Marketing funnels can significantly increase your rate of conversions by bringing structure to the buying process and identifying opportunities for you to connect with your audience. Once you understand what the different stages of your brand’s specific marketing funnel are, you can begin to define which areas conversions matter the most and where the best opportunities to maximize them are.
Here, we’ll review conversions and marketing funnels before we get into how they can work together—and how SMS marketing through the Community platform can become an essential tool to help move users through different stages.
Definition of a Conversion
In the marketing world, conversion is what companies call a user or visitor that achieves a specific goal.
In most cases, a conversion is defined as a prospect that has progressed from one stage in the marketing funnel to another. The ultimate conversion is for a lead to be converted into a user by completing a sale, but the term conversion can also refer to:
- A person signing up to receive your business’s notifications,
- Or inquiring for more information on a product,
- And progressing through each step of your marketing funnel stages.
What is a Marketing Funnel?
A marketing funnel is a series of stages (see our next section for the stages) that increasingly lead a prospective customer to make a purchase. It serves as a tool to help you visualize the customer journey. There are several phases in a marketing funnel and they are not necessarily always followed by customers in order.
In the age of technology, leads often join the funnel at later stages if they’ve done their own research on your product and have perhaps already set an intention to buy from a friend’s referral.
Your company’s marketing strategy should include methods for helping consumers progress from stage to stage in your marketing funnel. Text message marketing can assist your business in reaching out to guide potential customers along with the steps of their buying journey.
A recent study found that over four-fifths of the time people spend online is spent on a mobile device. Texting is undoubtedly the most direct way to reach and convert interested buyers from a lead to a tangible sale.
Let's break down each stage of the funnel and how they play a role in a prospect’s decision to buy with your company.
Stages of a Marketing Funnel
Marketing funnels can look different for different companies. Here are some of the most common stages of marketing funnels for most businesses.
Brand Awareness or Top Of The Funnel (TOFU)
The first stage of any marketing funnel is the awareness phase. Often considered the top of the funnel because in this stage customers first learn about your product or service through advertising, social media, marketing campaigns, or previous client referrals.
You can convert leads out of the awareness phase by capturing their contact information. Collecting as many details as possible in this stage will help you provide the curated content needed to target your leads and convince them to become loyal customers.
With SMS marketing you can add subscribers to your audience based on valuable insights and then segment them into the appropriate category for future notifications that they’ll be interested in.
One study showed that 96% of website visitors are not yet ready to purchase, they are looking to receive education on your products or services and learn more about what your company is all about. The interest stage is where brands begin to build relationships with their prospective customers.
During the interest stage of the marketing funnel, potential customers have taken the first step past the awareness phase and are open to receiving information from your business.
This is when sending customized content is important to show your audience how you can meet their specific needs. Give leads a reason to transition out of this stage by applying the details you know about them (age, gender, location, lifestyle, interests) to the types of notifications that you personally send them in SMS. This is where using Filters to segment your Community is helpful. These allow you to send messages to the exact subset you’d like to reach.
Prospective Customer or Marketing-Qualified Lead
People who transition out of the interest stage become marketing-qualified leads or prospective customers who are seriously considering making a purchase.
Prospects can be encouraged in this stage to continue in the marketing funnel by being sent more information and promotional offers through drip campaigns. Again, once you’ve filtered for specific and personalized content, you can set your Community up for Scheduled Messages to help you stay in front of them.
Intent to Buy
Potential customers in the intent stage have demonstrated a desire to make a purchase with your company. Leads typically convert to this stage of the marketing funnel after receiving a free trial, seeing a demonstration of a product, or placing items into their cart.
At this stage, you should respond to certain behaviors of visitors such as leaving a store or an abandoned cart. Messages at this stage can be friendly reminders to help move them to the next stage in the funnel.
Evaluation or Middle Of The Funnel (MOFU)
In the evaluation stage of your marketing funnel, buyers are making their final decision to purchase. Companies should use SMS marketing campaigns targeting these customers to explain why their product or service is the best choice. Research shows nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases, meaning that following through to take your leads all the way through the funnel is going to serve your business well and increase conversions.
Purchase or Bottom Of The Funnel (BOFU)
The final stage of the marketing funnel is when a lead converts to a sale through the purchase process and becomes a customer. During the Purchase stage, it’s important to provide a complete customer experience to encourage your new customers to return in the future. Supporting customers through every stage of the marketing funnel keeps your conversion and retention rates high.
Why is Your Marketing Funnel Important?
You need to be able to define the stages of your marketing funnel and where you have opportunities to connect with buyers. Think of your company’s marketing funnel as the path that focuses prospects to make the right purchase. Along the path are many forks where potential customers will find a reason to leave your path.
By analyzing this pathway, you’ll find where potential customers are tempted to leave and how you can message them with a promotional offer or notification before they make that decision.
Implementing social media campaigns by using Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook ads can all help to improve funnel marketing strategies while furthering brand loyalty, increasing customer retention, and expanding on the traditional marketing funnel.
Additionally, sending segmented email marketing campaigns and using on-site surveys for instance, such as sending an email to users that have abandoned their shopping cart, or putting an exit survey on the checkout page increases the personalized experience culminating the conversion funnel and fosters a path to customer loyalty. Another approach that enhances advocacy for your brand and can be a beneficial marketing tactic is sending an email newsletter or video marketing content which can also keep your target audience engaged and up-to-date on the current happenings with your brand.
Digital Marketing Funnel
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a popular tactic used to generate and optimize and optimize content to rank higher in search engines like Google, when users search for keywords that describe your content.
SMS Marketing Can Help
Including SMS marketing as a part of your funnel can help you keep customers on the path, increasing your overall conversions. It offers a better ROI than social ads because it is a way to send personalized and relevant messages to specific members of your audience. Here are further benefits of implementing SMS marketing into your marketing funnel.
You Collect Relevant Data
Our text marketing platform is the perfect tool to capture the contact information of website or storefront visitors. Easily transition your visitors from the awareness stage to the interest stage by encouraging them to join your Community for personal texts.
Send Introductory Discounts
A small discount for making a first-time purchase with your business can be all the encouragement some buyers need to make the commitment to purchase. You can text new Community members an introductory offer when they first join.
Stay in Front of Your Audience
The best part of SMS is that it’s an organized way to stay on top of your audience’s mind unobtrusively. Potential customers simply receive a text on their cell phone—with no need to open their email inbox, download a brand-specific app or bother with setting up an account.
Using texting as a way to open 1:1 conversations with audience members as they travel through your marketing funnel is a great way to stay connected. Easily send reminder text notifications about new product launch announcements to segments of your audience that would be interested.
Follow Up and Request a Review
Stay with your buyers through the entire marketing funnel—even after the purchase phase. Send a text to request they leave a product review or complete a survey on their experience. This is a great method to see what you’re doing right and where you can improve in your marketing funnel. This is also a great place to use text to keep the 1:1 conversation open.
Your funnel should start by generating awareness of your company and products. From there, you can use text messaging to build stronger connections with potential customers along the stages of your funnel. Targeting prospects with personalized content and messages can make the difference in converting them. Through SMS marketing, you have a method of having meaningful and relevant conversations sent directly to the palm of your Community’s hand.