Have you ever been browsing online when a great deal really catches your eye? “Take 25% off your first order!” in exchange for just your email address. Type in your email and BAM – you have just entered a marketing funnel! Although it seems like a really simple system, marketing funnels take a lot of time and thought to effectively guide a customer through the buying process.
So what exactly is a marketing funnel? A marketing funnel, also commonly referred to as a purchase or conversion funnel, is a consumer based marketing model that illustrates the process of turning leads into customers. In short, these are multi-step strategies that start with product or service awareness and ultimately conclude with the hypothetical consumer's purchase of your largest offer.
How Successful Marketing Funnels Help Your Business Grow
Marketing funnels are vital to fostering the growth of your business. These models encourage customer satisfaction, create a positive reputation, and the end result is often an overall boost in sales. Often customers have a more positive buying experience because you’ve established trust in your company along the way.
A successful marketing funnel increases your brand awareness, consumer interest, conversion rates, and word-of-mouth referrals. Even in the preliminary stages of a marketing funnel, which focus on increasing your business' presence and gaining customer interest, you are further establishing yourself as an authority within your market.
Background Research for Marketing Funnels
Proper planning, organizing, and funding are the foundations of a successful marketing funnel. You have to know your target audience, otherwise, your funnel will not generate the interest and success you’re looking for! Conducting the proper research gives you insight on your market's consumer behavior and what piques their interests. It’s also a good idea to create a customer profile to get a well-rounded idea of your customer base. This insight allows you to create appropriate advertising strategies, focusing on media outlets that are actually relevant to your target audiences.
Appealing to your key demographic generally involves deciphering how they consume their media. This includes what social networking platforms they're most active on, what keywords they are most likely to search, and what tone of voice they most identify with. Focusing on the right social media platforms and utilizing these keywords are effective marketing strategies that directly connect you with leads who are most likely to convert to regular patrons. If you need more information about understanding your customer base, check out this post on customer connection.
Creating a Successful Marketing Funnel
Stage 1: Increasing Awareness
A successful marketing funnel begins with increasing awareness of your product or service. This stage is the most broad, as you are interacting with the total market, reaching out to all potential leads anywhere and in any way possible. After researching the interests and behaviors of your key demographic, you will be able to hone in on the reachable market, which is the audience you will be most likely to interact with.
Casting a large net won’t get you every potential customer, but it will allow you to raise your brand awareness and narrow down the marketing pool. Once you have identified those in the pool who have the greatest potential to become customers, you can refocus your time and money on only warm leads (people that have shown interest in your products or services).
Digital marketing, attending and speaking at events, direct mailers, and email marketing are all cornerstones of increasing brand awareness. Getting your brand out there and establishing yourself as an authority will not only help your short term sales strategies but will show a return over the long run in your sales goals.
Stage 2: Generating Interest
Generating interest in your product or service is the next part of the marketing funnel. This process involves directly engaging with your audience. Social media is one of the most effective ways to instantly get in touch with your leads and is a good option for the initial hook.
A recent study found social networking is among the most effective digital marketing channels, with another study conducted earlier this year reporting that Facebook is the most used social networking platform for advertising purposes. These platforms encourage interaction through comments primarily, as well as hashtags, follows, shares, and likes.
Running paid ads to a target audience lets you reach interested customers (your warm leads) and guides them further down the marketing funnel. You can optimize your funnel even further when you install Facebook pixel onto your website. The pixel allows you to track what pages they visited, what actions they took, and other useful metrics to make your targeting more specific. If you learn how to use the pixel wisely, it will save you a bunch of time and money by targeting customers in more specific terms.
Newsletters and target-driven content are other quintessential staples in generating consumer interest and are often used as a way to generate interest. Remember earlier when you gave your email address to a company for some free content? Now the company can send you newsletters or offers with more content that you might be interested in. They are building a relationship with you to push you through the marketing funnel and convert you from a cold lead to a hot one.
Stage 3: Consideration
By the consideration stage of the market funnel, potential leads have evolved into warm or hot traffic, which includes qualified leads and prospective customers. These leads are nurtured through automated email campaigns, newsletters, case studies, free samples, and special offers. Establishing deep and meaningful connections with your prospective clients and educating them on what you have to offer are the main goals of the consideration stage.
In the digital age, it's not uncommon to underestimate or overlook the importance of the consideration stage. Many entrepreneurs spend the majority of their time focusing on generating interest or prioritizing the purchase. This is a huge mistake. Consideration is a key stage in nurturing the relationship between your business and your qualified leads because it is when your customer is evaluating their options.
Your main focus should be on the customers in this stage because they are interested and only need a little push to purchase your product or service. Don’t get stuck pushing people at the beginning of the funnel or you’ll ignore the customers that matter the most and miss out on loads of sales.
Stage 4: Purchase
The fourth and final stage of a market funnel is the purchase. Show off the benefits of the product or service you're promoting through advertising campaigns. Make it seemingly impossible for customers to resist the urge to purchase through time-sensitive exclusive deals and special offers. However, bear in mind that you are directly marketing to a human being. Avoid overwhelming them with excessive email offers or an approach that's too pushy.
However, it isn't time to throw in the towel and kick up your feet just yet. Providing quality customer service and following up with the lead are key in securing referrals, positive reviews, and repeat business. It is important to remember that your sales cycle has not come to an end once a customer has purchased your product. You want to make sure you’re retargeting these customers and keeping them engaged to continue furthering your relationship with them. Showing you still care about them after they purchase allows you to retain customers to keep them coming back for more.
Once you've mastered marketing funnels at their very core, you can begin to focus on more nuanced features, such as differentiating between B2C and B2B funnels. You may also find yourself dividing each stage into further substages, or focusing on very specific marketing strategies and research, such as consumer psychology.
A marketing funnel is an effective tool to generate leads and convert them into paying customers. Increasing product awareness, generating interest, considering your audience, and securing the sale are the fundamental features of a market funnel.
A successful market funnel fosters business growth and increases customer satisfaction. Research, marketing, and interacting are vital facets of a fruitful funnel. Utilizing social media and automated emails also foster positive results during the final stages of the strategy and should be used to your advantage.
If you need help, there are plenty of other resources on our blog or you can reach out to us for a helping hand. To learn more information about LETSDEVELOP.TV, our services, our experts, or to consult a digital marketing guru, please contact us.