A high converting marketing funnel is an integral part of the sales process. You know you're going for more customers, but how do you turn leads and prospects into eager, willing, and hungry buyers once you catch their interest? Below we'll explore the fundamentals of understanding a prospect's journey through the funnel and how you can use them in your marketing strategies.
Now before I go into some key marketing strategies I want to do a quick refresher of What is a sales funnel and why you should have one
Why use a marketing funnel?
The marketing funnel definition is a series of steps that a prospect will go through to complete the sales process. Marketers use a marketing funnel to turn leads into customers – while understanding every step of the journey that influences a lead's buying decision.
A marketing funnel explained in more elaborate terms is that you, as a marketer and business owner, create a system that maximizes the customer's journey when making a purchase. Your goal is to build trust, brand awareness while trying to convert a lead. And in the process, understand where prospects exit the sales funnel or decide to purchase. Knowing this means you can measure the effectiveness or conversion rates of each step in the funnel, and consequently, improve the process.
Understanding the process of a marketing funnel
Before you create your first funnel, you must understand the marketing funnel stages that fuels the action you want your leads to take. And although each prospect can enter your funnel at different stages depending on your goals, the buyer's journey is generally the same.
When a prospect is aware that they have a problem and wants to find a solution, they will seek opportunities to overcome them. At this stage, they are open to ideas and solutions, irrespective of the company offering them. Because as of now, they're at the researching phase. Since the customers will not be aware of your product and services, you should educate them about what you do through educational content related to their pain points.
Once your customers are aware that a solution is available to their problem, they'll ask questions and make specific inquiries to determine if a solution is right for them. Customer representatives can be helpful at this stage as your potential customers are trying to find more about the product, and you need to anticipate questions that they might have.
The decision stage
At this stage, your client or prospect knows that the solution that you're proposing is something that they need. However, they might be looking at competitors and finding alternatives. They know they need a product like yours, but are unsure if your solutions fit their exact needs. By providing easy access to customer support such as live chat, you will address their concerns as most people want reliable help when it comes to making a buying decision.
After the first initial sale, the next step in your funnel is to nurture and increase your current customers' retention rate. You're basically offering them more value that makes them justify their purchase. They'll end up becoming loyal users of your products and services. This will eventually lower your costs of acquiring new customers by giving you an excellent base from which to get more referrals.
The evolution of marketing funnels
As with digital marketing, a marketing funnel will evolve from traditional marketing practices to accommodate more complex systems. In an ever-growing digital marketing space, the new marketing funnel needs to address all strategies that make it effective at every point, regardless of where the prospect appears in the marketing process.
It would be best if you defined your goals clearly and what specific action you want customers to take in each step of the funnel. The journey of the customer needs to be mapped out accurately. So that they know you understand their pain points, and they'll trust you to offer them the solution.
By gathering data about your customer, you're more likely to create a personalized experience based on feedback and engagement with your products and services. Personalized content will retain your customers' loyalty and make them advocates of your products and services.
Put yourself in your customer's shoes, and understand their specific situation. Then you can nurture them through an omnichannel experience. By building on each customer's responses, you can structure your content to fit every scenario. This means the previous linear funnel, which essentially is a one-size-fits-all funnel, becomes obsolete.
Consumers today are not as they are in the past. And your digital marketing funnel has to reflect the changing times. Being smart marketers to suit savvy consumers is a must as you will soon find out as you explore new ways to reach prospects.
Creating your marketing funnel
There are various marketing funnels that you should use and develop to gather data and improve on it. As such, using a marketing funnel template can get you set-up quickly in the early stages when you want to run an ad campaign, for example. Below are a few that you can use:
The basic marketing funnel template uses the AIDA model. Each step in the AIDA model is designed to support the customer in making a final purchase.
The prospect becomes aware of your brand or service. This is the introductory part where someone first comes across your solutions to a problem they have.
Generating interest in your products and services to solve a problem makes the customer want to know more about what you have to offer.
Creating an emotional need that makes the prospect want to justify having the product. At this stage, the consumer turns from liking a product to desiring it.
This could be the sale or another objective of the sales funnel, like scheduling a phone call, booking a consultation, or joining up as a member.
The AIDA model is a basic model that a sales funnel can utilize. But depending on the business goals, other models can be used, such as awareness, interests, consideration, intent, evaluation, and purchase.
Inbound marketing flywheel
This is a marketing funnel Hubspot introduced a while back to replace their previous marketing funnel. Being a more simplified funnel comparatively, the inbound marketing flywheel has three components: to attract, engage, and delight.
The strategy puts heavy emphasis on content marketing and building relationships with audiences to create brand awareness and credibility. The business becomes the go-to-source for their niche market – creating content that shows their authority on the subject by engaging and delighting audiences. Audiences are more likely to purchase a recommendation of your products or services using this strategy because they know that it will only benefit them.
The conversion funnel is more about expanding the delight stage of your customer. The strategy relies on nurturing your current customers and turning them into valued advocates of your products and services; You're going to prioritize keeping your customers by introducing loyalty programs, contests, and events that keep them engaged and talking about your product.
Regular product updates and outreach programs will make them keener to talk about your brand since they are more aware of it. Moreover, they're more likely to be open to cross-sells and upsell promotions that you have. If you provide them with rewards and incentives, you can bring more referrals to your business than you otherwise would have.
Examples of excellent marketing funnels
A marketing funnel example is best seen from successful companies that you may have heard of yourself. But even if you haven't used the following products or services, it's best to learn from some of them and try to incorporate the strategies into your own funnel.
They are known for audiobooks and spoken word entertainment, the platform partners with various authors to promote their platform by offering a free one month trial. This gives customers ample time to try out the service and discover audible's extensive library of audiobooks.
A business and management software for entrepreneurs, Honey Book, has a landing page that offers a free test to analyze a business owner's personality. They provide the results in exchange for the prospect's email address. Once the analysis is complete, they will give the results and provide business advice according to the person's personality type. Also, they offer a free seven-day trial to test Honey Book, and it's an all-in-one business management solution.
According to Statista, in the second quarter of 2020, Netflix has 192.95 million monthly users. It is the most used paid subscription streaming service. And the unlimited viewing of their massive library of content during the free trial is a great sales funnel. For those new to the streaming service, Netflix offers several payment options, making it easy to start up an account. They clearly define what you'll be getting in your subscription and the various plans that they have. The option to cancel at any time takes away doubt a prospect might have in trialing the membership.
You have 50 Milliseconds!
YES, That is it! You seriously only have 50 milliseconds (.05 seconds) to grab a website visitors attention because of how quickly they form an opinion of your site. The big question is how do you hook them in and keep them coming back for more?
This is key to getting people to stay on your page because people love watching videos. With the technology out there you most likely have an amazing way to shoot video in your pocket. As long as you can get over the fear of putting yourself out there (do it, you will knock it out of the ball park) you can implement this strategy right away.
If you are not keen on putting yourself out there you can go to sites like Fiverr or Upwork and pay someone to do a video for your site.
Videos sell, so make sure to implement it into your marketing strategy.
Sales funnels are crucial for turning a prospect or lead to lifelong customers. When you can effectively engage and retain your audiences, you provide a useful framework for your brand to improve and expand.
Testing funnels is an ongoing process and using software tools like Clickfunnels to build landing pages, follow-up sequences, and providing detailed analytics can improve your overall conversion rates. And subsequently, grow and maximize your marketing investment.
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