It’s no secret that marketing can be a daunting task. You have to define your target market, create a message they want to hear, figure out how to reach them with your message and then hope it works. The good news is that you don’t have to do all of this on your own! In fact, the best way for marketers to succeed is by working together – using marketing funnels.
Marketing funnels are crucial for having a sustainable business that can keep making a profit in the long run. Every business out there has a marketing funnel. It is just that some of them are aware of it, while 68% of them are clueless.
Having a complete understanding of your marketing funnel can provide you with a map of your ideal customer’s journey. This allows you to tweak that map until you can secure the maximum number of customers possible.
So let’s break down this confusing concept together: What is the marketing funnel? How does it work and why do we care about it anyway? Let’s find out!
What is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel is a visual representation of your ideal customer’s journey from discovering your business to making a purchase. It is one of the most fundamental concepts in the world of marketing that can allow you to convert the maximum number of leads like clockwork.
Knowledge about your marketing funnel allows you to move past the trial and error method.
When you market your products or services, you have two choices— to keep experimenting at random or to come up with a strategy. Experimenting with different aspects of your marketing efforts can be tiresome. You have no idea why the change will be beneficial or what results you should expect.
This is where a marketing funnel helps. By providing you with a map of your customer’s journey, it allows you to make strategic changes at certain points in that journey. These will always reap much better results with greater clarity.
The 6 Types of Marketing Funnels
Marketing funnels come in various shapes and forms depending upon the type of business and the stage in the buyer’s journey.
Six of the most important marketing funnels are:
- Lead Magnet Funnels
A lead magnet funnel allows you to collect contact information (usually emails) about your leads in exchange for a free resource such as an ebook, a checklist, or a video. The contact information is then used to nurture the lead through email newsletters.
- List Building Funnels
A list-building funnel is also used to collect the contact information, usually emails, of leads. However, it does so through a login or sign-up page. These use email newsletters too to nurture leads.
- Webinar Funnels
You can consider webinar funnels to be very similar to lead magnet funnels. They collect information from leads and provide a free webinar (either recorded or live) in return.
- Social Media Marketing Funnels
Social media marketing funnels are one of the most important types of marketing funnels in our modern age of technology. They follow a buyer’s journey from discovery through social media to purchase.
- Video Sales Funnels
Video sales funnels use attractive videos promoting your product to get your ideal customers hooked and get them to make a purchase.
- Email Funnels
Email marketing funnels establish a connection with leads through a series of emails. This form of marketing can take place in the form of drip campaigns and nurturing campaigns.
Now the question is why you would need to create any of the above-mentioned funnels. Let’s get on to it.
Why Do You Need a Marketing Funnel?
The biggest reason why your business needs a marketing funnel is to attract and convert your ideal customers.
When you are aware of each step in your buyer’s journey, you can plug any leaks in your funnel that might be causing you to lose out on customers you want to attract.
Marketing funnels equip you with the right strategies to convince prospects at each step in their journey. In fact, 95% of buyers choose a business that guides them well at each stage in their buying journey.
With a marketing funnel, you can optimize your lead generation process and maximize your conversion rate.
Now that you know why you need them, let’s learn how they work.
How Marketing Funnels Work
The most basic marketing funnel works by breaking down your buyer’s journey into four steps:
This is the stage where your ideal customer does not know about your business. The aim of this step is to make prospects aware.
In this step, you catch the interest of your buyers by telling them about the immense benefits of your product and service by targeting their pain points and promising to solve their problems.
This is the step where you encourage your prospects to invest in your product or service by convincing them that you are the right fit for solving their problems.
This is the final step where you give your prospects the last push and seal the deal by converting them into a customer.
11 Steps to Creating the Perfect Marketing Funnel
Now you know how important they are and a business cannot be successful without understanding them.
But how do you actually create the perfect marketing funnel? Simply by following these 11 easy steps:
- Analyze Your Audience’s Behaviour
The first and foremost step in your marketing funnel is to analyze your audience’s behaviour.
You need to have a complete understanding of your target audience and their behavior so that you know where to find them, how to catch their attention, and how you can lead them through each step of your funnel.
