Holly Wood

What is a marketing funnel and do you need one?

by | Jan 25, 2023 | Digital Marketing Strategy

If you’re an entrepreneur/biz owner, you’ve probably heard a lot of chat about “funnels”… marketing funnels, sales funnels, growth funnels…

For many, it can strike fear, anxiety or utter confusion… for some, it might even have negative “pushy sales” connotations. It shouldn’t be any of those things.

Funnels are essentially a journey. They are a way of welcoming people into your world, building relationships with them & nurturing your ideal client/customer through to a sale. Done right, they are valuable (to you & your audience), genuine & an effective part of your digital marketing & biz growth strategy.

Marketing funnel

Why are marketing funnels called a “funnel”? 

Because it’s more than likely that you’ll attract more people into your world than those that’ll become actual paying customers/clients. So as you nurture through the marketing funnel, some people will naturally drop-off (that’s a good thing!) & there’ll be a smaller proportion that’ll convert – hence the funnel shape (wider at the top, narrow at the bottom). 

Why do you need a funnel?

Funnels start to make biz & sales feel easier & even passive. The dream!! Particularly for growing solopreneurs & entrepreneurs like us…

You can automate a large part of it (with the right tech & systems in place), & once you’ve got a marketing funnel performing for you, you can essentially make money in your sleep! (I’m sure you’ve heard that said many-a-time). 

Having an effective funnel nailed, means you can then start to build your biz further… add more products/services/offerings to the mix. This is Growth & this is what can lead to those higher income months. 

Done right, & with client attraction in mind (that’s my bag!), a funnel generates organic leads into your biz time & time again.

What is a marketing funnel and do you need one?

What does a funnel look like? 

So a funnel can have any start point – online or offline… this is the bit where someone is introduced to you & your world.

Eg. Downloading a Freebie, attending an event, joining an online masterclass masterclass, engaging with a social media post…

This is the top of the funnel (the widest bit).

Then comes the nurture – the bit where you show you’re an expert/leader in your field, you build authority & trust & showcase efficacy in your products/services.

This can happen via consistent marketing content anywhere, a PR strategy, in-person events & appearances..

…but one of the most effective (& passive) channels of nurture, is with effective email marketing. 

This is the middle of the funnel (starts to get narrower). 

Then you move through to the conversion/sales part of the marketing funnel. Again, this can happen via any channel (& likely across multiple channels when you’ve got a well-rounded digital marketing strategy)… but the best chance of the highest conversion? When you’ve nurtured & warmed-up your audience effectively through the funnel.

This is the bottom of the funnel (the narrowest part).

Next level Marketing funnel stuff 

Once you’ve got a marketing funnel setup, you need to test it, monitor it & evaluate it. You want to make sure that it ultimately converts & demonstrates a good ROI for your biz. 

You can then get more fancy/technical & start to use things like “segmented lists” within your funnel & take people off down different “paths” depending on how they interact with your funnel.

Eg. Re-engaging people who don’t open your emails often, up-selling to existing customers, down-selling to anyone who didn’t convert but showed interest in a particular offering.. the list goes on. 

You may decide to A/B test your funnels – figuring out what clicks most with your audience & optimising as you go.

You may get to the point where you have multiple funnels running at once, to the same product/service or to multiple products/services. 

You may then be able to put some money behind your marketing funnels to scale-up, with paid ads for example (only do this when your funnel is converting organically or else you risk losing a lot of cash!). 

So what’s the takeaway message here?

Every biz (including yours!) needs a marketing funnel if it hopes to grow & attract more customers/clients. Chances are you already have one, but you may not have been thinking about it strategically enough (that was me for years by the way!). 

I want you to think strategically. That’s when you truly see the difference & growth in your biz… no longer taking random action & putting stuff “out there” & hoping it works… a funnel let’s you try, test & understand what DOES work & allows you to build on that, grow & scale-up. An effective marketing funnel helps you build towards an easier biz, easier sales & your vision of success.

Want to to know exactly what a high-converting funnel looks like?

You can download my free strategy guide here & get instant access.

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