What Is A Marketing Funnel And How To Build One?

A marketing funnel is the set of steps a visitor needs to go through before they can reach the conversion…

It’s the series of steps the consumers have to take from becoming aware of you (on social media, by seeing your ad, whatever…) to the buying decision.

If I would have created powerful marketing funnels a long time ago, when I was starting out, I would save a lot of struggle with getting new customers.

Here is the interesting thing…

According to SalesForce, a full 68% of companies have not identified or attempted to measure a marketing funnel, and the same survey showed that a whopping 79% of marketing leads are NEVER converted into sales.

And without a marketing funnel, it is near to impossible to convert leads into sales. It is so important…


But let’s go a little bit deeper into what a marketing funnel is…

What Are Marketing Funnels?

Marketing funnel infographic

You undoubtedly want visitors on your website to take certain actions.

Maybe it is to sign up to your email list, buy your product or service, register for a webinar, take a survey, whatever…

The visitor converts from getting aware that you exist to taking the action you want them to take.

And that is done through marketing funnels. The top of the funnel begins wherever the consumer can discover you.

It can be Google. You can start running your own blog, doing the SEO optimization, and start getting the search traffic…

Or it can be social media. The consumer can be searching for some help or find you in the recommendations on Instagram, etc.

Or maybe you are running some ads on Google, Facebook, or even in PR. These are all ways to make the consumer aware that you exist and start pouring them into your marketing funnels.

And that is where the journey begins. Then you will make them visit your blog and make them consume the content you put out there. Or check out your podcast, or make them consume your social media content, doesn’t matter…

You will make them interested in what you are sharing. Then, you will show them your offer. It can be the lead magnet or the product you are selling.

And in the end, they will decide to take the action. Everything I just mentioned here is part of a marketing funnel.

You take them from point A to point B. And that is done by your marketing funnel…

Got it? Fine, so let’s move on…

Why Marketing Funnels Are Beneficial

Only 56% of companies have a system or toolset in place to qualify leads. That is just over half of the companies! And that doesn’t even mean that the system is high-quality and working.

You can skyrocket your sales by having a working marketing funnel. (Don’t worry, you will discover how to create them soon.)

In your marketing funnel, you will be able to get the most out of every consumer and that can mean incredible profits.

Every successful business marketing on the planet is based on a marketing funnel. Microsoft? It is pumped with them. Amazon? Well, you wouldn’t be able to imagine what marketing funnels mean for Amazon.

Apple, Walmart, Sony, and I can go on and on. Why are they using them? Because they work…more effectively than you can imagine.

So, if you are excited to see how to create your own marketing funnel, grab something to take notes, something to drink, and let’s dive in…

7 Steps Of A Great Marketing Funnel

Seven phases of a great marketing funnel infographic

To be able to create an effective marketing funnel you must understand these seven phases.

1. Determine The Traffic Temperature

As I say in the infographic, there are three types of traffic: hot, warm, and cold. Each traffic type has to be treated differently and each needs to go through a different process.

Hot traffic is the audience that is following you and eagerly waiting for everything you will post. This is the audience that you have a relationship with and it will be the easiest one to persuade.

They understand their problems, they are aware of the solutions and your job is to present your solution in a compelling way that will make them act.

Warm traffic is the kind of traffic that doesn’t know you yet, but they are aware of their problems and the potential solutions to them.

This will be the main traffic source you will fill your marketing funnels with. You must be ready to create an individual journey for them.

The last kind of traffic you are going to fill your marketing funnels with is cold traffic. Cold traffic has a problem but isn’t aware of any solutions yet.

They will have to go through the longest process before you will convert them into customers.

Now, we need to get into the second phase…

2. Set Up The Pre-Frame Bridge

The pre-frame bridge could be an ad, email, article, etc. It’s a bridge that pre-frames the consumer before they get to your landing page.

Different types of traffic need different types of bridges. Hot traffic will have the shortest bridge of all. You already have a relationship with these people so, you don’t have to do a lot of credibility building or pre-framing…

But it can be worth considering.

Usually, all you have to do with hot traffic is to send out a quick email or write an article that will send them to your landing page and that’s it.

A warm traffic bridge is usually a little longer than a hot traffic bridge, but not much.

For example, you can simply use a video to tap the gap between point A and point B.

The pre-frame bridge needs to speak to them where they are and give them the context they need so they understand why they need your product or service.

A cold traffic bridge is logically the longest one. Here you must help them discover that they even have some sort of problem.

Sometimes, you even need a whole separate page (a bridge page) before they can hit the landing page.

It is always critical that you match your message to your traffic’s temperature and knowledge.

3. Qualify Subscribers

The goal here is to take all the traffic and find out who is willing to give you an email address in exchange for a juicy carrot (some incentive for giving you their contact information.)

If people aren’t willing to give you their contact info, they are highly unlikely to pay you for what you have to offer later.

Qualifying subscribers is done through an opt-in offer (or a lead-squeeze funnel). You will get more insight on that later.

4. Qualify Buyers

Immediately after you qualify your subscribers, you want to find out who is willing to pull off their credit card to purchase your products or services.

You must qualify your buyers right away after you qualify subscribers.

If someone is willing to buy from you once, they will keep buying as long as you keep offering value.

5. Identify Hyperactive Buyers

After you’ve identified the buyers, you want to identify the hyperactive buyers.

These are your dream customers who are willing to pay more money to solve their problems now. It can be a huge source of profit.

6. Age And Ascend The Relationship

At this point, the initial sales experience is pretty much over. Points one through five all happen during the “point of sale” within 5 or 10 minutes, and the next two phases are where the Attractive Character takes your new customer by the hand and helps to move them up the value ladder.

I will show you how to do that using follow-up funnels later in this post.

7. Change The Selling Environment

Typically, it is difficult to sell super-expensive products online. Not many people are going to read a sales letter and click the buy button when the product costs $10,000.00.

The most common ways to change the selling environment are to sell the pricier items over the phone, through direct mail, or at a live event or a seminar.

Ok, here we have the seven steps of a great marketing funnel. Now you’re into creating one right? If yes, I will show you how to do so…

Good Old AIDA!

AIDA marketing funnel infographic

Whether you prefer the traditional marketing funnel stages or the acronym AIDA, the results are the same: customers enter the marketing funnel and through a process of discernment, choose to either move to another solution or purchase from you.

The action at the end of the funnel or the purchase concludes the stages of the marketing funnel.

If you have some experience with copywriting you are familiar with the AIDA meaning. It stands for Attention-Interest-Desire-Action.

It is the basic formula for marketing funnel creating, and you can start using it right away.

The attention part can start on social media, through SEO or advertising, etc.

This is the part when you throw bait into the sea and expect the fish to come into your nets.

If you did a great job grabbing their attention, many consumers will move into the interesting part of the funnel.

In this part, you want to provide them with valuable information, content, or something useful they will love.

You can do this by redirecting them to your blog post, podcast, or even to your social media where you post evergreen content. (Evergreen content is some kind of valuable information that will always be useful.)

They will start becoming interested in what you have to say, and they will be fired up to get more value…

And that is where the desired stage kicks in.

The desire stage is where you make the consumers want what you have to offer. It can be an opt-in reward, your product or service, whatever…

This is usually done through a sales page, lead squeeze page, or even through specific funnels on the desire section. (That is usually the most effective thing.)

Copywriting is extremely important here because you must be able to persuade them to take the desired action here.

You can learn more about copywriting in my blog.

The last part of the AIDA marketing funnel is to make them take the action. This is usually done through an opt-in form, order form, etc. (Depends on what kind of action you want them to take.)

It must be easy to take the last step. The harder it is, the lower amount of people you are going to convert.

Copywriting is extremely important here as well. Try to make the CTA emotional, challenging (try to incorporate vanity…they want to prove people wrong), clear, and easily understandable.

The next thing you need to pay attention to in the Action part is the urgency. People love to procrastinate, so do everything in your power to make them act now!

To maximize all the results, you want to incorporate the seven phases of a great sales funnel here. That can save you tons of dollars and time.

“But, Filip…after all of this explanation I still don’t understand how to create my own marketing funnel!”

Alright, I got it. In fact, the first time I was shown this concept, I had a problem understanding it too.

So, let’s take a look at it in an example. Let’s say we would be selling a coffee to coffee lovers.

Here is what the marketing funnel would look like…

Aida marketing funnel example.

If I would be selling coffee, then I would be on social media sharing some coffee tips, what temperature of the water is the best, how to create a great Latte, etc.

Then I would try to redirect them into my website. I would also try to run some ads, and constantly be working on SEO, so when somebody would search for term coffee, I would be the first result to show up.

That way, I would get their attention, and I would be able to move them into the interest step.

For the hot traffic, I would just create a small pre-frame bridge like an email that is telling them about a new Brazil coffee that they must try.

