What is a funnel and other funnel FAQs

What is a funnel?

If you are brand new to funnels, I have a summary of marketing and funnel terminology that you can download to help you understand what the heck I’m talking about!

So, what is a funnel? A funnel is simply a series of steps that direct people towards a particular action. That action can be to make a purchase, to contact you or to fill out a form.  It is called a funnel because there are more people at the beginning of their journey, who are vaguely interested in your product / service than people who are at the end of their journey, who are extremely interested and are ready to take the action you want them to take. People naturally lose interest along their journey, it’s a fact of life and not worth getting hung up on. This natural occurrence is similar to the shape of a funnel. Big at the top, small at the bottom.

Here is a neat explanation from Russell Brunson from Click Funnels.

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What types of funnels exist?

Funnels can be categorised by their goal. At the highest level you want to generate leads with a lead generating funnel or you want to generate sales with a sales funnel. 

There are several other types (don’t worry about what they do at this stage, it’s just good to know they exist).

  • The opt in lead generation funnel. Converts website traffic to leads.
  • The sales funnel. Allows people to purchase online.
  • Activation (or trip wire) funnel. Turns leads into customers.
  • The live webinar funnel. Gathers webinar registrations.
  • The auto webinar funnel. Gathers webinar registrations and shows your recorded webinar automatically.
  • The launch funnel. Gradually drips content to build anticipation for your product launch.

There are others but these are some of the most popular ones right now.

Where do funnels live?

Funnels are ingrained everywhere. A news letter that pops through your door is designed to generate leads. Those Facebook ads you see in your newsfeed, they are all part of someones lead generation funnel. The ads that follow you around the internet, they are a more advanced stage of someones funnel. They are part of a retargeting campaign to get you back into a funnel you have entered but since left. The emails you receive from your favourite shops or restaurants – they are all part of a funnel. Each and every interaction whether it is on your computer, in your email, in social media is an action to strategically move you through a funnel.

Do I have a funnel? 

Yes, every business has a funnel. You might not realise it, it might be awesome, or it might be awful. But if you are not sure then it is definitely accidental. Think about how you currently get customers. How many interactions are planned and how many are accidental? Have you got a defined sales and marketing process or do people find you randomly?

Strategically planning your sales and marketing process by using funnels, allows you to automate a lot of the lead generation, lead qualification and sale process. This frees your time considerably and enables you to scale which means more revenue with less work.

Do I need a funnel?

That depends on how you currently generate leads and sales in your business and whether you would benefit from automating your processes. I would say yes, every business needs a sales funnel. 

If you want a reliable, repeatable way of doing business, a funnel gives you that.

What are the benefits of a funnel?

Once you have a funnel in place you can monitor it. That means you can see where it is not performing very well and take steps to improve it. No more guess work. If you are not getting as many new customers in your business as you hoped, you look at your funnel and work out where people are getting stuck. Knowing the points of friction means you can take steps to fix them. This means you will always have the ability to grow your business, strategically.

If you a monitoring your funnel you will also learn a great deal about how your customers behave. This can help you work out how you can serve them better by improving your service or offering different products. You can strategically test out ideas and keep moving your business forward.

You will save time on menial tasks when your marketing is automated.

You can be more targeted in your approach to marketing, targeting ideal clients who want what you have. This saves you money (marketing to un interested people costs money) and fills your customer base with loyal, raving fans who love what you do.

Selling on autopilot through sales funnels means you can offer up sells and down sells – just like in real life. Statistically, a percentage of people will buy more from you if you give them the chance.

Funnels makes sure you maximise every opportunity, whether it is finding new leads or making new sales.

Are funnels complicated to set up?

Yes they can be. I have used hand coded html (I don’t recommend that), Thrive themes for WordPress and Click Funnels. Hands down Click Funnels wins. Even if you become a whizz at the tech, getting the strategy right for building a funnel is tricky. There are a lot of pitfalls around funnels but with the right attitude and support you can have a fantastic funnel that will free up your time, make you more money and find you more customers.

Are there any disadvantages to having a funnel?

They need monitoring and looking after. They are not a set and forget system. They can take a while to set up and sometimes they can be expensive so to prevent your investment being wasted you need to be bale to monitor your funnel regularly and understand enough so you can identify problems.

How do you know so much about funnels?

I started my funnel journey a few years ago. After building websites that didn’t generate leads I decided to do something about it. I found a digital marketer mentor Brent Weaver who taught me how build and deliver better web projects. I absorbed everything I could from him for over 12 months while I took on small digital marketing projects (SEO, Strategy, design, optimisation). 12 months ago I decided to focus on one area. Sales and marketing funnel strategy, design and optimisation. I invested with Ryan Deiss (Digital Marketer) and qualified as a traffic acquisition specialist and customer value optimisation specialist. I have also completed HubSpot inbound marketing training. I use tools such as Google Analytics, Hotjar, Optimizely and Click Funnels to create, monitor and optimise funnels.

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