At this stage, you’ve convinced potential customers regarding your product’s value and its ability to deliver. Such leads are also referred to as marketing qualified leads. However, you’re not the only one in the industry providing such services which prompt the prospects to compare your business with the competition. The decision time will vary based on the nature of the product or service.
The largest pool of leads is always the least qualified, but every one of them is still a potential customer – one that might shop with one of your competitors if you don’t get them first. So, to maximise your marketing funnel conversions and keep your rivals in check, you also want to guide as many of these potential buyers towards the finishing line as possible.
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.

A customer is made aware of the product through Marketing and advertising campaigns, consumer research and discovery. The awareness is followed by gathering information in some form from him. This process of gathering information is called lead generation and the information is further used in the lead management system to nurture it down the system.
For example, that funnel may consist of freely available content published on a website aimed at the overall pain point a potential customer has. That content then includes a call-to-action to sign up for email for more information. That email list includes a lead nurturing campaign that answers key questions as customers have them, ultimately leading customers to talk to sales reps to answer their most specific and complex questions.
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Now, before we begin I should state that this funnel is for illustrative purposes only. There is no such thing as a marketing funnel as drawn above, only a series of interactions people go through with your company (and other companies) as they make their way from being a complete stranger to a loyal customer. In short, each marketing funnel is unique.

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This is simply the process of trying to get people through your marketing funnels to a point where they buy something or engage with you. The aim may be to get to a sale or it may be to get an appointment or some other form of engagement, such as signing up for a trial or completing a survey. We might use Google Ads to attract visitors and then convert by getting them to submit their details to start a dialogue with us. Then we would ask them to complete a short questionnaire, then armed with some relevant information to prepare for a meeting, we can meet, then we send a quote, then they invest. So we have a number of stages and conversion points during the process. Along the way we could lose people because they are not ready to invest or are overawed by the amount of work they will need to do or the amount of the investment required to do a good job, or the amount of time they personally need to commit to produce the required content. Much like having a filter, this helps us get the clients for whom we can definitely deliver value. They get to know us and evaluate us and see how little risk is involved. We would have goals or objectives along the way to help potential clients make small commitments as we go, that lead to a final decision. As you progress through the funnel you can add value or show how you would add value.

Daniel Burstein, Senior Director of Editorial Content, MECLABS. Daniel oversees all content and marketing coming from the MarketingExperiments and MarketingSherpa brands while helping to shape the editorial direction for MECLABS – digging for actionable information while serving as an advocate for the audience. Daniel is also a speaker and moderator at live events and on webinars. Previously, he was the main writer powering MarketingExperiments publishing engine – from Web clinics to Research Journals to the blog. Prior to joining the team, Daniel was Vice President of MindPulse Communications – a boutique communications consultancy specializing in IT clients such as IBM, VMware, and BEA Systems. Daniel has 18 years of experience in copywriting, editing, internal communications, sales enablement and field marketing communications.
Typically in your content marketing, to generate traffic, you will use a website, blogging, SEO, landing or squeeze pages, Google Adwords or PPC, Social Media Marketing, perhaps influencer marketing(see more below) and the old fashioned mediums of TV, Radio and Newspapers or Magazines. It involves creating engaging and useful or interesting content to promote through the various mediums, videos, guest posts etc. Likewise you want to get the technical aspects right, any transaction pages need to be as simple as possible, contact forms, shopping carts and search filters. If you lose people during the process, you can remarket through Facebook and Google, to draw them back.

