Sales funnels are a concept everyone seems to understand and use, but not so many go on to explore them in detail. When it comes to eCommerce, it’s especially important to make the most out of your funnels as a big chunk of your sales would depend on it.
Having well-performing funnels set in place is a mechanism that will always generate sales and this is crucial for most eCommerce businesses out there. Today we’ll go through 3 different funnels that you can explore and implement in your strategy straight away: Inbound/Content marketing funnel, Facebook ads funnel and your Content Remarketing Funnel.
Now, let’s dive straight in, and go through probably the easiest one to understand: Your Facebook ads Funnel (paid)
Facebook paid ads funnel
The understand it better, the funnel would look something like this:
Facebook ads → Special landing page → Add to cart event → (Order completion) → Abandon cart → Facebook remarketing → Landing page with promotion → Order completion
Best use of the funnel:
When you need some quick boost in sales or/and instant ROI or when you launch and want to promote a new product/ collection.
Now you must have a very good visual idea of what each step is about, but let’s dig deeper into each step and tell you what you’ll need to keep an eye on to measure your success.
This does not exactly fall under the usual “Steps of the funnel”, but including it makes the whole thing a lot easier to understand. As you prepare your ads, you’ll have to make sure their targeting is well-optimized and you are reaching all the right people.
Assuming you’ve got your targeting spot-on, you’ll have to keep an eye on your CTR (click-through rate) as it will indicate whether or not your ad manages to catch the attention (copy of the ad, visuals, call to action work well on your audience) of your target group.
Ultimately, at the end, you’ll be looking at your conversion rate in order to find out the most important thing – how many people actually converted.
Specially – tailored Landing Pages
People clicked your ad because they were curious, so you should feed their curiosity, but at the same time it should be in a way that encourages a purchase. Each of your ads must have a tailor-made landing page that repeats the same offering/message as the ad. Sending all that traffic to a page that resonates a different message than the one on your ad would bump your bounce rate up and people would simply go away (and hopefully forget you!).
So if you are selling and advertising phone power banks, for example, don’t send people to a page that offers USB cables. If you have a special discount that you’ve mentioned in your ad copy, make sure to include it in your landing page too.
The goal in this step is to make the visitor complete the required action. Depending on what you are promoting (a new collection of products or single product). Let’s assume you are promoting a new category of products (running shoes line for example), in this case, a view event would be a good thing to keep track of. However, if you are promoting a single product (just one specific pair of running shoes), then you might go straight for the buy and track conversions.
Keeping an eye on Time spent on-page might also be a good idea as it will show you how much time it takes for people to either drop or go through to the next step in the funnel.
Add to cart/checkout completion
The next step would be the add to cart event or checkout completion as you may have a setup that simply jumps over the add to cart event and sends people straight to checkout.
Here, you’ll aim to have people complete the required action, which would be adding a product to their cart or simply purchasing it. In an ideal universe (in which we do not live), you’d have 100% conversion rate, but in reality, cart abandonment rate is estimated at around 71%. This is why you’d have to put in place a strategy to fight cart abandonment. Research shows that you can get back 26% of the abandoners!
So far, some people have moved nicely through your funnel and have converted, but there were also some that dropped off. This is where Remarketing comes into the whole picture. For perfect targeting, you’d have to use the following: visitors who started a checkout but did not complete an order.
Once more, constantly check your CTR to see how your ad is performing. Also, the copy on both the ad and the landing page (your new landing page must be a “hard-sell” one) must incentivize people to come back. It must highlight what they missed the first time and why they should go for it this time around.
Most marketing research show that conversion rate in your remarketing campaign can see an increase up to 147% more than the initial ad.
So go on and take a look at your current funnel and try to improve it or if you don’t have one yet, this will hopefully help you get started.
Read more on eCommerce metrics.
Content Marketing Funnel
To make things easier to understand again, below you can get a visual idea of what the funnel would look like:
Organic Google search (no purchase intent) → Resource page → Pop-up → Subscribe to blog → Consume more content → Browse product pages → Order → Continue consuming content
Best use of the funnel:
When you want to increase brand awareness and place yourself on top of people’s minds.
Organic Search Traffic
We’ll include this first step of acquisition again, just for clarity. The visitors you want to reach are not always in “let’s go desktop shopping” mode and you have to respect that. However, you can also have a funnel that deals with this. Not having it would simply mean missing out on a lot of potential sales.
To get the right people in, you’d need to rank on precise and relevant keywords so that the incoming traffic is qualified.
For the ones unsure what qualified traffic means, it represents the people who you would usually target as your potential customers. Just any traffic won’t do simply because many people land on websites randomly and might naturally not be looking to buy any of your products.
So if you have a lot of traffic, don’t go pursuing all of it. Try and figure out which ones are worth pursuing or you’ll just lose time and resources pursuing the wrong bunch.
Sit down and take your time figuring out what your target keywords are and try to create content for them and rank as high as possible
This is always a long-term process so don’t just expect rewards after a week.
Your Resource Page/s
This is a page you have created with the purpose to give value to the visitor. It could be literally anything so long as it serves as a helpful resource for the visitor. Simple example: you sell specialty roasted coffee, so why not give people some advice on some roasting or brewing techniques?
To track your content’s performance:
- Look at your traffic – will tell you if your content is being discovered and visited at all.
- Average time per session – to see how much people engage with your content. Be realistic though, an 800 words article should NOT take a 20 min session for it to be read.
- Bounce rate – will tell you if people who land on your page really did look for such a resource or not. It will also indicate the quality of your content. If you see huge bounce rates, you probably need to step up your game
- Pages per session – will tell you how much people engage with your site/blog in general. A lower number should not scare you, though, simply because people might have come just for this one resource. They’ve consumed it and left.
