Sales funnel is a visual representation of a customer journey.

It charts the ideal buying process and gives you a chance to replicate it in practice. This concept is the mainstay of any profitable website.  It influences prospect behavior and steers them in the direction of your choosing.

More specifically, you try to prompt visitors to take a purchase action.

So, if you really mean business, sales funnel cannot be an afterthought. “Built it and they will come” mentality does not cut it either. The funnel has to be carefully planned and continuously optimized. It sets you on the process of ongoing learning and growing.

Like it or not, that is the only way to reliably maximize revenue and outmaneuver the competition.


Sales Funnel in a Nutshell

Sales funnel maps out the customer journey from start to finish. In other words, it shows how you can guide prospects through different stages until they convert.

In a way, every sales-focused website has a sales funnel. But, not every site owner actively plans and manages it. This leads to a wealth of missed opportunities for conversions. You are basically shooting in the dark and hoping for the best.

It goes without sting you are better off meticulously designing a sales funnel. This system ties up disparate tools and tactics into one functioning amalgam. It lets your sales and digital marketing efforts work hand in hand toward the same goal.

You are able to fill the gaps between your marketing activities and foster a stellar customer experience. These are just some of the benefits and dividends you can reap in the long-term.


The Art of Spreading Awareness

It all starts with awareness and ends with a purchase action.

In between two milestones, you have to spark enough interest and arouse desire. You can add more than these four stages, but a funnel that is too complex and long can be counterproductive.

Bear in mind as well the funnel gets smaller as customers move from one stage to another. That’s why it looks like an upside-down pyramid. For instance, not everyone that is aware of your offerings has interest in buying them. Percentage of those who end up purchasing something is even smaller.

So, the first thing to do is to drive traffic to the top of the funnel. You can do this in multiple ways:

All these strategies have pros and cons you need to weigh. For example, SEO attracts qualified traffic, but this process takes longer than executing PPC campaigns.

The rule number one is: your strategy must cater to your specific target audience. Therefore, always do your research. Try to cast a wide net (employ multiple channels) without spreading yourself too thin.


Points of Interest

The next stage revolves around awakening interest and desire.

Bombarding people with sale pitches isn’t the way to go here. Instead, you should start building meaningful relationships with them. Your main tools for accomplishing this goal are the website itself and the content it features. They enable you to plant the seeds of trust.

Just like in real life, making a strong first impression is paramount. Professional web design can work miracles for you here. You want to have a website that is both visually appealing and highly functional. Smooth navigation and user-friendliness are top priorities.

Many would agree that the minimalist design is the best way to capture these qualities. We have to agree. It is almost ubiquitous across industry sectors, and users seem to adore it. But, it is not exactly a one-size-fits-all solution.

Once you flesh out your visual identity, proceed to create your landing pages and site architecture. This is supposed to serve as the next logical step on the visitor journey, and it is precisely where great web development service comes into play.

Do not fret if you lack in-house expertise. Outsourcing is an excellent strategy to trim the costs and ensure quality at the same time. Skimping on design or development it is a poor decision more often than not.


The Pull of Content Marketing

Moving on, you need to craft quality content that solves problems, educates, and entertains visitors. You cannot go wrong with compelling infographics, video tutorials, expert interviews, listicles, and how-to articles.

Utilize these formats to establish yourself as an authority on a subject matter, a go-to source of information. Furthermore, answer questions people may have about your brand, products/services, and industry sector. Do this by implementing a FAQ section.

Provided your content is good enough, you can also set conditions for accessing certain types of content. Submitting contact information is the most common form of lead acquisition. It gives you vital data to inform your marketing and keep the visitors moving through the funnel.

For instance, you obtain a customer’s email content. Then you send him/her more customized content via email campaigns. Or, you offer discounts and special deals using the same channel.

At this stage, the visitors should already be reaching the end of the funnel. All the actions you have taken so far now add up and lead to the “big action”— buying.


For good measure

Alas, your work is not done because sales funnel is not set in stone.

You need to fine-tune it in regular intervals, based on consumer data and insights you generate. You can do A/B testing of multiple versions of a funnel to find the most effective one. Feel free to carry out the same process for landing pages and calls to action.

Likewise, evaluate your marketing campaigns according to key performance indicators. Keep an eye on points where most people exit the funnel. Address these issues promptly.

Finally, figure out ways to bring people back to the funnel. One sale cycle finishes, but only to begin all over again. The beauty of this approach is cost-effectiveness.

Namely, it is much less expensive to retain a current customer than it is to acquire a new one. So, engage in active remarketing.  Maintain a steady stream of valuable content. Don’t get complacent.

Following these steps, you should be able to improve conversion rates and improve the bottom line.

Success by Design

Sales funnel lays the groundwork for digital success. It allows you to keep track of customers and analyze patterns for future reference.

To get the most bang for your buck, embrace a data-backed, measured approach. Make sure to plan and strategize ahead of time.

To put your prospects on the right path, you cannot treat them like mere dollar signs. Instead, do your best to serve their real wants and needs— add value to their lives. Highlight your value proposition and demonstrate your expertise and trustworthiness.

Build a solid brand and deploy messages that resonate with your prospects. Never stop learning and tweaking in order to keep them coming back for more.

It’s time to elevate your sales and gain a powerful edge in the market.

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