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How To Reverse Engineer a Marketing Funnel

May 28, 2019
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Before building a marketing or sales funnel for your business, it can be very helpful to see what the competition is doing. By reverse engineering a marketing funnel that is already working for someone else, you can help accelerate the success of your campaign. Check out the video below to learn how you can leverage someone else's funnel to help you kick start yours!

 

 

Video Transcript: 


Hey. Thanks for checking out this video. If this is your first time watching or maybe you've been watching a while and you haven't yet hit subscribe, please do so now. We publish new content every single Monday, and make sure you turn on alerts that way you know when the video's gone live.

Today we're going to be talking about reverse engineering a funnel. And a funnel are the steps that someone takes in order to become a paying customer or a lead. Now this is extremely important if you want to grow your business. If you don't want to grow your business, you can go ahead and turn this off now. But if you want to know how to get more people into your business, more leads, more paying customers, understanding what people who are already doing it are doing can be very valuable to you as a business owner. This is one of the things we do early when we're understanding new clients that are coming in, when we're doing what we call the inbound intensive, and we're looking at where the traffic is coming from and how people are engaging with them.

When we go look at what the clients or the competition is doing, we start to dissect what they're doing well and what can we learn from that. There's an amazing book called Steal Like An Artist from Austin Kleon. I highly recommend it, and it is based on this whole thing of looking at what people are doing well, and don't reinvent the wheel. Just do what they're doing well, but do it better than they are in order to get people to come and be attracted to what you're doing. Pablo Picasso has a famous quote, "Good artists borrow. Great artists steal." And what he's talking about there is we take concepts and ideas that are working, and we put them to work for us. And that's what this is all about.

What we want to do is we want to start with asking where. Where are people coming from? Are they coming direct or are they coming indirect? These are different types of traffic sources if you're online. So this is are these people who know about a business or they know about a company and they're directly going to them because they've heard about it maybe from PR or word of mouth, things of that nature. Or is this indirect? Is this people coming, asking questions, trying to solve problems, and that are stumbling upon these new solutions? Understanding where people are coming from is extremely important.

Now how do we really get to those numbers? Well, that's coming a little bit more here into the what. This is what we need to know. We need to first understand demographics, and there's a lot of tools. You can do research into these just by going online. There's a tool called Similar Web. Now if you pay for it, it can be pretty expensive, but the free version gives you a ton of information as well. Another great tool would be Ahrefs. Again, a great tool to help us understand where people are coming from. Quantcast, that's another tool that can give you amazing amounts of demographic analysis and behavior and stats like that.

So you can also look at government websites and understand different demographics of people. People are segmented in so many different ways today. We have more segments than we've ever realized as marketers to deal with, and understanding those different demographics, how old they are, what ethnicity are they, what state do they live in, what's the political view. All of that impacts their buying decisions believe it or not.

Now once we have a good idea of the demographics, we want to look at the offer. So what is the competition offering? Let's say we have a course, for instance, and we're selling a course on how to make the world's best brownies. What we'd want to do is go out to somebody who's already built that course, and who's selling it like nobody's business and understand what they're actually selling.

This may cost you some money. You might have to buy that course to understand what it is that they're selling, and getting underneath the hood and saying, "Okay. Well, they're selling ingredients. They're selling baking cans." Cans, tells you how much I bake. Baking trays. They're selling all these different things together in order to make this complete course a package. This is going to help you understand what you need to offer as well or maybe you've got something more that could one up what's already being done.

You also want to look at the landing page. Now the landing page is when you clicked on an ad, that page you land on that says, "Here's what we're selling. Sign up now. Only $44.99. Three easy payments." Those types of things, right? You want to go and look at that landing page. What are the colors they're using? How are they constructing the page? What's the language that they're using as far as tonality? Dissect all those different elements of the page and understanding how it works and flows. Again, you're going to have to click on some buttons and understanding what the follow up asks are for. All these different steps in the funnel. Very important to understand the landing page.

Number four is a traffic source, and this is where I was alluding to as far as like SEMrush or Similar Web. Another great tool would be SpyFu, another great tool for understanding these analytics and understanding where traffic's coming from. This is going to help you uncover what types of traffic. Will there be ad traffic or organic traffic, direct traffic? Things of that nature, which allows you to know where you need to be focusing your time and money, but also where there might be some easy ins for you. Maybe they're doing really well in organic but they're not spending any money in ads. You can jump over them by spending some money in ads in order to drive traffic to your site.

Last thing is the ad copy. How are their ads built? Again, what language are they using? Are they using pictures of people, are they using pictures of the product? How are they building their ads, and which ads are performing the best? And, again, Similar Web, Ahrefs as well as SpyFu will give you that information you need to know about their ads. You can literally pull their ads offline and look at a copy, look at the creative things that they're doing and then begin to understand which is working, which isn't.

Now one thing to remember in here, maybe you can't get the demographics, but you can get all the rest. That's great. What you don't want to have is two unknowns. So if you don't understand traffic sources and demographics, you don't really have a good idea of what's happening in this funnel. All you can see is what's available to you. So never have two unknowns. One unknown is okay. But never allow yourself to have two unknowns in this process because you don't know where they're coming from, and you don't know what they're doing. And if you don't know those two things, you can't do the third thing, and that's model what works.

This is something that Tony Robbins has been preaching for years is when you want to achieve something, you find somebody that's already doing that, and you model their behavior. That's what this process is all about, and guess what, it works. Tony Robbins didn't invent it. He just made it more popular and gave it more life. Saying, "Hey. If you want to do something that somebody else is doing, find out what's working, and do that thing." Successful people have done this over and over again. So whether you're a small business owner, a marketer, or whatever your job title is, this is how you create a successful campaign.

Find out what's happening, find out what they're doing, and then model that behavior to get the results that you're looking for.

If you've got any questions about how we reverse engineer our funnel, please comment below. We'd love to continue the conversation with you. Until next time, Happy Marketing.

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Ryan Shelley, CPBI

By Ryan Shelley, CPBI

Ryan is passionate about helping companies make a more personal connection online with their customers and prospects. He is a regular contributor to Search Engine Land, the largest and most popular SEO news site on the web. His works have also been featured on the HubSpot Blog, Business2Community and by LinkedIn Marketing Solutions.

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