Stages of a converting marketing funnel

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Stages of a converting marketing funnel

When I was just starting with marketing, I did that famous mistake which I think all novice marketers generally do, the mistake was not only thinking that after opening a business I would become immediately rich but was also the fact that I was trying to pitch my service to people without preparing them to buying(that is without using a marketing funnel).

I was trying to sell directly to anyone I found online. I was like : Hey Johnny, I own an agency and I do facebook ads, would you like me to take care of your advertising? I’ll just charge you $300 per month for my service, I think that’s the cheapest on the market. Jonny didn’t even know me so according to what was he supposed to give me his trust and rely on me for business growth? My beauty? Or else, maybe his love for me? There are risks to be taken but that risk was definitely as risky risk. 

I will like you(if you have time) to think of a hunting field in which there are lots and lots of hunters, some of the hunters take time and energy to convince the animal that it is moving into a safe space by providing it with attractive food pieces which they have displayed on a well prepared path and with a well hidden end-of-track trap. Others just prepared a trap which they played at a position x of the field. All these hunters are in competition for the fields animals. Which of the hunters do you think will be the one to trap its prey? Comment it down below…

The internet is pretty much like this hunting field made up of “hunters”. The above mentioned well designed path is what I refer to as a Marketing funnel and the end-of-track trap is bottom of the funnel which represent conversion.

So what is actually a marketing funnel?

I define a marketing funnel as algorithmic framework which businesses use to convert leads(AKA cold traffic) into customers. I precise algorithmic because it is generally a series of steps which includes our various interactions with our traffic.

Not all the traffic interacting with your online business’ site will finally purchase your products so it is important to understand that the higher your initial traffic(obviously this should be quality traffic), the higher the amount of leads you will be able to convert into customers.

What does a marketing funnel look like?

I generally recommend do represent a marketing funnel first with a simple funnel shaped framework containing the 4 basic marketing steps, then develop that into a flowchart(Yes like in programming) or a more detailed algorithm. 

A basic(funnel shaped ) marketing funnel is as shown below: 

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converting Marketing funnel

EXPLANATION FOR A BASIC MARKETING FUNNEL

 

      In this explanation, I’ll give you the analytic tools, dimensions and metrics which you need to consider at each level of the funnel. Globally, we will talk a lot more about google analytics since it is a free tool accessible to everyone.

 

TOP OF THE FUNNEL

 

This is the part of the funnel which generally involves interacting with your audience. Here, you will want to attract all those people who have some kind of interest related to your niche. This stage is mostly to build your brand awareness, to show people that you exist. Remember, you cannot sell something to people if they don’t even know you exist.

 

You’ve probably heard people say “content is king”. It is indeed the the kind when it comes to raising your brand awareness. Well, this is the part of your funnel where you will want to post the highest quantity of free content out there.

 

I suggest you create content about topics related to your niche on a regular basis. You can create videos, podcast, articles and so on and distribute them to all your marketing channels.

 

Here are some channels through which you can distribute your content:

 

1- Youtube: Youtube is a great way to promote your content is you mostly provide video content. Youtube has become a reference when it comes to free video education and has a massive amount of daily views. You will definitely want to use that.

 

2- Social media: Using social media is a great way to share your content. SM users spend their time consuming free content. Sharing your content there will be a great alternative to get discovered. You can either share you content on your own social media network or collaborate with influencers with large audiences for them to share your content(A little like we do with E-commerce)

 

3- Direct email: If you already have an email list, you can share your content with your subscriber by sending them email containing your content. This is a good way to build a relationship with your audience.

 

4- Blog post: You can also share your content as blog or articles on your website. Note that to produce content for your website, you should try as much as possible to make the content SEO friendly. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it involves populating your piece of content with phrases(keywords) relevant to the topic your are exposing. You can also use paid traffic to direct traffic to your business site. 

 

Google analytics permits you to track your evolution at this stage by providing you with Audience and Acquisition reports.

 

From the audience report, you will like to track some of the following dimensions:

 

Age and gender: It is important for you to know the age range and gender your business interests the most as this will help you improve on your content creation and ads planning. A much younger age range will imply, more entertaining content for example.

 

Interest: This is a great way to know what your audience is interested in. Having this information will permit you to provide content and customize your product presentation in relation to your audience’s interest.

 

From the acquisition report, you will like to track some of the following metrics: 

 

Users: this permits you to have an idea on the number of users who interacted with your content within a specific period of time. A large amount of users will mean you have set a good strategy.

 

New users: This is the amount of people who visited your site for the first time. A high percentage of new users will mean you have a low capability of retaining users, even though you might attract them effectively.

 

Bounce rate: This is the percentage of users who leave your page after visiting the first page. Ideally this should be around 40%. Lower value means more success while higher values mean there is a problem with the content you propose.

 

 

MIDDLE OF THE FUNNEL

 

Your main goal at this stage is to convert the traffic you obtained from the above awareness process to leads for your business and to nurture them. Here, you want to provide as much gifts as possible to be able to get contacts from this traffic. In marketing, we generally call these gifts lead magnets and the process of getting these leads capturing the leads.

