While your digital marketing can have many different goals, you’re ultimately looking to increase your sales conversion rate over time.
To grow your business, you must identify your sales funnel as part of your digital marketing efforts.
Not sure what a sales funnel is? Check out our breakdown explanation of the four stages:
A sales funnel is simply the journey a consumer takes from being a prospect to a paying customer. It’s critical in regard to customer conversions and driving sales because it requires you to better understand how customers find you, why they find you and why they stay or leave.
About 68 percent of companies have not identified or attempted to measure their sales funnel. You do not want to be part of that statistic.
See the seven benefits of using a sales funnel in your business.
The following are 16 tips to increase your sales conversion rate based on the traditional stages of a sales funnel.
Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Awareness stage
Awareness is all about getting your brand out there and establishing it as an industry leader. Consumers can’t purchase anything from you if they don’t know that you exist. They also won’t purchase from you if they don’t trust you.
In this sense, you should take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Awareness stage tactics:
While many businesses have embraced blogging, not every business is successful at it. And that success comes down to creating content around the topics that your target audience is interested in.
For example, a salon might want to blog about how to protect colored hair during summer activities.
Relevant content will help attract potential customers to your website.
Social media is a huge part of many consumers’ lives. It’s where they’ll find advice, reviews and referrals, and they expect a business to not only be active on at least the biggest platforms but responsive as well.
Are you leaning into your social media presence? Check out what every company should know about social media. Plus, social media can definitely impact your search engine optimization (SEO). Check out the seven ways it does so.
Digital advertising is definitely broad, and it’s easy to get overwhelmed. When starting out, consider:
- The best method to reach your target audience with (whether that’s social media advertising, pay-per-click advertising, etc.)
- What your advertising budget is
- Your specific goals
Your sales conversion rate is highly influenced by the success (or failure) of any paid advertising efforts.
Dive deeper by exploring the difference between pay-per-click and pay-per-impression advertising. In addition, check out the difference between programmatic and native advertising.
Of course, social media advertising is huge for many businesses. See our six tips to maximize your social media advertising budget.
While considered “old-fashioned” in some ways, public relations can still play a large role in the Awareness stage of your sales funnel and influence your sales conversion rate.
Think print publications, TV commercials, live events and direct mail, to name a few mediums.
Of course, earned media coverage often begins with an effective press release. Check out our eight tips to write a press release that gets noticed.
In terms of live events, see our eight tips to boost your event marketing.
Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Interest stage
Once you’ve made potential customers aware of and familiar with your brand, it’s time to engage with them. What small commitments can they make to your business before they’re ready to purchase?
Clearly, the goal here is to acquire email addresses, but also any other contact information if possible. What can you offer that will get you this contact information in exchange?
Take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Interest stage tactics:
Premium content is original information that is valuable enough for website visitors (or social media users) to provide their contact information to get it.
To be more specific, premium content:
- Answers common questions you encounter in your industry
- Dives deeper into a topic to deliver knowledge
- Offers tips and advice that can be acted on
- Addresses challenges that your customers and potential customers face
- Is relevant to the needs and wants of your customers and potential customers
How you package your premium content can vary. Some common types include:
- Webinar, which is a video web presentation typically hosted by an expert in the industry sharing a presentation slide deck. It can be presented live and/or recorded and available long after the webinar is over.
- eBook, which is a PDF that’s usually about a few dozen pages long. It’s very visual with professionally designed pages (including a cover). It’s ideal to include your pitch and contact information at the end of an ebook.
- White paper, which is an in-depth evaluation of a topic in PDF format that includes expert research and is usually six to 12 pages in length.
- Template, which gives customers or potential customers frameworks for creating something (like a content calendar, for example). This is usually offered in PDF format.
- Interactive tools, which help measure or assess something (like a special calculator, for example). You might need to do some programming for this type of premium content.
Of course, consumers should have to provide their name and email address at the very least to acquire this premium content from you.
