Welcome to the third and final installment of my Beyond Social Media series. If you missed the previous posts, make sure you check out the post on blogging and on email marketing. This week I wanted to get into funnels – what exactly they are and why you need one. A lot of business owners are pretty clueless when it comes to setting up funnels that convert for their businesses. A good funnel is going to provide value for potential clients and encourage them to make a purchase. So let’s jump right into it.
What Is A Funnel?
Funnels (or more commonly known as a sales funnel) is the journey a person takes in becoming a client or customer. Let’s pretend you have a brick-and-mortar candle shop at the mall. The people at the beginning of your funnel walk by your shop. A certain percentage of those walk inside and enter your next funnel. From there, a potential customer sees a display with candles on sale. She starts picking each one up and smelling the different scents. They are now in the next step of your funnel. They decide to pick two candles and head to the register, entering the last step of your funnel. If all goes well, they make a purchase and complete the funnel.
This same process works in both the physical and digital space and can be used in pretty much any business.
Why You Need Funnels?
Since a funnel is a journey someone takes before making a purchase, understanding your funnel can help you find where prospects drop out and never convert. If you don’t understand your sales funnel, you can’t optimize it. There are essentially four stages of a funnel and understanding each, can help you build a better funnel that will get you more clients.
- Awareness: The awareness stage is almost like trying to get someone to swipe in a dating app. This is where you’re going to catch a person’s attention. It could be through a Facebook post, Instagram reel, a Google search, or maybe even by being mentioned in a conversation. Here is where a person becomes aware of your business and what you have to offer. In an ideal world, they become a client immediately. But more often, you’re going to have to slide in the DMs (if we’re still talking our dating app analogy) in order to keep the process moving.
- Interest: You’ve peaked their interest and they’ve swiped! Here is where a potential client might start doing research, comparison shop, and/or look at their options. You want to give them content that is valuable and help but isn’t selling. When you push products or services at the beginning, you can turn off potential leads. The goal here is to establish your self as “dateable” (your expertise) and guide your lead to making an informed decision.
- Decision: Will they date you? Here is where the client decides to go from lead to client. They probably have several options but we want them to pick you! This is where you make your best offer. It could be free shipping, a bonus gift, or time back in their day. Whatever you’re offering, make it something that the lead feels they need to take advantage of right away.
- Action: Hopefully your lead has now said yes to your date! The final stage of a funnel is when the lead takes action. They’ve made a purchase and are now in your business’s life cycle.But this doesn’t mean that your work is done! You want to turn one sale into repeat sales which means focusing on client retention. Express gratitude for the purchase, invite the client to give feedback, or make yourself available for additional support.