Even if you’ve only so much as dipped your toes into the online marketing stream briefly – I’m sure you’ve come across the infamous marketing funnel, a.k.a sales funnel, a.k.a. conversion funnel.
And if you’re just starting out on your online business journey with the goal of, well, selling something – duh – you were probably left with the strong but vague feeling of “OMG, whatever this marketing funnel thing is, I NEED one of those!!”.
And yes: You are probably right! ?
And no, you can’t get them on Amazon (yet)… LOL
So for now, let’s take a deliberate step back and examine that marketing funnel a little more closely to see how it works and how it can help you earn more money. *yay*
Disclosure: Some of these links might be affiliate links. This means when you purchase something through those links, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It’s the cool online-kid way of tipping me – with someone else’s money. Thanks a ton!
What The Heck Is A Marketing Funnel/Sales Funnel/Conversion Funnel?
In the case of a typical online business where your goal is to sell your product or service, conversion funnel marketing is a concept where you attract your ideal customers and lead them through a series of steps from mere website visitors to happy customers.
This process is also known as the customer journey.
Sounds awesome, doesn’t it?!
So how does it work?
It’s probably easiest to explain with an image. This is what a marketing funnel concept looks like:
How Does A Conversion Funnel Work?
The funnel analogy might be a little misleading at first glance…
When you use your kitchen funnel and pour 1l of water through the funnel into a bowl, what do you get? Well, you
This is quite different for a digital marketing funnel though. You “pour” lots and lots of potential customers in, but only a tiny fraction makes it through to the bottom of your funnel and actually buys something from you.
So in reality, the “conversion funnel” is more of a “conversion filter set” with different pore sizes at each step and you filter something like a pebble/gold dust mix: At each step, you get rid of the bigger pebbles until you end up with a small quantity of pure gold dust.
I don’t wanna split hair here, it’s just something to keep in mind: In digital marketing, you’ll have to pour A LOT more into your funnel to get at least a few people through to the bottom of your funnel.
There will always be people who won’t buy from you. And there’s nothing you can do about it.
That being said, your goal is to create an amazing customer journey to get as many people as possible to the bottom of your funnel.
Why Do You Need A Sales Funnel?
The reason why sales funnels work, is because they create trust and connection.
There will be very few people who buy from you without knowing and trusting you.
After all, you’re just another stranger on the internet!
By providing value first and building a relationship with your potential customer, you set them on the trajectory to know, like, and trust you.
That’s why every successful business uses some sort of marketing funnel to increase their sales: The better the funnel, the more people make it to the bottom of the funnel and buy their products/services.
Sales Funnel Stages
Basically, there are three distinct stages in your funnel: The top of the funnel, the middle of the funnel, and the bottom of the funnel.
Top Of Funnel
At the top of your funnel your goals are to increase website traffic and awareness for your offer.
You can do this by creating and promoting free blog content, podcasts, videos, social media posts, etc.
Middle Of Funnel
Once you’ve lured your potential customer to your amazing free content, you’d like them to hop on your Email list and turn them into leads.
To do that, you offer a bit of a bribe they can’t resist: A free webinar, a special report, a checklist, case study – or whatever else that might convince them to give your their Email address.
Bottom Of Funnel
Now we’re talking! This is where you keep nurturing your leads by providing great value and where you can start nudging them towards your offer.
If they like and trust you and you can show them that you offer the solution to their problem, they might be willing to buy your offer.
Sales Funnel Strategy – Example
To make your funnel work, you need a strategy.
The most important thing here is for your top-, middle-, and bottom of funnel pieces to fit together seamlessly and lead to your offer in a logical progression.
Let’s walk through an example here. Let’s say you wanna sell a course for aspiring authors.
Your top of funnel content could be a blog post about becoming an author.
Your middle of funnel piece might be a checklist of all the steps involved in becoming an author plus a list of tools and resources.
See how these two pieces pave the way for your core offer? You are helping your target audience while leading them directly to your product.
Since you are gradually helping your ideal customer achieve their goal, hopefully, they’ll be delighted to buy from you instead of annoyed by the fact that you’re trying to sell something.
They also get to see the quality of your work before they commit to buying something from you. Which ideally means that once they DO buy from you, they won’t be disappointed and you have fewer problems with people wanting refunds. *win-win*
To sum this all up:
- A conversion funnel guides your potential customer through a series of predefined steps to get to know, like, and trust you, so he/she is willing to buy from you.
- For a conversion funnel to work, the individual puzzle pieces must fit together seamlessly and lead to your offer in a logical progression.
So hopefully you understand the infamous conversion funnel/sales funnel/marketing funnel better now and see why your gut feeling was right and you need one ASAP! 😉
Wanna learn more about the power of sales funnels? Grab your free book from leading sales funnel expert Russell Brunson:
Russell really knows what he’s talking about and is a great teacher! Went through a lot of his training videos over the last couple of weeks and all I can say is: Wow! Need more time to go back and implement his advice step-by-step…
If you’ve been using sales funnels consciously in your business for a while – what are your experiences? Any aha-moments you’d like to share?
PS: Don’t forget to share this post with anyone who needs to know about sales funnels! Thanks! 🙂