No one has to tell you, of all people, that customers go through stages as they move through the buying process. As a small-business owner, you've been selling your product or service long before your sales and marketing team started casting decisions in terms of “the marketing funnel.” The marketing funnel? If this term is new to your vernacular, don't worry, you're not far behind the curve – or the tactics to help you navigate it.
Notice how this happens automatically without the customer having to do too much. This makes sense because at this stage in the funnel they are choosing the use the firm because they like the firm and are making an emotional decision so don’t have to invest much time. In fact, they may have experienced more friction when it came to signing up to the trial in the first place. This is because at that stage of the marketing funnel they are using more logic and less emotion than at the later stage of the funnel.
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Not only must value be properly sequenced throughout the funnel, but cost must be as well. In that deeper stage in the funnel, SolarWinds didn’t only provide the properly sequenced value (trial versions) it also communicated properly sequenced cost (an online price quote engine). You must determine when to introduce the price in the funnel you’ve created, but also non-monetary elements of cost too.
Interest: Once leads are generated, they move on to the interest stage, where they learn more about the company, its products, and any helpful information and research it provides. Here is an opportunity for brands to develop a relationship with the people in its lead database and introduce its positioning. Marketers can nurture leads through emails, content that is more targeted around industries and brands, classes, newsletters, and more.
Mary Wroblewski came of age as a reporter and editor in some of Chicago's scrappiest newsrooms but softened up long enough to write nine children's books as well as one nonfiction tome. She has a master's degree in communications and teaches college-level courses at a Chicago area college. You'll see her work in a wide variety of publications, especially those in the business, education, health care and nutrition genres.
Simple marketing funnels have fewer, more meaningful interactions. More people make it through to the end of the funnel and a simple funnel is far more geared towards high ticket sales. It’s much easier to buy traffic when using a simple marketing funnel and it works well with high-value media. Simple sales funnels are the fastest path to online lead generation for high-priced products and services.
Upon entering their email address they are now in the Evaluation stage, where they (possibly) read the case study, browse the company’s website, and receive regular emails from the company. After a few weeks the prospect receives an email explaining that they can trial the service for 1-month for just $1. At the end of the month they will be taken onto the regular subscription price of $49 per month, but they can cancel their subscription easily anytime within that first month.
A complex marketing funnel is made up of several different low-value steps. An example of a complex marketing funnel would be if you run an ad that takes users through to a landing page where they are asked to complete a specific action. After a visitor completes that specific action they will be taken to a success page where there’s another chance to get them to make a purchase or complete a second action. A complex funnel is not ideal because there are a lot of places for people to fall off, reducing the chances of getting them to convert.
It’s important to note that there is not a single agreed upon version of the funnel; some have many “stages” while others have few, with different names and actions taken by the business and consumer for each. In the diagram below, we’ve done our best to pull out the most common and relevant funnel stages, terms, and actions so this information is useful to as many marketers as possible.
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