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Purchase funnel

Representation of the different stages of the buying process takes the form of a funnel, which is used to explain that not all users who start (many at the top) end up becoming customers (the bottom part, which is narrower). This is why it's also called a conversion funnel.

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How to create a sales funnel?

The first step in designing a sales funnel is to identify the stages it will have, which are the steps we ideally want the user to take. These stages can vary slightly depending on the business model but typically include: contact, lead, and customer.

These stages broadly correspond to the customer journey, so you can provide more detail by adding qualified leads and opportunities before achieving the sale, especially if you're using a CRM. Additionally, the final stage is customer retention, where the customer becomes a repeat buyer and recommends your products or services.

The funnel can also be focused on a smaller scale for each conversion step, not just the final sale. For example, if it's a landing page designed to collect email addresses, it would begin by counting the total number of visits (at the top), but the most important metric would be how many complete the process (at the bottom).

To create a sales funnel, you need to plan the actions that will be taken to guide the user into it and through all the stages. Marketing strategies can vary widely, such as using social media ads to attract users, website content to showcase products, email marketing to send them promotions that encourage repeat purchases, and so on.

Example of a sales funnel

The sales funnel varies depending on the type of conversion, but all businesses have goals that can be represented in some form of a funnel. The stages are similar, but the actions are tailored to each business.

One of the most commonly used approaches is marketing automation to move the user through the funnel. This involves creating a sequence of messages that gradually demonstrate the value of the service or product until the user makes a purchase. It might start with the download of a lead magnet, followed by an email telling a personal story, another containing valuable content, and one showcasing a success story before making a personalized proposal for their specific needs.

Another example could be the funnel of an online store: a Google ad might be the entry point into the funnel, retargeting could be used to remind users of the products they viewed, and email marketing could be employed to recover abandoned shopping carts when users did not complete their purchase.