To boost your traffic and sales, you’ve invested heavily in your site’s optimization. You’re constantly working on its responsiveness to make it relevant to both desktop and mobile searchers. Also, you’re doing both on-page and off-page SEO, creating valuable content regularly, and promoting your brand via email and social networks.
Still, your sales are unsatisfactory.
Well, you’re not the only one facing this problem. Namely, statistics tell us that 79% of marketing leads never convert into sales.
Why is this so?
The answer is simple- you’re not nurturing your leads properly. Worse yet, MarketingSherpa emphasizes that a whopping 68% of companies haven’t even identified their sales funnel.
Here is what you need to do to give your sales funnel a boost.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a series of steps you develop to guide your website visitors toward making a buying decision. The main purpose of the funnel is to raise your target audience’s awareness of your brand and boost their interest in your products or services. By providing your leads with a plethora of actionable steps, your sales funnel boosts their user experience and helps them take the desired action effortlessly.
Understanding the Stages of a Sales Funnel
Every effective sales funnel is a multi-step process that turns prospective customers into loyal buyers. Most importantly, each step or stage of your funnel has a different purpose and, therefore, requires a different approach.
The top of the funnel
When represented visually, your sales funnel is the widest at its top. This is when prospects with different levels of knowledge about your brand land on your site. The top of the sales funnel is actually the very beginning of your brand’s relationship with your customers, an exploratory stage they need to go through.
When visiting your site for the first time, most of your leads will be totally unaware of your brand. Some may have heard of you, but they have never been interested in examining you any further. There are also those people who are familiar with your brand and products, but they have never thought of buying from you.
Given these facts, it’s obvious that your goal here is not to make a sale. On the contrary, you need to prove your leads how valuable and relevant your brand may be to them. Most importantly, you need to keep them interested in what you have to offer.
The middle of the funnel
The middle of your sales funnel is where you spark visitors’ interest in your products or services and turn them into your leads. This is when your visitors start assessing the relevance of your brand and considering whether they should stay or leave your site.
The middle of the funnel is immensely important to you, as well. At this point, you start collecting data about your customers. Your aim is to gather as many data as possible to get the most of your customer segmentation. Offer them sign-up forms, email courses, free content- anything that gets them to leave their email address to you will be valuable.
The bottom of the funnel
At this stage, your customers examine the benefits of your product, assess whether it meets their demands, and research how easy it is to make a purchase on your site. This is where you use the data on your customers’ buying behaviors to motivate them to make a purchase. All your strategies need to be specifically tailored to your customers’ buying preferences and targeted to their needs and requirements. In order to focus on the research, as a staple of marketing strategy, you can save time by hiring a third party for some activities, like appointment setters.
Are your Landing Pages Engaging Enough?
Simply put, a landing page is any page on your domain, where your visitors can land on. It lives separately from your website and you can use it to achieve your any goal, from capturing your customers’ contact information to making a sale. As it is more specific than your homepage, your landing page is one of your major conversion boosters.
Now, creating a landing page is simple. However, building the one that resonates with your customers and inspires them to take the desired action is pretty complex. Here is what you need to keep in mind:
- Come up with an engaging headline that grabs your customers’ attention and informs them what your products or services are about. Make it concise- preferably, about 10 words.
- Invest in visuals to boost engagement. When using images, make sure they are high-quality, large enough, and relevant to your brand and products.
- Offer a straightforward value proposition. Your goal is not only to familiarize your customers with your brand, but also to explain how they can benefit from it.
- Get to know your customers and figure out what keeps them up at night. You need to address their major problems and represent your brand as an effective antidote to it. Here, you’re not selling only a product, but also an idea behind it.
- Include testimonials and social proof, as they are the most significant trust signals. Always use testimonials from real people and make sure they’re backed by real facts and figures.
- Don’t forget to include your contact information to prove you’re real.
- Design a powerful call to action. Use contrasting colors, make it big enough, and leave a lot of white space to make it easy to spot. Also, make sure it’s visually appealing. Use colors that are contrasting, but make sure they go well with the rest of the page. When it comes to the text of your CTA, avoid generic phrases such as "Submit now."
Are You Getting the Most of your Traffic?
