What is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel is a way of breaking down the customer journey all the way from the “awareness” stage (when they first learn about your business) to the “purchase” stage (when they’re ready to buy your product or service). Often funnels can also include post-purchase follow-ups which increase retention as well as cross- and up-sells.
Step 1: Get Traffic to Your Site
The first step is, of course, getting traffic to your site. You can do this by creating SEO-friendly websites and content, paid Facebook or Instagram advertising, publishing white papers, getting backlinks, referrals, etc. As leads progress through your funnel, your outreach methods will get more and more personalized (sometimes involving a product demo or a phone call) until the sale takes place.
Step 2: Build Awareness
At this stage, readers and followers are first discovering your brand and becoming acquainted with your content and your messaging. You want to write copy that it is informative and intriguing. They are NOT looking to purchase or be persuaded just yet.
You can create awareness of your product using short videos, blogs, social content, podcasts, infographics, etc. Your goal to get the website visitor to give you an email address so you can send them a newsletter or subscription to regular content distribution. Best to use non-committal Call-to-Actions to solicit these email addresses such as “Learn More”, “Subscribe”, “Get Started”, “Get Updates”, etc.
Step 3: Boost Interest
One ring down the funnel are prospects who are intrigued by your offerings and are interested in learning more. This is when you boost your potential customer’s interest by ensuring your service align with their needs.
This can be done using free eBooks, white papers, explainer videos, conversion landing pages, or paid/display ads.
Step 4: Develop Consideration
As the name implies, prospects are actually considering your services as viable options for their businesses. They are comparing your offerings, prices and capabilities to other vendors and are keen to gather as much information as possible to help their internal stakeholders chime in on which vendor (hopefully you) will be right for them. This stage is a lot more intent-driven.
This can be done by presenting your prospect with testimonials and case studies within sales emails. Your sales message needs to be subtle—no one likes an aggressive sales pitch. The goal of this stage is to request a demo, sign up for a free trial, or contact a sales representative.
Step 5: Purchase
This is where leads convert. They’ve done their due diligence, read all of your collateral, spoken to your sales reps and executives and are ready to make a final purchasing decision. Many of the details to be ironed out before securing a contract come down to pricing structures, contract terms and timeline.