Haven’t you seen the guy? The one whose going from person to person asking for the sale. The one who makes you think to yourself, “What made him think I’d be interested in that?”. He’s going up and down your street, in and out of stores, scrolling all over online. We have to give him credit because he’s a hustler and with time he’ll get results, but there is an easier and more focused way to get sales without driving everybody crazy with your pushy offers, and that’s what we’ll be talking about here. We’re going to use the 80/20 rule where we focus 80 percent of our time on the 20 percent that matters, so we can get good sales outcomes and happy clients. By understanding the digital marketing funnel stages, we’ll be saving ourselves and our clients loads of awkwardness and hard feelings. Let me explain…
You do a huge disservice to yourself and your customer when you don’t understand the customer purchasing cycle. People who don’t understand the phases prior to a purchase find themselves facing massive rejection (like “the guy” we talked about earlier) and discouragement, they treat everyone like meat and mistakenly are always in either “go for the sale” mode, or sheer “fear of rejection” mode. I don’t want you to be caught up too focused on the sale or too focused on the rejection, so I wrote this article to tell you everything you should know about the digital marketing funnel stages that can drive more sales.
- 1 Facts About Customers
- 2 Research
- 3 Awareness
- 4 Interest
- 5 Desire
- 6 How Do I Put A Digital Marketing Funnel in Place?
- 7 Playlist About Digital Marketing Funnel Stages
- 8 My Recommendation for Building a Digital Marketing Funnel
- 9 Final Words on What You Should Know About Digital Marketing Funnel Stages
- 10 Now, it’s Your Turn…
Facts About Customers
1. Customers rarely buy at their first introduction to a product or service.
2. Many customers have decision makers they have to consult prior to making a purchase (especially a large purchase).
3. Some people have beliefs that they place as barriers to impulsive buying so they reject spontaneous purchases at no fault of the seller.
4. Customers buy from those they trust
5. People buy to solve a problem their having
6. Pushy or scammy promotions turn most customers off
7. Often times, if the customer is uncertain about your personal credibility or the credibility of the product, they seek advice or reviews prior to making a purchase
As a result of the conditioned state of the customer, there are phases prior to making a purchase. The phases before a purchase are given many names–a few of which are:
- Customer purchasing cycle
- Sales funnel
- Marketing life cycle
- Customer decision journey
and on and on…
The phases usually go from research > awareness > interest > desire > action.
Let me explain further…
When a customer is interested in a topic, they typically seek more and more information about the topic. They may not know there are simpler ways to perform tasks they are currently doing. They are likely doing organic research in hopes to learn tips that can make their lives easier.
They may use videos, blogs, social media, live networking, or a variety of other methods to find information that connects with their interests. The research phase is not typically the phase where you would get someone to buy (unless they’re a more impulsive person).
You can capture people in the research phase with SEO or paid traffic, but you want to have ways to nurture the relationship, so you can guide them to a good solution for their problem. Rather than being in “go for the sale” mode with a person in the research phase, the best thing to do is to leave them with information and find a way to contact them later.
In the digital marketing funnel stages, this may be the point where the customer has read an article, they may have seen your product for the first time, and they are still pondering whether the things you mentioned are viable solutions to their problems. Rather than pressuring a person in the research phase, you can encourage them to read more on your website, point them in the direction of some valuable information, and at the most, add them onto your email list. Continue delivering value, create content that addresses underlying beliefs that may be barriers to their purchase decision, and continue building the relationship without reservations about if they buy or if they don’t.
At the awareness phase, the person has identified that they have a problem, but they’re not certain about how they want to solve the problem. They’ve been organically reading and maybe they’ve seen several people solving their problem in similar ways, but they’re uncertain which way would suit them best.
In this phase, they may be more eager to get to know you and watch you closer to build the trust relationship individually. This is where squeeze pages, contact forms, and categorizing information comes in. At this point, the person is converting from a cold lead to a warm lead.
You can meet people in the awareness phase if you do reviews, “best of” posts, and “how to’s”. The more specific their inquiry, typically the more aware they are of potential solutions. For example, the person searching for “smart phones” is probably further behind in the purchase cycle than the person searching for the “Samsung S8”. Once, they have more clarity about specific products that may solve their problems, it’s likely they are closer to a buying decision.
They may still find you invasive if you go for the sale at the awareness phase because the trust in you and your solution is not all the way established. Rather than going for the sale, focus on addressing presuppositions and building trust. Many marketers leverage review posts, how to’s, and best of posts to attract buyers at this phase or further along. There’s no specified time period where each person has to incubate in certain digital marketing funnel phases.
