Marketing Funnels - An Introduction
If you’re serious about selling your products/services online, it’s time to step up the game. And developing an efficient marketing funnel should be among your top priorities if it already isn’t.
What is a marketing funnel? How does it work? How can I integrate it into my marketing process or CRM strategy? What are the best options for running my funnels? If you are new to online marketing or have just come across the term marketing funnels, I’m sure these are some of the questions you must be asking yourself.
It may sound complicated or too simplistic based on your point of view; however, the bottom line is it means more than just the name and could spell the difference between you making a 5-figure in sales and 6 or 7 figures. That's how crucial it can be.
Just to give you a simple idea of how crucial having a marketing/sales funnel is, here is some statistic. Only 2% of online sales are made at the first point of contact; for example, for the people who see your ads. On average, a customer needs at least 5 contact moments before they can take the action of buying from you. Well, a crucial question arises, how do maintain contact with potential customers without sounding too “salesish” or creating a red flag? That’s where a marketing/sales funnel comes in.
Marketing funnels: What are they?
A funnel is a process through which you lead your prospects from the start of their contact with your business to the end when they've chosen to buy something from you or hire your company.
It enables you to maintain contact with prospective customers, create trust with them by sending them premeditated emails/messages about either your business, your products, or the industry you are in, promote and sell your products/services, and even upsell them by taking advantage of the generated trust.
The image shows a simple process through which customers undergo before deciding to buy your product.
This is the first step of the process. A prospective customer has a need and either by luck or excellent marketing, comes across your product either on social media, Google or any other online platform. He/she has a need and he/she now know that you offer a product that could solve his/her need.
However, and this is really important- they don’t know you and are not sure if your product works or not. So, what should you do at this point? Simple, follow them up with another point of contact that explains how your product/service works and how it can solve their problem. This is what is famously called retargeting.
You can launch a retargeting ad that is specifically tailored for the people that viewed your ads or visited your website but failed to provide their emails, contact you, or make a purchase. The aim here is to try and grab their attention and entice them into giving you their emails or other forms of contact.
The customer now begins to show interest, either by requesting clarification, visiting your social media pages, and the like. This is where a good online reputation comes in. At this point, the customer is looking for a reason to trust you and your product, and having a good online reputation is crucial. Showcasing reviews of other customers who have bought your product can also come in handy at this point. Talking about that, here is an article on why and how you can easily integrate your social media reviews to your website’s homepage.
At this point, the customer has already done the background checks and is more than ready to get his/her wallet out. All you need to do is close them.
The customer buys your product. But does it end here? Is that it? Absolutely not, and that’s why you need a sales funnel. Immediately the customer buys, try recommending something else that can be used in conjunction with what they bought at a “presumed” lower price. Offer them a discount on a complementary product, but be careful not to sound aggressive. The secret is that since they have already keyed in their credit card details and are already in the buying mindset, it will be so much easy for them to click yes compared to if they were a new customer.
How to set up a marketing funnel
Step 1: Understanding your market
This is the first and most crucial step. You need to fully understand your market; which region do they live in or come from, what are their spending habits, what do they like and hate, which topics do they follow on social media, what is their age group, among others. The secret is to understand what turns their spending spirit on, or what makes them feel engaged positively?
I would encourage you to spend most of the time here. It will not only be crucial in setting up your marketing funnel, but it will also help you choose the right marketing campaigns and achieve the right targeting when doing social media marketing, thereby increasing your conversions.
Step 2: Prospecting/Lead generation
This is the step where you make yourself visible to your potential customer. How? Marketing. You will need to set up different marketing campaigns either on social media, Google, or other online platforms.
Now, be careful here. The aim of the marketing is not to sell your products, but to let potential customers know that you offer a certain product or service.
Consequently, you don’t need to mention the price, but rather create an option for the viewers to give you their emails, or other forms of contact based on the type of product/service you are offering. This is what is called lead generation.
You can easily achieve this by either offering a free product such as an e-book, a how-to guide related to your product, or something similar.
Step 3: Building trust
At this point, your focus should be on generating trust with your leads. How? Add them to your mailing list and send frequent valuable email contents. But be careful not to be aggressively sales-focused. Remember you are trying to build trust.
For example, you can choose to send free weekly newsletters, podcasts, free reports, etc. And then in between those emails, mention your products or services, and how they help solve some of the problems you mention in your newsletters.
If someone fails to buy, you can send them follow-up emails asking why they didn’t do so, and maybe if they would be interested in buying if you made the changes they requested.
Step 4: Closing Sales
The sales process starts at step 3 with the emails. After sending promotional emails to your email subscribers, you need to track who buys and who doesn’t. Then you have to separate those that bought from those that didn’t in the funnel. For those that bought, move them to the next step of sending them a thank you email and offering upsells or down sells. For those that didn't buy, send them follow-up emails requesting more information on why they didn't buy and if they would be interested in an alternative offer.
Step 5: Upselling/Downselling
You have worked so hard to generate trust and it’s time to reap the benefits. Everyone that buys your products already trusts you and your products. That is assuming that your product doesn’t disappoint.
The final step involves upselling your other products or services. It’s quite simple actually; inform them how the other product can be used together with the product they bought and offer them a discount. For example;
“Thank you for purchasing our product. We are excited to give you this product at a 20% discount as a kind expression of thank you to you for trusting us and buying from us. It does this and this, and on its own, it costs $ amount on our website. The offer stands as long as you wish because we are here to serve you. We are also positive you will recommend us to your friends, but as a way of saying thank you, we will offer a $% additional discount for every friend you recommend. "
Also, don’t forget to keep sending the newsletters or other types of emails you were sending at step 3 to the customers who make successful purchases. Your established customers are as important as your prospective ones. Therefore, it is crucial to keep them engaged regardless of whether you are selling them other products or not.
Well, now that you know why and how to set up your funnels, let's look at the final stage which is choosing the best platform for hosting your funnels.
Which is the Best Funnel Builder?
Funnel builders are pretty expensive, to be honest. We are talking of the likes of $100 plus month kind of expensive. However, if you have made up your mind to get this done, I would recommend you trying Influencersoft. It is an incredible funnel builder that I have been using for months now, and I love it. It's so simple to set up and comes with a ton of guidelines. It was launched in late 2020, but it's so good compared to the likes of Clickfunnels. Partly because it was designed by a guy who was at the forefront in designing Clickfunnels; therefore, he knows all the ins and outs of funnel building.
Here is a link to the full review of Influencersoft.