What Is A Digital Sales Funnel?

What Is A Digital Sales Funnel & Why You Should Use One?

A digital sales funnel is an essential part of any business trying to generate leads online. It’s an automated system that works for you day and night to generate leads for your business. In this article, we’ll discuss what makes up an effective funnel and how you can create your own high converting sales funnel.

A digital sales funnel is a mechanism for generating leads and converting them into prospects with the ultimate goal of turning them into paying customers.

It is built up from different components that perform a unique part in the funnel.

There is a lead generation component which can be paid advertising or content such as blog posts or online video. This will link to a landing page where the visitor is asked to fill in an opt-in form and usually give their email address.

An email autoresponder is then used to send a sequence of emails to build a relationship with the prospect which should provide value to them and hopefully end in a sale.

More complex systems can include appointment scheduling and CRM system integration. 

‘The Essential Lead Generation Funnel Checklist’ is a simple to follow framework that ensures you haven’t missed a step when building and launching your magic on the world.

Lead Generation

To make sales, you need to make people aware of your products, offers and services that offer a solution to their problem.

One of the quickest ways to do this is to pay for advertising where your target audience is likely to see your ads. When people are looking for a solution to a problem one of the first things they’ll do is open Google and start searching.

The search engine result pages (SERPs) will display results that Google thinks answers the question someone has searched for, but it’s difficult to appear at the top of this list of results. This is why marketers use pay per click advertising on Google, so people see your advert when they search for a solution to a problem.

Paid ads are usually displayed above other search engine results and, therefore, stand a higher chance of being clicked on. The great thing about this approach is that you know people are actively looking for a solution to a problem and will be shown your advert alongside the regular search results.

Your paid ads should take you to a dedicated landing page for your campaign, and we’ll discuss this later in this article.

In more recent years it has become possible to advertise on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and Twitter. The main difference here is that people are not actively searching for a solution and your adverts are placed in a user’s news feed. This is known as interruption marketing.

However, social media advertising services allow you to target audiences according to specific demographics and interests which is a compelling concept.

With Facebook advertising, for example, if you wanted to sell a product to men aged between the ages of 18 and 35, you would create a target audience based on this criteria so any adverts you create will only be shown to that type of audience.

One of the things that excites us so much about social media advertising is that you can not only use static content for your ads such as photographs and copy text, but also video content which allows marketers to create engaging content with a much higher conversion rate. In fact, with the rise in popularity of YouTube, video advertising is skyrocketing.

Most videos you watch have an advert at the beginning of them which you can’t skip for at least 5 seconds before the viewer can watch the video they wanted to view. Unlike traditional television ads, a marketer can target their video advert using demographics and even users viewing history.

In addition to paid advertising, you can raise awareness of your product or brand by producing helpful content that provides value to people. This is why most companies these days run a blog to create informative articles about their product, service or industry.

Well written, informative and helpful content can be discovered in Google’s search engine results pages which can lead to visitors coming to your website.

Once a visitor comes to your site you can guide them towards your funnel using a call to action that encourages the visitor to sign up to get a free PDF report or checklist. It’s here that the visitor enters the funnel and you continue to build the relationship with them with follow up emails which we will discuss a bit later.

Other strategies involve promoting your content using social media platforms to bring visitors back to your site so they can be drawn into the funnel.

 

Converting visitors to leads with a Landing Page

When you run a paid advertising campaign, it will almost always contain a link in the advert to a dedicated landing page that will explain your product, service or offer in more detail.

Your advert will usually limit how much information you can give, but your landing page can be used to provide additional information. The goal of this page is to get the visitor to enter your sales funnel and should have a single call to action. In most cases you want the visitor to provide you with their contact details which in most cases is their name and email address so you can make contact with them and nurture the lead.

You capture these details using an opt-in form on your landing page. However, not everybody just wants to hand over their details, so you need to work hard for it.

You have to make sure that it has a compelling headline that makes the user want to learn more about your offer. This should be followed by a subheading that gives a bit more information but makes the visitor want to read about your offer.

By the time the visitor has read through your copy text they should hopefully feel like they want to sign up for whatever you are offering whether it’s a free eBook, PDF, checklist, or mini-course. This kind of offer referred to as your gated content that can only be obtained if they give their email address and opt-in to your email list.

The item that you are offering to people for signing up is referred to as a lead magnet. Once you have this contact information, you can send valuable, helpful information directly to these people via email using an email autoresponder.

 

Email Auto-responder sequence

An email auto-responder allows you to compose a sequence of emails that you can send to people who have given you their contact email address and have been added to your ‘list’. Email auto-responders are offered as web-based software that allows you to create different lists for your various campaigns.

There are many auto-responder providers, but many people start with companies like MailChimp, Aweber, and Convert Kit. Some only provide list building capabilities whereas others like Active Campaign offer much more advanced functionality and can even act as a CRM system.

To get somebody onto your list, the auto-responder provides you with tools to build forms that you can embed on your landing pages. Then when a visitor fills in your form with their name and email address and clicks on the submit button they will be subscribed to your list.

Once somebody has subscribed to your list a pre-written sequence of emails is sent out that provides valuable help and can be sent over several days, weeks or months.

When somebody joins your list the first email is sent to thank them for signing up and to let them know that you will be sending them helpful information over the next few weeks.

It is during this time that your subscribers learn more about you and start to trust you as an authority on your given subject. It’s essential to develop this rapport before you start trying to offer any additional products or services.

Only after you have proved that you provide helpful and useful information should you consider introducing any other products and services that you offer.

 

Making use of Re-targeting

Not everybody who comes to your landing page will sign up to your list. They may have been very interested in your offer but got interrupted and then closed the browser before signing up.

However, this doesn’t mean that your attempt to get a new lead is over. These days you have a few more chances to convert a visitor into a lead using a technique called ‘retargeting’ or ‘remarketing’.

For example, you can put a Facebook ‘pixel’ onto your landing page, thank you page and any other relevant pages in your funnel. The ‘pixel’ is just a piece of code that you embed on your page which will allow you to display adverts to these specific people when they use Facebook.

You can create different Facebook ‘audiences’ based on which pages visitors viewed in your funnel. You can then use Facebook ads to display advertisements to anybody who visited your landing page but didn’t sign up for your offer.

Moreover, you can even create new Facebook ‘lookalike’ audiences based on the types of people who actually converted in your funnel. You can also use remarketing pixels from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn etc. You can start retargeting immediately, and it is a very powerful technique that gives you another opportunity to get a lead into your funnel.

 

Conclusion

In this article, we have looked at what a sales funnel is and how you can generate leads that take people to a landing page.

We then talked about how to use an email auto-responder to grow your relationship with your subscribers which you can then use to offer more products and services.

We also discussed how you can use re-targeting to target any visitors who didn’t sign up for your offer. 

‘The Essential Lead Generation Funnel Checklist’ is a simple to follow framework that ensures you haven’t missed a step when building and launching your magic on the world.

Karl Freeman

Karl Freeman

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