Get More Sales Online with These 3 Foundational Funnel Elements in Place
by Ana Gotter • June 10, 2022
Everyone wants their campaigns to be impactful as possible so that you can get as many sales as possible.
In order to do this, they get laser-focused on specific campaigns. They almost end up creating marketing silos that ultimately prove ineffective, because they fall into the trap of thinking a single great ad will be enough to drive sales both now and long term.
A great ad, however, is nothing without a strong, core sales funnel behind it. And that funnel won’t be effective if you don’t have a few core foundational funnel elements in place.
There are three foundational funnel elements that all businesses need to keep users moving throughout their customer journey: Clarity on your target market, a clear call to action, and a strong “sticky” landing page.
In this post, we’re going to go over each, including why they’re so important and tips for success, so that you can maximize sales throughout the entire customer journey.
What Are Foundational Funnel Elements?
Before we define foundational funnel elements, let’s take a quick look at funnels themselves.
Marketing doesn’t just focus on a single touchpoint. While some users may see a single ad and convert, many more have a more complex journey. They might get a referral from a friend, click away, get an email that makes them interested, and then see a retargeted ad that finally gets them to convert.
They’re going to move through different stages of a customer journey. They are discovering the product, considering and researching it, purchasing, and then becoming loyal.
Here’s where the core foundational elements come into play.
You need to move users from one stage to the next.
If they’re reading a landing page during the consideration stage, and are close to purchasing, you don’t want to just leave them there. You need a strong CTA to get them to move to the next part of the journey and to purchase.
Without the core foundational elements we’re going to discuss, your leads can get stuck mid-funnel when they otherwise would have converted.
So without further adieu, let’s take a look at those three elements your funnel needs.
Clarity on Your Target Market
This isn’t a traditional element, but it’s something that your team needs a firm grip on. It will shape every aspect of your marketing, including your website.
Our rule of thumb: When you try to reach everyone, you reach no one.
Someone searching for “pots and pans” on Google might be a family looking for the cheapest option out there to get their kid through college, or it could be someone who wants to drop $500 per pot.
So who is your audience?
Plenty of people, for example, choose to purchase security monitoring systems and services for their homes. There’s a massive audience out there for that.
But if you don’t understand who your core audience is and what they specifically need, you’ll end up running generic campaigns that just say you offer home monitoring services.
If you understand, however, that your target audience is made up of tech-savvy people who are worried that Ring can grant people viewing access into your home when hacked, you can create marketing messages promoting your server-based recording services and explain why they’re superior.
Without clarity on your target market, you’ll be lost.
Tips to Better Understand Your Target Audience
In order to better understand your target audience, we recommend the following best practices:
- Create buyer personas for different audience segments; include information like their demographics, motivations and pain points
- Send out surveys to existing customers to learn more about who they are; post-purchase surveys can help you tap into why customers purchased and what needs they have
- Focus on your unique selling proposition (USP)— what makes you unique, and why would your target audience choose to purchase from you instead of a competitor?
- Seek to understand what your audience needs and what kinds of messaging they respond to; split testing for different campaigns will help you assess the latter overtime
A Clear Call to Action
A call to action is microcopy that tells users what action you want them to take and gives them a way to do so. They should (and almost always do) have a clickable link.
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A strong CTA can increase conversions significantly. It’s like closing a sale— you need to ask for it in many cases to get customers to march up to the register. In person, you might say “Are we ready to go check out?” but online you need to have CTAs in place to push users towards different parts of the funnel as needed.
This prevents them from seeing a single email, landing page, blog post, or lead magnet and just stopping there.
Every part of your marketing funnel should have CTAs, including the following:
- Ad copy
- Blog posts
- Lead magnet landing pages
- Lead magnets themselves
- Social media posts
- Your website
- Even your business cards
You can see a few great examples here:
Tips to Write Strong CTAs
We’ve got an entire post about writing killer CTAs that you should check out, but as a quick review, these are our best tips:
- A/B test your CTA copy— run campaigns that exclusively test different CTA buttons on Facebook or include different CTAs on Google Ads, and use tools like Unbounce or ActiveCampaign to split test your on-site or email CTA copy
- Be direct and use action words, using words like “download” or “subscribe” to tell users exactly what you want them to do; “download” is more definitive than “access,” and more likely to drive action
- Consider implementing clickable CTA buttons when it’s an option, like in email or on your site; to help it stand out, use contrasting colors on the button from the rest of the page
- Test out leveraging urgency, with phrases like “now,” “today only” or “before time runs out” for time-sensitive offers
- Make sure the copy around your CTA supports why users should take action; slapping a “get in touch” at the end of a blog post won’t do much if people don’t even understand what services or products you offer, or what makes you different
A Strong “Sticky” Landing Page
A “sticky” landing page is one that gets users to stick around long enough to take whatever action you want them to.
This sounds easy, but sometimes it’s a bit easier said than done.
For B2B businesses, these are often lead generation pages. For eCommerce brands, this may be category and product pages.
These are core pages that push users through research and consideration stages to the purchasing stage of the digital sales funnel, and need to give users the essential information about what you have to offer and why they should purchase.
Keep in mind that without strong landing pages, all of your campaigns will stall. Your social media posts, ad campaigns, blog posts, and emails will all send users to a landing page to take an action. If it’s weak or not sticky enough, that’s where all your momentum ends.
Tips for Creating Strong Landing Pages
Creating sticky landing pages is something many of our clients struggle with, which is why they end up coming to us to help with landing page design and optimization. It requires knowledge of both page design and copywriting, making it a bit tricky.
That being said, these are our best tips:
- Know that formatting is key; you want a simple design with CTAs and action items above the fold, with plenty of white space to prevent users from feeling overwhelmed
- Keep landing pages relatively brief; you want the copy to be short and snappy, while still giving users all the core information they need, so breaking it down into multiple different H3s or drop-down menus is useful
- Find ways to feature your core USPs and benefits front and center, focusing on the pain points that they can solve for the reader; this is what will keep users engaged long enough to keep reading
- Include images and videos where useful, though make sure that they’re properly compressed and you’re testing to ensure they’re not slowing down site loading speeds; you can use the PageSpeed Insights to test this for free
- Make sure that your landing page is integrated with your site, with conventional navigation bars like the rest of your site instead of being a standalone option; it feels more trustworthy and allows customers to click around
- Include social proof where possible, even if it’s just a mention of “best selling” or a link to more extensive reviews; snippets of customer reviews can work wonders
These are the three core foundational pieces you need throughout your entire digital marketing funnel in order to ensure that all of your campaigns are successful and driving progress.
They also work together. You need a good understanding of your target audience segments to write CTAs that they’ll convert on, which will send them to sticky landing pages written specifically with them in mind. And you’ll never get users to the landing page without the CTAs.
We know that these are big tasks to tackle. If you’re not sure where to start, get in touch with us. We offer free audits to all new clients and can help with landing page optimization in addition to campaign creation.
Ready to revamp your landing pages— and your entire digital sales funnel? Get your free audit here.