- What Are the Elements of a Marketing Funnel
- Why It Is Important to Design a Marketing Funnel from the Ground Up
- Does a Marketing Funnel Need to Be Complicated?
- The Seven Pillars of a Marketing Funnel for Maximum Conversions
- The Characteristics of a High Conversion Marketing Funnel
What Are the Elements of a Marketing Funnel
As I have mentioned a few times, there is no set definition of sales or marketing funnels; many people talk about them but not many of them can explain what they stand for. Traditionally, most marketing agencies use the AIDA model, which is a good structure. A stands for Awareness. I stands for interest. D stands for demand and A stands for Action. However, this is not the full picture, and the model doesn’t provide you with the know-how you might need to set up a successful, high conversion campaign. You need a sales funnel expert to connect the dots and help you tie all the activities together.
The Top of the Funnel
The top of the funnel is all about letting your target audience or your ideal client know that you exist and you can help them. This takes care of the awareness and interest stage of designing a marketing funnel.
At the top, your goal is to create an emotional connection between your brand and the client, nothing else. If you try to sell at this point, you will either scare off people or you will waste your advertising budget. That’s why if you don’t have the foundations of an irresistible offer and a strong brand, you might not be ready for a sales funnel yet. You can easily find out whether or not you should start at this stage or build your brand first by using our online sales funnel quiz.
The Middle of the Marketing Funnel
When you have the awareness and interest taken care of, you might want to start focusing on the special relationship with your prospects. This is also often called lead nurturing. You can drop a few hints about what you offer, but no hard sales should take place. That’s to be left for the bottom of the funnel.
Building relationships can be automated, and this is good news for business owners who are too busy to follow up with every single potential customer. We are ActiveCampaign partners, and this means that we can create a follow-up sequence that will:
- Maintain interest
- Qualify your leads
- Generate reciprocity
- Trigger positive emotions
Of course, you can also segment the leads at this point to ensure that you are not sending irrelevant messages to them, and you can score them based on their level of interest. For example, you can create a list segment of people who often click on the links in your emails, which indicates that they are interested in what you have to offer. They will be your most valuable leads during the final stage of the campaign.
The Bottom of the Funnel
It’s all about getting a yes or a no from prospects at this stage of the marketing funnel. You will need to ensure that you are focusing on people who are most likely to buy from you. That’s why you have to do the qualification and scoring first.
At the bottom of the funnel, you need an answer. The more irresistible your offer is, the better your conversion rates will be. A well written sales page with social proof, such as written and video testimonials will push qualified leads through the final stage and get them to commit. That’s the final “A”: Action. There is no point building a funnel if you don’t get to close the sale.
Beyond the Traditional View of a Sales Funnel
Of course, we have covered the traditional definition of the sales funnel stages only. It should go beyond the initial sales, though. You want people to leave reviews, send you feedback, and give you recommendations. That’s how you grow a business faster with less energy and resources. The good news is that existing customer relationships can also be nurtured using marketing automation tools. At the end of the day, you want your clients to become raving fans of your brand shouting about the great service they received from the rooftops.
Why It Is Important to Design a Marketing Funnel from the Ground Up
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail, according to an old saying, attributed to so many famous people. The bottom line is that you have to design a marketing funnel from the bottom up and from the ground up. You should always start with your end goal; what your ideal outcomes would be.
- Your sales target
- New customer acquisition
- Customer retention
- Number of upsells
- Conversion rates
Once you have a target in mind, it is easier to design the sales funnel to reach your goals.
Ideally, you will want a positive return on marketing investment, and that means you have to take into consideration the cost of advertising, sales funnel development, web design, and the rest. If you spend 7K on a funnel and only make 50K sales with 10 percent profit margins, there is simply no point starting the project.
Find out whether your sales funnel could be profitable by using our sales funnel calculator online.
Does a Marketing Funnel Need to Be Complicated?
The simple answer is no. Of course, you need the technical knowledge to connect the dots, but simple automations will do the job.
To start with a sales funnel development project, you might want to set up a lead magnet, an autoresponder sequence, and a few sales pages.
Of course, you should also make sure that you test the sales page conversions, so AB testing might be needed in the beginning. But yes, you can get away with a simple, 3-step marketing funnel that generates enough sales to fill your boots. Of course, it all depends on what you sell, how competitive your offer is, and how good your copywriting is, above all.
The Seven Pillars of a Marketing Funnel for Maximum Conversions
During the past 5 years of designing high conversion marketing funnels and campaigns, we have redesigned the processes of building a conversion pipeline and implemented some automations that take care of the customer journey. You want to talk about what your ideal clients want to know about, and you want to give them an offer they can’t refuse. That’s why we came up with these “seven pillars” model for developing a marketing funnel.
Without a lead magnet (or freebie offer), you cannot get people to engage with you and agree to hear from you again. Of course, the free downloads, gated content, and other traditional lead magnets still work, but you might want to get more creative and use a quiz funnel to draw people into the conversation. That’s exactly what we have done when we teamed up with Typeform and created some slick quizzes that answer clients’ most urgent questions without the need of lifting up the phone.
