Flip the Funnel


book_funnelIt is no secret that acquiring new customers or clients is one of the most expensive endeavors for any business. Direct mail advertising, for example, receives the lion share of marketing dollars at many companies, and the response rate is generally around 1%. That means that in a successful direct mail effort, one out of 100 people acknowledge the campaign in any way while the resources devoted to the other 99 are totally wasted.

Flip the Funnel looks at how companies can slash the time, staff and resources devoted to such wasteful programs and instead focus on what is really important: Getting the customers you already have to buoy the bottom line. This, in and of itself, is nothing new, and customer retention has been championed for years.

What Joseph Jaffe is attempting to illustrate in his new book, however, is how to not only get your current customers to spend more, but how to get them to bring you new customers. He wants you to turn your customers into recruiters and let them do your marketing. And while this is a strategy that sounds more like a get-rich-quick pyramid scheme than a business model, there are many emerging ways to make this theory a reality.

Real-world examples from Apple, Coca-Cola and even the Obama campaign show how the use of social media and the cultivation of key “influencers” and “evangelicals” for your brand can make all the difference and allow you to “flip the funnel.” In many ways, these companies have gone from trying to reach as many people as possible and hoping a few buy, to focusing on the buyers and getting them to influence their peers. And it is working.

“What if we got it all wrong?” writes Jaffe. “What if everything we held about doing business was backwards? What if all our theories, assumptions and best practices were, in fact, flawed? … I’ll encourage you to flip everything you knew to be true on its head. I’ll encourage you to flip the funnel.”

Jared Wade

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About the Author

Jared Wade is a freelance writer and the former senior editor of Risk Management.


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