We all are aware of a funnel; anything that is put as an input narrows down through its whole length and gradually to gives us the desired output is a funnel.
Sales funnel is one of the core and most important concepts of digital marketing.
A brief on what is sales funnel in digital marketing
Before understanding what is sales funnel in digital marketing, first lets quickly decipher what is a sales funnel.
Sales funnel, also known as revenue funnel refers to the multi-step process that potential customers go through, from the first contact with a business until they complete a purchase and become loyal customers. It is the journey a customer goes through from being completely unknown of the business to being its promoter. The length of the funnel depends on every individual business’s particular funnel strategy.
What is a sales funnel model?
Sales funnel works on the AIDA model which consists of the following phases:
- Awareness phase – This is the phase where a business catches the consumer’s attention. It could be through various channels such as ads, social media posts, or Google searches. Consumers are now aware that the business exists.
- Interest phase – The lead shows interest in the business by conducting product research, comparisons and thinking over various options. The business tries to develop the interest of consumers to further take them forward towards a decision.
- Decision phase – This is the phase where the consumer is ready to make a purchase. This is the best time for the business to make a luring offer – like a discount code, free shipping, or any other offer – that is so irresistible the consumer cannot help but purchase it.
- Action phase – This is the final phase, where the consumer has finally decided to make a purchase and become a part of the business’s ecosystem. However, the digital marketing funnel doesn’t end here. Customer retention should be on the priority of every marketer’s agenda. Customers should be made to feel valued by inviting them to give feedback and honoring their problems or issues, if any. This approach is highly effective in building brand awareness and reinforces customer loyalty.
This phase is followed by advocacy in which the customer not only becomes loyal to us but he/she also promotes the business by referring to other potential customers in his social vicinity such as his family, friends and other knowns. In this process, the business becomes a brand with time.
Why is a sales funnel so important in digital marketing?
- Landing upon a marketing strategy
Marketing sales funnel gives you a strategy of how you could enter the market and present your business to the masses. You could portray your business to the customers in the online market and provide value strategically.
- Acquiring customers
Acquiring customers is the most daunting task for any business, especially newbies. Sales funnel targets the right potential customers with detailed targeting and acquire them at a very attractive cost.
- Developing a list of future prospective customers
Once a prospect enters your funnel, it sends you all his details, his journey stage, and his interests. In this way you could develop a list of these prospects and pitch them any time in the future. Also you can upsell and cross-sell them in the future. This makes a huge Lifetime customer value (LTCV).
- Boost in sales
With the right targeting, remarketing and list of interested customers, there is a drastic boost in sales by sales funnel.
- Brand development
It helps in developing a business into a brand. This is very crucial for any business’s long term success.
How to build a sales funnel for free?
Digital marketers are required to try to capture as many leads as possible, and then nurture prospective clients through a purchasing decision journey, while narrowing down these prospects in each stage of the funnel.
You shall offer your clients in the same way as you would do to your best friend.
Following are a few tools which play an important role in all this process:
• Blogs with good content
• Social media
• Online reviews
• Search engine optimization (SEO)
• Display ads
• Paid ads
The strategy of prospecting varies client to client depending upon the stage the client is standing on in the buying cycle.
Here are the tactics effective at each of the five stages of the buying cycle of the sales funnel:
In the lead stage, keep in mind that something triggered your prospects to begin thinking about a need. They’re mildly interested at this point, and they’re spending a small amount of time browsing it over the internet, gaining bits of information about it.
Here the most important requirement is that you should be able to attract your ideal client. This is the very first step to being successful. For instance, on Instagram, businesses post pictures of their products. If you don’t have a following, your traffic will be lower, your exposure will be lower and you will attract only a few people and therefore only a few people will know, like and trust you. The solution is to create awareness about your business among people through online campaigns.
In this stage, since the audience is cold, you could attract them through a lead magnet such as an e-book, video series, audio series, e-mail course, free training, free consultation, free audit or any other free offer which would attract them to your ecosystem and eventually collect their contact information.
This is the time for the business to build trust, recognition and branding. This is the time to use relevant content to push your audience further into the funnel. It aims at creating content around the topics that differentiate your offering from your competitors.
You will further keep on contacting them through different online channels and continuously try to understand your prospects’ needs.
- Qualify Prospect
At this stage, you verify whether or not the prospects have a need for your product, whether they are interested to make a purchase, they see value in your offer and they have sufficient budget for a purchase. This process can be lengthy and complex.
This stage involves a lot of nurturing. Nurturing is being in touch with them, providing them content regularly and being present at every possible digital place in the market. The point is to gain their trust by creating authority for your business in the marketplace. They should get habitual of your valuable content or quality products so that they get assured that they would get enough value by becoming your paid clients.
Now you should reinforce the benefits of the services you offer by promoting your content. Use paid ads and free platforms, to announce events, opportunities and tours, and obtain newsletter subscribers. Address any objections and barriers. Keep your content relevant.
In this stage a tripwire could be offered. Tripwire is a no-brainer offer that is priced irresistibly low for the sole purpose of converting prospects to clients.
Now the prospects have built trust in your business and your content. They have started engaging with your business, have been habitual of your content, consider your content valuable and are ready to spend on any offer that you make.
In this stage the core product is offered to the prospects with an explanation of the product with complete details.
Finally a few prospects purchase your product and become loyal clients. It is your responsibility to fulfill all the promises done with the clients. Value their feedback, improve accordingly and keep giving value for long-lasting relationships.
As soon as you succeed in closing a sale with a client, it is time to upsell and cross-sell. Upselling means offering a comparable higher-end product compared to the product the client purchased. Cross-selling means offering products complementary or related to the purchased product.
Those prospects who do not purchase your product you can down-sell to them. Downsell means to offer a lower-priced product than that of the previous offer.
In this way, you have created a relationship with your clients. The development of a relationship removes the price barrier.
Your clients will promote your business to their knowns due to complete satisfaction from your work.
Now it is time to collect testimonials and use them as proofs of your good service. This shall convert into a sales multiplier for your business as you could easily attract more clients into your funnel with them.
Here, it is crucial to understand that the non-buyers are equally important for the business as the buyers as there is always a very high chance that you can sell to them in the future. In this way, you could build a list of prospective clients that can be used for future promotions.
After reading this article, it should be pretty clear to you as to what is a marketing funnel. This system pretty much works like Google maps: This is where you are, this is where you want to go and you learn the route that you need to take to skip all the traffic, avoid all competitors and get there the fastest.
Read – HOW CHATBOT WORKS?