We hope you enjoy reading the MEANit blog with all the guides and tips. If you want our team to help with your web presence click here

The articles here will give you everything you need to plan, design, develop, market and maintain your website, if you have the time required – Enjoy.

Marketing Funnels Explained

A Marketing Funnel is pretty much anything you do that promotes your product or service, to create awareness and get people to your sales process. If done properly, it should lead people to your door. If done well it should all be a profitable exercise. But it does need some planning and measuring, rather than just a spray and pray approach. When you have this funnel working well, you will have lots of incoming clients, which will give you the confidence to be choosier about who you deal with and remove any desperation from your approach. That confidence will make selling  or closing the sale more relaxed and enjoyable.

Tip:

Any “marketing funnel” should address one single pain point and deliver a solution to that one single thing.

This is a Lead Generation system that takes people or potential ‘prospects’ who are possibly unaware of their problem and you lead them through to becoming aware of the problem, thereby becoming your ‘audience’. Then displaying the solution to that problem, educating them on how the solution works, to have them become ‘leads’. And then encouraging these leads to take action on your offer by making contact by telephone or email or making a purchase through a sales page or visiting their physical shop or event.

It is important to identify your potential or target market, what their pain points are and where do they hang out online. Why would they want to buy your product or service. And why from you? What difference will it make to them? You can create buyer ‘Personas’ to help you focus better on the who and the why. Nowadays, it is easier to measure the results of any investment, especially in digital marketing activities.

The idea of marketing funnels or sales funnels is to try and create the perfect business generator, which relates to transaction density, increasing sales and margins and increasing the lifetime value of a client. A funnel might be used as a way to generate leads, a Lead Conversion Generator or to generate actual sales, a Sales Conversion Generator. Nowadays, funnels are also used to upsell products, during the transaction checkout – no doubt you have seen this when you have been shopping online.

Key Points:

1. Increase volume of customers
2. Raise the average spend of a customer and
3. Improve the lifetime value of a customer, who could buy again and again. And they may recommend you to others!

You want to create initial awareness of your existence, then encourage interest or ‘traffic’ and eventually a conversion or purchase plus repeat purchases from happy customers. Your ‘marketing funnels’ as such, can get lots of people interested, but many will drop off along the way through the process. This happens for a variety of reasons, price, availability of funds, a clunky website or user interface, information overload, poor customer service and so on. By the time a person gets to the bottom of the funnel the numbers are considerably lower. And here you need to be consistently optimising the conversion rates, as in helping people decide to contact you or buy something – a result.

Typically in your content marketing, to generate traffic, you will use a website, blogging, SEO, landing or squeeze pages, Google Ads or PPC, Social Media Marketing, perhaps influencer marketing (see more below) and the old fashioned mediums of television or radio and newspapers or magazines. It involves creating engaging and useful or interesting content to promote through the various mediums, videos, guest posts etc. Likewise you want to get the technical aspects right, any transaction pages need to be as simple as possible, contact forms, shopping carts and search filters. If you lose people during the process, you can re-market through Facebook and Google, to draw them back.

AIDA –  Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action

Marketing-funnels-explainedIt used to be simply explained in sales training as AIDA, the steps that people take, before they become a customer –  Awareness, Interest, Desire and Action. Nothing has really changed apart from the mediums we use.

Awareness – this is the top of funnel activity, the content marketing, the advertising and SEO, to help your potential market become aware of you and then make them aware of your product or service.

Interest – then create some interest in what you have to offer, so if someone does a relevant Google search they will get information that you produce. You are looking for people to sign up to your email list or any opt-in form or like your Facebook page etc

Desire – do something to make people want to buy, send a series of emails, make a special offer, give a guarantee, make a timely offer or limited time deal etc

Action – and ultimately conversion by generating a sale and ideally repeat sales so that you keep the customers you get on board.

You may end up with multiple definitions of a conversion for you, a sale, an enquiry, a sign up for a trial, a click through to a second page etc.

