Growth Marketing Essentials: Build Effective Acquisition Funnels | Cam Lay | Skillshare

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Growth Marketing Essentials: Build Effective Acquisition Funnels

teacher avatar Cam Lay, Writer + Marketer

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

    • 1.



    • 2.

      The Marketing Funnel


    • 3.

      Marketing Basics and Key Terms


    • 4.

      Calculating True Customer Value


    • 5.

      Anatomy of a Single Node


    • 6.

      Analyzing Common Marketing Paths


    • 7.

      Mapping Your Marketing Path


    • 8.

      Final Thoughts


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About This Class

Ever wonder how to get more people to read your email newsletters, engage on social media, or click on your ads? It's all about the marketing funnel.

In this 40-minute class, join Skillshare VP of Marketing Cam Lay as he updates the classic marketing tool for the digital age, revealing how you can grow your business by carefully guiding your customers from first contact to final purchase. 

Key lessons include:

  • Essential marketing terms (and nothing but)
  • Calculating true customer value for modern business models
  • Analyzing common marketing paths (for companies like threadless and ClassPass)
  • Crafting your own marketing funnel
  • Improving your strategy and fixing issues

Whether marketing is your full-time job or one of many hats you wear, crafting effective funnels is a fundamental skill for anyone looking to succeed. After taking this class, you’ll look at marketing in a whole new light, allowing you to craft the right message, motivate your customers, and grow your business.

Meet Your Teacher

Teacher Profile Image

Cam Lay

Writer + Marketer



Hi. I'm Cam. I'm a writer and marketer and was formerly VP of Marketing here at Skillshare (10/16-6/19).

I received my bachelors degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania and hold an MFA in Fiction Writing from the University of Kansas.

You can check out some of my fiction below. My novel The Childless Ones is available now on Amazon and wherever books are sold online.

To contact me about anything writing related, please go to To contact me about marketing, please reach out via Linkedin (

Thanks for visiting my profile!

