A marketing funnel is what takes a potential customer through the whole journey of finding your business, all the way to purchasing your products/services regularly.
The aim is to create a highly automated system that is measurable at any point in the customer journey. This is usually done by Google Analytics, as the wide range of data that is available, can help any business identify where improvements can be made in their customer journey.
Let’s say that you’re marketing four main products, it’s highly unlikely that somebody comes across your business, researches everything that you have to offer, and then promptly decides to purchase your most valuable product. For customers to purchase your products, they first need to be assured that they are making a great investment. They need to trust you and feel like the risk is relatively low. They need to ‘get to know you’ through a process – and that’s what a marketing funnel does.
The first stage of the funnel is awareness. This is where people who have a problem get to know your product/service or company because you can solve their related problem. This could be because they came across your blog article, saw one of your Facebook posts or found you through Google. Whichever it is, they now know you exist, and they have a mental note that your brand is connected to the problem they have. This is where great marketing comes in – you can showcase your product/services to reassure your potential customer you are the brand they should choose.
At this stage, your potential customers are “hooked.” They’ve consumed your content, and now they want to find out more. This may be through your website or even visiting your store, but you need to make this information easily accessible or otherwise, they will give up and look elsewhere. Your job is to rank highly on Google for their specific search queries, so they find your content, along with being the expert they want to follow and learn more from. Once you have done this you can gently nudge them into the next stage by showing how your product or service can solve their problem.
By now your potential customer knows the solution, and they know you can provide that for them. But here’s the catch – just because they know what you can do and how you can help them, doesn’t mean they will choose you. Your job now is to convince them you are the right person, for the job. So, how do you do that?
The fourth stage of the funnel is conversion. Your potential customer is almost convinced you are the right solution for their problem. Now you must give them a final ‘nudge’ and a compelling reason for them to choose you.
There are plenty of things you can do at this stage, such as:
- Create urgency – if a product is going out of stock soon, you can gently remind them with email marketing.
- Make sure the checkout experience is smooth and easy if you are selling products online.
- Offer them a discount to persuade them to buy.
If the buying experience is pleasant, they will happily make the purchase. This applies when investing in services too, if their experience is friendly, they are more like to invest.
The conversion stage is also a great time to upsell, allowing your customer to include add-ons to the products they’re already buying. When you purchase a holiday from Thomas Cook, and they ask you if you want travel insurance. That’s an upsell. When you buy a meal at a restaurant and they ask if you want a side with your meal, that’s an upsell.
I hope this article has demonstrated what marketing funnels are and how they work.
If you don’t have a marketing funnel yet, it’s time to start building one. Begin with baby steps and focus on making a simple funnel, fixing issues and identifying openings for growth.
Remember: it’s not just about acquiring new customers. You want to encourage them to be loyal and refer all their friends too. Sometimes, the best business is repeat business.