There’s no doubt that the traditional marketing funnel used to work tremendously well, but that’s no longer the case. The old and outdated methods are not giving the kind of results they should. And that is obviously affecting the sales numbers for many businesses practicing them.
The question is why? What exactly is the reason that once proven marketing methods aren’t delivering?
It’s simple: when you cannot measure the overall performance or the effectiveness of a campaign, your efforts are mired by guesswork. You know half of your marketing budget is going to waste, but do not know which half. And that can cause problems.
Ask yourself, can you really measure and understand the return on investment with a traditional marketing campaign?
Invented by advertising pioneer St. Elmo Lewis, the infamous and widely used four-step marketing concept AIDA (attention, interest, desire and action) has evolved overtime. Which means the old marketing funnel that depended on this formula simply isn’t going to work in the current market conditions.
Did the above model fade out? Of course not. It just gradually improved and took a new form as different types of marketing methods and strategies came into being.
There has been a major shift in the marketplace, which forced marketing consultants and experts to alter the concept accordingly. Amongst these many new and enhanced trends in the marketing/advertising world came the dawn of digital marketing.
Over the years, digital marketing has proven to be a game changer for many big and small businesses. It not only allowed brands (in every niche) to communicate better with their customers/prospects, but also allowed them to experience sales like never before.
What’s more, with the Internet offering various, tailored platforms for marketing, you are no longer limited to a single method.
The bottom line is: with the previous AIDA model, businesses followed more of a linear path to gather qualified leads and convert them into clients/customers. Today, this process works on multiple levels. Which means you need to take a multi-faceted approach in order to get favorable results.
Remember, the modern customer journey leading to a purchase is different than what it used to be 2-3 decades ago. So you obviously cannot depend on the old methods anymore.
When you practice digital marketing, you’ll notice that there are far more touch points coupled with many different possibilities. In such a scenario, the traditional marketing funnel will not apply. Today’s customer journey needs to go through a different path, which we refer to as the digital marketing funnel.
What Exactly is a Digital Marketing Funnel?
A digital marketing funnel is basically a cocktail of tactics and techniques that can help a business:
- Get more targeted exposure that only grows with time.
- Gather better quality leads that can be converted with ease.
- Nurture prospects/customers well so they share their experience with others.
Even though the World Wide Web hasn’t been around for a long time, it has changed lives for the better. It has given people more choices than they could imagine, especially when it comes to buying products/services.
Thanks to the Internet era, comparison shopping has moved beyond a single store. Prospective customers can now research a wide range of competing products from the comfort of their home, regardless of their geographical location. Which means the customer has become more savvy and is making informed decisions.
Keeping these changes in mind, today you see brands changing and evolving for the better. They’re learning to to keep up with their demands and exceed customer expectations. Previously, they had no way to engage directly with their prospects/customers, and now they do.Also, with rising competition, businesses have no choice but to find new and innovative ways to gain the attention of their target audience. This is exactly what gave birth to the more agile and suitable digital marketing funnel.
Contrary to popular belief, the digital marketing funnel is relevant to all types/sizes of businesses. No matter who your customers are, they will be able to find a place in your digital marketing funnel when done right.
By creating a proper digital marketing funnel, you are not only able to track your customer’s purchases, but also monitor their retention journey, which is critical to your success. Not only that, you are also able to gain clarity on what stages of the funnel need to be improved in order to achieve better marketing results.
Here’s Why Your Business Needs a Digital Marketing Funnel
With the growing popularity of the Internet, the importance of using a digital marketing funnel grows for any business that wants to reach out to a bigger audience and achieve a favorable conversion rate.
Here are a three reasons as to why you need to take a digital marketing funnel seriously…
- Giving your audience what they want starts with understanding them. Having a digital marketing funnel not only allows you to tap into your target audience in terms of engagement but also lets you give them the right information, at the right time.
- For a business marketing online, delivering customized content so that it appeals to prospective customers is a no-brainer. Yet many fail at it. It’s because they do not use a digital marketing funnel to tailor their content and improve user experience while educating them about their business.
- Different people have different motivations to take action. Your target audience is made up of real people, who need to be motivated in order to go from one stage of your cycle to another. Using a digital marketing funnel lets you know what level your customers are on, and how you could give value to them to move them a level up.
How Does a Digital Marketing Funnel Work?
The workings of a digital marketing funnel are not complicated. At the basic level, every funnel is the same, but what makes the digital marketing funnel different is how much it can help you achieve when you put in the right amount of efforts.
