Each of the sales funnel stages has an impact on consumer behavior. You need to know them intimately. By knowing each step, you can use tactics to improve the number of people that go from one step to the next. This can have a crazy impact on your business. Let’s say you double the number of people at 2 steps of your funnel. You double leads and you double the percentage of closed customers. That gives you 4X the number of new customers every month.
Defining and managing your sales funnel is one of the most powerful concepts in business. Let’s dive in.
What is a Sales Funnel?
The sales funnel is each step that someone has to take in order to become your customer. Let’s look at a brick-and-mortar sales funnel. The people at the top of the sales funnel walk by your store. A certain percentage of them decide to walk in, that’s the next next of the funnel. A customer sees a rack of T-shirts on clearance. He or she thumbs through the rack, now they’re at the next step of the funnel. Then the customer selects four t-shirts and walks to the check-out. They’re at the last step. If all goes well, they finish the purchase and reach the bottom of the funnel. This same process plays out for every business in one way or the other. Your sales funnel could exist as:
- Retail store
- Sales team
- Personal consultation
Any marketing channel can be part of your sales funnel. And your funnel might be spread across several channels.
Why is a sales funnel important?
Your sales funnel illustrates the path prospects take. Understanding your funnel can help you find the holes in the funnel — the places where prospects drop out and never convert. If you don’t understand your sales funnel, you can’t optimize it. We’ll go into the specifics of how the funnel works below, but for now, understand that you can influence how visitors move through the funnel and whether they eventually convert.
The Sales Funnel Explained: How it Works
While there are lots of words used to describe different sales funnel stages, we’re going to go with the four most common terms to explain how each stage works as a consumer goes from a visitor to a prospect to a lead to a buyer. A visitor lands on your website through a Google search or social link. He or she is now a prospect. The visitor might check out a few of your blog posts or browse your product listings. At some point, you offer him or her a chance to sign up for your email list. If the visitor fills out your form, he or she becomes a lead.
You can now market to the customer outside of your websites, such as via email, phone, or text — or all three. Leads tend to come back to your website when you contact them with special offers, information about new blog posts, or other intriguing messages. Maybe you offer a coupon code. The sales funnel narrows as visitors move through it. This is partly because you’ll have more prospects at the top of the funnel than buyers at the bottom, but also because your messaging needs to become increasingly targeted. Your sales funnel – also known as your revenue funnel or sales process – leads prospective customers through their buying journey. A well-designed and properly executed sales funnel helps a business to convert its leads into paying customers. It’s important – and not easy – to build a great funnel. One that helps you identify the right buyer early, and makes buying your product a happy experience. If you’re about to create your first sales funnel, this post will help you understand the different steps of building a sales funnel.
What are a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is a marketing concept that describes the journey a prospect has to take in order to purchase a product or service. As a potential customer passes through the steps of the sales funnel, it signifies a deeper commitment to the purchase goal. We can identify 4 basic Sales Funnel stages:
Those steps may vary depending on the company’s sales model. The concept is schematized by a funnel since many prospects may begin the sales process at the first stage but only a fraction of potential customers will take action to buy what you are selling. Most companies use this model to guide their B2C marketing efforts in each stage of the sales funnel. Any marketing channel can be part of your sales funnel and your funnel might be spread across several channels.
Understand the different sales funnel stages
The journey might be different from one prospect to another. It will depend on your strategy and business vision. You can easily remember the four sales funnel stages by the acronym AIDA: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. Each step of the concept needs a different approach to not send the wrong message at the wrong time. Let’s have a look to the stages in details.
This is the stage where the prospect learns about your brand and what you offer. This moment can happen through social media, word of mouth, Google research, etc. Sometimes by discovering your product/service, potential customers may become aware of a problem they are facing and the possible ways to fix it. This might become a right-place, right-time scenario where consumers will immediately buy what you are selling.
The interest stage is when prospects are doing research to find the best solution to resolve their issue and achieve their goals. It’s the time for you to attract them to your product or service with incredible content. Be careful not to push your product or service to them. Their decision is not made yet and selling your products to them at this stage may chase them away. In your content, give potential customers all the information they may need, make sure they can ensure your reliability, and offer help in any way you can.
This stage of the sales funnel is when the prospect is ready to buy. Since he or she might be considering two or three options — hopefully, including you — it is the time to make the most irresistible offer that you can (packages, options, free shipping, discount…) for them not to hesitate anymore and buy your product or service.
That is the bottom of the sales funnel. Here the prospect becomes one of your company’s customers by buying your product or service.It’s important to state that there might be additional stages to your sales funnel. Your interaction with the customer needs to go beyond the act of purchasing. Now you have to focus on customer retention by expressing gratitude for the purchase, inviting him or her to share feedback, making your brand available for support, etc.
How to build the best sales funnel
Image courtesy: Shane Barker
#1. Know Your Target Audience
You need to understand your target audience before you begin to create your sales funnel. Base your research on the following points:
- The problems they’re seeking solutions for
- The social media channels they use
- Things that interest them the most
- Things they find the most annoying about online shopping
#2. Build Your Buyer Personas
You can build different buyer personas targeting your marketing campaigns for the various segments of your customers. You can derive different and accurate buyer personas from research based on these questions:
- Why will they buy your product?
- What are the things that influence them into buying a product?
- How are they going to use the product after purchasing it?
#3. Plan on Generating Traffic
If people are not aware of the products you sell, there will be no sale. Therefore, you need to adopt different lead generation strategies to drive users to your website. You can adopt the following measures for this purpose:
- PPC campaigns
- Landing page optimization
- Influencer marketing
- Guest posting
- Social media marketing
#4. Plan on Engaging Your Audience
Your lead generation efforts won’t be enough on their own if you fail to engage your audience. They need to learn about your product and services, and this goal can be achieved with the help of the following strategies:
- Creating engaging and high-quality blogs
- Creating interesting videos
- Involving influencers and requesting that they review and offer tutorials of your products
- Promoting your content on social media platforms
- Conducting email marketing campaigns to promote your latest blog posts and sending newsletters
#5. Convert Your Leads
One of your goals is to create a high-converting sales funnel. Lead conversion is the final stage of the process during which the visitors convert into paying customers. Ensure that completing a purchase does not take too long by:
- Minimizing the number of form fields
- Lesser number of steps for completing a purchase
- One-click options for sign-in and sign up.
How to create a sales funnel for your business
For your sales funnel to exist, you first need prospects who can move through that funnel. Once you have those prospects, you can track behavior and engagement using lead scoring to identify where they are in the funnel. Here are five steps to help you create a sales funnel:
1. Build a landing page
A landing page will most likely be the first time prospects learn about your company. If they click on an ad, sign up for a webinar, or download an ebook, they’ll go to a landing page. That page should clearly communicate who you are as a company and your unique benefits (after all, this could be the one and only opportunity you have to wow prospects). And, most importantly, make sure the landing page has a form for prospects to enter their information — you want to capture their email address so you can continue to communicate with them.
2. Offer something of value
Here’s the part where you have to give something to your prospects in exchange for their email address. A lead magnet, like an ebook or whitepaper, is an effective way to offer something of value on your landing page.
3. Start nurturing
At this point, your prospects will move from the Awareness stage into the Interest stage. And, because you have all their email addresses from the landing page, you can create an email nurture series to share educational content about your offering.
As prospects move into the Decision stage, you want to offer anything that can nudge them into the direction of a purchasing decision. This could include a product demo, extended free trial, or special discount.
5. Keep it going
In the Action phase, you’ll either land new customers or hear why prospects aren’t interested in purchasing. Either way, keep the communication going. For new customers, focus on product education, engagement, and retention. For prospects who didn’t make a purchase, build a new nurture series to check in with them every few months.