As soon as the trust is built in the solution, and gatekeepers approve, the purchase can take place. It’s up to you (the entrepreneur who wears the marketing and sales hat) to escort potential customers from problem to solution.
Now, the person has read your review, but at the interest phase, they may just want to be clear about what your competitive advantages are and why they should buy from you. You can build further interest in your solution thru giveaways: a free ebook that serves to build credibility and trust, a free e-course, additional articles, a video, or so on. You can have a clear landing page that identifies their problem and offers them a glimpse in exchange for an email.
In the interest phase, you’re building their trust in you as the vendor of the solution. Similar to the awareness phase, you can also attract people in the interest phase with reviews, best of posts, and how to’s. You can also capture people in the interest phase by doing giveaways, identifying scams and faulty products and services, and positioning yourself at vendor locations.
At this phase, many people may be looking to see whether they’re building interest towards a scam, so if you know something is not worth the time or money, be a good advisor and tell others! Don’t let people purchase something that’s a waste of time in your niche when you know there’s a better solution. Speak up!
Good keywords in this phase are “reviews”, “this versus that”, comparison, or scam. I’m sure there are others, but those can get you started.
At this phase, the person desires the solution. They have performed their research and they feel comfortable buying. The only thing required in this phase is that you have a comfortable and smooth checkout process. If you’re escorting them to an affiliate product/service, you want to ensure the transition process maintains the relevance.
If you are telling the customer they will get a retirement income, and the affiliate offer is to start an at-home business, you may have a high drop-off rate because the offer is not entirely relevant. After you’ve done all of the work to escort them to a buying decision, make sure the solution is a viable solution to their problem. Make sure the original offer you presented is consistent throughout the buying journey.
How Do I Put A Digital Marketing Funnel in Place?
Many people are using marketing funnels that are hosted off of their websites and paying monthly subscriptions for landing pages, lead capture pages, countdown clocks, and so on. Some people are paying in excess of $7000/year for sales funnels and integrations!
When you host such an important aspect of your business on someone else’s property, there can be many problems. Just like you want to host your own website, you want to host your own sales conversion funnels and devices. If someone else is in charge of your sales process, they have huge leverage in your business. Even worse, once you set up your conversion process on someone else’s turf, you feel “stuck” even if things aren’t going right. People have lost tens of thousands of dollars in profit because they hosted their sales funnels on an external site.
I’d be very careful about doing that.
Playlist About Digital Marketing Funnel Stages
Here is a playlist that explains the digital marketing funnel stages, and compares various products that help to create a high conversion digital marketing funnel:
My Recommendation for Building a Digital Marketing Funnel
To build a digital marketing funnel, I recommend Thrive Themes. Their themes come with landing page templates that are very easy to set up. They have lots of great training at Thrive University to help you set up your sales funnel and get conversions. You can pay for the theme or landing page plugin one time, and the price is typically less than a one-month subscription to somewhere like Clickfunnels ($139/month)! I use Thrive for each of my landing pages and I’m not very tech-savvy, but it works very easily for me. You can check them out HERE.
When comparing funnel services like Builderall or Clickfunnels to Thrive Themes, the main benefits are:
- It’s self-hosted
- They have good support
- Their price positioning offers more value for a lower price than their competitors
- In addition to landing pages and funnels, they offer a full suite of conversion focused tools (countdown timers, surveys, membership site, etc.)
- They are easy to use
- They have loads of animations and features
- and I could go on…
In my opinion, Thrive Themes beats their competitors by a long shot.
Final Words on What You Should Know About Digital Marketing Funnel Stages
If you haven’t, you should consider using the information from my previous article on customer journey mapping to analyze your sales process and identify pain points. Collectively, understanding the digital marketing funnel stages, testing, and improving any places where the process falls off is how you can begin to see the compound effect in your business.
You can go from $0 in sales to $20, $20 to $40, and so on simply by analyzing your processes, and fixing areas where your clients may begin feeling uncomfortable. The more comfortable you are able to make more people with your solutions, the more your bank account will reflect that.
If you want help improving your online business, I’d love to help you out. I’ve been making a full-time income online since January 2017, and it’s enabled me to have more control of my time and stay home with my kids! I can show you how I’ve been making money online. I’ll be able to walk alongside you as you take your business and win online. You can set up a FREE ACCOUNT HERE.
Now, it’s Your Turn…
Have you made observations about the digital marketing funnel stages? Has understanding the digital marketing funnel stages helped you in your business? Do you have questions, concerns, or feedback about anything presented here? Leave your comments below.