I mentioned earlier that the sales funnel goes beyond the first purchase. You don’t want customers to buy once and then forget about you. You want them to buy again and become long-term customers who are loyal to your brand. You want them to recommend you to other people – both online and offline – who might also be interested in what you have to offer.
Once your lead has arrived at your website, store front, or landing page, the next step is to get them to make a micro-commitment and take some form of action. If you’re selling a low priced item (like a pack of gum) than that action could be a sale. If you’re selling a higher priced item (like a car) than that micro-commitment could be a smaller action (like going for a test drive). The point here is that you want to encourage them to take the next logical step in the relationship, whether it’s exchanging their contact information like their name, email, or phone number, or even agreeing to a follow up meeting. At this stage your lead is now “warm”
Many marketing funnels stop after the purchase has been made. However, in the hypercompetitive and dynamic environment of today, it is key to keep customers with you for as long as possible. Repeat purchases and the retention of customers are therefore just as important as the initial purchase. Good after-sales service and customer relationship management (CRM) enlarge the chance that customers will become repeat customers. You could for example start by sending out an email a week after the purchase has been made asking for customer feedback. People generally love to give their opinion on subjects. From there on you can get to know the customer better and see if he or she might be interested in a repeat purchase. Depending on the nature of your business, calling or even meeting up face-to-face with customers are considered more personal and more effective. This latter is for example more appropriate in the auto or consulting industry where larger transactions are being made.
It’s now time to really bring on the value and elevate your relationship with your customers. Following up with your recent buyers is one of the fastest ways to solidify your position as a business that truly cares. Buyers remorse is very real, and is alive and well across all markets and industries, so the first 24-48 hours after making a purchase is a critical time to calm any anxieties and affirm your new customers decision to do business with your company. It’s also unexpected. Which makes it an even nicer surprise, and part of the system to turn elevate your customers into brand evangelists who tell their friends, family, coworkers, and sometimes even strangers, about just how great your business is.
A marketing funnel is a model describing the customer journey from awareness of the product to the actual conversion. It has long been a topic of contest and conjecture. We call them funnels because the probability of sales and proceeds gradually decreases at each step. Some people opt out, some lose interest, and some choose another portal. Had this not been the case, terming it as a marketing cylinder would have been better! In an ideal situation, all leads would turn into customers – ten on ten returns. The job of the marketers, hence, is to make sure that most of the leads are turned into customers so that their marketing funnels could distort its ways and turn into a marketing cylinder.
Intent: To get to the intent stage, prospects must demonstrate that they are interested in buying a brand’s product. This can happen in a survey, after a product demo, or when a product is placed in the shopping cart on an ecommerce website. This is an opportunity for marketers to make a strong case for why their product is the best choice for a buyer.
This is simply the process of trying to get people through your marketing funnels to a point where they buy something or engage with you. The aim may be to get to a sale or it may be to get an appointment or some other form of engagement, such as signing up for a trial or completing a survey. We might use Google Ads to attract visitors and then convert by getting them to submit their details to start a dialogue with us. Then we would ask them to complete a short questionnaire, then armed with some relevant information to prepare for a meeting, we can meet, then we send a quote, then they invest. So we have a number of stages and conversion points during the process. Along the way we could lose people because they are not ready to invest or are overawed by the amount of work they will need to do or the amount of the investment required to do a good job, or the amount of time they personally need to commit to produce the required content. Much like having a filter, this helps us get the clients for whom we can definitely deliver value. They get to know us and evaluate us and see how little risk is involved. We would have goals or objectives along the way to help potential clients make small commitments as we go, that lead to a final decision. As you progress through the funnel you can add value or show how you would add value.
Another way to think about the time dimension is to consider if you’re connecting prospects with the right information at the right time, for example, if you are using case studies, are they just sitting there on your website, or would it perhaps be better to send a couple of case studies that can be digested in under 5 minutes out to new prospects automatically three weeks or so after they first expressed interest in you?