Imagine you’re walking down the street in a city you’ve never been to, looking for a good place to grab a slice of pizza.
You come upon the first pizza shop on the block. It has a huge blinking neon sign that screams “BEST PIZZA ON THE PLANET!”. You can’t really see inside the windows due to huge posters depicting delicious looking pies with all the toppings covering the glass. On the door there is a sign that says “For the next hour only, buy 3 slices and get a free 20oz soda! Don’t miss out on this incredible offer!”.
Thinking you clearly you won’t find a better option, you step inside and order your meal. After waiting a half hour, your slices and soda are brought out, and your face renders a look of utter disappointment. The pizza looks like it has been sitting out under a heat lamp for days, the cheese and toppings looking “aged”. Your soda is watered down and flat. Total bummer.
You decide to avoid the meal all together and press on to find a better place to eat, totally fine with taking the hit on your initial pizza investment.
You happen upon another pizza place on the next block. A simple sign outside says “Honestly Good Pizza”. Outside of the door, there is a gentleman handing out free bite size samples of their pizza. It’s delicious. Once inside, there’s a large window peering into the kitchen, where you can see all the care being put into crafting your fresh pizza…
Now which place would you choose?
It might sound silly, but the same type of logic can be said about the different philosophies of inbound marketing. Sure, both ways of doing things convert, but if you’re looking to build lasting relationships with people, have them identify with your brand, become raving fans, return customers and brand advocates for you, there’s only one way of doing things.
Marketing Trap vs Marketing Funnel
Tactics like that of pizza place #1 are what we call “all hat and no cattle”, with the pizza place tactics being replaced with things like “too good to be true” squeeze pages and scary fire sale copywriting. Creating clever traps in order to make a quick, lazy buck. But where’s the value in that? And how long will it take before the gig is up?
Instead, why not create a marketing funnel that is a delight to your visitors. One that allows them to engage with your brand on their own terms, and at their own pace. Here’s some ways you can do just that:
Elements of a Marketing Funnel that Resonates
- Educate, don’t sell: Gone are the days of the traditional sales person. By the time people first interact with your brand, chances are they have a good idea of what they want already, they don’t need some salesperson pushing them into something. Instead, educate them on the unique aspects of what you’re selling, how people are currently using your product or service and how it’s helping them to solve a specific problem.
- Engage with your audience, don’t speak at them: Personality and trust go along way, especially on the internet. It is our job as marketers to make the steps from first engagement to becoming a customer as easy and seamless as possible. Ask for feedback every step of the way. Find out where any roadblocks may be, and address their concerns. Learn from this process and improve your marketing funnel according to the data you collect.
- Be transparent with what your selling and its value:I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that it is absolutely crucial for buyers to know exactly what to expect, on both sides of the transaction. Not only will being transparent and candid about exactly what you are offering actually aid in the buying process, when that same expectation is met on the other side of the pay button, you gain that person’s trust, and have created a positive relationship. By doing this you’re taking steps toward lifetime customers and brand advocates alike.
Take it from me, I’ve worked with clients on both sides of this philosophy battle. No one wants a disappointing slice of pizza.