A Big Problem People Make With Marketing Funnels

By Jamie McSloy / March 21, 2018
marketing funnel mistake featured image

A Big Problem With Online Marketing Advice

There’s a big problem with a lot of online marketing advice.

With online marketing, you can take each element of your sales funnel and offer, and optimise it.

This is where the problem comes in.

The most common example of this that I see in copywriting circles is this:

“80% of people who read your headline won’t click your link. Therefore, you must spend the majority of your time focusing on your headline.”

Now, obviously writing a good headline, ad description or other attention-grabbing thing is important.

But the problem with internet marketing advice is that there’s a tendency to optimise for the trees and not the forest.

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To take the headline example; you do not want to spend hours crafting an email that appeals to everyone.

Why would you?

80% of people aren’t going to click your headline because they aren’t your customers. This is a good thing.

I’ll explain why now.

In An Ideal World…

In an ideal world, we wouldn’t have to bother with funnels. We could just send people straight to a checkout page and they’d buy our products.

We don’t live in an ideal world though, so we have to sort our customers from the masses.

And that’s exactly what a funnel is designed to do.

It’s not designed to turn people who would never buy your product in a million years into buyers.

It’s designed to take the people who are likely to be buyers and then filter the false matches for your product from the real buyers of your product.

Sure, you might convince a few people to buy your product, but if you’re marketing correctly, you’re going to be looking for people with a pre-existing desire or need.

Here’s How To Think About Copywriting Headlines And Marketing Funnels

If 80% of people are never going to click on your headline and read your article, then great. In fact… you should deliberately scare them away.

You don’t want 100% of people reading your headline or clicking your ad. This is a total waste of everyone’s time and a total waste of your advertising budget.

Think not about converting those 80% of people. Think instead about getting the 20% of people that will click on your link as interested as possible.

Leave the persuasion skills for those already invested. It will be easier and more effective. Leave getting the audience who’ll be interested to your targeting and market research stage.

So many people get the above wrong that it’s unbelievable.

You Don’t Want Bad Customers

The idea that you should try and engage and then convince as many people to buy your product as possible is a terrible idea.

This will only lead to bad customers and you diluting the message and authority your brand displays on the front end.

After all, who do you have more confidence in as a company:

  • Company A; who say “This is our offer and if you don’t like it, we’re not for you”
  • Company B; who are constantly apologising for not doing something that’s not in their business, and constantly trying to justify charging people?

For most of us, you’re going to have more faith in Company A.

The approach that Company B takes leads to terrible customers who think that they set the rules of engagement for your business. Trust me when I say you do not want these clients.

Now, people might think that the above is a bit of a jump in logic. After all, we’re talking about ads and headlines here, aren’t we?

Yes And No

See, we’re really talking about targeting and persuasion.

If your targeting is correct, then you won’t have to use a billion sales techniques to get your audience to buy. Sure, you’ll have to use direct marketing principles to help the process along, but your audience have a problem and you have the solution.

If you have a potential customer who says:

“Hey man… I’m not interested in your stuff and I can’t even be bothered to click your link… how about you waste your time convincing me WHY I should even consider pretending to be interested in your product?”

Ask yourself if that’s really the type of customer you want.

You haven’t entered into an agreement with this person. You haven’t offered a product yet and they certainly haven’t paid you for anything.

And yet there’s an implicit demand that you should tailor your business to their needs in the hope that they’ll give you some money at the end.

This is not good business sense, and it’s not good common sense.

When you optimise for a specific part of your funnel, make sure you’re not optimising it to let more people in.

The volume of people you let into your funnel is a targeting issue at the beginning. The funnel is a filtering process.

Don’t alter your filtering process to let more unsuitable prospects in.


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