In the long-run, you’d probably like to build a community around your brand and content can help you greatly since it’s the only way you can reach your customers (both current and potential ones) online. Having diverse content helps, but focusing on something unique for your business and customers will naturally help you build that community. It could be series of educational content or DIY tips. You’ll simply have to get to know your audience very well and experiment with content to see what really keeps them engaged.
Pop-ups & subscriptions
Your Content marketing funnel simply requires you to feed it content. As you produce more and more of it, you’d like to be able to show it to people at any time you see fit. Occasional landing on resource pages is one thing, reaching them whenever you want is a whole other story.
Thus your goal here is to get people to subscribe to receive updates from you. The action you want them to complete is “subscribe“ and a perfect way to guide them to that action is utilizing a pop-up. So lock them up with a pop-up while they are interested and then you’ll be able to reach them at any time! The pop-up might offer an additional free resource, like an e-book for example.
Feed them more content
As people subscribe to your mailing list, you’ll steadily see it growing. That means people are interested in the content you’ve produced so far.They are engaging with it and would sure appreciate more of it. The good thing is now they’ve taken the next step in the funnel and you can reach them at any time.
Naturally, you’d like to send newsletters and updates to your mailing list, what you include in it is up to you, but your goal would be to keep an eye on open rates and click-through rates, as well as unsubscribe rate. The first two will tell you how well your emails are performing, how many opened them and how many clicked on the links you have within the email itself.
The unsubscribe rate will indicate the number of subscribers you lose and you’ll have to try to keep that at a minimum. A high rate will indicate there is simply something you are doing wrong with your emails (they could be seen as spammy or irrelevant).
Interest towards your products
Your audience will naturally shift from “content consumers” to potential buyers at some point. You’ll see that their interest might steer them away from your free resource pages towards your actual product pages.
Here you’ll try and monitor how much time they spend on your product pages and how many of them they see per session.
you might see some of them don’t ever make it to you product pages again. Maybe you have won them by their interests, but their budget range could be way off.
Once people reach this step, you can pat yourself on the back and say “well done”. Your Content marketing funnel is working as intended and people are responding well. This funnel takes a bit longer to start working, but it also keeps on working in the long-run. It can help your business stay healthy.
Research indicates that you can expect a conversion rate of up to 3.82% from your Inbound marketing activities.
Keep the content going
This is not necessarily something you must include in your funnel, but it’s important to keep customers engaged and keep on giving them the content they crave. After all, they bought from you because of your content so it would only make sense to keep them well-informed and keep their content needs well-satisfied.
Content Remarketing Funnel
Identify best content → Promote it → Retarget & show your product in action → (Add to cart & Conversion) → Precise FB remarketing → Strong offer → Add to Cart & Order completion
When you want to build brand awareness and push your best content to new audiences. Great for showing your product in action (with case studies or user-generated content). Helps you build a brand.
So once you have created a lot of quality pieces, it’s time to use them for further marketing activities.
Identify your best content
To set up this funnel, you’ll first need to identify your best-performing content. The pieces your audience seems to love and the pieces that create a buzz. In the first step of this funnel, you’ll aim at improving brand awareness so look at pieces that:
- Received a lot of traffic
- Got a decent amount of backlinks
- Have enjoyed great engagement levels on social (shares, likes, comments, etc)
Promote it on Facebook
This would be the first step of this funnel. Having identified your “Champion” content, it’s time for you to promote it to a new, yet similar audience and build some brand awareness. What you would like to do here is get some traffic in from these ads.
Look at your CTR rate as your goal will be to collect clicks.
Your product in action
In this next step, you’d like to show people you product in action. You can do this in many ways, but make sure it clearly shows the benefits of using your product. This could be a case study about how your product helped solve a problem or it could be user-generated content that shows people using and enjoying your product.
The type of content used in this step really depends on your product.
Let’s imagine you sell fitness equipment, you could easily get in touch with a client and do a case study about how your products helped him/her achieve something (get in shape, lose weight, improve overall health, etc.).
This would be a great way to show your new audience both your product in action and the benefits real people enjoy by using it.
Tailored Landing Pages
For each of your case study (or other content fit for this step), you’d need a special landing page. When creating the landing page keep in mind it has to tell the same story in details. Adding some testimonials/reviews or any other kind of a social proof next to your CTA (call-to-action) would improve your chances to convert those visitors.
In this step, you could easily go for the conversion, but having people simply reading your case study is still good enough as you will target them later on.
Remember that here, you’ll also be targeting people who visited the specific URL of the content you previously promoted. You aim at the people who have expressed a genuine interest towards your brand.
In this last step of this funnel, you’ll be doing “hard-sell” ads. By “hard-sell” ads I mean ads that clearly indicate you want to sell something. Your target will be people who:
- Visited the URL of your first promoted post
- or/and people who visited the URL of your second promoted piece of content (case study or other)
- All in all, people who interacted with your ads
You will be advertising to people who have already seen your previous ads and who have shown interest towards your brand and products so you might want to incentivize them further and offer them something that they won’t be able to refuse. You’ll need strong ad copy and even stronger offer.
At the end you’ll have to look at your Conversion rate in order to see how-well your ads performed.
You don’t have to implement all 3 funnels in your strategy right away (but it would be a good a idea!). You can start with the one you feel most prepared for and experiment around it as you might find something that works like magic for your business. Also, if you do it right, your sales funnels will keep your business healthy and steady so that you have room for experimentation and testing.
Thus, go on and revolutionize your funnels to start reaping the rewards sooner rather than later. We’d be happy to hear about your experience with different sales funnels. What worked best for you, did you manage to absolutely nail it or did you fail completely?