Creating a sales funnel will help any type of business acquire customers easily. It can be done with physical stores, as well as websites and E commerce sites. It is essential to business success because it will provide a higher conversion rate for people who visit. The funnel refers to the steps that are taken to lead customers to a specific desired outcome. That can be simple as leaving an email address on a website, or signing up for a newsletter. More ambitious outcomes include making an appointment for a consultation, or making a purchase for a large ticket item.
Selecting a desired outcome is the first step to learning how to create your own sales funnel. It is called a funnel because many people will begin the process, but some will discontinue at each step. The funnel contains the most direct route to the outcome. Other steps may occur, but they are not included in the funnel. A funnel for a shopping site, for example, begins with people visiting the site. The next step is have people view products. Next, they will have to add items to their carts. Finally, they will have to make the purchase. They may visit other pages on the site along the way, but the focus for the funnel only includes the crucial four steps.
Basics of Any Funnel:
The initial element for the creation of a funnel is campaigns for marketing. That will draw people to the site, and make them aware of the business. Sparking their interest is the next important element to encourage them to continue down the funnel. It is easy to see why there are various stages of marketing involved in making a funnel. People will evaluate products or service, and select the one or two that will best suit their wants and needs. That will result in the sale.
Part of the sales process has to focus on getting people to move from one step to the next step. The number of people participating at each consecutive step will decrease. Minimizing the decrease is the primary goal in order to grow the business. Increasing the number of people who make it to the last step of the funnel will lead to more first time customers, create repeat customers, and raise business revenues.
Creative marketing will help with the end goal. That may mean lowering the initial profit margin on first time sales, or taking a total loss on some items. It is worth the risk, if it improves the conversion rate of the funnel. An example is a software as service company offering people free trials of the software. It is part of the funnel steps.
This is the Breakdown of that Example:
Step 1: People visit the site.
Step 2: They sign up for the free trial offer because they are interested in the service.
Step 3: They use the product.
Step 4: They upgrade to a monthly subscription for the software as a service
The steps are simple, yet focused. They create a funnel that makes sense, is easy to track, and can be adjusted as needed. It may be helpful, during the creation of the funnel, to actually draw out the steps in a funnel shape. It will help with the visualization, and may hone in the concept a bit better for those working on it.
How the Funnel Works in Physical Stores:
In physical stores, creating the funnel has to be literal to a certain degree. The goal is get as many people to completion of the desired outcome as possible. Many stores have a design layout that moves people through the funnel. That is intentional, and an example of creative marketing. Checkouts at the front of a department store, for example, are for essential items.
The business knows people may walk the entire length of the store, but they will still arrive at the checkouts with basic items in the cart. Groceries, consumables, and health care products are among those types of items. Self checkouts were developed to prevent people with just a few items from getting frustrated by long lines, and leaving the store before making a purchase. That keeps more people in the funnel.
There are separate checkout counters in specific departments that have higher priced items. That is to prevent people from changing their minds and leaving the store without those items. The electronics department, the jewelry department, and the outdoor furniture department have convenient counters with few customers in them. That makes it easy to purchase higher priced items. It encourages more people to buy that diamond ring, that large screen plasma television, and that ride-on lawn mower.
How the Funnel Differs for E Commerce Sites:
The funnel differs for online websites and E commerce stores because it can be tracked more easily. Reports and analytical data can be created that indicates exactly where people leave the funnel. That helps businesses improve marketing strategies, and know where to add a lead magnet. A lead magnet presents an offer that most people cannot refuse. It intrigues more people into continuing the funnel steps. This stage is where the free trial comes in. It can also be a demonstration of a system, the promise of saving people time or money, increased rewards, or lifetime memberships.
There are companies online that will assist E commerce sites with creating their own funnel, and provide monthly reports on success. It can save business owners a lot of time and money. They can focus on operating their businesses, while professionals help with marketing strategies for funnels. Detailed analysis can provide better and faster results as areas for adjustments become evident.