Marketing Funnel Automation Stack

MarTech Stack Diagram

Full-funnel marketing stack example
The tools you need for a full-full marketing stack

What is marketing funnel automation? 

You’ve probably heard of a marketing funnel. The conceptual idea of customers being herded by marketing teams to purchase something. It starts with a wide base of customers at the top, who may have heard of your business. Then you get some that are interested, and start swirling downward. Subsequently, the narrow bit represents the customers on the edge of purchasing. For this post, Growth Division are extending this to be a ‘full-funnel’, which includes customers who have purchased. Your retained customers are your best marketing assets and used to shout about your company. The velocity of customers moving through this funnel is the objective of marketing teams around the world. 

It’s no surprise that some (clever) marketers are looking for ways and means to automate this process (Growth Division included). We’ve found a number of tools that can be used to track and monitor prospects as they move through the funnel. The marketing automations enable marketing teams to handle more and more customers and scale up their activities. This combination of tools and automations is commonly referred to as a marketing stack (Martech Stack). Below is an example of a full-funnel marketing stack. 

How to build a Martech Stack?

Marketing funnel automation
Neil Partel’s high level overview of marketing funnel automation


Is this stack for you?

Who is this marketing stack for?

Founders or marketing managers who are investigating marketing automation tools and are data driven. 

How difficult is it to put together?
Hard. Mixpanel can be difficult to set up and will require development resources. Additionally, the integration with a CMS can require specialist knowledge. 
What about our existing tools?

You can build on this stack with your existing tools, but it is important to have Mixpanel at the centre, which has limited integrations. 


Your full-funnel marketing automation stack

This stack has been built with our blood, sweat and tears. We’ve built it from the ground up, bespoke to our client, Breezy. It’s unique in the fact that it’s designed to nurture a waitlist of prospects for a beta launch and then monitor them through a product onboarding process. This meant we needed a combination of top of funnel ‘soft’ content and detailed ‘hard’ analytics provided by Mixpanel. This proved to be a potent combination with growing lead volumes and fantastic customer understanding. 

Marketing funnel
Breezy’s top of funnel map

Custom CMS 

Customer CMS / WordPress 

What is this tool?

Content Management System

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

Wordpress has advanced features

A Content Management System (CMS) is a must have for any marketing funnel automation stack. Generating content and raising awareness for your brand is essential these days. Well written content will attract visitors on Google and can be shared on social media to get clicks back to your website. This top of funnel activity is vital when building a marketing funnel. The CMS is the management tool that sits behind this. Typically, WordPress is the go-to software for this, but loads of new tools have popped up recently and even CRMs are offering this (like Hubspot). In this instance, Breezy built their own platform to customise it to the brand and specific requirements. This increases flexibility, but meant that some basic features were missing and a couple of bugs arose (eg header images not pulling through to LinkedIn). 

Top tip: We’d recommend using an off the shelf service that is well integrated. The platforms are very advanced and reliable. If you move away from WordPress, check out the CRM plugins and integration capabilities. You’ll need the CMS to plug into other tools for a full funnel marketing automation stack. 


Plan required: WordPress / Monthly cost: $0


Hotjar

What is this tool?

Conversion optimisation tool  

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

Easy to install and great free plan 

We love Hotjar. It’s perfect for new website and products. Growth Division work with a lot of startups and small businesses, who need the insight Hotjar provides. In a couple of simple steps you can install the Java Script snippet onto your site and you’re away. Hotjar will record visitor behaviour, heat maps and scroll analysis. You can also trigger feedback requests at a site wide level or at a specific feature level – which is invaluable! 

Understanding your visitor behaviour is necessary for top of the funnel analytics. This type of user is notoriously difficult to understand and to optimise the website for. With Hotjar, you can increase the likelihood of a lead submitting some contact information and becoming a marketing qualified lead. 


Plan required: Hotjar / Monthly cost: $0

Top of funnel marketing automation
Track and analyse your leads with Hotjar

Lead generation engine 

Growth Division use the set of tools below to generate marketing qualified leads from LinkedIn automation (tools include Google Sheets, LinkedIn Sales Navigator, GetProspect, Zirtual, Octopus and Reply). The compounded impact of these tools is a multi-channel outreach engine that automatically  generates marketing qualified leads on a monthly basis. Data gets collected from LinkedIn, using the Ideal Customer Profile framework and filters on Sales Navigator. This data gets fed into Octopus and Reply to initiate co-ordinated outbound activity over LinkedIn and email. 


For a detailed breakdown of the tools used in our lead generation engine, read our events automation stack.

Google Sheets

What is this tool?

A shared spreadsheet

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

It’s online and integrated

Plan required: Free


LinkedIn

What is this tool?

