You’ve heard of “marketing funnels” before, right? It seems like you either love talking marketing funnels or you absolutely hate them.
Yes, of course, whether you love or hate them often depends on your Marketing Personality Type®. More on that later.
Regardless of which side of the funnel fence you stand on, we’ve got to talk about them, though. Because they matter.
Marketing funnels matter for the health and vitality of your business.
Some marketing funnels are quite complicated, with hundreds of variables, ways in and out of the main funnel, off-shoots for re-engagement and retargeting, referral-generation, upsells, and downsells.
Other marketing funnels are so simple you might scratch your head wondering, “Why even write this down? This is so basic my four-year-old could understand this.”
Before we get into all the variations, let’s start with the basics and build from there.
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What IS a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel depicts your strategy to connect with your audience members, engage with your leads, and close your sales.
I often use the term “marketing strategy” in my content and copy, but I could easily use “marketing funnel” instead. To me, they’re interchangeable.
A marketing funnel can just exist in idea form, in your head, but I find they’re most powerful when drawn out, either on paper, a whiteboard, or on your screen. Heck, even putting it on your hand is better than just having it in your head, if you ask me.
Once your marketing funnel is drawn out, you can zoom in and out to better understand its various pieces and how it functions as a whole.
Take this marketing for example:
When we zoom out, we see the main players; Pinterest, Search Engine Optimization, and Email Marketing.
Zooming in to the Email Marketing section, we can see much more detail of the exact Email Marketing techniques being used.
Where does a marketing funnel belong in the Big Picture of your business?
Traditionally, a marketing funnel is used for client or customer acquisition. See the graphic below.
You could, however, create a marketing funnel that focuses on re-engagement or upselling to current clients or customers. This type of funnel is still marketing, but has a unique place somewhere between customer support and retention.
Which Marketing Personality Types® are best at creating marketing funnels?
We all have the capacity to map out a basic marketing funnel. This isn’t beyond anyone’s capabilities here—it’s definitely not rocket science.
The more detailed the marketing strategy, though, the less interested some Marketing Personality Types® become. And on the flip side, the more detailed the marketing strategy, the MORE interested and adept some types become.
These two types are highly analytical, they’re not afraid of getting into the minute details, and they’re naturally strategic overall.
In general, Thinking Types (third letter is a T), because of their more logic-based decision-making processes, tend to enjoy, and therefore excel, at crafting more complicated marketing funnels, while Feeling Types (third letter is an F) often prefer to keep their funnels fairly simple and straightforward.
Why does it matter to have a marketing funnel in place?
In my experience of over seven years in the digital marketing industry, I see three key benefits to having a marketing funnel drawn out and in place:
- With a marketing funnel in place, YOU know what to do.
You can finally stop guessing about where and how to show up. You can build a marketing routine—daily, weekly, monthly, etc—and do the dang thing.
- With a marketing funnel in place, YOUR TEAM knows what to do.
Maybe you have a team right now, maybe you don’t. Either way, with a funnel, you’ll know exactly what needs to be outsourced. Soon, or later down the line, you’ll find your marketing routine to be too much for just one person to handle. That’s when you’ll be able to take a look at your funnel, identify the areas of focus that need someone else’s attention, and outsource that area of focus.
The best part to this outsourcing process will be pulling up your marketing funnel to show to your new hire. You’ll get to show them exactly where their efforts come into play and how they specifically help the business grow. That can be such a powerful moment for a team member!
- With a marketing funnel in place, YOUR PROSPECTIVE CLIENTS AND CUSTOMERS know what to do.
Okay, so you’ll never actually show your marketing funnel to a prospective client or customer. But they will absolutely feel the effect of it.
See, when you have a distinct funnel working in your business, your prospects are naturally guided to the next best step for them until they become a paying client. They’re no longer left hanging on some random web page they somehow clicked over to with no other call to action left. They no longer sign up for your lead magnet, get it in their inbox, and then forget about you for all of eternity because they were never emailed by you again.
When there’s a marketing funnel in place, all of those possible dead ends and confusing loopholes get fixed. A prospect finds you, they get to your website, and then your marketing funnel guides them from there. If they’re truly qualified, they’ll become a paying client at the pace you’ve set in your funnel. That’s already great service and you haven’t even asked for money yet.
How do I create a marketing funnel?
You’re convinced now that, yeah, you really do need a marketing funnel in place. Perfect.
Here’s my basic 4-step process for crafting a marketing funnel:
- Sketch it out on paper.
