Marketing Funnels Explained

By | September 9, 2020

Even if you haven’t purposely created a marketing funnel, you may already have one. However, if you haven’t planned it, you may have serious gaps which will cause you to lose money. Marketing funnels can be explained by thinking of them as a representation of how you attract a lead, turn them into a prospect, and finally, a customer.

It’s a process of gaining awareness, enticing them to sign up for your lists, and then nurturing the relationship so that they become lifelong customers.

The reason we use a funnel to represent this is that it starts out wide at the top and gets smaller at the bottom, demonstrating visually the amount of content and information you’ll need to provide to get to the next level.

There are many ways you can set this up, but most of them follow the same trajectory. The entire point of the funnel is to provide a process to acquire leads, teach the leads about you and your solutions, and eventually sell your product.

Marketing Funnel Example

understanding marketing funnels

You can set up funnels for almost any goal you’ve set for yourself and your business. But the best way for you to understand what a funnel looks like is to think of the image of a funnel, with the widest part at the top and the narrowest at the bottom.

The idea is that you must do a lot more to attract people and to get awareness than you do to encourage advocacy after the conversion.

  • Awareness – At the top and widest part of the funnel is where you will plan how to attract, inform, and educate people who are basically strangers about your brand and solutions.

    You can use search engine optimization, blogging, social media, and other methods to accomplish this part of the funnel.

  • Consideration – At this point, you’ve found some leads and now you need to qualify them with your calls to action, landing pages, personalization, and nurturing.

    At this point, you may want to provide white pages, comparison charts, and other information that helps them choose between you and your competition.

  • Conversion – Once you’ve got someone to answer your CTA, that is considered a conversion. It may be that someone downloaded a freebie, or it may be that they become a paying customer, it depends on your conversion goal.

    The truth is, when you nurture your leads, you’ll get far more sales than if you don’t set up a plan.

  • Loyalty and Advocacy – After the conversion is when the real job to please, excite, and motivate your audience comes into play. Those who have converted should be segmented into the type of conversion they made, whether it was to download a freebie (lead) or it was to buy something from you (customer).

    Once this happens, you can work on making them feel loyal to your brand, so they’ll keep buying but also so that they become brand advocates and help you make more sales.

As explained, a marketing funnel is essentially a way to show the process of attracting your target audience, proving to them that you are offering a valuable solution for their problems, and then converting them to buy from you.

Additionally, the funnel will help you delight your customers after conversion if you take the time to map out what you have, fill in, and fix the holes in your funnel. Match the products, content, and information you already have to the categories above.

Finding And Fixing The Holes In Your Marketing Funnel 

Once you realize the importance of a funnel and map out what you already have, you can start to fix any holes you have in your funnel. A hole in your funnel will cause you to lose list members, lose sales, and can even cause you to send the wrong messages to the wrong audience at the wrong time.

Mapping out your funnel and developing a plan of action based on your funnel will make a massive difference in your success. Once you do this process, you’ll know what you need to plug the leaks and improve your process and system.

Mapping your funnel is all about noting your traffic sources, stages of your funnel, entry points, customer touchpoints, landing pages, and much more. As you go through this process, it’ll become a lot clearer.

  • Develop Customer Personas Based on the Buying Journey – You should have a customer persona or client avatar for each type of audience member you want to attract. Base it on their intent at the time, which is determined by their place in the buying journey.

  • Create a List of All Your Products and Services – All your products and services should have their own individual landing pages. Every landing page you have is known as a potential customer entry point or touchpoint.

    Create a spreadsheet that allows you to quickly grab the links for each of your product or service landing pages—note who the product or service is meant for and the problems it solves.

  • Create a List of All Your Freebies and Lead Magnets – You will also have several freebies or lead magnets. These also need their own landing pages, which qualifies them as entry points or customer touchpoints too.

    Note who each of these freebies is meant for, the problems they solve, and the goal you had for creating it.

  • Create a List of All Your Content Marketing Materials – Match the content you’ve created to the various categories above. Note what stage in the funnel the content is meant for and where it’s being used, such as email nurturing, blog posts, guest posts, email sequences, social media memes, and posts, or other types of content.

    Within the spreadsheet, add links to the content if it’s public-facing. If it’s an email autoresponder series or other content that is not public-facing, link to it in your file storage system so you can find the content for easily updating or sharing when needed.

  • Use Tools to Create and Visualize Your Funnel – It’s always easier to map your funnel with a visual aid. Funnels really do need a visual mechanism to make it more clear in your mind.

    Thankfully, you can use software like Canva.com, or you can use software like Mindmeister.com to help you draw it out visually.

Once you have this information collected, you’ll be able to ensure that all your links work, that the content you’re using to market fits the situation, and visualize any missing components needed within your funnel to meet your goals.

As you can see, with marketing funnels explained this way it’s easier to visualize your audience’s marketing cycle and make adjustments to it in a much quicker manner when needed.

Reggie Patterson is a full time mid-level internet marketer. He specializes in Youtube, inbound marketing, product creation, membership sites, affiliate marketing, and helping others do the same.