See full profile

Level: Beginner

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1. Introduction: I'm Cam Lay, and I'm the V.P. of marketing here at Skillshare. I often say that I'm not a marketer, that I'm actually a problem solver, and I think that that's very much of my approach to how I think about marketing, which is, there's a problem to be solved and there are certain tools you use to solve those. Hopefully, today I can communicate that framework that I think about it, so that in a way it's demystifying. So, there's this concept called the marketing funnel, and in this class we're going to be revisiting that concept, and explain what it is, but we're also going to show you a fresh way to approach that, so that you can better approach any marketing situation, diagnose problems and optimize your market. I think that this class is perfect for an entrepreneur or a small business owner, or a freelancer, somebody who has to think about marketing as part of their job, but maybe is not a marketer by trade. I think that this class could also benefit marketers who are maybe earlier on in their career, who have focused on one particular channel and perhaps want to expand the horizons and think more holistically about marketing. Often times, the answer to the question you have with your particular marketing funnel is going to be, it depends on your situation, it depends on how much it costs for you to make your product, it depends on who your clients are, it depends on what your business goals are. But hopefully, I give you enough that you can start to answer those questions for yourself, or at least you know where to start looking to get the answer to the specific question for your situation. We created a worksheet that you can download and follow all along, so that you can do the work along with me for the class that includes analyzing, other marking funnels, as well as laying out your own. So excited you decided to join me in this class. Now, let's get started. 2. The Marketing Funnel: So, we're going to start by talking through this concept of the marketing funnel and we're going to talk through a traditional marketing funnel, so that we then can say, "Okay, here's how we should think about this concept today." So, I'm going to start by drawing the funnel. You'll see this is a marketing class and not an illustration class based on my drawing skills here. So, here's a funnel. The whole concept of a marketing funnel is that customers, or people, or whoever come in, they go through a series of stages, and eventually down here something good happens, and that's probably they buy from you. So, a very traditional marketing funnel, the way that they might teach it in business school or they did back when I was in school which was some time ago is this framework A, I, D, A. These letters stand for awareness, interest, decision, and action. So the idea is that before someone can buy a product, first, they need to be aware of it, then they need to be actually interested in it. They make a decision to purchase. Finally, they complete that with an action or purchasing. So, that all makes sense. The issue that I have with this is for many marketers today or many people who are trying to market a product. These are very nebulous. A lot of the first people who were thinking critically about marketing were people who were selling consumer packaged goods. So, food you bought at the grocery store, the detergent you bought, toys, et cetera. These are things that people would go to retail stores and buy after being advertised to about them somewhere else. So, the vehicles that these marketers were using were largely advertising in the newspaper or later in broadcast media, be that radio or television. So, all of this funnel from the advertising on television to going to a store and buying, a lot of these actions were very hard to measure. So, yes, maybe I ain't some idea of how many people saw my TV ad, but how many of them end up going to the store? How many of them were in that aisle? How many of them looked at my product? How many of them put it in my shopping cart? I may have some purchase data on how many people ultimately bought, but a lot of the steps in the interim between somebody first becoming aware of the product and purchasing were mysterious. There are people didn't have metrics on all of those stages. So, the way that those early marketers had to gauge their effectiveness was to do large scale surveys or do market research about. How aware are people? How did they feel about this brand? How many people actually decide to buy this product or have in their mind said, "I want to buy this product," and then they have the purchase data. So because of the nature of how these early marketers were marketing, they created this funnel which fit for the way that they were selling. So in today's marketing world, while the overall problem that we're trying to solve is still the same. We're trying to get people from up here to down here. The way that we can approach this is different. The big reason is the way that we're marketing is fundamentally different, we're not necessarily using these broadcast medium to have people go to a store. So, we need to market different. But the other pieces we have so much more data than we did before. Because of that, rather than thinking of stages within a funnel, we can really break down a marketing funnel today into a very discrete chunks. The benefit of which is when we can break things down into tiny chunks, we can start to diagnose and fix those chunks independently if we think that there's a problem. Really, the way that we're going to think about the marketing funnel in this class is through a series of what I'll call nodes. Each one of these nodes is a single unit that has some message and requires people to take some action. So, one example of these messages and actions and one example of this funnel that we're going to talk about later in the class is via email marketing. So, if you think about email marketing, there's a number of these nodes simply getting me from an email to a website. The first of which, the email shows up in my inbox. I see who it's from, I see the subject line. That's the message. The action that it wants me to take is "Open me." Once I open that email, again, I'm going to see some creative, some text or images. That's the message with the action probably being click through and go to the site. So, we're actually going to look at a number of those funnels, a number of those examples later, in one of which is email marketing. 