Have you ever asked yourself why some excellent products sell poorly? The answer almost always lies in bad advertising. A given product can have the best possible performance, perfect specs, and affordability but still fail in a matter of months with a subpar advertising strategy. And today, more than ever, business owners rely on effective selling methods to survive the harsh competition.
Let’s say you’re at a local supermarket looking for a new cereal box to try out. Suddenly, you realize you’ve wasted ten minutes staring at those brightly-colored boxes, big or small, attractive or ugly-looking, inviting or off-putting.
There are so many options to choose from. How could you possibly make a decision? Finally, you pick the most appealing box and call it a day. But until you get there, the decision-making process in your mind is complex, with all kinds of factors in play.
Companies are perfectly aware of this fact. They are psychologists just as much as manufacturers or sellers. Getting into the mind of the average shopper is no easy task: it requires a well-defined approach. In our case, this approach is known as a sales funnel. Find out more at https://www.techtarget.com/searchcustomerexperience/definition/sales-funnel.
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What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel, also called a purchase or purchasing funnel, is a specific marketing strategy that focuses on customers. In simplest terms, it describes the way in which a customer decides to buy a product or service.
Now, shopping, in general, has significantly evolved in the last century. Levels of production have reached unprecedented heights, and there are thousands of items to choose from in any area. The idea is to make a customer choose your product.
Advertisers tried to demystify this process by creating the sales funnel. It’s intended to help budding companies who are finding their place under the sun but also larger and more experienced businesses who might struggle with advertising.
It’s a highly interesting and effective marketing model that has proved beneficial in many contexts. Some consider it the best approach for getting more leads, traffic, and sales. The idea of a sales funnel is not hard to grasp, so let’s see what exactly makes it work.
The AIDA Model
Sales funnels rely on a well-known marketing concept called AIDA. This easy-to-remember acronym stands for attention (you might also find it as “awareness”), interest, decision, and action.
It was first introduced by legendary US advertising pioneer E. St. Elmo Lewis at the turn of the 20th century. But the idea itself has been around much longer.
As you can see from the four elements, it studies the consumer’s mind when choosing what to buy. It moves logically from the thinking and feeling stages (cognitive and emotional) to the actual purchase (behavioral). Shopping is far from limited to the rational: it includes your gut feeling, too.
The Four Stages
Attention, or awareness, is where it all starts: people can’t buy your products if they don’t know them. They might see your ad on TV or social media, learn about it from a friend, hear it on the radio, etc. Considering how we’re bombarded daily with new offers, it takes a striking and effective ad to capture a potential customer’s attention. Think of the classic Nike slogan, Just Do It – simple and straightforward; I’d say it’s worked pretty well for them.
Next comes interest. So, that seed has been planted, and now it’s the sprouting stage. Once they see your ad, shoppers become amused with the idea. Do they really need it? Is it useful as it says? Are their friends going to like it? Is it cost-effective? These are typically their main concerns.
Even if they pass on the product in the end, they’re actively thinking and considering the product. This is the crucial stage where the customer weighs the pros and cons.
Which leads us to the third part – the decision. Obviously, this is when people choose whether to buy or not. Sometimes decision-making happens earlier in the funnel, particularly if you need the product urgently.
But in most cases, people think their decisions over. We’ve all been in situations where we rushed to buy something, only to regret it later. Hence, a product should be instantly alluring and promising, so the customer will decide to purchase sooner.
The ultimate step, of course, is action. The customer has considered the product long enough, deciding they need it, so they buy or sign up. This stage is more of a result of everything that came before it: first impression, the question of necessity, calculations, emotions, etc. If everything seems in order, there’s nothing to stop the customer from buying your product. Check this website for more.
Remember – this is only the theory of the AIDA model. Things are often different in reality. Sometimes people decide instantly; other times, you don’t even rouse their interest. In any case, it’s imperative to have a general idea of what IDEA is so you can place your products with greater success.
Climbing the Value Ladder
Drawing in your customers is not a one-time thing. Sure, it’s possible they won’t like the product and move on. But we’re interested in those who stay. And to achieve that, companies use a tactic called the value ladder to help build a loyal customer base.
What’s this ladder thing about, then? It’s when you offer more expensive and valuable products or services along the way, starting from your basic one. Customers need to be drawn in gradually. Let’s assume you’re offering a fitness program.
Do you start with the hardest HIIT premium multi-part workouts? Of course not. You begin with the simplest exercises. Once clients feel comfortable enough to progress, they will naturally ask for more. A step at a time, you provide them with your whole gamut, and they form a connection with your brand.
The most important part is not to rush or pressure buyers. They’re smart enough to decide for themselves. If the need is there, they will feel it and ask for your service. Then, your only obligation is to provide as professionally as you can.
Who’s Your Target?
Businesses must know their target groups to gain momentum. You would never offer skateboards to retirees, would you? While there might be an enthusiastic 75-year-old on her way to the skatepark, the vast majority would say no. So, the more you’re aware of your customers, the more successful you’ll be.
Say you’re a clothes manufacturer that mainly targets the elderly population. Opening a shop in downtown Las Vegas wouldn’t really be a good business move, would it? Instead, you would opt for smaller towns where older people comprise most of the population.
Studying your target group means identifying their wants, learning their tastes, and satisfying their needs. It’s a painstaking process that, when done right, can turn your company into a lasting and respected name. As with everything, you need to know the basics before you make a decision.
The Value of Good Copy
In advertising, copy refers to the text you use to promote products and services. In the past, companies used long and tedious commercials that bored customers quickly. Now, that pretty much equals self-destruction.
Owing to the abundance of information, people’s attention span is much smaller. They will look at a new product for a few seconds and move on. It takes several impressions for them to even remember it.
But with good copy, and carefully chosen and effective words, you can achieve amazing results. There’s a reason for the high demand for copywriters. These people are masters of the art of concise and impactful writing.
As we saw with the Nike slogan, the simplest phrase can help create a global and dominant brand. But the opposite is also true. Even if you had the perfect offer in your hands, bad and lazy marketing can ruin it forever. Read more on this page https://www.wikihow.life/Create-an-Internet-Marketing-Funnel.
It takes real effort to build a customer base. For this reason, successful companies use lead magnets or free offers to get the contacts’ information. It might be free advice or downloadable content, a trial period, a short course, or something else. The idea is to collect as much contact information as your can from your target group: phone numbers, names, and e-mail addresses.
There you have it – we’ve covered the main points of a sales funnel, plus some hopefully valuable tips for your business. This is an incredibly broad field; so many books have been written about the art of advertising. But you have to start from the beginning. Once you’ve established a strong and successful strategy for your brand, the rest is much easier.