Sale funnel and online marketing

Sale funnel is one of the common concept in marketing for a long time and we use it nowaday in digital marketing strategy.

In this article we talk about a “sales funnel” and its usage in digital marketing.
A sales funnel is a structure that depicts the customer journey starting from the awareness stage until the purchase a product or service. There usually is a gap in the marketing and advertising steps. We actually can improve upon the structure of the sales funnel to fill these gaps.
In this article, we will look at a 5-stages sales funnel and cite where it can be improved for better tracking and results. In general, the sales funnel can be divided into three parts: the upper part is called the awareness part, the middle part is called the evaluation part and the lower part is called the conversion part.

Our Sale funnel has 5 stages:
Awareness – interest – desire – action – loyalty

5 Stages Sale funnel

We want to examine these 5 steps from the perspective of customers and sellers.

Examining the sales From the perspective of customers:

In the “awareness” stage, a customer is looking for a way to solve a problem.
In the “interest” stage they begin to do some research surfing the web and finding options.
In the “desire” stage the customer contemplates whether to buy and make a decision.
In the “action” stage your potential customer begins to think about who to buy from – your shop or a competitor’s.

Finally loyalty, if the customer is satisfied, the customer will think about whether they will buy from the same vendor again. If it was positive, the customer is likely to share information about their shopping experience with their friends. This is great “word of mouth” advertising.

Examining the sales funnel from a marketing perspective:

The Awareness stage
Tools: Social media, SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), email marketing and even more.

In the “awareness” stage we inform users that we exist, our services are exist and our solution is the best solution to their problem. Our tools are social media, SEO (search engine optimization), SEM (search engine marketing), email marketing and etc. In this step, users may click on one of our ads get to know about the company and the products on offer. But will they complete the purchase? We don’t know yet. All of the steps in our funnel are important so we shouldn’t spend all of our budget and energy on this step.
On the other hand if we don’t attribute enough budget for this step we may not find the potential clients so it’s important to plan for better execution.

The Interest Stage
Tools: Our tools in this stage are landing pages, FAQs, User guides, Webinars, Online videos, Media interviews, Testimonials, Blogs and etc.

In the “interest” stage when users reach a landing page or any other environment that we may try to target them with, they expect their navigation of the website (part of the user journey, which I will elaborate on in other Article) to be easy and convenient. All important information, common questions and answers, and details about the service or product should be listed and easily accessible. This may mean including a Chabot or an FAQ section. The user may have loyalty to other brands but its in this stage we can compete by providing clear and compelling information on the product or service.

The Desire Stage
Tools: Our tools in this stage are our ratings, reviews, testimonials and etc.

Let’s suppose our customer got the answer of all his questions, what happens now? He enters to the desire stage.

In the “desire” stage the user needs to research a bit more beyond his cursory google search. For instance, they may consult with friends, compare the prices with retail shops, or search with different keywords. User are very likely to search for your product or service in Google so its very important to be present on all virtual channels, websites and blogs.

The Action Stage
Tools: Website, Store layout, Sales related paraphernalia and etc.

In the “action” stage users may take look at social media to see if your business is present or if anyone has mentioned your product or service. Many people discuss, analyze and shop for products and services on social media. Don’t forget your competitor they are also clever like you and they can take your customer at any stage in the sales funnel.

The Loyalty Stage
Tools: Surveys, reward programs, guaranties, customer support, social media, emails, word of mouth ads
The most important stage of this funnel is loyalty. We must maintain and nurture customer relationships in order to create a loyal customer base. Research has shown that retaining only 5% of customers for a company increases its profits by 30% per year.

Not only will loyal customers shop with you again, but they will also share their positive shopping experience with friends and on social networks. This is the best advertisement for your brand.

How to Improve the Funnel

We need to improve our funnel by studying the behavior of our users because even the best funnels leak.

One example on how to improve the funnel would be using user behavior. Let’s say a user enters a landing page and explores the site. Offering a promotion or discount as a pop-up based on the user’s initial behavior is a very effective way to capture attention. Offer the users a discount if they leave their email. This way, you incentivize the user to stay on your webpage and send them email marketing material to keep an open channel of communication.

Example of designing a sales funnel for a phone repair center

In the awareness stage, I use SEM, PPC, SEO and affiliate marketing with phone shops.

In the interest stage, I send the users to the site landing page. In this section, I provide users enough information about the material, equipment, FAQ, the location of the service center and etc.
In the desire stage, I will ask users to enter their email. From then on, I will regularly send them articles and materials about mobile phones as well as discounts related to special occasions.
In the action stage I will send subscribers promotions and always remind them of the excellent quality and reasonable price of my materials and services. I will effectively communicate the added value of my products.

For Loyalty i would aim to make a user feel exclusive by making them a member of my “customer club.” I would later contact him after the purchase, I will evaluate his purchase experience. I can also send a survey to see how the customer feels I could improve the sales process.

Myna is a full service digital marketing agency that can help optimize and map out the best sales funnel for your company. We will build solutions based on your product or service and your target market.

Learn more…