A marketing funnel is a simple model which depicts the manner in which a prospective client goes from being aware of your brand, through being a customer, to buying a product or service from you. In this model, various stages of client engagement are included. Most companies employ marketing funnels to study their clients’ needs at each stage, maximize their marketing efforts, and make more sales. They help create a strong relationship between you and your customers, as well as help you make informed decisions about what to offer them. If you want to increase the number of customers you gain, learn more about the four stages of client acquisition.   As you might already know, marketing includes reaching the target audience. Through this process, you aim to create awareness among the general public about your products or services. At the same time, you want to make sure that only the targeted audience will be exposed to the information or images you want them to see. There are different ways in which you reach out to the audience that you are targeting, such as through social media, television, print, and the internet.   The marketing funnel starts by identifying the journey the buyer takes after coming into contact with your product or service. This journey may take the form of a decision to purchase a product or service, or a series of decisions about what to buy and how to act after purchasing the item. Depending on your business model, the process may be further subdivided into pre-purchase, post-purchase, or customer loyalty programs. You can further organize the funnel by identifying the ultimate result you wish to achieve, which can be achieved in one of these three stages.   marketing funnel The most important part of the marketing funnel, therefore, is understanding where you are at the present moment in time. From this point on, it becomes much easier to determine what actions you need to take to increase sales. For example, the pre-purchase stage is often characterized by many questions that potential customers need to ask. The answers provided at this time are crucial toward helping the customer make a buying decision. Once the buyer has received the product he/she can now either decide to purchase or attempt to research and evaluate other products available to the potential customer.   With that information in hand, the next phase of the marketing funnel begins. In this stage, you will want to begin developing a marketing strategy to promote the product or service you have chosen. Depending on the product being offered, there are several different marketing strategies you can choose from. While some marketing strategies may be more suitable than others, all marketing strategies should provide a method for the buyer to get in touch with you and build a relationship after receiving the product.   Some common marketing funnel tactics include creating an informational website, list building, email marketing, viral marketing and classified ads. When these tactics are utilized effectively, they provide a seamless customer-client relationship. By providing potential buyers with valuable information through a website and list building, you establish trust in the eyes of the buyer. List building allows you to capture contact information for future marketing endeavors. Viral marketing involves offering a free product or offering a free gift to a prospective customer. Lastly, classified ads allow a business owner to advertise new services, products and/or items that are not currently offered in the company’s existing clientele.   Another vital step in developing an effective marketing funnel involves the creation of a customer database management system. These two processes provide a cohesive means of managing contacts and establishing a timeline for interactions with prospective clients. The CRM system will allow you to categorize and segment the various contacts that come into the company’s contact list. This system also provides the framework for all future contact efforts. As the company grows, both of these processes become necessary for maintaining effective client service levels.   When marketing funneling through a series of customer relationship management (CRM) tools, it is important to keep in mind that the most powerful aspect of these tools are the reference data they provide to prospects. Because a prospective client is only likely to be interested in services and products that he or she has previously been offered, it is important to take steps to ensure that this information is accurate. In fact, once a customer has established a relationship with the company, it is likely that they will be more inclined to purchase the products and services the company offers. Therefore, it is important to consider all of these factors when marketing to prospects through the use of a CRM system.