This Sales Funnel Explained series is for business owners who want to know how to increase leads and customers. There is a method to increasing sales and the SALES FUNNEL provides a framework to achieving that goal. The Sales Funnel Explained series is in 3 parts:
- The Stages of the Funnel
- The Marketing Tools for each stage of the funnel
- The Marketing Messages for each stage of the funnel
PART 3: The Marketing Messages for each Stage of the Funnel
In part 3 of the Sales Funnel Explained series I will outline the different marketing messages that should be used during the stages of the funnel. As you can imagine, different stages of communicating to an audience will have a different purpose and a different way of speaking and messaging, so it is important to match the right message to the right stage of the funnel so that it meets the planned purpose.
The whole design of the funnel should be with the customer experience in mind, more so than your business goal. It is a marrying of the two, but when your main priority is getting “the sale” you will miss out on nurturing and building a trusting and life-long connection. So, when it comes to the marketing message always keep your customer in mind.
What is a Marketing Message?
A marketing message (or marketing copy, copywriting) is a key instrument in reaching your target audience. It is an important part of the sales funnel process and should change to suit the audience and goals. The key steps of writing an effective marketing message are:
- identifying and knowing the target market
- identifying the “problem” your target market experiences
- presenting your “solution” to the problem
- speaking to their wants, desires, pains & barriers
- presenting evidence of results achieved for others
- explaining why your solution is the best option
And, for an absolutely winning marketing message, do all of the above in the language and lingo that your target audience understands and resonates with.
Knowing your audience well is the foundation to writing a good message
Being aware of your goal for each stage helps you identify the best marketing message to write. Below is an overview of the stages of the funnel and the goal for each:
- Top of Funnel: in the first stage you communicate as though a stranger – you are building trust and causing them to think about the problem that you can resolve.
- Middle of Funnel: in the second stage you communicate as though an acquaintance – continue to develop trust in you by using the same lingo, speaking to their wants & pains and sharing your own story.
- Bottom of Funnel: in the third stage you are now communicating as though friends – by this stage they are deciding to make a purchase so bust doubts upfront and reassure them that you are their best option.
Let’s look at each of the stages in more detail…
At the top of the funnel you are communicating with people who may not know your business. In Part 1 (Funnel Stages) and 2 (Marketing Tools) of this series, we have identified them as a “cold audience” and as a “stranger”.
The top section is about creating “awareness” of your business, building trust, using quizzes or questions to get them thinking about, or more clearly identifying and realising, their problem. With quizzes it doesn’t have to be the old-fashioned question and answer survey anymore. Facebook Carousel Ads are being used by advertisers as a fun and interactive way of asking questions and getting people to realise the problem that they may not be aware of yet.
Think about how you would speak to a stranger, someone you are meeting for the first time. Your language would be polite, more formal, precise, you might spend more time and attention, clearly explaining what needs to be stated.
The awareness stage is simple just that – helping them become aware of:
- their problem (yep, they may not know they have it)
- your solution to the problem
- that your solution is the best one
Connecting the required messaging to the best tools for the stage of the funnel will help you work out whether your messaging will be written (ads & blog posts) or spoken (video, podcasts & webinars).
Once potential customers reach the Middle of the Funnel you are now working with a “warm audience” who are now aware of their problem, your business and that you offer a solution they might be interested in. They are also becoming acquaintances.
This is where you’re using “their language” to show that you are in “their space”. Many people come into business because they’ve gone through an experience, they’ve grown and learned from that experience and have decided to start up a business in order to share or to help others through the same journey. If you’ve got a similar story, this is where you share that. Just as you might share it with an acquaintance, more so than a complete stranger.
If you share that story, they will resonate with you, strengthening that connection and relationship. If you are writing/talking in their language about the same wants and pains that they have; and you’re saying that you’ve got a solution and worked out “how to do it” or “how to fix it”, well that’s a strong message that helps potential customers to make decisions during this consideration stage.
So the key elements to your marketing messages at this stage are:
- to use the customers language and lingo
- speak to them in a more personal, relatable way
- share some personal and relevant stories
Once your potential customers have cycled into the bottom of the funnel they have transitioned from being a stranger, to an acquaintance to a friend. They are now a hot audience. They are close to making a buying decision.
This stage is about “acquisition”, and this is where you should bust out any of those hesitations or barriers that are stopping them from stepping over the line and making that purchase.
The messaging at this stage should be reassuring them that you are the right choice. Think about this, you can’t go busting doubts of a complete stranger – that would be considered pushy or rude. However, by this stage of the funnel you have taken them through a process of communication, conversation and building trust in a way that is real and authentic. So the messaging can be shorter, to the point, casual and direct – but in the way that suits your particular target market. That approach of communicating will be different to a twenty-something female as it would to a sixty year old female.
The Last Word
A successful sales funnel comes from:
- having a good understanding of your target audience and ideal customers;
- knowing how you to speak to them during each stage of the funnel
- knowing the best marketing tools to achieve the funnels purpose
so that you can successfully help them move through and onto a purchase whereby their wants and needs are met.
Now you know the stages of the Sales Funnel, the types of tools that best suit each stage, and the type of messaging to use at each stage of the funnel you are now better prepared to create your own sales funnel strategy.