What is a sales funnel and how does it work? I keep seeing the term, sales funnel, and decided that I needed to learn more about it. Therefore, I researched it in order to understand its function and importance.
So, imagine the funnel that you use as a tool to move large quantities of material through a small opening to a larger container.
The sales funnel operates in the same way, except you are moving people, not some substance. Unlike a kitchen funnel, not all who enter your funnel will come out the other end.
A marketing sales funnel is a concept you use to map out the journey that your customer goes through when purchasing anything from your site. The funnel analogy is used because though many potential customers may begin at the start of the sales process, at the “small end” of the funnel, only a few actually purchase. A sales funnel has four basic stages:
Remember the first letters: AIDA. These will help you remember the stages.
When building a sales funnel, there are some essentials you must have:
1) A clear vision of your business
2) Development of an ecommerce marketing strategy
3) Know and define your target audience that you will need to make your business grow.
Here are the explanations of the four stages:
This first stage is the point at which the prospect learns about you: Your existing solution, your product, or your service. They visit your website for the first time, having found it through some means. Perhaps they saw an ad, found you on Google, or read a post shared on social media.
The goal of your sales funnel and your platform is to solve a problem for your customer. You need to establish a relationship with your prospect so you can find out what they are searching for.
When you know the problem, you can offer content that can suggest solutions, and offer a product or service that can help them.
At this point your prospect might be doing research or some comparison shopping. They may be thinking over their options.
It is important not to push the product or service from the beginning. It’s important to build a relationship with them first, so they believe you can help them find a solution.
This is the stage in which the prospect is actively looking for problem solutions and avenues to goal achievement. Often that search takes place on Google. Attract them to your site with great content.
Offer help, but do not push. They are seeking as much information as they can find before reaching the decision stage.
Now the customer is ready to buy, or is seriously considering it. Now is the time to make them your best offer. At this stage it is helpful to have lots of customer reviews and testimonials.
Or, you could use Facebook or Google to place a new ad, if you are going the paid route, with the purpose of retargeting their interest and awareness as to what you are offering.
Robert Cialdini has outlined six principles in a book, Influence, published in 1984. These are principles that can help move a customer through these stages:
- Principle of reciprocity: You achieve this principle by delivering great value, either through the free offer you gave at the beginning or through an ongoing email exchange.
- Principle of commitment and consistency: When a person commits to something, even if it is something like a free + shipping offer or something you’ve said that resonated with them, they will be far more likely to purchase from you. So, work for a commitment of some kind, no matter how small.
- Principle of liking: People are much more apt to purchase from you if they like you. Craft your story well, in such a way that your audience can relate to it. If they like you, that can play a big role in whether they purchase from you.
- Principle of authority: Does your product or service have authority: Can you name respected people in your community that have endorsed it? Are there scientific studies backing it? Are you considered an authority?
- Principle of social proof: Do you have people in social media who are talking about how great your products or services are? Do you have other types of social proof, such as a best-selling book? Be sure to let your prospects know.
- Principle of scarcity: If you offer only a limited amount of something, or if the offer is only good for a limited time, this provides an aspect of scarcity. It can cause people to act so they don’t miss out.
If you move your prospects through the funnel successfully, this is the stage where they will purchase your product or service.
Once people have converted, it is important to calculate how many people went through the funnel and what percent of them converted.
Then, if you know how much the total cost of your funnel was, you can determine the value of each click. Subtract your investment from the amount you earned, and you will see if you are making a suitable amount of profit.
Once a prospect has become a customer, it is important to keep that person happy so he will become a repeat customer. If he likes your product or service, his passing the information on to others will be very helpful. Word of mouth can be a powerful force in your business.
To keep your customer happy, help him with all problems or aspects of his purchase. Share such content as:
- special offers
- product usage guides
- technical assistance letter
What Are The Steps For Building A Sales Funnel?
1) Analyze your audience and their behavior. The more you know about the audience, the more effective you can make your funnel. Remember that you are marketing to the people who are a good fit for what you sell.
2) Capture the attention of your audience. Create content to put in front of your target audience. Post lots of content; diversify with infographics, videos, or other content.
If you can spend a bit of money, run a few ads. Run them in a spot where your target audience will see them.
3) Build a landing page. Send your prospects to a landing page that has a can’t-miss offer. However, these people are still just starting through the funnel, so focus on capturing leads and don’t push for a sale at this point.
On the landing page, include an explicit call to action that tells them exactly what to do: perhaps download a free ebook or watch an instructional video.
4) Create an email drip campaign. Provide amazing content to your leads through email. These should go out regularly, but not too often. One or two per week should be enough.
Build up to your sale by educating your prospects first. What are they looking for? What obstacles and objections must you overcome to convince them to buy?
At the end of a drip campaign, make an offer that they will have a hard time refusing. That should bring action.
Keep existing customers in the loop. Continue reaching out to them. Thank them for purchasing; offer additional bargains; involve them in your social media presence.
Creating and optimizing a sales funnel takes time and some hard work. Build out a sales funnel that represents what you want and what your audience wants. You can adjust it over time to determine what works best. Your effective funnel will give you the means to survive in a competitive marketplace.
If you are at a loss as to how to put up your funnel, you can go to www.clickfunnels.com and Russell
Brunson can teach you how to build one.
Here are the references I used for this post: