Get More Conversions with an Online Sales FunnelPrint Now
The majority of businesses today are represented online, and many maintain multiple platforms. Whether your business reaches customers via social media, a website, or an email newsletter, you may not reach your full conversion potential until you effectively integrate all three elements together to form a sales funnel. Read on to learn why an effective online sales funnel is so important for small and midsize businesses — and how you can cultivate one to convert prospects.
Determine Your Ideal Funnel Strategy
There is no one approach to sales funnels that will work miracles for every type of business. A successful funnel is carefully crafted to promote your organization’s brand and mission and appeal to your target market. Common funnel strategies include:
- Free webinars or podcasts — offer relevant, free content and then entice viewers with a special deal.
- Social media coupons or discounts — offer introductory discounts exclusively for social media followers.
- Order form data— collect and transfer contact information from one-time shoppers into your sales funnel as they complete order forms or navigate the online checkout process.
Online Sales Funnel Stages
The specific stages within your sales funnel will likely depend on which of the strategies you’ve selected. In general, however, online sales funnels tend to follow a few key steps:
Sometimes referred to as the lead magnet, this first step in the sales funnel should be solely dedicated to luring in prospects with relevant and interesting content. The type of content will vary based on your strategy. You could, for example, entice visitors with a free webinar or podcast. Sometimes, the magnet can be as simple as a PDF checklist or video.
Design an Enticing Landing Page
Where do your social media or YouTube links take prospects? Ideally, they will lead to a sophisticated landing page where prospects can learn more about your brand — and available incentives. Your landing page should include not only intriguing content, but also an effective call to action for the lead magnet you just developed.
Scoring Contact Information
Once you’ve captured visitors’ attention with your lead magnet, it’s time to go for the gold: in exchange for what you’re offering, ask for an email address or social media handle. This key step transforms your prospect from a passive viewer to an active participant. Many prospects willingly share contact information in exchange for the free expertise or information you are providing.
Follow-Up Emails or Social Media Content
Don’t let leads forget about your brand. While you don’t necessarily want to barrage followers with excessive marketing emails or social media updates, carefully targeted outreach can prevent the loss of a valuable lead. Today’s internet users are so accustomed to handing out email or social media information, they rarely follow up immediately — even when promised a great discount. Consistent follow-up will keep you front of mind for when they’re ready to make a purchase.
Arguably the most important step in the sales funnel, you’ll want to convert that one-time client or customer into a long-term prospect. This means not only continuing to stay in touch via email and social media, but also providing additional content and offers to keep prospects engaged. Follow an enticing introductory deal with one that keeps them interested in doing business with your company for the long haul.
A carefully cultivated sales funnel could be key to increasing not only traffic, but also conversion rates and ultimately, your digital marketing ROI. Your efforts to integrate disparate marketing strategies into a cohesive sales funnel will quickly be rewarded with increased engagement and more effective lead nurturing.