Before you try to sell your products, you have spent long hours to learn about the best digital marketing tools and techniques that you can apply. You hope that these will help you generate a huge impact on your business.
However, when you start tracking the progress, you see that the actual reports vary significantly as compared to what you have hoped. You find that your website is getting much attention, the traffic that your site gets is huge, but people are hardly converting.
So, what went wrong? Let me explain.
When people buy a product, they usually go through a multi-layered process from introduction to conversion. It is a process where people learn about you, trusts your business, and finally converts. You cannot expect them to buy your product when they are not ready yet.
A question might have popped up in your mind by now. What does it take to make your customers ready? Is there any strategy which can convert these people?
The answer is Yes! The strategy that can help you to convert your traffic into customers is by creating a Marketing Funnel.
What is Marketing Funnel
You have a great website with excellent products. But, if people are not aware of your business, you cannot generate any revenue.
You need a good amount of traffic flowing into your site. You want the visitors to take some action on your website, like signing up for your website, fill out a form, or purchase a product. The marketing funnel is a set of steps that your visitors or subscribers need to go through before they take any action you want them to take on your website.
The reason for calling it as the funnel is due to the volume of people that passes through each stage reduces as you go down. When you spread the awareness about your business, there are a lot of people who will show up.But, gradually, as they continue their journey towards the buying process, some of them keeps dropping out of the next steps. The marketing funnel is a way to maximize the revenue by nurturing the interested leads into purchasing that can occur during the subsequent marketing stages.
The marketing funnel is the journey that every visitor has to go through before he/she is converted into a customer. One of the best ways to increase your revenue is to make the top of the funnel wider or generate more lead. As the top grows wider, the chances of getting more people to convert will increase.
Understanding the funnel
Here, you need to understand one of the primary facts. Your website may have thousands of products, but unless people are aware of them, they will not feel interested. You need people to come to your site so that they can check out your products.
Even if you generate huge traffic, only a few of them will show real interest in your products. Among these small number of people who shows interest, the number of people buying your product will be even less.
So, when a visitor comes to your website for the first time, consider him as Top-of-the-funnel customers. You need to have a different strategy for these customers as they are still not familiar with you or your products. They are having a look around and are considering if they want to engage with you.
Keep track of people who are more interested. After you identify them, you need to provide more value. You need to nurture them and increase their interest in buying your product. Start convincing them of the value of your product, but in a subtle way.
The third part or the bottom-of-the-funnel consists people who are sure of purchasing your product. Either they have already converted or will be so very soon. You need to approach these section with a different approach. These people remain loyal to your business even after getting converted.
So, you can see that the number of people who buys your product is only a fraction of the total number of people who visits your site. Thus, if you are looking to increase your sales and revenue, you need to produce more engaging content for the visitors. However, as they move towards lower down the funnel, you need a focussed approach to nurturing them towards the buying process.
Key benefits of marketing funnels
Understanding the fundamentals of the marketing funnel is not difficult. The benefits are massive if you can apply proper strategy to every step, and can help you to reach your goals faster. The primary benefits are:
- Increase sales through personalized nurturing of leads
- Provide detailed insight of the leads’ behavior, easier for sales team to close deals
- Can be automated – saves process time and effort.
- Create awareness and trust among your leads, helping you create a brand awareness
- Lesser errors due to less human intervention since the system can be automated
All of the benefits mentioned above actually make the process easier for you to generate leads and close deals at a faster. Thus, you can grow your business fast at an optimized cost.
How to set up Marketing Funnel
Setting up a Marketing Funnel requires a few steps to be followed. These steps are quite easy to set up, and you can maintain them for an extended period without any significant changes.
Awareness of your product
Before trying to sell your product to your subscribers, understand that you are still a stranger to most of them. Your subscriber does not know you or the value of your product. At this stage, pushing your subscribers into purchasing your product will not happen quickly.
To make people realize the value of your products, you must look to establish your credibility in your domain. So create content that can educate your subscribers, or showcase the value of your products. Try and build a relationship with the subscribers. Make them aware of your brand name, to earn the trust of your subscribers.
Since you are addressing the top of the funnel here, you can also send out free contents, exclusive coupons and can use other such tactics. Use them to introduce yourself and your business. Remember, not all of the prospects at this stage will be converting into your customers.
Let me give you an example.
Grammarly is a tool that you can use to enhance your English writing skills. You can use the free version to proofread your articles, but it will only show you the fundamental errors. The premium version comes with advanced checks, but you have to pay a moderate price for it.
Now, check out the email that I received when I signed up for the Grammarly tool. There is no sales pitch yet in the welcome email. It just tells me that I can improve my writing abilities with Grammarly.
I have broken down the email into multiple images. You can see that never even once, Grammarly tells me to buy their product.
