The marketing funnel is a conceptualization of the steps that describes the sales process from start to finish.
The term funnel is used to represent the path your audience takes to make a purchase, with some prospects falling by the wayside, deciding not to buy, and others continuing the entire route to the end, deciding not to buy, and others continuing the entire route to the end, completing the “checkout”.
The funnel reflects the narrowing of your leads, until we reach the most promising ones at the end of the road.
At the top of the marketing funnel, you have a lot of leads. As your customers become aware of your brand and consider a purchase until they make the final decision to buy or not, the number of potential customers decreases.
The probability that these prospects will continue all the way to making a purchase is higher because they are already committed to the initial stages of their decision.
By the time your audience reaches the end of the funnel, you will be left with a small portion of potential customers who are actually the ones who have made a purchase and they have become admirers of your brand.
Depending on the size of your audience we could be talking about a lot or a little people. The conversion optimization goal, and visualizing your client’s journey as a funnel, helps to strengthen those areas where we see that your potential clients are decreasing. In order to get more of them make it to the end of the funnel and thus increase your income.
All variations of the marketing funnel start with awareness or knowledge. It is at this stage that a prospect becomes aware of your brand or your products. Developing a digital presence is essential, promoting familiarity with your name, so the people who are most likely to buy your products they are aware of your authority in the field. Being an online business, your exposure strategy should consist of 4 main tactics, including:
- Content Marketing
- Social Media
- Organic Searches
- Paid Ads
The miracle of content marketing is that you can work familiarity with your brand before people even know what you are selling. The main purpose of your content offer is to give your audience the information, advice and guidance that they may be looking for as the need or desire arises that makes them perfect candidates for your products.
When taking advantage of the power of social media and get people to share your content, you can take advantage of the legitimacy of “word of mouth” which is often lacking in traditional advertising. Share your content with relevant communities on social networks, chat with like-minded people and provide solutions to problems within and around your industry to reflect your experience. Creating a presence on social media is about providing value to your audience. With what information could you contribute with that adds value to the perception that the audience has about your brand?
Organic searches can also help you get exposure for your content. If users search for information and discover your company in one of the first results, they will most likely see you as a leader in your industry. This is not just for the quality of your content but because the good search position It implies that the information you provide is considered relevant and valuable.
Paid Ads, such as banners and pay-per-click (PPC), can also be used to generate exposure. Think about that Christmas advertisement for a great brand. Its main function is not to advertise products but to get the most out of the Christmas spirit, playing with touching stories and nostalgia to put their brand in the minds of people who are in an emotionally positive state.
Taking advantage of the demand for information, advice and guidance in your area of expertise, you can start establishing your business at the forefront of your industry, including subtle hints, benefits, and descriptions of the products you sell in every content you create and distribute. Help customers add to the basic knowledge that you exist, the fact of knowing what type of business you are.
As a potential client exits the awareness phase, they enter a period of consideration. It is at this stage that you start to strengthen your relationship. The client has developed a more specific desire to explore your company. They want to know about you, your products and services, and how they can benefit from them. In exchange, you can collect more information from customers about themselves, which will allow you to provide specific solutions and content that explain exactly what your company and your products could do for them.
It is estimated that approximately 75% of your clients’ decision on whether to buy your brand is taken before the final stage of the purchase begins (what is known as the checkout). Therefore, it is essential to address all problems and frequently asked questions on your website to make it easier for customers to move from consideration to conversion. Guides, presentations and solutions to deal with “problematic issues” about the product can be used to provide your potential customers with the information they need to know and that will determine or cancel their purchase decision.
When you’ve convinced your potential customer that your product is something worth having, it is time to take them to make a decision. It is there, at the point of conversion where you need to make it clear why buying from you is the best option, why buying now is the best option, and how easy it is to make a purchase in your online store.
Eliminate obstacles from the path that leads to the purchase. Anything you can do to remove steps from the purchasing process can help. If you need your customers to create an account when they make a purchase, are you pushing them away because “they already have an Amazon account” and it’s easier to buy from them? Removing this requirement, or offering the ability to register with a single click through the buyer’s social media, can increase the percentage of customers who make a purchase on your site.
Make the Sale. No one likes to fill out forms. The more information you have about your clients, it is clear that you will be able to target them with more precision for later sales. But you can collect the information later. The most important thing you can do when the prospect clicks to process your purchase is to make your payment gateway form as fast, comfortable and painless as possible. This means not asking for too much information, offering a multiple common payment options (Visa / Mastercard) and alternatives (such as Paypal and Bitcoin).
When a prospect becomes a customer, you need a plan to keep in touch and gain their loyalty. Without a way to stay in touch with your customers online, they can leave your store and forget about you before they need your products again. You want to add your customers to your brand community to keep them coming back for more.
Mailing List: It is essential to ask your buyers to sign up for your mailing list when they make a purchase. And it’s crucial to make sure you offer them a good incentive to do so. Offer a gift or discount to everyone who signs up for your mailing list during checkout. Be sure to tell them the value they will get by doing so. If you are going to send them content on a regular basis covering different topics, make it clear, and explain how they will benefit from the type of content you send them.
Social Networks: Some people do not check their email often and rarely interact with the commercial messages they receive. But many of those people also have accounts on social media. Include on your order confirmation page your social media button so they can follow you. Also include them in all your emails. Tell your customers what it will mean to follow you on your social networks – whether you will send them exclusive content weekly on how to best use your products or monthly contests, exclusive for your followers on social networks.
Recommendations: Show recommendations for similar products on the confirmation page of the payment once the purchase is made to try a new purchase immediately, that is, the “sale” of another product that may be complementary or supplementary.
5. Defenders of your brand
You can only reach the stage of your brand advocates in your marketing funnel once your customers have become fans of your brand.
Unlike simply being a business from which they can buy products, you want to be a brand they talk about and share with their friends. How? By offering them the same type of high-quality content that you initially provided them with, but adapted to their type of client.
Establishing contact points with your client is essential for success. You probably know more than any other company in your area about your specific group of customers. You have information about their locations, the products that interest them, names and the possible reasons why they may be buying your products. Through email and social media, you can start targeting them more specifically with content that is relevant only to their type of customer.
Email is your best asset for this. Email campaigns targeting a segment have been said to generate up to 760% revenue increases. Email is known for getting the best returns on your investment. By segmenting your mailing list into different types of clients, using the information that your contacts have provided, you can target them with specifically relevant email content that will keep them connected with your business, even when they are not ready to make a purchase.
When they are, because they love the support and advice that your brand provides, they will go straight to you.
All relationships depend on each party getting something of value. If what you get is not worth the execution (for example, clicking on your site or completing a form), you will lose customers.
The concept of the marketing funnel is productive because it tells us where we should add value. By increasing the value you give customers at each stage relevant to a particular phase of the buying process, you can gently “push” your visitors until conversion and even further to become advocates for your brand.
Monitor your funnel
Optimizing your marketing funnel requires research and an understanding of what makes your customer take action. It means evaluating your success to attract more people to the funnel, propel them on their path to conversion and do whatever it takes to become advocates for your business.