Sales and marketing teams love funnels. You have probably seen the well-known sales funnel that shows a prospect’s path to a lead, a customer, and ultimately a lifelong promoter. The inbound marketing funnel is a visualized strategy that helps you convert strangers into your loyal customers through adopting a wide range of content strategies. It includes four steps: Attract, Convert, Close, and Delight. Let’s see how the inbound marketing funnel works and what tools it offers for each specific step.
Table of Contents
ATTRACT: Turn Strangers into Visitors
The inbound marketing funnel doesn’t mean inviting everyone to enter your website. The goal is obvious: Attracting “Potential Customers”; people who love your products, or your products can fulfill their needs and effectively solve their problems. Some effective tools to attract the right audience are:
Having a blog is vital for inbound marketing. Blogging is the best way to attract the real audience to your business. You need to create content that your potential audience is looking for, meet their needs, or solve their problems. An engaging blog broadens your reach and increases brand visibility by offering search engines content they tend to index and serve to searchers.
Marketing means being in the right place at the right time. We all know that today people are more searching online to find the product or service they want. So, the best place is nowhere but the search engines, and in this course, Google is undoubtedly unrivaled. You need to identify your business keywords carefully and optimize web pages for each keyword smartly. Create relevant and user-centric content alongside proper link building to help you get noticed in the best place.
Social media platforms are exceptional places to publish content for a wide audience. They provide a wonderful opportunity to establish customer service by gathering input, answering questions, and listening to their feedback. Your potential customers spend considerable time on social media every day; so, don’t miss the golden chance to build strong connections with them.
CONVERT: Turn Visitors into Leads
Once you have attracted visitors to your site, the next step is to turn them into leads. This is done by collecting their contact information; at least their email address. Your visitors’ contact information is all you need at this stage of the inbound marketing funnel. In order to encourage your audience to willingly share their information with you, you need to provide them with content that educates, helps, or inspires. Some effective tools to convert visitors into leads include:
A good lead-generating strategy is based on forms. They unlock a gate to your premium content and enable you to acquire essential details about your leads. A well-organized form provides your sales and marketing teams with the key information they need to close the deal.
A call-to-action is an invitation for a user to take the desired action; for instance, a button or link that encourages visitors to click for downloading a good book or attending a webinar. If you provide an irresistible offer, your call-to-action should sell its value.
When visitors click on your link, they are redirected to the landing page. It is a standalone web page where the promise you made in your CTA is fulfilled. Then, it’s time for your sales team to qualify the lead using the registered information. Landing pages allow you to make a deal, some sort of special offer in return for providing contact information.
CLOSE: Turn Leads into Customers
You are now on the right track through the inbound marketing funnel. You’ve attracted the right visitors and generated qualified leads. Now is the best time to turn those leads into customers. But how do you do that? There are significant marketing tools to help you get through this stage successfully.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
It’s a process in which a business manages all its interactions with prospects and customers, typically using data analysis. You need to control the details of all contacts, companies, and transactions in the sales funnel, to easily interact with the right customer at the right time. This system helps you access the right information to meet conversion goals in each channel.
Your inbound marketing workflow will implement a strategy for content to invite leads that are coming in, qualify them for you, and turn them into sales. Through your workflow, you know which marketing activity has generated the best leads and how many have been converted to customers. CRM integration helps you better analyze the workflows to focus on stronger leads who are closer to making a sale.
What if one of your contacts clicks on your CTA button, scans the landing page, and completes the form, or downloads a file, but is not yet ready to turn into a customer? A set of emails focusing on relevant, informative content can build trust and qualify your lead. For instance, if a contact has already downloaded an eBook on a topic, you can send that customer emails related to that topic. However, if they follow you on Twitter or visit certain pages on your site, you need to tailor your message to those preferences.
DELIGHT: Turn Customers into Promoters
The Delight stage is generally the most neglected one in the inbound marketing funnel. Just because a customer has purchased a product or service does not justify that you can forget about them. Your existing customers are powerful drivers of growth for your business. So, keep in touch with them to make them feel special for choosing your brand. Effective tools you can use to turn customers into promoters include:
With all the engaging content you’ve been publishing, how would you really know it’s hitting the mark? The best way is to ask your customers. Surveys are still a worthwhile way of grasping what your customers actually think of your product or service. They help you gain more insight into your customers and allow you to collect valuable market research data to discover their less apparent pain points. Use a variety of polls to ensure you offer your customers what they are looking for.
Unlike basic CTAs, smart CTAs provide you with a dynamic tool to personalize content depending on the person viewing it. This way, you can show the right message to the right person at the right time. A Smart CTA presents a different CTA button based on smart segmentation rules; these are set by either membership in a Contact List or the lead’s lifecycle stage. This method delights each customer segment with having an exclusive user experience.
When customers (or even prospects) are speaking about you on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc., it is vital to monitor and manage those conversations to stay one step ahead. Social monitoring tools enable you to keep track of the interactions that carry some weight to your business. For instance, if users on social media use a range of search terms -which you define- in their Tweets or Facebook posts, you can receive a notification about them. Depending on who they are, or the context of the message, you can reply to them seamlessly.
Inbound Marketing Funnel Takes Hard Work
Attracting lifetime promoters of your brand doesn’t happen overnight. You need to invest sufficiently in each stage of the inbound marketing funnel and make the most out of each tool. It’s essential to engage and delight your audience on an ongoing basis, and that takes hard work and dedication. However, the outcome would be brilliant. You find a big marketing army that’s eager to fight for your brand with great zeal and loyalty.
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