Digital Marketing Funnel: The Definitive Guide 2020
A digital marketing funnel helps you define the. strategies to drive high-quality traffic to your website and acquire new customers lets marketers identify gaps and opportunities in their current marketing processes.
Marketing funnels also help identify customers’ needs and allow you to reach them with the right marketing message at the right time.
But, what is a digital marketing funnel? And how do you create one that brings the desired results?
Read on for a step by step guide of digital marketing sales funnel.
What Is an Effective Digital Marketing Funnel?
An effective digital marketing funnel covers all the customer journey stages from awareness (the first time they learn about your business) to purchase (when they’re ready to buy your product).
It also defines what marketing strategies you should adopt at different stages of the buyer journeys to maximize the chances of conversion.
Here are two examples of digital marketing funnels: one is effective, and one is not.
Let’s suppose you visited two websites (A and B) and downloaded an ebook from each (after providing details like name, email address, and phone number). The very next day, you receive a call from website A asking you to purchase their product. You also get an email from website B thanking you for downloading the ebook along with links to other similar resources.
Which website are you likely to be interested in? Website B, right? Because they focus on building a relationship and demonstrating expertise rather than pushing you to buy their product (when you are not even interested). And when you become interested in their product, you are likely to choose website B over A.
Obviously, the real-life scenarios are a little more complex than the above example. But an effective digital marketing funnel focuses on the customers’ needs rather than trying to convert everyone.
Digital Marketing Sales Funnel Stages
No matter what products you sell or which industry you are in, your customers follow a relatively similar path when making a purchase.
Here are the four stages (or paths) of a digital marketing funnel.
This is where the customer realizes they have a problem that must be solved. At this stage, they are not aware of your brand yet or don’t know they need your product. Your ultimate goal should be to make them aware of your product and its benefits.
Now that the customer is aware of your product, they want to evaluate it against other similar products in the market. They analyze all the features and benefits of your product and how it stands in front of other similar items.
According to Pardot, 70% of buyers return to Google at least two-three times during the research (consideration stage) to better understand each company’s specific offerings.
The customer has completed his research and has decided which option is best for them. At this stage, the bottom of funnel content can make them feel confident of their decision to purchase. It includes testimonials, customer success stories, and case studies.
Do you know 65% of a company’s business comes from existing customers?
This means that even when the customer has bought your product, the sales cycle is not complete. Another benefit of post-purchase care is that it increases word-of-mouth marketing, thereby attracting more customers.
Understanding Modern Customer’s Buyer Journey
Let’s understand the online buyer’s journey and how they move through different stages with some real-world examples. Let’s consider that we have a customer named James, a fitness freak.
Example One: James needs a fitness tracker.
- First, James realizes that he needs a fitness tracker to better monitor his calories burnt every day: Awareness.
- James Googles “fitness tracker”: Consideration.
- James saw a blog about “how to choose a fitness tracker”: Awareness.
- James then Googles “top fitness trackers”: Consideration.
- He calls his gym buddy to ask for recommendations: Awareness.
- James finally narrows down his choices to three companies: Consideration.
- James then compares these companies based on reviews and product features: Consideration.
- James finally buys a product: Purchase.
- Fast forward a few years, James wants to buy the latest tracker (with upgraded features). He skips the awareness and consideration stages and purchases directly from the website (from which he previously bought the tracker): Post-purchase, loyalty loop.
Example Two: James wants protein shakes
- In the gym, James’s trainer asks him to increase his daily protein intake. He comes home, and Googles “protein shakes”: Awareness.
- The next day, he sees an ad for a protein shake on Google: Awareness.
- He then asks his trainer for recommendations. He remembers one of the names (he saw the ad): Consideration.
- The next day, James sees an ad of the same company again on social media: Consideration.
- James Googles the company name and visits their website: Consideration.
- James asks his bodybuilder friend if that brand is good. He says, “yes,” but also gives two-three suggestions: Awareness.
- James compares all the suggested brands based on ingredients, reviews, and nutrition facts and buys the best one: Consideration and Purchase.
