Sales funnels, otherwise known as marketing funnels, are not as complicated as people might assume.
Essentially, their aim is to lead prospects on a journey, with the endpoint being them making a purchase, signing up to a program, subscribing to a webinar or whatever your business requires… You get to decide where your funnel leads people and what it is you want them to do once they reach the end.
The power is in your hands, so to speak.
Despite sales funnels not being a complex idea, they can be difficult to design and implement effectively. If you fail to do so and miss out any of the major sales funnel stages, you most likely won’t see any conversions.
To avoid putting time and effort into a new marketing method that simply won’t convert, let’s outline the fundamental stages that every successful funnel must be comprised of. If you want to see results, read on.
The ultimate sales funnel stages…
Generate your leads
First things first, your funnel needs to get your business noticed. Be an attention seeker, because that’s what it takes for people to recognise you.
When strategising for this stage of your funnel, don’t be afraid to target prospects multiple times, as it generally takes a few times of being seen before your brand will stick in people’s’ minds.
There are a number of ways to generate brand awareness, some completely free and some which may be worth having a small budget for.
To stick on the free side of things, make sure your brand is highly active on all social platforms. As well as regularly posting and offering value to consumers, be sure to engage in a friendly and recognisable manner with potential customers. Depending on your business and brand persona, you can even use social media in a humorous way – people are much more likely to remember a brand that made them laugh than those that stick to a typical formal tone.
There are always new viral trends going around the internet. Your business can use these as a platform for building your brand reputation by getting involved. Sometimes, sparking controversy is a great way to boost awareness – if you do so in a clever way.
When it comes to sales funnel stages, if you have a budget, you can go above and beyond to ensure success. Putting paid ads up on social media or search engines is a great way to boost awareness initially and get people to notice what your brand has to offer. What’s so beneficial about paid ads is you can target people in terms of their demographics, interests, activity etc. This way, you can avoid trying to promote your brand to people that would most likely have no interest whatsoever – saving your money and resources for your target market.
The main aim of the first of the sales funnel stages is to get people to enter their details on your funnel landing page. This is essentially a data capture form, which you can brand up to be completely unique and appealing.
At this point, offer prospects something free that has a high value – the more irresistible your squeeze page appears, the more data you will gain for the next stages of your funnel.
The world of sales funnels has blown up recently and businesses are realising how valuable they can be. If you want to make sure you nail your sales funnel stages, it might be worth accepting professional help. Bigfoot Digital are a digital marketing agency based in Yorkshire, UK who can help to advise you on how to approach your funnel marketing, SEO, Social Media and much more.
Nurture your leads
Once you’ve captured people’s details due to your top-notch brand awareness strategy, they become ‘marketing qualified’ and the second of the sales funnel stages begins! At this point, you can unleash your retargeting methods and keep providing value to your leads.
There are many pieces of software out there for building and putting in practise marketing funnels, some of which provide lead management systems. Using these, you can sort your leads into categories and make sure that each group receives more personal and relevant offers. If people feel like you have taken the time to personalise your marketing, there will be more trust established and thus more inclination for leads to progress to the final stage of your funnel.
On top of targeting leads using email campaigns, you should ensure that your website is up to date and tells people everything they need to know, and more. If you don’t have a blog already, you should start one, as this is a great way to provide leads extra value for free.
Basically, at this point in your funnel, the more people can visualise your product/service improving their life, the better!
Bring in sales
The last of the sales funnel stages to ensure ultimate conversions is to remove any final obstacles and make the process of completing your desired action as smooth as possible.
If a lead has stuck around, by this point, they are ready to buy but may have certain small doubts holding them back. We’ve all been there, ready to check out on a website, but something gets in the way last minute and we end up forgetting all about it – don’t let this happen.
There are a number of small ways to encourage people to make the last step of your funnel, whatever it may be. You could integrate your site with multiple payment providers, such as PayPal and Apple Pay, so that people can pay with one click, rather than entering card details.
When it comes to integrating your site, you could also allow leads to sign up using their social media accounts, rather than having to take the time to create an account – the bane of everyone’s lives.
Hopefully, if you make your buying/final process as easy to follow as possible, you will have a successfully converting sales funnel in no time.