What is a marketing funnel?
Definition of the marketing funnel
Funnel marketing is a marketing strategy to turn visitors into loyal customers. This customer journey is made up of several stages leading to a specific objective: to acquire new prospective customers.
To achieve this, several tools are available to you such as subscribing to a newsletter, downloading content, etc. It will also indicate at what level of the customer journey a prospect is located.
This tool is a sales funnel, which will allow you to attract your audience and guide them in this journey. In the process, your potential customers will go from visitors to prospects, then from customers to brand awareness ambassadors.
To limit paid traffic losses, it is necessary to optimize your marketing funnel. To do this, we have to think about “ user experience ” at every stage. That is, think about what your potential customers want and how you can give it to them.
Indeed, when a consumer faces a problem or feels a specific need, he will try to find the solution, in particular thanks to the internet. <<The more his inquiries are refined, the further he will get in his evaluation. It is then up to you to impose yourself on its path, by offering it your solutions, and thus move it forward in the direction you want, while avoiding leaks.>> *to revise
You can create as many marketing funnels as you have based on goals and personas. But remember to make them evolve based on real data, your goals, and changes in your personas.
Why is the marketing funnel important?
A marketing funnel is an essential tool. It allows you to follow the progress of your leads in their journey. By establishing an effective strategy through marketing and sales funnel, you will be able to be more effective thanks to impactful messages sent at the right time. In addition, thanks to the marketing funnel, it is possible to:
Manage marketing campaigns easily :
thanks to the marketing funnel, you can analyze each step of the process, and determine which ones are not optimal.
Identify the right levers :
every stage of the funnel has different levers that can be deployed to achieve your objective (example: SEO / SEA, lead magnets, optimization of landing pages, lead nurturing, etc.).
Understand the intentions of visitors :
there is no point in wanting to sell at all costs, you must above all understand the problems and / or the needs of your prospective customer. This will allow you to adapt your content to the prospect's level of maturity.
Guide the customer journey :
your marketing funnels will create a coherent and progressive conversion journey. As the funnel goes, your prospect will be more and more ready to buy.
Types of content in the marketing funnel
The contents of the marketing channels are thus divided: TOFU , MOFU and BOFU . Depending on your prospect's position in the process, the content you offer them will have to be different, in order to move them forward in your purchase funnel.
TOFU (Top of the Funnel): from visitor to lead
During this step, the Internet user becomes aware of his problem , it is the “ Discovery ” phase . He learns about his sector and the problems he thinks he is encountering. At this stage, his research is rather generic, it is therefore up to you to provide a response that is both generalist and with high added value, thanks to your expertise, to help him understand precisely his problem.
Content : blog articles, web stories , statistical reports, infographics, white papers, etc.
MOFU (Middle of the Funnel): from lead to MQL
The second step corresponds to the so-called “ Consideration ” phase . The Internet user has identified his problem and tries to find what solutions could answer his problem.
Unlike the TOFU stage, his research is more precise. If some of the solutions appeal to him more than others, he will then get in touch with the company which, according to him, could solve his problem, in order to have more information.
This is when you will be able to convert your visitors into leads thanks to their identifications.
Contents : landing page, ebook, white papers, checklists, templates, webinars, simulators, case studies etc.
BOFU (Bottom of the funnel): from MQL to SQL
This third step corresponds to the “ Decision ” phase. It is crucial because this is when the visitor will complete the purchase.
After the MOFU stage, the Internet user can make a list and select the companies which appear to him to be the most willing to respond to his request. He will assess the proposals, formulate requests, in order to clarify his request and make his final decision. So you have to convince him that you are the right person!
The end goal is for them to make their decision based on the goal you have set for yourself: buy a product, subscribe to a subscription, make an appointment, etc.
Contents : demo request, customer cases, free audit.
If you want to know more about the concepts of lead, MQL and SQL, we invite you to read the article on the subject. These terms are not always clear, you would not be the first to get lost… ok, we admit, we too were lost before!
