Marketing Funnel Basics: A Beginner’s Guide

If you’re an entrepreneur looking for marketing tactics to get your online business off the ground, you might be familiar with the term “marketing funnel” or “sales funnel”.

In fact, you can’t really do digital marketing without it.

A marketing funnel helps entrepreneurs:

  • Develop an effective marketing strategy. Businesses can spend hundreds or thousands of dollars on marketing efforts but still have trouble making sales. A marketing funnel will make sure your marketing strategy achieves the results you’re looking for, without breaking the bank.
  • Generate revenue. Once you have an effective funnel in place, your customer base and sales will continue to balloon. 
  • Gain advantage over competitors. A lack of systems and digital tech integration can spell failure for businesses. A digital marketing funnel will give you an advantage over competitors who are struggling to implement effective marketing systems.
  • Attract high quality customers. A marketing funnel helps you tailor your message based on which stage of the funnel your potential customers are in. This will help lead them further along in the funnel naturally. 

For entrepreneurs, the funnel model is a literal pathway towards digital product launch success.  

Going through the funnel

To understand how the marketing funnel process works, imagine the shape of a regular funnel (you know, the ones probably lying around in your kitchen.) 

A standard funnel is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom, normally used to transfer liquids into small openings. Unlike our trusty kitchen tool however, the marketing funnel doesn’t just transfer everything from top to bottom. It also works as a filter.

It all begins with the customer journey where your potential customers first discover your business or your products.

As they proceed through the funnel, some percentage of the people decide to take the next step, because they want to get to know more about your business. Others will decide they’re not interested, and they’ll leave – meaning they won’t take the next step.

Each potential customer is filtered through every step of the funnel until we get to the bottom of the funnel, where only the highest quality leads decide to become customers. (Think about the little stem part of the funnel.) This is when you give them an offer and they make the purchase. 

You may be thinking: “Isn’t it possible to keep all those leads from the very beginning?”

My answer is: You can’t. And you don’t want to.

This is NOT a bad thing. 

In fact, this can be great for your business. With the help of the funnel, you are guaranteed that only qualified leads make it to the end of the journey and purchase your product. That way, you can study the details about these quality leads and use that information to refine and improve your funnel. This has the effect of attracting more high quality customers just like them in the future.   

The journey from curiosity to conversion

So what actually happens during the customer’s journey through your funnel?

Imagine a potential customer. Let’s call her Martha. 

Martha is going to the beach in six months and her goal is to lose weight.

She does an intensive search on how to lose weight fast.

During her research, she stumbles upon your advertisement containing a free printable meal tracker that promises positive weight loss results in just two months. 

Martha is at the first stage of your funnel.

She makes her first decision and clicks the ad, which directs her to your landing page.

The landing page includes what’s called an “opt-in” — in exchange for the free printable meal tracker, she must provide her email address.

She’s now at the second stage of your funnel. She needs to make another decision whether to continue (stay in your funnel) or click the back button (leave your funnel).

Martha decides she really wants to try your meal tracker, so she gives you her email address.

Her email address is added to your list and she gets the free meal tracker in her inbox.

While she enjoys her free item, you now have her on your email list for updates about your products and services.

Every email you send her gives her another opportunity to decide whether to stay in your funnel or leave it.

After a few weeks, you send Martha an email announcement for an exclusive weight loss program that guarantees amazing results.  Because you provided her a valuable solution to her problem, and she now trusts you, she signs up.  

Your marketing funnel is basically your customer’s journey, designed by you. By creating a well-planned path for your customer to follow, this opens up opportunities for your business to build a relationship with your customer and show the value that you offer.   

Ready, set, launch

Here’s a thought.

How do you make sure a prospective customer will see your value during their customer journey and decide to make a purchase? 

I’ve been a product expert for 20+ years and within that time frame, a lot of experts have been sharing different tips and tricks to build a marketing funnel. In my experience, the simplest secret to building an effective marketing funnel is to put yourself in your customer’s head, and imagine how their journey should unfold from search to sales. 

Building a marketing funnel on your own can be difficult. That’s why I am committed to helping fellow entrepreneurs supercharge their business by sharing shortcuts and industry secrets on how to build effective marketing funnels.   

My exclusive program, “Launch Success Club” will help you create different types of funnels for different parts of your sales cycle. For example, lead magnet funnels (aka list builder funnels), webinar registration funnels, and paid ad funnels can all be used to transform leads into customers. There are many kinds of funnels, all designed for different offers, personas, business goals, etc. It can be really complicated! And Launch Success Club is here to help you figure out the simplest funnel for your situation and to achieve your specific goals.

Launch Success Club opens soon — join the waitlist HERE and receive a special gift from me!

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