Standard Marketing Funnels

Marketing-Funnels-image-FlickrA standard marketing funnel would usually contain some simple tools, but you do have to create these for your toolkit. So there is content creation involved to get copy and images and landing pages or forms etc. Whilst we use websites as a big part of the marketing funnels we create, you may not necessarily use one. We create a lot of content around the planning for a business website and then the development or build of a business website and then the marketing involved in making it deliver leads.

Typical parts of a marketing funnel

1. An email campaign to launch the service or product offering – typically you could use Mailchimp or Active Campaign.
2. A sales page or sales funnel with all the relevant information about the offer – on your website or using something like Leadpages or even a Facebook page. This landing page should include as little as possible to avoid distraction. Do include a clear ‘Headline’ at the top and a good relevant graphic, plus some information in bullet points and a clear CTA or call to action. Ideally, add a testimonial at the bottom and possibly another ‘cta’ for the same one action.
3. Remarketing – perhaps using the Facebook remarketing pixel or Google Ads

4. An email campaign to move people forward through the process – again you could use Mailchimp or Active Campaign.
5. A sales letter – again you could use Mailchimp or Active Campaign.
6. Product sales page – on your website or using something like Leadpages or a Facebook page explaining the benefits and features of each product or service
7. Two or three videos sales letters VSLs – using Youtube or Vimeo, Dubb, Soapbox and Mailchimp or Active Campaign.

8. Checkout page with product upsell – on your website or using something like Leadpages or a Facebook page
9. An up-sell page – on your website or using something like Leadpages if you want simple, but expensive or even using a Facebook page
10. A down sell page – on your website ideally or again using something like Leadpages or a Facebook page
11. Delivery pages – Realistically you are trying to explain to the client that you can deliver a return way in excess of any investment made by them. On your own website ideally or using something like Leadpages and Click Funnels or even through a Facebook page.

More about Marketing Funnels

So your marketing funnel is everything you do to attract customers. It includes every bit of advertising, every touch point, your livery, signage etc. Ideally, you want to plan your funnel, put some structure in to it and also be able to measure results. Test it for yourself – be a potential customer for a change. You can read a lot more about marketing funnels and sales funnels from people like Neil Patel or Mike Killen , where you can learn to create your own bespoke funnels. Mikes big article on the topic is here and well worth a read. The same guys would also recommend that you always negotiate on deliverables, rather than the investment or the price. So make it clear what you are offering, break it down in to component parts of your offer.

When someone says they do not have that budget, ask them which of these parts they want to remove from your offering. If we get a potential website client, we offer to plan the website, to design it, to develop it, market it, train the client and provide support services. So then the client can see the offering in parts and decide what they can do themselves. They may do some of the work in-house themselves or outsource elsewhere. But our rates remain the same.

If we have a particular funnel worth €25k we need to work out what we offer in that funnel. Any reduction in the spend reduces some of the parts of that funnel. All we can do is determine what we can offer for that investment and let the client decide how much they want of it. If you could invest €25k and get back €50k, what would you do?

Conversion Rate Optimisation CRO from your Marketing Funnels

This is simply the process of trying to get people through your marketing funnels to a point where they buy something or engage with you. The aim may be to get to a sale or it may be to get an appointment or some other form of engagement, such as signing up for a trial or completing a survey. We might use Google Ads or Facebook Ads to attract visitors and then convert by getting them to submit their details to start a dialogue with us. Then we would ask them to complete a short questionnaire, then armed with some relevant information to prepare for a meeting, we can meet, then we send a quote, then they invest. So we have a number of stages and conversion points during the process.

Along the way we could lose people because they are not ready to invest or are overawed by the amount of work they will need to do or the amount of the investment required to do a good job, or the amount of time they personally need to commit to produce the required content. Much like having a filter, this helps us get the clients for whom we can definitely deliver value. They get to know us and evaluate us and see how little risk is involved. We would have goals or objectives along the way to help potential clients make small commitments as we go, that lead to a final decision. As you progress through the funnel or funnels you can add value or show how you would add value. We might use a number of different funnels to target different types of client to us.

