A goal without a plan is just a dream. You need to have a proper plan to make sure that you will use your resources effectively with the best result possible. For people in the marketing world, to have an effective marketing strategy, you need to use every tool in the shed, and that includes the marketing funnel. Just like the real funnel, sales or marketing funnel represents the potential client’s journey from awareness to the purchase of your product. The idea of marketing funnel revolves around the concept of generating as many leads as possible and put them in a series of suitable schemes to get the ideal customers who are willing to spend money on the product marketer is selling. If this is still puzzling to you, let’s explain this much further.
Imagine the hundreds of people visiting a shopping website every day. They view products and choose carefully among many countless options. After they find a product they want, the next thing to do is to add the product to the website’s shopping cart. A product in the shopping cart doesn’t mean an actual sale. Some browse your site for inquiries and buy the product on other websites. Good marketers will funnel buyers into their website using different kinds of proven techniques earning potentially millions in the process.
So, the question is, how to create a sales funnel?
A sales or marketing funnel is a business model describing a customer’s journey from looking at products to inquire to the actual sale of the products. Marketers call it a funnel because the process is similar to what the real funnel is doing. Imagine pouring water with pebbles poured into it. As the water passed through, pebbles will be filtered and will remain in the funnel as pure water moved through on the other end. That’s how the marketing funnel works. A lot of people will go into your website looking at your product, marketers and website owners have to put these people into a funnel-like, step-by-step process to weed out the uninterested parties and get the ideal customers that are willing to buy their products. Let’s face it, not all people who enter a website are interested in the products on that site. Some of them lose interest, some are just there by accident, and some choose other portals to shop. The ideal scenario here is, all leads or visitors to your website should be turned into customers. Unfortunately, that is not the case. The marketer’s job is to make the funnel as close to a cylinder as possible.
How does it work?
The customer’s shopping journey starts with the awareness and will end at purchasing the product. But just like a real funnel with filter, customers will pass through different stages. There are three stages according to a marketer’s perspective: Lead generation, Lead nurtures and sale.
Consumers are made aware of the product with the help of marketing, ad campaigns discovery or customer research. After the customer’s awareness of the product, it will be followed by information gathering called lead generation. The information is then used in the lead management system to be nurtured and applied in further marketing schemes.
(One of the best site to use when doing lead generation LinkedIn.)
Once the customers know about the product, it is the marketer’s job to nurture the lead by keeping them interested in their product. This process involves marketing experts to use other channels, earn the trust of prospected buyers and use their affiliated partners that promote the product.
The narrow part or the tip of the funnel is the result of everything the marketers have done and the end of the customer’s journey
Stages of the marketing funnel
Marketing funnel has three parts, and they are made up of six steps. Awareness, Interest, Consideration, Intent, Evaluation and Purchase.
Marketing funnels start with marketers looking for potential customers. It involves letting people know about the product. It is called customer awareness. It uses schemes like public relations, advertising and marketing, cold calling, email blasting and social media campaigns. After awareness, lead generation will follow where customer’s information is acquired and nurtured into the system.
Once leads are generated, it is time to get their attention and inform them about your product or services. Marketers will keep the consumer’s interest to the product high by telling them about the company, the product and what they will get if they avail the services. Marketing specialists should use every strategy in the book to gain the customer’s trust and build a relationship at this stage. Marketers do this using monitoring reviews, testimonials, inbound marketing and graphic interface to draw their attention and deliver as much information to the customers as much as possible. This stage is very crucial because it will determine whether the customers will stay or leave the funnel.
After getting the consumer’s interest, the consideration stage follows. This is the stage where leads will be converted into qualified leads. Customers are now thinking of buying the product or availing the services so marketers should give a lot of attention to the customers and communicate with them. Inform the consumers about the product or the services, offer them perks and discounts. It is delivered using targeted emails, phone marketing, free trials, or direct interaction strategy.
This is the stage where customers are now considering buying the product or availing the services marketers are offering. They will do some product queries or putting the product on shopping carts. It is the sign marketers are waiting to start re-marketing and applying marketing strategies.
The final stage before the customer buys the product is the evaluation stage. It involves the customer evaluation of the product and the offer the product is offering. This is where the customer will decide whether the product is worth their money or not. The sales team handles this stage, not the marketers.
(To know more about marketing strategies, you can visit https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marketing_strategy)
The end stage of the funnel is the purchase. It is the result of all the process the marketers applied.
Is the funnel relevant in today’s world?
Many marketing experts believe that the application of the marketing funnel is essential in the sales industry where the popularity of the product dictates how they will fare with the competition. It will be challenging to attract consumers to your funnel at first, but with proper implementation of the strategy, it will help business owners get to the goal that they want.