The advantage of using a sales funnel when designing your digital marketing strategy is that you get a simple and straightforward set of goals that you need to hit.
Building a powerful sales funnel means picking the right tactics at each stage of the funnel to hit those goals.
But before you even start with the sales funnel stages, it is very important to go through some fundamental elements that will help you design the funnel and optimize it according to your business, and the type of potential customers you are targeting.
There are two main elements sitting above the sales funnel:
- The target persona
- The traffic sources
Your Target Persona
This is the very first thing you should figure out.
There are a lot of different terms for it: target persona, customer avatar, sales avatar—they’re all really the same thing.
Your target persona is designed to represent the wants and needs of your customer base. You create a persona for each segment of your customer base in order to better target all of your messaging.
Some people do this very lightly, and others get really, really heavy into this—which is what I recommend as well.
The goal here is to create a fictional person that represents certain interests, wants, and needs of your target audience.
You give it a name, you give it a job, you give it a salary, you give it interests, family life, relationship level. Whatever it is, you create that person and then all of your marketing messaging, targets that particular avatar, that particular type of person.
Basically, everything in your sales funnels flows from your customer avatar. It is very important to be thorough when creating it.
There’s a ton of different ways to do this, but what I love most is actually getting on the phone with your customers. Doing interviews and surveys will help you to actually figure out what the wants and needs are of your customers.
To learn more about creating your target persona, check out our Content Marketing Strategy Guide.
Once you have defined your target persona, it’s time to move on to the traffic sources – which are, basically, the channels you will use to pour users into your funnel—in digital marketing, those could be:
- Direct traffic: people typing in your domain name
- SEO: anyone coming from a search engine via organic search
- Paid traffic: ads that you buy on Google or Facebook, for example
- Social media traffic: people coming to your site from social media
- Email traffic: people coming to your site from emails
- Referral traffic: people coming to your site from another site
Each traffic source is independent and they apply to each step of the funnel.
In this guide, we’re only going to mention traffic sources briefly, but each of them is large enough to require specialization.
For example, I was an SEO specialist for a very long time as a career. I was part of an SEO team and there are SEO companies out there. You could be an email marketing specialist, even part of an email marketing team, or you could join an email marketing company.
If you want to go deeper into one of these traffic sources for your funnel, check out our other strategy guide:
Now, let’s go over each stage of the funnel.