Everyone who has an online business needs to create a sales funnel to convert their website visitors into paying customers.
When you set out to sell something, maybe a product or a service, your prospective customers go through a certain stage, this concept is called a sales funnel.
The Inability of a digital marketer to understand the concept of the sales funnel can lead to the futile effort of every sales campaign.
Often as digital marketers, we are confused with the rules and dynamics to be applied when creating ads, this often leads to low and fruitless conversion of most ads that we create.
There are often two kinds of customers that your Facebook or Google ads are likely to engage, one of them includes; Prospective customers and the second is the buying customers.
A prospective customer is one that engages your ads via Facebook, Instagram or any other ads, learns about your product and promises to buy your products or service at a later date.
They reach a certain stage of the buying process and they turn back.
While a buying customer is one that takes actions immediately, he is ready to pay for the product or service, no matter the price in as much as he/she is capable and also needs the product.
The truth is that your paid ads on Facebook, Instagram or Google will catch up with these two kinds of people, and most times you are likely to have more prospective customers than buying customers.
As a digital marketer one of your primary aim and objective is to devise a means to keep all of these customers in a way to contact them and keep enforcing them to buy, this is what is known as a sales Funnel.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a marketing theory that maps out the course a customer goes through when making any kind of purchase.
The process that a customer goes through before making any manner of purchase of a certain product or service is called a sales funnel, see a sales funnel like a customer Cycle.
The model uses a funnel as a similarity because a large number of potential customers may begin the process of the sales process, but only a part of these people end up making a purchase.
Understanding And Creating The Sales Funnel.
From the first time your prospect learns about your product or service until the moment he buys from you, he passes through various stages of your sales funnel.
You should understand these stages to be able to keep these customers in check till they can make a purchase and also come back after they make a purchase. This keeps the competitors away.
The idea of a sales funnel begins back in 1898 when E. St. Elmo Lewis formed a purchase funnel or purchasing funnel, a marketing model which depicts the logical customer journey from the moment of fascinating customers towards the acquisition of a product or service.
Ever since this theory was originally conceived it has been given mixed names (i.e. purchase funnel, sales funnel, marketing funnel, conversion funnel) but the model stays the same.
Whether you sell a physical product, an ebook, or an online course a sales funnel allows you to create a clear roadmap to profits. It helps you concentrate on the most significant areas of the online business; which includes; lead generation, lead nurturing, sales and customer service if necessary.
There are four stages associated with every sale and these include;
This model is often referred to as the AIDA model.
Here is an image that described these stages.
Awareness is the very initial stage when designing a sales funnel. Awareness allows you to reach your custom audience. At this stage, your fundamental goal is to reach your target audience. Particularly people who have not heard about your business yet, but can profit from using your product or service.
There are many ways to generate awareness both online and offline, but I prefer the online method of things because it is more efficient and wastes less time.
1. Use Of Social Media (Facebook, Twitter).
Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Tiktok can be fully used when creating awareness for your product or service.
If you have a tremendous following on any of these platforms, you can take advantage of it to reach out to a comprehensive sized audience.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you get started with the use of Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tiktok, click the link below to get started.
- How To Grow Your Business On Facebook
- How To Grow Your Business On Twitter
- How To Grow Your Business On LinkedIn
- How To Grow Your Business On TikTok
- How To Grow Your Business On Pinterest
In cases where you lack the audience to engage with your post then you should go the quick route which the use of paid advertising on these above-mentioned platforms.
Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok and LinkedIn all have functionalities that allow an independent advertiser to reach out to a huge and targetted audience on the platform.
2. Landing page.
A landing page is usually designed in form of a website, most times with a unique URL attached to it. It should contain the most important information and key benefits of using your product or service.
There should be a clear call to action for people who become interested and want to learn more. Don’t also forget a landing page should be designed to make contacts of prospective customers in form of emails, phone number and many more.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you top website and landing page builders, click the link below to learn about it.
