What is a Marketing Funnel
When implemented correctly, a marketing funnel can increase sales and revenue for your business. Also referred to as a sales or conversion funnel, a marketing funnel is defined as:
"The process and experience from being introduced to your company up until eventually doing business with your company."
Marketing funnels are used by businesses across all sectors regardless of size. Generally people do business with companies and brands that they know, like, and trust, and a funnel is a mechanism that enables multiple interactions while fostering rapport and trust.
In this article, the marketing experts at Clash Graphics identify how companies use various media strategies to create marketing funnels and grow their businesses.
Stages of a Marketing Funnel
The complexity within a funnel depends on the resources invested in it. Some reach their conclusion within four or five steps, while others may have an intricate system of emails, text messages, and printed marketing material.
Here is a breakdown of a funnel’s stages and basic components:
1 - Awareness - This is when and how people are exposed to your brand (when they see, read, or hear something about it).
The goal in this stage is to educate, identify a problem that can be solved, show value, and begin building a relationship with people new to your brand.
Awareness may occur via:
- Television Ads
- Radio Ads
- Newspaper Ads
- Direct Mail
- Word of Mouth
- Text Messages
- Business Cards
- Bumper Stickers
- Online Pop-up Ads
- Online Sidebar Ads
Building your strategy involves knowing the demographics of your desired clientele. Not only does this help you understand when and where to advertise, but it also helps you craft a perfect irresistible offer.
We see and hear these ads everywhere. “Click here for your free sample,” “Call now to take advantage of this great offer,” “Only twenty spots available,” and “Time is running out...”
2 - Lead Capture – (Often referred to as “Consideration”) When your traffic successfully interacts with your ad/pitch, by visiting your location, engaging and submitting info via your online sales page, downloading a coupon, or making a reservation for a product or service, they are getting to know you and your business.
As this happens, a primary goal is to acquire as much of the following necessary information as possible:
- Email address
- Phone number
- Mailing address
- Home Address
Attaining this information allows the funnel to "go to work”, wherein you send strategically personalized messages, reminders, and promotions to your new lead.
By this time, the need, curiosity, or desire for your product or offer is such that the lead is taking steps to engage and acquire it. Creating desire is easier once you have successfully built trust and the lead has gained confidence in your product as a viable solution.
3 - Conversion – (Often referred to as “Decision” or “Customer”) When your funnel effectively articulates the problem that a lead has and how your product solves it, the probability is greater that they will decide to make a purchase. Voila, this is conversion, and the lead becomes a customer or member.
4 - Retention – Repeat and longtime customers will play a significant part in your success. After conversion, follow-ups are an opportunity to further engage your customer without necessarily pushing a sale.
The following are ways to follow-up digitally or by printed media with your customers:
- Send a “Thank You” note or email, thanking them for their purchase and inviting them to see other products, use a special discount code, participate in a free webinar, etc.
- Send a questionnaire about their experience. This will give you valuable insight to better the customer experience.
- Send educational material regarding the item or service your customer purchased.
Without a retention component, your business risks losing cash flow and customers – which are more expensive to acquire and then to retain.
5 - Advocacy – If your funnel has sufficiently engaged and satisfied your customer, they will likely become a repeat customer, and some will instinctively rave, thus creating awareness to their coworkers, friends, and family.
In essence, your customers can become a fundamental part of your previously paid for “Awareness”, as they introduce people to your brand – starting them down the funnel.
The more customers that are advocating for you, the more potential your company will have for exponential growth.
Funnels are Used Everywhere in Marketing
The following is an example of a marketing funnel that most everyone can relate to:
Credit Cards - All of your credit cards use funnels to get new members and keep existing members excited about using them. Let's break down the components and actions of this funnel example:
- “Awareness” – Credit card companies will use TV, online ads, billboards, radio, etc. to present celebrities and catchy slogans in advertisements to create a sense of familiarity and trust.
- “Lead Capture” – When you (the prospect) call, write, or request online more information regarding a service or product.
- “Conversion” – When you apply for a service or product. In this case a credit card.
- “Retention” – Once you are a customer, you will receive reminders and promotional offers via regular mail, email, and even by phone.
- “Advocacy” – With great offers, ease of use, rewards, and seamless customer service support, credit card companies (like all companies) rely on you to rave about them, and many will offer incentives or bonuses for referring new customers.
All of this is meant to build a relationship of trust and familiarity, which are leveraged to get you to commit to new products and services.
Can You Afford to Not Have a Marketing Funnel?
Without a marketing funnel, even the most attractive business ends up handicapped in attracting and converting new customers, and is subsequently leaving revenue on the table.
It’s straightforward. For your business to be highly competitive and successful, there must be a funnel in one form or another.
Now that you understand what a funnel is in its basic components, it's time to start developing and benefiting from your own today. Sign up below while supplies last… (wink wink, see what we did there?!)
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2140 Peachtree Rd NW #301 Atlanta, GA 30309