IN SHORT, A MARKETING FUNNEL IS A BASIC REQUIREMENT OF A SUCCESSFUL ONLINE BUSINESS.
If you have your own business and you’ve been learning best practices on how to market yourself, chances are you’ve heard the term “marketing funnel” quite a bit. But what exactly is it?
When done correctly, a marketing funnel will take your potential customer from first discovering you (via YouTube, your blog, your social media efforts, etc.) all the way to buying your products or services on a regular basis. It helps them go from being aware of your business to being repeat customers.
IN THIS BLOG, WE WILL DISCUSS:
Who will be going through your funnel stages
What those stages are
The four basic steps of a marketing funnel
SO, WHAT EXACTLY IS A MARKETING FUNNEL?
A marketing funnel is a series of steps that a customer needs to go through in order to reach your conversion goal. A conversion is a particular action you want visitors to make on your website. That could mean they make a purchase, add an item to their shopping cart, sign up for a newsletter, fill out a form, etc. Basically, any measurable action that moves potential customers closer to feeling comfortable enough to buy what you’re selling.
If you were to Google “marketing funnel”, you would find a mixed bag of resources and a variety of marketing funnels that serve different purposes within industries.
We’ve narrowed this post down to focus on a basic funnel that a small business looking to generate more leads and customers would benefit from taking the time to implement.
It’s important to be aware that there are a few hoops that an anonymous user has to jump through before they are interested enough in your brand to become a customer. The marketing funnel stages are not random. They are based on tried-and-true customer behavior patterns that have kept business school professors busy researching for decades. The thinking goes like this:
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THE FOUR BASIC STEPS OF A MARKETING FUNNEL
Website traffic sources (where are these visitors coming from?)
The most-visited website pages
Social media clicks (what posts receive the most engagement?)
Blog post engagement (are people reading the full blog?)
Which site links are users clicking on the most?
What devices are people using to visit your site?
Where do these visitors live?
Email open rates or click-through rates (are your leads opening and reading the emails you’re sending them?)
Social media click-through rates
Completed contact or intake forms on your website
As you work your would-be customers through the funnel and closer to conversion, you will be able to see how much desire they have to be converted into paying customers. During this stage, your leads turn into prospects. You will know they are prospects by tracking:
If they have added items to their checkout cart
Whether or not they used the promo or discount code when adding items to their checkout cart
If they have responded to emails in your email series
If they have shared their contact info with you at a live event
Yay, you have a customer! Your visitor turns into a lead, then a prospect, and now you have a paying customer and new data you can use to create new funnels to increase your profit (or your email list, or your wholesale client list).
Let’s talk more about conversions. Conversions will look a little different for every company, and even every stage of your company. If you’re just starting out and your main goal is to generate interest, your conversion would probably be to grow your email list. Or if you have a new product coming out and you want to generate traffic and sales for that specific product, your conversion would be the sale of that specific product.
It seems kind of obvious that your conversion goal should be sales, but don’t forget about email signups. Your email list is the most valuable data you can get. Why? Because you have full control over this channel, and you can measure the outcomes of what happens with your email subscribers clearly.