If you’re in business, having a sales funnel isn’t just a nice-to-have – it’s a must-have. It’s your trusty roadmap, guiding visitors from “just browsing” to “happy customer.” No matter what your business does, a sales funnel management strategy is key. It ensures that no opportunity slips through the cracks, boosting your chances of turning prospects into loyal patrons.
Plus, here’s the real beauty: sales funnels bring predictability to the table. With proper funnel management, you can predict how leads move through stages, forecast sales, fine-tune your strategies, and confidently set your sights on growth.
Today, we’ll take a look at two vital aspects of your sales funnel: the world of paid ads with Google and social media platforms and the time-tested realm of email drip campaigns. We’ll explore where each fits in your funnel and lay out a few basic steps for success to help you transform curious visitors into loyal customers, and why using a professional marketing agency like MSB is your key to getting the most out of your funnels.
Build and Manage Your Sales Funnel With Paid Ads
Launching paid ads on platforms such as social media and Google can be your ticket to attracting a seemingly unlimited number of potential customers. But how do you ensure that these clicks actually translate into revenue? The answer lies in crafting a strategically structured sales funnel.
Step 1: Understanding and targeting your audience
Before we get into the ad process itself, I’d like to take a moment to discuss the most important aspect of a paid ads funnel: targeting.
Targeting refers to who your ad is delivered to, and why. You can set the parameters for who you want to reach, but for the best results, you’ll want to have a professional familiar with the dashboards of Google, Meta, and other major digital platforms actually turn the key.
At MSB, our process begins by identifying your target audience. Who wants your product, but doesn’t yet know about it? Once we know this much, we figure out where that audience is hanging out. Are they Facebook users? Or do they spend their time on Instagram? What are they watching on YouTube? How do they phrase their Google searches, and what keywords are they using that we can target?
This information is absolutely critical to a successful sales funnel. Without it, you’re just shooting in the dark.
For example, let’s say you run a company that sells bike racks for cars. Your goal is to deliver paid ads to avid mountain bikers and road cyclists. But, because your rack is heavy-duty and can handle heavier bikes than other racks, you also want to target e-bike users who can’t use cheap racks without their heavy bikes breaking them.
These are different audiences, and reaching them takes different strategies. Mountain bikers spend a lot of time on Instagram and YouTube, according to data published by PinkBike. Their hobby has a certain lingo that non-mountain-bikers likely don’t know, but that this crowd reacts to strongly. They’re conservationists and trail advocates, and those with a higher income often donate time and/or money to public lands campaigns and trail development. When crafting ad copy, you want to incorporate their lingo and passions, and then deliver it to the right platforms.
E-bikers, however, hang out in Facebook groups. They tend to favor sustainability initiatives and love to read about things like how e-bikes are helping to reduce carbon emissions in big cities.
Your marketing agency can gather this data and create campaigns that tug at the heart strings of each group, respectively.
Now that you have a basic understanding of targeting, let’s look at the actual funnel management process.
Step 2: Awareness Stage “Grabbing Their Attention”
In this pivotal first step, you’re aiming to capture the attention of your potential customers and introduce them to your brand in a captivating way. This is likely the first time they’ve seen your ad or heard of your brand, and first impressions go a long way.
- Choose the Right Platform: Every platform has its unique audience and strengths. Understand where your target audience hangs out – whether it’s Instagram’s visually inclined crowd or Google’s information seekers. Tailoring your approach to the platform they prefer boosts your chances of getting noticed.
- Compelling Ads: Your ads should be visually striking and your ad copy should resonate. Address pain points with empathy, crafting a headline that grabs attention and a compelling offer that demands consideration.
- Conversion-Focused Landing Page: A click on your ad leads to a landing page. Make sure this page continues the narrative seamlessly and uses conversion-focused language and strategy. It should provide more information about the product or service you’re promoting and guide the visitor toward the desired action, such as signing up or making a purchase.
Step 3: The Consideration Stage “Wooing Your Potential Customers”
Now that you’ve grabbed their attention, it’s time to nurture their interest and provide value to encourage more engagement with your brand.
- Educational Content: Become a go-to resource for your audience. Publish insightful blog posts, create engaging videos, and host informative webinars. By sharing industry insights and addressing common challenges, you position your brand as a trusted authority.
- Lead Magnets: Attract visitors with downloadable resources like eBooks, checklists, or templates. In exchange for these valuable assets, ask for their email addresses. This not only builds your email list but also indicates a deeper level of interest from your leads.
- Remarketing Strategies: Not everyone converts on their first visit. Use remarketing ads to re-engage those who clicked and left without making a move. These gentle nudges can remind them of your offerings and convince them to give your business another shot.
Step 4: Decision Stage “Sealing the Deal”
You’ve nurtured their interest, and now it’s time to guide them toward making a decision in favor of your products or services.
- Compelling Offers: Present your offerings in an irresistible light. Whether it’s a limited-time discount or a special package, emphasize the value your customers will gain by choosing your brand.
