Sales funnels are simple but powerful tools that conceptualize the customer journey and inform your decision-making process, and if you want to make the most of them, eliminate friction from the purchasing process. These can help you sprint toward your growth goals, but first, you must employ sales funnel optimization strategies.
Below, we’ll examine five effective strategies that will help you generate better leads, convert them into purchasing customers, and ultimately sell more.
Marketing Funnel vs. Sales Funnel
Before shifting our attention to sales funnel optimization, it is important to first recap the subtle differences between marketing funnels and sales funnels. The basic premise of each is the same in that they both help visualize important aspects of the customer journey to help businesses better understand the path from awareness to purchase.
However, marketing funnels consist of three somewhat broad stages — awareness (top), consideration (middle), and decision-making (bottom) — while a sales funnel is more granular and focuses on active engagement, browsing, shopping habits, and ultimately, the time of purchase.
In particular, by visualizing the customer journey with a sales funnel, you can identify critical points of contact, fine-tune customer engagement, and increase conversion rates.
While each brand’s sales funnel will be unique, there are some universal sales funnel optimization strategies that you can apply to your own marketing framework. As part of your efforts to optimize your sales funnel, we recommend the following:
Map Your Funnel
Understanding your sales funnel is the first step toward its optimization. To that end, mapping involves identifying each segment of the funnel, such as engagement, product research, browsing and shopping, purchasing, and retention.
Most sales funnels include the same core stage, but where and how you allocate resources will vary depending on your business model. For instance, if you focus on high-value, one-off purchases, like boats or cars, your funnel should focus on generating interest and maximizing awareness.
Define Your Audience
After you have mapped your sales funnel, you then need to define your target audience, determining who you’re trying to reach and how you plan to effectively do so.
The process involves analyzing specific behavioral and demographic criteria, such as gender, age, occupation, and purchasing habits, to optimize your funnel and increase your conversion rate. Once you know who your audience is and where they are most active, you can start targeting them with curated content.
Create Captivating Content
Regardless of whether you plan to target individuals at the top, middle, or bottom of the sales funnel, quality content is vital. When planning your content strategy, use a variety of mediums, including blogs, social media ads, influencer partnerships, and connected TV content to maximize your reach and feed your funnel with quality leads.
To maximize the impact of your content, segment your audience into subgroups. You can use demographics and behavioral data to do so based on shared preferences, traits, and browsing habits. Through segmentation, you can create more personalized content that speaks to the specific challenges facing the niche groups within your customer base.
Use Compelling, Clear CTAs
A compelling call-to-action (CTA) provides customers with clear guidance on what they should do after coming across your content. An optimized sales funnel will relay your value proposition and inform readers about the problems your product is there to solve. From there, your CTA will propel them forward into the next phase of the funnel, encouraging them to learn more and either make a direct purchase or place an order.
When constructing your CTA, make sure that it aligns with the audience segment you are targeting. For instance, if you are targeting top-of-funnel prospects, a simple CTA like “Learn more” will be most appropriate. On the other hand, if you are communicating with repeat customers, the use of a more direct CTA, such as “Place your next order today!” will prove most effective.
Keep It Simple
Sales funnels are not meant to be complex, friction-filled journeys; in fact, the most effective sales funnels are simplistic. So when optimizing your sales funnel, focus on making doing business with your brand easy. Eliminate anything that may cause frustration among prospective customers, such as unresponsive web pages or hard-to-use shopping carts.
Want to Learn More About Sales Funnel Optimization?
Optimizing your sales funnel requires commitment, focus, and a multifaceted approach. Read this sales funnel optimization guide for ten simple, easy-to-implement strategies for streamlining the customer journey and improving conversion rates, and obtain actionable insights that you can use to drive measurable business results.