Every company must be strategic in the way that they develop their website and employ marketing tactics to ensure that each customer’s journey leads to continuous transactions and brand loyalty. The digital marketing funnel is a process that helps companies gain the interest of their target audience, drive traffic to their websites, lure people in with captivating content and imagery, encourage sales or actions and build long-term relationships.
To gain interest and buzz around your brand that will drive traffic on your website, you must raise awareness and gain exposure through advertising campaigns, targeted mailings, social media or any marketing strategies that you see fit. It’s hard to generate new business if nobody knows who you are! Also, stay active on social media and make sure your website is optimized for SEO so that you will show up in online searches. This will maximize traffic to your website and get your company’s name seen by many people. The point is to attract people to your website and capture their interest with alluring visuals and engaging content.
The landing page of your website is crucial for new visitors: it will explain to your prospective customer exactly what you do and what your brand is all about. This may be the most important page of any website, simply because this is the crossroads at which people decide whether to learn more about your company or abandon it then and there. Be sure to include a catchy headline and high-quality visuals, and make it user-friendly with easy-to-follow navigation and calls-to-action.
Also, to design a successful homepage, you must know who you are trying to impress – identify your target audience and deliberately steer your marketing efforts towards that audience.
Once people in your target demographic start visiting your website, you can then begin to identify leads. You will know when someone is interested if you see that they made it past your homepage and went on to seek more information about your company. Do not assume they will purchase on their own. About 96% of leads are not ready to make a purchase when they visit your website for the first time, but that doesn’t mean that they won’t leave their contact information or engage! If someone signs up for your email list or newsletter, or regularly comments on your blog or interacts with you on social media, reach out! There is likely some interest there, and it is nice to welcome and acknowledge new visitors and potential customers and make them feel appreciated. Maybe a special offer, unique coupon code or a gift is just the push they need to move forward with a purchase of your products or services. You could also use those offers as a means to collect their information by requiring that they enter a valid e-mail address to receive them.
While you do not have direct control over your inbound leads, you can influence user actions by having engaging and quality content on your website that will keep viewer’s attention. Also, make your contact information and calls-to-action readily available. Once you have people engaging and feeding their information into your website, you should be tracking and analyzing their behavior.
There are many useful tools to consider for lead management that will capture information about incoming traffic. One example is VCita, which lets clients communicate and book appointments themselves, all while you are managing leads, creating email campaigns and analyzing the results of your marketing efforts. There are also platforms for pop-up windows on websites that are helpful for e-commerce. This is a simple contact box that appears when someone has been on your website for a long time, which can ask if they need help or even offer a discount code before they exit the site. It is not intrusive – it merely encourages people to reach out if they have been visiting for a while or gives them that extra push to engage with your company.
Another popular application to use for this stage is Salesforce. This powerful customer relations management system allows businesses to manage every piece of information that comes through their website, including sales and marketing campaigns, provide customer service and answer questions, analyze data about revenue or customer activity, develop custom apps and much more. These capabilities equip companies with the ability to track users on their journey from prospective lead to a loyal customer as they travel through each stage of the funnel.
Motivate Your Viewers to Take Action!
When you find a lead that is both qualified and interested, you must then get them to act and convert them into a customer. Some leads may only be gathering information and will not react well to more pushy tactics, while others will be more enthusiastic and ready for interaction. Your call-to-action can match any of your business goals: to get people to sign up for your newsletter, participate in surveys or, of course, make a purchase.
Unfortunately, things don’t always progress as planned. People will divulge their information and reveal interest, but not follow through with a purchase. These leads need an extra nudge to follow through. Some proven strategies that have helped close numerous sales are following up with e-mails, offering incentives and coupons and developing an FAQ page, all of which help to ensure that your customer has all of their questions and concerns addressed, which in turn makes them more confident in pulling the trigger.
Nurture The Relationship
Congratulations! You’ve converted a prospect into a customer – but your work isn’t finished! You must continue to engage with a customer to ensure their repeat business and loyalty. Many companies will send follow-up emails that ask you to leave a review. This is a two-fold strategy, as it will help you get feedback on your product or service and also make the customer feel like you care whether or not you are satisfied with their purchase. Other companies opt for strategies that encourage repeat business like loyalty programs that offer incentives when a certain amount of purchases is made or bounce-back coupons to offer incentives on a subsequent transaction.
Be sure to keep customers who have purchased something updated with your latest promotions and quality content to keep your company’s name relevant and top of mind. Encourage them to subscribe, follow and interact on social media. Continual engagement combined with a great product or service and an overall pleasant customer experience leads to lasting and mutually beneficial customer relationships.
Analyze Successes and Failures
Now that you have a few successful conversions under your belt, it is time to take a look back at your marketing efforts and strategies that helped you get there. You may find that certain strategies may have hindered sales or not worked as well as intended, and that is okay! Whether you are using Google Analytics, Salesforce, or a built-in data application on your website, it is important to look at the results of every campaign.
The results of your data collection and analysis will be the most helpful tool in figuring out which tactics and approaches work best for your company and what prospective customers respond to best.