Chapter 03: Find the cracks in your sales funnel stages
Now that you’ve learned about building a sales funnel, we start to see why sales funnel management matters. Even very good prospects can leak out of the sales funnel along the way if they’re not nurtured carefully. The best way to prevent that loss is to have a clear idea of the steps in your sales process—and help in making those steps happen. In some companies, those steps to the sale might look like this: Prospecting and marketing are all the things you do to get people into the first of your sales funnel stages. Note that stages are broken into two or more steps wherever possible. A demo could be called a single stage, but in real life it involves a lot of things: contacting the customer, sending reminders, doing the demo, and then following up. Whatever your own sales funnel stages look like, the support you need in managing them will be the same. Once you know your sales funnel stages, it’s time to find out where you’re losing potential customers. Sit down with your team (or with yourself, if you’re CEO, CMO and head janitor) and ask yourself:
- Where are the bottlenecks in my sales process?
- Where do I tend to lose track of potential customers?
- What are the positive trigger points—the specific actions that typically result in a sale?
Look carefully at the cracks where your chosen steps may not be working. Then get ready to fix your funnel.
Chapter 04: How sales funnel management can help
Leaks in the sales funnel process often spring from three basic causes. The good news is that sales funnel management can help with each.
Throwing away the “no’s” too quickly
In sales, a “no” can often mean “not until later.” For example, a common objection for customer relationship management (CRM) software is this: “I don’t have time to get my content together to make the platform useful.” This prospect is actually saying, “I’m interested, I see the value, but I can’t take advantage of it at this moment.” It’s tempting to dump this lead and move on to the next. There’s a better solution: Build out an automated email follow-up campaign that speaks directly to this objection. Any time you encounter this problem, you can send that prospect information that seems designed just for them. A multi-month educational campaign may reduce their content anxiety and nurture them toward a sale.
Yes, it’s work upfront, but once finished, this campaign will work for you always. Action item: Look at the most common objections from your prospects, and think about which can be turned around with helpful education and automated follow-up. Where in your sales funnel are you dismissing prospects too quickly?
Are you following up as much as you should be? Probably not, says the Business News Daily:
- 48% of sales reps never follow up with prospects
- Only 10% of sales reps make more than three contacts with a prospect
- Yet 80% of sales close between the fifth and 12th contact
That’s a lot of follow-up fails. The challenge is easy to understand: Do I call new leads, or follow up with an old one for the sixth time? Persistence can feel like a waste of time, but the numbers prove otherwise. But there’s a better solution: Small businesses may find help lies in a marketing automation funnel. Instead of an either/or game, automation software offers a both/and game. All your prospects get consistent and friendly emails and contacts at all stages of the sales funnel, so you can save your personal attention for the day’s hottest leads. Action item: Analyze your last 20 leads and count how many times, on average, you contacted a prospect. If you see follow-up fails, a marketing automation funnel can help.
Did you know that new leads are nine times more likely to convert if you follow up within the first five minutes after they express interest? Wait 30+ minutes, and your lead is 21 times less likely to turn into a sale. You may be asking, “How the heck am I supposed to contact a lead within the first five minutes? That seems impossible.” There’s a better solution: It’s not impossible with sales funnel management automation. Set up your system with the response you want, and it will be ready to send it immediately to any interested prospect—even the one who contacts you on Saturday at 3 am. As captured leads pass down the funnel, your sales automation platform can send added personalized emails that are just right for each moment. Action item: Figure out how quickly you normally respond to a brand-new prospect right now. Then craft your first mass personalized email to send to future prospects.
Deliver the right message at the right stage of the sales funnel
What does the flow of automated emails look like in the sales funnel? Let’s say you often encounter two separate objections to your sales pitch: “We don’t have time to implement” and “We’re not sure we need it.” You can craft a series of emails to respond to each, and set them to be delivered over the next few weeks or months.
