Funnel blackboard

The Importance of the Funnel in Marketing

Why size matters with your funnel in marketing

 

The funnel in marketing is an important framework to understand.  This is because Marketing creates interest and leads and then together with Sales is required to push them through the funnel to get them converted.  It goes without saying that the larger the funnel at the top in terms of leads, the larger it will be at the bottom in terms of sales.

A small number of leads will produce a small number of sales, so the larger the funnel is at the top, the better.  In B2B marketing, the stages of the funnel or pipeline will be discussed with the sales team and activities agreed to push the leads through the various stages.  The stages could be for example, Registers interest, Meeting held, Involving other decision makers, Purchase Order raised, Contract Signed and Product/Service Delivered.

You’ll be trying to engage with your prospects through a range of integrated marketing activities like email marketing, PR, social media, videos, search engine optimisation, ads and events.  A content marketing strategy will hold this all together and form the basis of your campaign themes.

(Note, just one of these activities won’t be effective, you need to do all of them.) This is because it is integrated marketing that works not just one or two activities.

Because of the focus on encouraging a large number of leads, a crucial activity will be building your mailing list.  This is so you send them emails and therefore continue to engage with your prospects and be kept top of mind.

 

Set calls to action to move your prospects into hotter lead status

 

In your marketing materials you will have calls to actions or things you want your prospects to do to help move them through the marketing funnel to become hotter leads (more about this can be found on this Kissmetrics blog).

Once they become hotter leads you can’t just leave it at that, you’ll need to continue marketing to them through email newsletters and campaigns, webinars, events or a case study.  It is very rare that a prospect wishes to buy straight away, prospects usually need several touch points with a brand for the name to even be retained.

 

Reach out on social media

 

Don’t forget to schedule some time to contact people on social media as well as just schedule posts.  Success on social media is a combination of the connecting with people and posting good content.  It pays to use a tool called Hootsuite to create lists from your Twitter lists.  Then you can see what people are talking about and also retweet their content.  COVID-19 has made physical interactions difficult so connecting with people is important.  If they agree to connect you can then strike up a conversation.

 

Dedicate time to email marketing offering useful content

 

To move prospects down the funnel, it is important to send timely emails and more of them for your hotter leads.  An email newsletter that could be sent once a month doesn’t just have to be about your company.  It could be about trends in the market and other useful information you might think relevant.  There are a number of different email packages available including Constant Contacts, Dotmailer and Mailchimp.

 

More sophisticated systems may include a customer relationship management tool (CRM), marketing automation and the ability to create landing pages.  One of these is Hubspot – a cheaper version is Active Campaign.  These packages enable you to see your contacts and which emails they opened.  You can then see who are your hotter prospects who can be given a lead score.  You can then schedule more emails to contacts with a certain lead score or higher.

 

A promotion can seal the deal

 

Have you noticed how many companies are using promotions to engage with people these days?  Voucher codes, 2 for 1 offers, discounts, free P&P, the list goes on.  This is because promotions work – customers feel they are getting better value for money.

Many business to business companies tend to shy away from promotions as they feel that they somehow devalue their product or service. However, promotion is one of the P’s of marketing and it has a powerful part to play in moving prospects through the final part of the marketing funnel and turning them into sales.

A promotion doesn’t have to be money off, it could be a bundle where other products are bundled in to make the final offering of higher value.

 

Consider the conversion rate

 

Whilst considering your marketing funnel you will need to consider your lead to sale conversion rate as this will help determine the number of leads you need in the first place.  The importance of the funnel in marketing is paramount in helping figure out marketing resource and required lead numbers.

 

Would you like help to push prospects further along the sales funnel?  Let’s have a chat about marketing assets you could create for each stage of the funnel.

 

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