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8 Steps to Effective Conversion: Build Online Marketing Funnels

Successful conversion marketing requires a deep understanding of the conversion funnel, and a sense of how the buyer transitions from the top to the bottom to a sale. When you build your funnel, try to walk in the shoes of the buyer through their purchasing journey. Here are eight steps to building and maintaining effective online marketing funnels.

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1. Understand the Goal of a Conversion Funnel

Conversion marketing is exactly what the name implies — marketing dedicated to the pursuit of conversions (as opposed to email signups or page likes). The traditional conversion funnel is not really a funnel at all. If you pour water into the top of a funnel, all the water eventually makes it through the spout. Conversion funnels are inherently leaky. Potential buyers escape at every level until very few remain at the bottom. Your goal is to increase the number of people who make it from the top to the bottom.

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Images courtesy of Shutterstock

2. Understand the Journey Down the Funnel

The basic sales conversion marketing funnel has four levels: awareness, interest, desire and action. The top of the funnel, awareness, is home to huge numbers of raw, unqualified leads. The overwhelming majority of these leads will never convert. The next level is interest. The customers at this level are not just aware of your product, but are interested in it, as well. Next is desire for your product, which only some of the people who were interested will ever express. Finally, the last customers remaining in the bottom of the funnel are those who will take action, or convert.

3. Plug the Holes at Every Level

The funnel tightens first because not everyone who is aware of your brand will ever become interested. Not everyone who is interested will go on to desire your product and not everyone who desires it will take action and convert. Your goal is to get more conversions, which means eliminating the reasons people exit the funnel. Funnels leak because of bad landing pages, the wrong price point, inconsistent branding or any number of things. But in a lot of cases, bounce rates can be attributed to inconsistent branding.

4. Build Templates So The Customer Experience is Consistent at Every Level

You must project your brand at every touchpoint so you don’t lose customers who aren’t sure if they’re in the right place. Create reusable templates so you can remain consistent even when you make changes. This should include landing page template and social media image templates, but branding should also extend into the physical world. Create shipping label templates and business card templates, as well.

5. Build Awareness

Now that the foundation is in place, you have to draw people into your funnel’s wide top by creating awareness. This is done by advertising directly to your target audience so you don’t draw the wrong people who are unlikely to ever convert

6. Create Interest

With the top of your funnel full, you now need to gin up interest by creating compelling, informative, image-driven content that you cross promote across channels. Post consistently so your audience gets in a pattern where they expect you to produce good content on a regular basis.

7. Turn Interest into Desire

Your audience is now aware and interested. Instill desire by communicating directly and responding to hashtags and @mentions. Answer questions, address problems, introduce the people behind the business and convey value to potential buyers.

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Image courtesy of Shutterstock

8. Get the Conversion!

This is the level that counts the most. Spur conversions by optimizing your landing pages with short, bold headlines, uncluttered layout, quality video and obvious, enticing calls to action. Offer a free trial so they can convert without fear and include a phone number so they know they can reach someone if they ever need help.

Conversion is the last step on a long buyer journey. Focus on plugging the funnel at every level by nurturing the remaining customers you have at each point. Create templates and focus on your landing pages, but most importantly, understand the journey down the funnel that your buyers will be taking.

Nick Andrew Rojas
Nick Andrew Rojas is a business consultant turned journalist who loves working with small and medium-sized companies. He has contributed to many publications such as Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, and Yahoo. In his spare time, he hangs out at the beach with his dog Presto.
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