What Is An Online Sales Funnel and Why is It Important?
An online sales funnel converts more than 6 times better than a Website! FACT!
It is essentially a series of online landing pages that takes a potential customer through the journey of first discovering your brand all the way to buying your services.
Let’s look at the different stages of a Sales Funnel.
Stage 1: Attracting Attention of a Prospect
Seeing that we are in the business of digital marketing, it is important to understand the whole process from getting a prospect’s attention to making a sale. Firstly, it is important to know the audience that will be targeted. Once the audience have been defined (referred to as avatars), it is important to grab the attention of the audience targeted by placing an ad in front of them while they are browsing social media pages. As we discuss in a separate blog, social media users are there for the main purpose of interacting and socialising with friends and family. In order to grab their attention, an attention grabbing ad is to be placed on their screens that not only intrigues them, but also lure them into clicking on the ad. In essence, you need to take their mind from socialising to potentially using your car detailing business as their next detailing service provider, or at least wanting to find out more about your brand and services you have to offer. The goal here is to turn an eyeball into a prospective buyer, then a hot lead and finally into a customer. With the correct strategy, ad creatives, ad copy and correct audience targeting, this can provide great results by turning prospects into leads and ultimately into paying customers
Stage 2 – Creating Awareness By Educating Prospects
Once you have captured the attention of your audience and have convinced them to click on the Facebook post, Google ad etc., they are now in the landing page specifically created for the campaign. This is where prospects are introduced to your brand, product and/or service. Although it is not generally a good idea to start selling immediately, as this could discourage prospects from making purchases, for low cost, low risk products, prospects can be provided with the opportunity to make an immediate purchase. The main goal is to provide warming content, an introduction to the products and services on offer, and most importantly, an introduction to the brand that is offering these products and services. Content musty educate people and create a knowing and trusting relationship with the brand and its offerings. This is where prospects are provided with convincing information that the product or service they will be buying will be a good investment. This provides various interaction points and allows prospects to see consistent value from your brand over a period of time. In essence, this stage can be regarded as the courtship stage.
Stage 3 – The Aware Stage
At this stage of the marketing funnel, prospects are aware, and have in all likelihood shown interest in your brand, products and/or services. But at this point, the majority of the prospects will not quite be ready to buy. They will want some more proof, do some research to establish if your product/services will provide the best solution to their problems, needs or desires. In this stage, it is essential to lay forward why your brand, products and/or services must be their first choice. This is where prospects are provided with strong, convincing information that the product or service they will be buying will be a good investment.
Stage 4 – Deciding Stage
The winning combination of creative ads, ad copy, convincing content and patience will now pay off, as the prospects are ready to buy. Now if the time to place the best offer possible in front of your prospects, a jaw dropping offer if you will. This offer can be anything from a free gift with any purchase, a discount on a product or service, free delivery or any other offer that will make your products or services stand out above your competitors. The offer should be so irresistible that the prospects cannot wait to take advantage thereof.
Stage 5 – Turning the Prospect/Lead Into A Paying Customer
This is the final stage of the sales funnel. This is where prospects and leads make purchases. This does however not mean that the cycle is now complete. Now starts re-targeting campaign. The goal is not to make only one sale to a customer, but to turn the one purchase into many by retaining the customer. It is important to express gratitude towards you customer for the purchase made, make yourself available to hear from your customer and to invite him/her to provide feedback on the products and services he/she purchased. People that have bought one or more products or services from a brand and are happy with the experience are much more likely to buy again.
WHY IS A FUNNEL IMPORTANT?
A marketing funnel is important because it helps track the potential customer’s interaction in the various stages of the funnel. With a fully automated funnel, we can determine behaviours during the journey, which is crucial information that helps us to determine at which stage a prospect or lead drops out of the funnel and never converts.
But why is this important? Each funnel stage has an impact on the potential customer’s behaviour. It is therefore crucial to understand these behaviours in order to optimise marketing campaigns and to adjust areas in the funnel that need improvement. This leads to better quality leads and ultimately higher sales conversions.
E-MAIL LIST SIGN UP
During each of the funnel stages from stage 2 to 5, prospects must be provided the opportunity to sign-up to an e-mail list. This transforms a prospect into a lead, meaning we are able to re-target those leads that decided not to buy the first time, and also providing other offers to customers that already purchased products or services. This also provides an opportunity to follow up on leads that did not purchase and enquire why they did not purchase. This in itself provides for an opportunity to take the feedback and optimise the sales funnel, product and service offerings and the overall campaign.
Sometimes prospects and leads just aren’t ready to buy NOW. They might not have the money, or the product or service on offer is either too low-key or to extravagant. By receiving their feedback on these types of reasons establishes an avenue to offer them a product or service that is more attractive at this point in time.
E-mail campaigns allow us to reach them at any point in time, providing them with updates on products and services, value adding content such as free newsletters, new product launches and special offers. It further allows you to determine which prospects are actively interacting with your e-mails and in doing so, showing a real interest in your brand. This further provides an opportunity adjust marketing strategies accordingly.
E-mail campaigns can be structured in such a way to subtly remind leads and customers of your products and services. For example, Joe took his vehicle for your Bronze detailing package. In three months you can start reminding Joe of the excellent detailing service you provided and why his second detail also needs to be done by you. You can even sweeten the deal by offering Joe a free coupon with his detail. At this stage, you have established a “know, like and trust” relationship. Chances are that Joe will end up becoming a return customer for a very long time.
The Beauty Of Technological Advances
Today’s technology, combined with the wonders of digital marketing funnels, allows us to track the entire marketing process, produce real-time results and reporting, adjust marketing strategies and refine campaign to produce the best result at the lowest cost. We live in an era where technology is the one of the major keys to business success. We are at the beginning of the Fourth Industrial Revolution. The time is now to start embracing this revolution and to be part of it, as those that fall behind might find themselves in a bit of a pickle…
By the way: If you need help implementing this into your detailing business, click below and schedule a quick no-obligation meeting with us. Even if you just want some advice or a quick demo.