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How to Boost Sales With a Digital Marketing Sales Funnel

There’s a series of steps involved in turning prospects into a customer. You have your product or service. You got a snazzy website up and running. You even have a strong social media presence. All that is fine, but it’s not enough to sustain long-term business growth. Potential buyers who are unfamiliar with your brand won’t likely make a purchase until they learn more about your company. You need a digital marketing sales funnel for developing customer relationships – and boosting sales.

Digital Marketing Funnel Framework

An effective digital marketing sales funnel is customer-centric. What this means is that it provides everything a prospect needs to make a buying decision. It significantly improves your chances of converting prospects into paying customers. The funnel is divided into a top, middle and bottom section that caters to potential customers during critical points of their buyer’s journey. Can you imagine an upside-down pyramid? Well, that’s what the funnel looks like.

The top of the funnel is filled with tons of leads. As the funnel narrows to the bottom, you end up with new customers. You get the best results when you know the following:

  • The purpose of each section
  • What content you need
  • Where to place your content

These things are important to a funnel’s effectiveness. When you get this right, you’ll be racking up more sales in no time. Now, let’s dive into this funnel. What you learn here will help you create a funnel that best suits your business.

Top of the Funnel

Digital Marketing Sales Funnel - Top of Funnel Diagram

The top of your digital marketing sales funnel is all about building awareness. It introduces your brand to prospects. The aim of this section is to entice them to want to learn more about your product or service. This funnel section gets filled through your free and paid traffic-generating efforts. A few common methods include the following:

  • Speaking engagements
  • Networking
  • Social media marketing
  • Search engine optimization
  • Q&A forums participation
  • PPC advertising

There are specific keys for driving traffic. One, you must know which product or service you’re offering. Two, specify the customer payment method. Finally, decide how you will deliver your product or item. It’s best that you have all this in place before you start creating your funnel.

What you need at this stage is a lead magnet. As the name suggests, it’s a product that attracts potential customers. It’s a free giveaway that prospects receive in exchange for giving you their email address. The freebie is an item that provides value to your ideal buyer. Examples of lead magnets include the following:

Example of our own top-of-funnel lead generator. It may even be the way you arrived at this page…
  • How-to guides
  • Apps
  • Webinars
  • Ebooks
  • White papers
  • Case studies
  • See example on the right.

How do they get these valuable offers? For instance, after clicking on one of your ads, prospects are brought to a landing page. It’s the first page visitors see when they land on your site. It’s also called an opt-in page. On this page, visitors give you their contact information in exchange for the lead magnet. In our example we target heavily through social media such as Facebook and LinkedIn.

There are a few pointers to consider when developing an effective landing page. It’s best that you keep the format short, simple and sweet. Craft a bold headline. Include an eye-catching image. This could be a photo of the freebie. List three to five benefits. Add two to three lines of text that briefly explains what they’re going to receive. Next, provide a call to action for them to type their email address.

Here’s a pro tip: Add video to your landing page. 2018 statistics show that video increases conversions by 86%.

Ready for some good news about the landing page? You don’t have to build it from scratch. There are resources that provide dozens of templates you can customize to fit your brand. Two of the most popular software platforms are LeadPages and ClickFunnels. What’s really nice about using these tools is that the templates have been tested and proven to increase opt-ins. You can also duplicate an existing page on your website and rework this to be your landing page – this could include a standard blog layout, or even your homepage (which is usually the best looking page on your site).

Middle of the Funnel

Digital Marketing Sales Funnel - Middle of Funnel Diagram

The digital marketing sales funnel’s mid-section is where your qualified leads are in the consideration phase. They’re comparing your product or service to that of your competitors. In this section, you get to take this relationship to the next level. It’s time to capitalize on this newfound brand awareness by piquing their interest in your product or service. You can do this by sending automated emails to your list.

A standard email nurture sequence includes three to seven (or more) emails sent over the course of two weeks. An example of an email sequence includes the following:

  • Freebie
  • Welcome message/what to expect
  • Valuable content
  • Case study
  • Social proof
  • Sales offer
  • Reminder email

Once you have your email sequence written and prepared, you need an email service provider. Smart Marketer is a great platform for this. All you do is upload your email content into an ESP’s system and schedule the days and times you want the emails sent. From there, your emails will be sent out automatically.

Here’s a key stat: Email has a 3,800% ROI. For every $1 you spend it generates $38.

Now your potential buyers are fully engaged. They’re interested in what your brand has to offer. They’ve gone through the email nurture sequence. They’ve made it to the bottom of the funnel and this is where the rubber hits the road.

Bottom of the Funnel

Digital Marketing Sales Funnel - Bottom of Funnel Diagram

There’s a reason the bottom of the funnel is so narrow. You start out with several leads but only a fraction of those leads. However, these are qualified leads who are ready to take action. This is the section where conversions take place. At this stage, your leads decide whether they’re ready to become buyers. If you optimized your digital marketing sales funnel, you’ll have more qualified leads who click the “buy” or “order” button than those who don’t.

You have several conversion optimisation tools at your disposal. These tools provide valuable feedback. The data you collect allows you to tweak, change or alter any funnel section or element so you can boost sales. Below are a few of the most common tools.

A/B Testing – There’s no such thing as too much testing to see what does or doesn’t work in your funnel. Here you test two versions of an item to see which one performs better, such as your lead magnet. You can also test video, images and text. A good tool for this is Crazy Egg.

Heat Mapping – Where do visitors hang out on your website? Where do they spend the most time? How much time do they spend on certain areas? You can pinpoint the strongest and weakest area on your website using heat mapping tools such as Hotjar or Optimizely. We use Hotjar inhouse and love it!

Behavior Tracker – This type of software is critical to the success of your sales funnel. It allows you to track consumer behavior, such as clicks, scrolls and drop-offs. Freshmarketer is a CRO tool that helps you analyze and measure how visitors respond to your funnel.

Here’s a key stat: The ROI for CRO tools is 223%.

Explode Sales With an Effective Marketing Funnel

A digital sales marketing funnel addresses the needs of prospects at every stage of their buyer’s journey. When your funnel is set up and optimized correctly, it positions your business for long-term success. If you need help creating a sales-generating funnel, reach out to us. Our team loves helping businesses like yours to grow, expand and dominate.                    

digital marketing, sales strategy

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