- As soon as James’s protein shake gets over, he orders another one from the same company: Post-purchase and loyalty loop.
Framework and Model of Digital Marketing Funnel
Now that you know the different stages of the digital marketing funnel and how customers move through it let’s look at the digital marketing funnel framework and model. It determines the strategies to convert customers (or move them down your sales funnel).
The digital marketing funnel framework is divided into four segments:
- See (Awareness)
- Think (Consideration)
- Do (Purchase)
- Care (Post-Purchase)
Strategies for “See” Category
As mentioned above, customers at this stage are not aware of your product or that they need it. At this stage, you should focus on moving them down to the “think” stage.
Here are some ways (channels) to generate awareness about your product:
- Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube)
- Google Display Ads
- Search engine optimization
- Content marketing
Strategies for “Think” Category
This is where the research comes to action Customers compare your proposition with your competitors in every aspect possible (features, benefits, etc.).
But remember, they are still not looking for promotional content. They are looking to learn more about how your product solves their problems (or needs).
You need to establish yourself as an authority in the industry to move customers from the “think” to the “do” stage.
Here are some ways to market to your audience in the “think” category:
- Create personalized content
- Show customer success stories
- Advertise testimonials
- Offer free trial (or sample) of your product
- Promote white papers to demonstrate your authority
- Advertise your FAQs
- Customize presentations based on the customers’ needs
Strategies for “Do” Category
The customer has made up his mind (almost), and needs a last push to complete the transaction.
Here are some strategies to eliminate the last-minute hurdle and increase the chances of conversion.
- Add reviews and testimonials on your site
- Get your salesperson to contact and answer their queries
- Send promotional offers via emails
- Give a guarantee (e.g., 30-day money-back, trusted by X number of customers, etc.)
Strategies for “Care” Category
It defines how you are going to retain your customers and turn one-time buyers into loyal ones. Ensure that your current customers are satisfied with your product and assist them in case they need any help.
Here are some ways to do so:
- Send emails to your customers (or call them) asking about their experience with your product and if they need any help
- Conduct customer-specific webinars to help them get the most out of your product
- Send resources via emails that help them use your product efficiently
- Offer 24X7 customer support
- Give them an insider-only discount
Content for Each Stage of the Funnel
Content marketing is an important part of the customer journey (irrespective of the stages). The biggest benefit of creating content for each stage of the funnel is that it supports your SEO.
It also establishes you as an authority in the industry and helps build trust with potential customers.
Content for Awareness (See) Stage
- Blog posts
- Social media updates
- How-to guides
- Educational articles
Content for Consideration (Think) Stage
- Case studies
- List of resources
- Templates and toolkits
- Email campaigns
- White papers
Content for Purchase (Do) Stage
- Detailed specifications
- Customer success stories
- Competitive comparisons
- Promo codes
Content for Post-Purchase (Care) Stage
- Product guide
Marketing Funnel Metrics
You have created a digital marketing funnel and defined the strategies to attract potential customers. Now, you need to track the effectiveness of your funnel. This enables you to optimize and improve the funnel over time.
Here are some metrics that you must focus on :
It helps determine how many prospects enter your funnel and how many convert into customers. Compare the conversion rate (after creating the funnel or making changes to the existing one) with the previous period. If you see an increase in the number, you’re on the right track.
Entry and exit sources
Monitoring customers’ entry-stage and exit stages in the funnel is essential. It helps determine which marketing strategies attract potential customers and what drives them away.
Time in stage
It tracks where your prospects are getting stuck in the buyer journey. You can then add more content to your site or change the marketing approach to move customers quickly to the following stage.
Content engagement rate
It determines if your content is compelling enough to engage your prospects or not. It includes tracking bounce rate, time on site, average pages per session, and page depth.
A digital marketing funnel helps determine the right marketing strategy for each stage of the customer journey. With the right digital marketing funnel, you can increase the conversion rate, reduce customer acquisition costs, and decrease the churn rate. Use the strategies mentioned in this article to promote your product or services to your customers at each sales funnel stage.
Have you created a digital marketing funnel before? Did we miss anything important? Let us know in the comments.