3. Sign Up form.
A signup form can also help you create awareness when building a sales funnel. There are various ways to make use of a signup form, most of which includes; embedded, popups, or lightboxes.
To make a signup form attractive you should make sure to add amazing offers when to entice your audience to drop their details for follow up. People can express their interest in your offer by signing up for your email communication.
4. Google Ads.
Google ads are a form of search engine marketing that allows you to reach a targeted audience globally. Ads are shown via the Google search engine, YouTube, Gmail and Google partner websites. All you need is to identify the terms your target audience would be likely to type in when searching on Google and show them your offer.
To maximize the benefit attached to Google ads you should learn how to do keyword research and understand search engine optimization.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you get started with Google ads, click the link to the article below.
5. Influence Marketing.
Influence marketing is another potent way to create awareness about your good or service. All you need do is connect with an influencer in your business niche and reach out to him/her to promote your goods or service.
Note that any influencer that you are to make use of must have a huge following and a very active engagement. You can also make use of influence marketing platforms online to create an target your campaign.
Blogging is an avenue for brand awareness that allows you to leverage the power of content marketing to promote your website via search engine optimization.
All you have to do is write targetted content that aligns with your business values and leave it to rank the SERPs. Just within a short period, you are likely to start getting targetted traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing, and the majority of these people are likely going to be interested in what your business has to offer.
All you need to start blogging as an avenue to create awareness is a blog. A blog is a kind of website that is designed to handle dynamic data inform of contents(Images, Videos and Texts) all combined, and written by the administrator of that particular website.
If your initial business is a landing page without a blog section, you can add it alongside your website and install a blogging software like WordPress on it.
WordPress allows you to utilize every blogging functionality that your blog needs such as; posts, images, Videos, Plugins and even themes.
I wrote a comprehensive to help you start your blog, click the link below to get started.
The interest stage comes after creating awareness. When consumers reach the interest stage in the sales funnel, they have engaged whatever awareness strategy that you may have in place.
Meaning that they might have clicked through your Facebook ads, Google ads, Instagram ads and so many others.
At this point, they are making a comparison, inquiry into your product or service, and thinking over their options, make sure you don’t become too anxious to make sales.
This is the time to swoop in with incredible content that helps them, make sure your contents feed them with enough data and facts to make informed decisions.
The goal here is to establish your expertise, help the consumer make an informed decision, and offer to help them in any way you can.
At this stage, the prospect is actively looking for solutions to their problems and ways to achieve their goals. The tools people typically used at this stage are:
1. Facebook Messenger Bot.
A Facebook Messenger bot is a chatbot that lives in Facebook Messenger, meaning it converses with some of the 1.3 billion people who use Facebook Messenger every month.
Facebook Messenger chatbots were designed to help boost engagement on Facebook without the presence of the advertisers. In cases where numerous leads are coming in from an ad, one thing about this is that prospective customers usually have similar questions, and it becomes hard to provide feedback to all at the same time.
With the help of the Facebook Messenger bot, all responses can be automated to suit the customer’s needs. Apart from the inbuilt autoresponder, The Facebook Messenger bot can be used to nurture your prospective clients with the information that they need from time to time.
This is usually to inform of a designed broadcast, more like sending a mass mail, the only difference is that all your customers get this via a Facebook chat, making it very easy to spark a conversation. once a chat conversation is initiated, the chatbot is designed to hold up on all operations till the initial conversation is concluded.
2. Email Marketing.
Email marketing is another tool used to nurture prospective clients. As said earlier in this article, you are most likely to get prospective customers who are most likely not going to conclude the buying cycle.
This is more reason why you need a fully developed email marketing plan to help nurture prospective clients on your behalf. With email marketing in place, you can collect the emails of your prospective client and continue to follow them up with juicy content about your product or service.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you get started with email marketing, click the link below to get started.
