When it comes to digital marketing it is difficult to find an aspect of advertising that is more important than your marketing funnel. This tool will be used to tie all of your advertising efforts together to create a seamless journey for your customers to transition from strangers to dedicated fans of your brand. In this guide, we will cover one of the simplest and most practical funnels that you can start creating for your business today!
But before we get into all of that let’s break down exactly what a funnel is. The funnel is defined as “your customer’s journey with you from the initial stages when someone learns about your business, to the purchasing stage” – Social Sprout
The Four Major Stages Of A Marketing Funnel
Depending on who you ask there are many different interpretations of the marketing funnel. For the sake of simplicity, this model will be what we are using to break down the different aspects of the funnel.
Awareness – This stage is all about your customer’s first interaction with your business. This could be seeing an advertisement from your business for the first time, hearing about you from a friend, or driving past your gym and seeing your sign. Whatever it might be, this is the first step in the funnel that consists of customers learning that your business exists.
Interest – This next stage of the funnel is where your customer first interacts with your business and shows their potential interest in signing up for your services. This could be viewing an ad online, liking one of your Facebook posts, or going to your website to check out what you are all about. This is the stage where the customer figuratively raises their hand to show that they want to see more from your business.
Desire – Now that the customer has seen your business and has shown interest in what you have to offer, the next step is the desire stage. Applied to the real world this might look like a customer submitting their email to your email list or asking for your pricing. This stage is where customers are actively pursuing your business, but it is the step directly before they actually buy what you have to offer.
Action – This is the final step that is always at the center of focus for marketers and business owners alike. Here is where the customer actually purchases something from your business. This is the final stage of the funnel. However, remember that the funnel process can be repeated again as needed.
So now that we have a better idea of the different stages of your funnel let’s break this down into a real-world process that we will be setting up in this guide.
Where to Start?
To start this process we are going to begin at the top of the funnel by finding new customers and showing them what your gym has to offer. The best tool for this is going to be Facebook & Instagram advertising. Through these platforms, you will be able to reach the correct demographic without breaking the bank. Facebook advertising is one of the less expensive methods of digital advertising, and it can bring great results.
There are many different facets of Facebook marketing to cover, so at this point, I recommend that you read my article written here on The Ultimate Guide To Facebook Marketing. From here you can get information on everything you need to know about the nitty-gritty parts of running your own ads. In this guide, I want to keep everything higher level to understand the whole process from a bird’s-eye view.
Step 1: The Baby Funnel – Getting Started In Facebook Ads
When getting started on Facebook we recommend beginning general and getting more specific as time goes on. General advertisements always cost less to reach more people making them very cost-effective. The more specific that an ad targeting gets the more that it will cost you. To begin with a broad base.
Start by creating Facebook ads for each of your general classes. This could look like advertisements for your preschool classes, birthday classes, girls rec, boys rec, ninja, or team. Just try to divide up the classes that you offer into large blocks and make ads that pertain to each of these.
From here also create a landing page(s) that customers will be directed to in order to be able to sign up for your gym. This represents the funnel in its simplest sense. Being that this method will be the easiest and cheapest it is a good place to start, it will also help you to learn the fundamentals of digital marketing. However, you will most likely never get as good of results with this simple funnel as you could with a more advanced one.
- Cheap and fast to set up
- Not as efficient or effective for generating leads
Step 2: Maturing Your Funnel – Introducing Email marketing to improve conversions
Now that you have a proper baby funnel in place we hope that you were able to generate some leads for your business and create some positive results. At this stage companies usually are making more from their advertising than they are losing and benefiting from the changes that they have made to their marketing. Still, there is so much more that we can get from the funnel process.
Next, we are going to add one of the most powerful tools for lead generation out there, email marketing.
In addition to email marketing fitting into our funnel perfectly it is also incredibly cost-effective. Average stats show that every $1 dollar in email marketing generates $36 in return. These are incredible statistics that we definitely want to take advantage of in our funnel.
The other greatest feature of email marketing is that it makes your funnel “sticky”. A sticky funnel means that customers are less likely to leave it. If you think about it when a customer visits your web page there is no guarantee that they will ever stick around to buy anything or come back again. In most situations, they will visit your site one time and then leave and never come back.
Email marketing allows us to continue to work and build that relationship with your customers after they leave your website. All that we have to do is convince them to sign up for our email list.
