What is a Digital Marketing Funnel?

Nov 01, 2017

I’m often asked, “Leo, what is a marketing funnel?"

My answer is always the same: a marketing funnel is nothing more than a way to help people in a way they want to be helped. Simple as that. So, let me ask you a question: would you propose marriage on a very first date? If you do, please call me.. I wanna hear this! Nah, seriously .. I don’t know of many people that would. Well, that’s exactly what countless other online business owners try to do to their customers, and I’ve seen it happen even in the brick and mortar community .. they try to get married on their first date, so to speak.

What do I mean by that? ok so, offering a product to a visitor for $97 from the get-go, without any warming them up to you, is not smart. It’s actually the opposite of that because it is quite off-putting in today’s marketplace to be slammed with an offer perceived as insensible when there's no connection established yet.

As always, there are lots of exceptions to every circumstance, but in general, unless you have a one-of-a-kind solution with beautiful graphics, pristine copy depicting all the benefits, and flawless user experience throughout, the road will be tough going for those whom try to propose marriage to their customers, ie. offer what used to be called an introductory priced product, on the first date without any warming up first.

Conversely, not having a product with a funnel in place will cause the same pain: no money.

A better approach is to design your funnel, or really reverse-engineer, from the most expensive “buy” or “purchase” button back toward the lead magnet, or the opt-in, or the giveaway at your storefront.

Then you say, “why should I care about this Leo?" 2 reasons: 1. you warm up people to know, like, and trust you while creating value for them and compensation for you, and 2. it allows you to create buffers for you where you can finally start rescuing some of your time back as opposed to when people don’t have a funnel at all and they’re out there grinding it out coffee visit after coffee visit, spending all their time doing one-on-ones with “brain pickers” that most likely do not intend to buy your solution. You should care about this because you no longer have time to waste. A funnel will help you.

How do you do that? Here is our 8-point funnel checklist:

#1. Identify one marketing funnel to optimize in your business, it can be an offline or an online one, it doesn’t matter which one. But, don’t try to fix them all at once. Just pick one.

#2. Then, picture an actual physical, plastic funnel in your mind. Good.

#3. For the funnel you selected to optimize in you business, identify the end outcome of that funnel. In other words, where does this funnel lead to? what’s the ultimate offer in this particular funnel? Write it down or at least keep it in mind, if you’re driving.

#4. Then, place the ultimate outcome you’ve identified in the previous point and stick in the very middle portion of that plastic funnel you have in your mind. Great.

#5. Now, I need you to understand this next idea … this is important and a differentiator. In order to make this a real funnel and not what most people think it is, You need to go 2 steps back from that middle part of your funnel toward the widest part of it, and 1 step forward ahead of that middle section toward the narrowest part of it. Let me say that again, You need to go 2 steps back from that middle part of your funnel toward the widest part of it, and 1 step forward ahead of that middle section toward the narrowest part of it.

Now you have a middle portion where the ultimate outcome of your product resides, then 2 additional levels stretching back from that middle section towards the widest part of the funnel, and 1 additional level stretching forward from that middle section again, but this time we move towards the narrowest part of the funnel.

#6. The middle section of your funnel represents your main offer. The 1st step back from the middle section represents your intermediate offer, and the 2nd step back, or the area closest to the widest part of the funnel, represents your lead magnet or opt-in or giveaway. All these pieces have to be related to one another to be effective, meaning that your lead magnet is really a spliced portion of your intermediate offer, and the intermediate offer is a spliced portion of your main offer.

#7. (Recap) So, to review before we get to the last step. At the widest part of your funnel, theoretically we have everyone that’s been targeted by you, and every other prospect that’s either looking for you or stumbled upon you. That’s the widest part of your funnel. You offer them a lead magnet, then you make them an intermediate offer, then you make them your main offer when the time is right. Remember all of these pieces have to be related to one another to be effective.

Remember our example of how proposing marriage on the first date is not a smart move? Ok, so let’s imagine that this marriage proposal represents the middle section of your funnel, the ultimate perceived desired outcome for your customer. Now, let’s make this marriage proposal easier by behaving like most people would on a normal date and let’s take 2 steps back from the proposal first. 

The first step is to go out with your date and enjoy some activity together and possibly give a small gift as a gesture of being interested in this person. This represents your lead magnet, your opt-in, your free give away at your storefront, always keeping in mind the end of the perceived funnel, the marriage proposal. The next step is to go on a couple more dates, then start becoming closer to each other and finally ask to go on a short road trip.

This is just like your intermediate offer. This is an offer that doesn’t create a disturbance for your customer. It’s a minimal monetary commitment, price point depending on the industry of course, but nonetheless it signals commitment from the other party to continue dancing together with you, if you will. After some time, the full-blown proposal will ensue, making this the perceived end of your funnel. I say perceived because there’s one more step. 

#8. So, let’s take it up a notch. I need you to go 1 step beyond the end of the perceived funnel and offer your customer (or fiancee in this case :-) one more high-end solution that they believe it’s a logical progression from where they are at. In the relationship example I gave before, this would be honeymoon in Cancun. This will delight your customer and they will be almost certain to say yes! In all seriousness, this is also where your super-fans live and thrive! That’s it. That’s the big idea behind a good marketing funnel, whether is offline or online.


Voiceover OUTRO

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