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 particular 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.
As digital marketers, we are often confused with the rules and dynamics to be applied when creating ads; this often leads to low and fruitless conversion of most ads.
There are often two kinds of customers that your Facebook or Google ads are likely to engage; one includes; Prospective customers, and the second is buying customers.
A prospective customer engages your ads via Facebook, Instagram or any other ads, learns about your product and promises to buy your products or service later. They reach a particular stage of the buying process, and they turn back.
While a buying customer takes action immediately, he is ready to pay for the product or service, no matter the price, as much as they are capable and need it.
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 enforce them to buy; this 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 purchase.
The process that a customer goes through before making any purchase of a particular product or service is called a sales funnel; see a sales funnel like a customer Cycle.
The model uses a funnel because many potential customers may begin the sales process. Still, only a part of these people ends 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.
It would help if you understood these stages to keep these customers in check until they can make and come back after a purchase. This keeps the competitors away.
The sales funnel idea began in 1898 when E. St. Elmo Lewis formed a purchase funnel or purchasing funnel. This marketing model depicts the logical customer journey from the moment of fascinating customers towards the acquisition of a product or service.
Since this theory was initially 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 include; 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 describes 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. People who have not heard about your business yet can profit from using your product or service.
There are many ways to generate online and offline awareness, but I prefer the online method 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 reach out to a broad audience.
I wrote a comprehensive guide to help you get started using Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Tiktok; click the link below.
- 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, you should go the quick route by using paid advertising on these platforms mentioned above.
Facebook, Twitter, Tiktok and LinkedIn all have functionalities that allow an independent advertiser to reach out to a vast and targetted audience on the platform.
2. Landing page.
A landing page is usually designed in the form of a website, most times with a unique URL attached to it. It should contain the essential 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 with prospective customers in emails, phone numbers 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 use a signup form, including embedded, popups, or lightboxes.
To make a signup form attractive, you should add amazing offers to entice your audience to drop their details for follow-up. People can express their interest in your request 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. First, you need to identify the terms your target audience would be likely to type when searching on Google and show them your offer.
To maximise the benefit attached to Google ads, you should learn how to do keyword research and understand search engine optimisation.
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 them to promote your interests or service.
Note that any influencer you use must have a huge following and a very active engagement. You can also use influence marketing platforms online to create and 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 optimisation.
You have to write targeted content that aligns with your business values and leave it to rank the SERPs.
Within a short period, you are likely to get targeted traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. The majority of these people are likely interested in what your business offers.
All you need to start blogging as an avenue to create awareness is a blog. A blog is a kind of website designed to handle dynamic data inform of contents(Images, Videos and Texts) 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 blogging software like WordPress on it.
WordPress allows you to utilise 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.
The interest stage comes after creating awareness. When consumers reach the interest stage in the sales funnel, they have engaged whatever awareness strategy you may have in place.
You mean that they might have clicked through your Facebook ads, Google ads, Instagram ads, etc.
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 great content that helps them; make sure your content feeds them 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 use 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.
However, 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 easy to spark a conversation.
Once a chat conversation is initiated, the chatbot is designed to hold up on all operations till the initial discussion is concluded.
2. Email Marketing.
Email marketing is another tool used to nurture prospective clients. However, as said earlier in this article, you are most likely to get prospective customers who are most likely not to conclude the buying cycle.
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. Facebook created it to help small businesses grow much more accessible. Since its conception, WhatsApp has revolutionised 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 worldwide and a whopping 60 billion messages sent each day.
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 an excellent 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.
Let’s look closer at WhatsApp Business app features that help scale your business, including 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 the Facebook page to enable accessible communication and lead generation.
The Whatsapp business app can be utilised with Facebook ads to help generate and nurture leads. Prospective customers can engage your ads on Facebook and Instagram and send a message directly to your Whatsapp business account.
You can now instantly start the nurturing process until 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. 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 accept that message, and that settles it.
Messages can be sent from anywhere around the world. So the user who accepts to receive that push notification would see a report of the incoming message whenever they open 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. In contrast, browser push notifications can be activated through browsers on any device as long as the user subscribes to receive your messages.
After you have spent quality time trying to convince your customers of how legit your product and service may be, the following sales funnel stage is the decision stage.
The decision stage of the sales funnels is when the customer is ready to buy. They 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.
I notice that online business owners fail at this stage; no clients are ever happy when they have 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. They purchase your product or service and becomes a paying customer; that customer also becomes one of the success stories of your product or business.
However, just because a consumer reaches the bottom of the funnel 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 purchases.
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.
One of the primary reasons why top brands like Samsung, iPhone 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 benefits.
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