How can I build a sales-generating marketing funnel?
The customer journey is a diverse and complex one full of psychological influences that determine if a customer makes it to the purchase stage or not. Either these customer journeys are left to chance, or New Zealand businesses invest in gaining more control over them by understanding how they work and making considered alterations to the marketing funnel.
This includes knowing how the marketing funnel works and creating your own marketing funnel that brings results day in, day out. All marketing campaigns are only as successful as their planning, and if your business is wanting to bring prospective customers through your marketing channels to commence the buying process… Well, you’d better get funnelling!
What is a marketing funnel?
A marketing funnel is a representation of the journey that potential or new customers go through in order to make a purchase. The marketing funnel is typically divided into a series of marketing funnel stages.
At each stage of the funnel, the goal is to use your marketing efforts to move the customer away from the awareness stage and closer to making a purchase by providing them with the information and resources they need to make an informed decision. The common stages of marketing funnels include:
Awareness: The awareness phase is the top of the funnel, where the customer becomes aware of a problem or need that they have, and begins searching for a solution, perhaps through search queries on a search engine. They may become aware of your product due to paid ads, SEO, tv ads, a blog post or word of mouth from friends.
Interest: At the interest stage, the customer is interested in learning more about the product or service that you offer, and may visit your website or social media channels such as your YouTube channel to dig deeper and gather more information. This is also referred to as the consideration stage.
Decision: The prospective customer has now reached the stage of the buying journey where they’ve decided that they are interested in purchasing, and are considering their options. They may compare your product or service to those offered by your competitors and visit your pricing page.
Action: This particular stage at the bottom of the funnel is when the potential customer takes action and makes a purchase. Ensure you optimise the buying process so it’s as smooth as possible. It all makes up part of customer journeys.
The goal of the marketing funnel is to guide potential customers through these stages and ultimately convert them into paying customers.
How to build sales-generating marketing funnels
Now that we know what marketing funnels are and how they are an essential part of a marketing campaign, it’s time to get our heads around how to build the marketing funnel for your next campaign. There are a few key steps in ensuring the sales funnel is well considered and operating smoothly.
Understanding the customer journey
First and foremost, you need to understand the customer journey. The best way to do that? Take it yourself. Step into the shoes of a prospective customer and imagine the customer’s journey engaging with the marketing channel you’ve set up.
As you engage with the sales process, ask yourself, what will the customer see? What will the customer feel? What led them to seek your product? How will they want to feel? What will they be looking for? Assess each stage of the customer experience to inform the building of your customer funnel.
Identifying your target audience and potential customers
Next, you need to clearly identify your target audience – that’s the people you want to turn into qualified prospects. This will inform your content marketing and lead generation. A good way to do this is to build a buyer persona.
This is a ‘fake’ customer based on real consumer research including qualitative data and quantitative data. Remember, it’s not about getting as many leads as possible. It’s about getting the right leads into your sales funnel.
Marketing qualified leads compellingly
Once you get a qualified lead or two through the initial stages of your conversion funnels into the consideration phase, you need to hit them with compelling marketing to turn them into buyers.
This might include direct email marketing, direct mail, or a call from a company representative within the sales team via a free consultation call. Whatever it is, make it targeted and compelling, but be careful… customers hate spam!
Developing a multi-channel marketing strategy
Effective marketers cast a wide but considered net. For each funnel stage, especially the awareness stage, utilise a multi-channel marketing strategy that takes advantage of a range of tools.
For example, gain paid traffic directly to your landing page, use keyword research to optimise SEO for search engines, use link building, create content for social media, use SMS campaigns… the list goes on. Don’t miss an opportunity by putting all your eggs in one basket.
Measuring and analysing funnel performance
Once you’ve turned your conversion funnel into a purchase funnel that has customers buying, it’s time to analyse its performance. Look at your sales funnel critically and consider what brought your current customers all the way through, and where you might have lost a customer or two.
Having other metrics for each of the stages and channels of your funnel will help you determine where numbers rise or fall and where interest peaks or whanes.
Optimising and refining the marketing funnel
Once you have the data and information to make an assessment on the performance of the marketing funnel you built, it’s time to optimise.
Perhaps your sales funnel needs stronger and more compelling marketing function at a certain stage such as increased funding for paid search ads. Perhaps a landing page needs to be levelled up or the buying process made easier.
You can also use past or loyal customers as brand advocates within certain stages. You’ll also want to consider how you can re attract prior customers back into the funnel so they become repeat customers. There’s no customer better than a repeat customer!
It’s easy to become overwhelmed when building the marketing funnel of your dreams. Marketing funnels require detailed planning and creative thinking. There are loads of potential customers out there that could end up paying you as long as you get the customer experience and your marketing strategy right.
It can be easy to start comparing your brand to a certain brand of a competitor, and get distracted. Stay focused on the marketing funnel in front of you!
Get in touch!
If you’re wanting to get the most out of the different stages of marketing funnels and build a customer journey that customers will remember and come back for, the FirstPage New Zealand team is here to help.
Our experts will ensure your sales funnel is pointed at your target audience and turns prospective customers into compelled buyers. Through every stage of the funnel, the customer experience for your brand should be second to none. Let FirstPage New Zealand make it so. Get in touch today!