The web is a made up of a large volume of information with overwhelming traffic. A user has to pass through the large volume of information before coming to the smaller part, that is your website. This explains the funnel.
When it comes to the funnel, there are usually 5 stages that a user goes through before becoming a paying customer.
Increasing Conversions in the Awareness Stage
The funnel opens at the top, which means that your target audience is a large number of random online users.
The question now is how do you get them to enter your funnel? How do you attract quality customers into your funnel?
We both know that not everyone will give into buying a product or service on the internet that quickly -- when they hardly know, believe, or trust the brand or product owner.
So at this awareness stage, you need to focus on attracting a lot of potential customers. Make sure you’re leveraging blogging as your all-in-one strategy for lead generation. It works.
Most customers don’t even know what’s best for them at this stage of the funnel. That’s why when you offer the best product at this time, most of them will ignore it.
To increase your chances of success, you need to drive a lot of potential customers at the top of the funnel -- the awareness stage.
You should provide relevant content that’s clear and concise. These potential customers are still researching to find out the best solution that will suit them.
They're not ready to make a buying decision yet.
Don't give them a sales pitch but rather, create content that's focused on educating prospects on what their problem is. You want to make them understand their pain points better.
Some of the content types that work at the awareness stage are blog posts, research reports, ebooks, videos.
Bear in mind that most types of content would work -- provided it's created from the standpoint of educating your target audience.
In addition to that, a powerful way to generate more traffic into your sales funnel is to target less competitive keywords your target audience is typing into Google. Then, create useful and detailed content around it.
In a bid to attract more marketing agencies (i.e., the target audience) to the top of their funnel, Instapage created useful posts targeting the keyword "marketing agency tips" in a dedicated category.
Increasing Conversions in the Consideration Stage
Through all this frantic search for customers, let’s not forget the sole purpose of a business, making a profit.
Don’t be so much occupied with the number of leads you’re generating that you forget the product. Customers and products go hand in hand.
A high-conversion offer funnel brings the customer closer, a further dive into your business means a closer shift to purchases. This consideration stage might be the best time to shoot deep into your funnel.
We’re working under the assumption that the customer already knows the product. So how do you get them to give the product a “chance?’’
It’s at this stage that you initiate bonding with the customer. The customer wants to know more about your products while you’re, in turn, looking forward to knowing exactly what they need.
So how do you achieve this?
Start by providing detailed information about your product or service. At this stage, we assume the customer as at 75% chance of buying. In order to hit 100%, eliminate all the objections associated with your product.
You can even create a dedicated FAQs section or page on your website to address the most common questions. Shopify has a FAQs page dedicated to providing answers to customers’ questions.
More so, incorporate visual illustrations into your content and product. It’s a known fact that visual elements such as videos, GIFs, slide presentations, and pictures appeal more to the eye than ordinary text.
Focus on original graphics and illustrations as they’ll drive 40% more engagements and qualified customers to your business. Avoid stock photos as much as possible.
In terms of content, focus on creating insightful articles and videos about your products.
That way, customers get to read reviews before making any meaningful decision about your product.
The most important thing is creating a need for your product. As a customer, am I convinced to give your product a chance? The answer lies in the consideration stage.
Increasing Conversions at the Preference Stage
Having made your customer aware of your products and services, here comes the toughest part: Decision making. For a customer to make a decision, they will look at the value that your product delivers to them, and of course the costs.
If the “value” factor was addressed in the conversion stage, then decision making is made fairly easy and simple.
The preference stage (it appears at the middle of the funnel) is where you highlight the strongest benefits of your product.
As an online business owner, you need to convince your customer that you’re the right fit if not the best choice to buy from. Remember, you’re not the only one seeking their attention.
Your competitors may be well on their feet trying to overtake you. Don’t give them a chance.
Reduce any impeding factors that might make your customers lose interest. For instance, you should not make it mandatory for a customer to pay with their credit card initially or make it mandatory for a customer to create an account with you before buying.
Why not offer them a free trial without asking for their credit cards. That’s exactly how ActiveCampaign onboard new users.
They offer a 14-day free trial with a complete access to all the features. Online marketers love this, you should learn from AC.
Asking new users to sign-up or fill out a form at every point wears them out. The whole account creation process might be just the tip-off to run away from you.
To solve this, allow users to use their social media accounts to execute purchases. After all, apart from customer satisfaction, generating sales and increasing profit are equally essential (if not, more essential).
Allow flexibility in payment options. As much as you may want to capture details about your customer for future sales, first get their trust (and of course, money).
Different customers have different preferences for payment options. For example, you can allow payments through PayPal, Visa or Bitcoins.
Increasing Conversions at the Purchase Stage
By now you should realize that you’re 4 steps down the funnel. You want to go as deep as possible but not outside the funnel. The purchase stage is the actual buying phase. It’s where the action happens.
In the purchase stage, the customer is now aware, convinced, has made a choice, and is ready to buy. The question is, how do you handle the whole transaction? Is it any different from your competitors?
Let’s take a look at some things that will help you to manage the whole process in your funnel.
If there are any incentives, make them clear. For example, don’t place discounts on products with no discounts.
If there are shipping charges, also state them. Failure to indicate this may leave some bitterness in your customer’s heart and chances are, they may be gone for good.
Once the purchase is made, try to capture some information about your customer. This way, you can predict their consumption patterns in order to plan for future sales.
For example, if you are selling baby products, by offering products for certain ages, you can predict when the next purchase will be made.
More importantly, create the best customer experience for your customer. You need them to keep coming back.
The stages described above will go a long way in helping you to grow your sales.
Remember that when you’re marketing on the internet, you need to be strategic and critical on how you approach the faces behind the keyboards.
Customers will always be customers. It doesn’t matter whether they’re outside your offer funnel or inside, they want you to listen to them and meet their specific needs.