A digital marketing funnel describes the strategic model representing the entire buying journey of a brand’s customers, right from when they first get to know about the product, to the final moment of making the purchase. The reason for the sales funnel is that qualified traffic found at the top would be nurtured with content marketing and other marketing frameworks with the end goal of converting them into customers.
According to Markin blog, a total of 570,000 websites use at least one funnel building technology as of the year 2021. This shows that a marketing funnel has become an important asset for a lot of businesses and yours should take it seriously as well.
When you want to sell a product to a particular target audience, they might not have knowledge of what the product is and this implies that you can’t have sales instantly, this is where the sales funnel comes in. Hence, there are different stages your potential buyers go through before they decide on purchasing your product, and this is why you need to understand the various characteristics and stages consumers go through before arriving at the buying stage.
Each of the sales funnels has an important role they play in the consumer’s journey, and you must get familiar with each of them. Having a good understanding of each stage will help you know the necessary tactics to move the potential buyer from one stage to the next.
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What is a Sales Funnel?
To understand what a sales funnel is, let’s use a typical mortal and brick store as an illustration.
When different people walk by your store, that is the top funnel. A certain percentage of them decide to walk into your store to check out what you sell, that is the next stage. A customer sees a set of shirts and looks through them, they are at the next step. When he decides to choose one or more of the shirts and walks towards the check-out, he’s at the final step. If he successfully makes the payment for the item, that is the bottom of the funnel. This same principle applies to online sales, but this time around, the sales would be achieved using digital marketing.
How the Sales funnel works
When a visitor lands on your website, he or she becomes a prospect. A visitor might decide to go through a few of your web pages or check through your product listing. At some point, you might ask him or her to fill out a certain form which would include their important details such as name, phone number, and emails. You now have the opportunity to continue marketing to them outside your website by pushing special offers to them or giving them coupon codes, this would make them want to visit your website again and continue their buying journey.
What is a Digital Marketing Funnel?
In digital marketing, the consumers’ journey begins with them visiting your website. The series of pages they visit in a single or multiple sessions matters in determining whether they will convert or not. You must be aware that before customers decide to buy from you, they would have gone through various online locations such as online ads, blog posts, social media influencer posts, competitor’s ads, etc.
Why sales funnel is very important in digital marketing strategy
The first and foremost reason why the sales funnel is important in digital marketing strategy is so that there would be better marketing segmentation. What this means is that each marketing action like email, ads, etc. will be done such that the messages will be tailored to the audience at their respective stage of the funnel.
As a result of this, the leads generated will be of high quality which will make the marketing effort easier.
Consequently, the productivity of the team will be enhanced because this time, they won’t waste time and resources on leads that are not beneficial but rather, that would have higher chances of conversion.
Once you focus on segmenting your marketing strategy, it will be easier for you to communicate with the appropriate audience and provide them with the right content for each step in their buying journey.
Generally, a digital sales funnel is important in helping you to maximize your company’s limited resources and time to archive its desired outcome.
How to Build a Sales Funnel
Step 1: Clearly define your target audience
The first thing you need to do when setting up your sales funnel is to define who you want to market to. Of course, you can’t market to everyone, so it is important that you not only have your audience in mind but write them out with their demographics such as age range, gender, location, etc.
Step 2: Analyze your audience’s behavior
When you get to know more about your audience, it helps you in making informed decisions. This means that your marketing will be targeted toward those who will have an interest in what you are selling.
Step 3: Capture Your Audience’s Attention
At the initial funnel stage, you need to get your product to the front of a good number of your audience. This means you have to work towards ensuring that your content captures as many audiences as possible, you may need to set some budget aside to run adverts to have a large audience to capture.
Step 4: Build a landing page
When you market to your audience, the essence is so that they can visit the web page you promoted to them, this is called the landing page. A landing page can be built with the help of landing pages and sales funnel builder such as clickfunnels, autofunnel, kastra, builderall, or any of the funnel builder alternatives out there. The landing page should be focused on getting as many leads as possible. You can later introduce your offer as they progress down the funnel stage. A landing page should be convincing enough to make the potential customers want to go to the next stage. You must add a very bold call to action CTA), instructing them what next to do.
An email campaign is highly effective in marketing to leads. Create a content schedule on how you plan to be reaching out to them, let it be regularly but not too frequent, you should try sending like 1 to 2 emails per week. Let the first few emails be around educating them about your product, endeavor to answer the questions on their minds, and everything else you think that they should show. At the end of your email campaign, make them an irresistible offer, if your previous content was done rightly, you should be able to have a good number of conversions.
Step 6: Follow them up
It is not just enough to sell people your product, you must also follow them up. They might have issues with it or need to ask questions about its usage, and you need to always be there for them. The good thing about following people up after making a purchase is that they might want to buy from you again with little or no persuasion since they have trusted your service. Another good thing they can do is to recommend your product to someone else, and every marketer knows that referral is the best result any marketer can ever have.
Measuring the success of your sales funnel
When you set out to create sales funnel, you don’t just leave it there forever, you need to know if it is working or maybe you need to make a little tweak here and there. One of the best ways to measure the success of your sales funnel is through the conversion rate.
You must also be able to answer some questions like:
- What is the number of people that signed up for your email list after seeing your Google or Facebook ads?
- Do your audience trust you enough to give you their contact details?
- Is your offer good enough?
- What are the things your prospects are complaining about?
- How many returning buyers do you have?
Understanding the 4 Stages of a Sales Funnel
The awareness stage of the digital marketing funnel is where potential customers first learn about you and your product. All marketing funnel starts with this stage because there is nothing you can do until potential buyers become aware of your brand. Whenever they are trying to solve a problem, they often make numerous searches on Google and also browse through Facebook, LinkedIn, or other popular websites and you must be available at that time to give them the answer they need. You need to entice them and be able to bring them to your website.
This is why you need to work on improving your site’s SEO (Search Engine Optimization). Also, optimizing your sales funnel starts at this stage by researching your customers and finding out which channel brought them to your website. This will help you in developing your audience persona and the good thing about that is you will be able to focus your campaign on the right audience, thereby making your campaign very effective.
When they click on your website, what they find there will determine if they will proceed to the next stage: Consideration.
Now, prospects have picked interest in your product or service, and they are on your websites but they need to be convinced if what they are seeing is what they want. At this stage, you need to work on your content, because the best content will always win. Think about every single piece of information your consumers would need to make their decision, like the problem your product or service is solving, price, size, payment option, delivery option, etc. You can also add an explanation video that demonstrates how your product will be used.
When a prospect finds something on your website compelling, they might want to check how well you are represented on social media, and you must not leave that to chance. Make sure you build a strong and reputable social media presence and also include the link to your social media profiles on your website.
Another important thing you shouldn’t leave out at this stage is testimonials and reviews from previous buyers that will go a long way in convincing them and making the choice of choosing your product.
Finally, the visitor has settled with your brand and chosen you over your competitors. The leads at this stage have become aware of your brand, read about you, compare you with others, considered if they should buy from you, and have finally made the decision that you are the best option for them. This stage is less of marketing and more of sales, this is where your sales team takes the wheel.
This is the bottom stage of the sales funnel, and at this stage the customer acts and take action. At this stage, the customer decides to buy your product or service and joins your growing customer or user base.
However, your work is not done here, in a wide marketing perspective, customer retention is a a must have for kevery successful business. So you must try to over-deliver what you have promised your customer on the sales page and as well offer good customer support service to put them through any challenges they may be facing while using your products or services.