If your business offers a solid product or service, but you aren’t getting customers to buy you need to build a marketing funnel. So, what exactly is a marketing funnel and why is it so important?
Simply put, a marketing funnel is a way of breaking down the customer journey from first finding out about your brand to converting. Building marketing funnels can give you useful insights into why some customers convert — and others don’t.
For example, Ambition Digital is a B2B company that offers commercial-grade digital marketing solutions. A big part of our initial marketing strategy was to build a marketing funnel that drives organic search traffic to our website through high quality content. Using engaging and compelling content that answers important questions in our industry and adds real value to our target demographic allowed us to convert visitors into customers and choose our brand over our competitors.
In this article, we’ll look at marketing funnels in more detail and how you can build them to generate more leads and sales for your business.
What You Need To Know About Building Marketing Funnels
A marketing funnel can be broken down into 2 basic components. The first component is the entry point or “top of the funnel”. It captures leads from prospective customers who are just discovering your brand. The second component consists of a series of stages, each one requiring more commitment from the customer — called the conversion path. Your aim is to move the prospective customers through the different stages of the funnel until they convert into paying customers or become a repeat buyer.
The important thing to remember is that during each stage of your funnel, you need to present the customers with increasingly more valuable offers. For example, at the top of the funnel — where prospects are first discovering your brand or product via search engines and social media advertising — you might provide a free trial offer for new users. You can then incentivise them to enter their contact information by offering additional benefits like bonus content or access to exclusive deals on products when they sign up for a limited-time offer.
During the next stages of the marketing funnel, as potential customers become more aware of and engage with your product or service (and its value), you can introduce them to monthly payment plans and trials, before finally asking for a purchase.
How To Build a Marketing Funnel
Marketing funnels are all about trying to turn potential customers into buying customers — or better yet, repeat customers who come back again and again.
Make sure that your product or service is good enough so that your customers don’t have any reason to go elsewhere. You also need to make sure that it’s for customers to make payments by having payment methods such as PayPal and others available at checkout.
In addition, you’ll want to include a variety of offers and deals at the different stages of your marketing funnel to keeping moving your customers through them. If a customer signs up to your email newsletter it’s a great way to do it because you can send them updates and offers on your products/services without them having to search for it.
You can create individual marketing funnels for specific products and services, or you can create one funnel that includes everything. It all depends on your specific product or service.
The 4 Stages of a Marketing Funnel
There are four marketing funnel stages known as “AIDA“. These are Awarness, Interest, Desire and Action. This is a framework that’s designed to first attract prospected customers and eventually convert them into paying customers.
Within each stage there are specific strategies that must be executed in order to move the prospected customer through to the next level of the funnel. We have already covered some basic techniques above such as offering a free trial or incentivising the customer to provide their contact information in exchange for an exclusive offer.
Let’s look at each stage in more detail and go over some of the marketing techniques and strategies you can implement.
1. Awareness Stage
Awareness is the first stage of a marketing funnel. This is where people discover your brand, product or service. It can happen in different ways. For example, when they search for a product or service on Google, see an ad on social media or hear an influencer mention you.
Some of the best techniques and strategies to raise awareness include:
- Targeting potential customers with paid ads
- Creating sharable content focused on increasing brand awareness online (blog posts, videos, images and infographics)
- Incentivising your audience to share your content with on their social media
2. Interest Stage
Interest is the second stage of a marketing funnel. As the name suggests, at this stage of the funnel the potential customers is already interested in what you have to offer. Now, they want to know more specific details and it’s up to you to entice them with your offer in order to move them through to the next stage of your marketing funnel.
Some of the best techniques and strategies to nurture the interest of your potential customers include:
- Delivering high quality customer support through live chat or phone lines that answers any queries (really helpful for product-related questions!)
- Offering free trials of products so potential customers can try before they buy
- Bundling items together in order to provide more value than competitors
- Allowing customers to purchase your product on a “single payment” or “pay-as-you-use” basis
- Offering discounts for first time purchasers or those who sign up to an email list
- Rebates are also popular — after 3 months with no returns, refunds or complaints, say that customer is entitled to a £15 rebate!
- Focusing marketing efforts towards demographics where there has been success in converting potential customers into buyers before pursuing other demographic groups
- Sending out a promotional email for your product or service
- Evaluating the success of various marketing campaigns by looking at which ones are generating more sales and traffic
- Sending out an offer to entice potential customers (EXAMPLE: if you purchase a one-month package, we’ll throw in extra goodies!)
- Offering discounts on products when they’re purchased along with other items
- Using social media as another method of advertising – Facebook Groups can be created where people post about their purchases and provide testimonials
- Selling to a customer’s need and telling them how your product/service is “the one” for them (EXAMPLE: you have been looking around, but can’t find what you’re looking for. Our solution will solve all of your problems!)
- Offering free shipping on your products (TIP: you can add the shipping cost to the price of your product, so that you don’t have to cut your margins)
3. Desire Stage
The third stage in the marketing funnel is the desire stage. At this stage your potential customer has done their research and should be ready to convert. They have already decided on what they want and are ready to buy product or service.
The most important thing to consider during the desire stage of your marketing funnel is whether you fully understand what is motivating people to buy – is it the convenience, the price or something else? You will need to consider your target demographic profile, including their current situation, what need are you solving and how much money they have to spend on your offer.
Then, you can draw them in to close the sale with a strong call-to-action (CTA). You can provide them with an incentive for purchasing now instead of later (TIP: offer discounts or give away something free if they order today).
4. Action Stage
The fourth and final stage of a marketing funnel is the action stage.
This is when your potential customer is ready to be converted into a paying customer. At this stage of the funnel, it’s likely that they will have already bought your product or service, or at least scheduled a call to go through with the sale.
The action stage of the funnel is also a great way to upsell your new customers by offering add-ons that compliment the product or service which they are buying. For example, if we built a website for a client we could offer them to include a web hosting and maintenance package — that’s an upsell.
Marketing funnels are an important part of any digital marketing strategy. When you build a marketing funnel you increase the potential for converting prospected customers into paying customers by providing them with incentives to buy your products and services.
Make sure you make the process of paying as easy as possible by having PayPal and other payment methods at the checkout! And don’t forget about leveraging email marketing either. Sending updates and offers is a great way to remind potential customers who might not be ready to buy that you’re still here and ready to offer them a deal!
If you need help with your marketing — reach out to us! We’re a 5-star rated commercial-grade digital marketing agency and are always happy to talk about what we can do to help your business.