3. Whatsapp Business.
Whatapp business is a sister platform to Whatsapp. It was created by Facebook to help a small business grow much easier. Since its conception, WhatsApp has revolutionized the way we communicate.
Many chat apps have been built since then, but none with the same fulfilment or user reach as WhatsApp with over 1.5 billion users around the world, and a whopping 60 billion messages sent each day.
Together with the WhatsApp chatbot, WhatsApp Business is a powerful tool for commerce. Thanks to many innovations that the platform keeps on releasing, WhatsApp is becoming a great retail place, especially during remote times.
Even if you are not going to build a WhatsApp chatbot, there are many great things for you in WhatsApp for Business to take advantage of.
Let’s look closer at WhatsApp Business app features that help scale your business most of which includes; Business Profile, Quick Replies, Automatic Greeting Message, Automatic Away Message, Contacts Labels, Message Statistics, Catalogs and Facebook Shops Integration.
The latest update by Facebook now allows you to integrate your Whatsapp business directly with Facebook page to enable easy communication and leads generation.
The Whatsapp business app can be utilized together with Facebook ads to help generate and nurture leads. Prospective customers can engage your ads from Facebook, Instagram and send a message directly to your Whatsapp business account. You can now directly start the nurturing process up to the point they conclude the sales funnel and make a direct purchase for the product or service.
A webinar is an online seminar that turns an exhibition into a real-time interaction from anywhere in the world. Webinars allow large groups of members to engage in online discussions or training events and share audio, document and innovation.
Most times, prospective customers would like to get more information from the horse’s mouth; this is where webinars can be of good use. All you need to start a webinar is a hosted webinar software, a computer and an active internet connection.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you get started, click the link below to get started.
5. Browser Push Notifications.
Browser push notifications are new forms of technology that can be triggered through browsers on any device as long as the user subscribes to receive your notifications.
It is an instantaneous mode of automated, direct communication between a website and its end users, no email needs to be collected, all the prospective clients need to do is to accept that message and that settles it.
Messages can be sent from anywhere around the world and the user who accepts to receive that push notification would see get a notification of the incoming message whenever he/she opens a browser.
Browser push notifications are distinct from in-app notifications because in-app notifications appear only when triggered by an actual application on your mobile device, while browser push notifications can be triggered through browsers on any device as long as the user subscribes to receive your notifications.
After you might have spent quality time trying to convince your customers of how legit your product and service may be, the next stage of the sales funnel is the decision stage.
The decision stage of the sales funnel is when the customer is ready to buy. He or she might be considering two or three options and most time considering you. This is the time to make your best offer. It could be free shipping when most of your competition charges, a discount code, or a bonus product.
One thing I notice about online business owners is that they fail at this stage, no clients are every happy when he/she has to spend more than the product price to acquire a product.
I was on Twitter one time and I saw a thread of someone who turned down a deal to own a phone just because the shipping fee was far too expensive only to purchase that same mobile phone for higher the former price from another dealer all because delivery was free.
You should always device means to captivate your customers by adding one or more freebies, you should not devalue your product or service just because you want to please your customer, you may end up looking like a scam, most people hate cheap things, don’t devalue yourself just because you want to sell to a customer, various other customers are willing to pay you even more.
Even if you are offering free shipping, make sure that you add the shipping fee to the total cost of the product.
At the very bottom of the sales funnel, the customer acts. He or she purchases your product or service and becomes a paying customer, that customer also becomes one of the success stories of your product or business
Just because a consumer reaches the bottom of the funnel, however, doesn’t mean your work is done. Action is for the consumer and the marketer. You want to do your best to turn one purchase into ten purchase and so on.
In other words, you’re focusing on customer retention. Express gratitude for the purchase, invite your customer to reach out with feedback, and make yourself available for tech support, if applicable.
One of the major reasons why top brands like Samsung, I-Phone and many others top the market is because they offer an amazing after purchase service, they also do their possible best to make sure the customer continues to enjoy their services.