You may have heard about digital marketing funnel, sales funnel or funneling. These are words that represent a powerful sales process.
A marketing funnel is a framework that helps generate traffic, converts that traffic to make a purchase, and nurtures these customers into long-term advocates of your business. It involves employing a variety of marketing tactics that engage users at each stage of their buying journey.
Website traffic, marketing funnels, the sales process, and getting the most out of the traffic that’s coming to your website are all extremely important aspects of marketing success. When you understand what a digital sales funnel is, how it works, and how to craft the most effective one for your business, you will have taken a giant leap forward on the path to online marketing success.
Why Do You Need a Digital Marketing Funnel for Business?
Any business that is serious about growing their business needs to use digital marketing funnels. They are the key to reaching a much wider audience and getting the highest conversion rate on your marketing efforts.
Just spending money on paid advertising without a strong foundation won’t work. You need a consistent traffic source, and a funnel that works to turn that traffic into leads.
Below are some benefits of having an effective sales funnel:
- Through creating a multi-channel marketing campaign, you will understand your customers better. You will learn their likes and dislikes; possibly even their hopes, dreams and fears. Then, you will have the opportunity to hone your copy and messaging until it is super-targeted to them and resonates super-strongly.
- If you want to create high-quality, personalized content that increases the chances of your users taking action, you need to build out a digital marketing funnel. This will give you the opportunity to create content that is tailored specifically to them, which will improve their user experience and increase your chances of getting them to take action.
- Your funnel should focus on the end goal for your business, which is not increasing traffic – it’s increasing your bottom-line profits. To do this, you must create a profitable funnel. Get the highest return on your investments with profitable funnels.
Why is the funnel concept crucial in Your Digital Marketing strategy
Segmentation is the first and primary benefit of a matrix approach to strategy. By using this strategic framework, you can better direct your content, ads, and other strategies with messages that are useful to your different groups of prospects at different stages of their buying cycle.
This allows the sales message to be delivered at the exact moment it’s most likely to be accepted, which in turn increases the chances of success. This close proximity also gives the opportunity to connect with your buyers during the various stages of their buying journey.
The advantage of digital advertising is that it allows you to communicate with highly specific groups of people. Therefore, you will be able to speak to the right audience, and deliver the most relevant content at each stage of the sales process.
As important as it is to respect the users’ time, urging them to complete the next stage of the funnel is crucial if you want to make better use of your company’s resources and improve your bottom-line.
Your marketing funnel is crucial to make better use of your company’s resources, improve your bottom-line and create more traffic to your website.
The Stages of a Winning Digital Marketing Funnel
If you were to take an offline sales process online, it is won’t be difficult to visualize what a funnel is exactly.
In its simplest form, a funnel can be broken down into 3 stages. The first stage usually is the exploration stage or “Asking around stage” if you will. During the second stage, the potential buyer goes to various stores to compare prices. The third and final stage is where the customer makes the actual purchase.
Not too complicated now is it?
Now, let’s put that into perspective and see how it can work for your service based business.
Let’s walk you through the essentials required for a full digital marketing funnel setup. If you prefer to concentrate on your core business instead of being hands-on in building your sales funnel, we offer a “done-for-you” digital marketing funnel service too.
Let’s dive in….
1. The Exploration Stage
Now, first things first, we have to understand why people use search engines.
The reason is that if you understand the intent behind the action, you are at the stage of being in the “middle of conversation”. For example, since you are reading this article, it is most likely that you are looking at how to set up a digital marketing funnel for yourself. Right?
Now this is not mind reading. This is simply digital marketing 101 – understand the intent of your online audience. Knowing your audience and understanding their wants allows you to serve them better. Doing so will lead to delighted customers and a base of loyal brand lovers.
As a business owner or digital marketer, it is important to note that at this stage, your potential customers are looking at options.
Funnel essentials you need are a blog/article and/or a mini pre-sale page. Both work in the same way. The key is to “sell the click”. Your potential customers will find that your content serves their wants and click to the next stage.
2. Consideration Stage – Comparing Options
When you have successfully “sold the click”, it means that your visitors have clicked on links in your blog/article and/or mini pre-sale page. You have guided them on their sales journey and they have an intention to buy from you. Are you following so far?
One mistake that beginners often make here is that they go on a full blown sales pitch about their product. Such hard-sell tactics don’t resonate well with customers.
As the old marketing adage goes – “Sell them what they want”.
We understand that you are in service based business and that your services are top notch. But this is not what your potential customer want to hear or see. They already sold into your knowledge or expertise by reading your blog/article/mini pre-sale page. So don’t overdo your sales pitch.
Here’s what you should do.
