Your website is the central hub of all your marketing activity. That’s where you can focus all your efforts on capturing leads and converting them into customers. If you're not using the marketing funnel to its fullest potential, you're leaving money on the table.
In this guide, we'll show you how to use the marketing funnel to increase conversions and capture more leads from your website.
The marketing funnel explained
The marketing funnel is a tool used by marketers to describe and analyze the journey a lead takes from first becoming aware of your business to eventually becoming a paying customer.
There are four stages in the marketing funnel:
Awareness: This is when a lead first becomes aware of your business. They may see an ad, read a blog post, or come across your website in some other way.
Interest: Once a lead is aware of your business, they start to develop an interest in what you do. They may visit your website, read more blog posts, or follow you on social media.
Decision: At this stage, the lead is interested in your product or service and is considering making a purchase. They may request more information, compare prices, or look for reviews.
Action: This is when the lead actually makes a purchase.
Most businesses think of the marketing funnel as a linear process, but it's important to remember that not all leads go through all four stages. Some leads may move straight from interest to action, while others may drop off at any stage.
That's why it's important to have a lead nurturing strategy in place for the leads that don't convert immediately. Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with a lead over time until they're ready to buy. By staying in touch with leads and providing them with valuable content, you can keep them moving through the marketing funnel until they're ready to make a purchase.
Now that you understand the basics of the marketing funnel, let's take a look at some best practices for using it to convert and capture more leads on your website.
Customer journey mapping
The first step in using the marketing funnel is to create a customer journey map. This is a visual representation of the path a lead takes from awareness to action.
Creating a customer journey map will help you understand what leads require at each stage of the funnel and how you can best nurture them toward conversion.
To create a customer journey map, start by brainstorming all the possible ways a lead can become aware of your business. Then, map out the steps they would take from awareness to action.
Once you have your customer journey map, you can start to think about how you can capture leads at each stage of the funnel.
Lead capture forms
One of the most effective ways to capture leads on your website is to use lead capture forms. These are forms that ask visitors for their contact information in exchange for something of value, like a white paper or e-book.
Lead capture forms can be placed anywhere on your website, but they're most effective when used in conjunction with a call-to-action (CTA). A CTA is a piece of text or an image that encourages visitors to take a specific action, like filling out a form.
When choosing where to place your lead capture forms, it's important to think about the stage of the funnel they're targeting. For example, if you're trying to capture leads at the awareness stage, you might place a lead capture form on your blog.
If you're trying to capture leads at the decision stage, you might place a lead capture form on your pricing page.
And if you're trying to capture leads at the action stage, you might place a lead capture form on your checkout page.
Just as critical as where they encounter the form on your website is the experience as they fill it out. You only have so many questions to leave an impression and maintain their interest. If you can capture and qualify leads with a smart form, using conditional logic that takes the visitor through the path most optimal for them and for your business, you’re on your way to success.
Once you've captured a lead, the next step is to qualify them. This is the process of determining whether or not a lead is ready to buy.
There are a few different ways to qualify leads:
Firmographics: Qualifying a lead based on their company size, industry, or location. For example, you may be focusing your efforts on enterprise companies rather than small to medium businesses.
Behavior: Qualifying a lead based on their behavior, like whether or not they've visited your pricing page.
Lead Score: Assigning a score to a lead based on their firmographics and behavior. For example, they meet your criteria for market fit and they’ve proven their active interest while visiting your website by engaging with a smart chatbot like ChatOnce.
Once you've qualified a lead, you can start to think about how to nurture them toward conversion.
Lead nurturing is the process of building a relationship with a lead over time until they're ready to buy. By staying in touch with leads and providing them with valuable content, you can keep them moving through the marketing funnel until they're ready to make a purchase.
There are a few different ways to nurture leads:
- Email marketing: Sending emails to leads on a regular basis.
- Content marketing: Creating and sharing valuable content with leads.
- Social media marketing: Engaging with leads on social media.
- Advertisements: Placing ads in front of leads.
By using a combination of these methods, you can effectively nurture leads until they're ready to buy.
Converting leads into customers
Once you've captured and qualified a lead, it's time to convert them into a customer. This is the process of taking a lead through the final stages of the marketing funnel and turning them into a paying customer.
Offering qualified leads a live chat engagement
An effective way to answer any initial or final questions they have and move them closer to a purchase is by offering qualified leads a live chat engagement, like the available live chat options.
If you offer a live chat option on your website, make sure that it's available during business hours so that leads can get the help they need when they need it.
Live chat is the most immediate method of engaging with customers, answering their questions, and raising their confidence in your business.
Offering qualified leads an instant meeting
Instant meetings are a great way to answer any final questions leads have before making a purchase. They're also an effective way to build rapport and trust with leads.
It's best if your form or chatbot can qualify your visitor first and determine whether they're the right visitor to be offered an instant meeting. You can determine this by using a smart form or chatbot like those offered through OnceHub.
Offering qualified leads a scheduled meeting
If no one is available for live chat or an instant meeting, but your form or chatbot has qualified your visitor to meet with you and discuss things further, you can offer them a scheduled meeting. They'll pick a date and time that works for them in the near future and your team can discuss their needs with them then.
By using these techniques, you can effectively convert leads into customers and move them through the marketing funnel.
It’s best if this sort of interaction is seamless with their other interactions on your website. For example, as they’re filling out a smart form or having a conversation with a smart chatbot that qualifies them to schedule a meeting. You can find these solutions through lead acceleration suites like OnceHub.
Create a customer persona
As you think about the marketing funnel and how to convert and capture leads on your website, it's also helpful to create a customer persona. A customer persona is a fictional character that represents your ideal customer.
When creating a customer persona, you'll want to consider things like:
Their demographics: Age, gender, location, job title, etc.
Their interests: What they like to do in their spare time, what kind of books they read, etc.
Their needs: What problem are they trying to solve, what do they need help with?
By creating a customer persona, you'll have a better understanding of who your ideal customer is and what they're looking for. This will help you create better content and offer more targeted services that appeal to your ideal customer.
Create your marketing funnel
Now that you understand the marketing funnel and how to convert and capture leads on your website, it's time to create your own marketing funnel.
To do this, you'll need to:
- Set up a lead capture form or chatbot on your website.
- Set up an email autoresponder to send leads a sequence of emails over time.
- Create a landing page for your lead magnet.
- Create a thank you page for when someone downloads your lead magnet.
By following these steps, you'll be well on your way to converting and capturing leads on your website.
The marketing funnel is a useful tool for thinking about the process of converting and capturing leads on your website. By using a combination of lead nurturing, conversion, and customer persona creation, you can create an effective marketing funnel that will help you capture more leads and convert them into customers.
If you found this post helpful, be sure to check out our other posts on lead generation and conversion rate optimization. Thanks for reading!