What Is a Marketing Funnel?

Christiana Minga
By Christiana Minga

If you work in the marketing field (or even if you don’t), you probably have heard the term “marketing funnel” loosely thrown around. But, do you truly understand what it means? Obviously, the purpose of a marketing funnel is to get a user to convert and take a specific action.

However, there are several steps businesses use to get there. The funnel is designed to push a prospective customer through each stage of the buyer’s journey. These set of steps to conversion are an opportunity for lead nurturing (the process of turning the lead into a consumer and eventually to a repeat buyer.)

Marketing funnels are used in both the traditional and digital realms. Curious how digital marketing differs? If you understand how digital marketing differs from traditional, it’ll make sense that an e-commerce buyer’s journey would look something like this:

  • Prospect identifies a need/problem
  • Does research online
  • Views products/solutions
  • Adds to card
  • Makes the purchase

The proactive assistance the brand plays during this journey is the funnel. (Targeting the interested audience, driving them to a landing page, etc.) It’s referred to as a ‘funnel’ because several people take the first step, but as things progress the number of users trickle down to a more qualified audience (similar to a funnel you would use when cooking.)

The bottom of the funnel tactics then encourage these prospects to take action. For example, an e-commerce company would offer an incentive for the prospect to make a purchase on their website.

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Overall, a marketing funnel (also known as a sales funnel) is a strategy to impact your bottom line and increase your revenue. As customers turn into brand advocates and become reoccurring, your revenue compounds.

Here’s a brief overview of some funnel elements we’ve used and found success with:

Opt-In Page

An opt-in page is a landing page strategically designed to capture information from the prospect which then drops them into the marketing funnel. Optin pages offer value to the prospect in exchange for their personal information.

For example, the optin page could offer a free guide, a webinar, a download, etc. Users could have arrived at this page through clicking on a CTA or Facebook Ad, or by navigating to it on their own. Typically the information captured on this page is an email address.

Ex. Signing up for a weekly e-newsletter containing health and fitness tips

Tripwire Sales Page

Once a lead reaches the tripwire page, the goal is for them to make a small purchase. This page is another landing page which delivers an incentive and sense of urgency. Once you’ve captured their credit card information and qualified them as a customer, it’s much easier to get them to convert at a higher value offer later.

Ex. Purchasing a 30-day bikini body guide at a limited time discount value of $4.99

Serving Facebook Ads

This is an important supplemental step throughout the sales funnel and is not one to be forgotten. It’s important to make sure these ads are targeted to the stage they’re at in the buyer’s journey (awareness, consideration, decision.) These ads bring the brand back to the front of mind and drive them back to appropriate entry points in the funnel.

Core Offer Sales Page

The core offer is your main product or service offering and this is a sales page that clearly articulates the benefits that the the user will receive by pulling the trigger and purchasing your core product offering. This page goes through rounds of A/B testing to optimize its success rate.

Test variables include the following:

  • Long form vs. short form sales messaging
  • Product first vs. value first approach
  • On page colors and imagery
  • Form length/position on page

Ex. Purchasing a monthly fitness membership

Want to Learn More?

I recently read the book Dotcom Secrets and highly recommend it to anyone who is interested in executing on sales-focused digital campaigns. This book explores proven methods for effective lead generation and conversion strategies while building a sustainable long-term strategy.

Key Concepts:

  • Tactics to bait prospective customers and start their journey
  • The difference between ‘owned traffic’ and ‘paid traffic’
  • How to increase value and showcase social proof
  • The importance of always having a premium offer (after the core offer)

Content is also crucial to having a successful funnel strategy. It’s important to understand how to create integrated content marketing campaigns and content for each stage in the funnel.

Recap Of Benefits

Ultimately, a marketing funnel can help you identify weak points within your sales process and squeeze the most out of your online traffic. Conversion rate optimization also compliments this process and helps you to increase the efficiency of your site thus leading to more sales.

One important thing to keep in mind is that it doesn’t matter if the conversion takes a while to occur. As long as you continue to build your funnel, prospects will trickle down, and you’ll be able to scale and track conversions.

At Power Digital, we work with clients across a variety of industries to help them create and fine tune their sales funnels. Here’s an overview of how each channel works within the funnel.

  • Social Ads
    • Converts cold traffic to prospects
    • Retargets users that are in the funnel with ads specific to where they’re at in the buyer’s journey
  • Organic Social
    • Supplements paid social ads
    • Builds credibility and increases brand advocacy
  • Paid Search
    • Targets bottom of the funnel, purchase intent based keywords
    • Drives qualified traffic to tripwire page
  • Content Marketing
    • Builds sales messaging for landing pages
    • Serves as a great first touch for cold traffic ads
    • Captures organic traffic through blog & increases keyword rankings
  • SEO
    • Strengthens site metrics including domain authority which leads to increased organic traffic (AKA more prospects)

More questions? Feel free to email me at christiana@powerdigitalmarketing.com, and I’d be happy to chat!

 

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Christiana is a content manager who loves to work closely with her clients to identify ways to innovate upon their current initiatives, leverage cross-channel strategies, and spark consumer interest through data-driven copywriting and carefully curated content. She is passionate about the creative process, making genuine connections, & bringing ideas to life. When she's not in the office you might find her planning her next adventure or hitting the beach near her home in La Jolla.