What is a sales funnel?

Hey there, ready to take your business’s sales and marketing game to the next level? Then you’re in the right place because we’re about to introduce you to the magical world of sales funnels! Don’t worry. It’s simpler than it sounds.

So, what exactly is a sales funnel? It’s a visual representation of a customer’s journey, from initial contact to purchase. It’s like a map that guides your prospects through the sales process and helps you convert them into paying clients.

In this article, we’ll walk you through the five stages of a sales funnel and give you tips and tricks to maximise your marketing efforts at each stage.

Stage one: Awareness

In the awareness stage, potential customers first discover your company, product, or service. This is the widest part of the marketing funnel, and it’s all about making a great first impression. It might be the first time they stumble upon your website, come across one of your social media posts, or hear about you from another customer or follower.

To make the most of this stage, it’s important to focus on a few key strategies:

  • Develop a clear brand message that resonates with your target audience
  • Get to know your ideal customer. Who are they? (demographics) and what makes them tick? (psychographics) so you can tailor your messaging accordingly
  • Clearly communicate how your product or service solves a specific problem or meets a need in the market.

There are lots of different ways to build awareness about your brand, including:

  • Your website (make sure it’s optimised for search engines and easy to navigate)
  • Social media posts (share engaging content and interact with your followers)
  • Search engine optimisation (use relevant keywords and phrases to improve your visibility in search results)
  • Affiliate marketing (partner with influencers or other businesses to expand your reach)
  • Online and offline advertising (consider running ads on platforms like Google or in traditional media like print and radio)
  • In-person events (host or participate in events where you can connect with potential customers face-to-face)

Here are a few tips to keep in mind during the awareness stage:

  • Use marketing analytics to track which strategies are working best and adjust your approach accordingly
  • Take advantage of free online tools (like Keyword Surfer, SEMrush, or Ubersuggest) to see which keywords are driving traffic to your website
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment with different approaches until you find what works best for your business

Remember, the awareness stage is about making a great first impression and getting potential customers excited about your offer.

Stage Two: Interest

So, you’ve got people to notice your brand – that’s awesome! Now, it’s time to get them interested in what you have to offer. The interest stage is about showing potential customers what you can do for them while building your brand’s credibility and authority.

Here are some tips to spark their interest:

  • Create engaging online content that directly addresses your ideal customer’s pain points. This could be anything from blog posts to social media updates – just ensure it’s relevant to your offering.
  • Use keywords your prospects are searching for to drive traffic to your website or social media accounts.
  • Encourage people to follow you on social media, sign up for your email list, or even slide into your DMs with questions or comments.

As people start to engage with your brand, take the opportunity to turn them into potential customers. When they actively seek information on how your offer solves their problem, you know you’re on the right track!

Here are some tactics to promote your product during the interest stage:

  • Try email campaigns, blog posts, or social media updates.
  • Offer free trials or retargeting campaigns to entice people to take the plunge and make their first purchase.
  • Keep building trust in your brand by showing people what you can do for them and how you can solve their problems.

Stage Three: Desire

When potential customers are in the desire stage of the funnel, they’re actively seeking out solutions that fit their budget and needs. They’re likely comparing multiple options, so your company needs to stand out with the best answer to their problem.

Here are some strategies you can try in the desire stage:

  • Build trust and rapport with prospects at this stage, and showcase the value of your solution and how it’s helped previous customers solve similar issues.
  • Use product reviews and testimonials to demonstrate this value effectively.
  • Be transparent about your offers, pricing, and packaging

Some strategies for the desire stage include:

  • Consider creating landing pages and social media posts that feature lead magnets like newsletters, e-books and more.
  • Host online events like webinars to promote your product and show potential customers how it can solve their problems.
  • Use attention-grabbing elements like great photos, videos, and enticing descriptions.
  • Partner with social media influencers to help promote your brand or product.
  • Use product reviews to encourage potential new customers to buy.
  • Create blog articles with helpful content (like this one!)
  • Consider promotional offers such as free shipping.