Depending on the objection, you may want to send different materials at different times: testimonials from other clients, videos showing how easy your system is to set up, or just friendly check-in emails. Now your marketing automation funnel is giving you a boost at every stage: It responded within five minutes of their first contact, and that helped get you the chance to make your pitch. Now, after the pitch, you’re ready to stay in contact and respond to objections in a friendly, targeted way. (And if they love the pitch, automation can help you stay in close touch until closing.)
It’s best to have a customer relationship management system involved here. A good CRM has the power to pull in every piece of information you have in your database, so it can be used to make every email perfectly personal.
What Is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel is a way of breaking down the customer journey all the way from the “awareness” stage (when they first learn about your business) to the “purchase” stage (when they’re ready to buy your product or service). Often funnels can also include post-purchase follow-ups which increase retention as well as cross- and up-sells. The first step is, of course, getting traffic to your site. You can do this by creating SEO-friendly content, publishing white papers and getting backlinks. As leads progress through your funnel, your outreach methods will get more and more personalized (sometimes involving a product demo or a phone call) until the sale takes place.
Bonus Material: Get our short video on the unorthodox marketing funnel we’re using to generate resilient traffic, leads, and clients—even during uncertain times. Click here to get instant access to the masterclass.
Here are two example funnels – one that is effective and one that is not effective.
Example 1: A Not-so-Effective Marketing Funnel
Norman Newbie owns a software company with ten salespeople and one product. He’s not a very savvy marketer, so his sales process currently involves handing his salespeople lists of leads that he purchased online and having them “dial for dollars.” His salespeople frequently get frustrated since the leads aren’t always good quality. Because they’re usually calling on people who A) aren’t interested in his services and B) are not a good fit for them, the salespeople close less than 1% of the prospects they initially reach out to.
Example 2: An Effective Marketing Funnel
Molly Marketer has a similar-sized company, but instead of taking Norman’s traditional outbound marketing approach, she’s created a marketing funnel that helps her three salespeople close more sales with less effort. Molly started by building a series of attention-grabbing content marketing pieces that are tied to landing pages on her website. Potential customers can engage with her content (blog posts, infographics, videos) and learn about her company and its services without a cold call from a salesperson.
When these would-be buyers become interested enough in her products, they request an online demonstration by filling out the form on her landing pages. These requests are routed directly to her salespeople, who, because they’re dealing with warm leads, close roughly 50% of the customers to whom they demo. Molly’s company closes more sales than Norman’s, with fewer salespeople and no time spent on cold calling. Obviously, these are simplified examples, and most businesses will fall somewhere in the middle of this spectrum. Even if you’ve never heard the phrase “marketing funnel” before, make no mistake about it: you have one.
Stages in the Sales Funnel
No matter what kind of purchase we’re making or how much we intend to spend, all of us follow a relatively similar path when it comes to deciding what to buy. This buying process, or stages, was first introduced by John Dewey in 1910, but even now — more than 100 years later — it’s still the foundation of understanding buyer behavior and marketing funnel creation. Here are the five stages of the marketing funnel.
Stage #1 – Problem/Need Recognition (TOFU)
Understandably, if a person doesn’t recognize that she has a need that must be filled, she’s not going to make a purchase. That said, these needs can range from easily solved problems to issues without clear solutions. Suppose your furnace goes out in the middle of winter. Your problem is obvious: you need a new furnace. And the solution is easy — you need to call HVAC providers in your area for quotes. But say you need a new car.
Should you look for an SUV, a compact car or a mid-size sedan? Even vaguer still, if you’re frustrated with how much your accountant is charging you to do your business’ taxes, you might not even be familiar with all the different solutions, like cloud-based accounting services. For different types of businesses, the buyer needs at the problem/need recognition stage – top of the funnel (TOFU) – are different. If you’re running a consulting business, for example, then your clients already realize that they’re having certain problems around your service area – like a high cost per lead (if you’re in marketing) or disorganized spending (if you’re in accounting).
