One of the hardest parts of effectively marketing your business is sifting through all of the different techniques to find what works for you. You hear of things like influencer marketing, social media marketing, and story-based marketing, and want to figure out which strategy works best for your business, but you don’t have the time nor expertise to do it all. We get it! That’s what we’re here for.
While not every technique or strategy will work for you, you can and should use multiple techniques simultaneously to reap the most benefits from your marketing. So today, we’re going to break down one of the most important growth tools in marketing, one that we believe every business should be using: the complete sales funnel. Let’s get started!
What is a sales funnel?
A complete sales funnel is a multi-stage process that you lead your customers through, starting with awareness and ending with purchase. Through various inputs, a sales funnel generates leads and converts them into purchases. As a business owner or marketing professional, you need to figure out an efficient and effective way to raise awareness about your business, generate leads, and turn those leads into paying customers. Creating a complete sales funnel is how you do that.
A Multi-Stage Process
Sometimes it can be hard to conceptualize a “process,” so let’s break it down a little bit more. As you can see in the image below, the sales funnel has different stages that the customer is guided through. The process varies per brand but generally includes these six components.
Stage 1: Awareness:
Awareness is the first stage, and that’s exactly what it sounds like — the point at which the customer realizes you exist or becomes aware of your brand.
Stage 2: Interest:
At this stage, the customer knows who you are and is interested in your product.
Stage 3: Consideration:
In the consideration stage, the customer starts to
weigh the benefits of doing business with you…things are starting to look good. This is the stage that so many businesses give up or stop communicating with their customers and they lose the sale. Don’t fall into that trap!
Stage 4: Intent:
You’re almost there. In Stage 4, the customer has the intention to do business with you but needs a little push to buy.
Stage 5: Evaluation:
At this point, the customer is pretty much sold…they’re checking out reviews and testimonials. All they’re looking for is a red flag. If their evaluation goes well, you’re going to make a sale.
Stage 6: Purchase:
Success! You’ve just received a new customer.
While a customer may go through this process organically, the sales funnel process leads customers through these stages through emails, social media, and other marketing assets. It seems like a natural process, and it is, but it doesn’t usually happen naturally. It’s your job to create the funnel for the customers to go through; that’s how you’ll generate more leads and get more sales.
What Goes Into a Sales Funnel
Sales funnels will vary per brand, marketing firm, or individual marketing professional. Unfortunately, there’s no one-stop shop to find the perfect sales funnel layout when you are deciding the number of emails and structure of the funnel, as it really does depend on who you are, who your customers are, and how you do business.
- If you are an e-commerce brand, your emails are going to be shorter and more image-heavy, showcasing your products and services. You will create abandoned cart emails, win-back campaign emails, and product promotional emails.
- If you are a consulting firm, your structure might include an evergreen webinar to showcase your authority. This would have pre- and post- emails and then once your potential clients have watched the webinar, you would send them into a sales campaign to ask them to buy a consulting package or book a call with you.
No matter what your overall structure ends up being, there are four main components in an automated sales funnel and you should use all of them when you’re building yours.
- Lead magnets (or lead generators) are used to raise awareness of and interest in your business, as well as turn potential customers into customers.
- Some examples are: PDFs, multi-part courses, free samples, guides, videos, webinars, e-books, free consultations, and checklists.
- Lead magnets allow you to share your expertise, create a sense of authority for your business, and gather email addresses and leads.
The Sales Landing Page
- The sales landing page is a landing page that engages potential customers through powerful copywriting and design.
- Copywriting is the most important part of creating effective sales landing pages. People buy because they read or hear words that make them want to buy from you. Yes! Words Matter (even more than design). Your messaging must be clear and consistent if you want people to take action.
- Design comes secondary but is still important. If you have great landing page copy but a busy page with a ton of words, passive calls-to-action (or worse no calls-to-action), it’s unlikely that your sales landing page will drive leads.
Take a look at how the StoryBrand Marketing strategy uses sales landing pages on websites.
Automated Email Campaigns
- Automated email campaigns drive a customer to purchase your product.
- There are a ton of different types of emails and email campaigns. Two popular and effective funnels are nurture campaigns and drip campaigns.
- In a sales funnel, emails are automated — once you write, design, and automate them, you never have to push “Send” on an email. That’s the beauty of automation. It saves you time.
- Emails are a great way to nurture leads, make sales, expose your brand, and gain repeat customers. The important thing here is that you are communicating regularly with your potential leads.
- Similar to the sales landing page, words matter!
- Integrations are where the magic happens. This is where you take the manual work out of your job as you connect and automate everything.
- The integrations you need will depend on your business. Some examples are:
- E-commerce integrations that grab your client’s email if they abandoned their cart and then sends them an automated email with the products they liked asking them to finish their purchase.
- Zapier integrations that can pull information from your webinar registration opt-in into your sales funnel and tag them to start a sales campaign.
- Without integrating your systems, it will be very hard to ensure that your sales funnel and your business is running smoothly.
There you have it! By now, you’ve gotten the gist of a complete sales funnel and the components that go into it. If you’re still unsure of how to implement one or don’t want to do it yourself, contact us today.
The fun doesn’t stop here — we’ve created a FREE beginner’s guide to email marketing that includes 52 email examples that you can use for your business today. All you need to do is click the link below to claim your free copy.