In our competitive landscape, understanding and leveraging the marketing funnel is important for any aspiring entrepreneur, business, or even seasoned marketer. It serves as a strategic roadmap that transforms prospects into loyal customers, guiding them through a series of stages designed to maximize conversion and build lasting relationships. In this blog, we will delve into what exactly the marketing funnel is, break down its key stages, and explore why it holds the key to unlocking unparalleled growth and profitability for your business. So, fasten your seatbelts and let’s begin.
What is the Marketing Funnel?
In simple terms, a marketing funnel is a strategic framework that guides potential customers through a series of stages, starting from the initial awareness of your business all the way to converting them into paying customers. The marketing funnel aims to help you map out tactics to assist you at each stage to build relationships with your audience, nurture their interest, and encourage them to take the desired action.
There are several versions of the marketing funnel – each with slight variations to the levels of granularity per stage. At its very core – you can think of the funnel in three stages:
- Top of the funnel
- Middle of the funnel
- Bottom of the funnel
For the purposes of this blog we will add a few subcategories and labels to each section to provide you with some additional insights.
This is the top of the funnel, where potential customers become aware of your brand and products/services. It is the broadest part of the funnel, oftentimes prospective customers become aware of you through social media, an ad, a blog or even from a friend. The goal at this stage is to attract a wide audience and create brand visibility.
At this stage, prospects have identified their pain points and begun searching for a solution. Some tactics that are commonly used at this stage include blogs, social media, SEO and SEM. Podcasts and videos assist with increasing brand awareness as well.
Moving down to the next stage, this part of the middle of the funnel. At this point prospects know about your brand and what it stands for but are still searching for additional answers. Typically, they are considering your product/service as a solution along with other brands and are focused on learning about features and benefits.
This stage provides you with an opportunity to build trust, nurture leads, capture qualified leads, stand out amongst competitors and establish your product as the best solution. Be sure to offer up value, educate and inform them on how you can meet their needs.
There are so many different tactics that businesses can use at this stage to accomplish these goals. Some include: email marketing, webinars, remarketing campaigns and writing high quality content. Articles or white papers that provide value are great ways to show your prospective customer how your brand may be the solution they are looking for.
Your marketing tactics should aim to help keep your brand top-of-mind and deepen their interest by providing valuable information, educational content, and engaging experiences that build a connection with your audience.
Metrics that can provide you with insights on the success of your interest/consideration phases include: clicks, bounce rates, time spent on the website, lead generation form fills, email sign ups and more!
This is the bottom of the funnel, where potential customers take the desired action, such as making a purchase, signing up for a service, or filling out a contact form. Your goal is to guide them smoothly through the process and ensure a positive experience. However, this is not the finish line yet, your competitors are still trying to influence them to sway them to purchase their products/services instead. Therefore, you need to give your prospective customer one final push over the finish line to take that desired action.
Your focus shifts to converting leads into paying customers. At this point, prospective clients are more susceptible to personalized offers, customer testimonials, and clear call-to-actions (CTAs). Providing them with promo codes/discounts, case studies and free trials tend to have great success.
The metrics that are typically associated with the consideration stage are KPIs such as cost per acquisition, sales, leads, revenue, and return on spend.
Some versions of the funnel stop there, but the customer journey does not actually stop after conversion, therefore the funnel that we like to use has a final stage after conversion: retention. After converting leads into customers, you should focus on customer retention and turning them into brand advocates. You can do this by providing excellent customer service, offering loyalty programs, and encouraging referrals to keep customers engaged and to promote your business to others.
It’s common knowledge in the business world that making a repeat customer is less expensive than gaining an entirely new customer. Therefore, having a good retention strategy can save you a lot of money not only in converting customers again but in spreading awareness and bringing perspectives through the marketing funnel organically.
Some great tactics for the retention stage include: email marketing, creating a feedback loop through reviews and surveys, and having a strong onboarding experience in which you provide great customer service.
Retention staged metrics include but are not limited to recurring revenue, customer retention rate and repeat purchase rate.
Why is the Marketing Funnel important? Why should business owners care about it?
A marketing funnel is a great tool that can help you streamline your marketing efforts, understand customer behavior, optimize conversions, and build lasting customer relationships. It empowers your business to deliver the right message to the right audience at the right time, ultimately driving business growth and success.
Marketing Funnels have defined steps and triggers that make it easy for prospects and customers to take desired actions within the journey. This understanding can assist you in increasing your conversion rate by ensuring that the content you produce at each stage is as effective as possible in bringing prospective customers farther down the funnel, while also knowing how to track success at each stage.
Overall, the marketing funnel helps you reach the right audience, build relationships, increase conversions, and adapt to the ever-changing market landscape. Embracing a marketing funnel is a step in establishing a successful and customer-centric marketing strategy.
We hope this shed some light on the marketing funnel and explained how to use it most effectively. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date on all the new blogs we put out monthly!