[Updated for 2021]
The concept of funnel marketing is simple.
Businesses have traditionally always looked for ways to cast their sales nets as wide as possible. In doing so, they identify a large group of logical but unqualified leads.
A sales funnel picks up from there. It’s meant to filter the pool by first qualifying the leads, prospecting them, building their interest, before finally getting them to take action.
It’s a process or an automated system that reads through the thought process of potential customers or clients as it gradually guides them on their journey to become customers.
Typically, every company will have its own way of qualifying leads. What never changes is the nature of the sales funnel and the end goal.
Everything has to start with identifying a broad base of potential customers that you’ll be cost-effectively qualifying in the different stages of the funnel until you end up with customers (read: sales).
You win when your sales funnel is able to convert the majority of your target audience entering it into delighted customers. You will then have a high business growth rate.
What’s a Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is better defined as a series of stages ranging from articles, emails, webinars, landing pages, video content and so on, that your site’s visitors go through before they finally become your customers.
As suggested by the name, at each stage of the funnel marketing process, the number of leads going through drops.
The number of people who make it to subsequent stages falls. If you were to come up with a graphical representation of the entire process; odds are it will take the semblance of a funnel.
Here’s how new visitors move through the funnel;
- They’re first introduced to your business, products, or services
- They’re educated on the various aspects of the product and its selling points
- They’re offered tons of value
- Their interest grows, and trust is established
- They’re pitched to with different strategic marketing messages in the hopes that they’ll take action. The pitching occurs at every step of their way in the sales journey.
A sales funnel can also be looked at as a flow plan of the traffic that you attract to your site. Unless they are your existing customers, people don’t just land on your website and immediately pay for your services.
Some of these people know nothing about your business or products, and it makes sense that you’ll want to educate them first as you gradually reel them in.
5 Sales Stages of a Digital Marketing Funnel
The funnel marketing process can be broadly divided into five stages. They include:
When customers land on your website for the first time, they’re completely green about the nature of your business or products. It’s then that you take the opportunity to educate them about your existing solution and what it can do for them.
Some of them even learn that they have problems that need to be solved, and whose solution you’re offering.
The visitor may have stumbled across your ad or came across your post on Google, social media or any other traffic source.
2. Interest Stage
At this, point some of your leads would have realised that they have a need that you can satisfy or that they could use your products or services.
After you attract visitors to your website, the next thing you want to do is increase their interest in your products and services. Ideally, they make up their minds and decide to go through with a purchase.
The important thing here is to offer your visitors something irresistible. This can include anything – engaging content to super-attractive visuals.
3. Decision Stage
This is where the prospect makes a mental note to take advantage of your offer. They’ve made the decision to go through with a purchase or take whatever action you want them to.
Their attention has shifted to the options that you have. They’re making price comparisons, evaluating the different packages and weighing on which offer suits them best.
4. Action Stage
At this stage of funnel marketing, the prospect is on the verge of finalising a deal they started.
They have clicked the purchase button or are signing a contract. They’ll enter payment details, as you work on delivering the product or the services they ordered.
Your interaction with prospects doesn’t just end with the completion of a purchase. There’s another stage that works towards inspiring customer loyalty so you can convert them into returning clients.
5. Retention Stage
At this stage, you’re operating with customers who’ve once purchased with you. Your focus has now shifted from trying to make them take action to trying to make them happy and satisfied so they can return for more purchases.
So, your plan should involve offering them all the necessary support with regards to the product that they brought from you earlier. You want to keep them engaged by sharing different types of supporting content, including special offers, emails, product usage guides, follow-ups/survey outreach and technical assistance.
Social Media Campaigns
Being active on social media will help you enlarge your pipeline and expand your reach exponentially.
Social sites pack over 3.5 billion users. They’re your mining fields if you plan to generate sales.
Taking advantage of these sites will help you generate more leads, and that’s because you’ll be targeting a wealth of new leads.
Conducting niche specific social media campaigns, requires more than just simply making a post on your personal Facebook page. It requires time, effort and skill. It is best left to professional social media services.
Start writing e-Books and Whitepapers
Writing eBooks and whitepapers is an effective lead generation strategy when you’re targeting B2B customers or targeting more professional and technical customers.
You have an opportunity to offer technical expertise and actionable advice that will be help gain trust, increase thought leadership, and establish credibility among your potential customers.
Use SEO Marketing
Your sales funnel has multiple stages. Your leads need not necessarily enter your funnel from the top.
Some prospects would find later stages of your funnel more relevant to them. For example, a prospect might already know about your brand and is currently doing comparisons with your competitors. This prospect should go directly into the Decision stage of your funnel.
SEO marketing is ideal for this. It meets customers where they are along their buying journey. It shortens the route to a sale. You spend less time educating and more time selling. This lowers your overall marketing costs.
Build a Newsletter
With newsletters, you have first to figure a way to make your site visitors submit their contact information to you. You can then enter them into your email list and start sending them regular email content that keeps your business on the top of their minds.
Gradually, reel them into taking positive action and preventing them from dropping out of your sales pipeline.
Engage services for Web Design
Branding is key to creating a good impression in your customer’s eyes.
Experts who provide services for web design understand graphic presentation, customer psychology as well as the sales process.
Web visitors tend to decide whether to stay on your web site within 6 seconds of landing on it. Having a poor web site, results in a high bounce rate.
You can’t sell to the customer who isn’t there any longer.
Conversely, a well thought out web design results in a good first impression, easy navigation, relevant information, a comfortable flow and a good customer experience.
Figure out how to Delight Your Current Customers
It’s 7 times easier to convince a current customer to make a repeat purchase than to get a new one to take action.
Many business owners take existing clients for granted despite their great potential in making a second purchase and doubling as your brand ambassadors.
If you’re skilled enough to delight them, then you have an even better chance of turning them into your brand promoters.
These customers have friends and families that are in dire need of the same solution you offered them. All it takes is a positive word from them, and you have an extra sale.
Increase Business Growth through a Funnel Marketing Agency
These are some of the secrets you need to run an effective funnel marketing campaign that’s less costly and more profitable.
If you’re stuck or looking for a funnel marketing agency to outsource the job to, be sure to reach out to Blazing Conversions Funnel Marketing Agency. Our friendly consultants will find the best way to move your business forward.