- Identify the Stages in the Marketing Funnel
Your buyer goes through various steps before they choose to make a purchase. If you are not clear about these stages and do not perfect each of them, you will lose your prospects halfway through. That makes this step vital in setting up a perfect funnel.
Monitoring your buyer’s journey starts with an understanding of the three parts of a marketing funnel:
Top of the Funnel
- The top of the funnel (TOFU) is the stage at which you generate awareness about your target audience. Your main goal is to capture the attention of your target audience.
- Some of the content you can use to gain recognition from your ideal customers at this stage of the funnel includes blog posts, podcasts, ebooks, and web pages.
- Most businesses focus on the broad issues faced by their target audience at this point since the main purpose at this stage is to leave an impression on your prospects’ minds.
Middle of the Funnel
- The middle of the funnel (MOFU) is when brands start focusing on drawing the prospects closer towards the conversion. This means capturing them as leads and slowly nurturing them.
- This is the step at which businesses know that their prospects are evaluating their products and services.
- You can use content like emails, webinars, and educational resources at this stage to nurture your leads.
- Most businesses tend to focus on their own product/service as well as how it can solve the prospect’s problems at this stage.
Bottom of the Funnel
- The bottom of the funnel (BOFU) is the final step in your marketing funnel at which point you convert your leads into customers and generate sales.
- At this stage, content like demos and custom stories are the best way to win hearts.
- BOFU is the stage when a business analyzes the individual needs of each prospect and provides the best solution for them to close the deal and convert them into a customer.
While understanding your marketing funnel is very important, we must also not forget that there is more to a marketing funnel than these three parts. It is essential to understand the consumer decision process so that you can strategize for the corresponding part of the marketing funnel.
Your buyer goes through five steps under the marketing funnel stages:
1. Problem/Need Recognition
This is the first step in your buyer’s journey when they realize that they have an unfulfilled need or a problem that has to be solved.
The problem/need recognition stage corresponds to the top of your marketing funnel. This is because your buyer is unaware of your brand and how it can solve their problems at this point.
With the right marketing tactics, you can create an impression in their mind that your product/service can be the perfect fit for solving their problems.
2. Information Search
Corresponding to the middle of your marketing funnel, information search is the second step in the consumer decision-making process.
During this step, the prospect starts looking for information about the possible solutions to their identified problem. When they come across your products/services as an option, they have made the transition into a lead that needs to be nurtured.
From recalling brands that they have heard of to doing research on the internet, a buyer can use various internal and external sources of information for research purposes.
3. Evaluation of Alternatives
At this stage, your prospect has come across a number of options that fulfill their needs. Also corresponding to the middle of your marketing funnel, this step involves evaluating each of these options based on various attributes to decide upon the best one.
Since your prospect is already a lead considering your product/service, your main aim should be to nurture their interest so that they choose you.
4. Purchase Decision
The purchase decision is the actual step where the buyer chooses to take action.
Your prospect has evaluated all their possible options and has hopefully chosen you. Since their decision is already made, the next step is to simplify the purchase process for them so that they do not back out.
Corresponding to the bottom of your marketing funnel, this is the stage where you lead your prospect to purchase your product/service.
5. Post-Purchase Behaviour
If you thought that merely making a purchase puts an end to your buyer’s journey, you are wrong! Post-purchase behavior can make a world of difference.
Is your buyer satisfied with their purchase? Are their needs being met successfully?
This step relates to the bottom of your marketing funnel and converts a one-time buyer into a loyal customer.
- Decide Your Objectives & Metrics Right
This is the next yet crucial step in creating your marketing funnel since it equips you with the ability to analyze and judge it. Setting objectives allows you to understand if your funnel is serving its purpose while choosing the right metrics helps you in measuring its success.
The KPIs of your marketing funnel can be,
- Website visitors
- Repeat buyers
- And more.
- Plan Your Marketing Funnel
Now that you have your fundamentals clear, this is the actual step where you put them into action.
Go through each step meticulously and plan out the strategy and content you will use to convert your leads into customers. This involves choosing the right marketing tactic for each stage of your funnel.
