AwarenessIn this stage, we’re trying to capture the prospect’s attention and make them aware of each of the following:
- the fact that your company exists
- what you do or sell
- the prospects own needs or wants
InterestNow that you’ve gotten the attention of your prospect, the goal is to reinforce to him that he’s in the right place. It’s now your job to inform him on your product or service. Remember that in this stage, he’s interested to know more, but he’s not ready to purchase from you. Satisfy his interest. Think about it from his perspective. What does he want to know? Answer his questions without trying to sell him. Educate him on your product/service and how it can help solve his problem. He’s very likely doing his research at this point. Rather than leaving it up to him to find the information elsewhere, provide it for him. Be a good source of information. How you do this will look different, depending on your company. For an e-commerce store, that could simply be making the products visible on your website, having good product information, customer reviews, showing related products, etc. If you’re an interior designer, a gallery of photos, software that models before and after, and testimonials might be more fitting. Remember that interest means your prospect is gathering information, not deciding that yours is the solution. Get into your prospect’s head and craft your message in a personal way. Show him you know him, understand and empathize with his situation, and care about helping him solve his problem. This is a stage where remarketing and email can help you nurture the relationship with the prospect. Just don’t try to push them down the funnel too quickly. Valuable content is really important at this stage. Some examples of content to educate your prospect are:
- blog posts
- social media updates
- content videos
- product guides
- product tutorials
DesireNow, your prospect is considering making a purchase. This is where they’ll be looking at reviews, testimonials, comparing prices, talking with their peers, and perhaps reaching out to you with questions. At this stage, your prospect is developing a favorable view of you and your product based on their experience with you up to this point. Things that can contribute to this could include a fast loading website, your customer service team, your social media content, your brand image. The prospect is convincing himself that he’s ready to take the plunge. Your job here is to continue to reinforce what he’s learned up to this point and convince him that he’s making the right decision. Depending on your product, your prospect might remain in this stage for weeks or even months. It’s important to keep him engaged with informative content. Address his objections and continue to focus on benefits. Strive to keep him on your property by giving him all the information he needs, without having to go to outside sources for information. Remember that your prospect will do his research, which means he’s looking at other potential solutions. Impress upon him why you’re different than any other solution. Here are some examples:
- what philanthropic endeavors is your brand supporting?
- have you reached out to engage by telephone or other personal form of communication?
- is your checkout process trouble-free
ActionHere is where your prospect makes the decision to act. They’re ready to become a customer. You need to ensure that the process of making the purchase is easy and trouble-free. Have you ever started the checkout process online only to find yourself distracted by being redirected to a third-party site or searching for a coupon code? Don’t let them become distracted or make them jump through hoops. Do you offer multiple and easy ways to accept payment? Is the process simple and intuitive? The point here is to make the customer experience as smooth and friendly as possible. Offer incentive to act now. Maybe that’s through a limited time offer, a discount, or a bonus. Here is where a tripwire can be very effective. You make an irresistible, low price offer that has the sole purpose of turning the prospect into a buyer. If you make that a very positive experience and your offer has a high perceived as well as actual value, you’ll stand a very good chance of helping your prospect overcome objections, skepticism, and move him toward becoming a brand advocate. In turn, you stand a very good chance of the customer becoming a repeat buyer, perhaps with a flagship product, upsells, cross-sells, related products, or a product bundle.
AdvocacyNow that your prospect has become a buyer, don’t miss the opportunity to nurture them to become a brand promoter. A brand promoter recommends you, spreads the word about your brand and what it stands for, shares your content, and defends you against critics. (Just a parenthetical note to stress the importance of good business branding) You can use story-telling to reinforce your brand. One example of a company that does this very well is Yeti. They send an email newsletter to customers highlighting videos of how people use their products and that reflect the brand’s values. Brand promoters identify with you and your brand for various psychological reasons. They may see themselves as being aligned with your brand philosophically, as being an expert in your field, or as wanting to provide value to others for self-fulfillment. Creating shareable content that represents your brand and pushing that content to your customers is a great way to extend your brand’s reach and build awareness through brand advocates. Social media and email are great channels through which to share your content at little to no cost. Remember that the cheapest way to convert customers is through existing customers, so stay engaged after the sale and continue to promote your brand and what it stands for.
SummaryHopefully, I’ve been able to impress upon you the importance of every stage of the funnel and why you need to implement good marketing throughout the funnel. Too much emphasis at the top of the funnel while neglecting the middle and bottom will result in lots of ad spend with little to no conversion. Too much at the bottom while ignoring the top will result in too few leads to meet your sales goals.
Founder and CEO, Southern Arizona Digital Marketing and DecideToBeFreeOnline
Scott Anders is a digital marketing trainer and consultant living in Southern Arizona. After more than 30 years in corporate life, including the US Army, he began pursuing his passions as an entrepreneur in 2016. He loves helping small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs take advantage of the incredible opportunities available in the digital economy to enjoy greater freedom and fulfillment.