You may have heard a lot about marketing funnels, and how you can design it. But a startup not always has budget for marketing and usually targets a niche market that can’t be reached with traditional tools. Here is the inverted marketing funnel concept that every marketer should know.
Startups build their marketing funnel from the inside
It’s in startups’ nature to have an assumption, validate it, then build a product, validate it again and pivot if it’s not good and improve their first SaaS product step-by-step. So when a startup company starts to build up their marketing funnel, usually they don’t and shouldn’t collect a lot of leads but they have to find their early adopters.
So what usually startups should do is targeting less amount of possible clients according to their buyer personas. This will be their niche market where they start. And this is why they build up their funnel from the inside.
The traditional approach is to find a lot of prospects and sell them the product and pray that someone will buy. Salespeople have the rational motivation to reach out as many companies as they can, filling the bottom of the funnel full of leads and then they will be able to sell to a few leads. It just doesn’t work here.
If you haven’t done this, invert the marketing funnel immediately
When you implement inverted funnel thinking you will build up your funnel as you grow, step-by-step. You convince your early adopters to buy your core product and help you take it to the next level.
When you’re ready, maybe pivoted, you create your buyer converter product (if you don’t know what it is, read this article). And you start to fill up your funnel. It will be much easier at this stage because you have clients and you probably converted them into ambassadors. Right?
Some might argue that contacting fewer prospects results in fewer sales…
There can be truth in this argument but not for an early stage startup which just tries to find its working growth engine. In addition, if you contact personally 50 companies and you prepare, you will have much bigger chances to get them than targeting 1000 companies with not personal e-mail or social media outreach. And you will learn and save time.
Your early adopters will help you acquire more leads and clients
If you managed to delight your early stage clients just by giving them great customer support, attention and by asking them to give you referrals, you will have a lot easier time to fill your funnel with new leads and have more clients.
Why? Because you can gain trustworthiness from your clients. You approached a niche market that has specific pains, you managed to satisfy these needs so you could focus your efforts and time. Therefore you saved a lot of wasted effort that you would have with broader markets. So probably you get referrals from these satisfied customers.
Growing stage: time to attack broader markets and automate your processes!
Now you found your growth engine for the next stage and you manage to satisfy your customers – you have a well-working marketing funnel. This is the time to occupy your well-deserved markets by growing rapidly! Start automating your processes to save time, execute your marketing plan that has the core product, the buyer converter and the hook part as a well-working funnel. Your existing clients will help you a lot!
He graduated from the Technical University of Budapest, with master’s degree in Software Engineering, Economics and Management.
As a serial entrepreneur he has 10+ failed projects and one big winner one: growing Protopmail email marketing service from zero to a market leader position in Hungary.
He has been working more than 20 years in software development, more than 10 years in IT project management and also having the serious of 10+ years experience in email marketing and marketing automation.
Aside from running a successful business, Gabor is also an email marketing and marketing automation consultant and works for clients like GE Money, DHL, Bridgestone and for several banks and insurance companies.
He also appears at multiple online marketing colleges as a guest speaker, and a well-known speaker at online marketing related conferences.
Gabor speaks 4 languages, has three kids and he is a serious golf addict.