Several debates have been revolving around the applicability of marketing funnels today, where the fashion of purchasing is no longer linear. Prospective customers might not enter the marketing funnel in the first stage itself – they might join in on different levels of the funnel. This would hold true if they are suggested to buy a particular product from a particular brand and a particular site and hence might step into the funnel towards its ultimate stages. They might also conduct researches elsewhere and derive their conclusions on their own, without any help from the B2C’s intervention. Hence several alternatives to the marketing funnel are coming up, such as McKinsey’s circular model.
At such a point, work on making the potential customer feel confident in their decision to buy your product. Let’s take the previous example of a fitness center. Here, develop a case study showing a customer’s success story including before-and-after pictures along with testimonials. This can be related to either weight-loss or gaining substantial muscle-mass—whatever’s appropriate based on the client.
The actual purchase phase has been kept separate from the decision making phase because of two reasons. The first one has to do with the difference between the buyer and decision maker as explained above. The other one is because potential customers might still decide to NOT purchase your product even after they decided to actually purchase your product. This could for example happen when a customer is searching online for your webstore and has trouble finding it. Or because they have issues with the payment options on your website’s check-out page. Once your prospects have decided that they want your product, it is up to you to make it as easy as possible for them to make the purchase. In case of a webstore, try to get rid of unnecessary and distracting features and make the path to the check-out page as clear and simple as possible. This will help you to boost the conversion rate.
Most leads are not instant customers: They go through a process of researching, comparing and evaluating before agreeing to spend their money. This process is commonly called the purchase funnel or the sales funnel (whichever you prefer). Understanding the steps your leads go through will help you market properly so that you can convert as many of them into customers as possible. Here is a brief overview of what the sales funnel is and how it varies for B2B and B2C companies.
The same guys would also recommend that you always negotiate on deliverables, rather than the investment or the price. So make it clear what you are offering, break it down in to component parts of your offer. When someone says they do not have that budget, ask them which of these parts they want to remove from your offering. If we get a potential website client, we offer to plan the website, to design it, to develop it, market it, train the client and provide support services. So then the client can see the offering in parts and decide what they can do themselves. They may do some of the work in-house themselves or outsource elsewhere. But our rates remain the same. If we have a particular funnel worth €25k we need to work out what we offer in that funnel. Any reduction in the spend reduces some of the parts of that funnel. All we can do is determine what we can offer for that investment and let the client decide how much they want of it. If you could invest €25k and get back €50k, what would you do?
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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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A standard marketing funnel would usually contain some simple tools, but you do have to create these for your toolkit. So there is content creation involved to get copy and images and landing pages or forms etc. Whilst we use websites as a big part of the marketing funnels we create, you may not necessarily use one. We create a lot of content around the planning for a business website and then the development or build of a business website and then the marketing involved in making it deliver leads.
Signing up to the trial provides a low barrier way to acquire a customer and the customer enters the Trial part of our funnel. If at the end of the month they are enjoying the company’s service and are happy with it, they then move to the full price subscription. At this point they are a full customer and they have entered the Adoption part of the funnel.
Once the prospective customer is made aware of the product, it’s the duty of a marketer to nurture the lead by arousing his interest in buying the product and make him consider it over other products. This involves marketer to tap several other channels, improve its public relation strategies, and include affiliates and partners who promote the product.
A Marketing Funnel is pretty much anything you do that promotes your product or service, your sales process. If done properly, it should lead people to your door. If done well it should all be a profitable exercise. But it does need some planning and measuring, rather than just a spray and pray approach. Tip: Any funnel should address one single pain point and deliver a solution to that one single thing.
Imagine any online shopping portal, for instance. Several hundreds of people like you visit the website every day, rather every hour. You view products and choose among innumerable options. This is followed by adding items of your choice to their virtual shopping carts. Not all visitors to the site buy the products from here. Some might make inquiries; some might browse through a different site and land up buying the product somewhere else. The platform which was open to act as a magnet for millions now gradually funnels its way through different steps into achieving profits from few by selling its items away.
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.
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One entrepreneur who started her entire business off of funnels to delight is Marie Forleo. In her funnel for the audio training “How To Get Anything You Want” she not only provides an hour-long training to help people, she follows it with a thank you page offering even more helpful tips and insider information, and delivers a series of automated emails providing the audio training and more information around overcoming your business obstacles.