How do sales funnels work?
The model we use outlines the customer journey as a series of stages from brand awareness to the moment they make a purchase. You can drive more sales by planning your marketing communication along each of the stages.
The 5 sales funnel stages, what are they?
The original purchase funnel describes 4 cognitive stages a customer goes through during the buying process for a product or service:
Firstly, you should make potential customers aware of your product or service. Your primary goal is to reach your target audience i.e. the people you are most likely to be interested in your product or service. Ideally, you should always be trying to reach people who haven’t heard about your business yet.
To produce measurable results, you’ll need a landing page.
This is a simple website or specifically designed page to help you achieve a clear goal like adding new contacts to your email list or selling a product. A landing page 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.
We’re keeping things simple here for you, but if you understand the basics, then why not make your landing pages work even harder for your business by adding subscriber forms and or embedded pop-ups to allow your user to move from awareness into actively showing interest.
Once you have a landing page then you can start driving traffic to your website. You could try a combination of free and paid advertising
- creating content and sharing on social media
- targeted Facebook and Instagram ads (to reach new audiences)
- email marketing
- improving your SEO (search engine optimisation) to help your pages rank higher in SERPs (search engine results pages)
- using Google Search ads (reach people who are actively looking for a solution)
When people actively express an interest in what you have to offer, it is your job is to provide them with all the important information they need. Help them to understand how they can benefit from buying your product or using your service.
If you measure contact activity, you’ll see who is and who is not engaged in your communications. Discover what information your audience finds most valuable and segment your contact list accordingly. When you implement segmentation, you’ll be able to send more relevant communications to your potential customers and increase your conversion rates.
At this stage, you could try
- Adding a Facebook Pixel to your website will enable you to track landing page visitors. You can see what people like and create customized remarketing campaigns based on your landing page visits.Define custom audiences based on which pages they did or didn’t visit to get the most out of your social ads budget.
- Building an email marketing campaign. Plan a series of emails that introduces your brand and clearly present the benefits of using your products or services. Create content that educates your audience.
When your audience has reached the ‘desire’ stage, they have all the necessary information about your product or service. If they are in the ‘desire’ stage, your audience knows that your product or service is just what they have been looking for—they can or will likely consider moving on to the next stage in the buying cycle.
To encourage them further you could use segmentation of your database and send them emails to remind them about their desired product or service.
The moment we have all been waiting for—the moment of purchase.
People in this stage know that your product or service is exactly what they want or need. You should use this opportunity to inform them that there’s no need to wait – the perfect moment to purchase is now.
To encourage action, you should consider
- Sales emails
Sales emails can work well to convert contacts into customers. You can influence sales with early-bird deals, flash sales, holiday sales, and also by offering discounts. The main goal is to convince your audience that now is the best moment to buy – encourage urgency by setting and end date to the offer or by using limited-time-only messages.
- Abandoned cart series
Some visitors treat the shopping cart as a wish list adding products they like, so they can compare or remember them. They often also add products to the cart in order to check the total price and calculate shipping details.You can create an abandoned cart workflow in order to remind them about the products they left behind. For higher conversion, you can plan a series of 3 emails sent after 1 hour, 1 day, and 3 days.
You could also try tracking your landing page visitors, this allows you to advertise to them again at a later date.
Loyalty is the fifth stage of the buying cycle – if you fulfill all four of the previous stages effectively and the product or service meets their needs you will build brand/customer loyalty. Customers will be increasingly likely to return, may leave you a good review, and will often recommend your business to others.
You can encourage loyalty by sending follow-up emails to enquire if they were pleased with the product or service they received. You can even encourage repeat business by offering loyalty discounts or recommend a friend offers.