3. Marketing Basics and Key Terms: So, we are going to start with something that's perhaps super obvious which is in marketing and indeed in business, the goal is to get more than you put in. So, you have some product or service that you're selling, it costs you something, I want to get more from it than it costs me. It cost me some amount of resources to acquire a customer, I want to get more from that customer than it cost me to acquire them. So, very basic business principles. There are some definitions that I think are handy because perhaps we'll be using these later on in the class. So, the first one, revenue. Revenue is the money you get from selling something. So, if I'm selling widgets and I sell them for 10 bucks, the revenue I get is 10 bucks. Cost of goods sold is the amount that that widget cost me to produce. So, I sold my widget $10. Now, my widget cost me five bucks to make. My margin is just the percentage that I'm actually getting. So it's, if we want to look at it from a math perspective, it's revenue, and if you want to sound really cool instead of saying cost of goods sold, you can say COGS and people will think you're smart, divided by revenue. So, 10 bucks minus 5 bucks is 5 bucks divided by 10 bucks is 50 percent, 0.5 or 50 percent. Now the 50 percent margin, my contribution or gross profit is just revenue minus cost of goods sold. So, 10 minus 5 is 5 bucks. So acquisition cost. So, this is where it gets a little marketingy, acquisition cost is just the money that I spend in order to acquire the customer. In this case, we're not going to think about the long-term value of a customer, we're just going to say the amount it costs me in order to sell this one widget. So, it's somehow let's say in this case, it's a buck. Your overhead represents all of the costs to your business that are not captured in the cost of goods sold. So, I have a widget business, it cost me five bucks to make each of those, but I have a factory that I need to pay for or I have employees who do things not directly related to making these widgets, all of that is overhead. Total profit is just the revenue from all of the widgets that I sold minus the cost of goods from all the widgets sold minus all of my overhead. So, when all said and done, what's the bottom line? What's my total profit? So, let's look at a quick example. Let's say I have $1,000 of overhead for my factory. So let's imagine I sold 1,000 widgets at 10 bucks each, my revenue is $10,000. Those 1,000 widgets had five dollars each, cost of goods sold gives me $5,000 of total cost of goods sold. So, my gross profit is $5,000. To acquire the customer from each one of those widget cost me a buck, and there's 1,000 of them so I have $1,000 of acquisition costs, I have $1,000 of overhead so my ending profit is $3,000. So, this is marketing math at its most basic. We're going to talk through as we go, how to think about this for different business models. But the basic thing you can take away is, you want your acquisition cost to be less than your contribution for everything you're selling. So, this all seems pretty basic. Hopefully though for those of you who this was new, this was helpful. We're going to use these in a little more sophisticated way as we move forward to talk about your own customer value, your own marketing funnels, and whether or not they're working for you. 4. Calculating True Customer Value: So, in the last lesson, we talked about basically we want our acquisition cost to be less than our gross profit. That's good. So, again, what we meant is, the amount it cost me to sell my widgets should be less than the amounts of value I get from selling those widgets. So, gross profit again, which is revenue minus costs if it's sold. That's good. If it's the other way and I'm spending more on advertising than I'm getting from that advertising, that's bad. There's something about this formula that's a little bit abstract or that's not really illustrative of what the world looks like in that. In the real world, we aren't just selling people widgets and then saying bye to them. In the real world, when we think about marketing most of the time, we think about the customer over time. So, I'm going to make a slight pivot from this formula. This is really the same equation kind of articulated in just a slightly different way. So, in the first case we're saying, how much does it cost or how much marketing my spending in order to sell these widgets? And how much value my getting from those widgets? The pivot here is instead of thinking about widgets, we're thinking about customers. So, how much does it cost me? CAC, Customer Acquisition Cost. How much does it cost me to acquire that customer? And is that cost less than my LTV, my Lifetime Value of that customer? So, again, very similar formula. It's just a slightly different way of thinking about it. So, when I think about CAC, Customer Acquisition Cost, I'm thinking about the amount of resources it takes me to get a new customer. Now, some of you guys say, "Hold on, Cam. I don't have a marketing budget. I'm not spending any money on advertising." Therefore, like my customer acquisition cost the resources that I expend in order to get a customer or nonexistent, and I would push back on this. Because even if you're not actually spending any money on advertising, you're spending resources, you're spending time. Maybe you're blogging about whatever it is you're selling. It takes time to write those blog posts. Maybe you're posting on social media. It takes time to do that. Maybe you're going door to door and knocking on everybody's door and asking them to buy your product, that takes a lot of your time. So, even if there's not an exact dollar amount that you're spending on your marketing, I think you can still associate some value with the time that you're spending. If you're not spending any money, and you're not spending any time on your marketing, and you're getting tons of new customers, good for you because that's not the majority of us. Everybody else needs to spend money or resources in order to get those