Every online business needs a marketing funnel. When prospects visit your website, it’s not the same as when they visit a physical store. There are no clerks around to tell them about the company and its product offering.
A marketing funnel acts as your automated sales clerk. However, unlike a real person, a sales funnel doesn’t make mistakes. The funnel delivers your pitch to the prospect perfectly every time. One of the best features of a sales funnel is that the entire process is automated.
As a result, your prospects get service and attention, without you having to do anything but sit back and watch your analytics numbers grow.
What are sales funnels, and how can you apply it to your online business? In this article, we’ll look at everything you need to know about implementing this prospecting solution.
The Evolution of Marketing
Back in the day, before 2010, sales funnels were an obscure technology. Internet marketing was still in its infancy, and digital marketers didn’t have a handle on this whole social media thing. However, just a decade later, and digital marketing is now the world’s premier marketing strategy.
If you want to be a successful digital marketer, then you need to embrace the use of sales funnels. Funnels changed the marketing game for the entire industry, and if you’re not using them, then you’re missing out on a huge opportunity to grow your business.
Many people make the mistake of thinking that funnels only apply to generate sales. However, in reality, digital marketers use funnels for a variety of tasks. You can use a funnel to generate leads, guide a prospect to your physical location, or lead them through an informational site.
The key task of a funnel is to convert prospects into loyal customers and followers of your business or brand.
Defining Sales Funnels
Let’s start thins guide by looking at the basics of a marketing funnel. The primary goal of your funnel is to sway prospects’ opinions on your website, brand, business, or product offering. The funnel guides them through a set marketing strategy designed to convert them from a prospect into a customer.
The process starts by using a lead magnet when people land on your page. There could be numerous methods to drive traffic to your website, but the most common is through social media advertising campaigns.
Once the prospect arrives on your landing page, they have the option of clicking your lead magnet. A lead magnet is a window on the landing page, asking the prospect for their name and email address. The lead magnet also presents the prospect with a high-value offering for a piece of content they are interested in viewing.
After signing up with the lead magnet, the system pulls the prospect through to a thank you page. The page notifies the prospect that the value offering is on its way to their inbox, training the prospect to look out for your emails and whitelist your sending address.
The prospect then goes through an automated email campaign designed according to your strategy. This email phase could last for 2-emails or 20, depending on your core offer, and how much brand-building you have to do with the prospect to increase their buying temperature.
In the end, your prospect has the opportunity to purchase your core offer. If they don’t, then they divert through the funnel to a retention program designed to keep them warm and present the offer again at a later stage.
A Guide to the Stages of Sales Funnels
Every sales funnel goes through four stages. Below, we’ll outline these stages and tactics you can use to optimize your campaign. You may have heard about the concept of “AIDA” before, and it’s the foundation of any sales funnel as well.
Phase 1 – Awareness
The first stage of the marketing funnel is awareness. During this phase of the process, you’ll be introducing cold prospects to your company or brand and your product or service offering. This stage is not the time to present your core offer, that comes at the end of the funnel.
In the awareness phase, your sole objective is to give the prospect as much information about your company, and the benefits of doing business with you. In essence, you’re qualifying your leads to see if they can progress to the second stage of the funnel.
You’ll need to make a good introduction to your prospects, or they will opt out of the funnel and leave you hanging.
Phase 2 – Interest
After establishing credibility and rapport with the prospect, it’s time to move on to the interest phase. During this part of the strategy, you’ll start to pique the prospect’s interest in what you have to offer. Once again, this is not the time to introduce your core offering.
You need to think about building your relationship in the eyes of the prospect. You need to identify the problem and why they need a solution.
Phase 3 – Desire
This phase of the marketing funnel is where the rubber meets the road. You need to sway your prospect that you have the ideal solution to their problem. It’s a good time to introduce more social proof about your company or brand. Insert customer testimonials and give them the motivation they need to pull the trigger in the final phase of the funnel.
At this stage, the prospect is not ready to receive your core offer, but they are almost 90-percent there. The prospect must take action on making the final step. Insert a CTA to move onto the last phase of the process.
Phase 4 – Action
Every stage of the funnel is leading to this moment. This moment is a breakthrough or blow-up situation for your marketing strategy. If your prospect pulls the trigger, then it’s a good sign that you’re presenting a value offering that the prospect is willing to purchase.
You might review your analytics and find that people are dropping off at a specific stage of the funnel. This insight allows you to adjust this phase until the traffic pours through to the next step of the funnel.
Sales Funnels – The Future of Online Marketing
When the era of the internet started to trend, every company wanted a website. However, what is your website doing for you? If it’s only an information site hanging out in cyberspace doing nothing, what’s the point of being online?
Implementing a marketing funnel to your digital marketing strategy is the best way to revolutionize your business. Turn your website from a dormant entity roaming through cyberspace, to a lead-generating machine that brings you new business.