What You Should Know About Marketing Funnels
TLDR: Marketing funnels are a powerful and necessary tool for moving leads from recognizing your brand all the way through being return customers.
As a business owner, do you daydream of a perfect sales formula that ensnares customers and traps them into purchasing your goods and services? Do you wish that there existed a marketing whirlpool? A powerful vortex where, when the ships of customer interest sail near your product, they are immediately pulled in? Caught in the current, circling around and around until they reach the epicenter, your product? Well, while maybe a literal whirlpool doesn’t exist, a metaphorical one definitely does. It’s a marketing philosophy that dates back to a guy named John Dewey in 1910, and it’s called the Marketing Funnel. While it’s not a force of nature like a whirlpool, it is an elegant philosophy that turns consumer interest into consumer purchase. So shelve those semi-aggressive sailing daydreams and let’s get into the nitty-gritty of the funnel philosophy.
The Funnel Philosophy
The marketing funnel attempts to conceptualize consumer interest in stages and then lay them out in a logical, sequential order. There are five agreed-upon stages that an interested party has to go through before making a purchase, and they present themselves in the following sequence:
- information search
- evaluation of alternatives
- purchase decision
- post-purchase behavior
In a brief analysis of the stages, it’s easy to see why it’s called the marketing funnel and not the marketing whirlpool. The funnel implies a trickling of customer interest towards a product, which is much more realistic than the dramatic analogy of raging tides sweeping up consumers in product placement fever. The art of directing this trickling interest is called collecting leads, and the contemporary marketing funnel is the tool used to carve the grooves along which customer interest flows.
Creating A Successful Marketing Funnel
A successful marketing funnel requires a thorough understanding of how the 5 stages listed above manifest in consumer behavior. Successful funnels usually include tactics that play off human emotion and the psychology of a purchase. The phases of your marketing funnel need to have a strategy that aligns with these key principles.
Awareness is pretty self-explanatory, people need to know your product exists in order to realize they may be interested in purchasing it in the first place! This phase of the funnel benefits heavily from marketing strategies that promote mass exposure and acts as the wide mouth at the entrance of a funnel. Things like email blasts and text campaigns are a business owner’s best friend in raising product awareness.
Protip: That’s where the marketing experts at Chiirp come in! Chiirp has all the tools to be your perfect co-captain in the quest for building consumer awareness! Chiirp will give you the ability to set up seamless email and text campaigns, throwing your brand into the inbox of thousands.
Interest and leads can be seen as synonymous terms because interest leads to purchases! Once you have consumer eyes on your brand you need a way to progress customers from the mouth funnel to the neck, drawing them into your product whirlpool. Creating embedded links within the advertising you created in the awareness phase that customers can interact with is the perfect way to capture these leads.
ProTip: Having subscriber options or free content like blogs available upon signing up for a newsletter is a great way to capture interest and create leads.
Moving along the funnel path, interest gives way to consideration, where the customer considers making a final purchase! The end goal is in sight at this point, a sale, and thus consideration is a very important funnel phase. Setting up marketing automation with Chiirp is an excellent way to accomplish winning the customer over. As opposed to the general email and text blasts seen earlier in the funnel, the consideration phase requires targeted email campaigns with actionable intent. Emails of limited-time sales or special trials shine in this section of the marketing strategy.
ProTip: Targeted invites to attend product webinars or other such events are an excellent way to make customers more heavily consider purchasing your product.
The intent phase of the funnel is where the pull of the whirlpool is the strongest, as consumer intrigue spirals towards the neck of the funnel. The coveted purchase is almost within grasp! Prospective customers hit this stage once they have demonstrated they are ready to buy. Making sure customers have ease of access to customer service representatives as well as ways to purchase your product after free demos are the foundation of the intent phase. A customer that is willing to take time out of their day to talk and try is a customer that may be willing to buy!
Evaluation and Purchase
Evaluation and purchase are lumped together for one simple reason, a positive evaluation leads to a sale! Nurturing the sale is key here. Being available to answer questions and concerns as well as providing the customer with assurance in your product are the high-ticket items in a successful evaluation phase. If a customer feels confident that this purchase is the correct purchase, then you have done your job at the evaluation phase of the marketing funnel, and your goal of a sale has been fulfilled!
The Marketing Funnel is a Philosophy that takes the stages of consumer interest and maps out actionable phases that guide a consumer from awareness of a product to purchasing a product. Using email and text campaigns in multiple phases is an excellent way to utilize the funnel philosophy, creating more general email and text blasts for awareness and then creating more targeted content once interest has been attained. Taking captured interest and meeting it with resources and excellent customer service will guide a customer through the consideration, intent, and evaluation phases and lead to the end goal of the funnel, customers purchasing your product!