Traditionally, websites have been the place where businesses can be found online. They showcase a brand, allow visitors to make a purchase, and share information about your company, building trust with new and prospective customers. With the potential to link all of your other digital and social media platforms, while providing customers with more information about your company and the products or services you offer, your website is the most important piece of your online marketing mix. It should go well beyond traditional and act as the hub of your online presence, helping your business grow.
So, how do funnels play into the mix? Let’s start by defining a digital sales funnel.
A digital sales funnel is a place on your website where people will go through a journey with a specific goal in mind, such as filling out a lead form or purchasing a product. Throughout their journey, they gain awareness, build trust, and learn why your company is the best place to buy. By the end of the funnel, your customer should be so emotionally connected to your product or service that they can’t wait to pay you.
Although most businesses can benefit from funnels, not all businesses need them. For example, a basic T-shirt company doesn’t necessarily need a funnel, whereas a car dealership does because dealerships need to build a lot more trust to make the sale than a basic T-shirt company does.
In this article, you will learn how to implement digital sales funnels with your online mix, as well as some of the key elements your funnels need to be successful.
Let’s begin with how you can start creating high-performance funnels as part of your online marketing mix. Funnels can, and should, be added in a few places. When someone clicks from your homepage to a specific product, they should land on a funnel page that provides more detail about the product and shares trust-building information before they ever land on an inventory page. Let’s use a car dealership to illustrate this flow.
Say Mike is in the market for a new SUV for his family. He’s looking at the Toyota 4Runner, the Ford Explorer, and the Mitsubishi Outlander, but he doesn’t know very much about any of them. Now let’s say you’re a Ford dealership in his area and he lands on your website. Instead of just showing Mike your Explorer inventory, bring him to a funnel page to visually show him the information he will want to know about your vehicle. This is where lifestyle photos and videos, warranty information, trim information, main vehicle specs and features should be presented. In addition, your funnel should have plenty of trust-building information about your dealership, including customer reviews and special offers. The goal here is to make him feel like he should be driving a Ford Explorer purchased from your dealership. Throughout the funnel, give Mike the ability to send a lead form to your dealership for more information or to schedule a test drive. Then, at the end of the funnel, give Mike a link to your inventory page to view all of the Explorers currently on your lot.
Another place your dealership could use a funnel is when you’re running ads on Google, Facebook, Instagram, or YouTube. Instead of having people click through and land on your homepage, inventory page, or credit app, take them directly to your funnel where you can start building a relationship from the very first click. Make them feel like your dealership truly cares about their buying experience and is the best place to spend their hard earned money. Using this technique allows you to tailor the landing page to the audience you are targeting with the ad, giving prospective customers a straightforward and seamless buying experience.
To summarize, the funnel should be used to streamline the online shopping experience, build trust and add value so that when a new customer lands on your product page they are ready to move forward with their purchase. For companies like car dealership who use their website to collect leads, digital sales funnels will drastically increase lead quality, connecting your sales team with people who are genuinely interested in buying a vehicle from you.
Now let’s go over a few key elements to ensure your funnel’s success .
First, your funnel needs to flow seamlessly from the link your customer clicked on to get there. Whether the link was on a social media post or a Google Ad, the product or information that prompted them to click on the link needs to be shown on the funnel landing page.
Let’s use a solar company for this example. Say you make a Google Ad that reads, “Go solar for $0 today.” When a shopper clicks on your ad, they will go to your funnel landing page where they expect to learn more about your offer and how they can take advantage of solar for $0 today.
Next, your funnel needs to build trust and show shoppers why they should work with you (beyond just the special $0 down offer). Here is where you should showcase your work, share reviews, or even post relevant statistics about your company.
Once you’ve established the credibility of your solar company, it’s time to provide more education about why the shopper needs solar. Obviously they are in the market, but nothing is final until they actually make a purchase. So, adding in details about how solar can help them save money monthly, generate more efficient power, etc. will increase their perceived need for your product.
Similar to the car dealership example above, solar companies rely on collecting leads for their sales team to work with. To build a qualified lead list, include a call to action and an easy opportunity for shoppers to contact you.
In addition to including the information we’ve discussed so far, digital sales funnels need to be incredibly visual and optimized for every digital device from a desktop computer to a tablet to a smartphone. Adding high quality photos and videos that showcase your products, satisfied customers, and past projects can really drive the point home and increase consumer commitment from your funnel traffic. This, in turn, increases the quality of leads coming from your ads.
Now that you know how and when to use a digital sales funnel, it’s time for you to start building them and growing your business today.