In the marketing space, everyone seems to be talking about marketing funnels (aka funnels or funnel marketing.)
They're not a fad like that awesome mullet I had in the 1980s. They are here to stay and for a good reason. When implemented correctly, marketing funnels bring in new leads and new customers over and over again.
In this article, we will cover:
Ready? Let's jump right to it!
A Marketing Funnel is a system that helps lead and convert prospects through the customer journey and turns them into paying customers.
Another way to define a marketing funnel is a sequence of touchpoints - emails, videos, blog posts, webinars, PDFs, and other helpful communications that a prospect receives or engages with in a specific sequence that systematically leads them down the path of making a purchase.
So why a funnel?
The funnel represents the whole process that customers go through from Knowing, Liking, Trusting, Trying, and Buying. We also like to see repeat and referral business at the bottom of the funnel (after buying), but that's a discussion for another day.
The mouth of the funnel is where customers become aware of (or know about) your business. As you go down the funnel, the body becomes narrower, which means customers fall off, and only the most qualified and motivated ones make it to the end of the funnel.
Funnels are vital to the success of any business. If you want to consistently and systematically generate leads for your business, a funnel is a must!
GENERATING MORE QUALIFIED LEADS is the #1 reason for creating a funnel, but there are other benefits as well. Here are three reasons why you should use funnel marketing to grow your business:
A marketing funnel simplifies the customer journey and makes it easier for business owners to apply.
A funnel maps out each phase of the customer journey and what tools or tactics you are going to use to help move prospects down the funnel.
A funnel applies to all types of customer interactions. Whether you’re looking to boost your online sales, generate traffic for your physical store, or build an email list, you need a marketing funnel.
It is a powerful tool to bring visibility to every phase of connecting with customers.
A marketing funnel shows at what point your customers are dropping off. You can use your funnel to tweak your strategy.
For example, let's say you are getting a ton of people to sign up for your email list. The next step in your funnel may be to get folks to sign up for a webinar. If you have a large percentage of people not signing up for your webinar, you may not have the right topic.
Some marketing funnels have four phases, some have five, and some have seven.
In this section, we are going to look at the five phases of any marketing funnel.
Here we go!
Awareness is the first phase in the marketing funnel. Prospects become familiar with your business during this phase.
Since the customers in this phase are clueless about your business, you should focus on showcasing the value of your offer. Provide specific details for it to build a relationship or connect with your potential customers.
It's also essential to create branded content to engage your audience and make them interact in the future.
Once potential customers become aware of your business, they enter the consideration phase.
In this phase, you are building a deeper relationship between you and your potential customers. They become more interested in knowing more about you and your business.
Create content that highlights social proof of your business to help potential customers when they’re comparing you against others.
In the conversion phase, your customers already know and understand the value of your offer, and it’s time for them to make a decision - BUY or PASS.
Start talking about your offer in this phase of the marketing funnel. Explain why your business is better than others and why it’s perfect for your customers.
Focus on showcasing the features, advantages, and benefits of your offer.
In the Loyalty phase, you are interacting and nurturing current customers, so they become raving fans.
It's essential to have a plan for maintaining customer loyalty like creating a loyalty program with regular discounts, email interactions, and social media contests or giveaways.
If you fail to create a plan for increasing loyalty, you just wasted a lot of time and effort during the previous phases of the funnel.
The advocacy phase is also known as the referral phase.
You will only reach this phase of the marketing funnel when your customers become raving fans.
The customers in this phase are willing to purchase again. When you win their love and loyalty, they will talk about your company and refer you to their friends and family.
Think about creating a referral program to boost word of mouth about your business and encourage customers to refer you.
To help you create a funnel, I want to highlight some of the best tools you can use.
Here are five of the best marketing funnel tools that you'll find online right now!
ClickFunnels is an awesome tool because it is an all in one tool that lets you set up a funnel and optimize it. It also has great payment collection integrations.
I love that ClickFunnels is a user-friendly tool that allows users to test new funnels fast!
ClickFunnels is one of the most robust sales funnel building tools out there and worthy of checking out.
Thrive Themes offers a pretty complete package to anyone who wants to build a sales or marketing funnel.
Thrive Themes pricing starts at $30 per month, which I think is very affordable, given the wide range of features this toolset offers.
ActiveCampaign is an email marketing tool that our team uses to automate our email tasks.
There are a ton of email marketing platforms out there. ActiveCampaign helps us integrate email into our funnels in a simple, effective way.
They have numerous integrations to ensure ActiveCampaign plays nice with the rest of the steps or phases in your funnel.
Wishpond is another tool that lets you create landing pages, pop-ups, and social media contests to boost your email marketing & automation game.
If you are a beginner, I'm sure you'll like their cool templates, which are easy to set up.
If you love to give away stuff in the form of social media contests, then Wishpond's sweepstakes landing page templates and popups are perfect for you.
Integrate your MailChimp or ActiveCampaign account to Wishpond to maximize its dashboard.
GetResponse is an all-in-one tool that beginners, developers, and agencies will love!
A feature that makes GetResponse stand out is called Autofunnel. You can set up social media campaigns, landing pages, webinars, and email automation using this feature.
The sales funnel software of GetResponse is easy to set up. Once set up, you will also see visually exactly how your leads filter through.
GetResponse also has a library of modern design landing page and newsletter templates.
In conclusion, marketing funnels are essential to your business. They help you understand the whole customer journey to boost awareness and sales!
If you don’t have a marketing funnel yet, it’s time to build one. Begin with creating a simple marketing funnel, fixing pain points, and identifying opportunities for business growth.
Always remember that it’s not just about converting potential customers. You also want to encourage them to be loyal and refer your business to their friends and family too.
Now the only thing left to do is start building your funnel. We've provided some additional resources below you might want to check out.
Marketing Funnels for Beginners: A Comprehensive Guide
How Marketing Funnels Work
41 of the Best Tools for Building a Profitable Sales Funnel
So what do you think about this article? Are you ready to create a marketing funnel?
Drop a comment in the comments section below and let's talk.
Also, it would be a great honor if you think this article is worth SHARING with your friends and family.
Header courtesy of Stockunlimited.
Tim Fitzpatrick is the President of Rialto Marketing. At Rialto Marketing, we help take the guesswork out of marketing so your small business can grow. Marketing your business shouldn't be a constant challenge. If you are ready to eliminate the uncertainty and confusion of marketing your business, we can help.