You can’t make an offer they can’t refuse, your website visitors are likely to leave in search for something that makes their heart beat faster. That’s why you have to get creative with your offers. Whether you are doing a special promotion or talking away the risks (or barriers to buying), you have to be smarter than your competitors. An irresistible offer will get you the highest possible conversion rates and happy customers, too.
One of the most common things that business owners forget about is the follow-up. Once they make the sale they think that the business is finished. It’s not the case. First of all, you will have to make sure your customers are happy and they can fully utilise the solutions you offered them. For example, once you have a new client for your software product, you might want to send a few emails about educating them on how to make the most out of its capabilities. If you have a new course client, you might want to make sure they know where to go for the new lessons and where they find the discussion group or Q and A sessions. Email automation will not only keep your customers happy, but can also get you more sales.
In business, you want to build reciprocity to make sure that your prospects always feel like they are getting more value than they paid for. That is how you keep on making sales. And that is how you build a stellar reputation in the industry. Offering bonuses in the beginning will not cut it. You will have to stay in touch and make sure that they are able to make the most out of the product or service they offer. Additional “customer only” offers and discounts will make them feel valued and appreciated.
Like-Me Moment ©
We talk about the “like me moment” a lot, and I believe that it is the most important moment of the customer journey. It simply stands for the moment when your prospect realises that they like you and they believe that you can help people like them. Once these moments happen, you don’t just gain a customer, but you might end up with a raving fan for life.
The art of creating the “Like me moment” requires being able to put yourself in your customers’ place, understanding their most urgent and burning problems, and presenting yourself as an approachable professional. As Anik Singal says, you want to be Robin instead of Batman, as he is more approachable and relatable. You don’t need to be supernatural, but you have to be the person who managed to overcome the same problem your potential client is facing now.
Testimonials will help you show your prospects that you have successfully helped people like them. Featuring them on your sales page will significantly increase your conversions.
Fear of Missing Out
Highly motivated buyers are much better than people who are “just browsing”. We often call prospects “freebie seekers” or “tire kickers”, but it only means that they don’t yet see the benefits of what we have to offer. If you are promising a huge value to your customers for a low cost, you will activate the “FOMO” factor, or the fear of missing out. You will create a sense of urgency so they don’t put off the buying decision.
You need to understand that most people do their research and consider their options carefully before they commit. Unless you give them a reason to buy there and then, they will not.
Turning Customers Into Raving Fans
This is a big thing for brands, as your fans will build your reputation for free. You can save a lot of money by not having to create a reputation management campaign and let your fans (customers) do the work. If you please them enough, they will be happy to spread the word on your behalf. However, you can’t expect them to do so without asking them first. That’s why staying in touch, asking for feedback, and replying to comments is crucial.
I always say to our clients that their most important asset is their reputation apart from their know-how and their talent. If you don’t have a trustworthy image online, you are not likely to convert prospects into customers. Today’s online buyer is more savvy than ever. They are likely to visit multiple review sites before they decide to open their wallet or take out their credit cards.
Once you have all the elements of your high conversion marketing funnel, you can start putting it all together like a jigsaw puzzle. Connecting the dots is a job for a marketing strategist who sees the big picture and can come up with innovative ways of optimising your campaigns.
The Characteristics of a High Conversion Marketing Funnel
Once you have nailed all the elements of a winning marketing funnel, you can start focusing on the characteristics of the pipeline design itself. Here are the most important qualities every winning sales funnel should have.
If you don’t measure the traffic, the leads, and conversions, you will never know what is working and what you have to change. That’s why measurements should be implemented into your sales funnel from the beginning. From tracking events on Google Analytics and finding out the traffic source to understanding where people drop out of your sales funnel, there are loads of things you can track with advanced technology. It will give you the business intelligence you need to create and manage a successful campaign,
Your marketing funnel should also be scalable. You might start with one entry-level project now, but later on add a course, a one-to-one support package, or an affiliate offer to it. It is difficult to redesign your funnel map using a drag-and-drop editor, but if it is built from scratch, it is very easy to add a step or two and double or triple your average revenue per customer.
Easy to Repurpose
Once you have a funnel designed that works you can use it for any other product or service you are looking to sell, too. You might change your offer, your price, or launch a new product. By using the same model that brought you sales in the first place, you can save time and money on the new campaign.
Easy to Modify
Let’s say that you have an initial offer that converts well, but your upsell is getting low conversions. Instead of redesigning the entire customer journey, you can just change the headline, the video, the sales copy, or the price of the upsell offer and get better results.
Easy to Expand
Eventually, you will have more offers as your business grows. Let’s say that you are currently offering one-to-one support only, but in six months’ time you will be launching a membership site or group coaching session. A marketing funnel expert can redesign your map and add new products, services, offers, and emails to get you more revenue.
As you can see, there are a lot of boxes you’ll need to tick when it comes to building a successful marketing campaign. Hopefully you have a clear understanding of how they can make you money and what you must take care of to see high conversions. Liked this article? Comment below or share it with your network. We thank you in advance.
Do you have a marketing funnel project in mind? Discuss it with one of our experts and find out how we can help with automating your customer journey and sales.