When you think about marketing on a very basic level, you might think your only focus should be incentivizing the customer to make a purchase. However, the buyer’s journey is often more complicated than that, which means a direct call to action alone doesn’t always work. Often you have to have multiple touch points with the customer in order to convert them into buyers.
The Buyer’s Journey & The Marketing Funnel
The idea of setting up funnels to engage throughout the customer’s journey is nothing new. The classic business school concept of the sales funnels is where this come from. Below is an example of the general buyer’s journey. As you can see, no customer starts at “ready to purchase.”
Awareness > Discovery > Consideration > Conversion
You can use your own marketing funnels to tap into the natural funnel that is the buyer’s journey to help move people along through these phases faster. By setting up key marketing at each step of the journey, you can prevent buyers from disappearing before they convert.
Where to Start
Marketing funnels can be simple or complicated based on your goals. More complicated funnels may be targeting different types of customers at each step in the journey. In our experience, most small businesses starting from scratch can begin with a simple funnel (sometimes called micro-funnels). Basic funnels can do a lot to setup structure, and help businesses learn how their audience engages with their brand.
Below is an example of a simple micro-funnel:
Ad or Blog Post > Call to Action > Landing Page > Learn More Signup Form
As you can see, there are not that many moving pieces in this equation. To have a successful funnel, the key is to get these few steps just right and aligned with the buyer’s journey discussed about.
Putting it All Together
1. Create the right ad or blog post to get people to your site.
Put some time and research into your audience, and what’s going on in the awareness and discovery phases of their journey. Think carefully about who your ideal buyer is, where they get their information, and use every trick in your targeting toolkit to make sure the right people end up at the top of your funnel.
2. Feature the right call to action to get users to your landing page.
This may be the copy on your ad, or a promotion on your site. Much has been written about effective calls to action, including by us. Keep it simple and make sure on-site calls to action visually stand out on the page. Avoid vague language and directly speak to your buyers’ interests.
3. Have a focused, valuable landing page worth their information.
More than ever, users are thinking twice about who they give their personal information away to. In addition to being streamlined and focused on one conversion, it should instill trust and offer something of real value.
4. Keep the action steps simple.
Abandoned form submissions are the saddest funnel fail, so be thoughtful when designing these final steps of the conversion process. Keep forms simple and focused, just like the landing page as a whole.
Remember to Stay on Top of It
Once you setup a funnel monitor what’s going on in each step to catch drop off and improve your strategy. Start tweaks at the top of your funnel first where your audience is “entering” and make adjustments to up that traffic. As you monitor you may rewrite ad copy, calls to action, A/B testing landing page layouts and more. All these adjustments can help strengthen your funnel and build new ones.
As you can see from the links above, we have existing resources on all of the steps of the simple marketing funnel. Still, if you’re intimidated about putting the whole thing together, we’re here to help!