Sales Funnel Marketing used to be fairly straightforward. Publish some literature about your brand, run some ads, do a little PR and customers hear about you. Then your sales team would close the deal.
With the prominence of social media and mobile connectivity, people talk about your industry and brand at any hour of the day. If a buyer wants to know your key competitors and their differentiators, she’ll Google it and get a thousand blog posts, and then maybe see what Twitter has to say.
This is why the role of interactive and content marketing becomes more important by the minute. Without it, you can’t communicate with your funnel effectively, and lose out on prospects and sales.
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Sales Funnel Marketing Tools for Each Funnel Audience
So if the way prospects make their way through your sales funnel has changed, it’s time to start reconsidering about the best tactics to communicate with them each step along the way.
When you’re just trying to get noticed, the best marketing dollars are spent on developing a relevant and coherent brand and marketing presence. The following marketing items help attract prospects in the awareness stage.
- A strong brand with a memorable logo, defined color palette, photography style, copy voice and more.
- A updated and effective online presence including an search engine optimized website with compelling content and an active presence on relevant social media channels.
- Attractive and effective print materials including business cards, proposals, sales sheets, brochures and more
Consideration prospects are often not on your radar, having not yet reached out to your sales team. Sales Funnel Marketing items that help this group step closer to conversion include:
- Social media ads and especially those that re-target website visitors help potential customers remember your brand over time.
- Testimonials that share others positive experiences with your company can convert prospects into customers. In fact, positive reviews have been shown to influence buyer decision as much as any other marketing materials.
Purchase Point (or Support) Marketing
At this point, your sales team is most likely aware of these prospects. As a result, marketing should be very targeted to each member of the purchase audience and should make completing the sale as easy as possible with tactics such as:
- Design and launch HTML email messaging with discounts or other incentives
- Send personalized email messaging with content directly relevant to the needs and interests of the individual prospect. Including a link to the product or service that each one is considering makes it easy to purchase.
Too many organizations close a sale and consider the Sales Funnel Marketing process complete and successful. Those who do are missing out on a valuable opportunity to invest in communications with an already engaged and profitable audience. Marketing prorgams to members of the retention group should include:
- Asking for feedback. Customers want to know that their opinion matters and by asking for it, you can encourage repeat business because they know you care.
- Ongoing communication via print and email should always address a buyer’s opportunities and challenges.
With social media and the prevalence of word-of-mouth marketing, it has become every brand’s greatest goal to find advocates. But what many don’t understand is that you must market effectively to this group in order to develop them.
Marketing to happy customers is the best way to communicate with this group. Ask for positive reviews (and make it easy for them to do it) on sites such as Yelp!, Google+, Facebook and more.
Give these people a way to show their love for your brand. From stickers to t-shirts to pint glasses, let your advocates know how much you appreciate them. They’ll be more inclined to remember you the next time a friend asks.
The sales funnel has irreversibly shifted over the past few years. As a result, effective Sales Funnel Marketing must shift with it.
Using appropriate and strategic marketing tactics at each step of the sales funnel will ensure that your brand communicates effectively, and ultimately attracts prospects, converts sales and creates brand evangelists that will sustain your organization for years to come.