The sales funnel: converting a cold audience into raving fans

You may have seen many Facebook advertisements and thought, “Hey, this person is getting tons of likes and shares. Let me hop on this bandwagon and advertise my business.”

So you put out an ad.

And then another ad.

Maybe one more just for good luck.

And after hundreds or perhaps a couple of thousand dollars have been spent, you conclude Facebook advertising is worthless. It feels impossible to convert leads into customers. 

You may even feel like you’re getting nowhere with online advertising.

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What the heck!

The problem was not the facebook ad platform - it was your ad funnel strategy (or maybe a lack of one). There were many reasons why your Facebook (or any other ad platform) didn’t work. 

Let’s breakdown the critical components of running an effective ad sales funnel.

We have all seen this classic sales funnel image (shown below) which includes the following components: awarenesses/attract, consideration/convert, purchase/engage, retention/sell and advocacy/connect.

sales funnel

We will talk about other components that cause prospects to fall out of the funnel and fail to convert into a sale. They steam from failure to understand their ad audience, not allowing enough time to plan and/or test a creative, and a poor retargeting campaign. We will discuss each component below.

Know your audience 

Part of the reason why you aren’t having much success is that you haven’t clearly identified your ideal audience. This isn’t just limited to age, gender and ethnicity. This includes your audiences’ online behavior and activity. 

Don’t rush the process of identifying your ideal customer. Everything you do next will flow from understanding your customer’s wants, needs and online behavior.

You need to get very specific with the details of your customer. Your prior ads might have appealed to everyone and by consequence, appealed to nobody at all. Excellent ads appeal to your ideal customers specific wants, desires and pain points. It is okay to offend some in the process as long as your core audience loves your content.

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Test, test and test again 

Once you’re done identifying your ideal customer, then it is time to start testing creatives. 

What are creatives? 

Your creatives are the heading, text, images and videos you will use to appeal to your ideal customer. Don’t forget to look at how they respond to the call to action button. Here are some advertising ideas

Play around with the creatives and see how your potential customer responds to each ad campaign. Rarely will you get it right the first time around. The timing of ads is also important too. I highly suggest scheduling your ads when you will get the most exposure from your customer.

Also, consider optimizing your ad for performance and/or creating a A/B spilt test. Another suggestion is creating a lookalike audience. 

Don’t worry about all these terms right now. I just want you to understand that there are tons of ways to test your creative.

Retarget me again

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So you may have a great Facebook ad relevancy score and a person or two clicked link or even like your business page. Does the work stop there? Oh no!

You need a retargeting campaign which further cultivates a customer relationship. You retarget only those who expressed interest in your product or service. This is part of the sales funnel process.

Don’t waste your time advertising to a cold audience. A cold audience is a group that neither cares about your company nor your product/service.

Once you’ve nurtured the relationship, then and only then you should ask for a sale.

Hold me tightly and nurture me

What? Nurture a stranger? Yes, you absolutely need to do that! Remember, the higher your product/service value, the more you have need to nurture the customer relationship. Your customer is a human being. All humans want to feel appreciated. Make them feel like a winner.

For example, do you think Mercedes-Benz and McDonalds nurture their customers in the same manner? Of course not! Different price points as well as consumer needs all play into effect. Your nurturing campaign depends on your customer lifetime value and their product use or consumption rate. 

Stay connected with your customers as well as prospects. I don’t care if you love direct mailing or email marketing. Find a method to stay connected with them. Your potential customer is bombarded with messages from competitors. Make your voice louder than your competitors through consistent communication with them.

Maintain your posture 

Once you’ve nurtured the relationship, then and only then you should ask for a sale.

Don’t be a bitch in heat desperately looking to make a sale. It looks pathetic.

No one ever buys retail from people anxious to sell their product. Even if you get a sale from them, they probably won’t refer you or be a repeat customer.

You can maintain your posture in a variety of ways. Posture is all about showing confidence and value of yourself and your product/service. Maintaining confidence will help repeal people who don’t value the quality of your product/service. 

You don’t want to sell to people who like to haggle or simply want freebies. I personally don’t want customers like these.

Reward me please!

How do you reward loyal customers who purchase from you? Do you reward them at all? Loyal customers are royal customers! These people are you best free advertisers of your company. 

How do you reward them? This is all part of your retargeting campaign. Possible rewards include providing them discounts and early access to products/service. 

Strategy is the name of the game 

I’ve given you a high level picture of how an ad funnel properly functions. I highly recommend spending the majority of your time learning your audience and developing a way to stay connected with them. Don't worry about making the fast buck - you can always sell products to people who know, like and trust your brand. Your success depends on the strategy and execution of your ad.

 


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