Forget the funnel

3 years ago

Whether because of the pandemic, the election and its aftermath, or just because it’s 2020, something is happening in marketing right now. We’re starving for real connections beyond our screens. What’s real, what’s false? We’re exposed to more funnels and sales emails than at any time in history. And to top it all off, personalization and automation mean computers know our names and what we like, but in reality, we’re just bits and bytes in a database. So, what do you say we try this…go rogue!

As an experiment, forget funnels, lead magnets and all about automation just for a moment. 

Move away from autoresponders.
Try a more hands on approach, and Interact on a human level. Newsletters that are more “letter” than news, gifting a small item in a physical mailer, or even personal phone calls to check in with your clients/consumers. Actually talk with people.

Build a bridge instead of a funnel.
When messaging your list, be painfully honest and show you’ve done your homework about where your audience is at. Tell them where you’re at. It’s okay if your client base knows you are struggling. They may be moved to help you in novel ways, and you may learn about something different you can offer them as well.

Ditch gated content and move toward generosity
Everyone is trying to control the buyer. If you push too hard, there will be resistance. Use your unique voice to create content that explains what you care about, and how it affects your buyer. And this time, don’t make people download an ebook to get it.

This isn’t completely absurd. Sure, you need that email address or other information. Yet, if you offer something of value (and that just may be your raw honesty) without asking for anything in return – clients and prospects will trust you more than the competition. Even if the competition offers exactly the same services as you, you will stand apart.

There’s been a big push toward conversational copywriting in marketing. Yes, it’s another one of those industry slang terms that gets on my nerves, but this is something to get behind. Everyone wants to feel like they are being spoken with, not at. I’d rather hear people speaking their truth and apologizing if necessary, rather than wonder what’s behind the mask with a perfectly scripted facade. Buyers want to feel at least part of the equation, not manipulated.

There really is no downside to trying this approach, except you may delete a lot of marketing drafts because you aren’t used to feeling so exposed. The funnels and magnets and all that stuff will still be there, awaiting your return.

Currently, there is general distrust swirling in the air and airwaves. There’s been too much misinformation, scams, and personal violations. It’s time to get back to basics. Wouldn’t it be refreshing to consume content that is factual, educational, or simply entertaining, rather than going for your jugular with the hard sell?

The internet has become an aggressive battleground, with players trying to monetize every aspect of the online experience. At the very least, we can help make buying stuff fun again – not a chore! 

We invite multitudes of online hucksters into our homes. You could liken that to someone on a soap box coming in for coffee. Is their message fact-based or emotion-driven? Audiences are fully aware that while the online world is wonderful, it can be a bit like dancing with the devil. Online access has given us just about anything we could imagine at our fingertips – and that has been incredibly exciting and oh so convenient. Now, however, we are being bombarded where we live. We can, and should, make it better.

I think you’ll feel better if you let down your guard, let your freak fly, and interact with your “list” without an angle – at least this one time. See what happens.