The Digital Marketing Funnel: Explanation, Strategies and the Secret Stage!
The digital marketing funnel (commonly known as the buyer’s/sales funnel) is important to businesses, whether you are an e-commerce company or not. Creating your business’ sales funnel will help you convert leads into actual customers making purchases and subscribing to your business’ products and services. A sales funnel is also essential for lining up your sales and marketing strategies. The challenge then lies in how you design the sales funnel for your business and use this for your business’ advantage.
Digital Marketing Funnel: The Sales Funnel and Its Stages
The main purpose of a digital marketing funnel or sales funnel is to guide your leads into conversion. It is a framework to define and follow the different stages of your buyer’s journey – from the moment they discover your brand until the moment they buy whatever your brand is offering. A sales funnel enables you to devise an effective plan to use your resources and time in converting leads. It is used to understand your leads’ needs in order for your marketing and sales to have an agreement on what effective strategies they should make.
In the traditional and old digital marketing funnel, everything is linear and each buyer/prospect passes each stage of the funnel. There are four main stages:
- Awareness Stage
The stage where your prospect discovers your brand. This is where he/she is introduced to the products or services you are offering. They have a problem they need to be addressed and your website has caught their attention through paid search (Google Ads and Facebook Ads) and non-paid search (search engine query, social media platforms, etc.). They think you have a solution to their problem. Now the challenge is to make sure that your prospects stay until the final stage of the buyer’s journey.
- Consideration Stage
Now that you’ve got your buyer’s attention and you have brought them to your website, this is where you persuade them to consider the products or services you are offering as a solution to their problem. Your prospects will ask questions about your product so you need to feed them the information they might be wanting. This information should be essential for them to choose you as a solution to their needs. This is a crucial stage where your prospects decide if they will stay or leave your funnel.
- Decision Stage
Your prospects have visited your website, scrolled through your web pages, subscribed to your newsletters and have gotten all the information they need. Your prospect will now look through your offerings (sales, packages, discounts, etc.). You should have a landing page ready, whether an email or a phone number, in order to complete the desired action(purchase).
It is now time to close the deal. This is where your prospect becomes a customer. The moment you have been working on. You have to remember to do follow-ups and to put your prospect in your mailing list. Make sure to deliver your products on time and ask for a feedback.
Now that you already know what the levels of the search funnel are and what happens in them, you are now ready to strategize and devise ways to successfully convert your prospects and help them move through the search funnel.
Top part of the funnel: Awareness
During this stage, you want to capture your prospects’ attention. Effective online advertising can be a very helpful strategy but you have to do it right. Content marketing is also crucial at this stage but you have to keep in mind that prospects are just discovering your product and do not want to be overwhelmed with so much information. The right content and right timing could make or break your opportunity.
Middle of the Funnel: Consideration/Decision
You should tap every opportunity you have to connect with your prospects during this stage. You need your prospects to stay on the move through your funnel. You can target contents for certain behaviors in this stage: product review, page visits on your website, content downloads and email subscriptions, etc. Email marketing can be helpful, but then again, content and timing is the key.
Bottom of the Funnel: Action
Your marketing and sales strategy has bore its fruits. Never forget to continue nurturing your customers after they have made a purchase in order to keep them delighted and to come back for another purchase. The right content and call-to-action can be a substantial factor for the success of this stage.
The Secret Stage
Now that you already know the common knowledge about the sales funnel, it’s time to reveal the secret (or not so secret) stage. This stage is also called the CARE stage. Marketers often neglect this stage. This is after your prospect has made a purchase of your product/service. Even after a purchase is made, it is important to do actions that will retain your customer and entice them to make repeated purchases. If you succeed in retaining your customer, it is possible that they will make another purchase of your products or they become an advocate for your brand and recommend it to other prospects. It is utterly easier to keep existing customers than acquiring new ones.
To do this, engage in customer retention tactics. Offer discounts for insiders, give them something free for their birthday or interact with them on social media. There are a lot of other strategies you can do to make your customers feel that they are wanted and that they matter.
To tie it all together, the digital marketing funnel is a guide for you to effectively understand your prospects according to their varied needs and behavior. Develop a funnel around your business’ products or service. Study the behavior of your prospects based on where they are in the funnel and create strategic contents to target their needs.
Do this well and you will observe a dramatic impact on your buyer relationships as well as on your conversion. And as well as you know, conversions mean profit for your business.