Once you start using Grammarly, you will find its usefulness. The fundamental errors are taken care of, but you cannot check the advanced errors.
Consideration of leads through targeted content
When you have generated enough trust among your subscribers, some of them filters down to the second stage or the consideration stage. These subscribers are now interested in you and your product. They show more activity in learning more about you.
Since you are dealing with your subscribers for some time now, you know what their interests are. Provide them with targeted content at this stage according to their specific pain points. Precise solutions to their problems make them believe in your potential of catering to their needs. Show them what more could be done if they choose your product.
Try to be helpful in the consideration stage. You must remember that the subscribers have not yet converted into your customers, but have started to depend on you.
Once again, check the second email from Grammarly now.
The Grammarly team is not speaking about buying any more. They are just showing you the benefits of the tool and what more could be done with the free subscription. Since you are using the free version for quite some time now, you know that it is helpful. The email only points out that you are using a free account and what is the maximum extent of the facilities that you can avail. With the second email, they are merely showing you that you are missing out on the benefits of buying the full version.
Moreover, Grammarly sent a casual email to me asking me to buy their product.
If you are a regular user of Grammarly, soon you will find that your desire to gain more insight is overwhelming.
Lead Nurturing and improve buyer intent
After you have built a steady relationship with your subscribers, start pitching your products to them. Explain them the benefits of your products and convince them to buy your product.
While sending out these sales pitch, create a sense of urgency among your subscribers so that they can purchase the product right away. You can use promotional emails, offer discounts or some other offers Tell them why your products are better than your competitors’. Additionally, show how your products can help your subscribers if they buy them.
Lead nurturing is the most critical phase of the marketing funnel. If you can do it in a right way, you can push them to the subsequent stages of the funnel, else, they might lose interest and opt out of the buying process.
At this point, let me share the third email that I received from Grammarly. Grammarly knows the quality of service it provides. They know that sooner or later, your interest to buy the premium membership will increase.They sent an email offering a discount and describing the benefits of the premium tool so that I can buy it soon.
To increase my intention of buying, they offered more discount in their next email.So, they sent you another email to follow-up with the buying process.
As you can see, the Grammarly team offers you a discount of 50% on the price. Check out the subject line too. They know that you have not yet decided about buying the tool, but your interest has grown. They just nudge you a little towards the bottom of the funnel by providing you 50% off in their third email.
In addition to the multiple follow-up emails offering a discount, they used the year-end to instill a sense of urgency in me, as shown in the following image.
Finally, you have convinced your subscriber to purchase from you. Don’t sit back now. Provide them with inputs regarding the product they have bought. Tell them the benefits of the product and how it is better than your competitors.
Sometime it may happen that a tricky customer has reached this stage. Even though he is interested in your product, he is not committing to make the final purchase. To handle these types of customers, offer a discount, or a free trial of the product, or some freebies that convince them of the benefits of the products.
Remember, your ultimate agenda is to convert people by showcasing the values and benefits of your product.
So, if you remember the example of Grammarly, this is what their fourth email looked like. Here is the email that the Grammarly team sent after you purchase the premium version.
In the final email, they tell you about the best features of Grammarly. They provide you the complete analysis of the benefits that the premium version has.
Automation and drips for customer retention
When a subscriber sees the benefits of buying from you for the first time, you can expect them to buy from you again. So, you must keep connecting with them with updated content and product.
Over a prolonged interaction, you will see that your customers have turned into your most loyal fans, and referrers. They refer your business to their friends so that any future conversions become more comfortable for you.
When you have acquired a few customers, instill a sense of loyalty in them so that they value your business more than ever. Show your gratitude with a thank you email. Appreciate them for associating with your company.
Create an automated series of drip emails to educate the customers about the features, benefits, and updates regarding the product they bought. A constant supply of great content will increase their trust and confidence in you.
Check out this weekly email from Grammarly after I bought the premium version. It shows me the improvement that I have made with Grammarly.
Automated tools that take care of multiple activities can help you managing future campaigns. You can provide them updates regarding your business, or the launch of any new product. Since your existing customers are already loyal to you, they can give you a lot of referral traffic, which you can nurture for your future marketing campaigns.
Points to remember
By now you must have a pretty good idea of what a marketing funnel is and how it works. You also know about lead generation, lead nurturing, and making a sale. The example of Grammarly shows you the complete journey of acquiring a lead and nurturing him to the final process of buying. Moreover, they made the process of convincing you very subtle, as they made you understand the real value of the tool in every email they sent. Thus, even after purchasing the tool, it is you who felt more satisfied.
So, it is time to create your marketing funnel that can help you to fulfill the objectives of your business. By developing a perfect marketing funnel, you can convert your traffic into leads, your leads into customers, and your customers into your fan. In doing so, you can generate more money out of your marketing campaigns, which is the ultimate goal of any business.