What You Will Learn:
- Why sales funnel are all the rage in the marketing world.
- The benefits an effective sales funnel can offer your business.
- Understanding of the sales funnel with a real life experience.
So you’ve been looking for digital marketing strategies online for your startup and this term ‘sales funnel’ keeps tossing around. You ignore it a few times thinking you don’t need such complex strategies right in the beginning of a business venture. But then, it keeps popping up and you no longer can ignore it.
Well the truth is, for any business, established or just starting it, a sales funnel is an extremely important strategy to bring the most out of digital marketing for your business.
What is a Sales Funnel?
Before we delve into why businesses actually need a sales funnel, let’s first understand what it is and how it works. As the term suggests, it is a funnel that leads your prospective clients through a sales process to finally convert them into customers. And just like a funnel, it is wider at the top and pretty narrow at the bottom.
So at the top, they’d be a large number of people willing to learn more about your product, but as you lead them through to your products or services, they’d probably funnel down to a limited number who would actually be willing to share their details with you, and then fewer even interested in making a purchase.
So this whole process of letting a prospective customer know about your products and services down to them making a purchase will be your sales funnel. It helps you narrow, sort, analyze and then follow up with your prospective customers.
Why Does Your Business Need a Sales Funnel?
A lot of business owners do not understand the potential and importance of a sales funnel. We’d take a look at different types of business owners and how having a planned out sales funnel can help them generate more leads and customers.
‘It’s all great, but I am just starting out, I don’t have the time or the money to go through such complex marketing strategies right now,’
Well, as a business owner just starting out, you will definitely be using some kind of internet marketing strategies. But the only difference is, that without a sales funnel strategy, even the smallest and the biggest efforts would go unmonitored.
The Unidentified Leads
Now let’s take a scenario. You create a Facebook and Instagram account for your business. You keep posting about your business and its latest offerings. You start getting a few leads to your website, but they only go to your homepage and then close the window. You don’t know what’s going on. They did seem to be interested in your product, but then, what happened?
Now, you have no idea what product or service of yours they were interested in, who sent them there and why did they leave without knowing more about it.
Creating a Landing Page
A sales funnel will not only help answer all those questions but will also help direct your potential clients to the information they are seeking. Now, in the same situation as above, you do create a business page across different social media platforms and you do keep posting about new products, services and discounts.
But instead of just pasting a link to your website, you post a link to a landing page that is specifically designed for a particular product or service. For example, if you are running an e-commerce site for children’s clothing and accessories and you post an update about a new shoes collection.
Then there’s a good chance that when a lead clicks on the website link they want to be redirected to your shoes collection rather than the homepage. Now, that prospective customer lands on the shoe section of the website, and though he likes the collection he can’t find what he was currently looking for.
The landing page has a call-to-action, asking the prospective customer to provide their email address if they want to be updated about new collections that arrive twice a month. You also let them know that you offer a 10 percent discount on the first purchase if they sign-up for your newsletter.
The customer is even more interested, knowing new stock might be updated soon and that he might get it at a discount. He signs up for the newsletter.
The Power of the Newsletter
Now, up until this point a customer has not made a purchase, but you have a better idea of who the customer was, what he was looking for and if he is likely to return. Without a call-to-action, you may have lost a prospective client because he wasn’t directed further. If he would’ve closed the tab without signing up, there was a slim chance he would have come back. But now that you have their personal contact details, you can not only sell them shoes, but all of your other products and services.
Now you are probably getting a good idea of what a sales funnel is, and how much of a difference just a few changes can make. Let’s move further down the sales funnel with our example.
So, you have the contact details for your prospective client. You send them a thank you email for showing interest in your products. You also let them know that you just updated your accessories section with the latest Easter collection.
Easter is just around the corner and your prospective client did need to buy a cute bunny headband for his little girl. Plus he’d get that signup discount anyway. He clicks on the link that redirects him yet again to your website, but this time to the accessories section. He likes a few things. Selects a cute headband along with a matching bunny bracelet and makes the purchase. Voila.
You not only got those precious contact details but also made a sale via a simple post about kids’ shoes. The only difference was that you did it right.
Sales funnel is an integral part of digital marketing as it not only helps you understand your prospective clients but also lead them through a sales process. If you’ve ever tried working on a project with Instagram and Pinterest running in the background, you do know how easy it is to get distracted. Same is the case with prospective customers. They can get easily distracted while browsing through the internet.
You need to keep them interested by gently pushing them further down the funnel or they’d lose interest before they can even understand exactly what it is that you are trying to sell them.
A sales funnel might sound complex but it is a simple process that has greatly helped many businesses find success online. And there is no reason why yours can’t do the same.