Sales Funnels

What’s a Marketing Funnel and Why Do I Need One?

Do you want an easy, stress-free way to answer your customer’s most common queries, elevate your brand as an expert in the industry, and optimize your conversion rates? What about an effective way to nurture your leads, and get them to take the desired action for your brand? If you’re like most entrepreneurs, you’re probably short on time and aren’t too terrified of delegating specific tasks. While it’s a bit scary at first to delegate essential aspects of your business to an individual, there is a way to solve all of your pain points from above with an automated marketing funnel.

Marketing Funnels work by nurturing your leads. More than half of the leads aren’t ready to buy when they first become aware of your brand. But, companies who nurture their leads with an optimized funnel see 50% more sales at 33% lower cost than companies who don’t take the time to nurture their leads.

In addition, a marketing funnel allows you to get creative with how you want to position your brand. You can use many different forms of content for your funnel and craft it for various media. Your marketing funnel can not only work in an eNewsletter format, but you can also craft a funnel for your social media viewers. The following article will explain to you what a marketing funnel is, what it looks like in real-time, how it works for online content and social media, and why you need one to grow your business.

What’s a Marketing Funnel?

A marketing funnel is a route your customer takes on the buying journey. It seeks to ‘funnel’ or nurture the customer through a series of points that familiarize them with your brand. A funnel is usually a series of automated emails, but it can also be formatted for social media accounts.  It is very common these days to replace traditional websites services tabs with sales funnels.

What can a marketing funnel do for me?

If you’ve got an online business, you’ve got customers all over the world and in all different time zones. How uncomfortable is it to get an email from a confused prospect at 2 AM asking you one of the most common questions you hear from clients? Wouldn’t it be great if you could write up an FAQ for potential clients and send it to them on autopilot? This is just one of the many benefits of having a marketing funnel. They can nurture and guide your leads while you sleep.

Also, your competitors understand the importance of a marketing funnel. Consumers want sophisticated, but no-pressure ways to familiarize themselves with a brand. If your competitors are giving this to them and you aren’t, you’re going to lose out valuable market share and revenue.

Here are some of the benefits a marketing funnel can offer your brand:
  • Saves you time and money communicating with customers
  • Can familiarize prospects with your brand automatically
  • Helps establish you as an expert while you sleep
  • Allows you to get creative educating your prospects about what you can do for them
  • Is an optimal way to reuse and repurpose your evergreen content
  • Shortens the customer journey and the buying cycle
  • Increases your conversion rates

What does a marketing funnel look like?

Marketing funnels are broken down into four distinct phases.
  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

During the awareness phase, you familiarizing the customer with your brand. You answer common questions, like what does it do, how can it help them, and where they can learn more. At this stage in the game, you’re building your brand awareness with targeted leads.

To peak their interest in the second phase, you can offer them something like a PDF case study, or a testimonial. A video of someone using your product is another great way to get the customer curious about how you can help them.

During the third stage, the decision part of the customer journey, your convincing them to give your product or service a try, until they reach the final phase where they convert to a sale.

Marketing funnels are everywhere in the consumer marketplace. A real-life example of a marketing funnel would be something like this:

  • The potential buyer enters a store (awareness).
  • They pick up and otherwise interact with the products (interest).
  • They check the prices; they try on the sweater. It fits great, and they want it (decision).
  • Taking the purchase to the checkout counter, they buy it (action/conversion).
Let’s explore an online example of a marketing funnel for a nuisance animal control business.
  • A potential local customer sees your free eBook download for how to prove their attic against invading raccoons. They give their email in exchange for the book. They are now in your funnel (awareness).
  • The subscriber receives an email from you about how much property damage raccoons can cause and how nuisance animal control officers can help (interest).
  • A few days later, they get another email where you explain what an animal control officer would do to get raccoons out of the attic and how they can prevent more pests from coming into the house.
  • The email includes a call-to-action: “Call now for a free consultation and see how we can keep your home and family safe from nuisance animals (decision).”
  • Potential lead calls and turns into a customer (action).

Next, let’s explore how the same business would benefit from a social media funnel. 95% of adults (2) are likely to follow brands on social media. Furthermore, over 70% of social media users will share a brand’s page with their friends and followers if they’ve had a good experience with the company. Almost 80% of U.S. adults are active on at least one social media account, so you don’t want to ignore this crucial part of online marketing.

  • Local potential lead with raccoons in the attic sees your Facebook page where you have posts, engaging photos, and videos of wild animals and how animal control officers keep people and animals safe. They ‘like’ your page (awareness).
  • Lead clicks you “learn more” button on your page where they are taken to your website. They see your free eBook, and they enter their email and download it (interest).
  • At this point, they are in your autoresponder email marketing funnel. They get the same series of emails that lead them to decide to contact you. They contact you on Facebook messenger, where they schedule a consultation (decision and action).

Automated, carefully crafted marketing funnels that take the time to understand your customer’s motivations is an excellent way to save yourself a lot of time. You can send them engaging content that will pique their interest and get them to take the desired decision to interact with your brand. Instead of spending time actively seeking out new prospects and engaging with them in real-time, you can automate this vital business process.

On the customer’s end, they’re able to familiarize themselves with your brand without any pressure. They can take the time to open emails and respond to them instead of feeling hurried or pressured through a live sales call or social media conversation. No-pressure environments help your target customers feel comfortable with you, and that establishes trust with your brand.

If you want a streamlined, easy, and quick way to guide your prospects through the sales journey, you need a marketing funnel. Your stellar, high-converting evergreen content will wither on the vine if you don’t use it to capture more leads and get them to take action.

But crafting a marketing or sales funnel for both email subscribers and social media users takes time and commitment, not to mention a specific skillset. If you want to do marketing funnels the right way, where they benefit your customers and increase your conversions, you’ll need a professional to handle this for you. Marketing Funnels combines with Social Media, content marketing and SEO are the most powerful methods of Marketing today (1).

Our digital marketing team at Top Rating SEO is comprised of leading SEO experts in the industry. Their up-to-date on the latest techniques that will ensure you get the most significant ROI on your marketing funnel strategy. Please contact us today and see what magic we can create together!

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