- 1 What is a sales funnel?
- 2 Why and who needs to set up a sales funnel?
- 3 What are the elements of a sales funnel?
- 4 How to create an auto funnel? Sales funnel examples
- 5 What tools are needed to implement an auto funnel
The automated sales funnel is an e-commerce trend. A lot has been written about sales funnels, but the topic is rich and rapidly developing. You can not stop as soon as it begins to seem that the marketer has found the optimal tool. New trends appear market conditions change, and you have to constantly adjust something to keep up with competitors.
What is an auto funnel, how does it works, and what promising directions are there in funnel construction – read further in this article.
What is a sales funnel?
A funnel is a system of step-by-step customer engagement. The goal is sales. Funnel theory was developed by a marketer at St. Elmo 100 years ago.
A funnel is a metaphor for the traditional sales process from introducing a customer to a product to a transaction and repeat purchases. It is used in any business processes where more than one stage or step is implied between the buyer and the transaction.
For example, a person who wanted to eat went into a store and bought the first sausage that came across – this is not yet a funnel, but just a purchase. But if before that the client saw an advertisement and then bought it, this is already a sales funnel, from advertising and retail location.
Figuratively, this process is represented in the form of a cone. Many people see advertising, but the number of buyers is always less than the audience. An ideal funnel is a pipe where there is no loss between the first and last stages, but this does not happen.
An automatic sales funnel is a funnel implemented using electronic advertising, sales, and analytics services, but more on that later.
At the micro-level, it looks simple:
- the customer learned about the product;
- became interested and received more information;
- bought maybe a few times.
Each trade goes through a series of phases where the probability of buying increases. The further along the funnel, the more information the client receives and it becomes obvious that the purchase is useful for him.
At the macro level, it’s a bit more complicated. A sales funnel usually starts with a large number of potential buyers selected according to certain criteria. These are the characteristics of the target audience: gender, age, geography, wealth. Gradually, the pool is reduced, by the middle of the way the number of potential customers falls, and by the end, the most interested and wealthy remain (those who have the desire and ability to make a deal).
The marketer must push the maximum number of buyers into the funnel, minimize losses, optimize operating costs, and increase profits.
Why and who needs to set up a sales funnel?
Auto funnels for business have become the main tool for selling goods and services. Auto funnels for online stores, services, and online education are especially in demand. The higher the competition and the more complex the product, the more important sales through auto funnels become. They allow you to simplify workflows for the promotion and sale of goods, increase the audience of potential buyers, enter new markets and thereby increase profits.
Auto funnels are needed by everyone who sells something on the Internet.
What are the elements of a sales funnel?
The main difference between an auto funnel for business is that most work processes take place with minimal participation of people. All automatic services and programs must ensure the process of promoting and collecting data at all stages of the scheme below.
A classic auto funnel has the following product promotion structure:
- A lead magnet is a free offer that attracts potential buyers. Usually, advertising is set up on a magnet. It can be a free checklist for increasing sales, a webinar on playing the harp, a calculator program for calculating brick consumption, etc. It is important to attract attention, make a person go to the site, and get his email and phone number.
- Tripwire is an inexpensive product, the task of which is to additionally engage the consumer comes right behind the free lead magnet. The feature is a great benefit at a low price. In some funnels, there is no tripwire, or the lead magnet itself plays its role.
- The main product is what everything is happening for, it is offered to an already “warmed up” client, ready for a deal. It can be a video course on setting up advertising, a Bluetooth speaker, a smartwatch, a smartphone… The success of an auto funnel depends on its sales.
- Extended offer, or VIP – for super-motivated buyers. In the information business, these can be advanced courses with the support of teachers, in online stores – additional equipment, devices, and accessories, in the service sector – extended packages of offers.
Let’s analyze the funnel from the point of view of marketing psychology
There are also several stages that unfold in a logical sequence of client involvement.
At this stage of the funnel, advertising works. This can be a contextual display campaign in search engines, banners, targeted advertising on social networks, and youtube. The task is not just to give information, but to “break through” the psychological defense of the client, to surprise, impress, and hook.
Here they use the lead magnet, which was discussed above, the main requirement for a magnet is value and practical utility.
It can also be an ordinary advertisement, but it requires creativity and a powerful hook. Just saying that you have the most delicious pies in the city will not be enough.
An example is the sexiest advertising campaign on Instagram – Curvy1958:
The stage of awareness transfers a potential client to the information plane. After he was surprised, you need to be interested and prove the proposal’s benefits as quickly as possible.
The client should smoothly and imperceptibly flow through the funnel from one stage to another, the smoother the better. Advertising takes the visitor to the target site, landing page, social network page, or online store.
The world does not care that another company has appeared, but the fact that it offers a unique virtual reality helmet, a smartphone with a holographic projector, or very high-quality roofing materials in Zhmerinka is already interesting and can be useful.
Example: a person sees the banner “All houses are stupid, but ours is smart”, is surprised, goes to the site, and finds out how it works.
Next, it enters the data field, learns about the benefits of the product, and learns that the latest processors, controllers, and cloud services are being used.
For different types of mentality, different manipulative factors are used. For example, “digitals” – lovers of new products – always peck at manufacturability. Another part of the target audience – kinesthetics, sees the comfort and convenience that automation provides and also decides to buy. The third is that visuals, for whom beauty is important, are evaluated in their own way and either join or not.
