All about the marketing funnel: definition, strategies and applications

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8 min

A marketing funnel, a sales funnel or also called a sales fun nel or a conversion funnel, is an integral part of the work of a company's marketing or sales teams. In a few words, a sales funnel is a visual representation of the customer journey.

In this article, Kiliba explains everything you need to know about the marketing funnel: definition, benefits, key steps and use.

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What is the definition of a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is a model that represents the key steps your prospect goes through before becoming one of your customers. Thus, the marketing funnel represents the different phases of the buying process, from the moment the prospect becomes aware of your brand to the moment they purchase one of your products or services.

The steps in a sales funnel may include: 

  • Outreach;
  • Pinterest;
  • Consideration;
  • Action;
  • Selling;
  • Loyalty.

Did you know that this marketing concept has been around for over 100 years? Also known as the conversion funnel, this method is designed to reach buyers at each stage of the conversion process.

In short, the purpose of the sales funnel is to help you understand how to optimize your marketing strategy. The goal is to guide your prospects through the various stages of purchase and thus, convert them into loyal customers.

The advantages of the marketing funnel method

A sales funnel can offer you several benefits to boost your business sales, including: 

  1. A better understanding of the buying journey: A sales funnel helps you understand the steps your prospects must go through before becoming customers. This allows you to optimize your efforts for the different phases of the conversion process and provide your customers with a consistent and efficient experience.
  1. Identifying obstacles: By using a sales funnel, you can identify the obstacles that prevent your prospects from becoming your customers. This allows you to solve them in order to improve your conversion rate and therefore the turnover of your business.
  1. Targeting marketing efforts: By understanding the stages of your buying journey, you optimize your marketing efforts to reach your prospects at the right time and get them to buy.
  1. Effectiveness measurement: with the marketing funnel you can identify the conversion stages more easily thanks to the performance indicators (KPIs). 
  1. Marketing strategy optimization: Using an effective sales funnel, you identify opportunities for optimization to improve your conversion rate. This may include adjusting marketing content, the conversion process or customer relationship management.

All in all, the sales funnel is a valuable tool, especially if you are looking to understand and optimize your customer acquisition strategy.

Sales funnel: the 6 key steps

Now let's get into the nitty gritty of the sales funnel. Kiliba shares the 6 segments of the conversion process. Stay focused, it gets interesting.

The steps in a sales funnel vary depending on your industry, the size of your business and your goals, but in general, the steps are as follows:

Step 1: Awareness

This is the first step where your prospects are introduced to your brand and your products or services. At this stage, you need to create an effective awareness campaign. This can include online advertising, building your social networks, creating in-person events, creating SEO optimized content, etc.

Step 2: Interest

This is the second stage of the sales funnel. This is where prospects start to get interested in the products or services your company offers and evaluate them to see if they really meet their needs.

It is important that prospects can easily find accurate and useful information about your products or services offered so that they can continue to evaluate whether they want to buy them.

Moreover, at this stage you should capture as many leads as possible by offering them guides, white papers or even webinars for free.

Step 3: Consideration

In the third step of the marketing funnel, you must make your prospect want to buy your product or service. Thus, you need to show the benefits that your product brings to your potential customer.

It is also essential to highlight exclusive features or benefits that the customer may not have known about before.

For example, to encourage your prospects to invest in your services or products, offer them special deals through your newsletter. The goal is to convince them to move to the next step of your sales funnel.

Step 4: Action

The fourth stage of the funnel is to implement marketing levers to convert your leads into customers. This is the lowest level of the conversion funnel. 

By the way, it is at this conversion stage that you place calls to action (CTA) to get an immediate response from your prospects. Your CTAs should be short, punchy and to the point. Make sure you insert CTAs at different levels of your funnel to maximize your conversion rate.

Step 5: The sale

The second to last step in the marketing funnel is the sale. This step focuses on turning the prospect into a customer. It is crucial, as it can make the difference between a casual customer and a loyal customer.

The goal here is to finalize your sale and ensure that your customer is satisfied with their purchase. Providing excellent customer service is essential to ensure their complete satisfaction and increase their desire to make future purchases.

Step 6: Retention

Customer retention is the last step in the sales funnel. It is crucial to maintaining the loyalty of your customers to your business.

Then, you should know that it is much less expensive to keep existing customers than to develop new prospecting strategies. In fact, customers who have already been acquired are more likely to make a purchase because they already know about your product or service. 

Of course, you must ensure the quality of your product or service, but you can also offer discounts, special offers or loyalty programs. In the end, customer loyalty is the key to the success of any business.

How can you create an effective marketing funnel?

Without further ado, we show you the 3 main steps to follow to create your optimized marketing funnel.

1. Determine your ideal buyer's journey in the form of a funnel

As we've told you throughout this article, the purpose of a sales funnel is to design an effective buying process and boost your conversions. To do this, you need to determine the starting point of your funnel and its final destination.

In other words, you need to analyze the following 3 elements: 

  1. your customer journey today;
  2. how your prospect must take action to achieve your end goal;
  3. optimization of the conversion process.

Once you have determined your final destination, you can represent this whole process in the form of an optimized marketing funnel.

2. Set goals for all stages of conversion

Divide your funnel into three distinct sections: top, middle and bottom. Set goals for each stage of your funnel such as:

  • Traffic growth at the top;
  • Improving engagement in the middle;
  • The growth of conversions at the end.

Once your goals are set, track your progress using tools such as Google Analytics or CRM software like Hubspot to evaluate your performance and automate certain tasks.

3. Establish an editorial plan for each stage of your marketing funnel

As we told you before, you can divide your funnel into three parts, also called TOFU, MOFU & BOFU. No, it's not what you think... It's not an Asian recipe; it's a marketing plan to follow up your leads efficiently.

1. The top of the funnel (TOFU)

In the first step, the goal is to promote awareness of your brand and product. Adopt an inbound marketing strategy that consists of creating visually appealing content, such as videos, blog posts and social media posts.

2. The middle of the funnel (MOFU)

You have your prospect's attention and you need to demonstrate the value of your product or service. Offer them free educational content such as ebooks, guides, etc. You can also send them customer testimonials to reassure them.

3. The bottom of the funnel (BOFU)

To finalize the buying journey, encourage your leads to take action. You can offer your leads free trial offers, a PDF case study or a free phone appointment.

The marketing funnel in a nutshell

The point of a marketing funnel is to break down the customer journey into distinct sections. Each section is unique, with its own purpose, unique parameters and unique objectives.

And so, this marketing system allows you to precisely optimize your conversion rate. With enough A/B testing and analysis, you generate more traffic, more conversions and thus more sales.

Kiliba helps you to increase the conversion rate of your emailing campaign. Click here, we take care of everything.

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Stack the odds in your favour

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