Which Marketers Use Sales Funnels?
If you’re marketing your business online, you know that launching a website is just the beginning. Attracting traffic to your site and converting that traffic into leads and sales is the greater challenge. That’s why today’s most successful web marketers use something in the industry known as a sales funnel.
Convert Visitors into Customers
The funnel refers to the selling process, the steps through which you lead your customers toward a purchase. To understand how it works, first picture a funnel, the kind you’d use for cooking or changing your car’s oil. It’s wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.
In marketing, the top part of your funnel is where you reach out to your broad target audience. You first need to tell people about your product or service. They need to know it exists before they can desire it.
From there you work to get prospects to actively express an interest in your product, then to desire it, take action to buy it, and finally become loyal fans who make repeat purchases and refer your product to their friends, too. With each progressive step, the audience narrows.
Your objective as a business owner is to get as many people as possible to flow through your funnel, ultimately resulting in sales. Unfortunately, unless you’re a professional marketer, that may not be as easy as it sounds. Charlottesville SEO Web Development can help you build, test, and refine an effective marketing funnel.
The better your funnel, the more likely you are to generate sales. Let’s take a closer look at the various levels of the funnel.
- Drive Traffic to Your Website
- The top of the funnel is all about creating awareness of your company and products. At this stage, you may be using a variety of marketing tools, from pay-per-click ads to blog posts and off-line advertising. The goal is to attract the highest possible number of visitors to your site so they can enter your sales funnel.
- But traffic doesn’t necessarily translate into sales. For that, you’ll need to persuade visitors to go deeper into your funnel.
- Turn Visitors from Strangers into Prospects
- Now that you have their attention, your focus should be on educating your prospects. As they peruse your site, they should be able to quickly glean what you’re selling and why they should consider buying from you. They will either become more interested and flow down toward the narrow end, or they’ll realize they’re not a fit for the product and leave your site, and the funnel.
- The people who stay may not be ready to buy just yet. So at this stage you want their permission to continue marketing to them over time. Persuade them to subscribe to your list, which offers an e-newsletter, sales flyers, coupons, or other e-mailings. This way, you’ll be able to nurture these leads and get your prospects to know, trust, and like you so they’ll consider buying from you when they’re ready.
- This is the beauty of sales funnels: you don’t have to close the deal on your first try. You can continue to develop the relationship, allowing prospects to keep receiving your messages until (and even after) they decide to pull the trigger.
- Convert Prospects into Customers
- As in traditional sales, you’ll need to make offers that prompt your prospect to make a decision. A well-written Call To Action (CTA) can be that little push that gets them to move forward.
- Until they take action, you need to work on earning their trust. At this stage the prospect knows you exist, recognizes the solution you offer, but may still hesitate to make a purchase. Use marketing tools like testimonials, case studies, factual anecdotes, and beautiful web design to further gain their confidence. Over time, these prospects will either leave your funnel or become customers.
- To further improve your conversion rate, you can continually refine your process. Create more informational emails, a tightly focused landing page, or other authority-building marketing pieces.
- Turn Customers into Repeat Buyers and Referral Sources
- It’s always easier and less costly to make additional sales to an existing customer than to attract new prospects and bring them through your sales funnel. Look for new products, services, or accessories you can sell to your customers to increase your bottom line.
- Turn those customers into true fans and they’ll refer you to their friends and family, which is another great way to grow your business.
Patch That Leaky Sales Funnel
If your sales aren’t growing or your cost to acquire each new sale is increasing, you just might have a leaky sales funnel. Take the time to examine your sales process to determine where you’re losing prospects. Some of the variables to look at are:
- Lead Capture — Are visitors coming to your website and leaving without buying anything or subscribing to your mailing list? Build a landing page that has one focus: getting signups. You can also try offering something for free, as an incentive to opt in. A complimentary consultation, report, video, or webinar are common motivators. Once they’ve subscribed, you can continue marketing to this prospect via email and work on converting them over time.
- Email Marketing — Your prospect has been receiving your emails for some time but hasn’t yet bought. Are your emails educational? Are they interesting? Do they position you as the authority in your field? Do they build trust? Do they ask for the sale? If your emails aren’t effective, you need to evaluate their content. Be sure you’re providing value in exchange for the prospect’s time. Additionally, you should always be working to identify and overcome common objections, which are often the reason prospects drop out of the funnel.
- Follow-up Campaign — Even after your prospect has become a customer, you want to stay in touch. That’s the best way to get repeat sales and also referrals. A long-term, lead-nurturing, follow-up campaign should do the trick.
Build a Quality Sales Funnel for a Solid ROI
Sales funnel marketing is a tried and true strategy. It gives you the opportunity to attract prospects and, over time, turn them into satisfied customers and loyal fans. But much of your success will hinge on the quality of your funnel and its components.
Charlottesville SEO Web Development can help you create a multi-tiered sales funnel that delivers results and nets you a substantial ROI on your online-marketing investment. Call us today at 434-284-2840 to discuss how we can help you grow your business. After hours (Virginia time), please use our brief contact form in the footer below. Let’s get acquainted!