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DigitalMarketer’s New Funnel Strategy That Increased Trials by 700%

We’re not lying, this really happened.

We were able to increase our in-funnel trial take rates by 700%, and we’re going to tell you how.

In digital marketing, whenever you’re not getting the results you want, usually it’s because of:

  1. Your offer
  2. Your funnel strategy

At DigitalMarketer, we realized that we weren’t just doing one wrong, we were doing both.

Our initial funnel strategy looked like this.

The 5-step funnel

The 5-Step Funnel

It was a 5-step funnel strategy that focused on generating the most immediate customer value.

Step #1: Lead Magnet

Step #2: Entry Point Offer

Step #3: Core Offer

Step #4: Profit Maximizer

Step #5: Return Path

Usually, this funnel works great. It works especially great for startups and bootstrapped companies, because maximizing immediate customer value is essential for success.

For us, it stopped working so well when we simplified our business model. When we put all of our focus on the customer value journey, we lost the need for a profit maximizer. We didn’t need more from our customers, we just wanted to give them what they needed to succeed in their own marketing efforts.

Our funnel changed from a 5-step funnel to a 4-step funnel.  

The 4-step funnel

What happened after we implemented our new and improved funnel strategy?

We saw a decrease in the number of people taking low-dollar Entry Point Offers.

This was the opposite of what we wanted. At one point, only 2.5% of our leads even knew that our subscription product, DigitalMarketer Lab, existed. To put this as clearly as possible—we weren’t making any money.

So, we tried to fix our problem. We started charging different prices for Lab, testing a pop-up to join Lab, and a special offer to join Lab for less than it normally was.

Nothing improved the take rate from paid media for Entry Point or Core Offers.

Like savvy marketers, we did what we know best. We started asking questions.

What happens if we crank up the amount of traffic we’re getting to

We were able to get a 233% increase in paid traffic, but it was expensive. This meant that it wasn’t sustainable. We needed a better idea.

What happens if we create a new product or offer?

We tested out products and new offers, but we ended up with the same problem we already had. Now, instead of trying to fix one problem, we had given ourselves even more issues to solve (SOS!).

Where’s the friction (and how can we reduce it)?

Finally! We asked ourselves the right question.

Where was the friction in closing the Lab sales?

In the paywall between leads and content. The problem was that our leads couldn’t see that our content was digital marketing gold (*humble brag*). We officially understood what our problem was.

We were asking people to buy our products on the assumption that we weren’t lying about how great they were.

As humans, we get how ridiculous that offer was. We don’t want to take a company’s word on how great their products are, we want to make our own opinion so we can decide if they’re worth our money.

So to build our own authority, we created 10 pieces of pillar content for free on our blog and used it to promote DigitalMarketer Lab.

Success!… Well, kind of.

We had succeeded in positioning ourselves as digital marketing experts, but we still weren’t seeing the conversions that we wanted.

So, we continued testing.

We created DigitalMarketer Free and asked for an opt-in in turn for free trainings and courses. Our theme for the Customer Value Journey became to upgrade each offer, creating a seamless line between the start and finish.

Here’s a look at how our new funnel breaks down.

The Funnel Breakdown

Step #1: The Lead Magnet

For example, “The Customer Avatar Worksheet.” We put CTA’s on our blog posts that lead to Lead Magnets.

An example of a CTA that we put on blog posts

Step #2: The Entry Point Offer

For example, DigitalMarketer Lab 30-Day Trial.

In this offer, we asked each user to segment themselves so that we could categorize them by audience type. We asked questions like:

  1. Are you a marketer or an agency?
  2. How much does their business make per year: $20,000–$50,000, $50,000–$100,000, etc.
  3. What role do you play in the business: Owner, Sales Associate, Content Manager, etc.

This segmentation is a crucial part of why we were able to increase our take rates. Notice that we weren’t just asking people how much money their business made. We were asking them to tell us a number. We wanted to be as specific as possible when learning about these new opt-ins.

Step #3: Core Offer

Showing the entire funnel flow

For example, become a DigitalMarketer Lab Member.

Now that we knew who our leads were, we created our return path email campaigns. Here were the rules:

  • If a lead takes a lead magnet but doesn’t complete any step → your goal is to get them to create an account
  • If a lead creates an account but doesn’t opt for Lab → your goal is to get them to log in and upgrade their DigitalMarketer Lab trial
  • If a lead takes the DigitalMarketer Lab trial → your goal is to get them to log in and activate a full membership

Not only did this increase our in-funnel trial take rates by 700%…

Drum roll please… we got a 4.03% immediate lead magnet to core offer rate!

  • 17,197 free accounts
  • 48% are Founders/CEOs (10% with 10 or more employees)
  • 10% are Agencies (15% with 10 or more employees)
  • 26% are new to marketing
  • 27% are decision makers
  • 70% of new accounts logged in within the first 24 hours

And with all this new information on our customers, we are better able to serve them or help them ascend to the level of lab that would be right for them.

In summary, if you want to achieve these results you must:

  1. Measure everything, but have a unified “Overall Evaluation Criteria”
    1. In our case, it was DigitalMarketer Lab Trails
  2. Know 3 ROIs
    1. Immediate
    2. 30-Day
    3. 60-Day
  3. Identify the friction and inoculate against it
  4. Invest in your list and ask relevant qualifying questions
  5. Simplify, simplify, simplify

With these steps, you could find better success with your own funnels.



The lovely content team here at DigitalMarketer works hard to make sure you have the best blog posts to read. But some posts require a group effort, and we decided to stop the rock-paper-scissors tournaments that decided the byline so that we had more time to write. Besides, we all graduated from kindergarten: we can share.

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