A business-to-business social network

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

Filters based on customer profiles

Plan required: Starter / Monthly cost: $49


Virtual Assistant – Zirtual

What is this tool?

A remote assistant

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

Zirtual reps are time efficient and reliable

Top tip: Think carefully about data sources for your leads. The more creative and unique, the more likely you are to engage with them if you include this in your outreach.

Plan required: Zirtual (Entrepreneur plan) / Monthly cost: $449


Octopus

What is this tool?

LinkedIn automation

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

The user interface is intuitive

Plan required: Unlimited (startup plan) / Monthly cost: $39.99


Reply.io

What is this tool?

Email marketing outreach

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

It’s message builder and mass personalisation capabilities

Plan required: Individual (1000 contacts) / Monthly cost: $70


Freshsales

What is this tool?

CRM tool

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

Very good value and accessible APIs

It’s not quite the king of CRMs (we do love Huspot), but it’s the best value CRM solution out there. The lower tier (Blossom) is all Breezy needed, and for £12/m, it’s a steal. Freshsales has extremely open APIs and is well integrated, which is important for your automated marketing automation funnel. Freshsales captures all of the leads from the lead generation engine and enables the sales teams to act on the Sales Qualified Leads (SQLs) and turn them into customers. Simple. 

Top tip – Freshsales is part of the freshworks suite of tools – this includes Freshmarketer. If you want to build on your marketing funnel automation stack, you can include Freshmarketer to send automated emails and newsletters to Marketing Qualified Leads (MQLs). 


Plan required: Blossom / Monthly cost: £12 +VAT


Mixpanel

What is this tool?

Product analytics platform

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

It’s awesome

Now onto the good stuff. Mixpanel is one of our favourite tools to integrate into a marketing automation stack. We’ve been a Mixpanel customer for 5 years and Growth Division has recently become a Mixpanel certified partner. We may be a bit biased, but this doesn’t take away from the fact that Mixpanel provides a level insight into your marketing automation that’s not possible with other tools. The upside, we can get you $50k credit against the Growth plan in the first month, click the link below. Not bad, eh? 

For Breezy, the growth team’s mandate was to create sign ups for their waitlist. We tracked the various campaigns with UTM parameters that were picked up automatically in Mixpanel. Once we had the user accounts created, we are able to see their behaviour and build funnels and cohorts to track their movement through the funnel. We also sent up event triggered email notifications to nurture these MQLs to become SQLs. This level of automation is only possible when you track and understand your customers in this way. 


Plan required: Growth / Monthly cost: $0 ($50k off via Growth Division’s link)

Mixpanel product analytics
Track and nurture your customer with Mixpanel


Klipfolio  

What is this tool?

Analytics and reporting tool

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

The vast amount of integrations

Pulling this stack together with a reporting and analytics software is important to view the customers swirling down the marketing automation funnel. Klipfolio is our tool of choice, based on their integration capabilities with Google sheets. We pulled all the data from the lead generation engine into Sheets and co-ordinated this with freshsales. Combined, we get an overview on the prospects across the lead, MQL, SQL and customer stages of the marketing automation funnel. 

Top tip: Work with an expert to set up your analytics and reporting dashboard. This setup can be a bit tricky and requires a very good understanding of Google Sheets capabilities. 

Plan required: Publish / Monthly cost: $49


Slack

What is this tool?

Communication platform

What’s the Unique Selling Point? 

Everyone uses it

Slack needs no explanation. It’s the best communications platform out there for startups and small businesses. It is well integrated, and that’s why it’s perfect for this marketing funnel automation stack. We love to push data updates from Klipfolio and Freshsales into Slack. It’s really useful to get team engagement and can be used by the sales to team to recognise and engage with SQLs. 

Plan required: Standard / Monthly cost: TBC – number of seats

Final Thoughts… on our marketing funnel automation stack 

This stack is one of our best stacks for understanding customers and most of the tools provide deep analytics. This is a good thing. Analytics go hand-in-hand with marketing automation as we can identify customers individually and nurture them through the funnel. Once their details are captured, Mixpanel is the main engine for nurturing them through the funnel. Freshsales is simply there to understand the SQLs and to enable the sales team to nudge the prospects over the line.

Growth Division’s top tips

One thing we wish we’d known earlier: Mixpanel recently discontinued their messaging feature. There is a workaround using One Signal, but it costs and extra $99 and is a bit more tricky to set up. 

Trickiest integration: Pulling all the information from the tools into Klipfolio via Google Sheets.  

Estimated monthly stack cost: 

Software: $302.99

Time/VA: $449

Total cost: $751.99

Money saving tips: Sign up via our Mixpanel link and guarantee $50k (yes, $50,000!) of credit against your first year using the Growth plan.  


Talk to a Growth Advisor

We create a clear, focused marketing strategy by combining our expertise with your knowledge of your business.

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