Once you optimize your website and landing pages, you need to drive some quality traffic to them. Without it, they would be useless. However, this may be easier said than done. Namely, to boost your website traffic, you need to stick to the tried and tested digital marketing practices. Even though they depend on your objectives, customers, and resources, here are a few universally accepted methods you should invest in:
Content marketing goes hand-in-hand with boosting your customer conversions. The advantages of implementing content marketing are multiple. First, by creating quality, relevant, and industry-specific content, you will establish yourself as authoritative. Second, it engages your customers and keeps them interested in your site. Third, it educates your customers about your brand’s value and helps them take the desired action.
But, to get the most of your conversions, you need to develop content that is:
- Relevant to your niche and target audience. If you’re an online retailer, for example, you could write about optimizing ecommerce sites for search engines, attracting new customers, or choosing trending products to sell at the given moment.
- Highly engaging. Experiment with the forms of content. To make your content interactive, take advantage of visual content, such as infographics, videos, memes, or images.
- Consistent- it should look like it belongs to the same brand.
- Specific. Spammy content filled to the brim with poor links may get you penalized by Google.
- Trending- it needs to cover the latest industry trends and answer most common questions that remained unanswered.
Over the past few years, pay per click (PPC) advertising has gained momentum as one of the most effective ways to generate web traffic and boost conversions. They gained in popularity for a few reasons.
For starters, they can reach people on different channels. To make sure you address all your potential customers, you can combine Facebook ads with Twitter ads and search engine PPC ads.
Most importantly, they are highly targeted. Namely, with Facebook’s “Choose your Audience” and Twitter’s “Tailored Audiences,” you can target your customers based on their locations, education, financial status, relationships status, job, interests, and buying habits.
Social media marketing
Social media marketing is the nerve center of every successful digital marketing campaign. It plays an immensely important rule at the beginning and middle of your sales funnel.
Social networks not only allow you to share various forms of content and boost your customers’ engagement, but also connect with them on a more personal level. Namely, with the help of social media monitoring tools, you can keep track of your brand and product mentions and participate in your customers’ discussions in real time. The engaging nature of social networks will move your customers from the brand awareness stage to the "tell me more" stage.
Implement Lead Magnets
If a stranger asks you to give them your phone number or address, would you do so? Of course not. The same goes for your brand and your customers’ email addresses. They won’t give it to you unless they have a good reason. And, as a marketer, you need to give such a reason to them.
That’s where lead magnets shine. Namely, lead magnets can be described as the act of incentivizing your customers for providing their email or some other contact information. For example, you could offer them a checklist, a cheat sheet, a template, a toolkit, ebooks, tutorials, a whitepaper, an infographic, and so on.
When choosing your link magnet, keep in mind that it needs to:
- Solve a real problem your customers face.
- Be specific and clearly state what your customers get by signing up for your email list.
- Be easy to digest. Infographics, videos, or checklists are better conversion boosters than lengthy, overwhelming types of content like ebooks or whitepapers.
- Have a high-perceived value.
- Demonstrate your authority and relevance.
How Effective is your Email Marketing Campaign?
Once you create relevant content, you need to promote it widely and that’s where email marketing shines. Even though many marketers believed that, with the rise of social networks, email marketing will disappear, that never happened.
The main reason why an email marketing campaign is important lies in the fact that it creates a strong relationship with a prospect gradually. Even though these campaigns widely range according to your needs, they all have a common goal- to build a series of emails that keep reminding prospects of your brand.
Back to You
Even though building a powerful sales funnel may be a pretty daunting task, it is definitely worth it.
Remember, to lead your customers from the top of your sales funnel down to its bottom, you need to focus on creating fully optimized landing pages, give your organic traffic a boost, implement lead magnets, and take advantage of email marketing. Most importantly, to assess the effectiveness of your offer funnel and detect any potential leaks, you need to monitor and measure it continuously.
Finally, always remember that, parallel with your market needs, your customers’ requirements change at an astonishing rate, as well. Your main aim is to stay on top of these changes and adapt your online presence to them as soon as possible.
Always ask yourself: “What can I do to provide my customers with the utmost user experience?” This way, you will not only boost your sales, but also build stronger relationships with your target audience.
Emma Miller is a Sydney based writer with a degree in marketing. Interested in digital marketing, social media, start-ups and latest trends. She’s a contributor at BizzMark Blog.