What Is An Online Marketing Funnel
A marketing funnel is designed around the journey a typical customer takes before making the decision to purchase. The primary purpose of a marketing funnel is to capture customer prospects and help them make the decision to buy your product in a specified time frame. A marketing funnel is more about finesse and building trust than making a quick buck.
When customers go online to conduct research before buying, they are likely to search for information from friends, family members and then do a more general search online, depending on the type of product or service they are considering. A successful marketing funnel attracts online customers with relevant content designed to answer common questions that prospective customers may have.
The design of a sales funnel either encourages customer engagement or discourages it based on the perceived value of the information being offered. A well-designed sales funnel moves a customer from one step to the next, building trust throughout the sales cycle until they finally become a paying customer. Companies like Convincely are experts in building conversion funnels that translate into more sales via better customer engagement. Personalisation throughout the interaction ensures relevancy and offers stimulating choices that keep prospects inside your company’s funnel instead of drifting off to a competitor’s site.
The Sales Funnel Stages
MailMunch defines the four stages of a marketing funnel as awareness, interest, decision, and action. It is crucial that you have a detailed profile of your typical customer before moving forward with a sales funnel. Once you have defined your target audience and fully understand the problem your company is solving for them, then it becomes easier to provide the necessary information needed to design an effective sales funnel.
Knowing what questions your ideal prospect will be asking is crucial for sales funnel design. What words will they use to find you when searching on Facebook? What social media sites are they most likely to visit? If you can answer these questions accurately, then you can design a marketing funnel that appeals to your customer.
The Benefits of a Marketing Funnel
1. Builds trust with prospects and customers.
Medium applauds the use of autoresponder emails designed to build trust over time. Some prospects make quick decisions while others require more attention in the form of follow-up emails that offer additional data. Emails that are full of valuable information build a rapport with prospective clients.
2. Nurtures prospects on demand to improve sales conversion rates.
The information age has created a more customer-centric business landscape of sophisticated buyers who conduct extensive and ongoing research. Marketing funnels are uniquely designed to nurture information-thirsty prospects on their terms, 24/7, 365 days a year.
3. Provides critical, customised data to fuel long-term customer relationships.
Relevancy is personal. Marketing funnels allow marketers to customise messages based on previous communication with the customer or group in question. Forbes reports that one of the biggest turnoffs for customers is to be bombarded with information they have no interest in receiving.
4. Increases sales revenue.
MarTech Series reports that marketing funnels increase revenue. These funnels allow marketers to test pricing and direct buyers to different pages based on the data they supply. A well-designed funnel ensures that your company doesn’t unnecessarily leave money on the table. Why sell a product or service for $19 if there are customers willing to pay $39 or even more.
5. Increases the lifetime value of each customer.
Sales funnels keep customers engaged for the long-term. When set up properly, the first purchase is just the beginning of a lifetime relationship with customers. Medium reports that returning customers are big spenders compared to other shoppers, spending on average about three times more than one-time only shoppers.
Why Marketing Funnels Are Essential for Online Success in Today’s Marketplace
1. Customers are well-researched and have high expectations that can be met by a well-designed marketing funnel.
Customers will no longer accept a one-size-fits-all approach to being sold products or services. Instead, they expect personal attention and helpful information to assist them in making a good decision. A marketing funnel allows your company to address them by answering questions on an as-needed basis throughout the buying cycle, regardless of how long or short that period of time is. Trust is an essential ingredient for success in this new marketplace. Selling is no longer as simple as herding prospects to a simple landing page and expecting them to purchase immediately.
2. High-pressure tactics to force a buyer to purchase aren’t as effective today.
Buyers recognise the changes in the buying process and know they have access to unlimited information online whenever they want it. A customer-friendly marketing funnel allows the buyer to take their time and gather information until they are ready to take the plunge and commit. Marketing funnels accommodate the new marketing landscape where the customer is in the driver’s seat. Traditional sales tactics where sellers try to force the buyer into making a decision quickly no longer work as well, as the customer has so many more, equally as persuasive options.
3. A first-rate marketing funnel complements the use of email which yields high conversion rates consistently.
Email is a proven winner for marketers. Medium reports that email is 40 times better for new customer acquisition than social media giants like Facebook and Twitter. It is not unusual to see conversion rates as high as 20 percent which is considered outstanding in the online marketing world.
4. Customers respond to personalised interactions specific to their needs and interests.
The modern consumer demands personal attention. Research by the Boston Consulting Group shows that brands offering personalised experiences enjoy revenue increases of six to ten percent over those who don’t.
Online sales represent the future as more buyers go online every day. Tapping into this wealth of new opportunity is about having the right marketing funnel in place to capture the attention of those prospects.
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