At Beacon Marketing, we’ve built our knowledge on the fact that success in marketing is rooted in strategy. But strategy looks very different for each business; it can be difficult to extrapolate from basic instructions to make your own unique strategy a reality.
To better understand what needs to be done, we like to visualize a funnel. Interestingly, the history of the marketing funnel actually goes back to the late 1900s. Nearly a century and a half later, the funnel remains an excellent way to visualize how you should organize your marketing efforts.
Let’s review the seven steps you’ll take to build a marketing funnel of your own.
Map Your Customer’s Journey
There are three main levels to a marketing funnel: Attraction, The three Es (engage, educate, and entertain), and Close. As you begin to detail your funnel, the first thing you want to do is map your customer’s journey down that path.
How will your target audience discover you? Once they know about you, how will you engage, educate, and entertain them to move them down your funnel? Finally, how do you envision a potential customer becoming a paying one?
Outline Your Customer’s Interactions
This next step is the key to making your funnel work for you: the touch points in your marketing funnel.
What are touch points? These are the opportunities your target audience has to interact with your marketing content.
What does a touch point look like? It could be a landing page designed to collect email addresses, social media content designed to drive traffic to those landing pages, or follow-up emails you send to new customers or everyone who downloaded an ebook.
Whatever the case, you want to understand the points in your funnel that are designed to generate interaction with your audience.
- You want to test the conversion rate of marketing tools such as landing pages or contact forms
- You want to gauge audience engagement with content sent via social media and email
- You want to ensure tools like landing pages and contact forms are functioning properly
- You want to ensure that your internal procedures are setup to handle engagement from your audience
These designated touch points are where and how you engage with your audience. Your goal should be to make sure you put your organization’s best foot forward and give your audience a positive experience with your brand.
Know Where People May Fall Out
No matter how well you design your marketing funnel, some potential customers will fall out at some point. To maximize your funnel’s potential, determine where you are most likely to lose contact with a potential customer.
It could be at the completion of a drip campaign, or someone may abandon a partially filled shopping cart. Whatever the case might be, you want to identify these fallout points so you can attempt to re-engage these potential customers. This will give you the opportunity to turn a lost lead into a paying customer.
Build in Places for Instant Conversions
Broadly speaking, there are two types of customers. Let’s talk about the first type: Customers who are ready to act immediately.
For one reason or another, these customers have an urgent need and are ready to make a purchase.
From a marketing perspective, this makes your job a lot easier. All you have to do is focus on getting their attention and providing them a way to contact you or make an easy purchase.
Essentially, you want to make sure they can go from the top of the funnel to the bottom in the most seamless fashion. The easier and more pleasant you can make the experience, the better.
Allow for Fact Finding
The second type of customer needs more time. Their need either is not as urgent or they need more time to collect more information or decide they want to make a purchase.
These customers take more work. However, if you have a good content plan in place, the 3 Es phase should address all their questions, but be ready to meet any questions or respond to any objections.
Even for those who aren’t ready or hesitant, you have to be ready to convert a lead at all times. You never know when someone might be ready to take the next step. Always include a way for someone to initiate contact or make a purchase.
Some services, like restaurants, are more suited to a quick conversion. Others, like plumbers or contractors, are more suited for fact finding. It is important to understand your audience and where in the spectrum you will fit in. This will help you to determine where to focus most of your marketing efforts.
Detail How Channels Work Together
To get the most from your funnel, you want to understand how your marketing channels work together. At Beacon Marketing, we like to assign specific roles to a marketing channel.
For instance, Beacon Marketing uses in-person networking and social media to attract new potential customers. We use email marketing and our website to educate, entertain, and engage our audience. Finally, in-person meetings, phone calls, or our website helps us close a lead. This may change depending on the situation, but this is the basic framework.
By defining the role a marketing channel plays in your funnel, you are able to create content for that specific purpose. From there, you are also able to determine the effectiveness of a marketing channel and your content by evaluating its performance against what it should be doing.
Determine How You Will Retarget
One of the easiest conversions is someone you have already helped. As you outline your marketing funnel, you must determine how you will retarget your (hopefully) happy and satisfied customers.
Retargeting keeps you at the forefront of your audience’s minds, so when they need something you provide, they think of you.
The funnel doesn’t stop at the sale, and your marketing plan has to include follow ups through text message, email marketing, direct mail, or even phone calls. Not only is this a great way to provide additional customer service, but you also have an opportunity to showcase the other products/services that you provide.
A funnel is a great way to visualize your marketing efforts. It also provides your marketing strategy with structure that can be used as you implement your tactics now and in the future. You will use it to communicate to your team about how you envision interacting with your audience and it will be useful as you evaluate the effectiveness of your marketing.