If you would like your business’ sales approach to be as effective as possible, you have to spend time on your marketing funnel, the procedure for transforming a person or lurker into a paying customer. Put simply, a marketing funnel explains the path you and your customer’s take.
A number of company owners are shying away from the phrase “marketing funnel” since they believe it is simplistic or too technical for describing the lead nurturing sequence by which customers move from understanding to buying.
I believe it is still a helpful method to explain an intricate process and it is a great visual to picture the whole system from beginning to end. A few many other common words and phrases for a marketing funnel are:
- Sales funnel
- Purchase funnel
- Revenue funnel
- Conversion funnel
Keep reading for an extensive breakdown of what an online marketing funnel is and how you can produce a successful one.
Marketing Funnels Decoded
You undoubtedly want visitors on your site to take particular actions.
Perhaps you wish them to make a purchase, sign up, or complete a form. When someone does the action you wish them to take, it is referred to as a conversion. The site visitor converts from browsing to getting the information you want them to consider.
A marketing funnel is the set of actions a person would need to undergo before they are able to get to the sales stage.
Exactly why is it called a “funnel”? Because at the start of the funnel, there are plenty of men and women that take the initial step. However, as these individuals continue along the funnel steps, several of them drop out at different stages, so the volume of the group thins or narrows.
The top of the funnel is where everybody enters your funnel (often by visiting your landing page on your site after viewing an ad). Just the most interested prospects are going to move further down your funnel.
When you notice some digital marketers say “widen the funnel,” you can now understand what they’re talking about. They want to cast a bigger net by advertising to all new audiences, boosting their brand recognition, to drive more prospects to their website, therefore widening their funnel. The greater number of unique prospects you are able to show your funnel hook to, the wider it is.
You are not restricted to working with your funnel just for registering and/or purchasing. You are able to place funnels all over your site to find out how visitors move through a certain site flow. That’s a different topic than what this post will cover, but definitely explained in a future post.
TOFU, MOFU and BOFU Explained
A great deal of digital marketers may also explain a sales funnel as having a top, middle and bottom. These categories relate with the 4 stages of a buyer and which we will get into more detail later on in the post.
So allow me to describe what I mean…
Top of the Funnel (TOFU)
TOFU corresponds to the Awareness Stage of a product sales funnel. Individuals at the upper part of the funnel aren’t prepared to purchase, but rather are searching for info to enable them to fix an issue of theirs.
At this particular point, we concentrate on speaking about the issue of theirs as well as discussing info which may help our audience move towards a solution. We talk about the issue that the product or service of ours is solving in order to catch the interest of our prospect.
We also need to construct brand recognition in this particular stage and even let our audience start to be knowledgeable about the home business of ours and what we do. The objective of ours at this time may be in order to get all new visitors to opt into the email list of ours so that we are able to keep in contact with them. By adding value and pitching more products or services down the road.
When advertising to the top of the funnel, the long-term goal is to teach them with content material and move them towards the bottom part of the funnel. These prospects may not be prepared to purchase today, but with the right nurturing, they may become returning customers later.
When a prospect opts directly into the email list of yours, they move to the Middle Of the FUnnel.
Middle of the Funnel (MOFU)
MOFU corresponds to the Relationship Stage of a product sales funnel. At this point, we nurture the prospects so that they are going to be prepared to buy when they reach the bottom of the funnel.
The middle of the funnel has 2 primary objectives.
The very first objective is establishing relationships by gaining loyalty and positioning yourself as being an authority. You are able to achieve this by sharing relevant and useful content with the your followers
The next goal is building buying beliefs.
To opt for buying beliefs, talk about your unique solution (a distinctive activity or procedure you plus your customers utilized to resolve the problem) of theirs. Sharing your unique solution is going to eliminate competitors from your prospects’ minds as they begin to find your strategy as the fastest way to fix their problems.
Discuss your solution and show your prospect exactly why it’s the fastest way to fix the problem of theirs. Cover all the characteristics and explain exactly why it works extremely perfectly.
Use posts, videos, other types and podcasts of articles to inform your markets so they see you as a pro on the subject. You are able to also showcase a little case studies or maybe customer reviews as social proof to create your service or product providing a more powerful buying incentive.
Bottom part of the Funnel (BOFU)
BOFU corresponds to the Sales and Upsell Stages of the sales funnel. The objective of this particular phase is selling your service or product to the consumer and maximize profits by upselling far more services or products.
Anticipate any most common objections that your prospect might have and address them with your sales copy. Consider providing answers to frequently asked questions also to simplify the purchasing process and lower customer service time.
Toss in some examples of outcomes that many other customers of yours have realized. Use detailed case studies, show testimonials and do consumer interviews to create interpersonal proof.
Really think about other services or maybe items you are able to upsell and also cross sell during this particular stage to boost income and offer a much better customer experience.
Now we understand the fundamentals of a funnel. Next, why don’t we dive much deeper into every level?
Understanding The Conventional 5 Stages of a Marketing Funnel
Stage #1 - Awareness of a problem
Understandably, if an individual does not understand there is a solution to their problem they will not be looking for it. Having said that, these problems will vary from quickly solved problems to problems with no clear solutions.
