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.
Alright, at this point in the funnel you’re going to be working with fewer leads than you started with. But that’s ok! Because those that are still with you are a higher quality lead, and are more interested in what you have to offer. They’ve also taken some form of action or micro-commitment and are a lot more open to what you have to offer next. It’s at this stage that you want to begin the follow-up process and really bring the value. Continue to nurture your leads by providing more valuable and helpful information but at the same time, don’t be afraid to ask for the sale. If you’ve done a good job at guiding them along their journey up until this point the next logical step should be your core offer, product, or service. When your “warm” lead buys and exchanges their money for your product or service they become “hot”.
Now that you have the consumers’ attention, you want to create some interest. The goal of this stage is to show who you are and what your brand stands for. You are trying to build a relationship with your potential customers and gain trust. Give people valuable information, but don’t focus too much on selling your product yet. Throughout this stage potential customers begin to develop attittudes, opinions and hopefully interest in your company. Content creation is often used for this stage. Think about blogs, webinars, infographics, free e-books, newsletters et cetera. Keep in mind that customers can also develop negative feelings towards your brand, so be careful with what kind of messages you convey to potential customers.

A marketer focuses to tap the entire set of potential customers in the beginning. This involves making them aware of the product by the use of effective advertising, marketing, public relations, and other communication strategies. Awareness is followed by generating a lead by acquiring customer information in some sort. This information is then pulled into a  lead management system to nurture further down the funnel.
If you’re searching for further clarification on it, you’re not alone. In theory, the marketing funnel is straightforward: It’s the representation of your buyers’ journey from prospect to customer, combined with the tools and processes you use to gracefully guide them through. But in practice, constructing a marketing funnel is far more confusing. What do the building blocks of a successful one look like? What processes ensure the maximum number of leads become customers that stay loyal to your brand?
Imagine any online shopping portal, for instance. Several hundreds of people like you visit the website every day, rather every hour. You view products and choose among innumerable options. This is followed by adding items of your choice to their virtual shopping carts. Not all visitors to the site buy the products from here. Some might make inquiries; some might browse through a different site and land up buying the product somewhere else. The platform which was open to act as a magnet for millions now gradually funnels its way through different steps into achieving profits from few by selling its items away.

The interest stage is followed by the stage of consideration where the lead gets converted into a marketing qualified lead. The prospective customer is now considering to buy the product and hence marketer needs to give more attention and communicate to him elaborated information about the product, offers, and discounts. This information is communicated through free trials, basic services (if applicable), targeted emails, newsletters, phone marketing, and other direct interaction strategies
The chances are that you are doing this already, but is there any structure to it? Do you have a content library or matrix to use in your promotions? Do you have these emails formatted? Do you have landing pages, squeeze pages and thank you pages created? Is there a flow? Do your YouTube videos back up your mailshots or Facebook adverts? Is it all connected? If not, then it is time to look at creating a proper funnel for your generating the right leads for your business, rather than just hope that business will come in the door.
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.
The interest stage is followed by the stage of consideration where the lead gets converted into a marketing qualified lead. The prospective customer is now considering to buy the product and hence marketer needs to give more attention and communicate to him elaborated information about the product, offers, and discounts. This information is communicated through free trials, basic services (if applicable), targeted emails, newsletters, phone marketing, and other direct interaction strategies

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Yesterday I was in the Northridge Mall while my tires were being rotated at Firestone outside. When I walked in there a man was promoting Occulus, the 3D experience. . . for $5 a journey. I didn’t have any bucks so I declined. I was wondering why he didn’t use the email model of a free gift to get a subscriber; I mean a free trip using the mind altering adventure. Then I got to thinking about video and 3D in email, and it dawned on me the cycle of a company’s promotion is a like a trip into virtual reality–at least it could be a mind-altering experience for the recipient, especially for someone who’s tired of getting ads, ads, ads.
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.
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