Common Issues With Marketing Funnels

Common Issues With Marketing Funnels

These days, marketing has become less about simply selling products—it’s about building relationships. A funnel is a marketing strategy that helps build relationships with prospective customers and converts them into recurring ones. As with many sales processes, marketing funnels can often have common issues. Luckily, there are solutions to these problems!

Today, we’re looking at the importance of marketing funnels, the stages of the funnel, some of their common issues, and suggestions for how to resolve them! I work closely with email marketing, so that’s the focus today—but many of the issues and solutions can apply to other types of funnels, too!


Why are marketing funnels important?

Whether through email alone or a combination of all your marketing channels, marketing funnels are an important tool for driving a business’ success. A marketing funnel creates a road map that guides a customer’s experience on their journey with your business. With a well-implemented marketing funnel, you can successfully convert your target audience into a thriving customer base.

There are a few schools of thought on what comprises a marketing funnel. Most sources list four or five stages of the buying process; some streamline this down to three stages. I like to think of the stages of the marketing funnel as the story of your relationship with your customers. And I tell it in three acts:

Top of the funnel

At the top of the funnel comes brand awareness. This is where you introduce your business to potential customers. It’s the Hollywood “meet-cute.” Your content creates interest for your audience and draws them in.

Middle of the funnel

In the middle comes evaluation. The will-they/won’t-they section of the story. Your customers are aware of you—now, they need to know if they want what you offer. This is where you display your company’s value and make your case for how your product or service fits into their life.

Bottom of the funnel

At the bottom comes conversion. The Hollywood happy ending—your customer makes their purchase. With a great product or service and an effective marketing funnel, you can create a repeat customer.

Common email marketing funnel problems

Unfortunately, marketing funnels do have some common problems that require work to resolve. But the results are absolutely worth putting in the effort. If you’re building a new email funnel (or having problems with your current one), I recommend a full audit of your existing funnel to identify specific problem areas.
Here are some of the most common issues I discover in email funnels and how I like to resolve them:

Not enough leads

Generating leads is one of the most important tasks of marketing funnels. These are your potential customers you hope to make aware of your business. So, what do you do if the top of your funnel isn’t generating enough leads?

Consider the way you collect leads and re-evaluate your existing lead magnets. Are you generating leads by offering free trials, social media/blog posts, interesting case studies, or other free content on your website? Tools such as Google Analytics can help you discover how many clicks you’re getting, which pages your customers visit, and when they leave your site. This can help you understand what interests potential customers—and where you might lose them.

If the problem is not enough traffic coming in, many SEO tools exist that can help. With the right SEO, you can target which searches can bring more leads to your landing page, increase traffic, and potentially grow your email list.

Lack of segmentation

Again, analytics tools can help your marketing campaign here. You can use these tools to learn a lot about your customer base and split them into different segments, usually based on shared shopping or personality traits. Once you’ve created customer segments, you can evaluate your messaging and ensure that the right messages are going to the right people. Slight changes in wording for each segment can create messaging more relevant to their care abouts.

Lack of lead scoring

Lead scoring is a strategy that gathers information about your leads, tracks their journey, and creates a “score” of how likely that customer is to make a purchase at various points along their journey. Developing a lead scoring strategy to identify those leads that are most engaged (and when) can allow you to target them for higher conversions.

I find it most helpful to define everything well: what makes a good lead, what their journey with the business is, what actions they take before making a purchase. The more information you have, the more you can define every point of your relationship with a customer, and the more accurate your lead scores can become. This can help you create emails that target leads with scores most likely to lead to conversion.

Low conversion rates

So, you’ve been able to guide your customers to the end of the journey, but they just aren’t converting. The good news is, email is still a highly successful method of delivering calls to action that work. One major area for potential improvement is the subject line—is it grabbing your customers’ attention? All the research you’ve done to this point can help you discover the right language to use here. If all else fails, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a quick internet search to find subject lines that have worked for others and amending that to fit your business.

As a side note, a large portion of people read emails on their phone. Optimizing emails for mobile can go a long way toward helping convert customers.

Just some tips

Of course, there are other, smaller actions you can take to bring up your conversion rates. These are just a few best practices that can help keep a healthy relationship between you and your customers. Some of these best practices for an email marketing funnel include:
  • Creating a nurture sequence/drip that touches every lead and provides engagement opportunities consistently and regularly
  • Evaluating the deliverability of emails to ensure they’re reaching your customers (and not getting lost in spam folders)
  • Split testing your messaging to determine which wording/slogans/calls to action are most effective in converting
  • Monitoring data to create or amend the funnel based on the most up-to-date information about the behavior of your leads