How to use Inbound marketing funnel

Inbound marketing funnel

The definition of an inbound marketing funnel uses a few key terms ToFu, MoFu and BoFu. These translate as top of the funnel, middle of the funnel and bottom of the funnel to coin the customer journey at different stages and your relationship with them.

The illustration below shows the different tools and content types used to attract, engage and delight people at different stages.

Inbound marketing funnel
Inbound marketing funnel

HubSpot created a Flywheel model that shows the momentum you can get by prioritizing and delivering exceptional customer experience. You can spin and build momentum in your flywheel by using strategies that acquire and retain customers — forces for your flywheel.

Anything that slows your flywheel is friction. Often the biggest friction sources can come in the handoffs between teams, so alignment and communication are key to keeping your flywheel spinning.

Inbound marketing funnel

Using social media and email for inbound marketing

Two effective channels to use for your inbound strategy are social media and email. Let’s look at ways these two channels can help you to drive engagement and conversions with personalized and targeted content.

How to use social media for inbound marketing

Social media aligns with the inbound methodology and provides a channel that can promote content to your prospects and learn more about how to engage with them. Using social media you can:

  • Promote your content – It can take time for organic content to get views and backlinks. Promoting your content on social media allows you to create targeted campaigns that speak to a niche audience who are more likely to convert.
  • Build a community – Channels such as Twitter and TikTok offer a great way to build a community on social media through real-time posts and eye-catching videos. You can also tap into and create Facebook groups that are relevant to your product or service and Instagram is a great place
  • Use influencer marketing – According to The State of Influencer Marketing 2022: Benchmark Report, the influencer marketing industry is set to grow to over $16 billion in 2022. Platforms such as Instagram and TikTok are the perfect tool for using influencers to promote products and content in a way that attracts and delights.
  • Offer social customer service – Social media is used by many customers to make inquiries or complaints. You can use it to offer solutions to customers and build relationships. Here are some tips to deliver stellar social customer service on your channels.
  • Track performance and optimize – Through paid campaigns and analytics you can quickly learn what ads are working and tweak those that are not performing. This can include image changes, the content format or the messaging used.
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How to use email for inbound marketing

Inbound email marketing is focused on using email to engage with people that have already shown an interest in your brand or product/service. This could be through a sign-up, download, or taking up of an offer such as a free trial.

According to Statista, the number of email users is set to rise to nearly 4.6 billion by 2025 with marketers reporting an increase in email. The ROI of email is also impressive at $36 for every $1 spent.

There are different types of email you can use to drive engagement with a lead. Let’s look at the four most popular.

1) Welcome or onboarding email

When a contact signs up for a newsletter or offer that requires onboarding, it’s important to send them a welcome or onboarding email. This will put your brand in front of them within minutes of them expressing interest and tell them what to expect.

This example below from SaaS company scheduling company, MindBody shows an email that welcomes a customer and tells them the options available to improve their approach to wellness. It also links to their Instagram account at the end.

Inbound marketing funnel
Mind Body email

2) Cart abandonment

When a user adds a product to a cart and then abandons it for some reason, it can be effective to follow up with an email that reminds them of their intention and prompts them to complete the transaction.

Online women’s clothing company Le Tote uses clean imagery alongside clever and simple copy to re-engage a prospect, including ‘it’s about to expire’ in the follow-on copy drives urgency and the CTA simply says ‘Start Renting Today’.

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Inbound marketing funnel
Let Tote cart abandonment email


3) Discount or special offer

Discounts or exclusive offers can re-engage contacts that have not been active on your site or engaging with your brand. This example from the Google Store taps into the summer season and offers a range of deals on devices with a simple ‘Shop Now’ as the CTA.

Google email
Google email

4) Trends or ‘best of

To promote yourself as an industry leader, an email that focuses on your sector and is relevant to your audience can drive click-through. This could be a link to a blog or a landing page for a downloadable asset that can not only engage but capture more details about a prospect.

This example from Fiverr focuses on trends for small businesses with a short description in the text and a CTA that drives people to the needs index. Think about what assets you could create or even repurpose to drive email engagement.


Fiverr email
Fiverr email

Inbound marketing tools & software

So what tools should you be using for digital marketing – inbound and outbound? There is a bounty of apps to help generate leads, remarket, nurture prospects and make more sales! In this section, we’ll break them down into categories so you can find the right one for your goal.

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