Although the concept of the sales funnel is not a new one, inbound marketing has improved the sales funnel to help marketers visualize where a customer is in their buyer’s journey as to better meet their needs. In other words, publishing the right content at the right time in the right place. Since this sales funnel is at the heart of a successful inbound marketing strategy, it is important to be able to move leads through the funnel and align your content with the buyer’s journey in order to attract, convert, close, and delight your ideal customers. So without further adieu, here is The Lazy Man’s Guide to The Inbound Marketing Sales Funnel with examples.

*For the purpose of this blog we will be using our own company Leap Clixx for examples as well as one of our buyer personas “Marketer Mary”.

Attract

SEO, Blog, Social Media, Website

Since we want to convert strangers into visitors, we want to attract the people in our target market; our “buyer personas”. The tools we want to use in order to attract these buyer personas, include blogging, social media, search engine optimization, and of course your website! The content you produce during this stage should pique the interest of someone who is aware they have a potential problem you could solve.

Example: Marketer Mary is searching for topics that she can blog about. In doing so she comes across this article: 6 Ways to Generate Interesting Blog Topics (optimized for the keyword “interesting blog topics”). This article helps solve Marketer Mary’s problem when she was searching to solve it (right content, right time!).

inbound marketing

Convert

Calls-To-Action, Forms, Landing Page Optimization

Now that we have all of these interested visitors that we have attracted using the aforementioned ways, it’s time to trap them! Just kidding! It’s time to collect their contact information. How do we go about doing this? By encouraging visitors to click a CTA, and fill out a form. The way we encourage this action is by offering something the visitor would benefit from or find value in.

Example: Now that Marketer Mary has read our blog, she sees a CTA at the end for a FREE eBook “How to Use SEO to Boost Your Inbound Marketing Results”. Since Marketer Mary is already actively working on her inbound marketing campaign via blogging, she would probably love to learn more about boosting her Inbound Marketing Results with SEO! She happily clicks on the CTA and fills out a short form to get her free downloadable eBook.

SEO

Close

Email Optimization, CRM Synch #, Lead Scoring, Sales Alerts, Personalized Email+Web+Social Nurturing

This is when the fun really begins! We now have Marketer Mary’s contact information! So we should spam her with calls and emails right? WRONG! Now that she is a lead we want to continue to nurture that lead until she is ready to become a customer (keep in mind that being there at the right time is key and this could take a while!).

Example: A great way to show Marketer Mary that you are there to help is with a personalized email workflow. Since we already know she has downloaded our eBook, why not start the workflow with a personalized email that includes the link to the eBook she downloaded to ensure she received it? See how helpful we are? With a well-built workflow we can continue to reach out with emails until, wait for it, she decided she NEEDS your services. Cue the music, Marketer Mary is now a client!

inbound marketing

Delight

Feedback Forms, Email+Web+Social Engagement

Now that Marketer Mary is a client of Leap Clixx we want her to become a promoter who will tell others of her great experience with our company. In order for her to become a promoter, we want to encourage Mary to fill out a feedback form or share our content with her own email contacts, and social media network.

Example: Engaging followers on social media and encouraging shares, likes, comments, retweets etc. Remember to include social sharing icons on your website and in the content you are creating to help promote engagement.

inbound marketing

As you can see, when done correctly, the inbound marketing sales funnel is a great process to nurture your leads and ensure you are reaching them at the right time, right place, and with the right content. For more on inbound marketing strategy, download our FREE eBook “A Guide to Inbound Marketing Best Practices”:

This article originally appeared on the Leap Clixx Blog and has been republished with permission.