Woah…Hold on Louise, before I read any further about how to create your own sales funnel….what is a sales funnel?
Well, I’m glad you asked that.
But first, let’s address something that leaves most people confused. Customer Journey vs Sales Funnel.
The sales funnel focuses on turning visitors into leads and leads into customers. The customer journey focuses on the pathway your customer takes from interest to becoming a customer.
That’s why it is a good idea to have both. Even though they’ll have similar steps and actions, they will allow you to have this incredible insight and oversight into your business. So powerful!
But this article is about how to create your own sales funnel. I’ll cover customer journeys in another article.
Your sales funnel is about moving your target audience towards becoming your client or customer.
Still, the best thing about your sales funnel is that any marketing channels can be incorporated, and you can implement it across as many of them as you like.
To keep it simple, I recommend you focus on your digital marketing channels. Because when you do most of your business online, it makes sense.
Why is a sales funnel important?
The sales funnel is important because it helps move your audience through all your touch points, guiding them down towards the end where they go from an enquiry to a customer.
Understanding your funnel will help you find any holes in your funnel. These holes are where prospects drop out and never convert.
To do this, you need to understand your ideal audience’s mindset. There are four stages.
Each stage requires a different approach and will have a different message. Sending them the right message, at the right time will help convert them.
Let’s look at each mindset stage in more detail.
Also known as brand awareness. This stage is where you first capture the attention of a cold audience. They do not know you, and they do not yet know that they need you.
Someone new becomes aware of your business and what you offer.
It’s not often this new lead will buy immediately. That is more of a right place, right time situation that rarely happens. If they do, they have most likely already done their research and are in the Action stage.
Your goal during the awareness stage is to encourage your new lead to stay with you and engage with your other touch points and move through to the next step.
If you are struggling to generate awareness, you may need to look at your messaging and target audience.
The interest stage is where your new lead is doing research, comparing you to others, and considering what their options are.
Your goal during the interest stage is to provide content that will help them. This stage isn’t about selling. It’s about establishing your expertise and making them realise you’re the right choice for them.
This is where you can offer them a lead magnet such as a free report or discount code in exchange for their email address. And through a nurture email sequence, you’ll be able to guide them through to the next stage.
If you haven’t got a nurture sequence set up, we can help you with that.
Your lead is ready to buy but will they remember you?
This is why it’s so important to have several touch points throughout your sales funnel because when they are ready to buy, you want them to come to you. But if you haven’t followed up, haven’t nurtured them, you won’t be on their list.
Ahh, the last part. The smallest part of the funnel, where only a small percentage of your leads will end up.
But, I have to admit the Action isn’t the last part. Because once they purchase, they should move into the Retention stage.
A Simple Yet Effective Sales Funnel Example
You own an online store, selling gift boxes for all occasions. Your target audience hangs out on Instagram a lot and that your target customers are females aged between 25 and 50.
You created this awesome reel highlighting your new range. You send the traffic to a landing page, where you ask them to sign up for your email list in exchange for a discount code on their next order.
Now you have their email address and you can send them a nurture email sequence over the next few weeks. You share ideas around giving, inspiration, etc.
To end your email nurture sequence, you offer a free product with their next order. You sit back and watch the orders roll in.
Then move those customers to a new list or segment and repeat.
How to Create Your Own Sales Funnel
Step 1: Know your Audience
The more you know about your target audience and their behaviour, the more effective you can make your sales funnel. Use apps like Hotjar and Google Analytics to help you understand your audience and how they behave on your website.
Use that data to create or adjust your funnel such as your call-to-action buttons, content layout, etc.
Step 2: Capture their Attention
Show up and be seen…everywhere your target audience is. If they are on Facebook groups, be there commenting on their posts, leaving helpful tips and advice. It also means if they aren’t where you are…you’ll need to go back to step 1 and locate where they are hanging out so you can show up there.
If your budget allows for it, paid advertising is a great way to capture attention but if it doesn’t that’s okay. Focus on social media and blog content to help raise awareness and get people interested in you. Remember it can take at least 7 touchpoints before someone will take action.
Step 3: Website
Know that you have their attention and you are building trust and rapport with them online, you need to make sure your call to action is sending them somewhere…ideally your website where you can capture their email address.
If you have a lead magnet, this is where you can offer that.
At this point, you want to be very clear and tell them exactly what to do. Don’t make them think too hard about what they need to do. But remember, it’s not about the sale…yet.
Step 4: Email Nurture Sequence
Keep your nurture sequence emails filled with great content to help them ready to purchase when you finally make that offer to them.
An engaged list will make you money but it will take time to build up. So be patient and focus on providing valuable content that they want to see. If you aren’t sure what they want to see, make sure you are targeting the right audience (sometimes we need to make small adjustments to get it right) and ask them on social media.
Step 5: Retention
Remember to look after your clients once they have gone through your funnel and made a purchase.
Bring them back into your sales funnel through your social media and monthly email content.
Send a follow-up email after their purchase, share their social media post thanking them for their order (use a company brand hashtag and ask customers to use it so you can easily locate posts!).
Measuring the Success of a Sales Funnel
If you have read this far, you’ll remember that at the beginning we talked about holes. Measuring the success of your sales funnel will tell you whether you have any holes to fill.
As your business grows, your sales funnel will need to be tweaked and adjusted. And that’s perfectly fine so let’s think of your sales funnel as you do about your marketing strategy…it’s a living, breathing part of your business. With a bit of TLC, it’ll reward you with growth and success.
So how do you measure the success of a sales funnel?
You will want to pay careful attention to each stage of the sales funnel:
- Are you capturing the attention of enough people during the awareness stage?
- Look at the website traffic for the landing page.
- Do they trust you enough to give you their contact information?
- Look at how many people are entering the nurture sequence.
- Have you had purchases from your email nurture sequence?
- Look at how many people have used the code.
- Are existing customers coming back to buy from you again?
- Look at how many repeat orders you are getting.
Knowing the answers to these questions will tell you where you need to tweak your sales funnel.
Optimising your sales funnel will fill those pesky holes and the more people you can keep in your funnel, the better your results will be.
But how do I optimise my funnel?
The main point of a sales funnel is to get those email addresses. So you need to test your landing pages. It’ll take time because you’ll want to test out each change for at least 3 months before deciding which one was more successful.
Then once you have your landing page sorted. You can A/B test your email campaigns. Start by changing the subject line – which one gets the higher open rate? Then look at the call to action – which one gets the higher click rate?
This where having a solid marketing strategy and showing up consistently will give you the best results.
And this is where we come in. So if you know you need help, let’s talk.
So to recap. There are 5 parts to a sales funnel:
- Understand Your Audience’s Behavior.
- Capture Your Audience’s Attention.
- Have a website or landing page
- Create an Email Nurture Sequence
- Keep in Touch.