Danger: A Marketing Funnel May Be a Colander
One of the most popular marketing strategies used in business to consumer marketing as well as business to business marketing is called a marketing funnel. The funnel approach is where a prospect is offered low or no cost samples and then they are presented with products or services that are a little bit more expensive and then a little more expensive and then a little more expensive moving them up to your highest priced products or services.
As popular as funnels have become there is a much better business growth strategy. I agree with on-line marketing expert Frank Kern when he says, “funnels as you know them are worthless”. I’ve been studying funnels and testing them for 3 years and what I find is people who opt into funnels are not going to buy initially. One of my funnels (www.rapidroimodel.com) has been extensively tested. It begins with a landing page which is how all funnels begin. The goal of the funnel is to bring a company or a person into your funnel and move that prospect into a buyer. The problem is most people don’t buy on the landing page.
Let’s face it until we know, like and trust someone we aren’t ready to buy. So the entire idea of a funnel where people buy a low cost service or product and move up into your highest priced product or service is flawed because the know, like and trust factor doesn’t exist with a standard funnel. Why? It’s against human nature to buy quickly without a relationship. In my experience people avoid the initial buy because they already know you are going to put them into a funnel to sell higher priced products or services and they turn away. They don’t buy the low priced product or service which you need them to purchase to get them into the funnel.
As popular as funnels have become and as much as marketers promote them they are not proving to be an effective marketing strategy. Here is a much better business growth,
Instead of using a typical sales funnel the right marketing strategy is to build campaigns that have to do with how people actually respond. Take the time and energy to notice how people are responding to your messages and then give them actions before they buy instead of rushing them to your sales funnel. If you follow this interactive marketing strategy your business to business marketing and business to consumer marketing will be highly effective.
Think about how this is used in retail as an example. If you go to the ice cream store Baskin-Robbins they have little pink spoons and offer you free samples of their ice cream so you can try different flavors. Your response to the taste test has you select your flavor of ice cream and then purchase it. Baskin Robbins set up a way for you to actually taste what they have with no up-sell. They start the funnel by giving you a sample and then they watch your response which is typically a sale.
So how can you use this concept in your small business?
You can send people to an on-line consumer awareness guide, free report, free mp3, free consult, free sample of your products or services or anything else to get the other businesses email contact. Remember until someone trusts your company they won’t purchase anything. So whatever you provide another business must find to be very valuable. They must want what you offering enough to opt in for what your offer is.
Your way of gaging their response is if they actually watch or listen or take you up on your free offer. This is the opposite of having them enter the funnel to pay for something which leads them to another purchase and another purchase. Instead the goal is to attract a lot of potential ideal customers into your marketing funnel. It’s important not to sell the other business immediately. All you want to do is create trust so that you begin a relationship with the business.
Once you have that relationship then you can engage with the business and move them to the next conversation or demonstration or point them to your products and services. Instead of pushing them to buy at the start of the funnel you only take those businesses who have positively responded to your valuable offer and engage in further contact with them.
You can use this marketing strategy with prospects and also with your existing customers to build further goodwill. This strategy of getting the other business to trust you by educating them and showing them how your company is the authority in your field will create massive revenues and profits.