“Growth hacking” is a term that gets thrown around a lot lately. But what does it mean? According to OptinMonster, “Growth hacking is an umbrella term for strategies focused solely on growth.” What kind of growth? In short, any strategy whose main goal is to grow your business falls under the growth hacking title. Many business owners use a marketing funnel for lead generation and growth. Let’s look at what that means.
Intro to the Marketing Funnel
When you picture a funnel used in the kitchen setting, you see it goes from large to small. In the same way, a marketing funnel starts at the top and guides a user to the bottom. The top represents awareness of your business or brand, whereas the bottom shows those who actually go through and make a purchase. Neil Patel uses the Amazon example, a pretty basic illustration:
- Person visits the Amazon website.
- Visitor searches and views a product.
- He/she adds the product to the shopping cart.
- Visitor becomes a customer by completing a purchase.
Obviously, not everyone who visits a website will end up in the “customer” category. That’s why the funnel is big at the top. Many may enter by visiting your site, but not as many make it to the bottom. (Sounds like what we used to say about the student health center on our college campus. “Many enter, few return.”) That was a joke… mostly.
An effective marketing funnel guides the user from the top to the bottom and increases conversions.
Parts of a Funnel
There’s a reason that the top of the funnel is large and gets smaller as you move down. Of all the people who will interact with your business, only about 5% will actually convert and make it to the bottom of the funnel to purchase from you. This percentage is completely normal and should not be a cause for frustration.
Top of the Marketing Funnel
The top of the funnel is where people become aware of your brand. For a physical business, people enter the top of the funnel when they learn about your store or business. If you have an online business, that happens when someone visits your site. Your top of funnel goal consists of getting visitors to your site. If they never come to your website, they can’t advance through the funnel.
Middle of the Funnel
When users engage with your content and show interest in learning more, they enter the middle of the funnel. For example, any user who subscribes to your blog or enters an email address for a lead magnet has advanced to the middle of your funnel.
Bottom of the Funnel
Once a user purchases from you or employs your services, that person advances to the bottom of the funnel. This, of course, is the ultimate goal. Again, only 5% of those who interact with your brand actually reach this point. A really good funnel can increase this percentage and guide users toward that ultimate goal.
An Alternative to the Funnel
In recent years, HubSpot did away with their marketing funnel and replaced it with a flywheel. Here’s how that looks:
While the funnel concept feels finite, where a user exits after purchase, the flywheel idea never ends. With this concept, you continue to engage and delight your current customers with excellent content and service. As a result, they become repeat purchasers and promote your brand to others.
Now that you understand the basics of marketing funnels, you may wonder how to create one that works. We have you covered. Our next few articles will focus on the various parts of the funnel and examples of what you can do to move your users forward. In the meantime, keep swimming along!