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Marketing and Sales Funnels
Whether your business offers products or services, and whether you sell online, offline, or both – an effective sales funnel (also variously referred to as marketing funnel, performance funnel, or “click funnel”) can make the difference between meagre sales and mega profits. Lime’s experts deliver turnkey digital marketing funnels that take your conversions to the next level.
What is a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel is a model used to describe the process through which potential customers turn into actual customers. The term is also used to describe the marketing tools and tactics used to improve the percentage of potential customers who become paying customers.
Business owners would love it if every person who made an enquiry or showed interest in their products or services, immediately became a paying customer. In the real world, less than 2% of people become customers the first time they come across a product / service. The average consumer needs more than eight exposures to a brand before they buy.
This process begins when a consumer first comes across your business, through an ad, a Google search, or a social media post, and fulfils its first cycle when they buy from your business. It is often referred to as a ‘customer lifecycle’, and is what the funnel model describes. Depending on the nature and cost of your product / service, a typical customer journey from first contact to first purchase, can take anywhere from a few minutes to several months.
The percentage of potential customers who become paying customers is referred to as the “conversion rate”. Well-optimised marketing funnels have been shown to increase a business’s conversion rate by as much as three times its industry average.
In addition to improving the conversion rate, good marketing funnels can also boost the conversion speed, and help businesses weed out the people who aren’t really relevant – the ones who most likely won’t end up becoming a profitable customer for your business. (Hence the “funnel” analogy: a lot of potential customers enter the funnel at the top, while only the most profitable customers are filtered out at the bottom.)
How does a funnel work?
How does funnel marketing improve conversions?
In the context of digital marketing, a funnel is a series of steps designed to propel potential customers further along the journey towards becoming leads or paying customers. Depending on the specific goals of your business, a funnel might be used to generate leads or enquiries, drive trials, or increase sales.
Through a combination of marketing copy, images, videos, emails, and software that automatically tracks user behaviour, funnels accomplish these objectives by recognising consumer needs at different points along their sales journey, and fulfilling those needs in a helpful and timely manner. These ‘stages’ of the journey are described below:
- Awareness: Consumer recognises a need or a problem, and their attention is drawn to a product / service that fulfils that need or solves that problem.
- Interest: The consumer’s interest is piqued by information on the benefits of the product / service, presented in an engaging and compelling way.
- Consideration: Consumer moves past the information-gathering stage, and now has a desire for the solution to their need / problem.
- Conversion: Consumer takes action to say “yes” to your solution, usually triggered by a strong call-to-action (CTA).
These stages are spread across three parts of the funnel: the top of the funnel (TOFU) attracts attention, the middle of the funnel (MOFU) generates leads (stages 2 and 3), and the bottom of the funnel (BOFU) drives purchases.
To understand how funnels work, consider two examples – one of a business that sells products online, and another of a business that sells services offline.
Example 1: Emka Coffee
Jane Caffeinator searches online for coffee, and comes across an ad for Emka coffee. That ad catches her attention, so she clicks on it to find out more. She sees the inviting images on Emka’s product page, but she’s never heard of this brand before, so she still feels a bit unsure.
A video on the page gets her interest, and it persuasively explains why Emka is special, and how countless other people have tried and loved their coffee. This builds Jane’s desire to try out Emka coffee. Finally, a promotion at the bottom of the page offers her a limited-time deal on her first buy – and guarantees her a refund just in case she doesn’t like it.
This is the clincher that prompts Jane to action, getting her to add the product to the shopping cart. During checkout, a page offers her an even better deal if she adds a French press along with her coffee, and Jane decides, “Why not, I need one anyway.”
Jane already had a need that she recognised (she wanted coffee), and so, getting her attention was a matter of responding to her search with a well-made ad. At that point, she enters Emka’s “funnel”, which provide other stimuli to advance her along the path: images and copy to get her interest, videos to build her desire, and deals and guarantees to prompt her to take action.
Example 2: Mozig Makers
Emily Entrepreneur runs a small business making custom wooden toys. As it grows, she struggles to keep up with the orders and looks for ways to make her toys faster. She comes across a helpful article on the blog of Mozig, a workshop offering manufacturing services.
After giving her many great insights that make her job easier, the article also offers her a free ebook that can save her further time and money – in exchange for her email address. Emily gladly signs up for the ebook, as well as Mozig’s weekly newsletter.
The ebook provides even more useful information; by now, Emily has developed a positive impression of Mozig. Over the weeks, Mozig’s newsletters offer further value, at each step inviting her to contact them should she need any help. Finally, several weeks in, Emily calls Mozig and books an appointment to visit their workshop.
In this example, Emily didn’t know that such a manufacturing service existed, or that she needed it. By providing the right stimuli at the right time, like useful blog posts, ebooks, newsletters, and calls-to-action, Mozig propelled her along their funnel far more effectively than they could otherwise have hoped to.
Does my business need a marketing funnel?
The key benefit of implementing marketing funnels is that your business stops leaving the process of potential customers becoming actual customers to chance; instead, that transformation takes place through a carefully honed, well-oiled conversion-machine, which not just improves business metrics, but also makes them more predictable.
Given that six out of ten people search for information online before buying anything, digital marketing funnels are clearly beneficial to most businesses, regardless of whether their sales happen online or offline. Studies show that the average consumer engages with 3 to 5 pieces of content, and travels as much as 60% of the way through the sales journey before interacting with a business directly.
How do funnels compare to landing pages and websites?
A website is great for displaying information about your business to people, but unless it’s equipped with the right set of tools, by itself, a website isn’t going to be very good at selling things to people, or making them take specific actions, as explained in the examples above.
The table below highlights the differences between funnels and landing pages.
|Marketing Funnel||Landing Page|
|Consists of a series of steps, often (but not always) across multiple pages.||Consists of a single webpage.|
|Multiple CTAs for different purposes.||One or more CTAs, but all for a single purpose.|
|Ideal when pitching multiple products / services, including cross-sells and upsells.||Ideal for pitching a single product / service.|
|Some branches of a marketing funnel may make use of a landing page.|
Why should I choose Lime to build a marketing funnel for my business?
Our customers say that the main advantage they’ve experienced with Lime is our integration of cutting-edge tools (websites, landing pages, funnels, email automation) with solid, results-driven marketing communication.
A well-optimised marketing funnel can hugely boost business performance, but it requires careful planning, an expertise in understanding consumer psychology, and a fair amount of groundwork to set up the pages, lead magnets (like ebooks / videos), and automation (like emails that are sent automatically to your prospects at different stages of their sales journey).
While many companies offer tools that claim to solve all your marketing problems, the truth is that the tools are just tools; they still need to be backed by useful content. This is where the Lime advantage kicks in.
Our holistic approach to marketing bridges the gap between technology and communication. Our marketing funnel services marry the best of specialists in tech with experts in the art and science of persuasive communication. However big or small your business, our packages make it easy for you to get started with marketing funnels that help you grow to the next level.