Sell your customer the benefit of their consuming your service. Help them understand why choosing you is the best choice they can make.
This might sound obvious but it while simple, it is not always easy to do. Some think that all you need is to list down all features and have loads of testimonials. This is a negative. Just think about it, your service is simply a means to their end or put plainly, it is just a platform to your customer.
Why should they use yours? They can just as easily choose others.
You’d create the biggest impact when you address their biggest pain points and showcasing how your service benefits them. For example, let’s assume that you are a maths tuition teacher. You can say something like, “After children attend our maths wiz program, parents no longer feel stressed about whether they will pass their math exams.
Now, when worried parents with frustrated kids struggling with math read the above, will they want to know more about your program? Of course they will.
And that leads us to the final stage.
3. Conversion Stage – Making The Purchase
By this stage, you have transformed a super cold online visitor to a warm lead. You now have the opportunity to close a sale, sign them up for your program or have them do business with you.
During this stage, you might close them on your webinar, have them go down to your office for a consultation or a attend atrial class if you are giving tuition etc.
At this stage, you will need to reassure them that they have made the right choice by choosing you. In case, you are unsure about how to do this on your web page, we have our specialists who will help you craft the required content.
You might also need to address a few objections along the way. For experienced funnel builders, such objections are typically great feedback loops that you can use to enhance stage 2 of your funnel. If this is something you want to play to your advantage, and you choose to engage our service, we will guide you to do just that.
Hence, you realise that the most challenging portions of your digital marketing funnel to build are your first 2 stages. When these are done well, your potential customers, will understand what you stand for, like your service and trust your brand.
Making the sale in stage 3 will be the easy bit.
4. Delight Stage – Engaging your Existing Customers
Companies often add an extra step to the traditional sales funnel to retain or delight customers.
You should always be working to build an audience and to keep them engaged, not just during the purchase stage, but throughout their entire relationship with your site.
Your content should make your customers feel connected to your business and give them easy ways they can share their feedback. Showcase real customer successes and give your happy clients many reasons to refer their social circles to you.
It is important to reward your customers. By offering them special promotions or early previews of new products, they’ll be more likely to recommend your business to their friends and colleagues.
Digital Marketing Funnel Metrics
The reason funnels are so important as a tool is that they provide extremely useful data that can help you understand how your business functions and where you might make improvements.
What are digital marketing funnel metrics, and what do they mean?
Volume, Velocity, and Conversion Rates are the three main categories that most marketers concentrate on.
The number of leads passing through each stage of the funnel is measured using volume funnel metrics. Conversion Rates are the percentage of leads who progress from stage to stage, while Velocity funnel measurements are the time spent in each stage of the funnel, commonly measured in days seconds or minutes.
There are also more granular metrics within each category. These, together with marketing and sales data will allow you to calculate important figures like cost per acquisition(CPA) and customer lifetime value(LTV).
The various figures help the marketer and business owner to make informed decisions on how to grow the business.
Micro-moments in a Marketing Funnel
The key to a good marketing funnel is a continuous cycle of quality. Quality over quantity. A true effective marketing funnel is much more about the little daily details than big grandeur.
Don’t overlook the potential (and power) in even the tiniest of moments. Many online marketers overlook these kinds of half-second decisions by their prospects. Often, it only takes half a second for a prospect to decide if they want to move on to your next funnel stage, work with you immediately or continue looking for alternatives.
There are four kinds of micro-moments that really matter when it comes to turning users into leads and, eventually, customers.
These moments occur when a user does (or doesn’t) do something, based on what they see on their screen. Understanding these micro-moments is vital if you want to increase the profitability of your website.
- I-want-to-know moments – when viewers are curious and exploring solutions to their problems but are not yet ready to buy
- I-want-to-go moments – when the potential customer is looking for a nearby business or is considering buying a product from a nearby store
- I-want-to-do moments – when someone wants help completing a task and is making a choice between 2 or more options
- I-want-to-buy moments – when the user is ready to purchase what he or she is looking at, and may need help making the decision as to whether they should purchase it.
No matter what business you are in, you must create content that satisfies the specific needs of each micro-moment of the buyer’s journey. This way, you have a greater chance of capturing their attention and convincing them that your company is the right choice.
Your business creates the right solution for each of your customers’ unique challenges. This makes your company a great solution provider and a great place for users to turn for answers to their problems.
Essentials for effective full-funnel marketing
There are many ways to create a full-funnel marketing program but you’d want to embrace these four essential elements that are common to all of them.
1. Brand-building measurement
Brand building campaigns using traditional advertising techniques have long suffered from a “tracking problem.” They can offer the possibility of reaching large numbers of consumers and eliciting powerful emotional responses, but their inflexibility prevents marketers from collecting detailed insights on how exactly the campaigns are impacting consumer behavior.
