One of the toughest tasks you will face as a marketer is to visualize what success will look like from a marketing perspective. Sure, you will be able to tell from a revenue perspective if your marketing efforts are working. 

An increase in revenue most likely means your marketing efforts are performing well. No increase or a decrease in revenue most likely means something in your marketing strategy is not working as it should. 

But how can you actually determine what is and is not working? 

For this we like to use a marketing funnel to visualize the path a potential client takes from finding out about Beacon Marketing through making a purchase. We find this is a useful tool that helps us organize our marketing efforts and identify which aspects of our marketing strategy needs improvement. 

This month we are going to take a look at the marketing funnel in its entirety. We will first examine how to build a marketing funnel, then we will zoom into the three parts of a funnel: Lead Generation, Lead Nurturing, and Lead Conversion. 

Let’s begin by looking at how you can build a marketing funnel from top to bottom.

Top Of The Funnel 

This top of the funnel is where your potential customers become aware of you and how you can help them. There are many ways a potential customer might gain awareness of your business. It could be through a paid ad, a referral, a blog or social media post, or a Google search.  

No matter how a potential customer becomes aware of your business, you should have one of two goals with the top of the funnel:

  • Make A Sale – Some people are ready to make a purchase now. Sometimes it could be a matter of need or they just really want what you are selling. No matter the case, you want to be ready to make a sale at that moment. You should have your funnel setup for the customer to make an online purchase, give you a call, or schedule an appointment. However your business model is set up, you want to be able to capitalize on the customers who are ready to buy now. 
  • Collect contact info – Some people are just “window shopping”. These are customers who like to do research before they make a purchase or maybe they are just browsing. Whatever the case might be, you want to collect an email address, phone number, or address and permission to reach out to them. This is where a free e-book or resource can come in handy. You are offering some free knowledge in exchange to be able to contact them in the future. 

If a person makes a purchase then you can move them to the bottom of the funnel and look to include them in a retargeting campaign. If a person gives you their contact information, then you can move them down to the next part of the funnel. 

Middle Of The Funnel 

Once you have collected a potential customer’s contact information and their permission to reach out to them, you can begin nurturing the lead. We like to say you can do this via one of the “3 E’s”: Educate, Entertain, or Engage. 

There is no ONE “right” way to do this part of the funnel. The key here is to be of value to your audience. Address their pain points, answer their questions, or entertain them somehow. Whatever the case might be, if you have the ability to connect with a potential customer then you must do so. 

Use their email address, phone number, or home/work address to share marketing content with them. Invite them to engage with you and other members of your digital community. You want to establish that you can be a vital part of their life. 

If you do this, then there is a good chance your potential customers will end up at the bottom of the funnel. 

Bottom Of The Funnel

The bottom of the funnel is where all your hard work (literally) pays off. This is where potential customers become paying customers. The key to this part of the funnel is to make it easy for your customers to complete the sale, make contact, or schedule an appointment. 

However your sales process is set up, you want your customers to intuitively understand what they need to do. If the process is too complicated or your customers feel like they have to jump through hoops, you run the risk of losing the sale. Worse the customer might go to a national or local competitor; which means your competitors are benefiting from your marketing efforts. 

If you have any questions about this part of the process, you might want to look at what your competitors are doing to see what the industry standard is or consult a sales expert for any ideas. 

Lost Leads and Retargeting

Something you want to keep in mind are lost leads (people who fell out of your funnel) and customers who already made a purchase. 

For lost leads, you want to reach out to them anew periodically to touch base to see if you can stoke their interest. Their first time through your funnel might not have been a good time for them. They might not have had a need for your products or services at that time or maybe it was not the time financially. Additionally, you may have added or updated your products or services in a way that might appeal to them now. 

For current customers who have made a purchase, you want to reach out to them again to see if you can get them to make another purchase. You were already successful once and if your product or service served their needs, then you stand a good chance of turning a one-time customer into a repeat customer. 

A marketing funnel is a great way to visualize the path a potential customer takes from discovery to purchase. By outlining the different stages of the funnel you can identify what key actions you need to take to generate more how you can improve. 

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