A Comprehensive Guide To How Marketing Funnels Work

One of today’s best ways to automate a consistent flow of potential customers, prospective customers, and qualified leads is through an effective marketing strategy. Among the most popular marketing campaigns in the world of business is setting up an effective marketing funnel. 

What is a marketing funnel? How is this different from a traditional funnel? Moreover, how can your marketing team, sales team, or business create a marketing funnel that will feature the customer’s journey from the awareness stage to the conversion stage? 

While it is important to learn how a marketing funnel works, these marketing efforts and marketing tactics can be created with the help of platforms like 10xpro.io. However, it is strongly advisable that you learn about this important strategy in marketing and sales.

With this comprehensive guide, you will get to know what a marketing funnel is all about and how a marketing funnel works. Plus, there we’ll give you insights into creating a successful marketing funnel.

 

The Marketing Funnel Explained: What Are Marketing Funnels?

A funnel is a tool and laboratory glassware used for guiding powder or liquid into its small opening. The sales process uses the funnel structure to convert a prospective customer to a buying customer, understand the customer’s relationship with your products, and succeed in marketing qualified leads.

A marketing funnel is a representation of the journey of your customer base or your target audience from awareness to conversion. It lets the business understand the customer experience so it can meet its needs. Is a marketing funnel essential? Yes, and it is important to know how different stages in the funnel work together.

Even the best marketing funnels are not an overnight success. They come from solid coordination between your business’ sales and marketing teams. A good marketing funnel is your reference on what your company must do to turn prospective customers into paying customers. 

Sales Funnel, Marketing, Plan, Funnel

From Potential Customers To Buying Customers: How Does A Marketing Funnel Work?

Getting a good grip of your sales cycle is possible with a marketing funnel so that you don’t lose customers. 

A marketing funnel works through stages. This, from the broader section at the top of the funnel that represents the people you reach out to, or when a prospect shows interest, through the narrower area in the middle, towards the bottom of the funnel, where your buyers are ready to decide. 

The funnel usually comprises of the following, from the top to the bottom of the funnel:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Desire
  4. Action

This time, let us take a look at each of these stages.

First Stage: The Problem and The Need for Recognition

Many marketing specialists say that before turning prospects or current customers into purchasing customers, the business should recognize there is a problem in the buying process. There are plenty of solutions to these problems, and it’s the marketer’s job to address this.

The first step in your marketing funnel is actually knowing the problem of turning prospects into buying customers. For instance, consider the need for the right clothing to protect from the cold during the winter season. It includes what they are looking for, their pain points, and their journey in search of a solution.

Second Stage: The Search for Information

Once you can recognize there is a problem, you seek solutions. The second stage of the funnel is all about looking for more information and bringing in potential leads.

For example, a person looks into an online store when they want to shop for a product. Or, this may involve doing further research online, calling friends and relatives for recommendations, reading reviews, and coordinating with the sales rep, among others.

Data from Trust Radius in 2021 reveals that 33 percent of customers invest time in researching the products they want to buy prior to their purchase. This stage of the funnel thus becomes in-depth, wherein customers are actively seeking potential solutions.

Third Stage: Evaluation of Options

After the second stage, where customers deal with search queries and keyword research, they are now more aware of the solution and move to the third stage. In this stage, they are provided with more options. The business is changing the customer’s perspective as the customers contemplate the best product, service, or offer.

This marketing stage in the sales funnel may involve customers requesting free trials of the products they are considering or training videos to know what they will get once they purchase the product.

For instance, if customers are looking for accounting service providers, they might look into resources that discuss choosing the one that provides the service, pricing pages, and other details. Some customers might opt out in this stage of the marketing funnel, but for those who decide to push through, customers in this stage are more serious about purchasing the product but note that the purchase does not happen until the next stage.

Fourth Stage: The Purchase Decision

The marketing funnel gets even narrower, more so that the customer has passed through the interest stage, consideration stage, and evaluation stage.

It has been said that this stage is the natural conclusion to the three stages discussed above, wherein the potential customer and all those who decide to move forward are getting ready to spend their money to purchase the product.

On the part of the business, they may at this point continue offering free consultation, access to your marketing content in your YouTube channel, free tools, free ebook perhaps, or money-back guarantees to push the customer into the loyalty stage.

