What Is a Sales Funnel? Your Guide to Digital Marketing Funnels

The Internet is often put forward as a bottomless source of endless capital. There are no shortage of articles on how to get rich on the Internet.

They’re not all from multi-level marketing schemes, either. Even mainstream financial publications like Forbes write articles about how to get rich online.

This has caused a virtual gold rush as established businesses and entrepreneurs alike try to capitalize on the Internet’s earning potential. There’s no such thing as completely passive income, however. It all takes hard work, discipline, and an understanding of how eCommerce works.

A digital marketing funnel is one of the most powerful tools at your disposal if you’re using the Internet for business. Setting up a sales funnel ensures you’re working smart as well as hard!

Your Guide To Digital Marketing Funnels

Let’s start off by defining our terminology. Once we’ve answered the question “What is a sales funnel?” it’ll be much easier to describe how to set one up.

What Are Sales Funnels?

First of all, let’s start off by remembering that there are no boilerplate marketing solutions. Every company has its own needs and goals.

There are certain tried-and-true methods for digital marketing, however, just like any other branch of business and finance.

Attracting conversions is a universal goal of digital marketing, for instance. Or it should be, at least. Why else would you be spending money on marketing unless you’re hoping for a specific goal?

Conversions don’t have to be sales, either. It can be any business goal that you’re currently focusing on. These could include having a customer sign up for an email list.

Conversions help steer your customers through the buyer’s cycle. Digital marketing funnels automate those steps so you can focus on higher-value activities.

Why Are They Called Sales Funnels?

Digital marketing funnels model the customer’s buying journey by necessity. In case you need a refresher, the stages of the Buyer’s Journey are as follows.

The Stages Of The Buyer’s Journey:

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Consideration
  • Purchase
  • Follow-up

These stages are reflected in how visitors find your website and what they do once they get there.

The Awareness stage is going to be the largest. That’s the part where a customer is looking to solve a particular problem. They might find your website via a blog post or article posted to your website.

You’re going to lose a lot of visitors between the awareness and interest stages. Potential customers are likely to visit your page on numerous occasions until they’re ready to actually spend money. This means you need to be on the lookout for when your audience are ready to become customers.

This is where your sales funnel comes in.

How To Setup A Digital Marketing Funnel

Now let’s learn how to actually construct a sales funnel. We’ll refer back to the stages of the Buyer’s Cycle that we’ve already mentioned, focusing on how to guide your customers through the steps.

Awareness

Marketing for the awareness-raising stage of your sales funnel is basically just Digital Marketing 101. There’s countless articles on the Internet on how to do just that, so we’ll kind of skim over this part.

At the awareness-building stage of your sales funnel, inbound and content marketing are your friend. You’ve got to have something to get visitors to your website. Blog posts and informative articles help you get found via search engines. They also give you something to market on social media.

Marketing towards customers in the awareness stage can do more harm than good. You might want to set a signal that would trigger an opt-in offer after visiting three or more pages on your site.

If you want to go gung-ho and rope your visitors in early, consider offering some sort of premium content. Customers might be willing to sign up for your mailing list for an eBook or whitepaper.

Interest

After becoming more familiar with your company, your visitors are more likely to become actual customers. Here’s where you start to make actual conversions.

Audience segmentation is key during the Interest stage. Visitors will fall between qualified leads, unqualified leads, and people who aren’t interested.

You’ll need to look for signs of where your viewers are at to segment your audience properly. If they’re clicking on the ‘About Us’ or ‘Shopping’ section of your website, you’ve got their attention. Now is the time to ask them to opt-in for additional services or even make a purchase.

Content marketing can be effective for audience segmentation, as well. Say you want to find people who are looking to purchase a television. You might write an eBook guide to commercial TVs and then use social media marketing to spread the word. If someone downloads your guide, it’s safe to assume they might be in the market to buy a television.

This is where processes like marketing automation start to play a part. You might have a section of your customer relations management (CRM) software that records the email addresses of users who’ve downloaded your guide. You’ve automatically got a new mailing list of qualified leads for your sales team to nurture.

Decision

This is the bottom of the digital marketing funnel. It’s the stage where customers are the most likely to actually spend money.

Some signs that your users have reached the decision-making stage could include reading case studies and testimonials. If you’re selling a product, an item being added to the shopping cart might be the final trigger.

You can push a little harder and be a little more ‘sales-y’ during the decision-making stage. Something as simple as offering a sale price on an item might be enough to seal the deal. Cross-promotion and up-selling are possible at this stage, as well.

Once you’ve achieved a conversion on any stage of the Buyer’s Cycle, but especially the Decision stage, don’t just let your customers walk away! Make sure to keep up with them via email or social media to keep the relationship going.

The Internet might not be the get-rich-quick goldmine some make it out to be, but that’s actually good news for savvy marketers. Having even rudimentary knowledge of digital marketing and eCommerce will go a long way towards making your business profitable.

If you set up your sales funnel the right way, it can become an automated money-making machine. You can read more about how to set up your sales funnel over here.

Want To Learn More About Making Money Online?

The Internet is evolving at the speed of thought. Whether you’re wanting to know about digital marketing funnels or are starting your online business for the first time, we’ve got you covered!

Read more of our tips for Making Money Online here.