If you’re looking for digital marketing tips, then the Internet won’t disappoint you. It’s a treasure trove of suggestions like “create a buyer persona,” “publish a blog,” “get active on social media,” etc.
But there’s only one tip that reigns supreme: understand your customer’s journey. And with that, you need to learn about the sales funnel.
What is the Sales Funnel?
Digital marketing agencies such asTruelogic Hong Kongoutline the stages that every e-commerce business goes through:
Well, it turns out that customers also go through stages, and the best way to illustrate that is through a sales funnel.
A sales funnel is an excellent representation of the journey of every customer regardless of their geography or demographics. You see, when you look at a funnel, the opening is the biggest part, and then it eventually narrows down as you get to the stem and the tip.
That’s basically how Internet users become leads to customers:
The Stages of Sales Funnel
Depending on whose sales funnels you’re looking into, there can be six to eight stages, which can also be categorized into three parts of the leads process:
1. Lead Generation
Lead generation can cover both Awareness and Interest, the former of which isn’t too far different from the Awareness stage of an e-commerce site.
At this stage, it’s either the prospects learn about your business by chance (such as when they look for something online or through their social media), or you introduce your company to them. It can be through an e-mail, a phone call, a trade event, or an invitation to like their social media page.
In the Awareness stage, you need to have more than a beautiful website. You should have a compelling ad copy or content, so you can do two things: (1) attract targeted leads and (2) get rid of prospects you can never convert into leads.
In the Interest stage, your prospects would like to get to know more about your products, services, and brands. There are different ways to measure the level of interest, and one of these is through newsletter signups and mailing lists.
2. Lead Capturing
As soon as they sign up to your mailing list or even to your social media page, you already have a tighter lead group you can convert into customers. But that doesn’t mean that converting them will be easy.
Your leads will have to go through the Evaluation and Intent phases. At this point, they see some value in your products and services, but they aren’t sure yet if you’re worthy of the money they’re going to spend for you. They may compare your offers to competitors or consider other factors before deciding.
This is the best time to start nurturing your leads, especially guiding them into making the right decision without hard selling. Provide them witha wide variety of content:
Often, the last two funnel stages are about sales generation: purchase and loyalty. Finally, you’ve successfully convinced your lead that you are the right business for their needs or the ideal solutions to their problems, and they decided to buy.
Now, is your job done? No, you need to do two more things: (1) ensure customer loyalty and (2) continue nurturing leads or those who didn’t buy from you.
Time and time again, marketing experts will tell you that it is more cost-effective to maintain a customer base than to acquire new ones. The probability of selling a product to an existing customer is up to 14 times higher than to a new one. They are also 50 percent more likely to try new offerings and spend over 30 percent more.
But what about your captured leads? They have already gotten past the first few stages of the sales funnel and are more familiar with your brand. They are ripe for conversion once you can align products and services to their needs and preferences.
In the end, sales funnels encapsulate all the digital marketing tactics you will come across. Use them as your guide to match your strategies and brand to your targeted audience.