Here are the key components of a digital marketing funnel…
In order to understand how the digital marketing funnel works, you have to understand the process behind it:
- The reason you build a digital marketing funnel is to help your business achieve a particular goal or objective. Which could be a customer buying your high-end product, signing a contract or anything that gets you more business.
- Once you have the digital marketing funnel ready, you draw in targeted/relevant traffic from various sources. This traffic travels through your funnel, starting at the top where they qualify as a lead.
- Next, they move to the middle, and then ultimately towards the bottom of the funnel. This is where they end up becoming a paying customer/client and also begin spreading the word about your business.
6 Stages of a Profitable Digital Marketing Funnel
Creating a profitable digital marketing funnel requires a complete understanding of the various stages that your customers goes through, and looking at them from their eyes.
So without further ado, let’s now look into the various stages of the digital marketing funnel detail, and understand how you can make the most of them.
Stage #1: Exposure
Boosting brand awareness should be the top most priority for any business that wants to grow further. Fortunately, improving your brand image in the eyes of your customers has become easier in today’s digital age. Because a good majority of your target audience is online. So it only makes sense to leverage targeted content marketing techniques to optimize and enhance your brand’s presence on the web.
The most basic step towards a successful digital marketing funnel begins with awareness. In order to engage with your brand, your audience first needs become aware of its existence. The digital route improves the chance of word-of-mouth and gives far better results than the traditional route in terms of generating awareness. When people share your content, the effects last longer than advertising.
In order to gain true exposure, your business needs to:
- Improve ranking in Google and other major search engines for targeted keywords.
- Create and share content that delivers real value.
- Build a community that is loyal and responsive.
- Occasionally invest in digital advertising through the right channels.
Do keep in mind that none of these methods will give long-lasting results if you do not keep a track of your progress by focusing on the various digital marketing KPIs.
Stage #2: Discovery
The first stage of the funnel that drives awareness helps you generate the needed exposure. However, once people land on your site, you need to ensure that they stay and discover your products/services. In other words, you need to keep them on your site until they hit the buy button.
Regardless of your website type, you have to be sure that it is sticky and offers the right kind of content. Because getting people to your website would be useless if they leave right away. You need to boost the time they spend on your website.
You want your prospects to experience the most relevant customer journey and get them to explore the types of products/services you offer. So you may want to…
- Offer them informative content that educates them about the problems they are facing and the solutions you offer.
- Recommend relevant products with discounts before someone leaves your website.
- Up-sell similar products to customers while they check out.
- Use an exit popup to invite your website visitors to your email newsletter.
Your goal should be to get something from your customer before they leave. If not a sale, their contact information. You don’t want them to visit, leave and never come back again.
Stage #3: Consideration
If you offer a great experience to your website visitors, they will move on to the consideration stage. In fact, many of them may already have been looking for a product/service similar to what your offering. Which means they may tell other potential customers about your offering, even if they haven’t bought your product/service.
Keep in mind that when somebody is at this stage of the funnel, they are closer to a purchase. Which is why it’s crucial that you address all their problems/queries to avoid any hiccups along the way.
Knowing your target audience and their needs should be on top of your list because it helps you create a smooth funnel, where you take care of the obvious concerns before any queries come your way. This helps you create a trust factor with your prospects and lets you devise more targeted/refined marketing tactics.
For instance, having a comprehensive FAQ on your site along with authentic customer reviews can answer many questions for a customer that is considering a purchase. It can remove any last minute doubts/objections and increase the chances of conversion.
Stage #4: Conversion
Regardless of what type of products or services you sell, getting a high conversion rate is what you should always be aiming for. Because if you’re not converting well, your ROI suffers.
When someone has already gone through the consideration stage and is in the “ready-to-buy” mindset, you cannot afford to lose them. Which is why it makes sense to do whatever you can to make the whole buying process as painless and easy as possible.
When you design your digital marketing funnel, you’ll learn that perfecting it is an ongoing process. In other words, there’ll always be chances that of having cracks in the funnel, through which your prospects slip through.These potential “leaks” can prove to be costly if not taken care of. So you need to work on identifying all those points where your sales process can be disturbed. The last thing you want is your prospect having a change of mind and hitting the exit button after coming close to completing the purchase.
Stage #5: Customer Relationship
Do you want to take your business to the next level? Of course you do. But that would not be possible if you’re not focused on nurturing customer relationships.
Being a business, it’s your responsibility to give your customer the value that they deserve to get. If not, they are free to choose your competitor over you, which you obviously don’t want to happen.
So instead of bombarding your prospects and customers with sales emails, work on giving top-class customer service by being there for them. Answer their questions, solve their problems and don’t keep them waiting.
Working on improving customer relationships goes a long way because it ultimately becomes the differentiating factor between you and your competing businesses.
The bottom line is: every successful business relationship boils down to value. If your prospects/customers are unable to get it from you, they won’t value their relationship with you.
Stage #6: Retention
There’s no doubt that creating strong customer relationships is no walk in the park. It can be time-consuming and may require an ongoing investment.
But still, it’s easier and less costly when compared to gaining new customers. In fact, it’s 7X more expensive to retain your existing customers than replacing ones that opt out of your digital marketing funnel.Once again, it all comes down to what you are giving to your customers to make them stay. How much value you deliver directly affects your retention rate. Remember, the more customers you retain, the more repeat sales you make.
3 Types of Digital Marketing Funnels You Can Implement Today
The good thing about a digital marketing funnel is that each of its stages are interdependent on each other. Which means working on strengthening one area will have a positive effect on the others. As you improve on each of these stages and the overall process, it leads to complete business growth.
Now that we have a clear understanding of the stages that make up a digital marketing funnel, let’s look look into three common types of funnels that can help your business grow.
1. Conversion Funnel
A lot of times, a conversion funnel is made complicated for no reason. When in actuality, it’s a simple campaign involving multiple steps, with each step leading prospects towards your most wanted action/result.
In order to truly get the most out of your conversion funnel, you need to understand how it works in three specific, yet important, categories.
When it comes to using the above three conversion funnels, you will need them all in order to get high conversion rates. However, you won’t be using them at the same time. You’ll use them each depending on what stage your business is at.
If you look at it, each of these conversion funnels helps you reach a different goal/objective. If your goal is to improve revenues, then you need to focus on the monetization funnel. Using the other two wouldn’t help you meet your goal. So understand where your business stands today, and see what conversion funnel would be most applicable.
Now, let’s see how these three conversion funnels seamlessly work with each other at different stages of your business.
First, you’ll be using the acquisition funnel to tap into your target audience and find new, relevant leads for your business. Whether you give away a white paper or simply ask people to contact you, it’s up to you how you gather these leads.
Second, as soon as you have the right kind of leads, the next step is to activate buyers, and convert a good percentage of these warm leads you collected.
Third, comes the monetization funnel, where the “leads converting into customers” type of action occurs.
Make sure you have your funnel set up in your Google Analytics, or else you won’t be able monitor your progress. Also, just so that you don’t run into any problems later on, try to define your lead goals prior to setting up your conversion funnel.
2. Sales Funnel
Sales funnels are critical for businesses that want to hit their sales goals. When done right, they smoothly guide customers through a “purchase path” leading to a potential monetary transaction.
Your approach to the sales funnel may be different than others. But if you drill to the basics, the ideal steps to a profitable sales funnel look similar.
Here’s a sales funnel idea you can apply easily…
1) Offer your website visitors a valuable yet relevant frontend offer a.k.a freebie (ebook, white paper, tool, etc) in exchange of their email address.
2) After they sign up, take them to a thank you page that also offers a time-sensitive deal/discount on one of your products that they might be interested in. You could also offer a premium version of your freebie.
3) If they choose to go for your offer, redirect them to your main sales page where you are selling your high-end product.
When and if a prospect purchases your main product, great. If not, you can follow up with them later on since they already gave your their contact information in the initial stages of the funnel.
The idea is to move people through the funnel, one step at a time.
2. Facebook Funnel
Social media is hot and happening. Which is why many big and small brands are trying to engage their target audience on the big social media platforms. One way they are doing this is by creating a proper sales funnel using Facebook ads.
There are a few things that can focus on to improve the chances of success of your sales funnel on Facebook.
#1: If you want more people to share your content, engage with it and click on it, then you’ll have to make it share-worthy and click-worthy, both..
#2: If the stats you’re seeing are poor, then you may have to A/B test your content and improve your landing pages to get higher engagement rates.
#3: Do some customer research and talk to people to find out what you can do to get more clicks and conversions on your ad. The sooner you learn and improve, the less money you will lose.
Ultimately, your Facebook sales funnel will prove to be profitable only when you take care of the minute details that the others are mostly ignoring.
Build Your Profitable Digital Marketing Funnel
We’ve planned out the steps for you and explained them, but that doesn’t mean creating your profitable digital marketing sales funnel is going to be easy. It has a lot of moving parts that require constant monitoring and optimization. As customer preferences change, your marketing funnel might have to as well in order to stay profitable.
Sometimes you need a team to help you and support your marketing efforts. We’re that team! We work as an extension of your marketing department and can help you in any way you need or serve as more of a leader. Contact one of our experts today to learn more about how our digital marketing services can help your funnel generate the highest profits.