Customers are more empowered than ever to make decisions. With the ability to inform and stay connected online, brands have the ability to make sure all traffic to their site ends in a conversion.
But it’s not always that simple.
There are stages a user has to follow before they convert. We often refer to these stages as an inbound marketing funnel. Unlike a physical funnel where gravity does all the work for you, this funnel is broken down into 4 steps, with obstacles at each hurdle. The aim is to ensure prospects go from awareness of your brand/product to becoming loyal customers who make repeat purchases. There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to developing your funnel as it will all depend on your brand, products and buyer personas.
In order to make sure users make it through each stage, you will need to have a good understanding of who you are selling to. By analysing customer data and tracking them at each stage, you will gain a holistic view of your customer’s journey and their behaviour patterns. This will then guide you towards new opportunities and where you need to make changes so all users make it to that final stage of the funnel.
Inbound Marketing Funnel Stages
There are generally four stages of the marketing funnel that map the customer journey: Awareness, Consideration, Action and Loyalty. While every brand is different and the funnel may differ slightly, there are some best practice guidelines that will help customers pass through. Let’s start at the beginning.
This is the first interaction you have with your prospective customer. As the very top of your funnel, you need to draw users into this stage. Content is generally the best way to do this. You can generate large volumes of traffic from high search rankings. Other methods include paid social media posts that target your ideal customers and PPC ads.
Help your prospects connect with your brand at this stage by inviting them to consume your other content. Invite them to follow your social media profiles, sign up to a newsletter or read your blog. If they click through, they’ve shown interest. Keep your navigation clear and simple to make it easy for shoppers to move around your site.
This stage is how you keep your users engaged so that they push forward to convert. Think of this like the sales negotiation stage. How do you keep your prospective customer interested? What techniques will you use to drive them to make a purchase?
You’ll want to make sure that your product photography is on point, along with your descriptions and clear CTA’s. While providing customer reviews and detailed shipping information will reduce hesitation.
If you lose your customer at this point, bring them back with an abandoned cart campaign or display ads that will follow them around and bring them back into the funnel.
Hooray, you’ve reached the conversion stage! The best thing you can do at this point is to optimise your checkout page for a smoother purchasing experience. Simplified forms and clear pricing will minimise cart abandonment. You might also want to consider who you use as your payment gateway as offering multiple payment options increases your chances of conversion.
You’ll also want to remove distractions and keep the checkout page free from clutter. However, it is a good idea to highlight key sales points such as free delivery or discount codes to help drive the customer to complete the transaction.
Once they convert, you need to put them back at the top of the funnel. This stage focuses on ways to re-engage past customers to make them repeat customers. A lot of this will come from places other than your website. Email marketing is key here. Sending personalised offers and recommendations with drip campaigns to drive sales.
You might also want to consider a loyalty program that rewards repeat purchases. Encourage your customers to leave reviews and engage with your social media; all of this will work towards growing a loyal customer base.
And that’s it! That’s your funnel. So long as you keep on top of collected data about your customers, you can understand more about their behaviours and at what stage you need to make improvements. The above tips will help you along the way so that you can achieve what any eCommerce business wants – repeat customers.
5874 Commerce – Marketing Agency Birmingham
Our team of marketing specialists can help you improve your marketing sales funnel to increase your conversion rate and customer retention. We have content creators, social media gurus and SEO/PPC masters who can offer advice on your current situation. Get in touch with our team today on 0121 369 5874 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.