Digital Marketing Basics: The Marketing Funnel

As a small business owner, you know that not everyone who hears about your business is going to buy your products or services. Not even everyone who walks into your store will leave as a customer.

If you have seen this phenomenon at work, you have observed the basis of the marketing funnel. This marketing tool can play a big role in a successful digital marketing campaign. Here are your biggest questions about digital marketing funnels, answered.

What is a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel is the process an individual follows to become a paying customer, or to complete any other type of conversion. A conversion is any specific type of engagement with your business. For example, a conversion could be filling out a sign-up form to join your email list, registering for an event, and, of course, buying products and services.

It is very rare for someone to hear about your business and convert without any intervening steps. Usually, the decision to convert is a process that consists of a number of steps, called the marketing funnel.

For example, someone purchasing a product off a website goes through the steps of hearing about the business, visiting the website, looking at a product, adding the product to their cart, and completing the checkout process.

The marketing funnel can look different for each conversion. For example, in contrast to the person buying an item from your online store, someone who signs up for a webinar would follow the steps of hearing about the event, reading about the event online, and completing the registration process.

It is also important to note that marketing funnels are not always linear. People do not always move directly from one step to the next.

For example, an individual may need to hear about your business multiple times and get a recommendation from a friend before they check out your website. They may place and remove several items from their cart before the checkout. They may even abandon a cart and come back to it later. A marketing funnel has to accommodate these nonlinear tendencies.

Where does “marketing funnel” get its name?

The steps an individual takes to conversion is called a marketing funnel because the number of people at each step gradually decreases.

For example, say a marketing email reaches 500 people. Maybe 15 open the email, 13 visit your site, and 5 end up buying the product featured in your email. Just like a funnel.sfarts wide at the top and narrows at the bottom, so does your marketing funnel start with more people than it ends with.

How can a digital marketing campaign influence the marketing funnel?

One of the biggest mistakes any business can make is to assume that the marketing funnel is outside their control. The reality is that a strategic marketing campaign in general, and a digital marketing campaign in particular, can create, change, and monitor marketing funnels.

For example, say you want to promote a summer sale through your digital marketing campaign. You might create a marketing funnel for this sale by creating a Google AdWords campaign based on it, developing related landing pages, including calls to action and links to items included in the sale, and by automatically applying any discounts to customers' relevant purchases. 

With your digital marketing campaign, you don't have to wait for people to stumble upon your sale and take advantage of it. Instead, you establish a marketing funnel designed to drive them toward the sale.

In addition, savvy marketing can increase the effectiveness of each step of the funnel, ensuring that the maximum possible number of people progress to each successive step.

For example, you might increase the number of people who check out your summer sale items by using effective web design on your landing pages, by including customer testimonials, and so forth.

Creating and controlling marketing funnels is a key element of digital marketing. There are many options for creating marketing funnels. For example, social media, Google AdWords, banner advertising, web design, and more, can all serve as effective components of an effective digital marketing campaign.

If you are ready to take control of your marketing funnels and create a powerful digital marketing campaign, reach out to Distinct Web Design. We can help you pick from many digital campaign options to put together an online presence that will help your business to thrive.

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