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Four elements of a digital marketing funnel that are mission critical

Marketing Funnel

The other night I watch a documentary on TV. It was about the year 1969. The ABC series about the chaotic year premiered with “Moonshot.” When I think of 1969 (before I was born), I think of the song by Canadian singer Bryan Adams, Summer of ’69. Great song. I digress.

The year was 1969, and the United States was at a crossroads. The climate is much like what we see in 2019. There were lots of protests, new styles of clothing emerged (bell bottoms anyone!), the Vietnam War was still raging along. This was the year after the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy. America needed something to unite us.

Enter the space program.

To be more specific, Apollo 11. It was the mission that landed the United States on the moon. For a brief few days, in the Summer of 1969, the world watched as three astronauts safely landed on the moon and then returned to earth.

via GIPHY

The documentary talked about many of behind the scenes people as well. For example, Margaret Hamilton was a female software engineer who wrote code for the space rocket. Others included “Hidden Figures” African American mathematicians Katherine Johnson and Christine Darden. The bottom line is there were a whole lot of people who made that mission happen.

Each person was part of being mission critical.

When it comes to marketing funnels, thankfully, a mistake won’t have the same consequences. There are, however, I believe, four elements that are mission critical to the task.

Traffic to your page

Vehicle in Road at Golden Hour
Get traffic to your site

The first element of a marketing funnel is traffic. To get any leads in your marketing funnel, you need to get visitors to your website and especially your landing page.

There are multiple ways to do this. Three I want to mention are paid search engine marketing, social media posts, and being a guest.

Paid SEM

Paid Search Engine Marketing (SEM) can be a very effective way to drive targeted traffic to your landing page. While SEM may not always simple, once you get in a groove, you can continuously send traffic to your landing page.

Search Engine Land defines it like this,

“SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is the process of gaining website traffic by purchasing ads on search engines.”

Paid SEM can be Google or Bing ads, social media ads such as LinkedIn or Facebook. SEM ads are also known as pay per click.

Paid SEM can be a great option if you don’t have the time to build targeted traffic and you have the cash flow to handle the process.

Social Media Posts

You can also send traffic to your landing page via social media posts.

One to do this is by creating a targeted link to use in the bio of your social media profile. The drawback with using social media is that it can take time to build up the kind of relationship with others to create enough credibility to point them to your page.

Another option for social media is inserting your targeted link in the signature of your email. You send an email your recipient will see the link in your signature.

Participating in social communities where you build your authority over a period of time will give you the credibility to showcase your work including your page.

TextRequest does a great job of breaking down ways you can increase traffic using social media

Go be a guest

Being a guest allows you the opportunity to connect with someone else’s crowd. Once you are a guest, you have the floor. From there you can teach your expertise.

After you have built your authority, you have a bridge to send people to your site. Most hosts will allow you a bio with a link and are willing to help you share your content.

So where do you go be a guest? There are three areas that you may consider.

The first place you can be a guest is a popular blog. There you can pitch and land a coveted guest post. These can be very helpful if the audience of the blog is engaging. Here are some great lessons from Tom Hunt at Blogging Wizard.

The next place to be a guest is on a podcast. Perhaps this may be one of the easiest ways to be a guest. Many have podcasts and are looking for guests to share with their audience. Podcast hosts want guests who are engaging, smart and bring excellent content.

Here are some excellent tips to get started.

Finally, be a guest as a speaker. By this, I do not mean be a guest speaker at a large conference like MozCon. Being a guest at a WordCamp or a WordPress meetup can be effective. However, also pursue opportunities to be guests where your target market attend. Be the expert for what you do for that industry.

Are you interested in being a WordCamp speaker? You can find opportunities here.

Optin Page

Photo by Terje Sollie from Pexels - They have to have somewhere to land!
Photo by Terje Sollie from Pexels – They have to have somewhere to land!

One of the most crucial elements of a marketing funnel is your optin page. Your optin page has one goal, and that is to get your visitors to take action by opting into your email list.

An optin page needs to have a good headline, be clear about the optin offering, a way to optin to your list, and list the benefits of your optin. Good headlines are important, even for an optin page. Headlines serve as the hook to get your visitor to keep reading. Connecting the benefits of the page to your reader is important.

Be clear about your offering. You do not want to confuse your visitor. You want them to take action, so it is essential to be crystal clear about what you want them to do. Avoid subtle suggestions and offer clear, compelling commands.

Remember, you are giving your visitor a call to action. Call them to act using your benefit and avoid using friction words.

Make sure you offer the benefit of your optin. It is easy to list features and forget the benefits of those features. Spend some time determining the benefits of at least three of those features. Your optin page needs to communicate the benefit of our next ingredient of a marketing funnel, the lead magnet.

Are you looking for tips for a good optin landing page? Check out this article from OptinMonster.

Lead Magnet

The country band Alabama sang, “If you’re gonna play in Texas, You gotta have a fiddle in the band.” I’m here to tell you if you want to have a marketing funnel, you need to have a lead magnet.

Lead magnets are similar to what is called a loss leader in retail. You are giving away something with tremendous value to get someone to optin to your email list.

Maybe you can offer a free consulting call, a website audit, a PDF download, a checklist, or some workbook. Frankly, the ideas are endless.

An email address is a currency, and it is paid for with something of value.

To be honest, you may need to try more than one before something clicks. One of the things that may work best is to survey your target market for some of the biggest problems they have and then solve that problem for a lead magnet.

Are you looking for ideas for a lead magnet? Here are a few.

Email Sequence

Adult Businessman
Have your email sequence ready to go | Adult Businessman

The email sequence is the back end of the marketing funnel. Some of the terms used include a drip, a nurturing sequence, an autoresponder, and follow up sequence. No matter the term used, it is a series of emails you send, usually, automatically, that will, at the least, welcome your new subscriber.

There are different types of goals for an email sequence. One goal may be to nurture your lead; another goal may be to warm them to the point of making a purchase, while another one is to spend time welcoming your new subscriber.

The way you position your sequence in your marketing funnel really comes down to your goal.

If your new subscriber is new to you, you may consider a welcome. Some entrepreneurs will use a complex system of funnels that move a subscriber through a process to help them take action, usually a purchase.

Most email sequences in a basic marketing funnel do a combination of welcoming and nurturing a lead. The question is, “what is at the end of the road?”

Single Grain has some great email templates to include in your series.

Wrapping it up

To sum it all up, you need these four mission-critical elements: Traffic, an Optin landing page, a Lead magnet, and finally, an Email sequence.

To build a marketing machine for your business, you will need to spend some time putting these elements in place. It isn’t something that you will execute in a few minutes. It may take hours an hours to learn how to implement each piece.

Don’t let that dissuade you. The ones who don’t succeed are the ones who stopped when it got hard.

Keep on keeping on.

Let us know if you have built marketing funnels for your customers.

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Todd Jones
Along with being the resident writer for MainWP and content hacker at Copyflight, I specialize in writing about startups, entrepreneurs, social media, WordPress and inbound marketing topics.
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