Good Marketing means putting your business in front of a lead in as many places as possible.
Successful marketing funnels reach your target audience across the right digital platforms, reinforce your brand, and convert leads into clients
I’m about to share my tried-and-true formula for setting up and running effective marketing funnels. This customizable system offers a great starting point – and a way for small business owners to start seeing results – fast.
What is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel, also called a sales funnel or a marketing sales funnel, is a series of steps that guide your dream client as they move from “random Google visitor” to “brand ambassador and paying client.”
Visually, it consists of four or more concentric “funnel” circles. Each of these circles represents a stage in the customer’s journey.
Here’s an example of a successful marketing funnel.
- Awareness – You google “I need more clients”
- Interest – You sign up for my newsletter
- Evaluation – I wow you with my free resources
- Commitment – We have a Q&A call
- Sale – I create a marketing funnel for your biz
Here’s my time-tested formula for building successful marketing funnels
1. Raise Awareness
- Google Ads
2. Stimulate Interest
- Newsletter Automation
- Blog Posts
- Lead Magnet
- Content Creation
3. Nurture Your Leads
- Retargeting Ads
- Mailing Lists
Build Your Foundation
Make sure you have Google Analytics and a Facebook pixel installed on your website
Make sure your website is optimized for conversions. This means having your contact information on every page, lots of different ways to reach out, online scheduling, chat, and anything else you can do to get them into your funnel.
Experiment with different messages, phrases, emojis, images, colors, and more. A/B test whenever possible. Hotjar is a great app for taking recordings of what people do on your website.
. . .
Know your product offerings and pinpoint what sets you apart from your competitors. Figure out your niche and identify your ideal customers.
Any marketing collateral you create should follow a consistent brand across all platforms and mediums. The goal is for your content to become easily recognizable.
Each time someone recognizes your brand in their feed, it’s like a subconscious thumbs up for your biz.
This method ensures that even if your clients don’t click or share your post, you will still be identifiable and familiar when they see your materials. Creating subconscious recognition through your uniformed logo, colors, or theme has a powerful impact. Because of this, your brand is reinforced in your client’s head, making you unforgettable.
People still love free ebooks and are often willing to give you their name and email in exchange for something that solves a pain point. Take the time to understand what problem you can best solve for your target audience. Then, write a comprehensive guide about it (or hire a copywriter).
Finally, hire a designer to turn it into something special. The goal is to make the best first impression possible. To create something that the lead downloads and comes back to.
Once that’s all done, offer your lead magnet freebie in exchange for someone’s first name and email. (You want the first name – so you can personalize your newsletters)
»» FYI: My lead magnet is a website planning workbook.
Run Google Ads
A successful marketing funnel needs a steady flow of leads. While SEO will eventually get more organic traffic to your website, the easiest way to get your business onto page 1 of Google is to pay for the honor.
Once someone clicks on your ad, they enter your marketing funnel. That way, even if they are not ready to make a decision, you can begin showing them ads on other platforms and increasing brand awareness.
When a lead visits your website, it connects with your Google and Facebook pixels. Then, you can use retargeting: aka, showing ads only to people who have visited your site.
It’s worth noting that managing a Google Ads campaign can be a lot of work. If you have room in your budget, it’s worth hiring someone to set it up and manage it for you. Or, if you want to go the DIY route, here’s a guide on how to succeed at Google Ads.
POWER TIP – Don’t use Google Ads Express. It may be easy and fast, but it doesn’t get the same results as Google’s full system.
Use Facebook Marketing
In spite of privacy concerns and the younger generation shifting away, Facebook is still the best way to reach your exact target audience. With 1/3 of our global population using Facebook, it has every possible targeting method you can imagine.
Running a successful Facebook marketing funnel requires regular effort – even after you set up your automated ads. You’ll also want an ad budget of at least $500/month to get the best results. If you want to set everything up and manage it yourself, here’s how. If you need some help, check out Marketing Juice.
Create custom audiences in Facebook Business Manager
- Lookalike Audience – export your customer email list into a CSV file and upload it. Facebook will use those contacts to create a list of other FB users that have similar interests. You will use this audience as the starting point for your Facebook marketing funnel.
- Website Visitors (90 days) – between your Google Ads, SEO, and organic Facebook posts, you will have a steady lead flow to your website. This custom audience allows you to show ads to only people who have been to your site.
- Engaged with FB Content (365 days) – this is anyone who has interacted with a Facebook post or ad in some way in the last year.
Develop a content calendar
Ideally, you are sharing 2-3 posts each week on your Facebook business page. Images and questions work great. So do quizzes and top 10 lists. The goal is to get the attention of your ideal customers with fresh content that resonates with them. Allocate at least $25 to boost each post ($50 if it’s a direct link to your website) – and be sure to target that lookalike audience.
