Sales and marketing teams love inbound marketing funnels. Do you? It takes all of the hard work of prospecting off your plate.
You are putting your best efforts to capture leads through inbound marketing, but results are disappointing.
Well, you are not alone; Numbers show that more than 32% of marketers believe they are going nowhere with their inbound marketing campaigns.
So, the question is what can you do to make the most out of your inbound marketing efforts?
There is one recommended solution to this problem: funnels. Sales funnels or marketing funnels can help you deal with your inbound marketing frustration.
What are funnels? How are they related to inbound marketing? What kind of success can you experience using funnels? Why are funnels your best option compared to other inbound tools and tactics?
By the end of this post, you will have the answer to all these questions. We'll also link to related inbound marketing and sales funnel resources to help you get a complete picture. So, let's take a look at how marketers use funnels as part of their inbound marketing strategy.
The 3-part Inbound Marketing Funnel Formula
- Your Offer – What you’re selling.
- The Follow-up – Your communication with your prospect once they’re in your sales process.
- Traffic – The people coming to your website or landing page.
The sales funnel is the first thing that you need to set up, even if it’s just a standalone sales page… Driving traffic to a sales page without a funnel in place is a waste of resources.
You want to make sure you get an ROI from your inbound marketing budget, and consistently stoke the fire with new prospects so you can keep growing your business!
When you combine all three – traffic, your offer, and a follow-up process - you get sales!
Read more about the exact sales funnel formula that we use to drive tons of targeted, high-converting traffic to our business and our clients' business in our brand new version of the Funnel Factor report. No time to read? Register for our on-demand Sales Funnel webinar that you can watch at any time from the comfort of your home.
ToFu: Top of the Inbound Marketing Funnel
If you have a basic understanding of sales funnels, you would know that a top of the funnel (ToFu) priority is to capture the attention of your audience. This is the first step and most important part of the funnel structure. Therefore, top of the inbound marketing funnel actions can bring in the largest number of quality leads for your sales team to nurture and convert.
So, what does ToFu relate to your inbound marketing efforts?
The answer is – you need to step up the game and invest more resources towards getting as many relevant leads as possible as part of your inbound strategy.
One of the best ways to achieve this is by focusing on content marketing. Create epic content that provides value and helps the reader connect with your brand. Use search engine optimized content to attract a large number of users through organic search.
Build a strong social media presence so that when you make an announcement you get a higher chance of it spreading like wildfire!
Your content won't become viral from the get-go. You need to first grow your audience, understand them and create content that excites them.
You will be amazed to know that more than 70% of all the social media users are likely to recommend a brand to their network if they have had a good experience.
This figure makes it quite evident how important it is to build strong content marketing and social media strategy to rope in more number of customers as part of the funnel strategy for your inbound marketing efforts.
MoFu: Middle of the Inbound Marketing Funnel
Middle of the funnel (MoFu) is the part where you get to know different kinds of audiences coming through the ToFu.
Put simply, this is the part of your inbound marketing funnel process where you qualify different lead segments on the basis of their interests and readiness to buy. The leads that are closer to converting are often called MQLs or Marketing Qualified Leads.
Nurture and convert
After you've spotted the most qualified leads, you need to nurture them until they convert into paying customers. This is done partly through automated marketing workflows but also through the active involvement of your sales team.
There are different marketing strategies that you can employ to nurture these leads. Here’s an example:
Suppose a user has subscribed to your newsletter. Now instead of just sending a welcome email, why not pair it up with a welcome offer or discount coupon? Or maybe add a free eBook download to your welcome email? Click here to get more ideas on how you can build automated email sequences that bring results.
BoFu: Bottom of the Inbound Marketing Funnel
This is the phase where the saying ‘strike while the iron is hot’ holds completely true.
The customer has already gone through the basic steps of your funnel. They have shown interest in your product or service at top of the funnel. They have gained all the relevant knowledge they needed about the service and have been qualified and nurtured thoroughly and are just about to convert into a paying customer. This is the biggest opportunity for your sales team to close the sale.
So, how can they do it?
Present an offer
Tempt the BoFu customer with an offer they cannot resist. You might have the best product for the user’s needs, but – unless you are able to create an irresistible offer and present it in a compelling way– you might lose the sale.
This is where the power of content, as part of your inbound marketing strategy comes into the picture. And, by content, we mean all elements such as graphics, copy, design and everything that there is in your marketing material.
Read this highly relevant article about how to create content for every stage of the buyer's journey, as your incoming leads move through your marketing funnel.
Content is still King!
You may agree that creating a sales funnels that works for your inbound marketing strategy requires planning and effort. In fact, user-friendly content is not enough; you need to make a conscious effort from your end to take action that is tightly related to the buyer's journey.
From creating compelling landing pages to writing effective web copy and posting on social media, every step you take needs to be part of a plan; part of your sales funnel and inbound marketing plan.
Don’t forget – when compared to outbound marketing, content marketing efforts generate three times as many leads at a 62% lower cost.
Create a funnel to solve your inbound marketing puzzle
At the end of the day, all we have to say is that succeeding in the game of inbound marketing requires sincere efforts just like in any other field.
