In the current economic conditions, it is more difficult than ever for companies to attract and keep customers. Every day, new companies are founded while others fail. At the same time, customers are more educated and exigent, and they have a wide range of options and choices for any product and service.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
In theory, companies should try to attract as many customers as possible. In practice, you should spend your marketing budget pursuing the categories of people who are most likely to want and need your products. As they are exposed to your marketing messages, they become familiar with your brand and your product. Some of them will decide to interact with you, by following your social media pages or subscribing to your newsletters. These people are called leads. Over time, some of these leads will decide to try your products and become your customers.
This is what a sales funnel is: a series of processes and activities which have the purpose of guiding leads towards the phase of prospect and then customers. The name is given to this series of processes because the decreasing number of each group resembles a funnel. You start with a large number of leads, a part of them become prospects, and an even smaller number of these become customers.
Now we will show you how you build an effective sales funnel.
Start with the Social Media
The social media is the perfect place to start looking for leads, in particular Facebook. This is the number one platform for most marketers and small- and medium-sized business owners, because its ad building interface helps them select their audiences based on many demographic and behavioral items.
When you place your ad, make sure that you have a clear view of your potential customers: their age, income level, likes and interests, pain points, social and family status, etc. By targeting your ad at the right people, your initial group of qualified leads will be larger.
Build a Landing Page
The ad you place on the social media will bring leads to a landing page. This is a specially designed page which serves a single purpose: to convince people to do what you want them to do. This means anything from watching a movie, downloading a document, signing up for a newsletter or trying your services for free for a period of time.
A great landing page has a few specific characteristics:
- simple design with limited or no navigation to other areas of your website;
- great visuals and persuading copy to remove all objections and convince the lead to follow through with the call to action;
- well designed and placed call to action (CTA) button which cannot be ignored by the visitors.
The key purpose of a landing page is to collect your leads’ names and emails so that you can start the phase of turning them into prospects.
Set up Autoresponder Emails
Leads who accept to leave their emails are now prospects. They are interested in what you have to offer and want to learn more about your products and services. Once they sign up, you will start sending them automatic emails in a precise sequence:
- A thank you message for signing up
- A series of messages containing useful content for the prospects (a step-by-step tutorial or an eBook);
- A sales email with a new customer special discount on your products.
Segment Your Prospects
Not all prospects are equal. Some of them will grab whatever you are offering for free and then stop engaging with you. Others will need a longer time to decide to make the final leap towards becoming your customers, while others will make a purchase from the first sales email.
It is important knowing which prospects are worth pursuing with further offers and discounts. You will get all the information you need from your website and email client analytics, showing you how many prospects open the emails, click on your links and go as far as putting products in the shopping cart.
Retarget Customers with New Offers
The last step of a successful sale funnel is making your customers repeat their purchase. This is done by adding suggestions to the thank you note sent to each customer after completing a purchase. After all, what you really want is to maintain the engagement of the customers you worked so hard to acquire.