 

Your reason for capturing these leads is to have a means to contact them latter and build a relationship with them. 

 

At this stage you want to propose some content to your visitors in exchange with their contact information. This content is usually closely related to the piece free content you proposed this visitors. It is generally a more detailed form of the free content.

 

Below are some of the tools you can use to:

 

A- Capture the leads

 

1- Free ebooks or pdf: In this document you want to include an extended form of the free content to proposed to your visitors in step 1. You can also provide some guides, techniques, summaries and even aggregates of several contents you previously proposed. To produce this document, you can use free online tools like canva. It is quite easy right?

 

2- Webinars: Though not as easy as the ebooks, webinar are also great ways to create contact and build relations with your visitors. They permit you to showcase your knowledge to your audience live. They generally produce higher conversion rates.

 

3– Free courses: Offering free precorded courses is also is also a good tool to capture your lead. However, this tool is is generally used by knowledge monetizing businesses.

If you are selling information, this can be a great way to build credibility around your business. 

 

4- Private or closed communities : Propose to your visitors to join your private groups where they can learn more from you directly and present the problems they face so you and your community could help solve them. You can create such communities on platforms like facebook for example. 

 

5- Blog post and newsletter subscription: You can propose to send your visitors blog posts on a regular basis, say a daily, a weekly or a even a monthly blog post in exchange with a piece of information. 

 

Now, you have this tools in hand waiting to be offered to you public. You now need some tactics to ask these piece of information from your visitors.

 

 On your website: There are so many techniques in use out there today. The most common is using popups. With popups you can ask information from your visitors at the appropriate moment without actually disturbing their navigation( Of course this when you use them properly). 

 

On social media: Again there are so many techniques in use out there, some of which are not alway ethical. These will probably make the subject of another article. Notwithstanding, the method I like the most is using messenger bots. With this bots there is no need to direct your visitors to your website to be able to get their information. You can even ask for their email address directly from facebook messenger. Use one of the above lead magnets to convince your visitor to give you a piece of information.

 

It is predicted that these messenger bots will take over emails. It is easier to communicate with your leads directly from facebook messenger rather than sending an email which you are not sure will be open.

 

Note that you can also direct traffic from another social media platform to your facebook messenger.

 

B- Nurture the leads:

 

1- Email marketing: Send emails to your traffic with your most recent blog post or article related to their fields of interests. This will help strengthen your your relationship with you customers. Use this in case you succeeded in getting a piece of contact.

 

2- Remarketing: In case you didn’t succeed in getting a piece of contact, try to retarget these visitors with ads specific to what they were looking at on your site. Your goal here is to at least make them revisit your site. Maybe this time they will be confident enough to leave their contacts. 

 

To track your evolution and level of success at this stage, you want to look at the following metrics.

 

I- number of downloads: By setting event tracking in google analytics, you are able to follow up the number of times your ebook has been downloaded, a short coarse video has been clicked and much more. This metrics can give you an idea of how effective and attractive your offer is to your visitors. You can then use this data to decide whether your will use another lead magnet or continue with the one you are using.

 

II- Number of subscribers/ email list: Several email marketing providers permit you to know the number of visitors which subscribed to your email list. You want to track this number over time to see how fast you grow your email list.

TAKE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE NEXT LEVEL NOW!

BOTTOM OF THE FUNNEL

 

This is the moment where you want your leads to purchase your product.

 

At this level of the funnel, you can assume that your lead has already be nurtured effectively and is ready to purchase.

 

Here you want to share testimonials, create or invest in great sales page copy, and prepare great emails to present your products to your leads.

Now that everything is ready to start your lead to customer conversion, just like for your the piece of information in step 2, you need a tactic for conversion. Below are some of them;

 

Scarcity: Give a discount for a certain limited amount of time. It is great to make your lead feel the urgency of buying at that moment and not after.

 

Bundles: If you propose several products to your public, create combinations of products and sell them at lower prices for a restricted period of time.

 

Email: Send emails to your audience proposing them new deals, new discount, or even bundles of product.

 

Remarketing: Remarketing on its own is a broad and quite complex strategy. However it is very useful to for converting users who have already interacted with you content. Let’s take an example. Imagine you own a online shop. A visitors come to your site and chooses a product but before checking out leaves your site. You can use remarketing to show this user ads of products you have which are related to what he/she was to purchase. This will surely make the subject of another article.

 

To track your success at this level, you want to look at metrics like customer LTV, Total revenue, revenue per customer  and conversion rate.  You can follow up all these metrics using the google analytics goal setting features.

 

 

There are a lot more sophisticated marketing funnels out there. What I will like you to retain at the end of this article are your main goals at each level and the techniques you can use in order to achieve them. Understanding these will help you out with the more sophisticated ones which I mentioned above.

 

Jordi Hako is an entrepreneur, Digital marketer and Web designer who uses his expertise on a daily basis to ensure the best results to his clients. Follow Jordi Hako on social media to know more about his daily challenges.

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