If you’ve taken the time to learn about marketing and analytics, you’ve probably come across the term “marketing funnels.” 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. Creating marketing funnels can give you useful insight into why some customers convert — and others don’t.
All About Marketing Funnels
A marketing funnel can be split into 2 basic components. The first one is the entry point or “top of the funnel” that captures leads from prospective customers who are just discovering your brand. And the second one consists of a series of stages, each one requiring more commitment from the customer — called the conversion path. Your prospective customers is moved through the different stages until they convert into paying customers or a repeat purchaser.
The important thing to remember is that with every step in your funnel, you’re presenting 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 engine results and social media posts—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 this limited-time offer.
During the next stages of the marketing funnel, as potential customers become aware of and engage with what it takes to use your service (and its value) you can introduce them to monthly payment plans and trials, before finally asking for a purchase.
The 4 Stages of a Marketing Funnel
There are four marketing funnel stages known as “AIDA“:
oWithin each stage there are specific strategies that must be executed in order to generate revenue from customers at different levels of the funnel. We have already covered some tactics above, such as free trial offers or incentivising contact information through exclusive deals. Now it’s time to learn how you can tweak and apply these techniques to your own business!
Awareness Stage Marketing Strategies
- Targeting potential customers by demographics using Google Adwords (IMPORTANT: not all demographics will work with every product)
- Creating content focused on increasing brand visibility and awareness online via blog posts, videos, images and infographics
- Incentivising viewers to share your content with their social media followers by using the “social sharing” plugin on a blog post. This will help you reach an even broader audience!
Interest Stage Marketing Strategies
- Delivering high quality customer support through live chat or phone lines (really helpful for product-related questions!)
- Offering free trials of products with no expiration dates so 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 three 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)
Desire Stage Marketing Strategies
The next stage in the marketing funnel is the desire stage. This stage is when your potential customer has done their research and is ready to convert. At this stage of the funnel the customer has already found what they want and want your product or service.
A desire stage marketing strategy consists of understanding what motivates people to buy in this particular phase – whether they want convenience or they are happy with the price. This means considering your audience’s demographic profile as well as their current situation and how much money they have to spend on an item or service from you. You can draw them in 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).
In order to create compelling ads with a strong call-to-action (CTA) copy, it helps if you understand where someone is coming from when viewing your advertisement.
Action Stage Marketing Strategies
This is when your potential customer turns into your existing customer. At this stage of the funnel, they have bought your product or service, scheduled a call or completed whatever other action you wanted them to take.
Benefits of Using a Marketing Funnel
Marketing funnels are all about trying to turn first time customers into repeat customers who come back again and again. If you can do this then you will be successful! This means providing enough information on why future purchases should happen from your company’s website rather than a different one.
Make sure that your products and the whole experience satisfies your customer so they don’t have any reason to go elsewhere. Keeping it easy for visitors to make transactions by having payment methods such as PayPal available at checkout is a win-win.
In addition, you’ll want to include a variety of offers and deals for your customer so they always have something new to look forward too. For example, if someone signs up for email updates from your company it can be beneficial in the long-run because you will be able to send them information on what’s happening or what products/deals are available at any time, without them having to search for it. This should keep them coming back!
You can create individual marketing funnels for specific products and services, or you can create one funnel that includes everything. It all depends on what works best for your business and how big it is, but in general the more offers and deals you have available to people, the better your chance at converting them!
Marketing Funnels in a Nutshell
Marketing funnels are an important part of any online marketing strategy because they help increase conversions from potential customers by providing them with lots of incentives to buy your products and services.
Make sure transactions are easy by having PayPal and other payment gateways as a possible method at checkout! And don’t forget about email newsletters either. Sending those updates helps remind visitors who might not be ready to buy that you’re still here and ready to offer them a deal!