Building Your First Inbound Sales Funnel
Last updated: August 2019
A well-executed inbound marketing campaign has the ability to bring in new customers and is a cost-effective way of reaching a large number of people without having to spend a fortune on advertising or salespeople.
Here are eight steps to guide you along the process of setting up an inbound marketing campaign which can boost your customer base and increase your revenue.
1. Identify your campaign audience
The first place to start is to get a clear idea of who your campaign’s audience is. Having a clear view of your audience will allow you to tailor your message directly to them and increase your chances of converting them into a customer. Your audience will impact what your offer is, your branding, copywriting and design.
It’s important to note that your audience isn’t always your end user. If you are promoting children’s clothes for example, then your audience is parents and not children. If you are promoting a retirement home, your audience might be the family of the person requiring the home.
2. Set your goals and benchmarks
Every successful campaign needs to have goals that you aim to achieve. Not knowing what you want to achieve makes it impossible to know if your campaign was a success or not and therefore if it was a worthwhile use of your time and money.
A popular format for goal setting is to use the SMART formula in which your goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.
SMART goals may include getting ‘1000 email opt-ins in one month’ or ‘20 customers purchasing your offer each day’. One of the main advantages of online marketing is that your goals and benchmarks can be measured right down to a single click or dollar spent.
3. Create your offer and landing pages
Creating your offer is all about providing something of value to your target audience. What you offer will come down to the goals you set in step 2.
If your aim is to build an email list then you will need to come up with an incentive for someone to opt-in, this might be a free ebook or video. If you are selling a product, then you need to focus on how best to convey your products benefits, features, and take into account pricing.
A significant factor in whether your offer will be accepted by a customer comes down to your landing page. Your landing page should instantly capture your viewers’ attention through compelling copy and images that are engaging enough to sell your offer.
The most effective way of creating high converting landing pages is to A/B test them against each other and consistently try to come up with a higher converting page. It’s important that you also include keywords that you want your landing page to rank for to increase the pages traffic from search engines.
4. Build your automation and nurturing flows
Once someone has taken you up on your offer, it is then important to maintain contact with them and nurture them into a long-term and valued customer.
Using methods such as email marketing can make the entire process automated and allows you to send regular emails to either upsell or encourage people to make that first purchase.
Your follow up marketing shouldn’t necessarily always be about selling but rather it can be a chance to offer more value and information and therefore keep your company at the forefront of your customer’s minds.
5. Start blogging
You might have the greatest offer in the world and a stunning landing page but if nobody knows about it then, it’s of no use to anyone.
One effective way to drive traffic to your website is to create informative blog posts that notify your audience about what you are offering and why it is of value to them. Creating posts on subjects relating to your offer and linking to your landing pages is an effective strategy to drive targeted traffic that is provided free by search engines.
6. Share your offer on Social Media
Your social media audience has already demonstrated an interest in your company and many of them are probably already customers. This makes it an ideal place to promote your offer and blog posts.
If someone already has a relationship with you through social media, then there’s a much higher chance that they will make a purchase from you.
7. Consider paid search and other channels
Getting traffic through search engines and tapping into your social media followers has its limitations though. The easiest way to instantly get more targeted eyeballs on your offer is through paid search and paid advertising.
One great advantage of paying for traffic is that you can determine which channels are cost effective and which ones aren’t. Stick with the channels that provide a positive return and stop promoting your offer through channels that aren’t.
8. Analyse your results
Through the use of analytics and compiling data, you can now determine if your campaign was a success or not. It is important that you focus on conversions rather than purely traffic, as different traffic sources will have different conversion rates.
If your campaign was successful and returned a positive return on investment, then you might decide to scale up the campaign. For unsuccessful campaigns, you will want to continue tweaking all of the above until you come to a positive result or discontinue the campaign entirely.