customers. So, you spend some resources, be they dollars or time on getting customers. That's kind of your CAC. What I want to talk about is, how to think about the lifetime value of a customer. So, this is going to be pretty different depending on the type of business you have. So, at the most basic level, there's a couple of different models that you may fall into. One is a one time transaction. This is not cutting most businesses, but I think it's important for us to think about this so that we can kind of understand the extremes. So, one time transaction, I sell you a widget, I never see you again. The formula is going to look just like this. So, what does my gross profit for selling one widget? That is my lifetime value. The reason is there's no difference because I'm never going to see that customer again. Most businesses are not like this. I would say, one that many of you may fall into is the repeat purchaser. So, this is I sell something, be they t-shirts, be they my services as a freelancer, be they some kind of services, or if you're a restaurant and people come they buy, in the future some percentage come by back and buy again. So, let's riff on the restaurant example for a second. So, I'm a restaurant, and every time the average customer comes, they have a check of 50 bucks. My margin on that is $25, so my gross profit every time is $25. Now, the average customer, will come four times over the life of them being customer. So, four times 25 is one hundred. So, even though in a single transaction, I'm only making $25 from them. Over the life of that customer. I'm going to make 100. So, I'm going to say my lifetime value of my customer is $100. The last type customer that I'll talk about, that you have some familiarity of, if you a Skillshare subscriber because Skillshare is this type of business, is a subscription business. So, this is some kind of business where there is some recurring charge that happens automatically. And rather than people deciding to purchase again, that purchase happens automatically. So, another subscription business that you're probably familiar with is Netflix. If I were a business like Netflix? I've never worked there, I don't know. But if I were a business like them, how I would think about my lifetime value? Is I would say, "Okay, every month it cost me eight bucks," and let's just say that their gross profit for every month is $4. Then they'll say the average customer sticks around forever because who wants to leave Netflix. But actually, let's say they stick around for 24 months. So, the average customer is worth four times 24 which will be $96. I can still do multiplication. Again, very similar to the repeat purchaser. The only difference is instead of the customer actually actively coming back to the business, you have a system where the customer does the opposite. So, they will leave the business or churn is the word that we would use. So, depending on what type of business you are, you can start to think about how much is a customer worth to me, so that I can narrow in a little better on how much should I be willing to expend in order to get a customer. Some other things to consider, referrals. So, let's go back to the restaurant for a second and imagine that this isn't just any old restaurant but it has amazing food, the best service, beautiful ambience, and it's such an amazing experience that every time those customers who have an average checks of $50 and make you $25 income an average of four times. Every time they come, they love it so much, that they tell to their friends. So, now all of a sudden, instead of being worth $100, this customer also creates two more customers that are worth $100. So, your total customer value is 100 times three the original customer, plus the two people they referred worth 300 bucks. So, what I encourage you guys all to do, there's something that you can fill out on the worksheet to help you with this, is to think about what your customer value is. You may not get this exactly right. But, what type of business do you have? Is it a one time transaction business? Is it a repeat purchaser business? Is it a subscription business? How much is the average customer transaction worth to you? How many transactions do your customers have on average? Are they referring people? And through thinking through some of those variables, you can start to hone in on what is the value of my customer, which is super important because I'm going to do marketing, whether that's paid resources or my time in order to acquire those customers. I want to make sure that the resources that I expend to acquire customers is less than the amount that they're worth for me. Next up, we are finally going to get back to talking about the marketing funnel. Dissecting what that funnel is, thinking through the different pieces, analyzing other businesses marketing funnels, and at last, laying out your own, so that you can optimize your marketing. 5. Anatomy of a Single Node: So, we're finally going to talk about the marketing funnel and the way that you should approach this. So, remember at the beginning, I said that every marketing funnel is made up of a series of nodes. Here's a big node and the node has two things: it has a message and it has an action. Pretty straightforward. I tell you something and I want you to do something. Some marketing funnels are many, many nodes. The simplest are single. So, let's look at the simplest first. Imagine the lemonade stand. A kid sets up a lemonade stand on a street corner on a hot day, it's a single node. The message: Come buy lemonade, it's sweet, it's iced, it's good. The action: Buy a lemonade. Right? A single node marketing funnel. Let's just get a little bit more complex here but we're still with the lemonade stand. We know there's a message in that action, right? Now it's the two-node marketing funnel. All right? So, when I was a kid I lived on a residential street, not a lot of traffic on that street. So, if I set up my lemonade stand, I needed to go out to the big street, put a sign on the big street that said, "Go block this way, there's really tasty, fresh lemonade, it's sweet, it's iced, it's a hot day". So, I had a sign, that's my first. So, I have my sign and I have whatever message I have there. The action, that's the message that the action is drive one block. Right? I want people to drive one block. Then they get to my lemonade stand. I tell them more about my lemonade, so I'll call this my stand message, and then my action is buy, right? So, this is your two-step lemonade stand, and I would argue that every single marketing funnel can be broken down into these nodes. Now, if I was an entrepreneur, an 11-year-old and I was like, "Not enough people are buying my lemonade. Why is that?" If I break down my funnel on this way, I can start to analyze. "Well, everybody who comes to my lemonade stand buys lemonade but I'm not getting enough people to come to my lemonade stand". So, maybe there's something wrong with my sign or where it is, etc. So, in the same way that if I'm doing something complicated online with a variety of steps that I want someone to take in order to buy my product or service and I can analyze that funnel, I can analyze the funnel of my two-step lemonade stand funnel. 