The stages of the marketing funnel
Step 1: attract visitors
Before creating your marketing funnel, it is necessary to study the behavior of your audience and do consumer research. You must therefore use the persona method, in order to identify a marketing funnel that corresponds to them. It is the key element of any good strategy.
But not only that! Generating quality traffic is one of the central steps in effectively fueling your marketing funnel. There are different ways to attract visitors:
Thanks to content marketing (example: articles, infographics, webinars, checklists etc.) which will aim to raise awareness and inform visitors. It is also the main lever of natural referencing.
The paid search ( SEA ) and natural ( SEO ). Two very different but complementary approaches to generate traffic.
The SMO (social media optimization), social networks greatly participate in the reputation and the construction of the image of a company.
Thanks to the website as a whole, it is the first point of contact for a visitor and you should put your best foot forward.
During this stage, your visitors are in the so-called “Discovery” phase. The challenge here is to answer the questions and / or the needs of your audience thanks to your content, without waiting for feedback.
Step 2: Convert visitors to leads
In order to turn your visitors into qualified leads, you need to deliver useful content to your targets. This content should help your visitors in their reflections by providing them with solutions.
This content, free of charge, will be exchanged in return for information such as an email, a name, a telephone number, etc. This is when you need to identify and convert. This information will allow you to maintain contact with your targets.
During this step, it is imperative to use certain tools, such as:
integrated into your content (articles, emails, premium content) and on your website, these “buttons” must be attractive on the visual and on the offer. They allow you to reach your landing pages.
The landing pages :
Landing pages help convert visitors into leads and gather information about your audience. In return, they allow you to send your lead the content they want.
Lead magnets :
content that “magnetizes” the prospect. They are sent against filling out a form on your landing pages, for example. For more precision, I recommend our article on the creation of effective lead magnets !lead magnets efficaces !
Step 3: Qualify leads
During this step, the Internet user goes from lead to MQL. When it is mature enough in its thinking and is ready to begin a buying process with you, it becomes SQL. This is referred to as lead qualification.
There are therefore two levels of lead qualification:
- The Marketing Qualified Lead: You must observe if your lead is really interested in your offer. You can use marketing automation and scoring to analyze your lead's actions and award them points. For example, check how often he visits your blog post. After reaching a certain number of points, it is a Marketing Qualified Lead. This means that he has demonstrated a certain level of engagement with your content.
- The Sales Qualified Lead: When a prospect switches from MQL to SQL, the sales team will be able to get in touch with him. An SQL must be an MQL which corresponds to the core target of your product or service and which has a very high level of engagement with your service. We will therefore analyze and observe whether it meets certain criteria other than commitment (size of the company, function, etc.).
To switch from one to the other you can help yourself with lead nurturing. This method will make it possible to offer leads who have already expressed an interest in your products or services, content related to their issues.
This process will make them more “ mature ”, that is to say, move them forward on the journey to lead them to sales.
Step 4: Convert Leads to Customers
You have established contact with your prospects, it is now necessary to maintain a lasting relationship with them.
This is the area of focus of the sales team and it is essentially the sales process that will determine the chances of converting lead generation into a customer.
The work of marketing is not finished, however, decision content ( BOFU ) is particularly effective in supporting the sales process and a sales team needs relevant content to support its argument.
As you can see, the marketing funnel, in the vast majority of cases, will not allow you to “do without” a sales team. The objective of your funnel is to make its work infinitely easier thanks to a very high-quality qualification and engagement process.
The marketing funnel will present your solution or your offer as the one that best meets the needs of your prospects.
Step 5: Build loyalty
You have succeeded in capturing your audience and turning your prospects into customers. You will now have to pamper them and support them in their current and future purchasing journeys , thanks to brand loyalty.
Indeed, a satisfied customer will be able to more easily share his experience with your company and will therefore promote it. He will then become an ambassador for your company and allow it to develop with your potential targets.
According to a study by Harvard Business Review, acquiring new customers is between 5 and 25 times more expensive than retaining your current customers.
You must therefore continue to offer quality and personalized content to your customers and to pamper them, this same post-purchase , to RETAIN . You can also set up other means of loyalty, such as:
- feedback surveys etc.
