We’ve already got a website Mike, so why would we need a marketing funnel? In this blog post we’re going to explore why a customer should use a marketing funnel from you as opposed to just a static website.
Fuck brochure websites
Many businesses believe that a “brochure website” is enough to attract prospects and convert leads into sales. In fact the very term brochure website should be phased out along with holistic marketing, results driven marketing and customer-centric.
Websites by themselves aren’t fantastic at attracting traffic, converting sales or helping people.
A lot of businesses feel that there website should act like a catalogue. It’s as if there are millions of potential customers out there who are searching for a product to buy. The standard, static brochure website neglects to address the change in how customers now buy. A static brochure website neglects the new sales process that customers use when buying products.
Customers aren’t looking online and searching for people to buy from now. They are looking for help, relationships and companies that they can rely on to add value. A website is still critical to the entire process of the marketing funnel, but by itself it cannot act any harder than the content that is put on it.
$75000 for nothing
Many businesses have the misconception that a website “cost” them money, therefore more marketing activities will cost them more money.
This is a fair assessment for many businesses, as their initial website investment yields few to no results. Imagine spending $2000, $10,000 or even $75,000 (in one of our customers cases), and not seeing a single sale come through that website.
Businesses of course want more leads, prospects, sales and customers. However, they were promised those with the website. But instead their investment never yields a return. Therefore they assume that all online marketing and website design or creation will yield similar results.
Websites are often seen as a “nice to have”. Something that businesses should have but never really yield any results. It’s staggering how many “digital marketers and website businesses” still fail to deliver basic returns on investment for their customer.
So when we approach businesses and offer them a larger marketing service package, their guard is already up as they’ve spent money before on websites and it yielded them nothing. They’ve also potentially bought SEO link listings, Facebook page likes, traffic to their website and email data.
Businesses are spending millions of dollars a year on marketing services that yield absolutely no results. So it’s no surprise when we approach them to work on more projects that they are full of objections.
We don’t need sales
Customers are now reaching businesses and suppliers later in their purchasing cycle. There is no need to rely on salespeople and sales collateral for the information. Customers are willing to explore reviews, their own education content and other networks and communities in order to find out what’s right for them.
So when they reach a website they aren’t necessarily looking for a sale straightaway. They’re looking for help, value and insight.
Businesses that refuse to offer value upfront, help their audience and communicate with their audience are destined to fail. Businesses must take care of the entire process of discovering someone who doesn’t know that you exist, through to happy profitable repeat customer.
While the website suits certain sections of that transaction, a marketing funnel takes care of the entire journey.
Below are the top four reasons why marketing funnel is offer more benefits and are superior to websites.
Not relying on hoping and praying for results
The concept of a brochure website means that traffic could stumble across it from search engines, social shares or direct access. This is essentially hoping that someone will take the time to naturally convert themselves into a lead or prospect or customer.
It’s the equivalent of leaving the catalogue at a cafe or a business card at a networking event, hoping for someone to call you to understand more about your business. Brochure websites typically do a really bad job of explaining how they can help the customer. Most of them tend to tell visitors what they do, as opposed to telling customers what they need help with.
When we leave conversions and sales up to chance, we are hoping and praying for results. The even if your website has constant blog content and new pages added to it all the time, you’re still just relying that someone will take the call to action themselves.
I’m even staggered now at how many e-commerce websites allow people to select colour, model, type and size of a product. But they still have to call a phone number to complete the transaction.
Marketing funnel is completely remove the need to hope and pray for results, by taking control of the customer journey from new visitor through to happy customer.
Focusing on converting a lead or customer or visitor
Marketing funnels are designed to complete one conversion at a time. Many websites are confused about their role in the sales and purchasing process.
For example a serviced base website that sells accountancy services or (God forbid) marketing services, doesn’t really know what stage in the process it’s at.
Most businesses still believe that there brochure website or marketing website for their service, is designed to help people understand what they do.
Again, this is like leaving a catalogue or brochure in a cafe and hoping someone picks it up read through it and is willing to invest the time in understanding the website’s business in order to see if there’s something they can help with.
Marketing funnel flips that on its head and finds people who are experiencing a problem. It then positions useful, helpful solution to that customer and proves that the business has value.
Marketing funnels are designed to take each stage of the process from traffic attraction, lead conversion and sales conversion and segment that stage of the journey.
It’s about understanding which customer is at what stage and putting in front of them the useful helpful content that will help them convert.
I often think of marketing websites or brochure websites as a bar without a drinks menu. It’s like asking the Barman “can you please tell me every single one of your drinks and I’ll decide what I want”.
Marketing funnel is the equivalent of the bar and the staff knowing who you are, knowing what you regularly order, understanding the time of day (the difference between a Scotch whiskey and a latte), and if there are any special offers on.
Sure, you could look through the menu, but wouldn’t you rather have the Barman understand exactly what you’re looking for and even suggests something to you that you didn’t know was an option because they understand everything about you.
Make life easier
At its core marketing funnels are designed to make life easier. Websites, while a vital part of the marketing funnel process, still rely on the customer making some kind of decision.
A marketing funnel makes both the business owner’s life easier and the customer’s life easier.
It makes sure that anyone who is new and doesn’t know your business has valuable helpful content placed in front of them first, for free. Things like lead magnets, lightbulb moments and webinars for example.
Or it knows that if someone has expressed an interest in a particular product topic or type, then maybe we should let them know that we can help them with a particular product or service that we provide.
I remember one example of a company we worked with where their website had over 500 service listings. They were a data and analytics company which provided software, third-party software, their own proprietary systems, hardware, coaching, consulting and training. They could also be used as an outsourcing department for their IT systems as well as training and speaking packages.
Although there were different product sets everything essentially went through the same telephone line system. All sales were rooted through the same team, and it required the customer to explain and the salesperson to discover as much as they could about what the customer needed.
With the use of a CRM system we are now able to tell everything we can about the customer and their previous interactions. Potentially the interaction between initial interest and close could be made much much easier without just the use of a static website.
Faster and more automated results
Finally marketing funnels offer faster and more automated results. This means that new subscribers and email leads are signed up on automation. The lead magnet and content is delivered to them on automation. We measure how often they open and respond to our emails and communications.
We can measure how likely they are to be interested in a particular product type or topic. Then we can send them the relative sales copy for new products and services. We can essentially take the entire transaction of “someone that doesn’t know we exist”, who visits via paid social, organic search, direct referrals or any other method. And convert them into a lead and customer completely on automation.
A website at some point still requires some kind of human process.
Now of course, a marketing funnel that helps people with surfboards, refrigerators or software installation. Will obviously need humans to deliver part of that process. However the transaction from interest to sale, we have often found if customers are just using a website will also require a human to close that deal.
It’s possible that entire services and offerings could be sold and delivered entirely on automation.
Very quickly as well, the results that websites deliver can be accelerated via the use of a marketing funnel. For example if we drive traffic to a lightbulb moment and squeeze page in order to collect the email address. We can redirect them to a thank you page with an upsell product (commonly known as a splinter product or tripwire) and generate revenue faster than previously.
I understand why customers are hesitant to invest in further marketing services when their current website has deliver the results they need.
It’s your job as a marketing funnel builder to understand those objections and turn them. This blog post is essentially a sales playbook for multiple marketing funnel services. Take this text, copy it and use it as a pitch or sales letter for your customers.
Often they don’t even know that much of this is even an option. You could be exploring with them a completely new avenue of revenue generation for their business.
What are some of the other benefits to a marketing funnel over a website? Let me know in the comments below.