Recently, we’ve spoken an awful lot about sales funnels - what they are, the various stages of the sales funnel, how to leverage content, how to use automated funnels and how a funnel works. The most important thing about a funnel, however, is its power to convert leads into sales - that’s what it is there for, after all.
But how do you go about turning your funnel into a conversion machine, optimizing it to bring you maximum sales? It’s all about analysis and implementation, as we see in these five simple steps.
1 - Awareness stage
The first step to conversion funnel optimization is conversion funnel analysis, and where better to start than at the beginning? Awareness is the first stage in the funnel, and it’s the easiest place to expand your potential lead base.
What you need to understand: At this stage, you want to know what is helping you build awareness. What is causing people to discover your existence? Is it your clever social media, or is it positive reviews online? Is it referrals, your email marketing, or random searches? By understanding how people find you and other, similar service providers, you can work on making those elements great.
Things to do: It’s absolutely critical to make sure you are reaching out to the right audience. It doesn’t matter how brilliant your marketing content is if it’s reaching the wrong audience. Spend time studying your market and working out exactly who you need to be talking to. Then, create messaging that resonates with that audience.
2 - Interest and investigation stage
During this stage, you’re building relationships, getting people to engage with you.
What you need to understand: Here, your analytics need to focus on what is helping people engage. Are they following your social media pages, signing up for newsletters, following your blog? By understanding the ways people choose to become actively engaged, you can maximize your optimization efforts here.
Things to do: Get your SEO right and make sure your social media is active and engaging. Give people a good reason to follow you and give you their email addresses. Once you have this in hand, you have a great opportunity to engage in effective email and content marketing.
3 - Decision stage
In the decision stage, you want to get people to choose your product, service or company to fulfil their wants and needs.
What you need to understand: What makes people choose companies, products and services like yours? Is it the great service they receive? The quality of the products? Is it how you engage with your community? There are thousands of reasons why people choose to shop the way they do, and by understanding what makes your market tick, you can get your customers choosing you.
Things to do: Make sure customers have everything they need to make the decision, from detailed information about your products and services, to transparent access to how you run your business. Focus on both the emotional as well as the practical side of the business. Make sure there is something that stands out, that differentiates you from the rest.
4 - Action stage
This is the stage where money happens. People have chosen, and they now make a purchase.
What you need to understand: What is making it easy for people to spend their money, and what is making it hard? Is your checkout or order placing process unnecessarily complex or is it super simple? Are you differentiating your offer in the right ways? Are there key objections that your sales people aren’t overcoming?
Things to do: Make it as easy as possible for people to spend their money. A convenient sales process encourages spending. Even if you don’t have an online purchase process, don’t make it too complicated for people to buy. If they have to fill in a lengthy form to get a quote, which takes a week to arrive, and then they have to complete another lengthy buyer application form, you may discourage even the most convinced buyer.
5 - Repurchase stage
Too many companies think that stage 4 is the end of the funnel, and fail to put in the effort with stage 5 - the stage when customers come back for more. Remember that it can cost as much as five times more to acquire a new client than to upsell an existing client.
What you need to understand: Why would anyone spend money with you more than once? How will you get them to buy again? Is it all about the quality of the product, or will they come back for more of your amazing after-sales service? Are they talking on social media about a positive experience, or are they unhappy and dissing you in online reviews?
Things to do: Follow up, follow up, follow up. Keep engaging online via social media, email and other channels, and offline. Encourage them to give you feedback so that you know where to improve and what you’re doing right. Build on the relationship you’ve established.
What methods do you use to optimize your conversion funnel? Tell me in the comments.
Need help building an effective funnel? Get in touch.