Middle of the Funnel
Getting prospects to move from the top of the funnel to the middle of the funnel is a major achievement. Now you have to carefully nurture those leads to influence their buyer journey and convert them into a customer.
What Happens in the Middle of the Funnel
When users reach the middle of the funnel they are already familiar with who you are and what you have to offer. They are intrigued enough to stick around and have engaged with your business to some degree. This is when a user moves from being a prospect to being a marketing qualified lead.
Think of the middle of the sales funnel like a bridge. It gets leads from high-level concepts to specific information that explains how your solution helps. It’s also the stage where the marketing and sales teams meet to move leads along.
Leads who make it to the middle of the funnel are taking a closer look and narrowing down their options. They are more willing to interact and engage because they’ve already invested time vetting your business.
Company Goals in the Middle of the Funnel
The goal for your company is to convince leads you have what they need. You have to engage and educate while nurturing the lead. It’s time to align the lead’s needs with your product or service in a very clear way. Another priority at this stage is to gauge motivation and buyer readiness to determine which leads are most likely to convert and what will persuade them to do so.
User Objectives in the Middle of the Funnel
Users who make it to the middle of the funnel are in the evaluation phase. They are seriously considering whether or not your solution is the best option compared to the competition.
Education is key for both the company and leads in the middle of the funnel. The company needs to educate leads to prove value, build trust and show expertise. Leads require education about a product or service so that they can make an informed decision on which option is the best fit.
What Type of Users Are in the Middle of the Funnel
The first thing you’ll notice in the middle of the funnel is there are a lot fewer users than there were at the top of the funnel. Only the prospects that are truly interested in your product or service will move on to the middle to become a lead.
In actuality, the drop off is a good thing. You can focus your efforts on the people who are most likely to generate revenue. Of course, only a portion of the leads will convert since the middle of the funnel is the evaluation phase.
The users in the middle of the funnel are aware of their need/want/problem and have a good idea of what’s needed to provide a fix. They should all share a few similarities, but there will probably still be clear user cohorts. Motivation to purchase varies, however, don’t expect highly motivated leads in the middle of the funnel to convert the second they get there. They still need a little convincing before that can happen.
Getting Leads to Move Further Down the Funnel
In a marketing funnel, you have to know what type of content and messaging to deliver and when to deliver it. When you’re in the middle of the funnel demand generation is the name of the game.
Strategies for Moving Leads to the Bottom of the Funnel
Provide More Specifics
At the top of the funnel, information was top-level. Now that leads are in the middle of the funnel they need specifics to gauge how your product or service compares to other options.
Set Yourself Apart From the Competition
You can bet that the vast majority of your leads in the middle of the funnel are aware of at least one competitor and what they’re offering. In addition to more detailed information, content in the middle of the funnel must establish what makes your business or offer unique. Without a unique value proposition (UVP) it will be difficult to move leads to the bottom of the funnel.
Keep Content Targeted on the Target Audience
Content needs to be laser-focused on the target audience’s needs and interests. If it isn’t somehow related to the target audience you can quickly lose their attention.
Sweeten the Deal
In addition to finding the best fit, leads are also looking for the best value. If two products or services are nearly identical the decision will come down to which company offers the better value. Sweetening the deal with things like free shipping, a discount on the first month of service, a lower price for an annual membership, etc. can entice leads that would have otherwise went with the competition.
Reduce Handoff Friction
In the middle of the funnel, leads are often handed off from the marketing team to the sales team. The smoother this transition is the better. The sales team can reduce friction by taking a look at what the user has done so far in their buyer journey (engagement activities), particularly what content they have viewed. The content in the middle of the funnel can also ease friction by introducing the sales team and allowing leads to initiate contact.
Share White Papers and Case Studies
It’s one thing to tell a lead how great your product or solution is, but showing them is much more compelling. The middle of the funnel is ideal for white papers and case studies because leads are looking for information that validates the marketing and provides education.
Provide a Free Webinar, Demo or Product Sample
Letting leads see the product or service in action is a powerful motivation tool. Webinars and demos also give the sales team a chance to build rapport, answer questions and remove barriers that are getting in the way.
Drip Email Campaign
Now is the perfect time to start a drip email campaign that nurtures the lead and builds rapport. The key is to offer the lead something useful with each email rather than making it a sales pitch.
Use High-Value Gated Content to Get Lead Info – If You Haven’t Already
Sometimes leads can move into the middle of the funnel without providing their contact info. When this is the case gated content could do the trick. Ebooks, reports, videos and more can be offered in exchange for the lead signing up for an email list or simply providing their email address. From there you can start a drip email campaign to nurture the lead.
User Analytics in the Middle of the Funnel
There is an amazing amount of valuable information about your target market that you can get out of the middle of the funnel. This information will increase your odds of converting the leads you have now and attracting more qualified leads in the future.
Analyze Which Content/Topics Are Most Engaging
Which pages are leads in the middle of the funnel visiting most? What content holds their attention the longest? The content/topics that leads are most drawn to tells you more about their needs and possible ways to address them.
Gauge Intent Based on Behavior
Lead scoring is an excellent idea in the middle of the funnel. It will take some time and a fair amount of data, but analyzing various behaviors and pairing that information with conversions can give you insight on how to score different actions. The goal is to figure out which behaviors signal buying intent and assign scores to the behavior accordingly. Then every lead can be given a score that tells you if and when the sales team should make contact.
Segmenting your leads into cohorts can help you finetune your messaging and gain a better understanding of which types of leads are most valuable. This will ultimately help you prioritize leads and ensure quality leads are being handed off to the sales team. You can easily create cohorts from funnels using Mixpanel. Just select the middle of the funnel to bucket leads by drop-off, time to convert and more.
Find Friction Points
If you notice a significant drop off at a certain point there’s friction that needs to be fixed. A/B testing can help you determine what exactly needs to be changed to keep leads engaged.
The middle of the funnel is often the most important stage. If a lead drops off here they are likely gone forever. Staying focused on educating your leads and using demand generation to build motivation will help you convince more leads your product or service is the best solution.