If you use social media marketing to promote your business the goal is to drive traffic to your business website. But what happens when they prospect lands on your site? If you sell products on your website, how you treat a lead that arrives on your site is of the utmost importance. Without proper nurturing, you might miss out on a serious revenue opportunity. That’s where having a conversion funnel strategy can help.
What is a Conversion Funnel?
A conversion funnel — also called a sales funnel — looks exactly like what you’d expect: a funnel that is wider at the top and then tapers down. While many leads enter the top of the funnel, only the most qualified remain through the process and end up buying from you. It’s your responsibility to provide what your lead needs and wants at every stage of the buyer’s journey to move them down that funnel.
There are several stages in the buyer journey to get to conversion, and every marketing expert has his or her own labels for them. But here are the stages I want to talk about:
- Attracting new customers
- Creating interest
- Making them want your products
- Closing the sale
Attracting New Customers
At the widest part of your conversion funnel, you will naturally attract the most people. Many of these won’t stay with you to the end, but that’s okay. Your focus is on winnowing down this larger group to only the qualified leads who will actually end up converting into sales for you.
You can pull people from a variety of sources into your funnel. Beyond visitors to your website, you can use pay-per-click ads or social media content to introduce your brand to people who haven’t heard of it. Just remember to align your messaging on other channels with what you offer on your site so that people find what they’re looking for when they land on your website.
To get people into your funnel, give them something compelling. Think of this as an irresistible free offer. You offer might be a free ebook on a useful topic, two free chapters of a new book or a coupon in exchange for their email address. Lets say you have a list of contacts who attended your webinar. At this point, you know little about these leads except that they have some general interest in the solution you sell. You’ll need to develop a series of emails to get to know them as they trickle down the funnel.
Developing Your Funnel Content to Create Interest
At this stage, you’ll start sending personalizing emails and content as you get to know your leads. You have 90 days until the email address turns cold you you want to start building a relationship with content emails quickly. This is when you might want to hire a professional copywriter to help you develop a series of emails to nurture leads. As you use email, you can quickly sort your leads into different piles. You might have:
- People who downloaded your second giveaway in Email 3
- People who opened that email but didn’t download it
- People who clicked a link to a free assessment on your website
Each of these buckets will need to be nurtured in slightly different ways. Those that downloaded the ebook are clearly showing interest in what you’re offering, so continue to provide them with more freebies. Those that didn’t download the ebook might need a more compelling offer or just a reminder to download it. You might send them a follow-up email highlighting the content in the ebook they haven’t downloaded yet. Those that took the assessment might be ready to move further down the funnel and be invited to a free consultation with one of your staff.
You should continue to educate your audience at this stage. They’re not yet ready to make a decision, but if you arm them with the knowledge they need, they’ll move closer to it.
Make Them Want Your Products
For those leads who are still with you, it’s time to convince them to buy from you. You could send a comparison of your products against the competition (putting yours in a positive light, of course!). You could also direct them to a landing page on your website for more information, or customer testimonial video.
They might not be quite ready for you to push them to buy, but if they choose to at this stage, that’s wonderful!
Close the Sale
Now comes time to seal the deal! Pull out your best offers. Offer a percent discount, buy one get one free, a bundle-offer or bonus gifts. These are all great sales strategies that can nudge leads to buy. Consider this the long game: a lead may not be ready to buy this week, but if she keeps opening and reading your relevant content, promotions and special offers, she may to take advantage of them later.
How Will You Nurture the Relationship After the Sale?
The funnel doesn’t end with the sale. Once someone has purchased from you, there is still opportunity to nurture that relationship to get her to buy more products or upgrade her purchase. Loyalty is the cornerstone of repeat business, so continue to develop that relationship, providing her value and reasons to come back again and again.
Building a sales funnel that works will require patience and constant measurement. One offer might not make a splash, while another does. Test your offers and to see what results they get. If it doesn’t hit the mark, modify it and try again. Ideally, you will get to the point where your funnel does the work for you. Once you create automated emails, that convert, you can set it and forget it and watch the cash roll in!