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REVEALED: the 6 signs a bad marketing funnel is sucking the lifeblood out of your business

Things a bit quiet in your business at the moment?

It’s easy to put it down to ‘trading conditions’ or the economy. But if new enquiries and sales have been consistently trending down for months (or even years) then chances are you’ve got a different kind of problem.

Your marketing funnel sucks. Literally!

A marketing funnel describes the journey a consumer takes from first learning about your brand to making a purchase—or better yet, becoming a loyal customer.

Every business has a marketing funnel. Even if you’re only vaguely aware of how yours works, if you’re getting enquiries and sales then you’ve got a functioning marketing funnel.

And if it’s not working? Well, you’re in a world of pain. You might be losing marketshare to competitors, burning money with negative cashflow, and stressed out of your mind! Understandably you might be looking to cut costs, but that is often the biggest mistake of all.

You probably just need to fix your marketing funnel – and fast.

Keeping your marketing funnel in top-notch condition isn’t just a nice-to-have; it’s a must-have. A healthy funnel means better conversion rates, a higher return on investment, and happier customers. On the flip side, neglecting it can lead to poor sales, wasted marketing dollars, and a brand reputation that could be as underwhelming as a rained-out footy match.

So, what are the signs that your marketing funnel might be under the weather? In this blog, we’ll look into six red flags to watch out for and discuss how a digital agency, like WebBuzz, can help you treat these symptoms. 

Sign #1: Low Conversion Rates at Every Stage

A conversion rate is the percentage of visitors who complete a desired action. This could range from clicking a ‘Learn More’ button, filling out a contact form, to actually purchasing your product. Conversion rates are a nifty way to measure how effective each stage of your funnel is at moving potential customers down to the next level.

Benchmarking Your Conversion Rates

Now, you might wonder what constitutes a ‘low’ conversion rate. Good question! Here are some ballpark figures to consider:

  • Awareness Stage: At this stage, you’re looking at a wider audience, so a conversion rate of 1-3% is generally acceptable.
  • Interest Stage: As your audience gets more specific, you should aim for a conversion rate around 3-5%.
  • Decision Stage: At this point, your audience is primed and ready. A 5-10% conversion rate is what you’re after.
  • Action Stage: This is where the magic happens—making a sale! A conversion rate of about 10-15% is a good target.

A low conversion rate is a bit like having a fishing net with holes; you might catch some fish, but you’re losing a lot of them along the way. And just like you wouldn’t keep using a damaged net, it’s not wise to carry on with a malfunctioning marketing funnel.

Sign #2: High Customer Attrition Rate

Customer attrition refers to the loss of customers over a given period. Imagine your business as a bucket of water. You’re always pouring new water (customers) in, but if there’s a leak (attrition), you’ll never keep it full. The rate at which you lose water is your customer attrition rate. The lower, the better.

Why is a High Attrition Rate a Problem?

Constantly having to replace lost customers can drain resources and take a toll on your profitability. Plus, a high attrition rate often hints at deeper issues within your marketing funnel, such as poor customer experience or lack of engagement post-purchase.

So, why might customers be leaving you? A few usual suspects are:

  • Poor Customer Service: Aussies value a fair go, and poor service can push customers away quicker than a kangaroo on the hop.
  • Lack of Value: If your product or service doesn’t meet expectations or provide ongoing value, customers will find it easier to jump ship.
  • No Customer Engagement: Just like you wouldn’t ignore a mate, don’t ignore your customers. Post-purchase engagement can significantly impact customer retention.
  • Competitive Market: Sometimes, it’s not about you; it’s them. Australia’s market can be highly competitive, and other businesses might offer better deals or more compelling services.

Addressing these areas can make a world of difference to your customer attrition rate and, by extension, the health of your marketing funnel.

Sign #3: Negative Customer Feedback and Reviews

While no one enjoys receiving negative feedback, it’s an invaluable tool for diagnosing the health of your marketing funnel. Negative comments often point to specific areas where customers are disappointed or frustrated, which in turn highlights the stages of your funnel that might need an overhaul.

Here’s how this could look in practice:

“The product didn’t match the description!”

This suggests a disconnect between your marketing messages and the reality of your product or service. If customers are constantly saying this, you might need to revisit the ‘Interest’ and ‘Decision’ stages of your funnel.

“I never heard back from customer service!”