Consider:

The chances are that you are doing this already, but is there any structure to it? Do you have a content library or matrix to use in your promotions? Are your marketing emails formatted? Do you have landing pages, squeeze pages and thank you pages created? Is there a flow? Do your YouTube videos back up your mailshots or Facebook adverts? Is it all connected? If not, then it is time to look at creating a proper funnel for you to be generating the right leads for your business, rather than just hope that business will come in the door.

Google Analytics Marketing Funnel

Google analytics offers funnels that provide a precise outline of how to achieve your marketing goals as a business. In order to start working with the funnels, you must enter a set of marketing goals and from there you will be permitted to set up a funnel and begin monitoring your conversion rate. Google is a good place to start if you are new to marketing funnels as it is quite basic and easy to use. Through the funnel reports provided by Google Analytics you will be able to successfully identify your main website issues, optimise your website’s conversion performance, and generate an improved experience for potential customers.

If you are looking to learn more, Neil Patel provides an extensive guide on how to effectively utilise Google’s Marketing Funnels.

Lead Magnets

The use of Lead Magnets is a very common way of showing authority and offering something for FREE to generate trust. Personally, unless the content is really valuable then i am against ‘gated’ content. If you have some specific knowledge, show it openly.
Typical “Lead Magnets” include:

Provide Tools

1. A Checklist or Cheatsheet to give a brief overview of how to do something.
2. Guides or a resource list that gives useful links or information that relates to the topic.
3. Layouts or templates showing how to lay out a page or document.
4. Quiz or Survey – people love doing these and there are loads of apps you can use to create them.

Generate Trust

5. Special Offers, Discounts or Coupons – a special price to entice a reaction.
6. FREE Trial period or Sample which is common with many SAAS products Software as a Service. The CRM ‘Drip’ offers FREE use up to 100 contacts.
7. FREE Consultation – if the idea is to get more prospective customers in the door, then why not offer a short FREE consultation.
8. A self assessment which is a dynamic form that asks questions and delivers a resulting answer or piece of advice. An example would be asking for symptoms and diagnosing with a qualified response.
9. Mini Courses – deliver good value in the form of drip fed short lessons. This creates trust and anyone who does the course is likely to want more and having gotten to know, like and trust you, will pay for the next level of the course.

Enhance Experience through Visuals/Audios

10. Audio – You can deliver useful advice in audio format if video does not suit.
11. Webinars – these are wonderful to create authority and can be live or recorded. And they can be scheduled to run at certain times.
12. eBooks – a popular option, which takes quite a bit of work.
13. Live Demo – offer to show people your product live on a call or demo.
14. Video – why not offer a short video explainer in just a few minutes.

meanit-website-design-guide-for-planning-your-website

Case Study –

We, as a Web Design Agency, use our well optimised website to attract the right clients. However, we also use Lead Magnets such as a FREE Website Planning Guide advertised through Facebook and Google Ads, to bring people to our website. We also offer a low cost website audit as a way of engaging with us initially at a very low financial investment. We send out a non salesy newsletter once a week ‘every week’ with useful web or digital marketing related tips to our ever increasing database of contacts. And lastly we upsell to existing clients and ask them for referrals. Oh and we speak at or simply attend at least two ‘Networking’ opportunity events a week. Quite a few marketing funnels and tactics right there, to stay in touch with our target market, so that we are front of mind when they need the services we offer. Building awareness, trust and authority takes time.

This good graphic from CI Group shows the Eugene Schwartz five levels of customer awareness

Influencer Marketing – another way to connect with your potential market

Influencer marketing focuses on people with influence on or over a target market instead of focusing on the target market directly. By identifying the people who influence your potential mass market of customers, you can work at getting these people as showcase customers. They in turn will influence the mass market or at least the segment where they hold sway. This can be done on a professional basis, where you pay an endorsement to the influential person with a fee or a commission per sale, if you you can quantify that influence. In theory you should be able to enter in to an agreement where you pay the commission based on sales only. This is different to paying a celeb to wear your product, in the ‘hope’ that their followers would buy your product, much like Nike and Tiger Woods.

