If you’ve been in the internet marketing world for any amount of time, then you’ve probably heard the term “sales funnel” before. This is a popular concept, but many people still have trouble understanding what exactly a sales funnel is.
It’s really just a way of looking the whole sales process from the first contact until the day they stop buying from you. “Funnel” is a good analogy and makes the process easy to tweak and improve by singling out what steps work and what steps don’t.
A typical sales funnel has a few different steps. For internet marketing, this process begins by generating traffic and directing it to an opt-in form which generates leads. Through interaction with your list, these leads get warmed up and become prospects. When you present them with a great product or offer, some of these prospects will turn into customers.
Attracting New Leads
The first thing to do is to choose an enticing, niche-specific offer, or reason to come to your website. If they’re targeting the weight loss niche, for example, then they will choose an attractive product, service, or website which is targeted to people who want to look and feel better.
Remember that you want to generate traffic that you can turn into leads. You’ll need something enticing enough to get people to your website. Once you’ve picked a lead generation method, the next step is turning this traffic into leads.
Landing Pages and Freebies
The landing page is important because this is what you’ll be directing traffic to. A landing page is just a simple, single page website that presents visitors with a free offer. This freebie is usually something small but attractive. It could be a few short videos, an ebook, or even software. You can either create these freebies yourself or use someone else’s with permission.
Visitors access this free offer by submitting their email address in a form posted on the page. Once they’ve done that, they are now on your mass mailing list. This is how traffic is converted into leads. The entire purpose of the landing page is, in fact, to help grow your list of leads.
When you generate a new lead, it’s important to contact this person as soon as possible. Since most of us can’t just sit at our computer all day waiting for a new addition to our list, many marketers utilize autoresponders. This is a type of software that will automatically email someone when they sign up, and several times afterward to keep in touch with them.
This email can be used to start building a relationship which turns leads into prospects. The message this software sends can thank the person for signing up, deliver the free product they wanted, and possibly point them in the direction of something else they might like.
The sales page is the end of the funnel (for now). It’s where the leads you’ve generated get turned into paying customers. There are a few different theories on creating sales pages but they generally include an attention-getting headline, some sales copy or a video, information about the product, a call to action, and bonuses to add value to the customer.
The secret to success in internet marketing is creating an effective sales funnel. You can’t simply create a product and hope for it to sell. You need to generate traffic, turn them into leads, follow-up multiple times, and then convert leads into customers.
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Marketing Funnel–A system that assists in tracking the steps potential clients move through to before ultimately making a decision on the purchase of goods, or use of services. Marketing funnels let you see at each step what you need to do to influence potential clients toward the end goal, turning them into actual clients.
Sales Funnel–Refers to the buying process that businesses direct a client through when purchasing products or obtaining services. Like a Marketing funnel, it is divided into several steps. These steps will differ according to your particular sales model.
Or to put it more simply, marketing funnel is about capturing a lead and taking people to the point of a sale where a sales funnel captures and then leads people through the sales process via a series of pitches, etc.
In businesses where the marketing and sales departments/people are separate roles from one another, the two different concepts are implemented separately with Marketing Funnels working to create interest at the top and acquire clients at the bottom, these acquisitions becoming the top of the Sales Funnel.
In smaller businesses, this distinction may become a little muddled as employees may need to wear multiple hats, but for the sake of this article, we’ll go with the simplest viewpoint.
Your marketing is responsible for compelling an individual to become a potential client by creating awareness. It will typically focus on a broad area through a variety of methods, with the idea of attracting as much interest as possible. These days this of commonly done via social media, paid advertising, blog posts, and PR. Thanks to the internet, the possibilities are almost endless when looking for a target audience.
This initial scouting is the TOP of the marketing funnel. The goal of these endeavors is to provide enough information to interest the general masses in taking action and becoming potential clients.
The final goal is to end up getting the potential client to provide contact information and hopefully specific product interest. This can be accomplished in a number of ways including a free eBook download, providing a contact form with the promise of more info, calling a toll-free number, or any other process you can collect their details. This result makes up the BOTTOM of the marketing funnel.
By acquiring this info from a potential client, you will then be able to move them into the procedures outlined on the sales side and bring them to the TOP of the Sales Funnel.
Different businesses will show a variety of ways that this transition from Marketing to Sales may happen, but the overall desired result will be the same, gaining a loyal and long term client that will refer others to a business’s products and services.
So essentially, sales have the power to change condition through the skills of the sales team. A sales funnel dictates the actual steps used to lead your customer towards the final goal, the actual purchase or use of services that you are offering.
Marketing, however, generally does not possess this same power. It needs to work with conditions as they come. The use of a marketing funnel is to create some anticipation about what is being offered or sold.
Both Marketing Funnels and Sales Funnels can become very complex systems with numerous sub-steps within each primary step, depending on who your client is compared to what you are offering.
Monitoring the social media marketing landscape is vital to your success.
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