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The concept of using a sales funnel has been around for more than a century. While marketing funnel automation makes it easier for brands to manage leads from start to finish, the core and timeless principles of the traditional sales funnel have not changed. In this article, brands will get to know everything about digital marketing funnel automation and the modern technology that enables it.
The history of marketing funnel
The sales funnel was developed by Elias St. Elmo Lewis in 1898. He created the first marketing funnel by breaking down the customer journey into stages. These stages are still used to this day which includes awareness, interest, desire and action. The acronym is still very popular to this day: AIDA.
Much of the sales funnel hasn’t changed in the past hundred years. The modern marketing funnel is still based on Lewis’ work. Slight variances have emerged over the years though with leading marketing organisations like Hubspot, Moz and Forrester accentuating it.
The obsolete traditional marketing funnel
The traditional marketing funnel teaches brands that consumers will simply complete their purchase journey. This concept is still valid but has significantly evolved to meet the demands of modern consumers.
Even when different companies have a slightly different marketing funnel, brands will find obvious distinctions from the obsolete sales funnels of the past.
- The modern funnel does not end with a purchase.
- The modern sales funnel requires marketing growth tactics at every stage.
- The modern marketing funnel is not linear.
Timeless principles of the traditional marketing funnel
The objective of a purchase funnel has always been the same – to drive sales and generate revenues. It’s a fundamental part of any business that sells any kinds of products or services to an audience. At its most basic level, the traditional funnel comprises three equally important stages, as follows:
- Awareness – The stage when the customer discovers the brand.
- Interest – The stage when customers demonstrate an active interest in the product or service.
- Decision – When the customers decide if the products and services are something that they will need.
- Action – When the customer decides to purchase the product or service.
These stages have not changed but instead, it has evolved to having additional layers that all work together to ensure that customers are eased towards the end of the funnel.
Marketing funnel automation – modernizing the marketing funnel
Every business needs to investigate what channels work, what helps the brand grow and which ones don’t. Understanding this process only way to guarantee that a business’ digital marketing funnel will work the way it is intended to.
In the modern ecommerce marketing funnel, all the stages are still there, but they don’t look like they used to. Brands still have to attract leads, cause interest, and prompt decisions and action, but not necessarily in that order, and not using the same tactics.
Furthermore, modern marketing funnels allow leads to enter at any stage. Gone are the days when leads need to be “acquired” or walked through a series of predictable stages. The customer’s journey is now a choose-your-own adventure, an omnichannel. Automating the marketing funnel will help ensure that the brand is ready to meet the customer’s need at any point of the sales process.
For more established businesses, the basic sales funnel may be expanded to accommodate additional stages. Examples of which may include the following:
- Awareness – the moment a consumer discovers the product or service.
- Interest – the potential customer demonstrates an active interest in the product or service.
- Evaluation – the products and services are compared with those of rival brands.
- Consideration – the leads takes time to assess all available options or alternatives.
- Desire – the customer decides that the product or service fits their needs or desires.
- Action – the customer buys the products or service.
- Revaluation – after the purchase, the customer continues to evaluate whether the product or service suits their needs.
- Repurchase – the customer is happy with their purchase and decides to come back for more.
Best tech to use for marketing funnel automation
There are a dozens of marketing funnel automation software on the market. The idea is for brands to figure out what is needed at each stage and what works best.
Clickfunnels is a software that allows brands to manage the entire sales funnel. It features multiple funnel templates and systems for almost any kind of service or product. Brands can set up a funnel, optimise it and even collect payments all in a single tool. The best feature that Clickfunnels offer is that it does not need a developer to make it work.
Brands only need to choose the industry where it belongs such as B2B, network marketing, consulting or e-commerce. Then pick out the funnel that needs to be built such as an event funnel or a lead magnet. Brands can design their marketing funnel the way they want it. It also comes with either free or paid templates which allows brands to fully customise their funnel.
Sumo is a suite of tools that supports marketing funnel automation. Sumo offers four amazing tools that brands can take advantage of.
- Smart Bar (for collecting emails) – can be used to create CTAs or placed in the top or bottom of a window.
- Share buttons – best for social sharing.
- Welcome Mat (for collecting emails) – can be added as a CTA, video, an article or a web page.
- List Builder (for collecting emails) – can be added as a pop-up or as a click trigger.
This marketing funnel automation tool that enables brands to create mind maps of anything. If the current marketing funnel has moving parts this tool will help put together and organise any ideas. Some of the features it includes:
- Build funnels from scratch
- Customisable and ready-made templates
- Upload own images
- Choose unique shapes, fonts and colors
- Team collaboration
- Share funnels with social platforms
This tool allows brands to optimise their cold email strategy. This time there is no need to train the sales team since this tool will pick out the customers. It can also handle sending cold emails to leads. Breakthrough email allows brands to study their prospects and target high value leads to ensure better conversion.
This tool is one of the best solutions if brands what to map out their funnels in the fastest and most efficient way possible. The tool takes out simple problems that marketers face such as colors, shapes and labels that represent various parts of the sales funnel.
- Specific icons traffic sources, offline channels and pages
- Premium templates that are modeled after some of the best campaigns online
- A vault which contains free templates
- Share your sales funnel with an audience
Sketchfunnels.io is a web-based software that will allow brands to sketch their funnels without difficulty. It comes with a drag and drops functionality, as well as, dozens of options to create a beautifully made sales funnel.
- Easy drag and drop function so that brands can easily resize, add text and design their funnels.
- Create templates that can be re-used in the future.
- Export sketches
- Share sketches other Sketchfunnels.io users
- Specific icons can be used to create order pages, landing pages, sales pages, launch pages, webinar pages, traffic source and follow-up methods.
Thrive Leads is a WordPress plugin tool that can help generate email subscribers. The tool is popular for its opt-in forms. It focuses on building and deploying an opt-in box that can be used for collecting email addresses and managing lead magnets.
Brands who want to generate leads more uniquely and interactively, Typeform is the best tool. It allows brands to deploy surveys and quizzes that generates interest. It is an excellent tool to help improve engagement from the start to end, as well as, segment the email list.
For brands that want to be interactive on a whole new level, Wishpond allows better user-generated content to run smoothly. This tool allows brands to easily create fun social media contests which brings more leads to the top of the funnel.