Tip: One way to test your funnel is to write content on “TOFU topics” that can bring lots of traffic to your site (and into your funnel). Use a tool like Content Editor to enter a target keyword and see recommendations on how to write content that deserves to rank #1:
Stage #2 – Information Search (MOFU)
Recognizing a problem or need that you have is the step that triggers a search for more information. The strategies used to gather information tend to vary based on the size and scope of the purchase. Recognizing that you’re hungry, for example, might result in a quick Yelp search for restaurants in your area. Deciding which provider to use to install a new inground pool at your home, on the other hand, will involve calling around, reading company reviews, visiting showrooms, and talking with salespeople. According to Pardot, 70% of buyers turn to Google at least 2-3 times during their search to find out more about their problems, potential solutions, relevant businesses, etc.
Many people also turn to social media and forums for recommendations. At this point, they aren’t looking for promotional content; they’re looking to learn more about potential solutions for their need. Here’s where you can position yourself as the helpful industry expert with content that helps them, no strings attached. Let’s say you’re a marketing platform or agency. You could create content around link building, SEO, Facebook advertising, or any other strategy that your customers would be searching for. If you’re an accounting software company, you might create content around helping solopreneurs figure out their finances for the first time. Do some keyword research to figure out what types of content you should be creating for the middle of the funnel (MOFU) — you can find out which search terms in your niche get high volumes of traffic and create content that matches those queries.
Stage #3 – Evaluation of Alternatives (MOFU)
Following their information search — or sometimes running concurrently with this process — potential customers start comparing the alternatives that your article has discussed. Again, the time spent in this stage will vary based on the type of purchase being contemplated. Choosing a restaurant might be as simple as deciding, “Well, I feel like Chinese food, not Mexican, tonight.” However, say the customer is evaluating marketing automation programs to help improve the sales funnel they created. Because these programs can require investments of $1,500 a month, they’re likely to undergo a much more careful and thorough evaluation process.
They might request free trials of the different systems they’re considering, have online demonstrations with each company’s representatives or view training videos to get a feel for how each system will perform. If you’re running an accounting business, at this stage your customers would be evaluating different potential service providers. They might need resources like pricing guides (so they know what ballpark rates are), how to evaluate the landscape of accounting services (i.e. whether to hire a solo accountant, an agency, etc.), or how to choose an accountant.
If you’re running a marketing services business, you might create content about how to choose a marketing agency, pricing guides, whether a company should go contract or hire in-house, etc. The above examples are non-promotional, educational content resources we’ve created for our readers who are considering hiring marketing agencies – i.e. in the middle of the funnel (MOFU).
Stage #4 – Purchase Decision (BOFU)
The purchase decision is the natural conclusion of the preceding three stages. The potential customer has determined that they have a problem, investigated their options, decided which one is best for then… and now they’re getting ready to pull out their wallets. At this stage, bottom of funnel (BOFU) content can help your potential customers feel confident in their decision to purchase your good/service. Case study content, showcasing the success of a previous or current customer, is very effective, especially when the case studies are relevant to, and reflect, the lead.
Create case studies with customers that reflect different customer profiles, verticals, business sizes, etc. For instance, if you’re selling marketing automation software to a startup, showcase a startup that 10X-ed their leads. If you’re selling the enterprise version of that marketing software, share a case study from another enterprise company. The enterprise case study is too aspirational for the startup, and the startup case study doesn’t work in front of a huge global marketing team. Now for the bad news. There are two major factors that can hinder purchases at this stage: negative feedback from fellow customers and the prospect’s motivation to accept this feedback.