The rest of the traffic, I would redirect into a blog or into the podcast where they would be able to discover deep insight into coffee making and enjoying the taste of it, benefits of drinking coffee, some benefits they never thought about, etc.

The podcast would look pretty much the same. In both of these channels, I would try to obtain their contact information to take them into follow-up funnels (we are going to discuss that later), and I would try to redirect them to the sales page selling the new Brazil coffee.

Next, you have to take them to the desired step. In this marketing funnel, it would be the sales copy and a video sale letter.

To make this work, you need to learn to Copywrite or hire a copywriter. If you are already experienced, great! Here, I make them want the Brazilian coffee. After they read the sales copy, they are fired up to get it…

So, let’s make them act.

Here, they would go through the order form and finally, order the coffee! Boom, the sale is made!

Do you understand how it works? I hope so…

Also, notice that in the example I told you that I would try to obtain their contact information and pull them into the follow-up funnels.

This is an incredibly important step. Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases, and also you can recover those who didn’t purchase right away.

When they are in your follow-up funnels, you can sell them again, and again. It is necessary to get them here. Let’s take a closer look at how follow-up funnels work…

Follow-Up Funnels

Follow up funnels infographic.

Early on, I told you in the seven phases of a great sales funnel, that you need to qualify subscribers and start building your list…

There are three types of traffic:

  1. Traffic that you earn
  2. Traffic that you control
  3. Traffic that you earn.

First, there is the traffic that you earn. I talked about this type of traffic earlier, you earn it with your time and effort.

Social media, SEO, podcasts…all belong here.

You need to put effort into creating content.

Second, there is the traffic that you control. This is the paid traffic.

All ads, affiliate marketing, paid promotions…

Everything belongs there. It is called traffic that you control because you can tell it where to go.

Third, there is traffic that you own. This is your email list. This is the best kind of traffic. You can send a message to this list whenever you want and you can generate instant traffic.

Also, if every social media platform closes you down, you won’t be allowed to advertise, etc. you will still have your email list.

You own that traffic. And you want to turn as many visitors as you have into this type of traffic.

Now when they have given you your email address, is the time to communicate with them through your follow-up funnels.

The Soap Opera Sequence

I learned this concept from Russell Brunson’s book Dotcom Secrets. It is an awesome book that is worth checking out.

When someone joins your list for the first time, it’s essential that you quickly build a relationship between you and them.

It was always a massive struggle until I have learned about Soap Opera Sequences. Have you ever watched a soap opera?

They never conclude, and they always keep you hooked for the next episode to come. The goal is to hook them with the first email, and then continue telling them the story ending with your product as the ending solution.

In the sequence, they should look forward to the next email, and the next, and the next.

Soap opera sequence usually consists of 5 emails, but it can be more or less. Depending on the circumstances.

The first email sets the stage: This is the email you send to people as soon as they subscribe to your list. It sets the stage for the emails to come, in fact, it is something like an introduction.

It is the hook that will make them read your upcoming emails.

The second email is the opening with a high drama:

If you did a good job opening the loop in Email #1, the reader will be anxiously waiting for the next email to come. This is where the “story selling” process begins.

A good story always begins at the point of high drama. The backstory is told later. In this email, you will also hit the wall. This is usually the position where the readers are right now and when you got stuck.

You should explain to them how you hit that wall and then you found the answer. But keep the answer just for yourself now. Give it to them in email #3. That will make them anxiously wait for the email to come.

The third email shows the epiphany: Now you get to reveal the big epiphany, the answer to all of your problems, that will solve their problems as well.

They want to know what you have discovered, and in this email is the showtime. And of course, the epiphany will have a lot to do with the product or service you are selling.

The fourth email shows the hidden benefits: If they haven’t purchased your product, then they haven’t seen email how it’s valuable to them yet.

Here you need to point out other hidden benefits that they’ll receive when they purchase this product from me.

The fifth and usually the last email creates urgency: This is usually the last email in Soap Opera Sequence. The goal is to give the reader the necessary push to make them act now.

To do that, you have to create a sense of urgency. You can do that by telling them that the offer is ending in a few days, or if you can’t do that like me…

…you want to appeal to their emotions to make the thing urgent.

Daily Email List

The structure of the email is very simple. It begins with a hook, continues with a story, and ends up with an offer.

The subject line hooks them into reading the email, the story has a goal of entertaining them, and the ending body offer ties back into whatever your core offer is.

