You may have heard the term marketing funnel, but you may not really understand what it is or how to make one. By the end of this article that will change. You will not only know what a marketing funnel is, but you will also be able to design, develop and implement a marketing funnel for your unique business.
There are many different types of marketing plans and strategies, but they are in essence - What are you selling, to whom, where, when and how much? Marketing answers these questions and is a core function of the business.
A marketing funnel helps your buyer through a journey (PDF) from discovery (learning about your product or service) to conversion (purchase of your products or services) to evangelist (spreading the word about your business and getting others into the funnel).
A marketing funnel can be an automated (or at the very least a semi-automated) system. A funnel is also measurable through tools like Google Analytics, which will help in your marketing efforts as you can see where your customers are leaving and address any issues.
For example: you have a campaign using Facebook ads to get people to join your email list by downloading a free guide (a lead generator). You use your email list to help nurture your relationship with the prospect to eventually get a sale.
This is an example of a simple marketing funnel with the customer moving through the various stages starting with awareness and ending in a nurturing relationship. You email list may have its own funnel to get your readers to become buyers.
Using Facebook Ads as the traffic source, and its own way of measuring effectiveness (Click through rate vs cost) you are directing potential clients to the email list which is then used to convert you prospect into a buyer.
Here is how it looks:
Ads for Lead Generator Action:Click (interest and awareness)>
Download Lead Generator Action: Download (know, like, trust) >
Sign up to Email List Action:Sign up (nurture relationship) >
Purchase product Action:Conversion >
Continue to nurture relationship and get sales
Remember - the funnel describes the steps (actions) needed for your prospect to be converted into a customer. In the above example we are moving from a traffic source (Facebook) into the main conversion process (email list).
Keep in mind that not every potential customer will stay in the funnel, some may opt out. In the example above we are taking a high rate of conversion (aka movement) from one step to the next (10% is an unusually high rate, but if you were extremely targeted you may be able to reach it).
So how do you go about designing (and implementing) a client attracting marketing funnel? If you follow the below steps you will have designed (and implemented) an effective marketing funnel for your business for any traffic source.
Define your customer and where they hang out
Describe your ideal customer (The more targeted you can be in your efforts the higher chance you have of success.)
Where does your ideal customer visit/hang out?
Define your strategy to get your prospects into the funnel
What are your current marketing strategies and tactics?
How many of them intersect with where your ideal customer is?
What are 3 actions to bring customers to the next point in the buying process?
Direct all your potential customers to the funnel and get the process started
Now that you have defined your strategy: who your customer is, where they are and what the next actions are to get to the next part of the funnel; start by setting up your measurements.
How will you measure success?
Example: Number of email signups converted into buyers from campaign
How does the customer move through each of these stages?
Example: Social media, blog and content > email list and convert to buyer
Draw your funnel to help visualize how your prospects move through to become buyers:
You have successfully defined your funnel and gotten started with how you are going to measure your success, choosing an approach and sticking with it. Remember - a marketing funnel only works while there are new prospects coming in, so continually go through this process and refine how your funnel works.