A “marketing funnel” is your sales and marketing process—all the steps your prospect
goes through before you make the sale. In an ideal world, these steps are automated
and customized to fit the prospect’s mood and proclivities at all stages of the process,
depending on how “sold” they are in the moment.
The idea is to give the prospect the right information or message, at the right time, at
every stage in the journey to encourage them to move on to the next step toward
buying your product or service.
A marketing funnel can include a range of strategies, including blog posts, white papers,
conference presentations, digital or traditional ads, phone calls, email marketing and
more. So where do webinars fall in the funnel?
The truth is that, depending on the webinar, it can fall anywhere. Here’s an overview of
where different types of webinars work best in the sales process.
Top of the funnel: free educational webinars. The top of the funnel is where your
prospect enters your marketing process. From here, prospects are unlikely to buy from
you—the goal is to build trust and credibility, and make engaging with you low-risk.
That’s where free educational webinars come in. These webinars typically deal with a
topic that’s a hot-button issue for prospects, and it’s free.
At this stage, you’ll want to avoid overt sales messages or featuring your own
products—the goal is to build trust, credibility, and interest while collecting as many
qualified email leads as possible for the next stage in your marketing process.
Middle of the funnel: solutions overviews. These webinars exist at the midpoint of the
funnel—they’re a place to discuss the specific solution you offer to a problem that’s a
pain point for your audience.
Ideally, this audience would have come to your webinar through blog posts, white
papers, or other low-investment content that has helped you build credibility with
them—so they’re not coming to you cold.
Bottom of the funnel: product demonstrations. If your product is particularly
complicated, or if it simplifies something key for your audience and helps them see for themselves, a product demonstration webinar may be a great tool for late in the sales
This type of webinar often works best for prospects who are very interested in your
product, who’ve possibly spoken to your salespeople, and who’ve narrowed down their
list to you and a few key competitors. It gives you a chance to let your product’s
Ongoing support: training webinars. Some products require end-user training after a
customer buys, or at different points to deal with product updates. At this stage, you’re
already working with established customers and the webinar is part of your customer
service and retention.
Webinars can play an important role at all phases of the customer journey. Craft your
webinars to answer questions and address needs at each phase of the funnel, and you
should be able to use them to boost sales and retain your customers.