Fifth Stage: Post-Purchase Behaviors

At this particular stage, the customer has purchased your product, but the marketing funnel or the customer journey does not end yet. Businesses may even continue to interact with their customers, perhaps their new customers, to establish brand awareness or enhance the business’ paid traffic to produce loyal customers. They might even recommend your company and your products to their friends and loved ones.

However, take note that at this stage, they might be new customers that may opt-out, similar to the other stages, when they experience disappointment with their purchase. They might request refunds and a whole lot more.

Creating a great product is a way to generate positive post-purchase behavior among your avid customers and your new customers. Once you have a great product that offers solutions to their problems, post-purchase behavior will be optimistic.

In this buying process, you can create answers to frequently asked questions, so it’s easier for your business to get feedback from customers or prospects.

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Uplift Your Marketing Strategy: A Step-By-Step Guide on Creating Your Own Marketing Funnel

Now that you have a good grip on how a marketing funnel works, it’s time to create one for your business. As mentioned earlier, with the examples, you can implement various marketing channels with your marketing plan. 

Each stage of the funnel or your marketing strategy provides a list of the marketing channels to utilize. In this section, you’ll be learning how to create your marketing funnel by looking back at the stages you learned earlier.

Awareness: Top Of The Funnel

Usually, customers are not fully aware of the problem, though they are actively searching for a solution.

For instance, your business may be selling clothing that protects people from the harshness of the winter season. Your target audience may find it freezing in the winter, but they may not know that you offer products to protect them from the cold. At this stage, they are not looking for a solution.

However, if they watch or hear an advertisement or see a website content for these winter outfits, they may have that eureka moment and do further research on this subject.

Thus, it has been said that capturing customers at this stage consists of advertising or 

outbound marketing. The marketing channels you can use at this stage of the buying process include podcast advertising, billboards, influencer marketing, paid ads, radio ads, television ads, and live events.

You may also notice several of these channels introduce brand awareness to the customers. Some of them may produce conversions, such as influencer marketing, but most of these marketing channels are really to raise the awareness of the customer.

Interest: Middle Of The Funnel

With awareness, your customers are now interested in seeking solutions to their problems. At this stage, businesses should be able to provide them with the information they need. A call-to-action that leads customers from the first stage to this stage should be seen.

You may lead the customer to the sales page for simpler products that do not require too much information to sell. However, if you wish to feature what the products do, you may write a blog. A blog post helps establish trust with the audience, especially if you can speak with authority on their pain points.

Some of the ideal marketing channels for this stage are blog posts, YouTube videos, or anything that falls under content marketing, such as Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and social media.

It is recommended to get started with blog posts. While there is competition with this, the results from this marketing channel provide good results over time. It is also important to consider keyword research.

Desire: Middle Of The Funnel

Customers know there is a solution to their pain points at this stage of your marketing funnel. Thus, the next stage involves them evaluating various situations.

Compared with the previous stages, their intent to buy your products increases, especially that they are not merely educating themselves on what solutions are available for their problems.

Among the best marketing channels to use at this point include:

  • Competitor alternatives posts
  • Competitor versus competitor posts
  • Product case studies
  • Campaigns to gather more reviews
  • Ads retargeting
  • Pricing page optimization

In other words, at this marketing funnel stage, it is more about educating them on why your solution works more than telling them about their pain points. You may feature what your products can do or show a pricing model that will lead your customers to the purchase.

Action: Bottom Of The Funnel

At this stage, you’re almost done with your work. Or, you are at around 99 percent complete. At this stage, it’s all about turning your prospect into a paying customer.

Beyond marketing channels, there are marketing campaigns and strategies that ensure the purchase happens. They are known as conversion rate optimization strategies. The best examples are adding a money-back guarantee, offering a free trial, adding a FAQ section, adding reviews on your purchase page, and the like.

Conclusion

Now that you have learned the stages and the marketing channels that would go with your marketing funnels, it is time that you showcase your own. Creating a sales and marketing funnel that perfectly follows the processes you have learned about earlier is no easy task. It is not a project that could be done overnight.

Creating your marketing funnel is a continuous task that you need to keep improving as long as you are in the business.

It may not be easy to accomplish, but a marketing funnel is one of the most powerful strategies that will improve how you close deals with your clients. It’s time to convert those potential customers into buying customers. We wish you the best of luck!