The Mechanics of a Sales Funnel
Creating and leveraging a sales funnel is about sorting to optimize messaging based on where a customer is within the sales process.
The first step is to get eyes on the message. Paid media is great for getting eyes on the message, but building awareness also can be achieved through PR, social media and partnerships.
After we are confident that we will get eyes on our message, we shift focus to sorting those eyes to improve the likelihood that they will convert.
Once a lead enters the sales funnel by submitting a form, completing a survey, engaging with a social media poll, clicking an email, visiting a relevant website or other action, we continue to move the customer through the sales funnel with the goal of conversion.
We continually sort and categorize the audience to serve the best next message in the funnel to improve likelihood of action.
When we first get eyes on our materials, the initial offer should be:
- Fast to consumer
- Relevant to a problem that we solve
This will allow customers to take some action to opt-in to future communications, while showing their interest. Even if they do not take the final action yet, this is a great first step to building toward later action. By utilizing a form or remarketing to visitors who express interest, we can help move the audience through a funnel.
Our educated hypothesis regarding our audience and how to reach that audience should improve the likelihood that they will express interest. Plus, remarketing to this audience will increase frequency and likelihood of conversion. However, not every funnel/message will be a perfect fit, which is why multiple funnels work concurrently.
A quick poll or fun survey is a great example of a hand-raising offer. If someone takes the time to answer a few survey questions related to the problem that our service and/or products solve, we know that they may be interested in learning more related to that topic. And, hopefully, their survey/quiz answers give us additional insight into how to best communicate with them.
If they have expressed interest, we next want to ask them to take another baby step that will help solidify their interest and provide some instant gratification and encourage them to take more steps later (when there may be more of a time/cost investment). Perhaps we offer free educational information, such as a white paper. Or a free consultation or basic service.
Once the has begun to build a relationship with us and we have sorted out those who aren’t likely to act, it is time to make our offer. If there are those who did not take our qualifying step, then we may not want to waste our time extending our offer, since they likely won’t take a big step if they wouldn’t even take a small one.
Include an upgrade offer; how can you do it faster to get the product/service to the client? Or, what else may they be interested in if they are willing to take the initial offer? Don’t sell your offer short by not asking the customer to use a faster or better product/service.
Throughout the sales funnel and after the offer, leads can continue to be nurtured through additional content and campaigns.
- When content is fresh, new information may spark their interest and invite them to raise their hand and enter the funnel for future communications and targeting.
- Campaigns are invitations to take a qualifying step or action that has a lower barrier, so we can make a bigger ask later with the offer. Campaigns can be automated to some degree.
For example, if consumer X hasn’t interacted with the brand (website, emails, social channels) in more than 30 days, then a new offer email can be sent to re-engage.
Emails, digital ads and other media used to help nurture leads into taking the next action can be adjusted to the motives of the specific target audience. By keeping headlines and imagery variable, based on target segment, we can increase the likelihood of conversion.
Not sure how to get eyes on your message? Check out this article about the pros and cons of various media channels.
Ready to chat about your own sales funnel and how to convert your audience into customers? Contact us today!
AcrobatAnt Marketing & Advertising
1336 East 15th Street
Tulsa, OK 74120
*Acknowledgement to Carl Taylor of Automation Agency for the inspiration for this post from his presentation at the 2018 Activate Conference. Thank you Carl for the great framework and approach to sales funnels, automation and converting leads into customers.