You want to send these emails daily to fully engage your email list.

But to be able to email somebody, you must first get the contact information out of them. And that is done through lead squeeze funnels.

Lead Squeeze Funnels

Lead squeeze funnel infographic

Your lead-squeeze funnel consists of two things. First, is your opt-in offer. Second, the “Thank You” page.

First, Your “Squeeze” Page

The thing is that to make them join your email list, you have to create a lead magnet (a.k.a. your juicy carrot) that you will give them in exchange for their email address.

I call it a juicy carrot because they offer should make the consumers jump on it like a rabbit on a carrot.

It should be so great that they would normally pay for the rewards you are offering to them. Copywriting is extremely helpful here. It makes the offer much more desirable and you will convert more people into consumers.

You must ask for at least the email and the first name so you can make email marketing more effective. But if you don’t, never mind, the less you want from the visitor, the more of them are going to say “yes” to your offer.

The juicy carrot can be an e-book, a report, a worksheet, or even better…everything bundled together.

For example, my juicy carrot looks like this…

Marketing bundle juicy carrot.

It is so valuable that it is harder to say “no” than “yes”. By the way, if you want to get this marketing bundle, you can get it here.

You want to make them curious about what they are going to get so that they won’t be able to resist it.

Second, Your “Thank You” Page

After someone has given you your email address, they will land on your “Thank You” page, where you will give them the juicy carrot you have promised them.

The second thing you want to do there is to take them to another marketing funnel. It can be the product or service you sell, or you can take them to the blog where you will start building bigger trust.

It depends on you and your strategy.

Maximizing The Conversions Of Your Marketing Funnels

In every marketing funnel, you are persuading the consumer to take some sort of action. That can be pretty tough if you have never heard about the art of copywriting.

If you do, great. If you don’t, you should learn at least some of the basics. Copywriting is using the power of the written word to persuade somebody to take action.

In other words, it is selling in print.

Now, I want to share with you 3 copywriting tips for maximizing your conversions. With these, you will be able to double, triple, or even quadruple your marketing funnel’s effectiveness.

Are you ready to see them? If yes, let’s dive in…

1. Pay A Close Attention To Your Headline

Your headline copy is everything! On average, a whopping 8 out of 10 people will read your headline, but only 2 out of 10 will go on to read the rest. 

So, you need to pay close attention to your headline and use advanced copywriting strategies like these to make it super-effective:

Leverage Curiosity Gap In Your Headline 

This gap is the space between what you know and what you need to know.

Your prospect wants to fill the information gap, and your job as a copywriter is to delay filling the gap for as long as possible to keep your readers engaged.

You can ask a question that arouses curiosity, like:

“Do You Already Know This Shocking, Secret Formula? According To Apple, You Can…”

Do you see how this headline arouses curiosity? I would bet that you would read the message that continues after the headline.

Give Them A Huge Promise That Will Let Them Slide Into The Copy

To hook the reader and persuade them to read the copy, you need to give them a massive promise in the headline.

Tell them what will they get when they will read the copy. Tell them that they are going to make a massive amount of income, make their dog live longer, improve the kids’ marks in school…whatever!

But you need to include that big promise.

2. Write You-Oriented Copy

Nobody wants to read stuff that says, I did this, I did that, I am so awesome…

Who gives a sh*t?

You don’t want to write the sales copy about yourself. You want to make it about the reader. Make the reader the hero of the story.

That is what copywriting is about. Talk about their problems, what can your product or service do for them, etc.

3. Shock Them With Your Irresistible Offer

Sometimes when a product isn’t selling, the problem isn’t with the product… but with the OFFER.

See, your offer is different from your product.

Having a good product is important. It’s essential, really. But… it’s not enough. A good product on its own may not sell. So how do you create an irresistible offer?

Offer Them Valuable Bonuses

This is a powerful copywriting classic. Every product or service can be improved with some kind of bonus. It incredibly improves the irresistible offer.

Try to keep the bonus consistent with your product. You wouldn’t offer somebody a free survival kit when you would be selling a marketing course, would you?

But even if you can’t offer something relevant, something is still better than nothing.

Give Them A Discount

Everybody likes cheaper things! That is why adding discounts is effective. It is used for centuries, and it works great.

That is also why Black Friday is one of the most profitable marketing events. It is entirely based on the irresistible offer.

A company will offer you an 80% discount, and you have the feeling to run into the store and buy everything you can.

This is based on greed, and it works extremely effectively.

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