6. Analyzing Common Marketing Paths: So, now, we're going to go through the exercise of picking apart and really analyzing a bunch of other businesses marketing funnels. Some of you guys in elementary school, you might have done that diagramming sentences exercise and I'll tell you, I hated that. Nouns, and verbs, and whatever, and looking at the sentence. But doing exercises like that really give you a deeper understanding of how these things work. Hopefully, this is a little more interesting than diagramming sentences. So, we're going to dive in. Look at some of these marketing funnels. Hopefully, this will be insightful and allow you to better start thinking about your own. So, we're just going to talk through a bunch of marketing funnels that I've run into recently and how I thought about them. If I were their marketer, how I might analyze those marketing funnels. So, recently, it being close to the New Year, and time where everybody has resolutions, I was targeted on Facebook by ClassPass. They gave me this really great offer that said, I'll get my first five classes free. This was not the standard offer on their site. So, I'm actually assuming that they thought that I was such a good customer that they wanted to give me a special offer. So, if we think about their initial targeting, I don't know exactly what it was. They might have just said, looked at me demographically. My guess, actually is that I've been to their site before, and that they thought because of that, that I was particularly likely to buy. So, they targeted me knowing that I had been on their site before. I don't know if that's true. That's my guess. In any event, the first place I saw them was on a Facebook ad, FB ad, and their message was five classes free. They wanted me to click on that ad. The next place I went was their website, where they told me a little bit more about the product. Basically, their product is, you can take workout classes in a variety of different places, and what they wanted me to do was start the sign up flow. Then, I went to a checkout screen, where they wanted me to put in my credit card. So, this was just check out information, and they wanted me to put in my credit card. Then I signed up. My guess is, because they know that if I don't use this thing that I'm probably going to cancel, now I'm getting messages about how to use the product with the goal of me using. Ultimately, they hope that if I use the product, I'll stick around and I'll continue to be a customer, right? So, if I were their marketer, and you could then look at all of these individual steps and say, "Where are people dropping off? What's going really well? What's problematic right now?" So, maybe nobody's clicking on those Facebook ad, right? So, that would be something that would be easy to diagnose. Maybe people are clicking on that Facebook ad, but they're getting to the website and they're not starting the sign up process. Maybe they're starting a sign up process, but they're not ultimately giving me their credit card. Maybe they're signing up for that trial, but they're not using that service. Therefore, they end up canceling. So, if I were their marketer, you could think about each of these stages and say, "Where are people dropping off? Where are there places that I think they can improve?" The answer for how to diagnose these is, it's a little bit of trial and error, it's a little bit of experience in terms of, what's a good rate of people clicking on my ad? What's a good rate of people who start to check out to give me their credit card? But being able to take a marketing funnel apart like this really gives me the ability to start to diagnose, "Where is my problem?" So, thinking about this. One temptation that people might have a lot is to confluence a lot of these nodes and to say, "My marketing funnel's one node, what I want them to do, I want them to subscribe to my service." That can be helpful sometimes to think about that way, but if you want to diagnose problems, it's really important to break it down as finely as possible and to say, "Where is every place that there's an action?" Because actions are where customers drop off. So, here with the states we've got, it requires me to do something. It requires me to click. If I do not click, I do not continue to move down. So, it's really important to break things down finally. Doing this allows you to better find problems. To simply say, "Not enough people are signing up." That's a start, but it's not really actionable. Another thing I ran to recently, I got an email from this company called Threadless, which sells fun and cool T-shirts. I bought from them before. So, I got an email the other day for a Valentine's Day special for 50 percent off T-shirts. Because who doesn't want to buy their loved one a T-shirt for Valentine's Day? So, there were a number of steps that this funnel was asking of me. Remember, I talked about email towards the beginning. So, the first step that they were asking of me is I get the email in my box, I know it's from Threadless, I'm familiar with their business, and they're saying, "50 percent off." Something like that. So, I see a subject line. That's the first message. The first action that they want me to take is to click and open that email. So, I click. I open the email. They tell me a little bit more about the sale. They tell me it's for Valentine's Day. I can