Think of someone window-shopping. They walk past the store, walk back again, look in the window and admire something on display. They even think about buying. But in the end, they don’t make a buying decision – they just walk away.
Now think about someone going to the same store, looking in the same window, admiring the same goods – and then think about them entering the store, finding a clerk, pointing at the window and asking questions. The clerk takes the object out of the window and the person touches it, asks about the price, pulls out a credit card and buys it.
What you just witnessed is a kind of funnel – a marketing sales funnel.
What Is A Marketing Sales Funnel?
A marketing sales funnel is similar to the type of funnel you would find in your kitchen. No, it’s certianly not the exact same thing, but it serves a similar type of purpose.
The reason you use a funnel is to make things easier. If you want to put leftover sauce in a container, for example, you don’t want it spilling all over your kitchen counter. So you use a funnel so that the sauce goes straight to its new destination.
Marketing sales funnels work the same way – they direct potential new customers to “fall into” your business. Basically, it’s a process that turns people who know nothing about your products or services into prospects. These prospects then become leads, then customers and then finally, repeat buyers. If it sounds pretty awesome, that’s because it is.
Before you head off to create a marketing sales funnel for your business, however, it’s important that you understand the psychology behind how people buy. Once you do, you’ll truly understand the power of a marketing sales funnel, and your mind will likely be abuzz with ideas.
How Consumers Think (a.k.a. The “Buying” Process)
A marketing sales funnel is designed to capture prospects and guide them into doing what you want them to do, which is obviously to buy your products and/or services. Regardless of the type of purchase, the marketing sales funnel mimics the buying process, which is broken down into 4 phases.
Phase 1: Recognizing a Problem
For a buying decision to be made, your prospect must first recognize that something’s missing or something’s wrong. Maybe there’s no more milk in the fridge, or there’s a leak in the bathroom or there’s an old car that needs to be replaced. Whatever it is, potential customers want to have their problems solved, and you need to position your business as the solution they are seeking.
Phase 2: Conducting Research
When people are searching for a solution to a problem, they will typically:
- Ask friends for recommendations
- Read reviews online
- Look for coupons and discount offers
Regardless of the method used, most people do spend time researching options so that they know what’s out there.
Phase 3: Weighing the Options
Once prospects feel as though they have conducted enough research, they will typically evaluate their options, often times comparing the pros and cons of each.
Phase 4: Committing to Buy
This one is pretty self-explanatory, so let’s get right into the real meat of this article, which centers around how to create a marketing sales funnel for your business.
Creating Your Marketing Sales Funnel
Thankfully, creating a marketing sales funnel isn’t nearly as complicated as most small business owners think. You simply need to ask yourself these questions:
- How will these potential customers find me?
- How do I tell my prospects that I am their best option?
The answer to both questions is: with a direct mail postcard campaign. Postcards have an average response rate of more than 3%, which is much better than any other form of direct marketing – and hundreds of times better than email. Pick your target addresses well and you will be mailing people who are likely to want to do business with you.
Here’s how it works:
Stage 1: Create Awareness
To kick things off, you need to define what your likely targets have in common. When you use these common factors, along with geotargeting, you’ll wind up with a bunch of addresses of people and/or businesses that need to know who you are. This is the top of the sale funnel.
Stage 2: Build Interest
Postcards are the perfect way to generate interest because they are quick and easy to read. They non-invasively whet the appetite of your end reader and (hopefully) entice that person to want to learn more about your business. Just keep in mind that your postcard needs to excite interest in your prospect since as that interest rises, the prospect will begin to move farther down the funnel.
Stage 3: Introduce Your Brand
Through attractive and informative postcards, you’ll grab the attention of prospects who are interested in learning more. It’s important to note, however, that many of the people and/or businesses that are now inside your funnel won’t reach the bottom and become paying customers. How well you have designed your postcard will play a key role in determining what percentage actually make this transition. You have to tell them what you offer and why it’s better than something they might find elsewhere – and it has to be attractive and compelling enough to make them want to buy.
Stage 4: A New Customer!
Ahhhh, the moment you’ve been waiting for! Isn’t it great to know that you are somebody’s number 1pick? Now, the onus is on you and your business to take this new customer and make them a lifelong, loyal fan.
Remember that your goal is to get potential buyers through the funnel and guide them every step of the way so that they make a purchase from you. With postcards, you attract, intrigue and get people excited about your business. If you need any help with coming up with designs or printing your very first postcards, just check us out and we will help you get those loyal customers!
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