The marketing funnel has changed and it is no longer about selling things but more about helping us do things. Generating leads is different than it was a few years ago as businesses don’t find customers anymore, they find you! Your blog and social media content attracts customers to you so quality content is once again in the headlines.
If you want to maximise the potential of your business, you need to consistently attract and convert more customers. The only way to achieve success is with thorough research, planning and an effective marketing strategy. It all comes down to building an automated marketing funnel and we’ll show you how to get started.
What Is A Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel or purchase funnel is a consumer-focused marketing model. It defines the necessary steps a visitor needs to go through before closing the sale (conversion). The marketing funnel may vary slightly depending on different business models but the core principles remain constant.
In 1898, E. St. Elmo Lewis developed a model mapping out a theoretical customer journey. It is often referred to as the AIDA-model which stands for Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. This model focuses on the moment a brand or product attracts consumer attention to the point where they take action or make a purchase. Below is a brief summary:
- Awareness – the customer becomes aware of a product or service
- Interest – customers actively express an interest in a specific group of products or services
- Desire – a customer pursues a particular brand or product
- Action – customers take the next step towards purchasing their preferred product(s)
A marketing funnel is seen as a blueprint for success in terms of generating interest aimed at the right audience. Some refer to it as the Buyer’s Journey; going from the Awareness stage to Consideration to Decision.
Creating A Successful Marketing Funnel
Looking back at the broader marketing strategy, you’ll notice that everything is persona driven. You first need to identify your target audience and what their interests, desires and problems are. Based on research and their social interactions, you can personalise the contact you have with them and add relevant context.
Identify Customers And Product Fit
Most businesses recognise the value of creating buyer personas as they allow companies to better understand their customers and customise their marketing campaigns more effectively. Buyer personas don’t only affect your content marketing, it also affects your digital marketing strategy. Without accurate buyer personas, your marketing efforts lack structure and direction.
The basic principle of business is simple – solve your customer’s problems with good quality products and services and encouraging them to make a purchase. With this in mind, you need to be really specific about your solution and the target audience before you do anything else.
You need to understand your buyers and make sure everyone in your sales and marketing teams do too. With the qualitative research and the required information collected, you can create your own buyer personas that suitably fit the product.
The more effective your research, the better you will understand your consumers. You should monitor the following:
- Search engine analytics
- Customer surveys
- Insights from your sales and customer service teams
- Demographic information from your list of contacts
- Social media activity
Make sure you focus on your long-term customers as well as your newest buyers. It will benefit your business if you can understand what encourages repeat business and why some buyers only make one-off purchases. Read more about How To Create Buyer Personas From Real Data.
Traffic Sources and Lead Magnets
The data acquired from your buyer personas should help identify where your target audience is. It’s an incredibly effective way to reach the right audience on the right channel with relevant content. While deciding which channels will generate the most traffic for your business is important, you need to build and optimise the rest of your marketing funnel first. Platforms like Facebook and Google are ideal for paid ads to generate traffic but you need more than that.
It all comes down to content and the value your products or services offer customers. The best way to generate more qualified leads is through relevant, interesting and valuable content. Give them an offer they cannot refuse in exchange for their contact information. A good way to instill urgency is to provide them with a ‘limited time only’ or ‘while stocks last’ offer.
This type of content or resource assets include eBooks, Whitepapers, How To Guides, Infographics and even customer success stories. These effective lead magnets are generally offered on dedicated landing pages that are fully optimised to convert cold traffic. We recommend reading this article for more tips on creating incredibly powerful landing pages.
From Tripwires To Core Products And Services
Similar to time sensitive content, a tripwire is a low-ticket offer that can quickly change a customer into a lead. The goal of a tripwire is to acquire as many potential buyers as possible. These offers can include anything from ‘Free Web Hosting for 3 months’ or ‘Buy One Get One Free’ to ‘Free Shipping or Delivery on orders exceeding £250!’
Remember, getting someone to buy for the first time can be very difficult but the second time is much simpler. Getting them on-board for the first time with a ridiculous offer paves the way for return business, brand loyalty and possibly referrals.
Once you’ve had a few successful transactions with customers during this stage, they are more likely to show interest in your core offer. Before you know it, selling your products and services seem a lot easier and the conversions start adding up.
Up-selling and Cross-selling
Up-selling can be very useful especially if you already offered an inexpensive product. When customers make a purchase of a tripwire offer, you can upsell something more exclusive. These include information bundles, high-ticket items or free membership to receive regular discounts and other benefits. This can significantly increase the average spend per customer and ultimately leads to a higher customer lifetime value.
In contrast, cross-selling is not about enhancing the customer’s existing choice but rather complimenting it with a related product. There are numerous examples and they all vary depending on the industry you service. A SaaS (Software as a Service) company could sell additional training or compliment their software with a mobile app. An eCommerce clothing business could offer similar designs for other products customers might like, e.g. jackets, ties, leggings etc.
The Return Path
While every successful transaction is important, don’t ignore the unsuccessful ones. This is the ideal opportunity to offer something that will bring them back to your site. The goal here is to provide frequent, relevant and strategic communication with prospective buyers to encourage them to revisit your website. The content of these communications for customers who did not buy anything may include a special offer on an item they had previously showed interest in. Similarly, customers who already made purchases can receive updates on related products or a limited, exclusive offer to become a member for added benefits.
Furthermore, knowing how to effectively set up and manage your marketing funnel can help improve the lifetime value of your clients. Therefore, if you don’t have any products or services to offer, perhaps it’s time you changed that. In today’s fast-paced world, every business needs creative ways to enhance their offering and add value. As a result, experimenting is key to identify what works best for your business.
Get in touch with WSI eMarketing if you need assistance with your marketing funnel. We can help tailor specific solutions for your brand including SEO, PPC, Responsive Web Design, Social Media, Marketing Automation and more