Sales funnels are the paths a person takes when becoming a customer of your business. What do digital marketing sales funnels look like? What are the best practices? Did you know that 98% of first-time visitors to your site do not make a purchase?
Sales Funnels Explained
Before digital marketing, a sales funnel would look something like this: A person walking by your storefront sees the signage and learns of your business. At some point, they decide to enter your store. While browsing the items for sale, they may pick up a few items to purchase. The final step is the check-out at the register. Each step is an internal decision that they were contemplating.
Influences on traditional digital marketing could include printed advertisements such as flyers, ads in local papers, and attractive signage outside the store. While the steps of the sales funnel are the same in digital marketing, the way the marketing is played out is nuanced.
4 Steps of the Digital Marketing Sales Funnel
There are 4 main steps to the sales funnel: Awareness, Interest, Decision, and Action. Let’s break down each step within the context of digital marketing. First, we will learn what each stage is and then discuss the best digital marketing practices for each.
The Awareness Stage
The potential customer must learn about your business. They could find your website through a Google search, a social media account, a social media ad, or a friend’s share of your site or page. This is the first encounter they have had with your business and have become aware of your existence.
Sometimes it is a “love at first sight” situation and they immediately decide to make a purchase but more often than not it is only the beginning of a courtship. They are learning about your business and whether they want to continue in the relationship.
The Interest/Evaluation Stage
In the interest or evaluation stage, potential customers are researching and comparing options. They are digging deep into what your business offers and who you are as a company. They may subscribe to your newsletter and/or follow you on social media. They are deciding how much confidence they have in you, your product or service, and what you offer.
The Decision Stage
This is the stage where a decision is made. The potential customer has decided to make a purchase but will they make it with you?
The Action Stage
Obviously, this is the stage where a sale is completed. Hopefully, it has been with your business!
Best Practices for Digital Marketing Sales Funnels
Now that we understand the stages of a sales funnel, let’s look at the best digital marketing practices for each stage.
The interest stage is all about brand awareness. As we mentioned before, you are entering into a courtship with your potential customer. Is your website user-friendly and enticing? Is your social media presence engaging and active? This is where you want to put your best foot forward and make sure your audience sees you.
- Is your website user-friendly and does it offer value to a visitor?
- Is your social media the same?
- Is your branding consistent and recognizable?
- Is your email marketing set up and do you have an obvious easy way for potential customers to sign up for your emails? (Check out our blog post: Dogwood’s Guide to Email Marketing and Email Marketing and the Buyer’s Journey for dedicated information on this!)
- Analyze your audience through Google Analytics to make sure you are marketing to your target customers.
- Take an audit of your social media to learn what content performs best with your audience.
- Create targeted social media ads and/or search engine ads to make sure your audience learns of your business.
- Implement search engine optimization strategies (SEO) to have your site rank higher in search results organically.
- Create engaging blog content that offers value to your visitors.
Once they are aware of your business then they enter the interest stage. This is not where you push sales or discount codes heavily. This is where they are learning of your business and deciding whether they will purchase from you. This is where you want to position yourself as the expert through quality content on your website, social media, and email marketing. This stage is perfect for highlighting reviews through user-generated content. As the customer is evaluating your business, their confidence will grow when they see you are the expert and endorsed by others.
Once they enter the next stage, the decision stage it is time for you to close the deal. This is where you bring out the discount codes and deals. Close the sale by showing them that your product or service is the best choice. Make sure your calls to action are clear. Abandoned cart emails are perfect for this stage. Check out our blog post on Email Marketing Automations for Ecommerce to simplify your emails!
At this decision stage, we hope you are seeing conversions of visitors to customers. When they have completed a sale with you be sure to send them a thank you email and a reminder to sign up for your emails if they have not already. Remember you want repeat customers so your job is not over.
Analyzing Your Digital Marketing Sales Funnel
If you are not seeing the sales and conversions that you would like it is helpful to take a step back and analyze the data.
Are you not seeing many visitors to your website? Perhaps a website refresh is needed or a focus on search engine marketing or search engine optimization (SEO or SEM).
Do you have paid ads happening but not many clicks to your website? Consider the landing page you have created and your call to action.
How many sales happen as a result of your email marketing? If the conversion is low, focus more on the content you are sharing. Is it relevant and valuable to your audience?
Are your social media ads not generating the leads you want? Maybe you need to fine-tune the targeting demographics or type of content shared.
Dogwood Media Solutions can Help Manage Your Digital Marketing Sales Funnels
Our crew at Dogwood are well versed in the nuances of the digital marketing sales funnel. We would love to help you fine-tune the process and create a successful and profitable sales funnel for your business! Contact us today to get started.