I know what you might be thinking at this stage “I want to earn new business, but I don’t want to spam people’s inboxes.” I also thought of email marketing like this for the longest time and did not want to incorporate it into my own marketing efforts. However, the reality is that email marketing is only really annoying if it is done improperly. Unfortunately, email marketing is often done incorrectly and so it has gotten this bad reputation.
Now that we have a bit of a better understanding of email marketing we can zoom back out to the funnel level and see how it is incorporated into our overall marketing plan. If you want to learn about how you can set up your email marketing follow this article we wrote on The Ultimate Guide To Gymnastics Email Marketing where we talk about everything you need to know about setting up your email marketing.
In our Funnel we are going to add email marketing between our Facebook ads at the awareness stage and our landing page at the action stage:
So to change our funnel we are no longer going to be directly asking for customers to sign up for our classes. Instead of going straight for the sale “sign up for our class!” we are going to be offering information with our Facebook Ads.
This information needs to be something that your ideal customer really wants to know. Both of those points are crucial. This information needs to pertain to the demographic that you are targeting, these are usually parents who are interested in sports in your general area. The second part of this is that the information needs to be irresistible, something that customers would look at and think “I really need that”. When you have both of these parts you have the first part of creating your lead magnet complete.
Step 3: Creating Your Lead Magnet
A lead magnet is a piece of content that customers will usually exchange their email for. Because of this, the lead magnet needs to be more valuable than something customers could just find by searching online, if that was the case why would they bother submitting their email to get it?
So some examples of lead magnets that you could use would be something like the following:
- Ultimate Guides
- Calendar / Planner
- Resource Guide
- Cheat Sheets
- Email Course
- Cliff Notes
- Printable Files
- And so much more, creativity is the only limit here
Something like this will help to entice the customer and pique their interest. Now let’s talk about how we can make sure that we are not annoying our customers by spamming their inboxes.
The first thing that we have to do is to be clear with our customers that we are interested in email marketing to them. If this message is not clear we risk pestering our customers and working against our overall goal.
If we make it very obvious that a customer is signing up for email marketing and they do it anyways then we can assume that they want to see what we have to offer. In other words, we do not have to be worried about annoying these customers because they are willingly saying that they would like to hear more from us. As long as we are providing them the value they are only benefiting from the interaction.
Once you have created your lead magnet you are halfway done with email marketing for your business. The next step is to create a lead nurturing campaign that gives more value, builds your relationship, and eventually makes the sale.
Step 4: Creating Your Email Nurture Campaign
So working our way through the funnel, customers have seen your advertisement on Facebook and clicked to get to your lead magnet. From there they have signed up to receive information from you, so now what…
The next step of this process is to take them from being interested to actually being ready to purchase something from your business. This is done through the Lead Nurturing Campaign.
An example of a lead nurturing campaign would look something like this:
- Email #1 – Introduction Email – Welcome To the Family
- Email #2 – FAQ – Answer some of the most frequently asked questions and concerns
- Email #3 – Helpful Information – Give some value to your Customers
- Email #4 – Helpful Information – Give more value to your customers
- Email #4 – More Helpful Informational Content & First Soft Sale
- Email #5 – Medium Sale – Benefits of your services
- Email #6 – Hard Sale – Combatting Customer Concerns
With pretty much any modern email marketing software you will be able to automate this process. So besides setting it up originally it will all function without any intervention required.
Take some time to set up these emails and walk through them as if you were a customer to see how well it might work and how compelling of a process it is. One great way to make email campaigns more compelling is by making them something that you can follow along with or a challenge. Interactive campaigns like this usually create much better results than dry informational content.
Final steps – Tying everything together
Now you have built out your Facebook marketing, your lead magnet, and your email nurture campaign. The last and final step is to put it all together into one seamless journey that customers will take.
As for adding these steps together don’t worry about making it all perfect. No marketing funnels are perfect right out of the gate. They take time to tweak and improve. Likewise, as you market your gym you will also improve in all aspects and create better graphics and more compelling copy.
The most important part is that you take your time to assess what is working and what is not. Viewing your data to find where your funnel is leaking is the most important step to improving its performance. If you don’t know what is broken how can you fix it?
We cover this question in our complete course that shows you how you can work through this process and so much more step by step. You can find our Ultimate Gymnastics Marketing Mastery course here if you are interested in taking your gymnastics marketing to the next level.
We hope that this guide has helped you to better understand the process of funnel creation and how it can play a role in your business. We wish you the best of luck marketing out there!