Beyond the recommendations, it is also the possibility of Up-sell (additional sales) which is at stake here.
Optimize your marketing funnel
Why is my marketing funnel not working?
You have set up your marketing funnel. Unfortunately, nothing happens? If so, one or more parts of your marketing funnel are not being optimized.
Do not panic! Several reasons can explain these dysfunctions.
Your marketing funnel is not simple enough
We have all already abandoned a basket or stopped our registration during a subscription. Why? Because we got distracted or it took too long. Your marketing funnel must therefore go to the essentials and be integrated into the journey of your visitors if you do not want to lose them. So prioritize fluidity and play on the user experience.
Your targets are poorly defined
If your marketing funnel isn't working, you may need to rework your targets. Your funnel must be built for a specific audience, with a particular purpose. If this is not the case, it will not correspond to anyone, and therefore you will not have any lead generation, or even see your conversion rate plummet!
Your goals are unclear
You built a marketing funnel, but you don't know exactly how to use it? A marketing funnel must have a specific objective. Otherwise, neither you nor your visitors will know which direction to go. You will therefore not be able to establish an entire customer journey. So, identify them.
Your offers do not bring real benefits
Perhaps the problem you are having is that your visitors are abandoning the pursuit of their customer journeys during the process. In order for them to want to move from one stage to another, it is necessary that you present an advantageous offer (example: trial offer).
Your SEO is bad
The dysfunction of your marketing funnel can also come from your SEO. It is unlikely that a user will come into contact with your business if they cannot find you during their research to solve their problem or meet their needs. It is therefore essential to work on it.
Your customer relationship is not personalized
It is necessary to work on the “ loyalty ” part of your process for your marketing funnel to be optimal. It is therefore essential to work on your emotional connection with your customers. Think about the strategy of your networks, your emailing, your blog etc.
Your audience doesn't trust you
Your audience may not trust you enough. Therefore, you need to prove your seriousness to your prospects. You have to show that you are the best, that they can follow you with their eyes closed. Use customer reviews and certifications to help promote the quality of your site and make exceptional blog posts.
Your site is not performing
You are probably losing visitors because of a much too long loading time. Internet users are by definition impatient, so they will not stay on your website if it is not smooth and fast. You need to check the load time of your website to optimize your marketing funnel.
Optimization tools for your funnel
You have been able to identify the problems with your marketing funnel. We will have to optimize it now! Rest assured, we are here to guide you.
The first element to optimize is your website of course! You have to look at the loading time of your website, analyze its design (is it responsive, easy to understand?). Work on your keywords and their semantic field, integrate links (internal links to reference your pages) and work on your image. You can use tools like Page speed insight or GTmetrix to help you with your analysis.
Use google analytics
It is possible to configure a visualization of your marketing funnel using Google Analytics. Thanks to the data that this will bring you, you will be able to identify at what stage your visitors are leaving the marketing funnel. You just need to define goals and the pages you want to analyze. You will be able to identify problematic pages and implement the right actions.
Boost your landing pages
You also need to focus on your landing pages. Test the title of your landing pages (in order to know which ones capture the attention of visitors), its text (you have to highlight the advantages of your offer), its color (try different colors for the background and the text to analyze those which work best) and the font size (what impact on the conversion?).
On this subject, very broad, the best is to deepen with our guide to landing pages that convert .
Work on your Call-to-action
The call-to-action will help you bring visitors to the desired objective. They can be found in several places. In order for them to work, they must be very convincing! To achieve this, you must think about its design (colors, typographies, shapes etc.) and work on your expressions so that they are impactful. The location of the CTA is also important and above all be careful, too much CTA kills the CTA.
Adopt trigger marketing
This method will allow you to lose as few prospects as possible during their journey. These are practices that allow you to automatically trigger a marketing action when an event X occurs (example: sending a notification to a lead when new content is released).
Use marketing automation tools
The marketing automation refers to the automation of actions and marketing strategies. It will be very useful to you throughout your marketing funnel to perfect your relationships with your potential customers. These tools allow you to implement your lead nurturing and your lead scoring effectively.