A landing page is a great way to filter the most important information (and call-to-action) for potential customers. This is often a great alternative compared with your website homepage if you have a particular message and/or goal in mind.
When the information is more relevant to the consumer, your sales conversion rate will benefit.
Contact or comment forms are often overlooked opportunities to collect consumer contact information and potentially add subscribers to your email and/or SMS text lists.
Make sure you include an option for the consumer to opt-in to receive communications from you.
We’re specific about the onboarding portion of email marketing because this Interest stage is all about building trust and engagement. You’re not going in for the sale just yet.
An email onboarding sequence in general is a series of emails intended to deepen the relationship subscribers have with your brand, show them how to make the most out of your product or service and/or get them to use your product or service as much as possible.
Clearly, at this point, it’s all about education. Think about the most frequently asked questions you experience, and start from there.
With effective email onboarding, you can increase your customer lifetime value by about 500 percent.
Customer Relationship Management software, otherwise known as CRM, helps you track your interactions with both current and future customers. This is very helpful for understanding where prospects are within your sales funnel.
In addition, the right CRM (such as DailyStory) can help you target the right content (i.e. emails or texts) at the right time to the right person. This can boost your sales conversion rate.
Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Decision stage
The Decision stage of the sales funnel is when the potential customer is ready to buy. The question is: Will they buy from you or someone else?
Now is the time to make your best offer, whether that includes free shipping, a discount code or a bonus product. It just needs to be irresistible to your lead, winning them over to your company.
Be sure that you limit yourself to one offer, though. Putting multiple offers on your web page can decrease conversions by up to 266 percent.
Make sure there are no missed opportunities with the following Decision stage tactics:
You have to make the ask. If you don’t ask, how will your potential customers know what to do?
When creating your call-to-action, keep in mind that you should:
- Use strong action verbs
- Provoke emotion or enthusiasm
- Share the “why” behind the ask
- Take advantage of FOMO
- Get a little creative when appropriate
- Use numbers when possible
Now is the time to take the next step from the educational email onboarding series in the Interest stage.
Based on whether your subscribers have never purchased from you before or have purchased from you in the past, you want to tailor your messaging and offers to however many different groups you’re looking to target.
The more specific you can get, the better your sales conversion rate will be.
Check out our 16 email marketing best practices that make an impact.
SMS text message marketing
The same can be said about SMS text message marketing. Target the right group of consumers with the right message, and you can increase your sales conversions.
Social media monitoring
Social media monitoring is part of larger social listening, where you can monitor for keywords related to your brand that can help you identify customers who are ready to make a purchase.
By doing so, you can jump ahead in the sales funnel and engage with potential customers who are already in the Decision stage. This will increase your sales conversion rate.
Optimize your sales conversion rate in the Action stage
This last stage of the sales funnel is when the consumer acts and purchases your product or service.
Of course, this isn’t the end of the road for you and the new customer. It’s on you to earn that customer’s business again and again, aka customer retention.
You should take a look at any missed opportunities with the following Awareness stage tactics:
Don’t hesitate to ask your existing customers (especially the happy, satisfied ones) if they know others who would benefit from your products or services.
In exchange for a referral, you can offer a discount on their next purchase or some other offer that makes sense for your business.
Resells, upsells and cross-sells
Once a customer has purchased from you, there is an opportunity to resell (sell the same product again), upsell (upgrade or choose an add-on) and cross-sell (selling a different product or service because of something else they’ve purchased).
One way to encourage this is to send reminders to your customers tied to important dates related to your products or services. For example, when their subscription is about to expire.
This is a simple tactic but can be overlooked at the same time.
Remember to say thank you for every purchase a customer makes! Gratitude goes a long way.
You also can take this to the next level by acknowledging anniversaries and/or birthdays and using them as an opportunity to thank your customer again for their support of your brand. This is also a great opportunity to throw in a freebie or discount while you’re at it.
There’s not one single thing you can do to dramatically increase your sales conversion rate for the long term. Instead, it’s about consistent effort to optimize tactics across all stages of your sales funnel.