5 Effective Types of Funnels to Boost Sales and Engagement (With Examples)
Regardless of whether you’re just starting a website for your company or if you’re an expert social media marketing strategist, the importance of creating effective funnels for online businesses can never be overlooked.
Despite that however, many might find it difficult to even begin the process of building their own conversion funnels, due to an overwhelming library of information surrounding the topic. From a wide variety of funnel types to an interlocking network of functions and stages, it’s no wonder that there are tons of ineffective funnel examples online.
But don’t worry! Here, we’ve compiled everything you would need to know about funnels, from its basic definitions and uses to examples of the most common kinds of conversion funnels utilized by businesses. Let’s dive right in!
What are Funnels & What Do They Do?
Simply put, funnels (also known as conversion funnels) are journeys or paths designed to bring your audience to a desired end point. This can be anything from turning casual website visitors into loyal customers, or onboarding new clients and integrating your products or services into their lives.
In general, every funnel can be split into three stages, that is:
- Top of the Funnel – ToFu
- Middle of the Funnel – MoFu
- Bottom of the Funnel – BoFu
Typically, depending on the kind of funnel you’re using, every stage would have a specific role to play that would lead to the desired outcome. Examples of these roles would be creating user awareness, satisfying customer evaluation and many more.
Established companies would often use a variety of funnels on different parts of their sites, creating a complex network of pathways that will (hopefully) guide users to a positive outcome. However, for those just starting to implement funnels into their businesses, simply creating one or two effective funnels could mark great progress towards achieving your business goals.
What Kinds of Funnels Are There?
There are over hundreds, if not thousands, of conversion funnels all over the internet, all of which serve a multitude of purposes for different industries.
While it would be impossible to list out all the kinds of funnels that exist, there are several functions that funnels are commonly designated to. Amongst these would include lead generation, sales, content marketing, gathering survey answers, and many more.
It’s also possible to come across fusions of different types of funnels into one, as well as funnels that serve multiple functions and are part of a single, much bigger funnel.
1) Purchase Funnels
By far one of the most popular funnel functions, purchase funnels essentially map out consumer-focused pathways that potential paying customers would take.
It’s important to note that most customers do not make the instantaneous decision to purchase any products or services when they land on your social media posts or website. Instead, they would roughly go through five different stages of thought before clicking on the ‘Buy’ button.
The first stage of the purchase funnel starts off simply with brand awareness. Being the first stage of the funnel, top of the funnel (ToFu) strategies and campaigns tend to work best in catching the attention of potential clients and generating leads for your business to work with later on.
Some of these strategies include both physical and online advertisements, social media marketing, email marketing campaigns, whitepapers, blog posts on topics related to your products or services, and more.
This is also the stage when you can begin to establish your brand as a trustworthy source of information, and by extension, a quality supplier.
Now that you’ve piqued the interest of potential clients, it’s time to capitalize on their intrigue with retargeting strategies and develop the budding relationship.
Campaigns in this period would require the research and leads generated during the awareness stage. A useful tip would be to try to understand if there are any underlying patterns that could have contributed to your most-viewed blog posts or most-likes social media posts, such as the use of specific keywords or aesthetics, if you’ve addressed any common pain points or concerns regarding your brand or products, and others.
Once you’ve grasped the patterns of your potential customer base, you could then start generating targeted content, such as newsletters, social media campaigns and in-depth blog posts.
At this point in the funnel, your potential clients would have more or less made up their minds to purchase a product or service – the question is whether the purchase will be made with your brand.
Content that can push leads to consider your brand would be inclusive of marketing tools such as free trials, extended warranties and discounts. Other content that produced at this point should also showcase what differentiates your products and services from the rest, the benefits that your potential clients would receive, and what mistakes they should avoid when making a purchase (that your brand would not make).
Nearing the end of the funnel, this is where middle and bottom of the funnel (MoFu and BoFu) strategies would come in handy.
Now that your clients have confirmed that they have the intention to buy a product or service, it’s time for tactics such as putting up product demonstrations on your social media page, displaying customer surveys and reviews on the homepage of your website, or sending follow-up emails to customers who have left items in their carts (potentially with discounts).
These strategies would help your clients envision using your products and provide them with a solution they would otherwise not be able to solve as swiftly and effectively if they chose to go with a competitor’s products or services instead.
Finally, the evaluation stage is when your clients are fairly sold on your products or services – they just need one final reason to choose you.