Creating an inbound marketing funnel could be just the piece you were looking for to solve the inbound marketing puzzle. Now it is up to you to create a strategy in which you add a funnel that complements your marketing efforts and enhances your sales numbers.
Today we're going to talk about inbound marketing funnels, and marketing funnels, interestingly enough have kind of taken on a life of their own outside of just sales funnels.
The reason being is because marketing funnels, some people treat them as the same, but a marketing funnel is where you address your prospects as they are warming up to your offer.
Based on the level based on their familiarity with your brand, they are seeing different things. What that means is your cold market is going to be seeing cold, very cold ads, your warm market is going to be seeing warmer stuff and then your hot market is going to basically be you know pitched through ads.
So your cold market, download a lead magnet, sign up for a webinar, your warm ads, your warm market is going to be you know to sign up for a sales call. Go to this sales page. Read this advertorial read this blog post and then positions or products, and then your hot market is going to be, go buy my shit. So that's how the marketing funnels end up working.
That's how they're structured. And you can do this through retargeting. So and also email. So basically, you know, if they go to this URL, but not this one, show them these ads, if they go to this page, but not this one, show them these ads. If they go to this page, then they're as hard as they possibly can be. Show them this page. Email, the same way you can trigger emails based on what pages they visit.
So you can show them banner ads, you can show them email based on what URL they were last at. We take it a step further and we actually run marketing automation that pops up in our slack window that says this person is on this page.
I can't tell you how many times I have seen somebody, and they've gone, they've come to a couple of days in a row to the same group of pages, you know, the same key content pages, sales pages, you know, video sales letter offers application pages, and then they leave. And the application never fires, which means they just show up, and then they leave, they show up.
And then they leave. There were a couple of times, you know, I actually picked up the phone and said, Hey, so and so, you know, I saw you were just on the page, you've been on the page for the last three days, like, what's going on, you know, that's, that's what you can do when you start to master this level of the marketing funnel in this level of automation in your business.
So that's the fun part. And we are a marketing automation company. So sometimes the shit we do is a little bit creepy, you know, and but whatever. You know, like if somebody fills out a form, I've called them back like six minutes later, and said, Hey, thanks for filling out the form.
You want to just jump on a call now like I don't have anything going on. You have anything going on.
So That's cool. No, but so when you're looking at marketing funnels, you're looking at inbound marketing and how to use funnels for your inbound marketing strategy. What you really want to do is you want to identify those three levels.
So there are three parts to your sales funnel, there is your offer, the thing that you are selling, that might be a coaching program, or a mastermind or a digital product or a digital course or a physical product or supplement or whatever, whatever it is you're selling in your business, that is your offer. The second piece of that is your follow up.
So your follow up originally was your email follow-ups, but now with retargeting, then follow up also includes your banner ad follow up your Facebook videos that show up after somebody is like a warm or cold or hot in your in your market, you know, because all of that stuff can be customized and change now.
And then, of course, your traffic the people who are coming to your page, the visitors who are coming to your page and your landing page on your website, and the ones who are doing the thing that you need them to do. So you're attracting somebody into your funnel, you're they are building interest in your thing in your, your company, they are increasing in desire, and then ultimately they're taking action Ada ADA, it also translates to this top of the funnel, middle of the funnel, the bottom of the funnel, basically the top of the funnel is your awareness, you know, where somebody starts becoming aware of you.
And they consider you a friend almost, you know, so they're following you. They know about you, your life, your business, like that kind of thing.
Now, your middle of the funnel is there's a lot of stages in between, you know, basically, they know your name, they're engaged, they are there, they're in some sort of a nurturing database.
They are a leader, you know, so they, at some point have raised their hand and said yes, I want more information about you. Yes, I want to get to know you better.
Yes, I want your marketing communication. Yes. I want to you know, learn and read Teach, you know, whatever consumes, then they become a sales lead. And the sales lead is where they've basically raised their hand and said yes, I want to schedule a time to talk with you about my thing, my issues, my solution, my problem, you know, whatever. Or they pulled out their credit card and said, Yes, I want, you know, to buy your course, then they become an opportunity, and then they become a customer.
Some times they move through this entire funnel in two hours or less. Other times they move through this entire top of funnel middle of funnel bottom of the funnel in six years. I cannot tell you, I mean, I've been doing this a long time and there are still times where somebody will be like, the call will be will get booked.
They jump on, you know, and they're like, I've been following you for as long as I can remember, you know, and I look them up after the call and literally is like six years, seven years, eight years, you know, and by then they already know everything about me.
They know what I do. They know about what I offer. They know everything. So it's not a difficult, you know, pitch. But still, if you don't, if you fall short, and don't market to them consistently, then they could very well, I mean, then you know, they're gonna forget about you and you're gonna forget about them. And that's all there is to it.
At the top of the funnel, you want to make sure to have optimized content, social media, you want to want to understand customer experience and how they're interacting with you and your website and everything in the middle of the funnel. That's where you start nurturing them. That's where you start trying to convert them into a lead into a customer. And then the bottom of the funnel is really where you present your offer.
And at the end of the day, content is still absolute King. You want to create a funnel to solve your inbound marketing puzzle. So if you want people to raise their to flock to you, and raise your hand, say, Yes, I want your thing. Then your inbound marketing funnel is how you're going to set it up.