The Autus 5 Step Marketing Funnel
Anyone who’s spent some time in marketing knows about the marketing funnel concept. It’s a proven model for marketing your business and making sales, having been first invented in 1898. But in its most common form, it can often leave a lot of room for improvement…
Autus use our own specialist marketing funnel which increases customer awareness, drives sales, ups customer retention, and provides opportunities for upsells. While there’s not much more to it, the difference in results when the two models are compared are staggering.
What is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel is a model which shows how a prospect turns into a lead, then turns into a customer, and in our case, a returning customer. Imagine your pouring water from one bottle into another. Doing so without any form of aid probably means that you miss the bottle and end up spilling some over the sides. Yes, you still get some water in the other bottle, but not as much as if you used a funnel to do it. You can relate this directly to your marketing efforts and your customer journeys as they will be far more effective at collecting and converting leads with a fully thought out marketing funnel than without one.
The most basic form of a marketing funnel consists of raising awareness, engaging your leads, then converting to customers through a sale. No matter how complex, long, or short you want to create your marketing funnel to be, it will always include these three steps. The funnel we recommend includes these three steps but adds 2 more that will seriously help your business with scaling and maximise your profits.
Step 1: Awareness
The awareness step in the funnel is the step that you see so many people doing on a day-to-day basis. Small businesses with less of a focus on marketing tend to obsess over this step. That doesn’t mean it’s not useful, far from it! This step is critical as it allows you to find brand new contacts and build up their knowledge on your business. Over-emphasis on this step is common but under-emphasis can lead to less leads coming through for the next step.
There are a couple of different ways in which you can build awareness for your business. The first, and most obvious way, is to use social media marketing. With over a billion people on Facebook alone, it’s pretty difficult to understate the potential power it has over your business. Paid ads are also a great way to put a bit of money in the game and get a return on it. If you know what you’re doing with paid ads, you can do more than just awareness with them, but they also work well for this!
Step 2: Engagement
The engagement phase of your marketing funnel is key to success as the objective of it is to get your prospects’ information in your system and start hitting them with specific marketing material meant for their interests. This means capturing their email address at the very minimum but you can also ask for more information if it’s required for the marketing activities you’re carrying out. However, the more information you ask for, the less likely they are to give you it, so make sure you’re only asking for what you need!
Some possible tactics for this phase include email marketing and automated nurture sequences. With email marketing you can use dynamic content and personalisation to target specific interests of your prospects and get them more engaged with your business. Automated nurture sequences also help in this step, engaging your prospect with personalised information that covers their specific interests in your business. The best part? You don’t even have to remember to follow up with anyone, everything is completely automated. You can also use retargeting ads. These work by telling your ads platform that a specific prospect has visited your site, or gotten to a cart page without converting. It then shows them ads based upon what they’ve viewed and keeps in the top of their mind for when they’re ready to go back and make their purchase.
Step 3: Conversion
This is the real fun bit, when the money starts coming in! This is what business is all about really, we can talk about analytics, statistics, and vanity metrics all day but, if the money isn’t coming in then we don’t really have a business.
Converting your leads into customers can come in a variety of forms depending on your business. If your business is mainly product based then eCommerce and online sales could make up a huge part of your income without having to do much in terms of sales process.
If your business is mainly service based then you might have a different sales process and potentially aim for a sales dialogue with your leads instead.
Converting your leads into customers doesn’t have to mean that they go for a larger sum, retainer service as their first purchase from you. While some customers might take you up on higher cost services first-time, a lot of customers are more willing to take a smaller risk with a lower cost service. This could be a paid eBook, smaller scale home improvement service, or whatever smaller service that your company offers. This is a great way to build trust with your customers, identify your ideal customers, and get them to start spending money with you. It also segways nicely into our next step…
Step 4: Delight
Whilst the last few steps have been based on creating more sales and driving your prospects to convert into customers, this is where we take a slightly different approach. Autus’ version of a marketing funnel uses these 2 different steps to maximise your profits.
The Delight phase is when you make sure that your new customer is more than satisfied with your product or service. This is where you might add value by going above and beyond for your customers. You should also ask them how they got on after receiving their product or service from you. This will allow you to identify areas for improvement and, when implemented with a customer testimonial system, will allow you to build upon your social proof for future marketing efforts.
Step 5: Expand
Now on to the crucial part for scaling and expanding your incomes for your business. The expand phase is when you look for different ways to upsell and cross-sell your customers based upon their previous purchase history with you. For example, if a customer bought a boiler service from you, why not to try to upsell them on a monthly care package? This kind of on-going service subscription / retainer based model is widely accepted these days and is a great way for you to make a passive income and offer your customers more value. Monthly retainers and passive income helps you to get an accurate representation of what your monthly income looks like, essentially guaranteeing a minimum income for the year and giving your business far better stability.
For businesses which may have used the lower-cost method to convert their customers, this is the perfect time to start putting your customers back through the funnel and upsell them on services they might be interested in. Using the boiler example again, if a customer bought a maintenance service from you, perhaps this means their boiler is close to the end of its lifetime and they’ll need to get a new one soon? This would be an ideal example of when to upsell a previous customer on a specific product or service they might be interested in. The great thing is that you can use the same methods as before to market this upsell to them, except now you have more trust with them, and a much clearer idea of what you should be pushing to drive sales.
This is how modern businesses grow, in fact, this is how Autus helps our clients grow their business. If you’re serious about your business growth, and want to build a business up to the point where you can be lying on the beach and still making money, you need to get in touch with us!
How to Build Full-Funnel End-to-End Customer Journeys
A full-funnel and end-to-end customer journey strategy is entirely possible. Success depends on having the right strategies, expertise and tools to Build A Business Growth Machine!
The impulse to compromise long-term plans for more immediate gains is shortsighted. Recent research by Nielsen found that brands that added upper-funnel marketing efforts to existing mid-funnel campaigns were able to boost return on investment by 70%. And brands that added upper-funnel tactics to campaigns that covered the middle and lower funnels were able to raise ROI by 13%.
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Autus provide Revenue Growth Platforms, Marketing & Sales Automation and Digital Marketing services to help sales and marketing personnel and teams build efficient and effective sales and marketing best practices and automate their marketing and sales processes by leveraging personalised content, various digital marketing tactics, segmentation and behaviour of their prospects and customers.
Autus recommend various products for automation, such as Active Campaign, Hubspot, Mailchimp and SharpSpring…it will vary on your requirements and budget the best option for your business.
Find out more here.
Our founder, Tom Berry, also provides selective fractional CMO services and is a member of some client boards.
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If our team at Autus can help advise further, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our founder, Tom Berry.BOOK A DISCOVERY CALL