The Three Customer Funnel Categories
A sales funnel refers to the different stages a potential customer goes through when buying products or services.Value- and cost-sequencing is spread across all these stages.
There are three customer funnel categories in a marketing sales funnel:
· Customer Acquisition Process
· Customer Activation Process
· Monetization Process
Each one has its own function and phases and follows a specific purpose.
1. The customer acquisition process
The customer acquisition process consists of the awareness phase, interest phase and evaluation phase. The function of the awareness phase is to make the visitor aware of the existence of a solution to his situation or problem. In the Interest phase the visitor shows interest in a service or product by conducting research and background checks. This is where a good branding is important. The function of the evaluation phase is to give the lead space and information to compare competitors’ solutions and prices. But it is not only the value and pricing, that makes the potential buyer move on to the next phase - the decision phase, it is also the trust and like factor that can be accomplished by positive reviews, social proof, engagement and rapport.
2. The customer activation process
The customer activation process consists of the decision phase and the purchase phase. This is where the customer is not on the fence any more, the final decision is being made, products and/or services are being purchased.
3. The monetization process
Offering additional features or complementary solutions suitable for the client’s needs can be offered by upsells, cross-selling and downselling. By doing so the marketer maximises the lifetime customer value. Customer retention does not happen all at once, but it is rather a long term process. The probability of repurchases depends to a great degree on the user experience made so far with the initial order.
As you can see a sales funnel is a journey as most transactions are not made by an instant impulsive decision like when you go shopping. These buying decisions are consciously prepared, conditioned, cultivated, and finally triggered. That is why it is so important to optimize each stage of the funnel. For high ticket backend funnel sales infotainment and entertainment are two huge factors in making the prospect learn more about the industry, company, product and/or service.
Each step of that journey as referred to above is at least a tiny decision. From the marketer’s point of view the most important thing to happen on each funnel stage is that the customer takes the next step. Just like in mountaining. If the next funnel stage is not reached by the customer the entire funnel turns into a dead end. That is why it is crucial to optimize each and every funnel stage from the direction the prospect enters the funnel ultimately resulting in an entirely optimized sales funnel. In the best case hypothetical scenario all prospects entering the funnel end up converting into sales and happy customers accepting all upsells. It is like a hundred people start mountain climbing and all of them reach the top. In order to come even close to making that happen, because some will drop off along the way - each one of them must make the next step (up) to reach the next higher stage.
Conversion funnel derivations:
Obviously there are many derivations of the basic funnel-architecture outlined above resulting in different types of sales funnels such as:
· Membership Funnel - used inside the membership site business model,
· Daily Deal Funnel - also known as Groupon funnels,
· Cancellation Funnel - in case a client wants to cancel a subscription or service,
· Bridge Funnel - to be used as a step in between traffic source and sales funnel,
· Survey Funnel - to get to know more about your customer and what he wants,
· Summit Funnel - to promote a live event which is a deadline in itself,
· video sales letter funnel - is just like a regular sales letter funnel just with the difference that a sales video is embedded,
· Ecommerce Storefront Funnel - to be deployed in cases where you have an e-commerce shop,
· Reverse Squeeze Sage Funnel - builds on reciprocity, invisible funnel - not to be perceived as a funnel and therefore very powerful,
· lead magnet funnel - to attract potential customers to begin with, hero funnel - ideally used in personalized businesses where the marketer shares his compelling story to build rapport and engagement,
· Webinar Funnel - it is like camouflaged training or lesson in most cases with a sales pitch in the end ,
· Auto Webinar Funnel - same as the webinar funnel, just recorded and evergreen with a simulated live-effect,
· Live Demo funnel - it is like a test-drive seeing the product or service doing its job in front of the visitor’s eyes,
· Product Launch Funnel - to be applied when you launch a new product, sales letter funnel - when you want to make a sale,
· application funnel - to make it possible that people apply to your business,
· social media sales funnel - to transfer people hanging out on from social media mode to buying mode,
· messenger bot funnel - to use AI supported chat-engagement to let automation do the heavy lifting in terms of initial engagement and rapport building filter down who is ready to become a customer.
How To Build A Sales Funnel
Building one of these conversion funnel types is has become much easier thanks to sales funnel software like Click Funnel, leadpages and many others. The demanding part is the content and getting the value-sequencing and cost-sequencing right, which depends pretty much on different buyer types e.g., influencer vs. decision maker or a specific industry, vertical or niche - customer. The marketer must be good in communicating the right perceived value at each stage of the funnel. This is where the proper value sequencing inside the marketer’s messages becomes so important. Value sequencing is like a story. The tension and attention must be kept up. Specifically, a serial tension especially in a funnel.
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