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 2: The Marketing Tools for each Stage of the Funnel
In part 2 of the Sales Funnel Explained series I will outline the different marketing tools that should be used during the stages of the funnel. As you can imagine, different tools have a different purpose so it is important to match the right tool to the right stage of the funnel so that it meets the planned purpose.
What is a Marketing Tool?
A marketing tool is any activity, strategy, app or software used to develop and promote a business, its products and/or services. An example of marketing tools include but are not limited to:
- websites, sales pages, landing pages
- email marketing campaigns, their apps and providers
- promotional materials such as flyers, ads, brochures, signage, banners
- online and offline marketing activities such as Google and Facebook Ads
- lead magnets such as ebooks, training videos, webinars, consult calls
- social media sites and campaigns
- market research surveys and focus groups.
Knowing your goal determines the tool
Being aware of your goal for each stage helps you identify the best marketing tools to use. Below is an overview of the stages of the funnel and the goal for each:
- Top of Funnel: the first stage is about attracting traffic – your goal is to help them become more aware of your business, brand and offering.
- Middle of Funnel: in the second stage the goal is lead generation – using tools to collect contact information so you can continue developing the relationship.
- Bottom of Funnel: in the third stage you are nurturing customers – by this stage they are showing a genuine interest in what you are offering so the goal is to nurture them towards a purchase.
Let’s look at each of the stages in more detail…
TOP: Brand Awareness
Remember, at the top of the funnel you are communicating with people who may not know your business. They have a problem that needs solving, and you have the solution. So the marketing tools that you are going to use in this phase should appeal to a “cold audience” by being non-threatening and non-invasive.
Usually creating “Brand Awareness” is the focus. You can do this extremely well through videos that are displayed through Facebook Ads and Google Ads.
Additionally, applying search engine optimisation (SEO) on web pages or blog posts that connect your solution to the “searched” problem is also effective. For example, the potential customer types into Google what their problem is, and you want your website or your blog post to come on top of the search results – that’s where optimising your website for good search results comes into play.
MIDDLE: Lead Generation
Once potential customers reach the Middle of the Funnel you are now working with a “warm audience” who are now aware of your business and that you offer a solution they might be interested in.
Ideally, you now want to know who these people are by having access to the contact information in whichever format you prefer to communicate through (email, phone, mail). The way you can capture this information is by offering a “lead magnet” which you pass on for free (or at a low cost) in exchange for their contact details. Typical lead magnets include:
- PDF ebooks
- training videos
- live training webinars
- access to an email series on a certain topic
- a handy guide or how-to about the certain topic
There are different tools that can be used to achieve this, and the best tool for you will vary depending on your particular strategy, audience and price point. Some of the common tools in this stage are:
- a landing page with a lead contact form
- retargeting ads
- a Facebook Ad using Facebook’s built-in lead form
- a Google Ad that links to a landing page with a lead contact form
- booking software such as Calendly to schedule consult/sales calls
- Mailchimp or ConvertKit (or other email marketing provider) to store the lead contact information
LANDING PAGE: is a standalone page that is about one specific product or service. It will have a “Call to Action” which is the one thing you want visitors of the page to do (call or enter contact information). While it is a page of your website, it does not include the typical website elements like the menu.
BOTTOM: Customer Nurturing
Once your potential customer has moved through the “brand awareness” phase and they have cycled through the middle of the funnel, exchanging their contact information with you – they are now a PRSOPECT. The have moved from cold to warm to now being a hot audience. Similarly, they have transitioned from being a stranger, to an acquaintance to (at the end of this stage) a friend. They have:
- done their research;
- they have received various communications from you and like you;
- they have decided that you are the number one option and (hopefully) they want to make a purchase.
You have now captured their email address and are able to communicate with them more specifically. Now your aim is for them to make “the purchase” of the main product/service you want to sell as the ideal solution to their problem.
Typical marketing tools to help you achieve this include:
- sales pages on your website about the specific product/service
- call to action buttons on email signatures & web pages
- autoresponder email marketing campaigns
- Facebook Messenger chats and bots
- Facebook and Google Ad retargeting and tripwires (low cost entry purchases).
TRIPWIRES: A small, cheap product that relates to the problem you are solving, but it is not the big product or service that you are trying to get people to buy into. The “tripwire” helps develop trust in you and with handing money over to you.
The Last Word
Knowing which tools will work in your particular situation will depend on a number of factors including:
- the type of audience
- your product/service offering
- the price point of your main offer
- your budget and other factors
Often, there is a tried and tested system that works for most, but in many cases it is a matter of testing what works and what works better until you find the best-fit solution.
Now you know the stages of the Sales Funnel and the types of tools that best suit each stage, there is also one other factor to consider for an effective sales funnel machine – the type of messaging to use at each stage of the funnel. I will cover this in the third and final article of this series… The Marketing Messages for the Funnel Stages.