When To Use A Marketing Funnel

Thomas Green here with Ethical Marketing Service. Today I would like to share my thoughts on when your business should use a marketing funnel.

Contrary to popular belief, it’s not the case that a business always needs a funnel. If you have not heard the term before… A funnel in marketing is the steps that your prospect takes before they become a customer. Sometimes referred to generally as attribution. The funnel seems to work perhaps because if you have ever seen a literal funnel. It starts very wide and gets progressively thinner. The analogy being that on your website. You have all your visitors and a small amount of them become your clients after taking specific actions.

Some say that all businesses have funnels whether they know it or not. But I would submit that in the locksmith industry where a business needs to be hired immediately. Often the time between the need for their services and the sale can be minutes. My opinion is it doesn’t apply here and there is really no need to refer to it as one. Or consider a funnel in that type of business. Some other examples apply like emergency plumbers for example.

That being said, not everyone in business is a locksmith. There are some very legitimate uses of a marketing funnel. In most businesses, a funnel does exist. Typically they happen either by accident or on purpose and as you can imagine. You really want to be getting more and more purposeful and designing your business. Rather than letting things happen by accident.

So how do you know if you should put time and effort into creating a purposeful funnel? A general principle is the longer it takes for your prospect to become a client. The more thought should be put into your marketing funnel. This also applies to transaction size. The more money your client has to part with, the more emphasis should be put on the funnel.

If you are in a business where it’s a one time sale, the transaction size is low. Generally speaking, I wouldn’t spend much time on a funnel. If you have repeat buyers, your transaction size is high and it takes a fair amount of time for the prospect to become a buyer. I would spend a lot of time, reflecting and designing your marketing funnel.

I have already stated some examples of businesses who don’t need a funnel, to give you some that do. If we take an extreme purchase size and think of the most money you are going to spend in a day in your entire life. For most it’s going to be buying your house. Residential property. How long could it theoretically take to go from initial enquiry to final purchase? In some instances you are looking at over a year, but likely many months.

If you looked at the success of your marketing based on its initial cost and then the revenue you immediately got from that cost. You would need to stop all of it. If you think of it more like a funnel where the prospects start at the top. They have multiple touch points using different methods and need certain information. Reassurance along the way, your marketing will likely be more effective, it just takes some time.

So what makes a good funnel if you needed one? Try to avoid thinking of the different parts of your marketing as separate. It’s not just PPC, it’s not just outbound calls, social media, email marketing, they are not separate. You need to combine all of it together to meet a strategic goal. And each touch point has a specific purpose. 

If we continue with our property example for a moment. I heard that in every 3 sale agreements between buyer and seller. 2 of them don’t make it through to purchase. I am sure there are many reasons for this. But you could influence the quality of prospect you get, based on the marketing you do and at each touch point.

Your social media activity might be right at the top about building awareness in the locations you sell, so the prospect is predisposed to doing business with you. Your PPC activities might be near the top of the funnel. Then remarketing using as many different medias as possible might get them back to the site to get them on an email list or capture their details for a viewing. Before they view you might use direct mail or do a consulting call to prequalify them to ensure you don’t waste your time. If there is no offer from the prospect, they then go to a previous step where they get remarketed to and followed up with by phone and mail.

If there is a sale made, your marketing needs to change to educate the buyer and seller and reduce the probability of buyers remorse. Email communication touch points are now about keeping them in the loop and ensuring they have done everything they can to speed things along. You might send them guidance about how to deal with their solicitor and how they can get their searches done as quick as possible and these come at an appropriate time during their purchase. 

In order to apply this to your business, you would think about your prospects journey. And have touch points to help them along the way. This is also a form of optimisation as along with the touch points. You are thinking about maximising the potential of your business. And choosing the client that’s right for you.

Another way of thinking about this part is, think of your funnel as a system or a machine. A prospect gets dropped into the system and a series of predetermined results will happen. They all have a reason why, it’s formulaic. They are all designed to get the best experience for your client and the maximum revenue for your business.

I hope this has been valuable to you today. If you need any help with a funnel in your business or with your marketing…

Visit us at ethicalmarketingservice.com and I’ll speak to you soon.