChimp comes from organic searches, direct emails, and referrals from loyal customers. One of their best techniques is advertising the millions of customers that use their service.
Another aspect of their funnel strategy is the interactive pricing page that calculates a client’s price. This ensures the seamlessness and simplicity of the process draws customers to try their product.
As rightly said by Walt Disney, “The best way to get started is to quit talking and start working.” We have looked across all the essential components of an internet marketing funnel, and now it’s time that you start building your marketing funnel.
Mapping out a buyer’s journey is a time-taking process and can prove difficult. Maybe you might not get it right in your first attempt, but that’s alright.
Implementing an internet marketing funnel will give you an idea about your target audience and will help you define a funnel model that suits your business best.
Deepak Wadhwani has over 20 years experience in software/wireless technologies. He has worked with Fortune 500 companies including Intuit, ESRI, Qualcomm, Sprint, Verizon, Vodafone, Nortel, Microsoft and Oracle in over 60 countries. Deepak has worked on Internet marketing projects in San Diego, Los Angeles, Orange Country, Denver, Nashville, Kansas City, New York, San Francisco and Huntsville. Deepak has been a founder of technology Startups for one of the first Cityguides, yellow pages online and web based enterprise solutions. He is an internet marketing and technology expert & co-founder for a San Diego Internet marketing company.