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How to use the concept of marketing funnels for your pole-based business

A marketing funnel is one way to explain the process your customer goes through starting from learning about your product/service/studio to actually making a purchase with you.

In reality, your customer journey is not straightforward, and they may enter the funnel at any part and bounce around before they make a sale.

The visual of a marketing funnel is still useful—we’ll explain more in the rest of this post—as well as how to use the concept.

Why a funnel?

A funnel is really an upside triangle. The idea is that the most amount of people as possible become aware of your product/service/studio in the “base” or widest part of the triangle. As people learn more about your business, some people decide your produce/service/studio isn’t for them and they exit the funnel or are “filtered” out of the funnel.

The people still in the funnel, learn more about your business or business practices through interacting with your business in various ways. Maybe they have more questions that you answer through direct emails, your social media content, or a live sales meeting.

Eventually, as this process iterates and filters, the smallest part of the funnel (or the “tip” of the upside-down triangle) are people that actually decide to make a sale and buy something from you.

Remember—it’s normal for people to enter and exit your funnel!

How to get people into the funnel?

If you’re already marketing on social media, people may have organically stumbled across you searching for your type of business. Maybe you’ve started running ads, and even though they weren’t actively searching for you, the magic of the internet (and paid Google/social media ads!) has pushed this content to them.

People following you on social media is typically the largest part of your funnel. In this space they are aware of your brand and maybe like your content, but they aren’t invested in you. Maybe they don’t totally understand what you do and how you can help them. It’s unlikely at this point that they are ready to make a purchase decision.

How do you move people through the funnel?

For people already following your content—or potentially people receiving your paid ads—you know they are looking for your product/service/studio or are at least receptive to your information. Get them to take the next step by offering them something they might want from you that is low risk to them.

This is really important if you have a high price for your product/service/studio. If you have a low price item to sell, it might be easy for people to buy with less steps through the funnel or less information/interaction from your business. The more it costs though (in money and/or in effort), the more you must explain to people the value that they receive from working with you.

One common technique is to offer people a freebie to sign up for your email list. We’ve talked about this before, but remember: there are many ways to market your business, some are free and some cost money. With the continued issues of shadow banning and social media advertising rejecting pole business ads, growing your email list is more important to growing your business than ever before.

Once you have someone’s email address, they have said they are interested in you, your business, and your content.

Consider offering something that is valuable but that you don’t personally need to deliver. For instance, offering a free live class is often a bad idea either because you could be completely overwhelmed with people signing up and have no time to run your paid business OR you could have so many signups but because its free, people don’t show up. Consider offering a digital item that is easy to deliver to people like a cheat sheet for what to expect at their first pole class, or a set of conditioning exercises (as a video or a pdf), or similar. At the IPIA, we offer people a free pole business checklist to sign up for our email list!

How to keep moving people through the funnel?

Once a potential customer signs up for your email list, they enter your drip marketing funnel. Drip marketing is an email marketing strategy (also known as marketing automation) composed of multiple emails sent out at specific times and dates (“dripped”) telling your new sign-ups about offers and encouraging them to buy something.

There’s more information on how to set up your drip marketing campaign in this post.

As soon as someone signs up for your content, they should receive the automated information as listed in the drip marketing post for a set period. People may make a purchase during that time based on the content you share through your emails, or they may unsubscribe because all they wanted was your first freebie. What kind of content should you share? Maybe at this stage, is when you share a “limited time” offer of a discount off a service or product with you along with more information about what you offer. For instance, maybe you have a membership service. You’ll need to explain what it is/how it works, share some testimonials from current members and then a discount or other incentive to sign up for something that costs money.

The people who haven’t left your list and haven’t yet made a sale are still in the funnel! Now you can email them to talk about your offers on a regular basis. How regular? It depends on your business. Some businesses send a monthly email with information about their offerings, others like retailers may send multiple emails a week highlighting different products. You’ll have to figure out what works for you through a little bit of trial and error.

How do I get started with funnels?

Always make sure you start with a marketing plan. This will help you understand who want to be your customer and how you are going to try and reach them.

If that sounds like too much, just start!

Develop a useful freebie and set up your drip email campaign. IPIA members receive a 30% discount off ConstantContact, an email marketing tool that automates your drip email campaign and manages your email contacts.

Keep providing great content and keep interacting with your potential customers. If you don’t immediately make a sale, remember that is normal! You may have hundreds or thousands of people on your email list who haven’t yet made a sale with you. It may take them months or years to decide to work with you or they might never actually work with you. The more people you keep adding to the funnel, the greater chance you’ll have of making a sale. Automate this process as much as possible so you can focus on other parts of your business while you keep feeding your funnel.


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