10 Reasons Why Businesses Should Use Sales Funnels
What is sales funnel? And should you be using one?
While some businesses are already utilizing a sale funnel there is still a large percentage that do not. Many businesses don’t fully understand the purpose of what a sales funnel is or the sales funnel stages and how it can help your business become more effective in the sales cycle. This article will shed a little light on the subject and provide valid reasons as to why you should consider utilizing them.
1. Funnels help increase sales
A funnel is a visual representation of a marketing campaign. It helps you identify the best ways to target your marketing efforts, and to direct them towards the most effective method of reaching your audience. When you know where your audience is, you can focus your efforts on the most effective methods or channels.
A funnel allows you to visualize your eCommerce channel. It helps you to optimize maximum efficiency rules in your marketing design, through the design of placement and tracking of purchases on the site.
Let’s move on to the next section dedicated to a real-life example.
An eCommerce marketing funnel is a channel often used for eCommerce stores to foster long-term sustainable relationships with their prospective customers. It is an approach that focuses more on selling products through the channel of advertising and where conversion tracking shall be based on user actions rather than product purity.
This specific channel is easy to adapt to. Oftentimes developers can place ads in the text of digital stores to increase conversion.
2. Funnels allow you to target customers by the way they like to buy
The top two reasons people give for not buying online are because they don’t know what they want and because they don’t know where to start. But once they do know what they want, the biggest reason they don’t buy is that they don’t know where to start.
Marketers can build awareness by embedding increasingly targeted and valuable products within their content. But beyond the positioning and messaging, we can find customer value by providing information on how to use/find the product. After somebody finds the product they want, it becomes easier for them to learn how to do more of what they want to do (product advocacy) than finding other buyers for the product (sales) — for whatever reason, the less they need to learn how to do things, the easier it becomes.
Both of these experiences — awareness, and advocacy — require people to be able to see what they want in different contexts. This context can be video, but it can also be other resources and videos and symbols and pictures and even actual products that people find enjoyable or useful.
Loyalty programs always run ads and give contest entries and other incentives. One important way to give context to what you’re incentivizing is to talk non-stop about what other people find valuable.
The fanciest member of your audience is not going to find your views on Amazon debating the best way to get the Santa suit (assuming they even know that’s a thing) and how to kill a moose. Even if they could figure out how to get the suit, they won’t ever take action on it because they already know them.
The fanciest member of your audience is most likely going to see your videos on their phones. Those videos will either be full of someone else talking about how awesome YSL perfume is or will feature more pictures of imaginary people wearing the perfume in their stories.
3. Funnels ensure repeat purchases
Think of your funnel as a funnel for your customers. It’s important to make sure that there’s a consistent flow of people through it so that you can ensure that they’re coming back to you time and again. To create this funnel, it’s helpful to consider how your existing customers might encounter your product or service.
In identifying customers who could potentially come back for more, you also need to think about people who might be on your list already but might not look at it right now. These could be potential customers for your business who are engaged, driving toward profitability, and are not currently a high-priority target for a conversion event.
Either way, the point is that you need to have a system in place for redirecting visitors, or customers, whose flow is currently unclear.
Your customer journey map, or funnel, can be thought of as a series of ways that customers can interact and possibly become a customer of your business. It’s a snapshot in time as to what’s taken place before a potential customer makes a decision to buy and becomes a paying customer.
The map can be broken down into financing — periods before customers become especially financially engaged — and conversion points. Conversion points are the actual stages as to when a customer makes a decision to convert to the next phase in the customer journey. The mapping below suggests a funnel for financing and a final reversal or conversion point if you would like to include it in additional detail.
The elements that make up the funnel can include the phases of the lifecycle (i.e., what steps the customer takes before and after a purchase decision is made), the modes the customers make a purchase in and the purchase transaction, and the more detailed “steps” in the customer journey that can be encompassed.
4. Funnels focus on a specific type of customer
Funnels are a great way to focus on a specific type of customer, but you have to be mindful that you’re not going to lose people by also targeting a broader audience. It’s well known that content marketing is more effective when the audience you’re targeting has already decided to do business with you and vice versa. One key reason for this is that when people are already thinking about a purchase you can capture them quicker and get a deal done.
While it’s best to have a good understanding of your marketing funnel’s inner workings and figure out which should permeate the rest, you can run A/B tests with individual segments to see where the best opportunities lie.
An A/B test is a controlled experiment providing users with two versions of a website or product or service.
The advantage of testing in this way is that you capture data in a controlled environment where you can observe results, instead of those of a user exposed to random variations of a final product.
If there’s a particular of people that show higher levels of conversion than others, you can test to see if you can reach them with ads going toward that niche.
Funnels are an odd beast in that they predate the web, so most of the modern web is basically built around funnel-based promotions.
In general, the goal of a funnel is to gather individuals from a larger pool of potential customers and then quickly and precisely funnel those individuals over each stage.
You can’t make up your own mind on any of this, but if I’d happily invest my time in learning about all the different aspects of a funnel I’d have a few days in Silicon Valley to do some real-world testing.
Gauging the effectiveness of a promotion by comparing its effectiveness to the effectiveness of a different, similar strategy is just another form of A/B testing.
5. Funnels improve visibility and conversion rate.
When you have a clear path from a prospect to a sale, you can see which pieces of content are working and which aren’t. You can then make changes to improve your funnel and increase the conversion rate.
6. Blogging is a business.
As a blogger, you can tell your business’ story across channels like social media, which will help keep your content relevant to the subject your focus on. New blog post subject line will help you show up as a thought leader in need of certain keywords. Also, blogging sends traffic your way that you couldn’t reach otherwise. There are experiment wings for startups and B2B businesses to gain insight into the effectiveness of their marketing.
7. Design helps make everything easier.
Matthew Housel highlights his experience in the design of his workplace. He describes how visual identity and organization can drive a full transformation of an enterprise. Only by making our own decisions can organizations change for the better. Having made adjustments, he says that “the new system is better, better, better.”
8. News is the new sales.
News is the new lead magnet. Every business is trying new marketing tactics in 2021 to drive new customers. You are going to read articles about newsletter open rates, email subscribers, and others. What you won’t read about are successful marketing campaigns. Buzzsprout lists 30 marketing initiatives they found most beneficial in their annual forecasting survey.
9. Site architecture is foundational to a website.
Acquiring and managing content and building user flows take effort, but without a website, it’s harder to market effectively. The goal of marking something as “iPad only” or “iOS only” deters disorders among users of a platform and helps deter infringement litigation.
10. Commerce is nurturing.
What happens when customers pass through the point of no return? A return on investment is the answer. Remember to help them on their way back to your site, not in front of your site. Use the “pull” method to engage with leads using e-mail newsletters.
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