This is a clear sign that your ‘Action’ or even ‘Retention’ stage needs attention. Lack of effective communication can damage your brand reputation and drive customers away.

“I keep getting irrelevant emails!”

Are you bombarding your customers with information they don’t care about? This usually indicates a problem with your ‘Post-Purchase’ or ‘Loyalty’ stage, where personalised communication is key.

Negative reviews can impact your brand image, deter potential customers, and give your competitors the upper hand. Therefore, use negative feedback as an opportunity to identify weaknesses in your funnel and make necessary adjustments. After all, a bad review can be far more educational than a good one if you take it on the chin and use it to improve.

Sign #4: Inconsistent Brand Messaging

Imagine you’re at the footy and your team suddenly starts playing by rugby rules. Confusing, right? The same goes for your brand messaging. If you’re switching your tone, style, or even the promises you make to customers as they go through your funnel, it can create confusion and mistrust. A strong brand is consistent and reliable; customers know what to expect at every stage, from first click to final purchase.

Inconsistency: The Silent Funnel Killer

Inconsistent messaging can manifest in a multitude of ways:

  • Mixed Signals: If your social media says you’re eco-friendly but your emails are all about high consumerism, you’re sending mixed signals that can be off-putting.
  • Tone Shifts: Staying friendly and approachable on social media but turning overly formal in email communications can jolt the customer experience.
  • Promise and Delivery Gaps: Promising high-quality luxury items and delivering subpar products is not just bad business; it can seriously damage your brand reputation.

So, if your brand messaging feels a bit like a patchwork quilt of different tones, promises, and styles, it’s time for a makeover. Ensure that your messaging is consistent across all stages of your marketing funnel to build trust and improve conversions.

Sign #5: Poor Quality Traffic

Not all website traffic is worth celebrating. Poor quality traffic consists of visitors who are unlikely to convert into customers for various reasons—maybe they stumbled upon your site by mistake, or perhaps they’re just not interested in what you have to offer.

Metrics to Identify Poor Quality Traffic

To figure out whether you’re attracting the wrong crowd, you can keep an eye on the following metrics:

  • Bounce Rate: A high bounce rate means people are leaving your site without interacting. If they’re not sticking around, they’re not moving through your funnel.
  • Average Session Duration: Brief visits indicate that users aren’t finding what they’re looking for, which likely means they won’t be converting any time soon.
  • Pages Per Session: Fewer pages viewed per session may mean your content isn’t engaging enough to keep visitors interested and guide them further down the funnel.
  • Traffic Sources: Check where your traffic is coming from. Low-quality or sketchy referral sites can often result in poor-quality traffic.

When your marketing funnel is filled with poor-quality traffic, it’s like throwing seeds on concrete—nothing fruitful will come out of it. These visitors are unlikely to engage with your brand, let alone make a purchase, which messes up your conversion rates and makes your funnel look far less effective than it could be.

Sign #6: Over-reliance on One Traffic Source

So you’ve found a traffic source that’s doing wonders for you—brilliant! But banking solely on this one avenue can make your marketing funnel vulnerable. Imagine if your go-to source is Google Ads and Google changes its algorithm. Your traffic could plummet, and your funnel would be high and dry.

Metrics to Keep an Eye On

To know if you’re overly reliant, keep tabs on:

  • Traffic Source Percentage: Are more than 50% of your leads coming from just one place? Time to diversify!
  • Cost Per Acquisition (CPA): If the CPA from your dominant source starts to rise, it could be a sign that you’re exhausting that avenue.
  • Conversion Rate by Source: Check if conversions are consistently lower from other sources compared to your main one. It may indicate that you’re not optimising those channels effectively.

To put it simply, don’t put yourself in a position where one hiccup can derail your entire funnel. Look into alternate avenues like social media, SEO, email marketing, and even offline channels to draw a well-rounded crowd into your funnel.

How WebBuzz Can Help Optimise Your Sick Marketing Funnel

At WebBuzz, we offer personalised services to make your marketing funnel the healthiest in the land. From SEO and content marketing to social media and email campaigns, we’ve got you covered.

So if you reckon your marketing funnel could do with a bit of TLC, give WebBuzz a buzz. We’re as passionate about your success as you are, and we’re stoked to help you get your funnel back in fighting form.

Contact us today or call us on 1300 41 00 81.

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