Sales · · 4 min read

Building An Unstoppable Inbound Marketing Funnel

The best way to turn strangers into customers is to ensure your inbound marketing funnel is dialed in and delivers value throughout.

inbound marketing funnel

There is a variety of inbound marketing funnels available to business owners and marketers. Some of are complex, while others excel in their simplicity. From upsells to downsells, cross-sells to exit offers, the list goes on.  

In this article, we will share the details of a simple, starter inbound marketing funnel that works. You’ll learn:

  • The core components of a marketing funnel, including purpose and goals.
  • The framework that all inbound marketing funnels are based on.
  • Marketing and sales activities for every aspect of the funnel.
  • Delivering value at every funnel stage.

Inbound Marketing Funnel 101

Let’s start by explaining what an inbound marketing funnel actually is. If you have extensive marketing experience or have studied the industry before, you may have heard of the AIDA framework. This is the basic funnel, and as a concept, it looks as you would expect a funnel to look. Wider at the top and narrow at the bottom where the spout is.

At the top, it starts with building awareness, followed by interest, and then desire, and finally, action. Action is the final goal that all businesses want customers to reach, the point where they complete the action you’d like them to.

Inbound marketing funnels leverage marketing techniques to turn strangers into customers.

The AIDA framework is particularly effective because it universally applies to businesses and marketing. Inbound marketing is no different. It includes all your sales assets and marketing strategies. You use them to first attract visitors, then convert them to leads, and finally nurture them to purchase.

Inbound Marketing Funnel Anatomy

go to market strategy

Top of the Funnel

At the top of the funnel, marketers must build awareness of the business, its products, and its services. This is typically achieved through advertising and organic content—anything that can get fresh eyes on what you have to offer.

Many marketers concentrate on maximizing impressions at this stage. They’re not necessarily worried about conversion, which comes later in the funnel process.  The aim is for people to learn that what you have to offer exists.

Top of the funnel methods include:

  • Cold email marketing
  • Organic SEO
  • Content Marketing
  • Social media campaigns
  • Videos on platforms such as YouTube
  • Paid advertising

The latter often gets results quickly but is incredibly expensive. Cold email marketing, on the other hand, is incredibly low-cost but can yield huge results. The key is in the messaging and the value that your emails can bring.

Middle of the Funnel

Once you’ve grabbed their attention and built some awareness, it’s time to build interest. You need these people to feel they want to learn more about what you offer. Many campaigns direct people to their website for this part of the funnel. Specific landing pages are built to be geared towards individual audience segments, depending on where they come from.

The best landing pages offer value. They deliver some sort of resource for free that the user feels is incredibly valuable. That could be a webinar, a guide, a workshop, or an eBook. Whatever it is, it’s typically in exchange for their email address. Then, using that, you can deliver a more targeted email campaign.

It’s at this point that a visitor has been converted into a lead. They’ve shown enough interest that they may convert to a purchase eventually. It’s time to build desire.

You can build desire by presenting them with an offer that they can’t refuse. Or at least an offer that is incredibly tempting. You could do this through a sales call (especially if you’re offering a service) or through a sales page on your website.

This is the page where you drive conversions and eventually move people to the action stage.

Bottom of the Funnel

It’s important to remember that few people will hit the desire stage, be on your sales page, and immediately make a purchase. They might need some help to get over the line. This is where your sales team needs to carefully nurture each lead. That could be through content, a solid follow-up email strategy, or through additional sales calls.

At this point, you want to have a strong process that helps you when handling objections. You need to make it as easy as possible for them to say yes. It means being available at a time to suit them or having an incredibly streamlined checkout process.

By the time a lead reaches the bottom of the funnel, they’re looking for more than just product information. They want to have a relationship, and they want to be courted.

If someone signs up for an email list from your sales page, you know that it’s a fairly hot lead. They should be added to a nurture email campaign, which is ideally automated. If you’re working with an email marketing tool, these whole campaigns can be automated from start to finish. Your team simply picks up when there’s a response.

The key to a successful nurture campaign is to let your products sell themselves. Don’t push the hard sell. Instead, think about what the recipient needs. Think about what value you can bring them. The idea is that you’re willing to deliver value even if they don’t make a purchase in the end.

Key Takeaways

Inbound marketing funnels are a critical element of the sales process. From stranger to lead to loyal customer leads need to be carefully guided throughout the process. It’s your job to understand what they want and when they want it. Then you just need to present it to them in the right place.

  • It’s tempting to focus marketing activity solely at the top of the funnel, but your efforts should be spread across the entire funnel.
  • No matter what stage, always consider the value the person is receiving.
  • A nurturing email campaign is one of the best ways to turn an interested lead into a customer.

Talking of email campaigns, don’t tire yourself out and miss opportunities by doing it manually. Pick an email marketing tool you can trust to do the job. Pick Instantly and get started today.

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