The content you create should inspire people to interact with it. Quizzes. Actionable tips. Free resources. Things you’ve learned after X years in your industry. Think about what your dream client wants to see., then show it to them.
Setting up Facebook Ads & Retargeting
In addition to the weekly content you post on your Facebook business page, your ads will move people through your funnel.
There are plenty of guides online on how to set up Facebook Ads, so I won’t dive into the technical side of things here. First, set up 2-3 general Facebook Ads and target them to your lookalike audiences. These should be less about you, and more about solving a pain point for your target audience.
Each ad should use a different image and copy. Set a budget of at least $10/day/ad to start. Also, be sure to turn off “automatic placements” and make the ad only run in the Facebook primary feed.
Once those are in place, create a few retargeting ads for people who are a bit further along in your funnel. These will educate the lead on what makes your business so awesome. These only need a budget of $1/day/ad — and let Facebook show these wherever it wants – audience network, Instagram, whatever.
Finally, keep track of the performance of each campaign to understand what’s working, what could be better, and what needs to be turned off completely. Optimize, optimize, optimize.
Go through your old FB posts, see what was successful, and make ads out of those.
Getting access to a lead’s inbox is a marketing goldmine. Your goal is to build lasting relationships, create engagement, and inspire loyalty.
Your content must be fresh, easy to read, and with the right balance of pictures and text. Clients do not like to read long, boring content. No one has the attention span for that. — SQUIRREL!
Mix your content with various topics like providing how-to’s, giving promotions, suggesting CTAs, and telling them more about your company profile. Varying your content means you keep them guessing. It also prevents your clients from becoming bored.
Create an Automated Welcome Sequence
When someone enters your email funnel, they immediately enter an automated welcome sequence. These will set the tone for what they can expect from your newsletter. In general, 5-10 emails should be spaced out by 3-4 days each. These should contain a mix of helpful tips with promotions, calls to action, and a “getting to know you” element.
Did you know – your “welcome email” often has an open rate of more than 75%.
If you don’t have a newsletter yet, MailChimp is the easiest way to get started.
Use a signup popup
On your website, be sure to create a goodbye popup that pops out when someone is about to leave your website. This is your final chance to convert these clients because they may not come back. On this popup, invite them to subscribe to your newsletter.
Your popup must be engaging and not annoying. It is your last pitch-effort to attract these clients, so make it count. OptinMonster is a great tool to help you make creative and effective popups.
Want to see what one looks like?
If this is your first time to this site, try to leave this page and see what happens.
Keep sending new content
Sooner or later, your hot leads will run out of automated emails. That’s why you need to continue producing fresh content for your newsletter.
The goal of these is to continue fostering your relationship. Each email should have text links and a call to action button – all leading to some post, page, or resource on your website.
From time to time, dedicate an entire newsletter to a quick question, like “what do you want me to write about” or “how can I help you?”
The nature of blog posts makes them an ideal part of your marketing funnel. They offer fresh content to draw new people in and usher old clients back. Blog posts are an inexpensive way to drive traffic to your site.
Regular blogging offers ways for your business to interact with clients at every step of the funnel. Engagement builds relationships that are rooted in trust … which then promotes client loyalty and boosts sales.
FYI – regular blogging also is great for your SEO. It shows the Google robots that your site is regularly updated and gives it a better idea of what you do and where to show your site in the SERP.
Post Regularly & Focus on Content
To keep this method effective, you need to make 3-4 new blog posts per month. Consistency is the key. You need original content weekly, so when clients check your site for content, you have something fresh to offer.
Focus on creating authentic content that resonates with your target audience. Hard-selling advertising no longer works. You must make quality posts with relatable topics.
Make sure that whatever photos you use in a post (and while promoting it) are 0n-brand. Hire a brand photographer to create images for your marketing — and avoid cheesy stock whenever possible. It is essential to work on content that draws your clients’ elusive attention.
Naturally, you’ll want to share these blog posts on all your social media channels. On Facebook, post the article on your business page and boost it to your lookalike audience for at least $50.
Blog post ideas
- Offer solutions to their pain points
- Write educational how-to articles
- Share trendy top ten tips
- Share quick tips
- Tell a client success story
- Talk about company successes
You want your clients’ eyes away from your competitors. If you are successful in crafting posts that touch your audience, it will compel them to like, comment, and share them. As a result, you will expand your reach and client base.
Here’s more info on why you need a blog.
We can set all this up for you
Let our experts build an automated marketing funnel, integrate it with your website and social media, and provide all the tools you need to succeed.