Marketing funnel – what is it and how to use it

Last updated: February 16, 2021 7min read Written by: Karolina Niegłos
Table of contents
Table of contents

Over the past few years, marketing funnels have become a hot topic among online entrepreneurs and advertisers. Their popularity has grown to such an extent that today it is almost impossible not to bump into the idea of funnels at some point when running an online business.

Most of the digital entrepreneurs have an idea of what they are about. However –  can you honestly give me a funnel definition? Or can you tell me how to use it, what are the benefits and what elements it consists of? And why funnel marketing has turned out to be all the rage in today’s digital marketing world?

Well, if you don’t feel so confident anymore – don’t worry as once you read this article you will know:

What is a marketing funnel?

When you own an online business and a high quality engaging landing page connected to it (like the one you can create here) or a click funnel (for those who wonder what is a click funnel – it is just a series of pages that leads visitors to the final page with a purchase or subscribing option) you expect that the visitors will be taking certain actions like subscribing to your mailing list or purchasing and it will boost your conversions.

So basically – what you try to do is to turn the visitors into your customers and, roughly, this is a definition of a funnel. A marketing funnel is a set of steps that visitors take from finding out about your business to purchasing (some people include also post-purchasing follow-ups you have prepared for them and customer retention).

How a marketing funnel template looks like?

Every marketing funnel consists of 5 elements:

  • awareness – making visitors aware of your product or service and the way it solves their problems,
  • interest – increasing interest and desire for your product or service,
  • evaluation – evaluating pros, cons, and alternatives offered by the competition,
  • commitment – deciding which product or service should be purchased,
  • sales – purchasing.

You may wonder now when to use marketing funnels. First of all – let’s emphasize that funnel marketing is not designed exclusively to make visitors purchase products or services. You can also check how visitors move through a website flow, track newsletter signups or perform some funnel analysis afterwards to improve the experience for your targeted audience. You should figure out what goals you have and what visitors use your website for and create a funnel accordingly.

How to make a funnel and how a marketing funnel works?

In order to create an effective digital marketing funnel, it has to work as a unified whole. Every phase needs to be the continuity of the previous one creating a favorable journey for the visitors and engaging them more the further they go. Therefore, when creating your own marketing funnel you need to make sure each stage has content that will be appealing for your potential customers.

Building a funnel is just a process of elaborating a system that aims at moving the visitors down the funnel consistently to end up with people that are truly ready to purchase or subscribe.

Let’s take a marketing funnel for e-commerce as an example. An e-commerce store can easily identify their funnel. It starts at the top with all the visitors of the shop. Most of them will probably go to the shopping area, but not all of them – so the funnel narrows. Among those in the shopping area only a part of them will put some products in shopping carts so the funnel narrows again. And finally – only a part of those with something in shopping carts will purchase and this is where the funnel ends.

Building awareness

The top of your own marketing funnel is the point where the journey of your visitors starts. At this stage, your main goal is to increase the visibility and recognition of your solution. The wider target you have the wider funnel is. You need to make your targeted audience aware that you exist and offer something interesting.

Putting the top of the funnel in practice means that visitors read your blog posts, watch your high quality videos, bump into your AdWords or Facebook ads, browse your Facebook or landing page, find out about your solution via viral campaigns or on some events. There are limitless possibilities nowadays to build awareness and you should choose the ones that will be most compatible with your business.

Building trust and fueling interest

After building awareness among your potential leads the next step is to build trust and fuel interest of the visitors. In the middle of the funnel, all you need to do is to provide your visitors with value and nurture their initial interest in your solution. You need to show them that your solution outperforms those offered by the competition and making them choosing your solution even after weighing the pros and cons of options they have at their disposal.

In practice, the middle of the funnel does not radically differ from the top. You can still use blog posts, videos and content marketing campaigns. However, you can also offer some free pieces of content such as ebooks or a valuable newsletter in exchange for leaving  email addresses on your website.

Increase commitment and purchasing or subscribing

The bottom of the funnel is actually the place where marketing funnel changes into sales funnel. Usually, it is all about presenting your solution in a way that your, already full of trust and interest, the audience will be eager to take an action. Truth be told – you almost have them so the last thing to do is to push them slightly to make the last final step and purchase.

If your audience is quite reserved you can offer them lead magnets, demonstrations of your product or free trials. Another way to accelerate the decision process is to convince them to buy with a „limited offer” kind of thing. And for sure many of them will go for it.

Why a marketing funnel is important?

Once you know how to create a marketing funnel let’s sum it up with the three most important benefits of marketing funnels:

  • boosting sales and conversions thanks to personalized nurturing interest and building trust and brand value among potential customers,
  • obtaining detailed insight on visitors’ behaviors enabling to close deals quicker,
  • possibility of automation making it possible to save both time and efforts.

As you can see funnel marketing is a highly powerful strategy that can really make a difference for your business. Not only does it inspire trust but it also builds brand awareness and lets you stay ahead of the competition.

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