Say you’re into cycling and you’ve decided to purchase Trek’s latest Emonda line road bike. You read a few less-than-positive reviews online, but brush them off on the understanding that all Internet comments should be taken with a grain of salt. After all, people only review products and services that they absolutely love or absolutely hate – but most customers fall somewhere in between. But then a fellow cyclist whom you respect tells you that he didn’t love the bike. Where you were less inclined to let anonymous reviewers’ feedback affect your buying decision, you are much more motivated by the advice of somebody you know personally. As a side note, while getting negative feedback rarely feels good, I want to encourage you to view feedback the way I do: as a priceless opportunity to improve and grow your business. Complaints and criticisms give you important signals that you need to make changes or else risk losing business from frustrated customers.
Stage #5 – Post-Purchase Behavior (BOFU)
The sales process isn’t done just because a purchase has been made. What happens after the sale is just as important. If your new customers are greeted by a thoughtful onboarding process, personal attention and all the resources they need to use your product successfully, they’re more likely to confirm to themselves that they made the right choice. And when they’re confident, they’re more likely to pass on their satisfaction to others in the form of recommendations and product endorsements.
If your new customers experience disappointment after their purchase, they’re more likely to request refunds, write negative reviews and recommend that others in their social circles purchase from your competitors. There’s not much content you can create to help facilitate a good post-purchase experience — apart from just creating a great product. If you have a great product that solves a problem, post-purchase behavior will take care of itself. There are certain actions you can take to help facilitate better post-purchase behavior. For example, you could create FAQ content, make it easier to get customer support or solicit feedback on the buying process.
Bonus Tool: After you map out your world-class marketing funnel, you’ll need targeted traffic to test the funnel. That’s where ClickFlow comes in. We built a done-for-you SEO audit tool that shows you easy tweaks to blast your funnel with search traffic that converts
AIDA: Another Way to Remember Content Creation Stages
There’s another way to remember the stages of the sales funnel and match them to content creation — with the acronym AIDA: Whether you prefer the traditional sales funnel stages or the acronym AIDA, the results are the same: customers enter the sales funnel and through a process of discernment, choose to either move to another solution or purchase from you. The action at the end of the funnel, or the purchase, concludes the stages of the sales funnel. Although most people enter the funnel at the top, not everyone does. Some will enter at subsequent stages, but the process remains the same no matter which stage someone enters the sales funnel. Learn More:
Content for Every Stage of Your Marketing Funnel
Now that you know how people make decisions, it’s time to create a marketing funnel by creating content that will appeal to people at every stage. Take a look at the following sales funnel template to see how this translates: As you can see, each color-coded section of the funnel pictured above corresponds to a stage in the buying process. The widest tier at the top of the funnel represents “awareness,” the point at which potential customers are beginning their information search. The second tier is “interest,” roughly corresponding to the evaluation of alternatives described in the purchase process above. And, finally, the third and fourth tiers, “desire” and “action,” are self-explanatory. When building a marketing funnel, ask yourself:
- How will customers at this stage find me?
- What kind of information do I need to provide to help them move from one stage to the next?
- How will I know if they have converted or moved from one stage to another?
The image above gives some hints as to how you might answer these questions, and you’ll find that some are easier to answer than others. To continue with our earlier example, let’s see what Molly Marketer did.
Master the sales funnel process with Keap
Sales funnel management is about more than being organized. It’s about giving every potential customer the personal treatment they crave. It’s about making sure you follow up at the right times, every time. So you can spend more of your time doing the most rewarding thing of all: closing sales.
How to Build a Sales Funnel Fast
You’re stoked now, right? You want to create a sales funnel now — and fast. Don’t worry. It’s not as difficult as it might seem.
Step 1: Analyze Your Audience’s Behavior
The more you know about your audience, the more effective your sales funnel becomes. You’re not marketing to everybody. You’re marketing to people who are a good fit for what you sell. Sign up for a Crazy Egg account and start creating Snapshots. These user behavior reports help you monitor site activity and figure out how people engage with your site. Where do they click? When do they scroll? How much time do they spend on a particular page? All of these data points will help you refine your buyer personas.
