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How to Build an Effective Marketing Funnel

Two people working at their desks | Gordon Digital

Your business is run for one reason: your customers. They’re the reason you exist, and you’ll need a steady stream of new faces if you want your business to grow. But finding customers one at a time is too much work, and running ad campaigns one after the other can be time-consuming and expensive.

What you really need is an effective marketing funnel. A marketing funnel is a tool that businesses use to bring in a constant flow of new customers. By coordinating your marketing efforts and making a solid plan, you can create a marketing funnel that attracts, influences and converts new customers, even when you’ve got the day off. In this article, we’re going to dig into marketing funnels and learn how to structure your marketing efforts so that they deliver the best returns possible.

What is a marketing funnel?

Have you ever wondered where your customers come from? They didn’t just show up out of the blue. Something brought them to your website – maybe they heard about you from a friend, or they spotted you on a Google search. Then they browsed your site to see who you are and what you’re offering. And, once they decided they liked your brand, they finally clicked on that ‘Add to Cart’ button and made a purchase.

A marketing funnel is kind of like that, except you’re making an intentional effort to guide potential customers along their journey from awareness to purchase. Every marketing funnel is unique, and yours should be built to match your business. The concept of marketing funnels isn’t new, and there are a few popular variations. At Gordon Digital we tend to go with a 3-tier funnel that’s made up of Top, Middle and Bottom pieces.

Top of Funnel (TOF) campaigns.

The very top of the funnel is the broadest stage of your marketing. At this level, your marketing activities are designed to reach as many potential customers as possible. Your TOF marketing needs to be targeted at the audiences you want to connect with.

TOF goals are simply to create awareness and interest in your brand, products and services.

TOF strategies usually include marketing activities like:

  • SEO to boost your organic search rankings
  • Paid advertising through social media, Google and Youtube
  • Website content like blog posts that customers can find while browsing
  • Social media posts that can strengthen your brand and reach your audience

Middle of Funnel (MOF) campaigns. 

The middle of the funnel is where you engage customers. They know about your brand and they’re interested in what you’re offering, so you give them extra information that will influence their buying decision.

MOF goals are to turn your potential customers into leads (e.g. to get their email address or some other way of contacting them).

MOF strategies usually turn customers into leads with premium content, such as:

  • Demos or free trials of your products and services
  • Downloadable PDFs and ebooks
  • Free webinars that offer a taste of your paid content
  • Free subscriptions to newsletters, mailing lists and private communities
  • Remarketing campaigns
  • Paid advertising through social media, Google and Youtube

Your MOF activities should be tied to what’s going on at your TOF. For example, if your TOF includes blog content, your MOF strategy might collect email addresses using free ebooks that give more info on the topics your blogs are covering.

Bottom of Funnel (BOF) campaigns. 

Customers who make it this far are the ones who are the most likely to convert. Your job is now to give them every excuse they could need to make a purchase.

BOF goals are to convince leads to become customers!

BOF strategies include doing whatever you can to convince leads that they should buy from you, using things like:

  • Persuasive content on your product pages
  • Testimonials from happy customers
  • Remarketing campaigns
  • Emails notifying customers that a product they want has launched or is back in stock
  • Upsell and bundle features

Pick a place to start.

Marketing funnels can have a lot of moving parts. The good news is that you can build an effective marketing funnel one step at a time! Building a funnel one piece at a time is a smaller investment on your part, and it gives you a chance to boost your revenue streams before your marketing budget increases.

To start with, take a look at how your business is doing and then choose one part of the funnel to focus on first. Choose the stage that will have the biggest impact on your business. For example, if you’re already making plenty of sales, start working from the bottom of the funnel. You can use BOF campaigns to increase the revenue you’re generating from each customer. On the other hand, if you’re just starting out, you should build the top of the funnel first. TOF tactics can be used to attract attention and build interest amongst the people who will eventually become customers.

Create content for your funnel.

Pick a funnel segment to focus on and then start creating the content and campaigns to fill it. To start with, we’d recommend keeping it simple. Focus on one or two pieces of marketing and build out the first piece of your funnel. It’s better to do an amazing job of one thing than to spread yourself too thin trying to do it all at once. Customers are smart, and they know exactly what they want, and bad content or clumsy ads will definitely have the wrong effect!

Measuring how effective your marketing funnel is.

A marketing funnel is only as good as the results it delivers. The best way to measure how your funnel is doing is to look at each piece individually. It’s normal for marketing funnels to evolve over time, so collecting data on each piece is great for making tweaks and creating a more effective funnel overall. Each stage of the funnel should be measured using the most relevant metrics:

  • TOF metrics include things like web traffic, tracking where traffic is coming from and the bounce rate.
  • MOF metrics are all about seeing how many leads you’re attracting. You can measure things like the ratio of visitors to new leads, the growth of your leads list and how many people are engaging with premium content.
  • BOF metrics are simple, and they usually include tracking conversions and sales, total revenue, the value of each customer and the number of new or returning customers.

By measuring your results at each stage of the funnel, you get an idea of how each puzzle piece is doing. If you can see that your TOF campaign isn’t attracting as much web traffic as it used to, then you know where to start when you want to make improvements!

The Gordon Digital team can help your business build high-performing marketing funnels!

Designing a marketing funnel is a big step towards automating the process of finding new customers. At some point, your business will have to grow, and you can’t spend every minute searching for your audience. An effective marketing funnel can do it all for you. Even when you’re busy with something else, your marketing funnel can be working hard to find and attract new business!

If you’re ready to take that step then Gordon Digital is here to help! We’re a team that’s devoted to digital marketing, and we use tools like SEO, social media advertising and Google Ads to help our clients build marketing funnels that work hard. Our experienced team is always ready to tackle a new challenge and design marketing strategies that can help your business kick its goals. Have a chat with us today!

Jessica Gordon

Jessica Gordon is the founder and managing director of Gordon Digital a Brisbane based digital marketing agency that provides tailored digital marketing solutions that include SEO, Google Ads, Social Media Ads and Conversion-Focussed Websites to SME's across Australia since 2015. Gordon Digital stands out in a crowd for one simple yet profound reason: We redefine transparency and embrace radical honesty.