By Vlad Gozman, a serial entrepreneur and the founder & CEO of involve.me. Follow @vladgozman on Twitter.
A sales funnel is the process that companies use to turn prospects into customers. It’s a way of narrowing down your target market and converting leads into paying customers. Whether you’re a small business or a large corporation, you need a sales funnel to make money.
Every company has a different sales process, but there are generally four stages to a sales funnel. The first stage is awareness, where you make potential customers aware of your product or service. The second stage is interest, where you pique the customer’s interest and get them to learn more about what you’re offering. The third stage is decision, where the customer decides whether or not to buy from you. And finally, there’s the action stage, where the customer actually makes a purchase.
The important thing is that you have a sales process in place that moves prospects through your funnel and converts them into paying customers. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time (and money).
So why do businesses need sales funnels? Because they’re an incredibly effective way to turn leads into customers. In fact, companies that create an easy buying process are 62% more likely to win a high-quality sale. Moreover, companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.
What Successful Sales Funnels Look Like
There are plenty of examples of successful sales funnels out there. One of the most famous is HubSpot’s Flywheel, which starts with attracting strangers and ends with delighting customers so much that they promote your business for you. Another great example is Moz’s SEO funnel, which helps people who are interested in SEO learn more about it and eventually become customers.
Netflix also has a fantastic sales funnel. They use great content to attract new subscribers, keep them engaged with their service and then upsell them to higher-priced plans. Groupon uses a similar strategy, attracting customers with discounts and then selling them additional products and services.
Further, consider Coca-Cola. Some of the most effective marketing campaigns in history have been created by this company. They start with creating brand awareness and then move on to creating an emotional connection with their customers. Finally, they turn that emotional connection into brand loyalty. It’s an incredibly effective sales funnel that has resulted in Coca-Cola becoming one of the most valuable brands in the world.
However, while Coca-Cola has several billion dollars a year to spend on marketing, your company likely does not. So how can you create an effective sales funnel if you don’t have a big budget?
The answer is by using interactive content.
Interactive Content Enables Better Sales Funnels
People are naturally drawn to interactive content. It’s engaging and fun, and it can be used at every stage of the sales funnel. Here are some great options for interactive content:
• Quizzes and assessments. Not only can they generate leads, but they can also segment those leads so that you know who is interested in what you’re selling. An investment app could, for instance, use an interactive quiz to assess a person’s risk profile.
• Surveys and polls. You can use surveys to qualify leads and find out which ones are most likely to convert into customers. A fashion retailer could, for example, use a survey to find out what styles and colors are most popular with their target demographic. And if you use polls, you can create engagement by allowing people to vote on topics that are important to them.
• Calculators. They’re useful for both generating leads and helping prospects make decisions. You can use calculators to show people how much they could save by using your product or service, or you could use them to help people calculate their return on investment. For instance, a solar panel company could use a calculator to show people how much they could save on their energy bills by switching to solar.
• Interactive infographics. They’re visually appealing and can be used to tell a story that educates people about your product or service. And if you use video, you can take things even further by creating interactive videos that allow viewers to choose their own adventure. Any business could use an interactive infographic to tell its story and engage its audience.
• Contests and sweepstakes. These not only generate leads but can also be used to build an email list. You can use contests to incentivize people to sign up for your email list, and then use the email list to promote your product or service.
• Games. You can use these at every stage of the sales funnel. They’re especially effective at generating leads, but they can also be used to engage potential customers and help them make decisions. For example, a fitness app could use a game to motivate people to exercise more. Games are also a great way to build an email list.
If you want to build a successful sales funnel, you should consider using interactive content. It’s one of the most effective ways to engage potential customers and convert them into paying customers.