What Is A Marketing Funnel And How Can I Use It In My Business?

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In order to explain this system, let's use a familiar illustration that most people would not expect: A lady that's famous for her tips and techniques for cooking, gardening and decorating. I think you can guess who this is.Exposure is the first step in any business marketing.

First, she has a TV show (valuable content that is FREE). She probably mentions her website at least 3 times during the show and makes a compelling offer in order to get you there. This compelling offer usually doesn't cost her any money—how about a free recipe book or a free report on the newest gardening tools, or a discount on a decorative sparkly paint for your bathroom walls? Most of the time it's going to be MORE free information that her target market will like. This is all offered to you in order to get you to the website.

Once you're there, the first thing they want is to get you to put your name and email address into the info capture form on her website. This is the start of what they call the "marketing funnel".

Catching the potential client's interest is the first part. The "involve" comes from getting them to opt into the autoresponder list with a compelling offer.

In our decoration diva's case, you are offered free decorating or cooking ideas, etc. It's always as close to free as possible. This shows "results in advance" and it proves that you can trust her to sell you things you want and it will bring real value to your life. It helps that she tells you about her family and shows you that she's just a regular lady, just like her audience.It must be in THEIR best interest to get involved.

This is a business, so "involvement" often means (GASP!) talking on the phone. Keep your focus on finding out what the prospect is looking for. Ask them, "What exactly were you looking for when you found my website? What is a challenge you are trying to get past?"

Then based on their answers, show them how your product could be a solution to their problem. When they see that, the light bulb hits and they say "You know what? I'm going to upgrade. This is the solution I'm looking for. I'm ready to get started."

Next comes the part every marketer loves. It's also the part where our Queen of "a good thing" gets paid. After she gets them to opt in...This is when they upgrade. Another way of saying it: they spend money. Here's how she does it:

She sends you a new email every 4 to 5 days full of great recipes and décor ideas that you just HAVE to try, but (mysteriously!) each of the ideas requires a utensil or ingredient or decorating material that almost no one has. But the good ol' patron saint of gardening saves the day by providing a link (her affiliate link, of course...) to a website that sells exactly what you're looking for and since you have to buy it anyway, why should she (let's call her Martha) NOT get a percentage?

This marketing funnel system will work for just about any kind of product or service. In fact I'm going to say that there is NO business that cannot benefit from a system like this. Think about some other examples—food industry, music, banking, film and other types of entertainment, travel, etc. It's up to you how you implement it in YOUR business.

Copyright (c) 2008 Dan Dimit
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