An Internet marketing funnel is a marketing strategy whereby you are constantly funneling new leads into your business, in the hopes of developing a sale and relationship with the user. A marketing funnel is often seen as an upside down pyramid. At the top, you lead potential clients to your website, in the middle you offer them valuable services if they sign up to your list, and at the end you convert them into customers. There are a number of processes that have to be working in order to ensure you capture leads, communicate properly to them and value your repeat customers. This article will tell you how to create an Internet marketing funnel.
Method 1: Plan an Internet Marketing Funnel
1) Set up an attractive website. Remember that for most websites, a soft sell works better than a hard sell. You get more leads if you look trustworthy and loyal to customers, if you list reviews of your products and if you provide users with articles, newsletters, tips and other valuable content. The idea behind adding value to your website is that people who become daily users are much more likely to also become clients. If you don’t sell a product yourself, you can become an affiliate marketer and post affiliate ads on your website. If you do sell a product, a daily user will have a chance to see more of your offers/products and buy them.
2) Invest in lead capture software or programming. You can either hire a company to provide you with a lead capture landing page or program it into your website. With lead capture, your website users are required to sign up for an account or submit their name and email address in order to get valuable content.
This lead capture software ranges from simple to complex. You can have a landing page that captures the data, or you can sign up for a system that tracks your user’s accounts once they sign in. You can see what products they looked at, what pages they read and, judging from their account activity, you can see how likely they are to become customers.
3) Define your lead gathering strategy. You should choose 5 to 10 ways to get the attention of your target demographic(s). Some common Internet lead capture strategies are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts, guest blogs, search engine optimization (SEO)/search engines, article directories, online ads, affiliate marketers and more.
4) Define the valuable product or service you can offer to get the client to sign up. You may need to brainstorm with your marketing team about what you can provide. Ideas include a free trial, free services, a coupon, a video, educational content, a free account, or access to a number of such services.
5) Define your end goal. This is the end relationship you want to have with the information you gather, and it differs greatly for online businesses. In some cases, the contact details of a person is your Internet-based goal, because it may funnel leads into a service-based business that calls its customers by phone, and in other cases, it is developing repeat clients.
Method 2: Set up your Internet Marketing Funnel
1) Begin using all 5 to 10 lead gathering strategies at once. With an employee heading up each strategy, make sure employees coordinate new offers, posting consistently and timely as you add more value to your website with free content. Use website links that have embedded web analytic codes. You can do this through your website provider or with a free Google Analytics account. Make sure each strategy uses a different link, so you can track your most successful lead gathering strategies. Most web analytics programs will automatically mark down leads that come from major search engines.
2) Have someone examine the ratio of visitors to your page, versus how many people enter their contact information to get access to content. A high percentage means you are targeting your demographic well, and should continue to offer similar content. A low percentage means you need to invest more in adding value to the free content or service you are offering.
3) Gather the leads from your lead generation software. You should get information to add to your content management system (CRM) or database every week. Make sure you code new leads according to the offer that enticed them to sign up.
4) Communicate with your database through email blasts and newsletters or direct mail. Target your offers by giving your leads emails that suggest similar products or services as what they signed up to see. These communications bring leads back to your website in order to convert them to customers. If you are gathering leads for a service-based job, you may also want to give them a call. If they inquired about a quote, then this is an essential part of the communication process.
5) Mark people who buy your products as “customers” in your database. Customers should be given extra content and discounts for loyalty. The desirable end to the funnel is that customers continue to enter the funnel on their own and buy more products as they become available.
6) Don’t allow your funnel to stagnate. Your marketing team should constantly be updating the lead generation points, the offers and the database, in an ongoing pipeline. Unless you have cornered the majority of the market, a successful marketing funnel can continue working in the same fashion for years.
Understand that the ratio of leads to customers is usually quite small. However, if you bring thousands of people to your website each day, you only need a small percentage of them to buy to create a successful marketing funnel. You should always look to try new lead generation points, especially if the ratio data shows that you are not gathering many leads from your current points. Try new social media accounts, blogs and advertisements, until you find the right combination.