Now that your brand has made it to the Consideration set, customers are likely to evaluate the options based on some personal criteria they might have. Even though selection criteria may vary from person to person, you might be able to find some general patterns by looking at the most often used criteria. Continious customer feedback, surveys and focus groups will help you figuring out what customers in general find most important about a certain product. Once you are aware of these attributes, you could guide your marketing efforts in such a way that you highlight these features when showing off your product. Often used attributes that customers use to evaluate products are: price, quality, appearance, durability and after-sales service.
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For example, a complex purchase funnel might include steps like this: searching a pain point in a search engine, getting to a content piece on a website, clicking to a landing page for a white paper download, receiving several pieces of email in a lead nurturing campaign, deciding to speak to a sales rep to learn more about the product, going through several stages of a sales process with a sales rep, and then ultimately making a purchase. This may happen over several months.
Marketing funnel, sales funnel, purchase funnel, AIDA model or customer journey. What these conceptual models all have in common is that they are attempts to map out the cognitive and behavioral process that customers go through when searching for a certain product or service that would fulfill their needs. The theory behind it states that customers go through several stages or phases before making the final call to purchase a company’s product. By mapping out these stages and by stepping into your customer’s shoes, you can see your company from the customer’s point of view and improve where needed. This article will explain a more widely applicable version of the marketing funnel and how to use it yourself.

The largest pool of leads is always the least qualified, but every one of them is still a potential customer – one that might shop with one of your competitors if you don’t get them first. So, to maximise your marketing funnel conversions and keep your rivals in check, you also want to guide as many of these potential buyers towards the finishing line as possible.

First, though, you want to map out all the potential interactions users can have with your brand and assign them to the most relevant stage of our marketing funnel. For example, a first-time visitor on your site will fit into the “awareness” category while someone who has repeatedly visited the same product page probably fits in the “consideration” stage.
Now that your brand has made it to the Consideration set, customers are likely to evaluate the options based on some personal criteria they might have. Even though selection criteria may vary from person to person, you might be able to find some general patterns by looking at the most often used criteria. Continious customer feedback, surveys and focus groups will help you figuring out what customers in general find most important about a certain product. Once you are aware of these attributes, you could guide your marketing efforts in such a way that you highlight these features when showing off your product. Often used attributes that customers use to evaluate products are: price, quality, appearance, durability and after-sales service.

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The Marketing Funnel starts off with the Awareness stage (sometimes called Attention). The goal of this stage is to gain presence and to introduce your brand to potential customers: they need to know that you exist. You could either actively reach potential customers through marketing campaigns or help them discover you more easily with their own (online) search. Awareness can be created through advertising, trade shows, direct mail, social media campaigns et cetera. In order for customers to more easily find you online, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Advertising (SEA) are advised.
The chances are that you are doing this already, but is there any structure to it? Do you have a content library or matrix to use in your promotions? Do you have these emails formatted? Do you have landing pages, squeeze pages and thank you pages created? Is there a flow? Do your YouTube videos back up your mailshots or Facebook adverts? Is it all connected? If not, then it is time to look at creating a proper funnel for your generating the right leads for your business, rather than just hope that business will come in the door.
In addition to vocational occupations where I was able to do what I loved most - helping people, I have developed game apps and undertaken a variety of freelancing projects - amongst other things.  But none of these jobs gave me the fulfillment I craved. I needed something bigger and better. So, I started a journey of  self-education in a variety of different areas and began investing time and money. This enabled me to gain a deep understanding of the science and strategy that underpin marketing funnels, social media marketing, and different types of business models. 

In the loyalty stage, customers start to develop a preference for your brand or company. They do not make repeat purchases anymore because you remind them of it, but because they genuinely like your product. Customer loyalty is therefore far more favorable than repeat purchasing. Loyalty means customers are hanging in there even when there may be some problems or negative rumours about your company. In order to create loyalty, your customers need to see the relationship between you and them as more than just a transactional relationship: connecting with your customers on a personal level is therefore crucial. Strong engagement, personalization, loyalty programs, community development, social identity and the sharing of values can help with that.
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A marketing funnel is a model describing the customer journey from awareness of the product to the actual conversion. It has long been a topic of contest and conjecture. We call them funnels because the probability of sales and proceeds gradually decreases at each step. Some people opt out, some lose interest, and some choose another portal. Had this not been the case, terming it as a marketing cylinder would have been better! In an ideal situation, all leads would turn into customers – ten on ten returns. The job of the marketers, hence, is to make sure that most of the leads are turned into customers so that their marketing funnels could distort its ways and turn into a marketing cylinder.
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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