Beginning your journey with marketing funnels can be challenging, but we are confident, with this guide, you will be quite successful in your journey.

Do you want more traffic?

Hi, at MEANit we help 40 ‘Professional Services Businesses‘ to be effective online annually. Will your business be one of the 40 in 2022?

MEANit-Web-Design-Agency-Michael-MacGinty

Written by Michael MacGinty

Michael is a well known speaker, author and coach on how to use the web to grow a business. He is also WP Elevation certified as a Digital Business Consultant.
Blog Categories
Website Design
Search Engine Optimisation
Website Support Info
FAQs
Website Tips
Digital Marketing
News
Business Tips

Get ‘loved’ by

MEANit Web Design SEO Google Logo

Essentials Website

Get a clean, fast, mobile friendly, custom designed website that ticks all the boxes. By focusing on the essentials we can get you an online presence that makes a big positive impact on your business without investing a fortune initially. Build your brand and grow your audience with a Mobile-friendly, WordPress website typically 5 to 10 pages, along with all the training provided, so you can grow your site yourself over time, adding your own content and Search Engine Optimisation to get you found in Google search results over time

Best suited for:

Small firms, practices or businesses, who need a high quality custom design website without needing any large initial investment, but a platform that they can build upon over time.

Intended to get you online and give you a platform to start building your brand.

Includes simple Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 5 to 10 pages, Initial SEO Search Engine Optimisation and Training.

From €4,800

Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Custom Website

Let us get you noticed with a totally custom designed, fast loading website built to your specific needs. Then we can engage your target audience with unique page layouts perfect for feature content and focused landing pages. Training is provided with this custom designed WordPress website, typically 10 to 30 pages – this allows you to make all the changes you want.
And we can add in the critical Search Engine Optimisation, so your website ranks well in Google. Plus a full written plan for your team to follow..

Best suited for:

Medium-sized firms, practices or businesses who need a quality custom website and a marketing plan along with some ongoing help every month to generate the leads they want

Intended to make you more effective online and build upon your brand at a steady pace.

Includes Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 10 to 20 pages, Initial SEO Search Engine Optimisation and Training.

From €6,000

Optional items include: Keyword Research, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

Strategic Website

You probably have an underperforming website, but realise you need a better web presence. One that will consistently generate the ideal pre-qualified leads and work you really want.
However, you do not have the team time to be doing all this digital marketing stuff. So you want some expert help.

Lets start with a meeting, then we can write up a digital strategy or plan, to ensure we set some agreed goals or targets for us to deliver for you.

Best suited for:

Growth focused medium sized firms or practices, who want to outsource all the website management and digital marketing responsibility to a competent, reliable Irish team, who will generate the new business.

This allows your whole team to focus on what you do best. Results Guaranteed by us!

Includes Brief or Plan & Wireframe or Layout, Keyword Mapping, Competitor Analysis, Custom Graphic Design, Website Development of typically 20 to 100 pages and Training, plus SEO Search Engine Optimisation.

From €9,500

Optional items include: Monthly Support Plan and ongoing SEO services.

A Web Presence Checklist, for the senior partner

12 things to oversee the web presence for your legal practice

LinkedIn including company profile page and personal profile for you and all employees. Post some articles about your services, giving some useful advice, sharing insights or sharing industry news. Connect with logical potentially good connections. No sales pitch, just hello with a short line to make the connection, like swopping a business card at a networking event. Read our Linkedin Guide.

Facebook – keep it a basic entry for the practice just to turn up in Facebook in search or get reviews. You could use it to get reviews from people who spend a lot of time on this platform. Or use Facebook to advertise your services, if it is right for your target market.

Website focusing on the services that you want to specialise in, the ones that make you the most margin and that you are happiest to deliver. Bear in mind that you can offer services that you do not personally have to deliver, but make you margin. You do not have to deliver you do not necessarily have to be involved in the process whatsoever. Who is responsible for your SEO Search Engine Optimisation? Read our Guide.

