With more and more business owners and consumers shopping for services and products online, it is essential to have strong digital sales funnel. With a strong funnel, you can turn your visitors into buyers over a short period of time. There are multiple stages to developing a perfect funnel. All stages need to be split tested, refined and monitored to ensure the visitors are converting consistently.
Having a strong digital sales funnel can be the difference between having a small business and having a multi-million dollar company. Strong funnels have not only given me the opportunity to take multiple startups from $0 in revenue to millions in just months before being acquired. They have also helped me take my marketing agency from $1M to $10M in under a year. Marketers preach about funnels because they expedite business growth. As a business owner, if you want keep up and stay relevant, I highly suggest that you build, refine, test and fully optimize your funnel.
Below you will find everything you need to know about different stages of setting up a successful digital sales funnel and how you can use it to help grow your business.
First, you’ll want to get your brand in front of all of your potential consumers or clients to make them aware of your existence. Whether you are a new startup or existing business, when you advertise on a new platform you have to inform your audience that you are there. Instead of going for the straight sale right from the start, introduce your business and touch your audience with an overall brand/business awareness video or image. The best platform to do this on right is Facebook: You can invest $5 and potentially reach tens of thousands of people. Tell them who you are and what you have to offer to them. Get personal and make it memorable. State your business name/brand, your mission and what you offer. This is the first time you are connecting with consumers on this platform, so don’t try to sell them anything yet. You just want to make let them know that you are there.
The second step in setting up a high-converting digital sales funnel is educating your audience. Teach them what makes you different, why you are better than your competition and what value you have to offer them. Maybe you offer something your competition does not; maybe you were featured in national publications, won awards for your business, are used by some of the largest businesses or sold in some of the biggest retailers. Educate your audience about your business and point out differentiating factors as to why they should shop with you or use your service. The best way to do this is through video. Then, send them to your blog or an informative article. Grab their attention quickly, deliver value and then leave them wanting more. This will make you memorable when you get in front of them for the third time. Sparking their interest will set up curiosity for the third stage of the funnel.
By now you should have made an impression on your audience twice and they should be familiar with what you have to offer and what makes you different from the rest. But they probably still have questions or concerns about moving forward. This is the perfect time to touch them a third time and address those concerns by retargeting them through various channels such as Facebook, YouTube, email and Google display ads. Tell your audience to ask any questions they may have about your business. Ask them for constructive feedback on what they would like to see from your business. This is a perfect opportunity to open up the conversation with your consumers on social platforms and let them know that you actually care about them and what they have to say.
One time, I kept getting the same question over and over again: “As an agency, what are your KPIs to measure success if we work with you?” I quickly realized it was a pain point for potential clients. I made a 45-second video that addressed the question and answered it. At the end of that video, I said, “If there is anything else that you feel I might not have explained or addressed fully, please feel free to reach out!” I then retargeted every potential client I had with this video. That next week, we had to hire an additional customer service representative because of the influx of calls and emails. Through that video, I was able to gain their trust and show clients that we truly care about them. I was then ready for the last stage of my funnel.
The stage everyone is waiting for! After doing everything mentioned above, the time has come to ask for the sale. Your audience is now aware of your business, you educated them on what makes you different, and they have engaged with you on some level. Now is an appropriate time to ask them for something because you delivered value to them and they should trust you. This is where you should use strong calls to action in ads and emails. Use incentivized offers like discount codes if they “buy now” or a free consultation if they “book a call today.” Split test different incentives and see what your audience responds best to.
Keep in mind that the conversions funnel is a continuous and changing cycle, and your methods should be as well. The conversations you have with your customers today may not be as effective tomorrow. Always be asking yourself what you could do to improve the customer experience.
This article was originally published at Forbes.com, by author RChad Keller.