In Demand: How to Grow Your SaaS to $100K MRR

EP5: Let's talk about FUNNELS

Funnels are a great thinking tool for founders. They help us clarify the journey our customers take and help us plan the steps needed to scale. But thinking in funnels can narrow our vision if we don’t truly understand the reality behind the tool. 

In this episode of In Demand, Asia Orangio of DemandMaven breaks down the basics of funnels. From the different types of funnels to common misconceptions and how marketers and founders can use them to maximize them to grow their business. 

TLDR; 

  • [1min] What actually is a funnel?
    • It’s a simple way to visualize how a prospect becomes a customer. From the top were prospects/leads learn about a product, down to where they consider it, and finally become a customer. 
  • [2:50] The two funnels
    • Sometimes talking about funnels can get confusing because there is an overall business funnel and then there is the marketing funnel. 
  • [6:00] The marketing funnel
    • At the top of the marketing funnel are activities that help build awareness of your brand and product. As you move down the funnel, marketing focuses in on consideration -- teaching about the problem and your potential solution. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel, you get very specific about your product as the solution to the problem to help prospects make the decision to buy. 
  • [16:20] How to think about funnels in your business (and common misconceptions)
    • The funnel isn’t a linear experience for your prospects and it isn’t the only experience. While you think of a customer moving from step to step and stage to stage they are often hopping around or doing things you can’t measure (like exploring competitors or chatting with friends). It is important to remember that a real customer journey is much more detailed and harder to track.
  • [29:50] When you change the customer, you change the journey, and you change the funnel
    • As your business grows and you start to focus on new segments, you always have to come back to your campaigns and think about if your funnel still matches your customer journey. Sometimes it will, but often it won’t and you will need to adjust, adapt, and expand your marketing.




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Times and Unedited draft notes for reference 

  • What actually is a funnel 
    • A simple way to visualize how a prospect becomes a customer
    • A the top of the funnel we have people who are just aware of your product 
    • Lower down people who are considering it 
    • Lower yet is people who are considering it, maybe have done a free trial, or engaged in another way. 
    • And at the bottom we have our paying customers
  • [2:50] The two parts of the funnel 
    • The overall business funnel 
    • The marketing funnel 
    • When we say “The Funnel” were talking about the overall business funnel
      • You’re building systems to attract and acquire prospects 
      • You’re activating prospects into paying customers 
      • You’re working on retaining them
  • [6:00] Marketing Funnels 
    • The Marketing Funnel 
      • Much more aligned with the stages of awareness 
      • Top of the funnel: Building awareness - focused more on the problem then our specific product 
      • Middle of the funnel: Consideration
      • Bottom of the funnel: Creating content on how to solve a problem using your product specifically, webinars, etc.  
    • Basically anything on your website as a SAAS company will be bottom of the funnel activity 
  • Marketing traditionally focuses on the top of the funnel 
  •  [11:30] Overviewing the traditional activities for each stage of the funnel
    • Top of the funnel: Building any kind of awareness with less of an intent to get someone to buy. It’s much more about attraction not conversion. 
    • Middle of the funnel: Case studies, product pages, content related to a pain, but introducing the product.
    • Bottom of the funnel: Extremely close to having prospect understanding that they have a problem and that they can solve it with your product. Freemium account, content about how to solve very specific problems with your product 
  • [15:04] A third way to think about funnels — when you design and build campaigns you’re essentially creating a funnel 
    • Whenever you design a campaign — You’re anticipating the steps that a prospect would take to becoming a paying customer
    • You’ve gotten their attention from an ad, they signed up for a webinar, and then paid to sign up. 
  • [16:20] How to think about funnels 
    • The first common misconception is that they are a perfectly linear experience. 
      • What we think of a funnel contains a lot more interactions and steps 
      • When you design or troubleshoot a campaign you’ve got to remember to think about all the interactions and decisions that exist outside of your funnel steps 
      • So, in the first place you need to make sure that you are measuring the success of your funnel in the first place
      • [19:30 to 19:59] is a great clip. 
    • Other misconceptions 
      • The funnel doesn’t actually exist in the way you think it does — did we build a funnel because it actually works or do we just think it works.
  • [24:23] - Once we see the holes in the idea of funnels, how do we move forward as marketers
    • We have to understand our customer journey as a whole. 
    • There are lots of funnels we will create, but three are a lot of funnels that exist that we didn’t create
  • [29:50] - When you change the customer, you change the journey, and that means, you’ve got to build new funnels
    • Example of how Asana has gotten bigger their marketing has become much more general 
    • Example of ConvertKit going from focusing just on food bloggers at the start to all sorts of creators
    • Early on we might be focusing on one specific part of the funnel, but as you grow you need to keep examining and revising. 
Music Credit: 
Something Elated by Broke For Free

Brought to you by Asia Orangio of In Demand: How to Grow Your SaaS to $100K MRR