Ultimately, the goal for this stage is to convince the potential customer that not only do they need your product, but they specifically need it from your company.

Stage Four: Action

When your potential customers reach the action stage of the sales funnel, they are ready to buy! So, it’s essential to focus on meeting their needs and expectations at this point. You can do this by offering extra support or educational materials to help them get more value from your product and increase their satisfaction with their purchase.

Here are some strategies that you can try during the action stage:

  • Send consistent, relevant emails to build a relationship with your customers.
  • Respond quickly to any questions or queries they have.
  • Offer limited-time pricing specials or promotional codes.
  • Perform consultations or live demonstrations.
  • Use retargeting techniques to remind them of your offer.

To make it even easier for people to buy, consider offering insider tips, special offers, product use or training videos, bundled packages, and follow-up email campaigns.

Remember to pay attention to your digital sales process. Even small changes, such as adding customer reviews to the checkout page, can impact whether someone decides to buy.

Stage Five: Loyalty

Let’s talk about loyalty – the key to turning a customer into a repeat buyer! You want to ensure your customers are satisfied with your products and services so they keep coming back. Plus, retaining customers is much cheaper than constantly trying to find new ones.

And the best part? Loyal customers are more likely to spread the word about your brand to their friends and family. So, not only will you be keeping your existing customers happy, but you might also gain some new ones through good old word-of-mouth marketing!

Now, how can you retain those loyal customers? Here are some ideas:

  • Set up customer loyalty or rewards programs
  • Offer discounts for referring new customers
  • Make sure your customer support team is super responsive and helpful
  • Send out re-engagement email campaigns to keep them interested
  • Ask for feedback through polls or surveys
  • Create product-specific videos to showcase your offerings

Here are a few examples of the sales funnel process in action!

Example 1: An e-commerce store

  1. A customer sees an ad on social media for a new product that your e-commerce store is selling. They click on the ad and visit your website (awareness).
  2. While browsing your website, they add the product to their cart and sign up for your newsletter (interest).
  3. Over the next few days, the customer receives emails from your store with product recommendations and discounts (desire).
  4. Eventually, the customer decides to make a purchase and completes the checkout process (action).
  5. After making a purchase, the customer is satisfied with the product and decides to leave a positive review on your website or social media page (loyalty). They also sign up for your loyalty program, which offers exclusive discounts and rewards for frequent shoppers.

Example 2: A software company

  1. A potential customer searches for a solution to a problem they are experiencing and comes across a blog post on your software company’s website (awareness).
  2. The customer reads the blog post and signs up for your company’s email newsletter (interest).
  3. Over the next few weeks, the customer receives informative emails about your company’s software and its benefits (desire).
  4. After evaluating their options, the customer decides to sign up for a free trial of your software (action).
  5. During the free trial period, the customer receives excellent customer service and technical support from your company’s team (loyalty).
  6. After the trial ends, they decide to purchase a subscription to your software and recommend it to their colleagues.

Example 3: A service-based business

  1. A potential customer sees a flyer for your cleaning service in their mailbox (awareness).
  2. They visit your website to learn more about your services and read reviews from previous customers (interest).
  3. The customer calls your business to ask questions about pricing and availability (desire).
  4. After discussing their needs with your team, the customer schedules a cleaning appointment (action).
  5. After the cleaning appointment, the customer is impressed with the quality of your service and recommends your business to their friends and family (loyalty). They also sign up for recurring cleaning services, becoming regular customers.

To sum it all up…

These examples show how potential customers move through the different stages of a sales funnel before making a purchase. Understanding the various stages of a sales funnel and how they apply to your business can help you improve your marketing strategy and increase conversions.

The wolf pack know a thing or two about creating successful sales funnels – reach out if you’re keen to learn more!

Written by Andrea Sevilla

Andrea is our Marketing Consultant & Copywriter who works with our clients to craft content for their websites, blog articles, promotional materials and more!

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