What is a Digital Marketing Funnel — and why do you need one?

My toddler loves playing with funnels.

He gets a kick out of filling them with as much sand as possible – then watching as it slowly trickles out the bottom.

Your marketing funnel should do (almost) the same thing!

While Bodhi’s funnel lets every grain of sand out the bottom, yours should be much more selective. In yours, lots of interested people enter the top – but only a select few trickle out.

Think of all your favorite clients

The ones you’re always excited to work with … the ones who are a great source of referrals … the ones who always pay on time …

Now, remember that once upon a time, they had no idea who you were.

  • How did they first become aware of you?
  • What made you different?
  • How did you inspire them to reach out?
  • What was the turning point when they went from lead to client?
  • Why do they keep coming back for more?

Answering those questions – and repeating the results – are the keys to a successful marketing sales funnel (and to getting more paying clients).

. . .

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 a simplified example of one of my digital marketing funnels.

  • Awareness – You google “websites for therapists”
  • Interest – You sign up for my newsletter
  • Evaluation – I wow you with my free resources
  • Commitment – We have a Q&A call
  • SaleWe create a new website together

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Here’s a visual example of a marketing funnel to help illustrate the concept.

Visual example of a digital marketing funnel with the sales funnel stages

Why Do I Need a Marketing Funnel?

Most people who visit your website are not ready to reach out – let alone become a paying client.

That’s why it’s so important to impress them AND give them some way to stay in touch or follow you. If you don’t, you’ll probably never see them again.

Enter the sales funnel stages. The top of the funnel is so wide, because it’s designed to reel in as many people as possible. Newsletters, free ebooks, social media links, 15 minute Q&A calls … these are all great ways to get people into your lead funnel. Then, you can begin to nurture that lead.

Lead nurturing is no different than building long-term relationships.

It’s the core of a successful marketing funnel – and a great way to create a personal connection with your dream client while they go through their own internal process.

According to MarketingSherpa, 79% of marketing leads never convert to sales. Lack of lead nurturing is the #1 cause for poor performance – and a marketing funnel is the solution.
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Understanding Your Dream Client’s Story

Your customer has a background story that lets you know how they first came across your business.

Something about you appealed to them and they have reasons for all of the choices that they make. Whether they click away from your website immediately or go on to become a client, there’s a reason. Your marketing funnel explores those reasons in depth.

Knowing your dream client’s story gives you power.

Understanding their story helps you create a more effective marketing funnel – one that speaks directly to them and provides the resources and inspiration they need to stay interested in your business.

(this is also why it’s so important to define your niche)

As more and more people pass through your lead funnel, you will better understand what resonates with them. You will learn why they went left, right, or back the way that they came. From that insight, you can create new strategies and sales funnel stages that will drive them in the right direction.

 

Ddigital marketing funnel - aka lead funnel - infographic

How to Create a Marketing Funnel

There’s no one way to create a marketing funnel. What you do at each of the sales funnel stages should reflect your dream client’s preferences and needs. That said, there are some general marketing tactics that tend to work across all businesses.

Here are some examples of what a 6-step digital marketing funnel could look like:

1. Raise Awareness — let people know you exist through:

  • Events, speaking gigs, and webinars that position you as an expert
  • Direct advertising (print and/or online)
  • Media mentions including social media and traditional press
  • Viral content – blog posts, infographics, and videos
  • Lead gathering – create an email list from all of the things listed above

 

2. Stimulate interest — start to draw people in by using:

  1. Newsletters and direct emails
  2. Blog posts that answer a question and have a call to action
  3. Online classes with targeted content
  4. E-books, white papers, and long-form content (offered for free in exchange for a newsletter signup)
  5. Interactive social media to connect with customers online

 

3. Nurture your lead funnel — while they decide, you should:

  1. Use automated follow-up emails to remind them about what you offer
  2. Offer free trials and discounts to new clients
  3. Provide case studies and more detailed (targeted) information

 

4. Solidify their intent to buy — if they’re on the fence, try:

  1. Offering an even better deal or discount than before
  2. Providing facts and case studies about why your product is best
  3. Sharing a product demo
  4. Creating new tools on your website, such as a one-click signup feature

 

5. Post-Deal Followup — make sure they are happy by:

  • Following-up by email or phone
  • Sending a survey
  • Encouraging them to share a review
  • Asking what you could have done better

 

6. Encourage return customers —get them coming back for more by:

  • Reading all reviews and ratings and following up directly on complaints
  • Offering discounts and deals to existing customers
  • Creating loyalty programs
  • Offering affiliate and referral code programs
  • Staying connected through social media
  • Add them to a new marketing sales funnel

As you can see, you might use different tools in different ways at different sales funnel stages. For example, some of your social media posts will be designed to gain interest from new followers while others are created to foster your relationship with existing clients.

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A Detailed Example of a Digital Marketing Funnel

The best examples often come from personal experience, so let’s dive into the marketing sales funnel you’re currently in right now.

Since you’re reading the article, you’re at least somewhat interested in marketing – and curious about creating a digital marketing funnel.

Maybe you landed here via Google; or, perhaps, you’re reading this on the Facebook app. Regardless of how you arrived, it’s now my job to convince you that Goodman Creatives has a team of marketing experts – and that you should hire us to create and manage your marketing funnel

However, this may also be the first time you’ve heard of Goodman Creatives.

You don’t know that we specialize in marketing, web design, and 1-1 coaching … and you’re certainly not ready to reach out. If anything, you’re skimming this article looking for DIY advice.

Instead of trying to sell you on something, I now draw your attention to my newsletter. It’s full of DIY resources on marketing and web design. (You can sign up here).

Or, you can follow us on Facebook, where we regularly share valuable resources.

Or better yet, you can schedule a free 15 minute Q&A call to ask me (Greg Goodman, founder and head creative) anything you want. It’s a no pressure call – and a way for us to get to know each other.

schedule a FREE Q&A Call

Finally, since you’re on my website, you may start to see Goodman Creatives pop up more on your feeds. This is called retargeting, and it’s another powerful way that my marketing funnel works.

Let’s brainstorm!

Together, we can figure out what digital marketing funnel, lead funnel, or sales funnel is right for your business.

We can help you determine which sales funnel stages are the best ones for sending out emails, how to utilize a newsletter at different stages, and what other tools you can access to maximize your business at every layer of the funnel.

Reach out today to learn more

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Marketing funnels in action
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About Goodman Creatives

Your business has an abundance of moving parts … wouldn’t it be great if someone could manage all of them?

From website design to strategy planning, marketing, social media, and beyond, we’re your 1-stop shop for “getting you out there.”

We understand what it means to run a local business and the challenges of growing it online. We happen to help businesses like yours every day.