A sales funnel is a marketing system. It’s the “ideal” process you intend your customers to experience as they go from capturing leads, converting sales and creating raving fans for your business. Sales funnels have been around much longer than web marketing, but the online world is the best thing to ever happen to sales funnels because websites and email marketing make sales funnels easier to build.
Think of a sales funnel just like an ordinary funnel. The purpose of a funnel is to make things easier and cleaner. When you put fresh, new oil in your car for example, you don’t want oil spilling all over your engine. So what do you do? You use a funnel to increase the likelihood that ALL (or most) of the oil will go straight to its destination. Sales funnels work the same way — they help you avoid “spilling” (or losing) potential customers.
The idea of using a funnel as a metaphor for Sales & Marketing processes in business really stems from the classic Marketing concept, AIDA. Attention, Interest, Desire, Action. These 4 elements generally describe how you build customer relationships, but they can also describe lots of other things too (like how to structure a really good sales letter or sales pitch).
Here’s a quick example of a sales funnel:
Let’s say I’m in the travel business. I’m a travel agent with my very own website where I offer some basic information about me and my services.
A simple contact form or phone number listed on my travel website MIGHT help me get a few new leads here and there. But instead of just waiting for people to pick up the phone and call my travel agency, I offer a free report all about a topic of great interest to my target customers.
The report is called “How To Save 50% On Your Next Family Vacation” (or something to that effect). I make the report available to any website visitor in exchange for their first name and email address.
This is an example of a LEAD MAGNET. (I firmly believe virtually EVERY website should have a lead magnet in place.)
Then, every week (or every month) I send out my travel newsletter to everyone on that list. Periodically, I also send out special surveys, limited offer coupons, prizes, other special reports, and much more.
Since, in this example, my main business is booking travel, my ultimate goal is to convert newsletter subscribers into travel bookings. But if I develop a more sophisticated sales funnel, I can start to segment my list and target my marketing even more carefully to my “hot leads” and my most active subscribers. This way, I can begin to learn more about my list to offer well-targeted new products and services.
If you need help with marketing online or building intelligent funnels to generate leads, convert sales and create raving fans for your business, we can help. Simply click the “get a quote” button below and then schedule a 30-minute strategy session so we can give you a blueprint for being successful online based on our experience of “what’s working now” in the world of online marketing and advertising.
To your success,
Steve Jones — FunnelShed