The Dark Funnel is the touch-points a user experiences before they are tagged and identified in any marketing stack. These touch-points include all of the users checking reviews, browsing comparison sites, & reading blogs/articles on 3rd party sites.
The Dark Funnel has impacted every industry causing a lack of insight into where a prospect truly is in their buying decision and how informed they are before entering your marketing/sales funnel. It’s why most marketers ask themselves:
– How did the customer find us?
– How informed is the customer?
– Has this customer already formed an opinion about us?
The majority of marketers believe filling out a form on a website indicates the highest moment of intent. New research proves otherwise.
A study on 2,241 U.S. companies found that on average: it takes a sales rep 42 hours to contact a new lead, of which 38% will never respond. Additionally, 4.3 days go by before the first meeting ever takes place.
This is especially shocking given how fast online leads go cold as discussed in another study, which analyzed 1.25 million sales leads received by 29 B2C and 13 B2B companies in the U.S.
Companies that responded to leads within the hour were seven times as likely to qualify the lead in comparison to those that tried to contact leads an hour later – and more than 60 times as likely as companies that waited 24 hours or longer.
In the simplest terms, timing is everything. The longer you wait on opportunities, the fewer responses you’ll receive.
Navigating the Dark Funnel
Buyer intent is highest in the dark funnel while solutions to the buyer’s problem are explored. These users have questions about your product and they want to ask you directly, but haven’t. They’re still on the fence on whether or not you’re the best possible solution. Any user that’s actively researching, discussing, and evaluating a company is clearly expressing interest.
As of now, most intent signals are collected by tech giants (Google, Facebook, etc) and held behind secure walled gardens for companies to rent out through pixels/cookies. Therefore, if you want to reach these users, you’ll have to continuously run remarketing campaigns until you have identified them by email.
A better solution is using Dotto Graph, so you can actively engage with these prospects in real time and have one-to-one conversations. Dotto identifies anonymous website visitors by email and integrates directly with your ESP/CRM for endless opportunities to connect, engage, & influence users.
– Beating competitors to prospects
– Accelerating your sales cycle
– Increasing conversions
– Expanding your audience
– Being the primary source of education for your prospects
As an entirely new channel, Dotto lifts the veil on the dark funnel by identifying users earlier in the buyer’s journey. Dotto pushes prospects down your marketing funnel by passing their name, email, & address directly to you in real time.
Sitting around waiting for leads and sales is such a passive approach. Actively engaging with prospects in real-time when they need you is much more effective. Be the first to connect with prospects. Meet their needs and they won’t compare you to anybody. Once you establish credibility and answer their questions, they will simply choose you.
And don’t we all want to be chosen?