A sales funnel is a marketing model that summarises an online customer’s journey to buying a product. Simply put, a sales funnel includes the steps that potential buyers take to turn onto your customer.
Most people browsing online shops are window shoppers, but with an effective sales funnel, you may turn most of those window shoppers into happy customers after a purchase.
Sales Funnel Exist in all fields of businesses and service :
- Retail store
- Sales team
- Personal consultation
But why are the sales funnel important? The answer is simple. The funnel helps create a model to visualize the path taken by a customer from entering your shop to making the purchase. By mapping this route, you will be able to screen out all the pitfalls or holes in the path that deters customers. As a result, not only will your customer influx increase but also your sales.
Top Ways to Creating an Effective Sales Funnel
How Does Sales Funnel Work?
Sales funnel is divided into different stages highlighting the actions taken to make a prospect into a buyer. Let's put up a scenario to better understand the process.
A google search, social media link might direct a prospect to your website. The said prospect will then browse through your blog and look at product listings in order to find something suitable for them or that catches their eye. Then you offer the prospect to sign up for email or your newsletter.
This makes the prospect a lead, so you can market the product to them via email, phone, or text messages. Blog posts about new products or reviews, special offers, sales, collaborations with famous personalities, and coupon codes are used to attract the lead back to your website.
It is called a sales funnel because it narrows down the progressive stages. This is due to two reasons, not all your prospects will become buyers so many prospects are filtered out during the stages and the messages become more targeted.
Understand the Four Stages of Sales Funnel
The sales funnel stages can be easily remembered by the acronym AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. You will have to deal with the prospect differently at each stage to avoid sending out the wrong message or you will risk losing your customer. Let’s talk about each stage in detail.
This is when the customer becomes aware of your business. This may be through a blog post, Instagram link, or a simple Google search.
Sometimes, you are lucky and you are offering just what the customer is looking for and a quick transaction is made. Other times, however, the customer requires a little nudge in the right direction to buy your product.
The advantage of the latter is, if you manage to hook in your customer and leave them satisfied, you will earn a loyal customer who will come back to make more purchases in the future. This is more profitable than the one-time buyer.
Now that your prospect is browsing through your website looking at options, you need to come with helpful information to narrow down their choices. This is the tricky stage and it is easy to appear as pushy here. This will likely drive the customer away.
Now the customer is finally ready to make a purchase. Keep in mind that most customers compare several websites offering the same product, so you need to have an edge over your competitors to make your offer irresistible to the lead. Be it free shipping, gifts, or special offers or discount on future purchases, you will need to rope in your lead.
The final stage is when the customer makes the purchase. But don’t get lazy yet, your work isn't over. You need to make your customer into a returning one. Remember to thank them for the purchase, ask for feedback, and provide customer support or help desk to resolve any issues. Good customer service is an integral part of winning their loyalty.
Consider Your Goals Before Setting Up Your Sales Funnel
Now that you are aware of the stages in a sales funnel but how do you make it a good one? To answer that, you will need to pay attention to the following checklist:
With multiple websites out there selling similar products, you need to understand your strengths as well as possible setbacks that can be improved to make the brand stand out from your competitors.
An unkempt shop is sure to drive away potential buyers no matter how good the quality of your products is. The same applies to your website. A clumsy website brings doubt to your professionalism and commitment and you will end up losing customers. Remember to put in enough effort on your website so that it stays visible in the search results.
Clear End Goal
Your business model, marketing strategy, customer perception, and products will determine the purpose served by the sales funnel.
Your KPI can be measured using the SMART approach:
S– Set up a specific goal.
M-Make sure seat metrics to measure your goal progress.
A-the methods to reach your goal must be achievable.
R-relevant to your company philosophy
T-Set up a time limit for each stage to maximize work progress.
Building the Sales Funnel
Your Interaction with the customer will vary depending on the stage, here is a walkthrough or head on to clickfunnels affiliate for a thorough analysis to get you started:
Attract the Audience
First, you need to let the audience know about your product. This means you have to prepare content for your target audience. You will have to post on all your social media platforms including your website. Ensure that you bring variety to your content with videos, infographics, collaborations, photos, and so on. If you have the budget, play ads in places your target hangs out the most, like on YouTube, Instagram, or Facebook.
Cold Audience: Audience unaware of your product can be informed with the help of videos.
Warm Audience: Audience familiar with your brand from before can be roped in through your product and its features.
Customers: Your current customers who know your brand are turned into repeat customers through the sales funnel.
Analyze the Audience Behavior
Knowing your target audience behavior will help filter out customers from casual browsers. Since you are not catering to everyone, you need to analyze their behavior to cater to individual needs.
A user behavior report to monitor site activity will give you an idea about things like what makes a user click a link, the time spent on a page, video views, website traffic, and on-site engagement.
Build a Landing Page
This is where the link or ad will take your prospect. You need to hook in your prospect with this page to proceed to browse through products. You can't push sales at this stage, instead, this is the best place to showcase any special offers, discounts, free shipping, or instructional video to engage the audience.
Create an Email Drip Campaign
Mail your leads with contents frequently (1-2 per week). This mail should include infographics regarding the product details, reasons to buy them, and how their product stands out from other companies' products. Conclude with an irresistible offer to make your lead act.
Keep in Touch
Your existing customers are your best marketing campaigners. Make sure to maintain a healthy relationship with them by thanking them for their purchases, offer additional coupon codes, membership benefits or royalties, customer testimonials on-site, and on other social media.
Measuring the Success of a Sales Funnel
Sales Funnel are subject to change in order to adjust to your growing company and customer base.
A great way to track your success is to measure the number of repeat customers, number of newsletter subscribers, profit from registered users, conversion rate, and cost per conversion.
Walkthrough each stage of the sales funnel and tweak accordingly for maximum results.
Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Your customer has a myriad of options to choose from so why should they buy from you. This is the purpose of a sales funnel. Efficient marketing is all about well-thought-out, optimized sales funnel that earns customers instead of forcing sales upon them. Here are some tips to optimize your sales funnel:
- Run multiple ads for a product each catering to a different buyer persona
- A/B test your landing pages, email campaigns, offers, and adjust according to audience response.
- Gauge audience response to your content on social media and ask for feedback
- Track your returning customer rate, the biggest gauge of your brand value.
Sales Funnel preparation and optimization is hard and time-consuming. Nonetheless, the results are worth the effort. Blindly setting up a website with tracking customer reviews or feedback will only lead to meager revenue or incur a loss. Garner as many customers in the first stage itself to minimize loss due to fallouts.
With a sales funnel, even a small step can make a big difference, it's all about cultivating skills and picking up on customer cues to gauge what they want in their product and cater accordingly.