In the world of marketing and sales you will more and more often hear of funnel and how they are able to bring significant increases in the number of sales.
As Studio Samo states:
The Funnel (also known as a sales funnel or marketing funnel) is the process by which companies guide customers in purchasing products.
A conversion funnel is a conversion funnel that helps guide consumers along the buying journey to make sure they get to exactly where they want to. Of course, the ultimate goal is to convert them, i.e. to transform them into sales or lead.
However, the conversion funnel isn't just about physical purchases or products. The "transaction" placed at the end of the funnel could also be subscribing to your newsletter, signing a petition, requesting access to your Facebook group or a donation.
So how do you create a well-defined and optimized funnel to capture leads, nurture them, and get them to convert? Let's deepen more this topic in the following paragraphs.
What is a conversion funnel?
A conversion funnel is a visual representation of the steps a visitor takes from first discovering your brand to conversion. The most popular typology of marketing funnel consists of four steps:
- Attention: A person sees your ad, posts on social media, or hears about you from a friend
- Interest: Potential customers think you can solve a problem and want to know more
- Wiss: The prospect has done their research and wants to proceed with the conversion
- Action: The prospect intervenes: he buys your item, schedule a demo or take any other action you want them to do
The action can vary by customer and industry - perhaps you'd like me to make a purchase, sign up, or fill out a form. When someone does something you want them to do, this is referred to as a conversion.
Stages of the Conversion Funnel: Which Content Goes Where?
In addition to driving traffic and increasing conversions, the sales funnel also creates moments of wonder for your prospects - a point in your prospect's purchase journey where they exclaim OMG! This is just what I was looking for!
So your mission is to create content for each of the three stages of the conversion funnel. You want to guide your audience from awareness, interest and consideration to intent and purchase.
The Top Of The Funnel (TOFU) where every buyer's journey begins. Here, the buyers have just become aware of their problem and are actively looking for a solution. They use informational questions like "What can I wear for skiing?" or "How to stay warm while skiing?"
If you approach these people with a direct sale at this stage, you will be rejected. They just aren't ready to buy yet.
Use blog posts, articles, ads, landing pages, social media posts, checklists and other types of content to answer the questions a potential buyer has at this stage.
Your goal right now is to build trust and position your brand as an authority. Educate, entertain and inspire your audience as you answer questions related to the issue your product is facing.
The second phase is named MOFU and its goal is to build trust, nurture leads and monitor the purchase intent to influence the final decision.
The best way to nurture leads right now is to talk to them directly. Focus your efforts on creating personalized content, offers and email campaigns, based on your needs, challenges and personalities, lead specifications. You can think of email campaigns, webinars, in-person events, case studies, and social proof as testimonials and reviews.
The last step in the process of creating a funnel is call BOFU or fund of the funnel. This is the final stage in which the customer decides to actually make the purchase.
To help with this process, we recommend that you apply a certain sense of urgency to your reminder email, promotional offers and retargeting ads.
As in the middle of the funnel, any tactic you decide to adopt at this stage should be tailored to your prospect's unique needs and buying behavior.
Optimize your funnel and go with the flow
A conversion funnel can help keep your audience where you want them to be, at every stage of their journey.
First, see how traffic flows through the funnel. You can use the tool Google Goal Flow to investigate questions like these:
- Are users joining my funnel on the first step or are they jumping somewhere in between?
- Are there many unexpected exits from a step in the middle of the funnel?ù
- Is there a place where traffic goes back?
- Does a traffic segment behave differently than other segments? It converts more or less often?
Then, take a look at the email campaigns that are part of your audience's buyer journey: posting sequences, promotions, thank you pages, and more.
Looking at the open rates, click rates and unsubscribe rates, and comparing them with the benchmark of e-mails. It can identify high-performance emails that you can build on or low-performance emails that may be up to date.
Also check your landing pages carefully, play a vital role in the effectiveness of the conversion funnel.
Look for opportunities to optimize the text, calls to action, buttons, illustrations, photos and other elements on your landing pages.
How to create a sales funnel for your business
Here are five steps to help you build a sales funnel:
1. Build a landing page
Most likely a landing page is the first element that potential customers see when they learn about your company. If they click on an ad, sign up for a webinar, or download an ebook, they'll be taken back to a landing page.
That page should clearly communicate who you are as a company and your unique advantages (after all, this may be the only opportunity you have to impress potential customers). And most importantly, make sure your landing page has a form where potential customers can enter their information.
2. Offer something of value
Here's the part where you have to give your prospects something in exchange for their email address. A guide, such as an ebook or a white paper, are an effective way to offer something of value via your landing page.
3. Start growing
At this point, your potential customers will switch from Awareness phase to the Interest phase. And you have all their email addresses collected from the landing page, you can create a series of emails to share educational content about your offer.
As potential customers enter the Decision phase, you need to offer everything. This can push them in the direction of a purchase decision. There may include a product demo, extended free trial, or special discount.
5. Continue like this
In the Action phase, you will get new customers or listen to why potential customers are not interested in buying. In any case, continue the communication. For new customers, focus on training, engagement and product retention.
For prospects who haven't made a purchase, create a new series of educational content to send a reminder after a few months.
Find the cracks in the stages of the sales funnel
Now that you've learned how to create a sales funnel, let's start understanding why its management is important. Even very good prospects can slip out of the sales funnel along the way if they're not nurtured with care. The best way to prevent such loss is to have a clear idea of the steps in the process and help to carry them out.
Once you know the stages of the sales funnel, it is time to find out where you are losing potential customers. Sit down with your team and ask yourself:
- Where are the bottlenecks in my sales process?
- Where do I tend to lose sight of potential customers?
- What are the positive trigger points, specific actions that typically result in a sale?
Look closely for cracks where your chosen steps may not work. So get ready to repair your funnel.
How can I help the management of sales funnels?
Losses in the sales funnel process often stem from three root causes. The good news is that the management of the sales funnel can help with each of them:
- Throwing away "no" too quickly.
- Follow-up fails
- Too slow
- 80% of sales require at least five follow-ups
- Only 44% of sales representatives give up after a follow-up
- Yet 46% of leads require 3-5 touchpoints before turning into qualified prospects
Persistence can sound like a waste of time, but the numbers prove otherwise.
You may be wondering: "How the hell am I supposed to contact a lead within the first five minutes? It seems impossible."
It is not impossible with the automation of sales funnel management. Configure your system with the answer you want and it will be ready to send it immediately to any interested potential customer, even to the one who will contact you on Saturday at 3:00 am.
As acquired leads move down the funnel, your sales automation platform can send additional personalized emails that are perfect for every moment.
Deliver the right message at the right stage of the funnel
Depending on the situation, you may want to send different materials at different times: testimonials from other customers, videos showing how easy it is to set up your system, or just friendly check-in emails.
Now your marketing automation funnel is giving you a boost at every stage - it responded within five minutes of their first contact and that helped give you the chance; to take your step. After launch, you are ready to stay in touch and respond to objections in a friendly and targeted way.
It is better to have a customer relationship management system involved during this phase. A good CRM has the power to collect any information you have within your database, so it can be used to make each email perfectly tailored to the customer.