What Is a Marketing Funnel?
Marketing funnel is a bit of a funny name, but it’s essential to managing the customer journey. So what is a funnel in marketing? A marketing funnel is the process of turning someone visiting your website or wandering through your store into a paying customer. A funnel in marketing is sometimes referred to as the lead nurturing process, which is arguably a more descriptive term for the act of converting leads into sales.
The marketing funnel can be broken down into three phases:
- Lead generation: During the lead generation phase of the marketing funnel, marketers plan and execute campaigns designed to engage potential customers and bring them from simple awareness of the product or service to active interest and consideration of the product. This type of marketing campaign is created with the goal of capturing information from leads. This might involve encouraging them to sign up for email communications, getting them to engage with social media content, or nudging them to fill in an online form with their contact details in exchange for a free eBook download.
- Lead nurturing: When a potential customer has shown interest in purchasing the product or service, they are then in the ‘Interest’ phase, where marketers will actively nurture the lead by offering them more information. Marketers begin to move leads through the marketing funnel by creating targeted content that reaches potential customers on several different channels where they are already known to get their information. They create personalized emails and follow up in a timely manner, creating optimal opportunities for customers to learn more and become more interested in purchasing the targeted service or product.
- Sales: In the sales phase of the marketing funnel, members of the marketing and sales departments work together to prove to the customer that their product best fits their needs and offers the best value. At the end of this process, the customer hopefully will have turned into a purchaser and completed the sale.
One of the main marketing objectives is getting more people into the marketing funnel and then creating the right forms of communication to nurture them along to purchase your service or product.