What’s a sales funnel and why you should have at least 1 in your business.

It can be really annoying at times keeping up with jargon. Hearing people throw out buzz words in an attempt to sound like they know what they are talking about.

You know the people I mean?

So, just a heads up - there will be jargon in this post, but there will also be a good explanation of what these buzz words mean, It is just that the buzz words are shorter.

So - did you roll your eyes when I mentioned sales funnel?

What about if I say something like nuture sequence? How about TOFU, MOFU or BOFU?

Still with me?

Good - let’s learn together, because understanding this process and implementing this is going to grow your business.

As I mentioned in last week’s blog post, Content Marketing is the most important facet of your digital ecosystem. Irrespective of what kind of business you have, B2B, B2C - it doesn’t matter, creating good content that attracts the right kind of people to your business is what content marketing is all about.

And the end goal of all this ‘content marketing’? It is to attract people into the top of your Sales funnel and bring them down until they go from being a lead, to a prospect and finally your customer - someone who likes to deal with you and tells all of their friends.

So the next time you groan about creating a blog post, or spending time on social media, or sending a newsletter, remember that you are doing this to bring traffic into your sales funnel, right at the top - TOFU.

For many businesses though, they often just let their leads float around at the top of the sales funnel - the TOFU part without focussing on how their nuture them down the funnel.

Typical TOFU content types include any of these items.

  • A blog post
  • Social Media Update
  • An infographic or photo
  • A podcast
  • A video
  • A specific landing page/microsite

Do you need all of these? Of course not! But you need to be aware of your purpose of doing them. Every piece of content that you publish must be a strategic one, even if the purpose is brand awareness via something that is funny.

Awareness is what we are on about at the top. Awareness not just of your business, but also awareness of a problem that your prospect might have and also awareness that you can provide a solution.

So what do we do to bring them into the middle of the funnel? Yep you got it -  MOFU.

We need a lead magnet of some kind, because we want their email address. So you need to give something of value to them to get it. Having a newsletter signup alone is not enough.

Typical MOFU tools include

  • A discount code ( the perfect MOFU tool for ANY B2C or e-commerce business)
  • A useful resource ( a swipe file, checklist etc)
  • A webinar or event
  • Participation in a survey of some kind ( where you get the survey results at the end)

So we have moved them into the middle of our funnel? What do we need to do next?

In a perfect world, the process of getting people from the middle to the bottom and onto the customer stage would be straightforward. Unfortunately though in the real world, this requires patience. Think about how many email lists you are on vs how many times you buy from that company? As long as people don’t unsubscribe & and you see they are reading or clicking on links in emails, all hope is not lost!

So what can you do to bring them to the bottom? That’s right the BOFU.

People can stay on your list for a long time until you offer up something that convinces them that the time is NOW.

BOFU methods that you can implement might be

  • A free demo of your service
  • A customer story - particularly powerful for service based business where often people can’t really picture how your service might work. Focus on VALUE you have delivered to your past customers when doing a case study.
  • Comparisons/Spec sheets
  • Mini classes or further webinars

You might be thinking, that this seems like a lot of work, but the beauty of this approach is that most of the above can occur automatically. You just need to plan out what you want a prospect to do and know via emails and then think about what they might like to read. Any email marketing programs worth anything will allow you to have nuturing sequences in place that hopefully (and helpfully) move your prospects down through the funnel.

Because all content must serve a purpose and that purpose should be to

  • Educate,
  • Entertain and finally
  • Entice prospects to become your client and Grow your business.

On my program the Digital Ascent, I teach people specifically about each of the various elements within the Content marketing facet and help them put together some sales funnel ideas that will suit their business. It is such a powerful process but one that ANY business can learn how to implement successfully regardless of their niche.

Let me know if you are interested in finding out about my next course by signing up to my FREE Digital compass program and get a taste of what we cover at Basecamp.