If you’ve spent a few seconds on my website or Instagram, you can probably tell that I get just a *little* bit excited about marketing funnels.
I joke that marketing funnels and launch plans are my love languages – but I really do geek out over them! That’s why I’m SO excited to take it back to the basics with today’s blog and answer the simple and super important question: What exactly is a marketing funnel?
Definition of a Marketing Funnel
Odds are, you’ve probably heard this term in a few different ways: marketing funnels, sales funnel, nurture funnel, welcome funnel, etc. All of these are different types of Marketing Funnels.
A marketing funnel is simply the series of steps you want someone to take before they take an action (or make a conversion). A conversion is the point at which someone takes the action your message or funnel is leading them to (we’ll dive more into this soon!).
It’s called a marketing funnel because if you think of the process visually, it looks exactly like your kitchen funnel! Let’s take a look at what it looks like and the stages of a marketing funnel below.
Stages of a Marketing Funnel
To keep it simple, there are three stages of a marketing funnel: Awareness, Consideration, and Conversion.
Let’s break down what happens in each of these stages as someone moves down your funnel:
The Awareness stage is the first step of the funnel and it’s what is usually referred to as “top of the funnel” strategy.
This is probably pretty obvious, but your goal here is brand awareness. This could look like content marketing, Facebook ad, referrals, and social media posts to name a few.
Usually, this is someone’s first view of you or of this particular funnel or offer.
The second stage in a marketing funnel is Consideration. This is the process of deciding whether or not they will take the action you’re leading them to.
The Consideration phase is where you’ll do a bulk of the nurturing of your audience. You’ll want to make sure you show your audience that you understand their problem or desire and that you have a solution to that problem. Some examples of this phase include content marketing, email marketing, social media posts, case studies, webinars, etc.
YAY! This is your goal! A Conversion happens when someone clicks on the “call to action” and completes the action you want them to take.
This conversion may be anything from joining your email list to purchasing your course to hiring you to photograph their wedding. Most of the time, you can think of the conversion as the sale – but it doesn’t always have to be a purchase.
Each desired action is technically a conversion. So a small funnel would be to get someone to sign up for your email list. How do you make them aware and lead them there to take that action? But then what happens once they sign up? Hopefully, you have another funnel to encourage them to take the next desired action 🙂
It’s like a funnel-building matrix!
Related Post: What is a Nurture Sequence?
How to Optimize Your Marketing Funnel
Remember, there are more people at the top stages of your funnel, and as they move through the funnel (down the stages) less and less make it to each stage. So the goal of any great funnel is to lead more people to the conversion.
The goal of optimizing your funnel would mean that you’re getting more conversions at the end (that are also ideally cheaper and higher quality).
In marketing terms, this means you want to increase your conversion rate at each stage. Your conversion rate is the percent of people who make it to the next stage of your funnel (or convert). So as an example, if you have 100 people in the Awareness phase and only 10 make it to the Consideration phase, you have a 10% conversion rate. Then maybe you have 1 of those 10 people actually book you and convert, which is another 10% conversion.
How would you go about getting more people to book you and convert in this funnel? That’s the process of optimizing your funnel.
There are two main ways to optimize your funnel:
#1 – Widen the funnel
The first way to optimize your funnel for more conversions is to “widen the funnel” – aka get MORE people to enter the top of it. This way, if you keep the same example conversion rates above, but now you have 200 people enter the funnel, you’d then have 20 people move to consideration and 2 people convert and book you.
So you increased your final conversion because you increased the number of people at the top of the funnel.
Ways to widen the funnel would include anything to increase awareness, such as Facebook ads, blogging, posting on social media, etc.
#2 – Increase your conversion rate
In addition to trying to get more people at the top of the funnel, the other strategy you can use to optimize your marketing funnel is to increase your conversion rate at each stage.
This is a super important and powerful way to increase your overall conversions because this means that with the SAME amount of people at the top (let’s use 100 as an example again), you’ll have more people move to each stage. So if we had a 20% conversion rate instead of 10%, then 20 people would move to the Consideration phase. If we also had a 20% conversion rate in the next phase, then 4 of those 20 people would book you and convert!
In my opinion, this is a very underutilized strategy because it’s a little more difficult to figure out. To increase your conversion rates, you really need to analyze every step of the funnel and figure out how you can better lead people to take the action you want them to take.
Do they need more social proof? Maybe you can share a case study? Or, maybe you need some more resources? Maybe you need to offer a payment plan?
There are so many options available here depending on what your funnel looks like and what your end goal is. But the main gist is this: look for ways to give people more confidence to say “yes” to the desired action you want them to take.
Getting Started Building Funnels
Like I mentioned before, building out funnels is my love language. So if you have any questions on how to get started, be sure to pop them in the comments below!
If you want to learn more about funnels, here are some recommended resources to check out:
- What is a Nurture Sequence
- Why You Need a Welcome Email
- What is an Evergreen Launch?
- How I Earned $30k While on Maternity Leave
And if you’re looking for a funnel-loving friend to work with to help you build your own amazing funnels to scale and grow your business, then I’d love for you to connect and inquire about my funnel-building services!
Happy Funneling, friends!