This is how to build an inbound marketing funnel, from top to bottom. I’m going to walk you through the three core stages so you can convert strangers into customers.
Let’s start with content because on the Internet, content is king.
Driving Traffic To Your Inbound Marketing Funnel
We drive traffic by promoting relevant content, like this:
You content should have a Call To Action (CTA) that links to an opt-in form – or the form could be embedded in the blog post itself.
Either way, this is going let your visitors subscribe to your email list. Now, obviously we’re going to send a series of emails once someone has opted into your email list.
But something happens when they opt into the email list, they arrive at a ‘thank you’ page.
Now, this can be a sales page, so you can offer them a product. This could be a liquidator, or tripwire product. A tripwire product is a very low-priced item designed to trigger an impulse purchase. And then once they purchase it they through an upsell chain.
I’ll go into more detail in a minute, but first you need to know about the stages of an inbound marketing funnel.
Inbound Marketing Funnel Stages
- Top of funnel content
These are things like blog posts, videos and podcasts.
- Middle of funnel content
This is your email sequence. This can be a freebie, something that warms them up a little bit to you which helps build that trust and delivers value to your audience. That’s middle of funnel content.
- Bottom of funnel content
That’s where we make an explicit offer of something that can be your product, it can be a service, an affiliate offer, a CPA offer, it doesn’t matter.
But here you’re asking for something in return, you’re asking them to buy something, because during the first two phases, the first two stages of this funnel, that’s the top of funnel content and middle funnel content you’ve built trust.
So let’s drill down into each one of these stages in more detail.
Top of Funnel Content
Top of funnel content which starts with educational content. You promote your content on social media and other websites. You might take a paragraph of an article, paste it on Facebook with a link back to your blog post.
It works the same for Twitter, Linked In, Reddit, YouTube, everything leads back to your website. At that point, visitors can opt into your email list and the sequence begins. Then they should make a purchase eventually.
Let’s move on to the upsell chain.
Immediately after they subscribe to my email list, I offer them a small price product. This begins with a tripwire offer and then they go to the upsell chain.
This is what one of my funnels looks like:
I’ll explain it in more detail. After someone joins my email list, I offer them a $1 ebook.
Then there’s the first upsell.
This upsell addresses a problem that the first upsell creates. Every time your customer solves a problem, it creates a new one for them. A good upsell will address and solve that problem .
For example, when someone has traffic coming to the website, what are they going to do with all this traffic? of course, they’re going to build an email list, so guess what? I offer a book that shows them how to convert this traffic that they get from the first upsell into email subscribers solves a problem.
You can see I’ve got four offers in this upsell chain.
But we can take this further and offer downsells too, but I haven’t added any to this funnel.
So let’s take a quick recap; we’ve got traffic coming into the blog post, people opt-in, converting into email subscribers, they are added to the email list. But before they even receive an email, they get the tripwire offer. And then they can go into the upsell chain.
But what happens when people opt into this email sequence? Because most people who opt-in are not going to buy the tripwire offer no matter how great the offer is. The conversion rate is always going to be relatively low.
So we need a way to build trust.
So let’s drill down into the next stage. This is probably the most interesting stage for me, the middle of the funnel.
Middle Of Funnel Content
The most effective middle of funnel content, in my opinion, are emails. This is an email sequence I’m using:
I know it looks a little bit overwhelming but I’ll walk you through it because this is a really good system and you can copy it if you want to. I can almost guarantee you’re going to increase your revenue if you implement this strategy.
And the best thing is, this is all automated so we set it up once, and then it just runs on autopilot.
Onboarding Email Sequence
The very first email we send is going to be a personal story. We’re going to entertain our subscribers.
And there are a total of five days worth of emails, so one email every single day for the first five days.
On day one, we entertain our subscribers with a personal story and we promote something that’s relevant. Relevancy is key.
On day two we educate. We highlight a problem and a solution. And again, we link to a relevant sales page.
Now, this offer can be the same as the first email, or can be completely separate. But it sill has to be relevant to your audience.
On day three, we go back to entertaining them. We might have a before and after case study, or show them some results and again promote a relevant offer.
On day four we educate. We might send them a how-to article, maybe a step-by-step tutorial that gives them actionable information. And as always, we promote a relevant offer.
On day five we make a direct offer. Here we directly ask them to purchase something.
This is an explicit sales pitch. You need to stack the benefits of why they need to buy.
Bottom Of Funnel Content
At the bottom stage of your inbound marketing funnel we ask them to buy.
The best content for this is either a sales page – I recommend long form sales pages as they proven to convert best, or use a Video Sales Letter (VSL) instead.
This is how to structure your sales message.
Attention – this is usually a headline, image or an ad.
Interest – call out their problem to trigger their interest.
Desire – amplify the benefits to increase their desire.
Action – ask them to take action and buy.
And then behind the scenes, we add everyone who purchases to a ‘buyer’s list’ and we treat those people differently. We treat those people like gold, because that’s exactly what they are to your business.
Inbound Marketing Funnel Summary
The top of funnel content is used to create awareness of a problem, and motivate our traffic to seek a solution.
The middle of the funnel helps them to solve part of their problem, while demonstrating the full benefits – and transformation of doing so.
We’re delivering value, increasing trust, helping people solve their problem and move towards the bottom of the funnel.
At the bottom of the funnel we grab their Attention, trigger their Interest, amplify their Desire, and ask them to take Action – which converts into a sale.
And that’s how you can move someone from not knowing anything about you, to trusting you enough to hand you their hard-earned money, with an inbound marketing funnel.