Include SSL – This is the little padlock that appears on the top left corner, to indicate the site is safe. This is not just for eCommerce websites.

Google Business Profile – Have you got one? Is your Google Business Profile profile populated, as in photos, service details, opening hours, blog items, reviews. Independent Google Reviews are fuel for your practice. Get as many as you can. Remember to reply to every single one of them. These are happy clients or people who are in need of attention. Read our Guide.

NAP – Include nap NAP everywhere that you write your address, search Google to see where you appear and ensure the NAP is exactly the same everywhere, including the Eircode.
Do any Google search of your name in an ‘Incognito window’ to see what people see on their computer when they do a search of your company. Whilst you’re there also do a search for solicitors in your town or area. Also do a search for the legal services that you want to promote in your area. Such as conveyancing in Dundalk or conveyancing solicitors in Dundalk.

Recruitment – Your website can also be used for finding new team members, rather than going through the expense of recruitment agencies. This tactic would generally be known as being a part of your overall content marketing strategy. This is where are you create content on your website that will attract people who are looking for certain things. Whether that be a specific legal service or a job in a legal practice that looks attractive to them.

Google Page Insights is a tool that is free and will give you an idea of the speed of your website. Google gives a lot of weight to a fast loading website, especially on a mobile view. Websites are being measured by Google more and more for their mobile view as a key metric.

Google analytics is also free and will give you an idea of the number of people travelling to your website visiting your website on a monthly basis. Use the overview to see how many people visit your website on a monthly basis to see if it’s going up or down. Google Analytics is a great tool but having a high numbers visit your website does not guarantee a conversion to a customer. In order to get conversions you continually need to add content and optimise content and compete with whoever your competitors are. A very simple search for a legal practice in your area will show you who is ranking number 1, 2 or 3. These are the competitors or people you’re competing with, so you need to be better than them. Read our Guide.

Google – With Google Ads you can spend a fortune easily. So if you want to use this platform, get to understand it or engage a specialist. It can be very useful in the short term or to use whilst you are working on your website and SEO. Read our Google Ads Guide.

Conversion. However, bear in mind even if you are number one and you get click through so people visit your website when they land on a page on your website. You have to work on the content in order to get them to convert from visitor to customer. This is your user experience as in UX through your User Interface referred to as the UI.

Reports – Ensure someone is producing a monthly report to measure the numbers. As Peter Drucker said “What gets measured gets managed — even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”. Ensure you get a Google Analytics report. And ideally have a report created, so that you can see the numbers at a glance.

Conclusion:
As a senior partner you do not need to do all of this work. This is not what you’re qualified to do and could be way below your paygrade. Unless you engage someone who can deliver a high return in the long term and needs to be well compensated in the short term. Get a proper Digital Marketing Plan drawn up.

However, somebody has to do the work. It would be good if you could use some of these tools to see if the person, practice manager or web agency is doing a good job with your investment.
The bottom line is the practice should be kept busy. And ideally be able to recruit enough staff to deliver services. As a senior partner if you allocate a half hour every month to review these basic reports, you will then be in a position to see what is being done on your behalf.

Read the monthly reports from your Digital marketer. And if needs be, have a conversation about what needs to be improved. The Digital marketer will need a budget to do the search engine optimisation or create graphics for the website. And possibly doing advertising on LinkedIn or Facebook or anywhere where your potential customers are hanging out. Without sounding like an ambulance chaser you can have your content found when people do a search for chiropractor or osteopath or bad back or medical negligence. Get ahead of the curve.

How much time, hassle and money would it save you to have any and all advertising done online through your own website by a competent specialist agency?
Also posted here.

You May Also Like…

Google Local Results

Google Local Results

Want to rank higher in Google search results? Learn how Google Local Results is making a difference in search as Google tailors results based on location searches.

read more
Google Business Profile explained

Google Business Profile explained

Google Business Profile previously Google My Business is Google’s way of verifying your business and its actual physical address, to ensure that you do operate where you say that you operate.

read more