Awareness is the uppermost stage of the sales funnel. Prospective customers are drawn into this particular stage through advertising campaigns, consumer investigation and discovery. Trust and authority is started with marketing, customer service, content (blog posts, media mentions, search, social media, viral campaigns, direct mail, webinars, etc.), infographics, and much more. Lastly, lead development takes place, as info is collected and also leads are pulled right into a lead management process for nurturing more down the funnel.
Stage #2 - Informational Search
Recognizing an issue, or even an issue you have created, is the action that triggers a hunt for additional info.
The methods utilized to collect info tend to differ depending on the size and range of the purchase. Recognizing you are hungry, for instance, might lead to a fast Yelp search for restaurants in the area of yours. Conversely, deciding which company to use to use a brand new in-ground pool at your house requires more research such as, checking business reviews, visiting showrooms, along with speaking with salespeople.
Do some keyword research to determine what content types you need to be answering in the middle of the funnel (MOFU) queries. You are able to discover what search terms in your niche have higher volumes of search traffic and make articles that answer those questions. There are tons of keyword research tools to help you with this research.
Stage #3 - Evaluation and Research of Alternatives
Following their informational search, or at times running concurrently on this procedure, prospective customers start comparing the options that your content has talked about. Once again, time invested in this particular phase may vary depending on the kind of purchase being contemplated.
Say the customer is analyzing marketing automation plans, to help boost the sales for the product funnel they created. Because marketing automation programs often require a high dollar investment, they are more likely to have a more cautious and comprehensive evaluation process. They may ask for free trials from the various methods they are considering, have demonstrations with every company’s reps or maybe view training videos to get a sense for what every program offers.
Stage #4 - Buy Decision
The purchase decision is definitely the conclusion of the preceding 3 stages. The prospective customer has discovered they have a problem, investigated their options, decided what is most beneficial for them… and now they are ready to take out their wallets.
At this particular point, bottom of funnel (BOFU) content is able to assist the prospective customers to feel comfortable with their decision to buy your goods/service.
Case study material, showcasing the accomplishment of a current or previous customer, is extremely efficient, particularly once the case studies are appropriate to, and mirror, the lead. Develop case studies with people that reflect various customer profiles, business sizes, verticals, etc.
Stage #5 - Post Purchase Behavior
The sales funnel process is not done simply because a customer made a purchase. What happens after the sale is equally as vital.
If the new customers you earned are welcomed by a helpful onboarding process, provide individual focus and most of the information they have to get the most use out of your product. They are far more likely to think they made the correct decision. So when they are happy, they are far more prone to give positive customer reviews which are invaluable.
If your new customers experience disappointment after the purchase, they are far more prone to ask for refunds, create testimonials that are bad and also suggest that others in their social circles purchase from the competition.
There is not much content you are able to create to deliver a good post purchase experience – apart from simply creating a good product. If you have a good solution that resolves a problem, and excellent customer support, post purchase behavior will maintain itself.
Understand the 4 AIDA Sales Funnel Stages
Whether you choose the standard sales funnel stages or maybe the acronym AIDA, the outcomes will be the same: customers enter the sales funnel and through information gathering, opt to make a purchase. The activity at the conclusion of the funnel, or maybe the investment, concludes the phases of the product sales funnel. We are stepping into the different ways marketers talk about marketing funnels.
Although a lot of people start at the top of the funnel, not everybody does. Many will enter at different parts of the following stages, though the end result is still the same regardless of what stage someone enters the product sales funnel.
Stage 1: Awareness
The most important aspect for a sales funnel is what happens when visitors do arrive in your funnel. Through a variety of means, a lot of which you have already implemented, like email newsletter signups, ebook downloads, online quizzes and much more, those prospects enter into your sales funnel through an enticing offer.
The objective of the awareness stage is to bring attention to your customer’s issue. When you understand the issue, and you develop content to bring them in, now provide them something or maybe service to fix the problem of theirs, that is when the magic happens. Nevertheless, getting to that point takes work and you have to garner their attention first.
Making a prospect aware of you and your company is no easy feat. Based upon just how they have come at your website (organically or perhaps a paid ad), all those prospects will see your funnel differently and your opt in rates will differ considerably.
In reality people are smart. They are not going to purchase something from anybody unless they think there is an enormous level of value to be had there. Consequently, you must create that by continually adding value to your customers without expectation of something in return. Most notably, you have to produce a powerful relationship with the prospect, which starts out if you are transparent, honest, and relatable in your email warming sequence.
Stage 2: Interest
Now you get the prospect’s interest through an email sequence. You start relating stories to them that tie into who you are as well as how you have come to where you currently are in life. Russell Brunson, in the book of his, Expert Secrets, calls this the Attractive Character. Are you the reluctant hero whose journey took place nearly by error, though you really feel as if you owe it to yourself and the planet to express a thing of great benefit?
Leads find out more about the business, their products, and some useful info and any case studies you provide. Here’s a chance for brands to create a connection with the individuals in its lead database and begin positioning your brand. Marketers are able to nurture leads through emails, articles, newsletters, classes, and much more.
