How to Effectively Guide Your Customers Through the Journey of Decision
Do you want to be more intentional and effective in your marketing?
Maybe it's time to refocus on the journey you want customers to take. As a map is to a road trip, a sales funnel can serve as a guide for your prospects.
Sales are more than just transactions; they involve several stages of decision. Push too hard, and people run. Keep it too casual, and they delay. What is the ideal balance? Creating a sales funnel (or a content path for prospects to follow) can engage people every step of the way.
People can't buy from you if they don't know you exist, and they won't buy from you if they don't trust you.
Here are five stages to consider as you seek to move them from a posture of spectating to the point of final sale.
In this step, prospects learn about your existence.
Just like dating, before you can introduce yourself to someone, you need to catch their eye. As you consider this stage of communication, ask yourself, "what will drive traffic in our direction? What will spark curiosity or attract interest?" Combining excellent print and digital marketing will put a memorable face on your business.
Now that you've got their attention, be sure to keep it!
Here, prospects move beyond general awareness to intentional engagement. Ask yourself "what will engage them enough that they won't drift away?" Seek to grow a top-of-mind presence while you showcase your skills and build their trust.
Beyond just flirting, now two parties consider a match.
Your prospect evaluates your product or services, and you work hard to gain their commitment. Ask yourself, "what information do they need to make a decision?" Identify what is holding them back and outline unique selling points or benefits.
Now it's time for the big ask.
What irresistible offer or personal touch can you use to tip them toward action? Use incentives, bonus products, or hints of urgency to close the sale.
Did you know that the probability of selling to a new customer is 5-20 percent, while the chances of selling to an existing customer are estimated at 60-70 percent?
Perhaps the most essential part of your funnel is convincing current customers to keep coming back! After closing the deal ask yourself, "what messages of gratitude or additional incentives can I offer? How can I invite feedback, involve customers in an on-going conversation, or upsell the clients I already have?" The best part of a working funnel is turning one purchase into 10, or 10 sales into 100.
Begin with the End in Mind
To build a successful funnel, you need to start at the bottom. What is your ideal outcome? Define how many subscribers you want or how many products you hope to sell. Quantify the goal, then work backward to plan your marketing. Here's one example:
The Apple Blossom boutique noticed that when they sent a printed direct mail teaser, about 20% of recipients visited a specific Apple Blossom URL that was created as an online landing page. Of these online visitors, 10% of browsers made a purchase. Using this data, Apple Blossom started at the bottom of the funnel to work backward for their marketing goals. The boutique wanted to make 100 sales for its spring promotion. If 10% of URL visitors would ultimately purchase, Apple Blossom knew they needed to bring around 1,000 people to this online landing page. If only 20% of direct mail recipients would visit them online, the boutique needed to send printed mail teasers to 5,000 individuals.
The Backbone of Customer Relationships
Sales funnels are the backbone of your customer relationships, helping you focus on the right customers and honing these relationships for maximum potential.
Offer people value at every stage and customers will put their trust in you with their wallets and their loyalty.