The Digital Sales Funnel: How to Increase Customers

Home / Growth Hacking / The Digital Sales Funnel: How to Increase Customers

Let’s start by defining what we mean by a digital sales funnel.

Your digital sales funnel is the means by which you move a prospect (website, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, etc. account viewer) into a paying customer.

All of these online assets need to be viewed as lead generation machines, not online brochures or static advertisements. To do that you need to have a systematic sales funnel built in that moves people closer to your product or service offering. You do that by building trust, delivering value, establishing expertise, and then converting those warm leads into happy customers.

To stay relevant and competitive in today’s ever-changing digital landscape you should have a base knowledge of how digital advertising and marketing works. Many business owners find themselves awash in jargon, buzzwords, and advice from “experts and gurus” upon attempting to make sense of it all.

So how do you wade through the bog of options to find what works practically? The first step is understanding what strategies are available and where in the sales funnel they touch potential customers. Next you need a guide to show you how to implement them, without making your head explode.


Stages of the Digital Sales Funnel

Top of Funnel – Awareness Stage

This is the place to educate prospects, not necessarily about a particular product or solution, but rather about general topics related to your business. In this stage you attract new prospects, answer questions, and build trust.

Common Top-of-Funnel Methods

  • E-books
  • Whitepapers
  • Infographics
  • FAQ
  • Online reports
  • Social Posts
  • Blog posts

Middle of Funnel – Interest and Evaluation Stage

This stage of the funnel engages prospects and their interests or needs at a more detailed level pulling them closer towards solutions. Content from top of funnel is connected with resources and information about particular services or products. These methods are used to challenge the prospect to think differently about a solution, while also providing clear details how your product or service can meet those needs.

Common Middle of Funnel Methods

  • Email marketing
  • Newsletters
  • Consultations/demos
  • Blog posts with greater detail/more specific content
  • Third party resources with supporting data/facts
  • Testimonials
  • ROI calculations

Bottom of Funnel – Buying Stage

This stage is used to overcome final objections and provide the impetus to make an educated buying decision. You’ll want to use this content to build upon the positive feelings about your product or service. The content at this stage is used to establish expertise and equip your sales team to stand out.

Common Bottom of Funnel Methods

  • Free trials
  • Follow up consultations
  • Customized estimates
  • Special offers
  • Endorsements
  • Newsletters
  • Customized demos


What’s next? Now that you have an idea what makes up an effective digital sales funnel, and how to develop each stage with different forms of content, you need a simple implementation guide. The following 5 sections will help you determine where and how to meet, engage, and convert more prospects into loyal customers.


Increase Your Website Traffic

Hello? Can I have your attention please? Do you remember your teachers telling you they wanted your “complete and undivided attention” when you were young? Yeah, good luck with that, and it’s not any easier with adults.

You need to determine what your strategy will be to grab people’s attention.

According to Ed Abrams , VP of Marketing for IBM Midmarket Business, 85% of the time customers’ decision to interact with a brand started with a search. People are not looking for a brand, they are looking for a solution.

This means you need to be in the content creation business to increase exposure and develop marketing assets that will appreciate over time.


Make Friends

Now that you have their undivided attention, what are you going to do to keep them coming back to you? Prospects typically aren’t going to make decisions to switch service providers or make big buying decisions simply by visiting your website.

You need to develop means to keep the conversation going.

They have to want to come back to you time and time again for content that genuinely helps them, and ultimately builds trust.

If you can’t build trust with prospects you will have a hard time building a customer list in today’s consumer-controlled marketplace.


Convert Them to Customers

Now that you’ve developed a basis for trust and expertise you need to close the deal.

To do this you will need to develop an effective CTA, Call To Action. The CTA gets your new friend to make a decision, just like in traditional sales.

If the mention of closing strikes fear, realize that the advantage of the digital sales cycle is that you don’t lose if you don’t close on the first try. You can continue to place CTAs as you continue to develop and nurture the relationship.

You’ll also want to pay attention to how you’re converting those prospects (Conversion Rate Optimization) and test new ways. One of those ways is to set up a dedicated landing page (for website, newsletter, blog) and test different headlines or CTAs.


Stoke The Flames

Imagine yourself in a relationship where someone worked their tail off to woo you- make you feel really special- and then after the wedding they simply stopped talking to you, unless they wanted you to do something for them. Recipe for disaster. You can clearly see the folly in this approach to a relationship, however, it is how far too many businesses act.

It is much easier to keep loyal customers happy than to keep bringing in new ones. Referrals are much more effective, profitable, and enjoyable as a way to increased business, but you’re not going to get any if you don’t keep the lines of communication open to be able to ask.

Social media makes this easy, and fast. Just remember that you need to keep working at the relationship to keep it healthy.


Again! From the Top!

Don’t forget to measure the process. There is a ton of data available for you to get lost in. Google Analytics alone is probably more data than you care for, and frankly you don’t need to get so wrapped up in the details. Just keep your focus on the funnel and you will be able to determine what’s working and what’s not.

Your sales funnel tells you where people are in the cycle at any given time, and allows you to tailor the message to their current position.

The goal of any stage is simple; get people to take action. That action moves them along the cycle and further down the funnel towards that wonderful stage of repeat customer.

As you start out your primary means of measuring success should be how well you are moving prospects through the stages.



Leave a Comment