10 reasons why your customer’s marketing funnel isn’t working

Nothing is more depressing than when your customer’s marketing funnel isn’t getting them results. But it happens.

If your customers don’t get the results they’re expecting, you look bad. If they don’t succeed, you don’t succeed.

Recently we had an audit of a few customer sites to explore why they weren’t getting the traction we were expecting. Even we mess up sometimes.

Take a look and see if any of these reasons, are why your customer’s marketing funnels aren’t working.

1. Broken links

I forget how many times I’ve gone through my funnels, websites and customer marketing funnel’s, only to find broken links.

We create links in emails, social posts and pages. There are bound to be some broken ones somewhere.

Use a piece of software like brokenlinkcheck.com or a plugin like Broken Link Checker on your website to scan any links that don’t work.

However, be vigilant and check manually too. I’ve found # symbols used in links when building pages, that haven’t been detected by any software.

Also, make sure your emails are sent and tested first. Better send and test twice than send a broken email.

  • Check links in emails
  • Check landing page links
  • Check blog post links
  • Check sales pages links
  • Check cart links
  • Check social links

2. They haven’t earned the right to sell

The biggest mistake I see businesses make, is they assume someone wants to buy, because they want to sell.

Our customers have more options than ever before. It’s very rare that they’re under pressure to buy from ONE vendor today.

Sure, offers and promotions can sway people for low cost products.

But a $20 000 piece of enterprise software isn’t going to sell with a 10% discount, to someone that doesn’t trust your customer’s business.

You need to ask yourself and your customers, “have we earned the right to ask for a sale?”

If they’re in the store, then yes, you’ve earned the right to sell.

Sending cold emails to a bought list? You’re going to have to work harder to earn that right.

  • Increase goodwill with free content
  • Appear in front of them more than once or twice – we have to see something 7 times before we even register it
  • Have you proven you can help them, by helping them already?

3. Their expectation’s were too high

$50 000 in 24 hours. That’s what they wanted.

That didn’t happen. Their expectations were too high and I didn’t do a good enough job managing them.

Did your customers have unrealistic expectations? It’s OK to acknowledge that they did.

In future, think about whether what they’ve given you already (budget, content, time, products) is enough to meet the expectations.

Be honest and talk them through why it’s not happening.

  • Have they given you enough to work with?
  • Did you fail to manage their expectations earlier on?
  • Is the return on investment higher than 50%? Probably not going to happen (10% is a good result)

4. You didn’t qualify them properly

Following on from expectations, maybe the funnel sucks because the customer sucks?

I remember one customer telling us they had a big list, loads of customers, products and a payment system.

Their “big” list was 29 people. “Loads of customers” was them knowing that their competitors has lots of customers.

It was a mess AND it was my fault.

I didn’t check and I didn’t do my due diligence. I should have dug deeper and seen what they really had.

  • How many current customers and products do they have?
  • Can you help them get MORE results or are you helping them start?
  • Do they actually stand a chance to get the results they want? Are they committed?

5. You’re not following up with them

Big mistake. Huge!

I asked one of my customers to record how many enquiries they had from an ongoing marketing campaign. Messenger requests, emails, phone calls, comments etc.

Over a week, they had over 20 enquiries. Not just leads. Inbound inquiries to their product (a software for billing).

I also asked him how many times he followed up with those enquiries. He was ADAMANT that he was following up with every single one. After we recorded how many were actually followed up with… it was closer to 3.



That’s 15%. 15% of all enquiries were even being followed up with.

Before you start yelling at your monitor (which I can hear by the way), these aren’t qualified out yet. These are initial enquiries to their service.

It’s like having 20 people queue up at your door and only letting 3 in.

We started monitoring their enquiry follow up rate much closer and wouldn’t you know it? Their sales increased.


  • Are your enquiries being followed up with?
  • What is the process for a new hot lead?
  • If someone is clearly interested, they need to be taken care of IMMEDIATELY

6. They’ve got no traffic

You can’t top up customer funnels with hope and a good sense of humour.

You need traffic and the truth is that your customer doesn’t have a traffic problem.

If your customer isn’t willing or able to invest in traffic, promotion or advertising – you’re done.

If writing blog content and sharing it every day is too hard or they don’t want to – there is nothing you can do.

Your customer’s funnel NEEDS traffic. It needs new visitors and re-marketed visitors to the website and funnel.

I don’t care how big the list is, how brilliant the product is or how big the discount is – you need traffic.

Location, location, location. Ever seen a restaurant in the middle of nowhere and you’ve thought “how does that place survive? Surely they need footfall? Surely they need traffic?”

Well your customer’s funnel is the same. If they aren’t willing to invest in traffic and promotion, see rule 4.

  • Customers must be willing to convert traffic into leads
  • Customers have to create something worth promoting and advertising
  • Do your customers see fresh and regular traffic to their website or funnel?

7. Optins aren’t sent to your autoresponder

Classic mistake which is easy to make. Hey that rhymes.

I’m always checking and re-checking our optin forms and even then I miss this.

Is your optin form connected to your autoresponder? Are you 100% sure that they’re linked and sending data? Have you tested it?

I remember seeing over 200 optins for a cheat sheet via OptinMonster and not a single one had been passed through to our email service.

It was my fault, I connected it to the wrong mail list. So we did have the leads, but I had to import them.

Check, test, check and test again.

8. You’re not selling to anyone

“I don’t get it. I’m emailing blog posts, webinars, training, videos, podcasts, interviews…guest posts… But I’m not making any sales?”

It had been over 6 months and I couldn’t figure out why hadn’t made any more sales.

Then my colleague Cam (smart guy), told me “you know Mike, I’ve been on your list for months and you’ve never once tried to sell to me. I’ve never had a sales email from you.”

It hit me like a tonne of bricks. This wasn’t a customer’s funnel. This was MY funnel. I had forgotten the first fucking word of my own business.


Sell Your Service.

It’s now a running joke between Cam and I. How many sales emails does it take to make a sale? None – just send them more blog posts.

I’ve even had people who I’ve known for months tell me “I didn’t even know you offered coaching.”

We do by the way. We have weekly coaching calls and a bunch of courses here, to help funnel builders like you, sell marketing funnels.

  • Have you got a sales outreach plan?
  • Are your customers willing to TRY and sell products to customers?
  • When is the first opportunity you can sell to a lead?

9. The messaging isn’t right

Want and need are two very different things. Typically, messaging is a key problem in converting leads, traffic and sales, because we neglect what the customers WANTS.

We think, because we know what they need, that they’ll buy from that. They won’t. Even if they know they need something, they’ll only buy if they want it too.

Weight loss. Diets. Gym membership. Smoking. Saving. Investing money. Sleeping.

There are hundreds of examples of need/want being mixed up.

Is your customer’s messaging focusing on what they think their customers needs? Or is it showing them what they want?

  • What do your customer’s customers want? Not need. What they want.
  • Position the burger in front of them. They want that. I know they need to eat more vegetables. But they want a burger.
  • Even if it’s not good for them, use what they want to earn the right to tell them what they need.

10. You haven’t waited long enough

The loading icon on the “confirm” button hadn’t even stopped spinning before an IM popped up.

“Any sales yet?”

Maybe your customer’s campaign hasn’t reached fruition yet? Is your sales cycle longer than you expected or is the lead time longer?

It’s not always about instant sales. The world doesn’t work that way.

Some customers need to see us over 7 times before they even want to talk to us.

It’s not that the product isn’t good, or messaging isn’t right. It isn’t the traffic or blog content. It isn’t the sales emails or automation. There are no broken links or forms.

It just hasn’t been long enough.

Think about the sales cycle for a car. Even an average £30 000 car probable has a LONG lead time before someone buys.

Give your campaigns patience and time. Don’t rush them and don’t let customers rush you for results.

Recognise these?

Are there any of these that you recognise? I know I do. With me and my customers’ marketing funnels.

Which of these have you seen work and what have I missed? Let me know in the comments below.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.