It begins when you use emotion to capture their attention (maybe they feel a certain way or identify with others that do), once you have their attention you need to use logic to show them you’re good at what you do and can address the requirements they have. Finally, to seal the deal and make them a loyal customer you need to use emotion. Emotion is a powerful tool in getting prospects across the line once they have reached the penultimate stage of your funnel.
As you think of your audience and your business goals, you need to make sure what you’re delivering is in step with your brand, putting thought and intention behind your actions. It’s wonderful when Ben & Jerry’s has free cone day every year where they hand out free ice cream cones, but it would make no business sense for them to give $100 to each person who comes in to help pay off car loans.
Marketing funnel, sales funnel, purchase funnel, AIDA model or customer journey. What these conceptual models all have in common is that they are attempts to map out the cognitive and behavioral process that customers go through when searching for a certain product or service that would fulfill their needs. The theory behind it states that customers go through several stages or phases before making the final call to purchase a company’s product. By mapping out these stages and by stepping into your customer’s shoes, you can see your company from the customer’s point of view and improve where needed. This article will explain a more widely applicable version of the marketing funnel and how to use it yourself.
If we were comparing this point in the customer journey to a real-life human relationship, it’d be the honeymoon stage and beyond. Your new customer is excited to have a tool to solve the problem they’ve been struggling with, but after that excitement dies down, they want to know they can rely on you to help them get the most out of their purchase. If you don’t provide the support they need, they’ll abandon you for a business that can.
Step 1 is to identify where your prospective customers (let’s call them leads) are coming from. Are they finding you through social media, a search engine, or a paid ad you’re running. Once you’ve identified your traffic sources you can start to compare and pit them against one another. And may the strongest traffic source win! As a side note, these leads who have never heard about you or your business before are called “cold”
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Okay, so death rumours aside, the sales funnel is in good health and every argument I’ve heard suggest otherwise comes from someone trying to create a selling point for one of their products. What has changed in recent years is how marketers use the sales funnel because the number of interactions between brands and consumers along the buying cycle has multiplied.
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”
Several debates have been revolving around the applicability of marketing funnels today, where the fashion of purchasing is no longer linear. Prospective customers might not enter the marketing funnel in the first stage itself – they might join in on different levels of the funnel. This would hold true if they are suggested to buy a particular product from a particular brand and a particular site and hence might step into the funnel towards its ultimate stages. They might also conduct researches elsewhere and derive their conclusions on their own, without any help from the B2C’s intervention. Hence several alternatives to the marketing funnel are coming up, such as McKinsey’s circular model.
In fact, more than 80 percent of people look for recommendations before purchasing a product, according to research by Business 2 Community. And Nielsen reports that 84% of people trust the recommendations of friends and family over marketing campaigns. That makes personal referrals the highest ranked source for trustworthiness when it comes to making a purchase.