see some of the cool T-shirts that they sell. So, that's essentially the message. What they now want me to do is to click through, and actually go to their site. Once I go to their site, they show me their best selling shirts because they would say probably, "The best selling shirts are most likely to appeal to me, with the idea that they want me to click on one of those and ultimately put it in my shopping cart. Once it's inside my shopping cart, the next step is they actually want me to check out. Again, they're able to look at each one of these steps and diagnose, where's the problem. They're going to know, and if you work with any kind of email service provider that that's for businesses, they know how many people open this email. So, maybe the problem is, you just had a really bad subject line and nobody want to open the email. Maybe not. Maybe you will open the email, but nobody actually clicked through because who buys T-shirts for Valentine's Day? Maybe tons of people are clicking through, but they're not ultimately placing a shirt into a cart. So, if that were the case, I might say, "Maybe I'm showing people the wrong shirts. Maybe I should show people different shirts because they're interested in this general concept of buying T-shirts on sale for Valentine's Day but they're not placing them their cart." Then, lastly, are people not checking out? So, is there some friction there that I can remove to help them get through the funnel? So, largely, what you find is that between this funnel and the one that I describe previously is even though the businesses are different, one is e-commerce another is a subscription, their funnels look a lot the same. I think one of the key differences is with a subscription, where you're trying to get somebody not to cancel versus Threadless, where you're trying to get people to repeat purchase. In a subscription really, the way you get someone not to cancel is to try to drive them to use whatever that subscription is over and over again. So, with the hypothesis being, if they use it, they're going to stick around. This is no different. If it's a magazine subscription, you want the person to read that magazine. Or, if it's, in that case, ClassPass, you want them to actually use that subscription. But, again, other than that, these funnels look the same. I think that that's one of the things I'm trying to highlight with this whole class, which is that a lot of the way these things work is the same from business to business, and it's really just subtle differences that you can think about for your own business so that you can better. 7. Mapping Your Marketing Path: Okay. We're here at last and you're going to lay out your own marketing funnel. Now, many of you may already know what this is. Some of you may have never thought about this in your life. So, this is completely new and that's totally cool. Here's my advice. I think there's two places you could potentially start. The top or the bottom, right? So, if you start at the top, the starting point is like, how do people first run into my business? What is that first no? What is the first experience that they have? Then, the bottom is, what do I ultimately want them to do? What is the last thing that I want them to do? Once, you lay out the top and the bottom, it's a matter of saying, "Now, how can I make getting from A to B as simple and as seamless as possible?" Some of you may be a little overwhelmed by this or say like, "I don't know, maybe I don't have a marketing funnel." Again, this marketing funnel isn't anything fancy. It's people getting information and taking action. So, if you have one customer, you have a marketing funnel. Because somehow, they heard about your business and they took some action. So, what is my initial targeting? Like, how do I first run into people and what is the first thing that I ask of them to do? What is the last thing that I ask of them to do? Just write those down, start with those two points. Once you are there, then, you just have to say, "How can I possibly connect point A and point B." So, write that out, "We're going to eventually get to, is this working or is it not?" But right now, just focus on describing what it is, what is each message, what is each action? Getting from how people first hear about your business to the ultimate action, which in most cases, is purchase. So, am I healthy? Am I doing the right thing? Is my marketing funnel working for me? Some of the ways you answer this question are really commonsense things. Am I making enough money? Am I happy with how much money I'm making, with how many customers I have? If the answer is no, there's probably something you can do to your marketing funnel. Now, the question is what? So, it really depends. So, way back when we talked about you want your customer acquisition cost to be less than your LTV, my customer value. The first big thought to have is, if I'm spending more money on marketing than I'm getting back in value, there is a problem. Right? You can't keep doing this, because you're going to run out of money if you keep spinning this. You may grow the number of customers you have, but ultimately, you're going to go broke. So, that's the first sign, there's a major problem here. Beyond that though, I think for most small business owners and most early entrepreneurs, this is not the problem that they have. Because most of them have pretty small marketing budgets and the problem isn't that they're spending way too much on marketing, the bigger problem is, I just don't have enough customers. If I don't have enough customers, one thing to ask yourself is, "Am I just not spending enough on marketing?" Could I invest more, whether that's time or money into marketing, because maybe my acquisition cost is much less than my lifetime value, but I'm just not doing this thing enough? So, I just need to put more resources into my marketing. That's a very simple potential fix. Whatever the problem is, whether it's because your CAC is bigger than your LTV, or just you feel like you're not efficient enough, really the way to fix this problem is to take a look at this model and say, "Where can I tweak this to make it a little bit easier?" One of the first things to think about is, "Is my initial targeting wrong? Am I putting people in my funnel who are just the wrong