- User-Friendly Checkout: Even the most interested lead might abandon their cart if the checkout process is cumbersome. Simplify it to the utmost. A clutter-free, intuitive checkout page reduces friction and encourages a smooth transaction.
- Trust Signals: Address any lingering doubts by showcasing customer testimonials, trust badges, and security icons. These elements build credibility and reassure potential buyers that their decision is safe and worthwhile.
Paid ads are an effective way to move your prospective customers through your sales funnel. An effective drip campaign will move your happy customers into the post-purchase and brand advocacy stages of your funnel, where you can continue to engage and earn future sales.
But an email drip campaign can also be used as a stand-alone strategy for building and managing your sales funnel from the ground up. Here’s how–
Build and Manage Your Sales Funnel With a Drip Email Campaign
If you’re not using paid ads, you’ll need to grab the attention of your potential customers some other way. Luckily, there are quite a few methods that don’t involve spending anything more than your time.
While resonating with your audience and empathizing with what they care about is equally important, email campaigns allow you to get more personal, because you already have the customer’s contact information (and maybe know even more about them).
However, using a professional marketing agency like MSB to handle sales funnel management ensures your content will be written professionally and delivered accordingly.
Step 1: Welcome and Introduction “The First Impression”
Once you’ve captured your leads’ attention and they’ve shown interest by subscribing to your email list, it’s time to initiate a warm and engaging introduction. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Immediate Gratification: As soon as someone joins your email list, immediately seize the opportunity to send them a warm welcome email. Include a heartfelt thank-you message and deliver the promised lead magnet, if any. Starting the engagement journey promptly helps create a positive impression.
- Set Expectations: Transparency is key. In your welcome email, clearly outline what subscribers can expect from your future emails. Let them know the type of content you’ll be sending, the frequency of your emails, and how you plan to add value to their inbox.
Step 2: Nurturing and Education “Building Relationships”
With the introduction set, it’s time to nurture the budding relationships and provide valuable insights to your subscribers.
- Segmentation Magic: Recognize that your email list is not one-size-fits-all. Organize your subscribers into segments based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics. Segments allow you to send targeted content that resonates deeply with each group (remember the examples of mountain bikers and e-bikers from earlier?).
- Educational Series: Initiate a series of emails that provide consistent value. These emails can include actionable tips, captivating case studies, and inspiring success stories related to your products or services. This series positions your brand as a trusted advisor and builds a sense of loyalty.
- Storytelling: Share the journey of your brand through storytelling. Personal anecdotes and behind-the-scenes insights humanize your business and create a personal connection with your subscribers. This emotional bond encourages engagement and fosters long-term relationships.
Step 3: Offering Solutions “Showcase Your Offerings”
Now that your subscribers are familiar with your brand and the value you provide, it’s time to present your products or services as the solutions they need.
- Problem-Solution Approach: Identify the pain points your audience faces and offer tailored solutions. Articulate how your products or services can address these challenges effectively. By positioning your offerings as solutions, you’re providing a clear path to meet your subscribers’ needs.
- Exclusive Offers: Show appreciation for your engaged subscribers by offering exclusive discounts or bonuses. This gesture not only rewards them for their loyalty but also encourages them to take that next step toward making a purchase.
Step 4: Closing the Deal “The Grand Finale”
The moment of conversion is here. Your subscribers are primed to take action, and it’s time to guide them toward making a purchase.
- Scarcity and Urgency: Leverage the principles of scarcity and urgency to nudge your subscribers to act promptly. Communicate limited-time offers, low stock levels, or impending deadlines to motivate them to make a decision sooner rather than later.
- Clear CTAs: The power of a compelling call to action (CTA) cannot be underestimated. Make sure your CTAs are prominently placed, use persuasive language, and visually stand out. The goal is to eliminate any friction between the desire to purchase and the action itself.
Step 5: Post-Purchase Engagement “Turning Customers into Advocates”
This step to sales funnel management is relevant whether you’ve used paid ads and a landing page to earn your customers or simply your mailing list. Congratulations, by the way– now it’s time to nurture these new relationships and foster customer loyalty.
- Thank-You Notes: Send post-purchase thank-you emails to express genuine gratitude for their trust in your brand. These messages not only solidify the transaction but also set the stage for ongoing engagement.
Upselling and Cross-Selling: Present opportunities for customers to enhance their experience by upselling complementary products or cross-selling related items. Since they’ve already chosen your brand once, they’re more likely to explore additional offerings.
With a well-honed, friction-free sales funnel, you can guide your leads through each stage of their decision-making journey, nurturing them into loyal customers and enthusiastic advocates of your brand.
Keep in mind that stages can overlap, and customers can choose a non-linear path, but that’s OK! Just remember to consistently analyze the performance of your campaigns, fine-tune your strategies, and adapt to evolving customer needs.
Ready to put a sales funnel in place for your business? Let’s chat!
Here’s to your sales funnel success!