A marketing funnel traces a customer’s journey with a business. First, it provides a visual representation of conversions and turning leads into paying customers. Just as a funnel captures large volumes at the top and then guides it out from the bottom, the marketing funnel, too, attempts to catch the attention of as many leads as possible. Next, these leads slowly move through the various stages of the funnel, finally leading to conversions, increasing brand loyalty, brand awareness, and higher sales.
The Evolution of the Marketing Funnel
Elias St. Elmo Lewis, an American advertising advocate, introduced the marketing funnel model that represented a customer’s journey and relationship in relation to a business. He thought that every purchasing decision involves four steps:
- Awareness: A lead identifies a problem or need that must be solved or fulfilled.
- Interest: The lead has viewed a particular product or service that has piqued their interest.
- Desire: The lead is now looking to engage with the brand.
- Action: At this stage, the lead decides whether to make a purchase or not.
Over the years, however, there have been a few additional stages added to the marketing funnel resulting in the following:
Why is Creating an Effective Marketing Funnel Important for your Digital Marketing Strategy?
Creating an effective marketing funnel is important because, just like any other funnel, a high volume of leads enters the top of the funnel. However, as they move through each stage of the funnel, more and more leads get weeded out.
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So the overarching question here is: How do I keep more leads moving through the marketing or sales funnel? Here are a few key considerations to take into account at each stage of the funnel.
Stages in Your Funnel
Stage 1: Raise Awareness
The very first step to creating an effective marketing funnel is to raise awareness for your product or service. This is the stage right before prospective customers enter the sales funnel, and it’s your time to shine and come up with creative and compelling ways to attract the right prospects.
Understand your ideal customer demographics
To create an effective marketing funnel, research always comes first. Research shows that start-ups often fail because they don’t understand the market and the problems of their customers.
Take the time to come up with ideal customer personas. Investing the time to understand who your potential buyers are will be beneficial for the later steps.
Get the word out about your product or service
Once you understand your ideal customer demographics, it’s time to get the word out about your product or service. Raise awareness by coming up with ways to tell prospects what your product or service is all about.
At this stage of the funnel, the main focus is lead generation. Investing in paid advertising and SEO/SEM campaigns at this stage is a good head start. Get to know the SEO must-dos for every local business to drive traffic and growth. This stage is also the ideal time to start caring about On-SERP SEO. Your ultimate goal should be to reach as broad an audience as possible.