There are a number of factors to consider when planning your marketing funnel. Some of the most important ones are:
Choosing Which Stage of Your Funnel to Start With
While each stage of your marketing funnel is equally important, you need to prioritize certain stages depending upon your situation.
Is your business getting a steady stream of leads but they do not convert to clients? You might need to look at your marketing funnel’s middle and bottom stages.
Are you having trouble finding leads in the first place? You need to focus on the top of your marketing funnel.
Picking Marketing Tactics for Each Funnel Stage
You need to make sure that you are choosing the right marketing tactic for each stage of your marketing funnel so that you generate and convert maximum leads.
Your marketing tactic cannot focus on generating awareness if it is meant for the bottom of the funnel. Similarly, you cannot directly jump to trying to convert for leads that are at the top.
Make sure that you pick the right marketing tactic for each stage of your funnel so that you get maximum results.
Number of Content
The frequency of your content is an important part of your marketing funnel. It is not just essential for coming up with your content calendar; you need to make sure that you are hitting that sweet spot when it comes to content.
Too much content might make your prospects feel smothered, while too little could make them forget about you.
Flow of Content
Focusing on the flow of your content is important to ensure that your marketing funnel retains maximum leads at each stage. This involves choosing the right content at each step of a buyer’s journey. Targeting the right pain points and making the right offer can make a world of difference in influencing your buyer’s decision.
Creating Content for Each Tactic
A marketing funnel is the sum of a number of marketing tactics. From lead magnets to email marketing campaigns, all tactics require the right content for them to be successful.
Connecting and Building Continuity
It is important to always stay at the forefront so that your buyers never forget you. You can only achieve this by regularly connecting with your buyers and showing them that you care. Continuity is key for retaining your customers and keeping them coming back for more.
- Choose the Right Lead Magnet
Based on the needs and problems of your ideal customer, you need to choose the right lead magnet to collect their contact information. Convince them of your lead magnet’s value so that you tempt more and more of them to choose it.
- Capture Your Audience’s Attention
This is the step where the top of your funnel (TOFU) ends. It is a fusion of all your marketing efforts so far to catch your audience’s attention and create an impression in their minds. With this step, you have completed the awareness stage of your funnel.
- Build A Landing Page
Now that your audience is aware of your business and the products/services it offers, you need to perfect a landing page where they can get more information about you. A landing page expands across the middle and bottom of your funnel by getting your audience more interested and convincing them to consider you as a solution to their problems.
- Experiment & Increase Your Conversion Rates
If you have prepared your marketing funnel right so far, you must be seeing some amount of conversions. However, you cannot make the perfect marketing funnel in a day. No matter how much you try to analyze and speculate, humans are unpredictable and you need to leave room for change. Only experimentation will provide you with the perfect marketing funnel that yields maximum results.
- Nurture Your Leads
Nurturing your leads is a very important step in your marketing funnel since it helps you in developing a relationship with your ideal customers. By popping up around them frequently and reinforcing how you can help them, you create a lasting impression in your mind and nurture trust.
- Create An Email Drip Campaign
Talking about nurturing your leads, an email drip campaign is a perfect way to achieve this. It consists of sending strategically written emails to your prospects regularly so that you can keep them hooked to your business and its updates. These campaigns allow you to get more and more of your leads interested and help them move further down the funnel.
- Keep in Touch
Believe it or not, this is the most important stage of your marketing funnel! Your customers should feel that you are more than just making money from them. Stay in touch with them to convince them that you truly want to solve all their problems. Slowly, you will be nurturing brand loyalty and creating a community that will blindly trust your brand over your competitors.
Build your perfect marketing funnel with ease right away
Marketing funnels are the key to unlocking your business’s complete potential.
They allow you to create and perfect a system that ensures a regular inflow of high-quality leads that will be easily converted into sales. In fact, facilitating an easy buying process using your marketing funnel makes it 62% more likely that you will win big sales.
Considering the staggering benefits they provide, have you made up your mind to prioritize your business’s marketing funnel yet?