The task of a marketer is to arouse a desire to buy a product from the widest possible range of the target audience.
The heating of interest is realized with the help of relevant content, it can be infographics, videos, reviews, text, test versions of software, etc. Technically, in sales funnels, this is embodied by special demo blocks on website pages, landing pages, or social networks.
3. Evaluation and comparison with competitors
This is the pre-decision stage. At this stage of the automatic sales funnel, you need to prove that your homes are smarter or cheaper than the competition, or maybe warmer or located in a better location.
How to do this is to find key advantages and realize weaknesses. Advantages need to be strengthened, weaknesses need to be ironed out, as well as stand out from competitors and prove that your offer is the best. It is best to show the benefits as close to practice as possible. There is a successful case of the manufacturer of equipment. The tablet was thrown into a puddle, a car drove over it and it continued to work.
After a high-quality demonstration, all doubts disappear by themselves, it is important to be able to present the pros in a favorable light.
The result of the stage is the decision to buy.
4. Desire and opportunity
To arouse a desire to purchase does not mean to sell a product. The intention should be stronger than the difficulties that a person faces when ordering. And the value of the product is more than the money paid. The inability to buy is overcome by discounts, installments, and credit. It is important to arouse a strong desire, which then turns into action.
This moment is realized with the help of the functions “installment plan”, “buy on credit” and “payment in installments”.
Losing a customer at the sales stage is the most malicious violation of all marketing laws, but also a very common phenomenon. A waste of money situation is when a customer calls from the sales funnel, but no one picks up the phone, or the line is simply overloaded…
The stage of action, that is, the purchase should be the easiest and fastest so that the potential buyer does not have time to grow old and change his mind. In practice, it is implemented by the selling functionality of the site and the offline sales department.
6. Revaluation and resales
Revaluation is a natural process of using goods or services. For goods, the quality of the product decides everything, but for the service sector, the process itself is the most important working moment. This is what this direction exists for, the main source of income or the reason for bankruptcy.
Why mention this step in an article about automatic funnels? Because the success of the revaluation depends on whether or not there will be a re-purchase. These are the impressions that remain from your products or services.
The most important point of the auto funnel is the compliance of the product or service with quality requirements.
How to create an auto funnel? Sales funnel examples
An automatic sales funnel is a dynamic constructor; additional tools and services can be introduced into its structure. Consider the main types:
A quick sale funnel is a simple funnel that consists of only two elements:
1. Traffic source
Targeted or contextual advertising, referrals from social networks, blogs, or partner sites.
2. Selling (landing) page.
The page displays information about the order and contains the application form.
Full sales funnel scenario
The funnel focuses on the process of capturing leads and restarting the sales process. A complete sales funnel may consist of the following parts:
- Traffic sources (social networks, advertising, partners).
- A registration page with a pop-up that can collect a database of potential customers for a lead magnet.
- Follow-up email is a message that is sent to your subscribers as an instant automatic message, it can be a message in messenger, chat or Push.
- Sales page – here are blocks of various offers – tripwire, VIP. There may also be evidence of product quality, video material, and reviews.
- Order form with customer data.
- Reminder email – sent to users if they haven’t completed a purchase.
- Confirmation page – where customers see the order summary, download link, and other details.
- Purchase confirmation letter.
Expanded funnel options
You can embed anything into the auto funnel structure, for example, integrate it with social networks and get traffic from Facebook or Instagram. This approach can be very effective, especially if the target audience prefers these sites. Messengers and youtube are also often used. It is important to choose the right platforms for promotion and not forget about retargeting.
Retargeting and remarketing campaigns are paid advertising campaigns that you can run on social media and search engines.
The goal is lead generation, to return visitors to the site and get a chance to turn them into customers. Dynamic retargeting and dynamic ad remarketing help convert more leads into buyers and drive repeat sales.
How to make your sales funnel more efficient?
To successfully work through an auto funnel, you need to know who you are selling to. The wording “women of average income, from 20 to 45” is catastrophically small. You need to know exactly where the audience is located, in which networks it sits, and on which pages and blogs it “grazes”. After all, you will have to set up ads and publish content there. It is necessary to determine and prescribe what the target audience loves, what it is interested in, and what trends and memes it “consumes”. And also what social markers it uses, distinguishing its own from others. Only by knowing the answers to these questions can you successfully set up an automatic funnel and sell effectively.
What tools are needed to implement an auto funnel
To create and promote an auto funnel, you will need specialized tools, their set and number depend on the nature and complexity of the niche.
- In most cases, you need a CRM system through which you can collect and organize lead data.
- Analytical services, at least Google Analytics.
- Services of automatic mailing lists.
- Push services and chats.
- Online payment systems.
Instead of a conclusion
We have considered the main points in creating auto sales funnels, of course, this topic has not been exhausted, especially since the funnel of each business will have its own structure and features, which are determined by profitability, budget, product complexity, and niche competitiveness.
The most important point in accompanying the funnel is a strategy and a clear understanding of how the processes are going. As well as monitoring the results at all stages of the automatic funnel. By analyzing the data, you can adjust and customize the auto funnel for any task.