What is Marketing Funnel and How to Build One?
You know how marketing in a utopian world would work? Everyone we reach out to will become a customer. Every ad we create, every article we write will have a 100% conversion rate and there would be no marketing funnel. Instead, we will have a nice marketing cylinder! Sounds wonderful, doesn’t it? But, in the real world, a funnel does exist and what a marketer can hope for is to make the funnel as wide as possible.
The marketing teams of most businesses have it tough. They are usually responsible for the topmost rung of the funnel. The wider their net is, the more fish they catch. And, they have to come up with new and effective ways that allow their nets to reach a wider area. In addition to that, they also have to ensure that the nets are strong enough that not many fish slip through the cracks.
Why am I talking about fishing, you think? Cause that is how your marketing funnel also functions. And your aim is to ensure that your marketing funnel is strong enough that more leads turn into customers.
What is a marketing funnel?
” A marketing funnel is basically a visual representation of the various steps that your leads follow until they become your customer. It allows you to track your customer at each stage, giving you deep insights into how the lead is interacting with your business.”
Everyone names their funnel stages differently, but there is some sort of agreement that the common stages of the funnel remain the same. Your lead makes the first contact with your business and become aware of the product, and then develop an interest in the product and then start evaluating your product and finally buy from you. But, that’s how it was before.
But, the new marketing funnel does not stop with your lead becoming a customer. Rather, it increases its reach and tried to get your customers to bring in more customers.
To illustrate this better, let us assume that you sell fitness bands. Let’s see how an ideal lead would travel down your marketing funnel.
Aim: Identify the target audience and make them aware of your product
Fitness bands are still a niche product that not many people are aware of. So, your first order of business would be to make people aware of your product. But who do you start with? How do you know who would be interested in buying your product? You need to start building buyer personas. Out of the top of my mind, I’d assume a young working professional with an income above 25,000 dollars, within the age of 25- 40 will be an ideal buyer.
The next course of action would be to find out where the buyer would come across your brand. Social media would be a good guess. So, you can start running paid campaigns on channels such as Instagram and Facebook. Additionally, you can make short videos for YouTube as well and run ads for the same.
So the aim is basically for you to get your target audience to know the existence of fitness bands and what they do.
Aim: To educate the lead on the benefits of the product and coax them into making a purchase
Now that you know that the lead is aware of your product, your next course of action would be to educate them on the benefits of owning a fitness band. Your funnel has now narrowed down a bit, as not all who see your marketing efforts and adverts will decide to take an action. The next step can only be taken on those who have interacted with your ads.
Since most advertising platforms have means of letting you know who viewed your ads, interacted with them, clicked on them etc, it will be easy for you to filter out the leads who are interested. YouTube even allows you to know how much of the video ad a lead has watched and the bounce rate as well.
Send over educational content in the form of blogs, videos and case studies on how using a fitness band has benefitted someone on their journey to a healthier lifestyle. If it suits your business, you can even conduct helpful webinars and podcasts about your product/service. E-books and whitepapers are another effective means to attract your leads as well
Aim: To convince the lead why your product is better than the competition
The funnel now gets narrower, as only a percentage of the leads who were interested in buying a fitness band will actually think of buying one. Now that they have decided to purchase one, they will start their own voluntary research. They might look at what your competition has to offer, read up on reviews and ratings of your band vs others’.
By having a good lead tracking tool, you will be able to figure out what your lead is doing on your page. You can see which band they are interested in with the amount of time they have spent on the page, if they have added to cart and then abandoned it, etc.
Email marketing is your best friend at this stage. Send them offers and customized discount coupons. Like how banks offer credit cards based on the user’s spend. Use a tool that allows you to automate customized responses. Don’t stop stressing on the value and benefits that you offer because that is what matters at the end of the day. The prospect will always look for value for their money more than anything else.
Aim: To get your customer to actually buy the product
After all your nurturing efforts and promotional offers, only a fraction of the people who expressed interest will actually make the purchase from you. This is the most transactional of all the steps in the funnel, where the lead simply buys your product and pays you money.
Here you would have the business side of buying such as the invoice generation and product delivery as well as the installment of the product if needed or onboarding is done.
Aim: To make the customer happy with the product with post-purchase support
Now, you have to remember that you are not done when the customer completes the purchase. Instead, you have to ensure that your customers remain happy with your product. In our example, you can send them a little guide on how to make the most of their fitness band, how to actively track their heart rate, and track their sleep effectively as well.
This not only makes them feel like they are cared for, but they might also actually make use of the product the way it is meant. Constant interaction with the customer even after purchase ensures long-term happiness with your brand.
Aim: To get the customer to repeatedly buy from you, either new purchases or upsell/ cross-sell
When your customers really love your product and find it useful, their delight turns into loyalty. Keep offering them reasons to love you more. In the case of the fitness band, you can offer accessories on a discount, such as mobile holders or new bands for the fitness tracker.
Such offers as well as prompt customer support, and easy product exchanges and replacements will ensure a good customer experience. In the case of SaaS or B2B products, having a transparent product support platform, as well as a 24/7 support team that quickly resolves issues, will ensure that the customer remains loyal to your brand and not even think of moving elsewhere.
Aim: To get your customers to tell their circle about your business and bring in more customers.
A loyal customer is the best asset a business can gain. He will come to you for fitness needs now because he knows that your products are good. Furthermore, he will start boasting about his new fitness tracker and how his life is much better because of it. This word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective means of marketing that your business can get. People tend to believe the word of their peers much more than the fancy ads that they see.
They weren’t kidding when they said, “Customer is the king.” Because a happy customer means more sales!
That’s how a marketing funnel works. You can replicate my example of the fitness band for any product. Just remember, that for a marketing funnel, there just needs to be some sort of conversion happening online. This could be buying a product, downloading an app, filling a form or scheduling a demo.
Are you looking for a tool that would help you streamline your own marketing funnel? Then, try LeadSquared.