How to Use a Marketing Funnel to Drive Sales
What is the Marketing Funnel?
The Marketing Funnel represents the customer’s path to conversion. This step-by-step breakdown is a way of visualizing the nonlinear process of turning a stranger into a customer. Considering the customer’s journey, you can prepare your marketing efforts to address each stage.
There are five stages of the funnel. From top to bottom: awareness, consideration, conversion, loyalty and advocacy. The closer you get to the bottom, the closer you are to earning new business or increasing revenue. Loyalty and advocacy are significant because they can influence valuable repeat purchases and allows happy customers to refer new potential customers… thus adding new customers to the funnel on your behalf.
Although not everyone who starts at the top will be there at the bottom, with the proper marketing strategies and campaigns at every stage, you can create a marketing funnel that has a high conversion rate and is as perfect as the cakes at a carnival.
This is the attention-grabbing stage that introduces your brand to the world of potential customers. Marketing campaigns addressing the top of the funnel are broader in scope by emphasizing the significant differentiations of your company compared to the competition. Your goal is to establish your company’s value and be recognizable.
Companies with a higher brand awareness can generate more sales as consumers’ brand preference skews towards what is familiar, especially when combined with the following funnel stages. This is also a prime point to establish your brand voice and identity.
Consistency in your brand visuals, such as colour and fonts, and a consistent brand voice will be beneficial to developing awareness. This can be done by; active content marketing, advertising where your target audience frequents, and having a clear call to action for customers to be directed to the next stage of the funnel, consideration.
Now that consumers know who you are, you need to spark their interest even more, to get them to convert. This is the selling point where your brand becomes appealing enough to engage with.
Consider how to make their want into a need. Further detail what makes your brand stand out and why purchasing your product or service is beneficial. Think of how you can educate the potential customer. At this point, the consumer is in a research phase, so give them everything they need to know to convert. This is the stage where your online presence is essential. If customers are ready to pull out their wallets but are still looking to learn more about your business, email newsletters are perfect for that, as they are a no-commitment way to keep your brand in mind.
You also want to establish legitimacy and trust to make customers feel secure with your business. Even though this stage may be a slow burn for some consumers, successful execution will lead to conversion.
Congratulations, you’ve led your customers to the stage of the funnel where they decide to buy! Although this is an accomplishment… your work isn’t done yet. The customer is ready to purchase and narrows their options to products or services. Creating a frictionless user experience during this stage is essential for a successful conversion.
It is essential to have quality customer service and support available through live chats, direct email addresses, or phone numbers. You may also want to push similar products or have a function that says “If you like this…you may also like this” on your website.
Important to note is having a website that can accommodate all the customer’s needs and considers the user experience throughout the stages as well. You can also provide a coupon or free trial as an extra push toward conversion.
Loyal customers should be a much-appreciated part of your company’s success – just a 5% increase in customer retention can add 25%+ revenue. Acknowledgement of these customers, even before they become loyal, is a way to create a rewarding experience for repeated visits.
Consider how you can captivate consumers to become loyal through loyalty programs, reward and point systems, or exclusive opportunities. For example, a stamp card with buy 10, get 1 free promo or adding a sample of one of your products or service can be an added incentive for customers to return. Think about a coffee shop, for example, calling “regulars” by name makes for a welcoming atmosphere that they’ll want to return for. Having an extra-friendly experience through recognition and quality customer service, rewards loyalty at little-to-no cost to you. Loyal customers are also a marketing asset as they vouch for your business and can allow for advocacy.
Advocacy is when current customers refer others to your company, adding them to your funnels through word-of-mouth, posting your product or service online, and promoting your company for you. Advocacy and referrals can allow for new leads at a fraction of the cost since they’re already familiar with your brand through a trusted resource.
The customer experience beyond conversion is vital for future and repeat conversions. Consider rewarding customers that refer their friends and family to your business. For your eCommerce site, add a referral link that rewards customers whose friends shop using their link. If you are in-person, pay attention to the customers that bring new people into your doors, they are the key to growing your customer network.
Navigating the Marketing Funnel can be challenging. Let our expert marketers support you every step of the way!