Either start from where your prospect first finds out about your brand and move, platform by platform, to where they finally pay you. OR work backwards. Start with the place they pay you and sketch where they came from to get here. Continue moving backwards in the funnel until you’ve reached the very beginning, where they first finds out about you.
I’ve seen people do this both ways. I haven’t identified a part of your personality that dictates whether you usually use inductive or deductive reasoning, so Reader, know thyself. Either move forward or backward, or heck, move around the funnel and draw lines til it makes sense to you.
Especially in this stage, it doesn’t matter what it looks like. Just get it down.
Still no idea where to even start? Consult your Marketing Personality Type® Full Report, Chapter 2. It’ll show you marketing funnel templates and examples specifically for your personality type.
- Gut check—what parts of your sketch already have you feeling fake and salesy?
When you feel good, your audience feels good. If you’re already noticing a part of your funnel you don’t really want to implement, that’s a red flag. If that fake-feeling marketing tactic is something you absolutely must must must use in your marketing funnel, know that you’ll want and need to outsource that ASAP. If it’s NOT an absolute must and you just threw it in there because you thought you should, eliminate it now. It’s not worth the headache down the line.
Unsure of what marketing tactics feel good and what doesn’t? Again, consult your Marketing Personality Type® Full Report—it’s all in there. Specifically Chapter 2 gives you a great idea of what could go into this sketch.
- Make it digital.
Take your paper sketch and design it on your screen. THIS DOESN’T HAVE TO BE PRETTY. So if you don’t have a graphic design bone in your body, it’s totally okay. You can still do this.
It’s important for you to transform your paper sketch into something a bit more streamlined. By taking this step, you’ll find the problem areas. You’ll find the parts in your funnel where things could get confusing or complicated.
That’s normal, by the way. Identifying those now brings you into reality. It also gets you asking really good questions like, “Do I really need to do it this way or is there an easier, more feel-good way for me?”
What you’re aiming for in your digital funnel design is a funnel that’s straightforward to you. Ideally, the arrows will all be pointing to the right (toward a sale). And there will be one distinct path to sale (not forty-three of them).
Simple tools I like for this: Canva* and LucidChart (this is what I used to make the funnel visual you see in this post)
Advanced tool I like for this: Funnelytics and Geru
Examples below Step # 4 👇
- Implement your funnel by working backwards.
It’s such a common mistake to think you need to start marketing with the first step in your funnel—the tactic all the way to the left. NOPE.
Start implementing your marketing funnel by beginning with the item all the way to the right—this is most often the point at which your prospect receives what they’ve just paid for.
Make sure the delivery of the thing the prospect has just paid for is in order. Then move one step to the left, which is likely your sales page or sales process. Create the sales page. Make sure the buttons work. Update your copy.
Then move one step to the left. And so on, until you reach the very beginning of your funnel. That way, once you do start doing those beginning-of-your-funnel activities, you know all your qualified prospects will be guided seamlessly all the way to sale.
And remember, as you’re implementing, if you come across a tactic that just doesn’t feel good to you—you feel fake, salesy, completely in over your head—consider eliminating or delegating that tactic.
Let me help you with your marketing funnel.
I can help you with every stage of the process of developing and implementing your marketing funnel. It’s my job—a job that I wholeheartedly love.
If you’re just starting out and want to try crafting a marketing funnel yourself, consult your Marketing Personality Type® Full Report. In it, you’ll learn what your best marketing strategy includes, what your worst marketing strategy includes (gonna wanna stay away from those tactics), and marketing funnel templates and examples, all specifically designed for YOUR Marketing Personality Type®.
If you’ve tried crafting a marketing funnel and you continue to get stuck or have questions you’d like an expert’s opinion on, it’s time to book a Marketing Intensive with me. We’ll spend half a day together, focused on ironing out the details of your marketing funnel and then creating a step-by-step plan of action for implementation. You’ll walk out of that session (proverbially, of course, since we’ll be on Zoom) with crystal clear clarity of what your marketing strategy is and exactly how you’re going to implement it.
And if you need help implementing your marketing funnel? I can help with that too. Email email@example.com to inquire about done-for-you services.
In the end, just as the beginning, marketing funnels directly affect the vitality and growth of your business. If you don’t have one in place now, it’s time to make a plan to craft and implement one.
We, at Marketing Personalities, are here to help.
As always, if you have any questions related to marketing funnels, drop it in a comment OR email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.