The marketing funnel is a very powerful way of thinking about your company’s marketing and the process in which sales are created.
“Once you see the funnel, it’s easy to understand how valuable your existing customers are, and easy to think about how you want to spend time and money in promoting and building your site,” Seth Godin
Take an ordinary funnel – it’s wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. A marketing funnel is exactly the same. Many prospects enter the funnel at the top but only a few continue down to the bottom. Those who make it to the bottom are your high value customers.
In simplistic terms, all you have to do is attract many prospects in at the top – customers and therefore profits should come out the bottom.
However, there are two important things to note. First, many online businesses spend plenty of money attracting people to their website, but not enough making sure that these people are converted into sales.
Secondly, small businesses often neglect marketing to existing customers. Marketing efforts should also be focused on moving people down the marketing funnel as well as into it at the top.
Collecting Contact Details
One quick way to increase your profits is to provide a reason for people to leave their contact details. It happens all the time – someone visits a website and thinks “that’s interesting, I’ll return later on,” only to forget all about the site after they leave. Once you’ve attracted people to the top of the funnel you have to get them in. Therefore ask for contact details in exchange for valuable information, such as a free e-book or report.
With prospects’ contact details you can continue to market to them. This keeps you in their mind and gives you a chance to establish you expertise, thereby encouraging them to purchase your product or service further down the line.
Moving Down The Funnel
With the aim being to move people down the funnel one major mistake that many service companies make is to only have one type of service. This often leads to one of two scenarios. Either the service company becomes inundated with work and is unable to fulfill additional orders, or no one is buying the service.
The solution is to offer more layers in your marketing funnel. People may not wish to take a leap of faith and purchase an expensive service from you but they may be interested in ‘testing the water’ with a smaller purchase of some kind.
Therefore offer lower-priced introductory products and services such as an e-course, teleseminar, audio book, or even a cut-down version of your main service.
It takes a while for people to begin to trust service companies or retailers online so you should initially provide a means to allow a relationship to develop. Once in your marketing funnel you can then market to your prospects and encourage them to make a couple of lower value purchases. Having seen the quality and/or benefits first-hand you’ll be in with a good chance of moving those customers towards the bottom of your marketing funnel. Also, display testimonials where possible.
And don’t forget – once at the bottom of the funnel the marketing need not stop there. Those are your most valuable and satisfied customers. Utilise this through pursing additional marketing ideas and developing a word of mouth strategy, possibly though a referral programme, and your customers will start bringing prospects into the funnel.
You can see a good basic overview of the concept of a marketing funnel in the video below: