Marketing

5 ways to drive customers through your marketing funnel

28th Dec `15, 10:27 AM in Marketing

The power of market funneling allows you to do more with your pre-existing traffic. Not sure what I’m…

Finn Pierson
Finn Pierson Contributor
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The power of market funneling allows you to do more with your pre-existing traffic. Not sure what I’m talking about? Essentially, a marketing funnel is the path you’d like your visitors to take through your site, ultimately resulting in a conversion of some sort. No site does market funneling the same. Some have single funnels, while others have many that are constantly changing. In either case, an expert marketer has the ability to guide their visitors through each step in a specific marketing funnel without the visitor even realizing it. There are many ways to achieve this, among them are the following 5 best ways to funnel your audience.

Minimize the Number of Steps

The fewer the steps through your marketing funnel, the easier it will be to keep your visitors to be with you all the way through to the final stage of conversion. If the quality user data you are collecting indicates that your marketing funnel isn’t adequately directing enough visitors through each step, one of the first things to do is see if there are any steps you can eliminate.

One less step in your funnel means one less chance to lose visitors. Be sure to carefully examine the data you are collecting on your user behavior to ensure that each step in your funnel is absolutely essential. Is there an optional step you can save until after conversion? Are there two steps you can combine into one? These are the questions you should be asking yourself in order create the best onsite experience for your customers.

Identify Logjams

Like in a real logjam, a logjam in your marketing funnel is where all your visitors get stuck, and next to none get through. When this happens, visitors tend to bail from your site without ever getting the chance to move on to the next step.

In plain, practical terms, a logjam in your marketing funnel is simply an inefficient or ineffective step. Perhaps the instructions for what the visitor is supposed to do next are confusing. Perhaps the step seems unnecessary to too many visitors. Perhaps it requests information the visitor has given once already. Perhaps the form itself is somehow broken.

When analyzing user data you should see the percentages of people moving from step to step through your marketing funnel remaining relatively steady. Once you see a dramatic drop in numbers on a certain step, then there’s something in that last step before the drop-off that’s turning visitors away and causing them to leave your site. This will tell you which step may need some reworking, or elimination in order to get that flow moving again.

Change one Thing, Test Everything

This rule is quite simple. It means that every time you change one element of your funnel, you should test the effectiveness of that change across the entire funnel.

For example, you might have identified a logjam at step 3 of your 7-step funnel, if you only market tested that particular change at that step, you might find that it succeeds at getting a lot more people to move on to step 4 than before. However, it could have an indirect impact, say, on step 5 that causes problems just as bad, or worse. For example, maybe in the new step 3 you unwittingly repeated information you forgot you had already included in step 5; or maybe your new step 3 takes so much longer that by the time your visitors have gotten through it, they have little patience for much more.

Whatever the case or cause, just remember: a change in one place can have ripple effects on your entire funnel. The only way to know if this is the case is to test the entire marketing funnel after each and every individual change.

Tie Your Content Strategy to Your Marketing Funnel

Your content marketing strategy and your marketing funnel are not independent of one another, nor should they be. In fact, your content marketing strategy can be one of the greatest supporters of your marketing funnel.

Consider every piece of content you create or curate for your site as an opportunity to drive more traffic to one of the steps of your funnel. Keep in mind, people don’t always follow a marketing funnel sequentially through the steps as you laid out and intended it. Sometimes they hop around, and rather than being a hassle for you, this can actually be a gift!

Since any step of your marketing funnel could, in essence, be Step 1, you can create and post content directed at driving people toward any one of those steps, not merely your intended “step 1”.

Each step of your funnel should focus on a particular need your visitors have in order to make the ultimate decision to pay you for a product or service that addresses it. You can then create endless content addressing the need associated with each particular step and how your product or service can help meet it. Keeping in mind that the best content always includes a call to action, you’ll find yours built right into the corresponding step of your funnel.

Know Your Customer

Finally, we end with ages-old sales advice that remains as integral in this day of automation and globalization as it was in the day of knocking on doors with a smile and a handshake. The more you know your customer, the more data you collect and analyze, the better you can meet their needs (or in this case, the more you can design and tweak your marketing funnel to better meet their needs). If you’re having trouble understanding you consumer data, try investing in data visualization tools that all you to segment, analyze, and understand the data you are seeing. Do that, and you can bet that they’ll meet your needs in return. Of the 5 best ways to funnel your customers as a marketer, if you remember just this one piece of tried and true advice, you’ll be leaps and bounds ahead of the competition.

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