Every business is different. Every business sells a different type of product or service to a unique customer. Assuming you know who your customers are, you must establish a funnel and figure out a strategy to drive people through that funnel.
There are many ways to do it, from content promotion to paying for social media ads. Companies have been investing hugely in the latter, with social media spends growing by 74% between February and June 2020.
Let’s take a look at the three major aspects of your business funnel and how to drive people through it.
The Three-Step Funnel
For the purposes of this funnel, we will use the Motley Fool as a model. This company has demonstrated success over 25 long years. You can also read this Motley Fool review to find out more about them.
Here are the three parts of the funnel they use to convert a free member to a lifetime customer:
Step One – Front-end marketing. The goal of the first part of the funnel is to find non-members and encourage them to sign up and become paying members. Motley Fool’s primary low-tier service is the Stock Advisor program, priced at $99 per year. This is often the most difficult part of the process.
Step Two – Back-end marketing. This is the upselling part of the funnel and involves encouraging paying members to upgrade to higher-tier services.
Step Three – Lifetime customer. The final step in the funnel is to promote existing member engagement with the platform and to keep them paying year after year.
We can see this same strategy with other companies in their sector. This M1 Finance review shows how the platform attracts non-paying members through its no fees and no commissions.
It encourages non-paying members to cross into the first step of the funnel.
So how can you replicate this for your business?
The Discovery Phase
There are many ways to attract first-time customers in the first place. It all starts with making sure you have your business in order. Did you invest in professional logo design? Have you created a content strategy? Are you present on social media?
Once you have the attention of a customer, how are you going to pull them in?
You need something to offer them. If we go back to the Motley Fool, they have a lot of free content that doesn’t require you to create an account.
Your business can replicate this through exclusive content in return for an email address, offering an informative online course, or just via offering free high-quality content on the site.
The whole point is to encourage those people to give you a try.
The Upselling Phase
Once you have some subscribers to your free email list or you have people who have downloaded your eBook, it’s time to start upselling.
This could be genuine upselling to people who have purchased low-tier services or upselling people from free content to paid content.
Upselling requires offering great content at the lowest tier but offering even better content beyond that. People are not going to pay more for a great product if it only has a couple of extra features.
Take cloud storage services as an example. It’s easy to upsell in this business because higher tiers offer more storage. If someone loves the platform and they want more space, upselling is simple.
There’s no magic formula for making upselling work. It’s all about knowing your customer and taking high-quality products or services and elevating them beyond that level.
Creating a Lifetime Customer
Lifetime customers are about consistency. Take someone who has an annual subscription. When it’s time to renew they ask themselves whether they need that service. Is the ongoing fee worth it? And every year you have to prove that it is.
It requires you to regularly create quality content and offer a fantastic service. It also requires you to keep pushing the boundaries.
For example, look at successful Facebook influencers. They evolve their brand voice, and they push out regular content because that’s what people signed up for.
Is this difficult to achieve?
The truth is this is the simplest part of the funnel because you don’t need to convince people to check you out. You just need to give them a reason to stay. And if you already have a great offering, this shouldn’t be hard.
It’s mainly about avoiding complacency. Too many businesses rise and fall quickly because once they have that initial success they stop trying.
Lifetime consumers are difficult to come by. It requires consistency in your approach to marketing yourself.
The whole point of a funnel is to be able to visualize the different types of customer and the part of their journey they’ve reached.
Not every customer will stay loyal, but if you can get just a few brand fanatics behind you, your business is set for life.
Have you built a funnel for your business yet?