What path do your leads take before they become paying customers? How is your return on ad spend for Facebook ads and Google ads? Unfortunately, you may struggle to answer these essential questions if you don’t have a highly optimized digital marketing sales funnel.Digital marketing without a well-optimized digital marketing funnel is like inviting everyone into a physical store and watching many of them quickly leave because your products or services don’t meet their needs. In this post, you’ll learn what a digital marketing sales funnel is and how it works. But, more importantly, you’ll also learn how you can optimize your sales funnel to boost conversions and sales.Are you spending money on marketing but not getting the desired results? Are you looking to generate more sales but don’t know where to start? Schedule a personalized strategy call with our world-class conversion experts today!
What’s Digital Marketing Sales Funnel?
The traditional marketing funnel (also called a sales or purchase funnel) is a bona fide marketing concept. It maps the customer journey from when a potential customer engages with a brand to when they make a purchase--brands worldwide use this tool to create effective and high-value marketing strategies.However, since the launch of the first marketing funnel in 1898, the concept has changed drastically. Modern marketing funnels are more sophisticated, considering economic and technological changes and how we interact with brands.Understandably, the digital world also has its own variation of this well-established technique, which incorporates various digital channels and social media networks consumers use. This is known as the digital marketing sales funnel.A digital marketing funnel is a framework marketing and sales teams use to generate web traffic and nurture a target audience until they become paying customers.
Stages of a Linear Digital Marketing Sales Funnel
There are many approaches to the digital marketing funnel, but the model we’ll discuss has five stages:
- Awareness stage
- Consideration stage
- Conversion stage
- Action stage
- Retention stage
This is where a prospective customer first discovers your company exists, so your primary focus in this stage should be to help as many people as possible from your ideal audience to find your business, your products or services, and whether you can solve their problems. Don’t forget that not all potential buyers at the awareness stage will make a purchase, and many of these consumers might not be ready to make a purchase immediately. In fact, nearly 96% of new web visitors aren’t prepared to make a purchase on their first visit, so your goal as a digital marketer should be to increase brand awareness.
When an interested web visitor moves along your sales funnel from awareness to the consideration stage, they’ve decided to learn more about your brand, products, or services to see if they’re an excellent match for them. So they’ll spend time reading content about your business, its values, and your offerings. At this stage, it’s all about leveraging content marketing to build a trusting relationship to encourage prospective customers to move to the next stage of your digital marketing sales funnel.
This is the most crucial stage in the digital marketing funnel. Here, a prospective customer moves from learning about your brand to wanting to purchase your products. But they have bought nothing yet, so you must leverage the right digital marketing strategies like content marketing and social media marketing to prove your brand and products are the best fit for your target audience and incentivize that sale.
In this stage, a potential customer buys from you and becomes a paying customer. Therefore, your marketing materials should convey a sense of urgency, such as one-time discounts and time-limited offers. This prompts a prospect to act immediately. In addition, try to counter any last-minute objections by keeping potential customers happy and nudging them to the finish line. For instance, you can leverage email marketing to email your target audience on the day your Black Friday sale launches with an exclusive discount for a massive saving on purchases made over the weekend launch period. Again, this creates a sense of urgency and motivates prospects to buy when they intend to.
Remember existing customers! Research shows that retaining current customers can boost profitability by 25% to 95%. That’s because existing customers are easier to sell to, and it costs five times more to gain a new customer than to keep an existing one. Thus, adopting digital marketing efforts that can help you convert a prospect into a brand advocate while encouraging them to purchase your products is a powerful marketing tactic. At this stage, encourage ongoing engagement, gather customer feedback, consider sales aftercare, and offer promotion codes to existing customers when they introduce new customers to your products or services. To keep existing customers happy and improve customer retention, send them updates, special promotions, and newsletters through email marketing.
How to Optimize Digital Marketing Sales Funnel to Increase Conversions and Sales
Although the modern digital marketing funnel is ideal for online activities, viewing it as a framework is still essential. No business has unlimited resources, so realistically access your time, digital marketing budget, and quality of staff you have available. Then focus your digital marketing efforts on areas that will bring a maximum return on investment. These five tips can help you optimize your digital marketing funnel to improve customer retention and generate more sales:
1. Prioritize Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO can help you rank your site higher on search engine result pages. You can do that by taking advantage of brand-relevant keywords. Most SEO strategies entail having an effective content marketing strategy that drives web users to your website.SEO is time-consuming, so you must prioritize creating high-quality and valuable content that resonates with your target audience. First, conduct keyword research to establish what keywords your target customers use. Then, write blog posts, create informative product pages, and other digital marketing materials that can be useful in various stages of your digital marketing sales funnel.
2. Leverage Paid Advertising
Although a good SEO strategy is crucial, consider paid advertising. This may involve collaborating with high-traffic sites relevant to your target audience or running Google ads to improve brand awareness and direct qualified traffic to your site. Although paid advertising can work independently, you’ll also need content to direct potential customers, too. So ensure you have relevant and valuable content first. Unfortunately, paid advertising is time-consuming to get around and requires constant tracking.
3. Use Social Media Marketing Selectively
Nowadays, most digital marketing campaigns use social media, forcing brands to have a presence everywhere. That’s ineffective!Rather than spreading yourself thin, determine your target audience and use their social media platforms. Incorporate that into your content marketing strategy to strike the right balance between your tone and platform-appropriate messaging. For instance, a sportswear campaign targeting women in their twenties on Instagram will differ from one targeting teens on TikTok.
4. Remember Email Marketing!
Many online marketers use email marketing minimally or avoid it altogether. That’s because email marketing has had a bad reputation for spam. While you shouldn’t spam potential customers with irrelevant content, email marketing still has its place when used correctly.You can use email marketing in the post-purchase stages of your digital marketing funnel to improve engagement and build brand loyalty. For example, use it to update existing customers on new products, offer access to exclusive content, or promote discounts and rewards to improve brand loyalty.
5. Monitor Results and Optimize Your Sales Funnels
Your sales funnel should evolve regularly. To measure your sales funnels' success, you should analyze data by A/B testing your email campaigns and landing pages and analyzing Google Analytics to discover trending content. Start at the top and work your way down to optimize your sales funnel. For instance, experiment to see what generates more traffic if you create content like blog posts, social media videos, and paid ads. Then, move to your opt-in pages and landing pages and text various elements, including the headline, body copy, call-to-actions, and images. Finally, evaluate your offers. For example, do discount codes yield better results than free trials? Or does offering free shipping increase your conversion rates?Making minimal tweaks may mean massive improvements in your revenue. Eventually, you’ll get to a point where your purchase funnel works, but in the beginning, it’s crucial to carry out experimentation and testing. Further, analyze every stage to determine which stages convert the best and the worst, so you can tweak your sales funnel to boost conversions and sales.
Make Your Digital Marketing Sales Funnel Work for Your Brand
Do you need help converting more web visitors into leads and sales via personalized, on-site experiences?Ampry, an ecommerce conversion platform, can help you deliver tailored on-site experiences to show the right message to the right customers at the right time and boost conversion rates. Our experienced conversion experts can also help you adapt your digital marketing strategy for today’s customers, helping your company generate more sales. Schedule a personalized strategy call with us today to learn more!