All marketing funnels leak. Unlike actual funnels in the physical world, the vast majority of what is poured in at the wide top of a marketing funnel will “leak” out long before it ever reaches the narrow bottom. Improving conversion comes down to plugging leaks. Some strategies require in-depth analytics and long-term overhauls – but not all. Here are some quick fixes to leaky marketing funnels.
Top of the Funnel: Focus on Quality Leads
The central job of your funnel’s top (awareness phase) is to make your brand as relevant to as many prospects as possible. Focus more on inbound links and less on accumulating legions of social media followers. Track ad impressions, as well as click-through rates, followers, fans and other social amplifications. But perhaps most importantly, use stellar, authoritative content at the top of your funnel – and only at the top of your funnel.
Cut Down on Content
The tidal wave of online content, fueled by the unrivaled success of the content marketing movement, has led too many marketers to put too much focus on content creation. As discussed in the article “7 Things You Need to Fix in Your Marketing Funnel,” content should dominate the top of the funnel, or the “awareness” phase. Once customers leave the first phase of the funnel, however, they should no longer encounter content designed to get the business’s message out. Cull bad, irrelevant or unnecessary content.
A/B Testing in the Middle Funnel: Interest and Desire
The prospects who made it past the awareness stage don’t need any more content – what they need are relevant, targeted ads that clearly articulate value. It is your job to meticulously and consistently run A/B split testing on any tweaks you make on those ads. In order to plug leaks in your funnel, create a champion/challenger format that tests your most successful ads against varied versions that you hope will outperform them.
Landing Pages: The Last Stop for Leaks
If prospects have made it to your landing pages, you’ve done everything right so far. Don’t lose them now by neglecting the entry point to your website. Make sure your landing pages look like their corresponding entry points (email, social media, PPC, etc.). Establish continuity and brand identity by making sure your color schemes, fonts, images and logos look the same on your landing pages as they do on all your incoming channels.
A/B testing will consistently challenge your “champion” ad or landing page to improve.
Every marketing funnel leaks – but that’s no excuse not to work to fix inefficient funnels. The key is understanding which leaks are most likely to occur at each specific section of the funnel. Remove clutter, such as excess content, insist on A/B testing – even for your best ads – and always remember that your funnel is only as good as the quality of the leads that enter through the top.