Step 2: Capture Your Audience’s Attention
The only way your sales funnel works is if you can lure people into it. This means putting your content in front of your target audience. Take the organic route and post tons of content across all of your platforms. Diversify with infographics, videos, and other types of content. If you’re willing to spend more cash, run a few ads. The ideal place to run those ads depends on where your target audience hangs out. If you’re selling B2B, LinkedIn ads might be the perfect solution.
Step 3: Build a Landing Page
Your ad or other content needs to take your prospects somewhere. Ideally, you want to direct them to a landing page with a can’t-miss offer. Since these people are still low in the sales funnel, focus on capturing leads instead of pushing the sale. A landing page should steer the visitor toward the next step. You need a bold call to action that tells them exactly what to do, whether it’s downloading a free e-book or watching an instructional video.
Step 4: Create an Email Drip Campaign
Market to your leads through email by providing amazing content. Do so regularly, but not too frequently. One or two emails per week should suffice. Build up to the sale by educating your market first. What do they want to learn? What obstacles and objections do you need to overcome to convince them to buy? At the end of your drip campaign, make an incredible offer. That’s the piece of content that will inspire your leads to act.
Step 5: Keep in Touch
Don’t forget about your existing customers. Instead, continue reaching out to them. Thank them for their purchases, offer additional coupon codes, and involve them in your social media sphere.
Measuring the Success of a Sales Funnel
Your sales funnel might need tweaks as your business grows, you learn more about your customers, and you diversify your products and services. That’s okay. A great way to measure the success of your sales funnel is to track your conversion rates. How many people, for instance, sign up for your email list after clicking through on a Facebook Ad? Pay careful attention to each stage of the sales funnel:
- Are your capturing the attention of enough consumers with your initial content?
- Do your prospects trust you enough to give you their contact information?
- Have you secured purchases from your email drip campaign and other marketing efforts?
- Do existing customers come back and buy from you again?
Knowing the answers to these questions will tell you where you need to tweak your sales funnel.
Why You Need to Optimize Your Sales Funnel
Here’s the truth: Your prospective customers have lots of options. You want them to choose your products or services, but you can’t force it. Instead, you have to market efficiently. Without a tight, optimized sales funnel, you’re just guessing about what your prospects want. If you’re wrong, you lose the sale. Use Crazy Egg Recordings to watch how people engage with your site during a session. Where do they click? Does anything seem to confuse them? Are they focusing their attention where you want? This is particularly important for those landing pages we talked about. If they’re not optimized for conversions, most people will just click away.
How to Optimize Your Sales Funnel
You can optimize your sales funnel in myriad ways. The most important places to put your focus are on the areas when consumers move to the next point in the funnel. We talked about Facebook Ads. Don’t run just one ad. Run 10 or 20. They might be very similar, but direct them to different buyer personas and use Facebook’s targeting features to make sure those ads appear in front of your target audience. A/B test your landing pages. It takes time, but you’ll reach more people and convert prospects more reliably.
You can also A/B test your email campaigns. Change up your language, imagery, offers, and layouts to figure out what your audience responds to. The best way to optimize your sales funnel, though, is to pay attention to the results. Start with the top of the funnel. You’re creating content, whether paid or organic, to get eyeballs on your brand and to encourage people to click on your CTA. If one piece of content doesn’t work, try something else. Move on to your landing page. Make sure the offer and CTA mimic the content in your blog post or Facebook Ad, or whatever other asset you used to drive traffic there.
Test your headline, body copy, images, and CTA to find out what works best. When you ask people in the Action stage to buy from you, A/B test your offer. Does free shipping work better than a 5 percent discount? These little things can make a huge difference in your revenue. And finally, track your customer retention rate. Do people come back and buy from you a second, fifth, and twentieth time? Do they refer their friends? Your goal is to keep your brand top-of-mind. If you never disappoint your audience, they won’t have a reason to look elsewhere.