person? So, imagine the t-shirt example, Threadless actually also sells sweatshirts and other stuff, but imagine they don't and they only sell t-shirts. I'm marketing to people who live on the North Pole. Perhaps they layer and that they still wear t-shirts underneath, whatever they wear. But let's assume they don't, they just don't need t-shirt. So, it doesn't matter, my funnel could be amazing. Everything's working. I have amazing messaging, if I'm trying to sell t-shirts to people who don't need t-shirts. Chances are you're not doing something that's that outlandish. But I think it's worth asking yourself the question, "Am I getting the right people here?" So, from a freelance designer like, "Am I really targeting people who need that type of work that I do?" Whatever your business, am I hitting the people who are the right person at the right time, et cetera? So, is my initial targetting right? Now, I would just look at each node? Really, in ideal situation and if you don't have this, I would encourage you to think about ways where you can get more, which is data. How can I just understand how many people are getting from stage A to node B, to node C, to node D, to whatever? Because with data, comes power and the power to figure out where is the problem. So, there are a lot of other great classes on Skillshare that talk about Web Analytics and Google Analytics and there's so many free tools out there. But again, it really depends on what you're selling, maybe it's not online at all. But as much as possible, you want to try to put some numbers to things, so you could better understand where are people dropping off. Once you have some data, you still has to figure out what's broken, what's working. Sometimes, you can use your gut, "Hey, I really think that a greater number of people or percentage should be getting from B to C." But in many cases, it's as simple as googling. So, if I want to know, are enough people clicking on my ad, on my search ad, or on my ad on Facebook, I might google average click-through rates for Facebook posts or something like that if I were posting on a particular piece of social media. So, really you want to start by quantifying how many people are getting from each step and then, try to make some assessment on where things are broken. Once you can sell, I've really figured out that node B is broken. Then, I can figure out what about node B is broken? Because we know there's not that much to a node, there's not that much that can be broken. All that I have is a message and an action. Usually, the problem only, if you have a problem with your action is, I'm asking people to do too much. Oftentimes, if this is the case, what I can do is I can drop another node in. If you remember, the B2B example, we knew that nobody wanted to buy expensive advertising services right after they come to a website. First learning about those services. So, we added an interim step that was a little bit easier, a little bit lower ask that we could then, better ease them to step. So, maybe the action you're asking them to take is too much. So, I need to add some nodes. So, instead of B, it's B1 and B2. So, if you're a freelance designer, freelance illustrator, probably the first thing when somebody comes to your website, you don't want to say, "Hire me." Like, "Here's how you can contact me to hire me." People aren't ready to hire you at that point, that seems to make sense. You probably first want them to look at your work, to see a gallery, maybe to hear about testimonials of other people who you've worked for, et cetera. Maybe the problem is, you're asking too much. Then, the other potential problem is here with the message. Maybe you're not communicating the right thing in order to get them to the action. So, again, backing up, it's really pretty straightforward. You're going to layout your nodes, you're going to figure out how many people are getting from step to step. Based on information on the Internet as well as what you know about your business, you're going to try to diagnose where is there a problem. Once, you diagnose where there's a problem, you're going to take that note and say, "How can I make that better? Can I improve the message or could I change the action?" Usually by making that action easier or kind of a lower barrier. I think a good example here when you think about lower barrier is everybody's been on some site where it's a real pain in the butt to like check out and things break and ask you for a million pieces of information, that makes that action incredibly difficult. So, there are some people who just get frustrated and they leave. So, it's, "How can I have a message that's compelling and how can I then, make that action as easy as possible?" So long as it leads to the next step, that eventually leads to the final step, which is purchase. 8. Final Thoughts: So, from here, where I might think to go next, I obviously, I gave you guys a framework for how to think about a marketing plan, but I didn't really talk about how can I craft that specific message. I might look at kind of classes or resources that talk about branding, that talk about messaging and positioning as well as resources that teach me how to specifically use marketing channels for all the things that marketing channels have in common. Even though all marketing communications are made up of nodes that can be broken down into messages and actions, there are a lot of bells and whistles that are specific to those different marketing channels, be them online, offline, SCM, social, what have you. the more you know that those bells and whistles, the better you're going to be able to use those channels to be successful with your marketing. So, many of you may have already had an opportunity to download the worksheet and fill out those worksheets, diagramming other marketing funnels as well as your own. If you haven't, I really encourage you to do that. Then, if you have questions or you find someone who's doing something really interesting in terms of their marketing funnel, feel free to post that in the gallery or the community section below and we can all talk about this and share ideas. If you have any specific questions, feel free to post those below as well. So, thanks so much for taking this class. I hope it was helpful and good luck with your marketing.