Sales funnels are important paths or journeys that prospective customers would take to find your company, convert into a lead, and buy your products or services. Funnels help shape, track, and improve on potential or actual customer journeys. Also known as the buyer’s journey, the customer journey can occur offline, online or a combination of both. Sales funnels, also known as purchase funnels, have been well-established as strategic marketing and sales components over the last hundred years. They’re an effective way to map out and hone in on your marketing strategy, especially for websites and online content assets, due to the ability to implement testing and data tracking for smarter updates.
The inbound marketing sales funnel is powered by buyer persona research and user data that informs marketers on what messages to use, when, and where.
The inbound marketing sales funnel is broken up into 3 sections:
- Top of the Funnel (ToFu)
- Middle of the Funnel (MoFu)
- Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu)
An effective inbound marketing sales funnel attracts and nurtures prospective clients through a well-aligned buyer’s journey, utilizing targeted, relevant, and engaging content.
Top of The Funnel (ToFu)
During the top of the funnel stage of the inbound sales funnel, your potential customer is experiencing one or several symptoms and is trying to solve a problem or need to resolve these symptoms by finding a solution – and often the best solution possible. This is when your potential customer is looking for content that either educates, entertains or both (edutainment) in regards to solving his or her problem. The potential customer may become a lead during this stage, such as by opting into your email list or by requesting information through one of your forms. Effective top of the funnel content often provides quality answers to the prospective customer’s problem and directs him or her towards a solution and into the more committed middle of the funnel. Blog posts that are optimized and target the right user intent for social sharing and search engine indexing are a great way to support your top of the funnel marketing strategy.
Middle of the Funnel (MoFU)
In the middle of the funnel stage, your potential customer is more committed to solving his or her problem and choosing a solution. He or she may become a lead during this stage, or reach out to you for more information by form or phone. However, the potential customer is not yet near being ready to buy from a solution provider. For example, the potential customer may have opted into downloading your ebook on solving their solution, but they’re still not ready to buy, and may require nurturing by email or another form of communication. During the bottom of the funnel stage of the inbound marketing sales funnel is where you help your potential customer make the right solution decision and choose your company’s products or services. This is done through decision-level content, such as product or service comparison information, as well as continued nurturing, relationship building, communication, and support.
Bottom of the Funnel (BoFu)
Once in the bottom of the funnel, your potential customer is ready to make a decision and buy and may be willing to speak to your sales team. The key is to better align your middle of the funnel offers and content with your bottom of the funnel content over time, through conversion optimization, split testing, and other inbound strategies, to increase the probability of making a sale. While the following may depend on a variety of company factors, producing a few quality bottom of the funnel offers and content pieces rather than more of lesser quality can help you focus down, spending resources wisely, and drive better inbound revenue results.
The Funnel is Important for Inbound Marketing in 2018
Hopefully, this helped you gain a better understanding of the inbound marketing sales funnel. Mapping out inbound funnels, with incremental content updates, data tracking, and analysis tied to each of the three funnel stages will do wonders for the results of your inbound marketing and sales campaigns as you and your company advance into 2018.
What is HubSpot Inbound Marketing?
HubSpot inbound marketing is an effective form of customer-centric, data-driven inbound marketing, fueled by HubSpot’s software and inbound methodology. The HubSpot inbound marketing’s objective is to draw more potential customers to your website who become customers and promoters of your business. Why is this type of marketing effective? People are tuning out traditional outbound marketing tactics that tend to disrupt their experience. HubSpot’s inbound marketing methods and software help keep your marketing and sales teams focused on providing a positive experience online. An experience that your potential customers want and enjoy.
What Are Examples of Inbound Marketing?
Example inbound marketing activities include:
- Writing company blog posts optimized for potential customers and search engines.
- Sharing content and engaging on social media platforms.
- Email communication and content campaigns to nurture and build relationships.
- Providing value with free resources like a newsletter, e-book, or pdf guide.
- Sharing helpful information within relevant forums and other online communities.
- Honing your inbound marketing sales funnel for optimal lead generation.