As a result, most brand-building efforts are crippled by a lack of data. This makes it difficult – nigh impossible – to measure the true effectiveness of the campaigns, understand what parts of the effort are working, and then use that knowledge to improve future campaigns.
Fortunately, this is all beginning to change. With the proliferation of mobile devices, social media, and other new technologies, we are now at the dawn of a “data age.” The floodgates have officially been opened and the genie is out of the bottle.
Make sure that you have a data driven funnel marketing strategy. The detailed information about your customer behaviour will allow you to make changes to improve your results.
2. A unified set of KPIs
You need to link specific KPI’s (Key Performance Indicators) between channels and stages of the sales funnels. This will allow you to measure the real impact of your marketing and then create messaging that will get the best results.
By linking KPIs between channels and stages of the funnel and then analyzing the results you’ll be able to determine whether or not your ads are really working and then create more effective campaigns.
For example, if you’re seeing an increase in brand awareness but no corresponding increase in sales, you may want to consider testing different media (i.e., Facebook vs. Twitter).
By looking at all of these channels together, you’ll get a clearer picture of how each one affects your business and enable you to make smarter decisions about where to allocate your marketing dollars.
3. Efficient spending using updated media mix model
More and more marketers are using media mix models (MMM) to measure the impact of their advertising and marketing campaigns and determine how much money they should spend on different types of advertising and marketing.
MMM’s have several shortcomings. They don’t give an instantaneous view of the allocation decision; instead they provide a long-term view. That means they are less responsive to short-term changes in allocation, like shifts in campaign performance or changes in buying behavior caused by external factors.
In order to make MMMs more reliable, organisations should incorporate additional inputs, such as those from incremental testing and from multitouch attribution models. When this is done, organizations that use MMMs for multi-touch attribution are more likely to be able to make informed decisions and to achieve their goals.
Incrementality tests, which randomly assign people to receive or not receive an ad, provide a cleaner verification of a campaign’s performance, as well as insights that are closer to real-time and more granular data on individual ads or channels.
Attribution models are becoming more sophisticated every day. With the help of recent technology and analytics advances, it is now possible to test incremental changes to campaigns and/or channels and measure the true impact of those changes.
Advanced analytics helps improve the process of determining where credit for a customer conversion should go in our marketing campaigns. However, it is also time consuming to run such tests at scale, across channels and changes.
4. Full-funnel operating model
Integrating full-funnel marketing into the daily function of the company requires a complete overhaul of the way work gets done across the entire organization. Four areas are most important to get right:
- Incentives for full funnel performance. Core marketing metrics should be made more rigorous by tying them to unified KPIs that measure full funnel performance, such as total brand awareness and total visitor traffic. Metrics that measure incremental value, such as extra traffic coming from A/B testing or increased revenue from brand campaigns, should be used to supplement these core metrics.
- Deeper collaboration between you and your media agency partner. To effectively manage a collaboration with an external marketing agency, you must understand what it is they do… AND… you must also be accountable for what they are responsible for. This means not just managing the agencies more actively but also collaborating more closely with them. It includes owning the user-level data, insisting on collaboration for rapid testing and iteration, and leveraging all of your brand-building and performance-marketing media channels into a more powerful unified force.
- Cross-functional department collaboration. Collaboration among all funnel stakeholders is critical to effective, full-funnel marketing. Without it, there can be no flow of information, no joint decision making, and no sense of a common purpose or goal. Some companies use weekly meetings where the various stakeholders share their collective intelligence and then makes decisions jointly on things such as KPI’s, spending levels, and which audiences to target.
- Adoption of test-and-learn capabilities. Brand marketers must use rapid test-and-learn methodologies across all marketing disciplines. This will help ensure that your ads, sales pitches, catalogs, websites and other forms of communication are as optimized as possible quickly. Dynamic, rapid test-and-learn capabilities need to be extended to mid- and upper-funnel teams. Brand marketers can use these methodologies to rapidly test personalized creative and to optimize the videos or other consumer content ads that are delivered alongside, a tactic shown to be highly effective.
I hope that this digital marketing funnel guide has given you a funnel framework to work on for your service-based business. If you haven’t yet done so, you can start mapping out the 3 stages and work on each stage individually.
Each stage can then be enhanced and further fine-tuned after analysing your digital marketing funnel metrics and tracking data analytics. This will improve your online conversion rate which leads to more qualified leads, sales and revenue.
If you prefer working with someone who can help you strategize, design and deploy your entire digital marketing funnel, connect with us and we will be more than happy to get you the results you want.