As you could imagine, implementing this is not simple. You have to continually improve your stories, then decide on just how you are going to relate those stories and at what rate you will drip that content. For instance, your initial email or perhaps 2 may arrive on the day they initially sign up, and then one email each day could be sent out after.
Stage 3: Decision
The next stage is getting their decision to be you. Getting prospects to make a choice is also not simple. What is the easiest way to get them there? Beyond the art of storytelling, copywriting, you have to get numerous consumer testimonials. This is among the most effective ways in which you are able to find folks to take action. However getting them to actually purchase is something else, flipping that switch is not easy. You have to show them what a fantastic opportunity you offer. They must relate your solution to their problem. Here is how marketers accomplish this:
- Authority – Just how much authority do your products or services have? Are there respected individuals in your niche which have endorsed it? Is there scientific research which is backing it? Are you yourself an expert? These components come into play in this system.
- Consistency and Commitment – When individuals commit to something, they are much more likely to buy from you. That is exactly why getting them to agree to something, such as a free plus shipping offer, or even by agreeing with something you have said. This is a huge principle in sales and in case you pay attention to several of the greatest marketers on the planet, you will notice they exercise fervently to get a commitment from you for something, even if it is tiny in the beginning.
- Liking – When individuals ask you (i.e. they connect with the stories of yours) they’re far more likely to buy from you. It depends on exactly how well you craft your story and also convey that for your prospects. This will play a huge part in whether a prospect chooses to act or not.
- Reciprocity – This Is obtained by supplying an abundance of worth, both through whatever it’s you gave as a free offer (lead magnet) in the top of the funnel, or even in a continuing exchange through email messages.
- Social Proof – Nothing draws a crowd, quite like a crowd. Are people on social networking talking or raving about how amazing the products of yours or services are? Do you have some other kind of social proof? Best-selling books? Something different?
- Scarcity – Just how much scarcity have you baked into your email sequence? Once again, individuals are wise, but if you use the concept of scarcity, as in there’s just a small quantity of some time or offer remaining before a price reduction expires or maybe openings readily available for an online training, it entices individuals to act.
Stage 4: Action
In many cases this is where a prospect will make a purchase. Once again, just how well you walk prospects through the different stages will set you up for them to take action. For instance, let’s say that sending 1000 people to your website costs you $500, you get 10 individuals to convert at $300 each, therefore you have a $3000 return on $500 invested (500% return). When you understand that, that is when the whole game changes and you are able to scale offers to insane heights.
Nevertheless, getting to this phase is also quite hard. It requires a huge amount of effort and analytics. By implementing a sales funnel software program, like the platform designed by Russell Brunson, you are certainly able to reduce the headache, but there is always a lot of effort being completed. Articles must be written, tracking pixels have to be put in and email sequences have to be produced. But that is what it really takes to achieve success.
Consider the outcome you are going after when you are creating a sales funnel. Truly a marketing funnel could actually help you start from an entire unknown to a worldwide powerhouse rapidly through the art of scaling a highly converting offer. Do not attempt to take shortcuts and implement hacks. And definitely set up time for yourself to enjoy the fruits of your labor.
Flipping the funnel: Customer Experience Funnel Breakdown
A progressively popular practice for advertising, product sales, customer support and veteran managers would be to “flip the funnel” into a customer experience funnel. This funnel outlines the method of switching users into advocates, which refuels the top of the marketing funnel by driving attention and also generating leads.
We have distilled the most crucial phases of the buyer experience funnel and also explained them below.
After a person makes a purchase, the next thing is making them a repeat customer. This means that enhancing retention and nurturing buyers to create bigger and more purchases. Marketers continue the bottom level of funnel tasks to inspire repeat actions by the customer.
In the loyalty stage, customers choose a brand over even cheaper alternatives, starting to identify with it as well as personalize products. This Is exactly where engagement is essential, and entrepreneurs are able to simply help foster this particular link with a brand through community development, engagement, and outreach.
Once a person is dedicated to a brand, they’re far more apt to offer company referrals as well as recommend brand products.
Turning your customers into advocates is the golden egg for taking care of current customers. Creating product reviews, posting about items on social networking, and a lot more will help get an abundance of fresh leads for your advertising funnel. Having an honest recommendation not attached to a brand name will strongly influence prospects. Marketers are able to work with their communities to engage with advocates, ask them to get involved in case studies, and engage them on social media.
Marketing Funnel Conclusion
Your work isn’t done if you already have a sales funnel. In reality, this is exactly where it all begins. If you know a sales funnel is right for you but unsure where to start. Get off to a great start in as little as 30 days learning how to build a marketing funnel.
It is essential to evaluate the results after everything is set up. Choose your KPIs (key performance indicators) first, and then create a measurement plan.
You have to gather data as well as analyze and tweak your funnel if you want to get much better results.
You have to figure out where strengths and weaknesses of yours lie. Have you been great at closing but flustered with building awareness? Are you an authority in your niche but cannot manage to close a transaction?
Such questions are going to help you figure out exactly where you have to focus on your sales funnel. Then focus whatever resources you have on those stages.