In this article we are taking a top level look at what a Marketing Funnel is, also called a Sales Funnel or a Purchase Funnel.
Firstly, lets look at the three essential of a marketing funnel. It’s not rocket science, but it can be a lot of information. Lets look at the main elements and the basic structure of a successful funnel – by successful we mean a funnel that converts.
Three Essentials of a Marketing Funnel
- A Landing Page that leads to other pages.
- An online marketing channel.
- An email sequence marketing tool.
There are very many possible tools and platforms out there. This article will only think about the structure and not particular tools or products.
Why a Funnel?
A marketing funnel is called a funnel because it looks like a funnel. It is a way of attracting leads into your business, taking them through a marketing sequence to build trust and affinity so they will do business with you. It starts by targeting people who have never heard of your product or service before, and nurtures and filters through cold to warm to hot audiences.
The idea is you want to create a customer journey. You start with a large group of potential clients, and as they trickle through the funnel the group becomes smaller. Along the way you are qualifying, so at the end of the funnel you want a fully qualified lead. Someone who is aware of your product, sees the benefits and is ready to convert.
The first step is to identify your audience. We may do this by running an ad. The copy of the ad would reflect your audiences problem and your solution.
- Touch on pain points.
- Identify the problem.
You then want to work out your ideal customer persona.
Persona Break Down
- Who are they?
- What are their wants?
- What products do they need?
- What kind of hook will attract them?
- What kind of idiomatic language do they use?
First identify them, then identify their problem, then offer a solution. Once you’ve got your messaging down, you have solved that piece of the puzzle. After you have identified your audience, you can create an ad that will take them to the first step in your marketing funnel.
The Landing Page
A landing page is different from a website. A landing page has the following characteristics:
- It is a clear continuation of your ad.
- It has a clear and bright call to action that is above the fold.
- It should have a video.
- No distractions.
This is sometimes called an opt-in page or a squeeze page. It is essentially the entrance point of your funnel. Generally the opt-in page is used to collect email addresses. The idea is that for those who are not ready to become warm or hot leads, you can nurture them via email to lead them back to your funnel. Typically, you want to use some kind of lead magnet, like a free eBook or some kind of offer. You don’t want to send people to your website, because there are too many distractions. You don’t want them to click away for any reason.
After they have opted into your landing page you send them to the second phase of your marketing funnel.
The Sales Page
This is where you get people on the hook. You must have a compelling headline for your service or product. This is the consideration phase, it is here where you want to anticipate all their questions, and present what is called the value stack.
It should include the following characteristics:
- Price, benefits, alternatives, the reasons why.
- It should have a video.
- Preemptive objection handling.
- Clear call to action.
- Sense of urgency.
It doesn’t have to be short, in fact some studies show that the longer the better. The idea is you want to pinpoint pain points and address all objections.
The value stack specifies what they are getting for the price they are paying. Basically this is a list of valuable items, and you may or may not put a dollar value to these items.
This leads us to our next phase of the marketing funnel.
The Qualifying Page
This is where you get your power back. In the sales page phase they decide if they like you, here is where you decide whether you like them.
You want to use a form builder. You can use anything but it is best if it has the following characteristics:
- Can utilize conditional logic.
- Gathers specific information about who they are.
- Gathers specific information about their exact pain points.
- Ideally it should have a video.
Conditional logic basically means you can send them to a different web pages depending on how they answer particular questions. Lets say they are not qualified, you can send them to a different Thank You page and you can segment them so that they will be nurtured via email for possible future sales. This way you can personalize the sales pitch. From here you want to send the hot leads to the next phase of your marketing funnel.
The Calendar Page
This is where they will book an appointment on your calendar. There are lots of booking calendars on the market, some of the features you want to look for in an online calendar are:
- It can be embedded in a web page.
- It must be mobile responsive.
- Again, it should have a video.
Very often those who have passed the qualifying form do in fact book an appointment, but you do want to incentivize them with language like – “You are a good match, please book a call with a member of our team.”
This brings us to the final phase of our marketing funnel.
The Thank you Page
Typically you want two Thank You pages. One for the hot leads, the other for the warm leads that need more nurturing. This is sometimes also called the ‘Confirmation page’, and it should include:
- Again, a video.
- Reassurance that they will receive an email confirmation.
- Some kind of tracking pixel.
Tracking Is Important
Remember, you must re-target those who have dropped off the funnel. For example, if a prospect made it as far as the sales page but no further, then you might want to re-target them with a different funnel that is geared toward a warmer audience.
You must also nurture all your prospects with email drip sequences. The ultimate goal is to bring them back into the funnel and get them to make that appointment.
You must capture as much data as you possibly can. Each page can be tracked with the Facebook pixel and can be re-targeted.
Standard Email Sequence
The email drip sequence consists of the following basic structure:
- First email is an introduction and a thank you.
- Second email offers something of real value.
- Third email is a direct response.
- Fourth email is a testimonial or a case study.
- Fifth email is again something of real value.
- Sixth email should present scarcity and offer a last chance.
If you were using a lead magnet, the first email is that deliverable, things like a free eBook, or an instructional video. It can also be a thank you for their interest, but do inform them that you will be in touch soon.
In email two, you offer them something of good value for free, a tip or trick. Ideally something that helps them realize that they do need help.
Email three is the direct response email. Here you address them more directly. Reiterate their pain points, but done a little more aggressively, and you want to include your calendar link to book that sales call.
The forth email is a good place for a testimonial, you could even send them to a specific testimonial page. Offer case studies if you have them.
Email five should offer them even more value, the more valuable the better, what ever that may be. No strings attached, no call to action – save that for the next email in the sequence.
Email six is a scarcity email. It doesn’t have to be the last chance, but make it seem that way, say you only have a few spots left, offer them a discount, a limited time free audit for example.
Marketing Funnel Conclusion
These are the basic characteristics of a marketing funnel. The tools you choose to build it with may vary, but the essential elements will remain the same. Good luck and go out there and build some funnels.