This is another point where customer data can be crucial to the kind of content you produce, as you’ll be able to highlight features that scored the highest among your customers. At this stage, paid social media posts, targeted emails, and last-minute discounts may just prove to be the factor that turns an interested lead into a loyal customer.
Once your customer has purchased a product, brands may start post-purchase services, such as having surveys filled up, or offer various discounts to encourage repeat purchases.
2) Lead Generation Funnels
Lead generation funnels are another popular type of funnel often used by online businesses. Used to collect basic information about potential customers, lead generation is the ever-essential first step to closing a sale.
Although these have been mentioned in the sales funnels, it’s pertinent to expand on the various kinds of funnels that can fall under lead generation funnels, which are as follows:
Lead Magnet Funnel
Also known as the lead squeeze page funnel, lead magnet funnels are essentially when your business collects potential clients’ personal information in order to deliver something of value to them. Examples of offerings would include free templates, sample packs, evaluation reports, free trials, and many more.
The contact information would then be turned into leads that can be added to email marketing lists or followed up through other modes of communication.
Reverse Squeeze Page Funnel
The opposite of the lead magnet funnel, the reverse squeeze page funnel is when something of value is offered upfront and the collection of personal data is done afterwards.
Instances of valuable resources potential clients might be attracted to are inclusive of articles and videos, as well as the examples listed under lead magnet funnels.
3) Content Funnels
More often than not, content funnels are used to convert leads into paying customers, and as such are implemented as a part of the strategy of a big sales funnel. Generally separated into ToFu, MoFu and BoFu, here are a few content ideas that you can utilize as part of your content funnel.
ToFu – Awareness
At this stage, the goal is to create awareness of your brand and what your products or services can do. Often, ToFu content would educate while being entertaining, driving your audience to go further down the funnel for more information.
Some of the content that work best here would be social media posts, blog posts, how-to guides, and infographics. Don’t forget to include relevant links to other pages in your website!
MoFu – Consideration
In the middle of the funnel, the goal is to keep your viewers aware of the problems that they have while also centering your brand as the solution to said problems.
Lead magnet pages can be employed here to help the generation of more leads, in addition to the usage of content such as case studies, webinars, and the offering of useful resources (checklists, templates, reports and more).
BoFu – Conversion
At the bottom of the content funnel, the aim is to position your products and services as the best choice among all your competitors, and give the last push for conversion.
The forms of content that can be produced here would include customer reviews and testimonies, product overviews and case studies.
4) Product Launch Funnels
Effective for both physical products and services, product launch funnels are best used for building anticipation prior to a launch.
There are many ways one can go about creating a product launch funnel, which includes thrilling social media page reveals, automated emails counting down days to the launch, pre-order pages, registration to watch a live launch and many more.
Further down into the middle or bottom of the funnel, bridge pages and exclusive discounts may also help to ease leads into the sales and payment pages.
In general, product launch funnels work best for products and services that are on offer for a limited time only or have limited access. Massive brands such as Apple, Tesla, as well as many health, wellness and fitness companies use product launch funnels to boost their sales.
5) Storefront Funnels
Perhaps one of the more low-effort funnels out there, a storefront funnel is basically comprised of a single page listing all of your brand’s products or services.
From here, website visitors would be able to compare different products, select products that suit them best and click into their respective sales pages where they can learn more about the products and make a purchase.
While storefront funnels might be reminiscent of more ‘traditional’ e-commerce pages, they’re certainly efficient in showcasing the best that your brand has to offer and are a great place to integrate smaller sales funnels to individual products.
Funnels are the path a user embarks on to reach the desired endpoint. There are as many types of funnels as there are funnels, but they can all be segmented into 5 main categories, which are:
- Purchase funnels
- Lead generation funnels
- Content funnels
- Product launch funnels
- Storefront funnels
When employed correctly, conversion funnels are highly effective tools for reaching your business goals, be it increasing sales, raising engagement or collecting survey answers.
Unfortunately, different types of funnels entail different optimization software for each respective funnel. This can easily lead to confusion and loss of efficiency, especially when you are scaling your business.
However, Howuku offers an all-in-one dashboard that has all the tools you need, such as heatmaps, session recordings, A/B testing, website personalization, survey forms, and more.
Moreover, you can implement the tool in multiple websites as well as allow access to multiple team members, according to your needs.
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