Awareness to Conversion: Breakdown of the Funnel Stages

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Awareness to Conversion: Breakdown of the Funnel Stages

The FieldTest Team · April 16th 2019


It seems like funnels are trending more than ever as everyone is ready to jump up and tell you all about their magical funnel strategy.

Just one search for “sales funnel” or “content marketing funnel” and you’ll find yourself inundated with tips, tricks, infographics, and pretty much anything else you can shake a funnel at.

We want to help you weed through the madness, so we’re going to show you how we handle things here at FieldTest. Your sales funnel doesn’t need to be fancy or complicated. In fact, it should be simple because you’ll want everyone on your team to understand each stage, which will eventually drive more people to your site and get them to pull out their credit cards.

You might be asking yourself, “why should I care about my sales funnel?” Think of your sales funnel like a map that gets your customers from an established problem to a solution to a final close of sale. It’s the backbone of every online business that wants to generate leads and make sales, as it helps convert website visitors into paying customers.

Without a sales funnel, you’ll be lost in a sea of marketing confusion where customers and revenue disappear without a trace. With it, you’ll better understand your customers data, insights, and interests, which will save you time, win their business, and make your boss very very happy.

So without further ado...

Meet the Three-Stage Funnel

We plan our ad campaigns around three distinct stages of the funnel: awareness, consideration, and conversion.

While each is vital in the customer’s journey to purchase, it’s important to remember the best advertising success happens when you combine their forces into a full-funnel approach.

With these stages as our marketing pillars, we help you create ads that reach customers before they know you, when they’re thinking about you, and when they’re ready to click that beautiful “buy now” button. And from the discovered learnings, you can scale audience, target at lower cost and create campaigns that get results.

AWARENESS

This is the stage when a prospect becomes aware there’s a problem, and they need your product to solve it. At this point in the funnel, the customer is completely unaware of your product and solution, which means you need to use clear, descriptive content that has a low barrier to entry. Earned media is a great example, as it’s an excellent way to tell digestible stories your customers can relate to. And the results are worth noting, as 81 percent of senior-level marketers believe earned media has a greater impact than paid media.

We like to think of awareness as the glamorous stage, filled with beautiful imagery, entertaining media, and easily digestible content. It’s also where we target users based on their interests and demographics, so we make sure all that digestible content gets in front of people who want or need the product in the ads.

Awareness content comes in all shapes and sizes, including videos, founder stories, and basically anything that drives interest and brand engagement. Your landing pages are also important in the awareness stage, as they should be deeply informative and explanatory for the customer, providing them a place where they can learn the ins-and-outs of your product with zero confusion.

No matter what you do in the awareness stage, never forget this part of the funnel is to make prospects both “problem aware” and “solution aware.” The more your ad creative can explain your product the better.  Ideally your awareness ad would tell the user everything they need to know without even having to click. Do this right, and you’ll seamlessly move customers into the consideration stage without a hitch.

CONSIDERATION

Once the customer has moved through the awareness stage, they start to consider the choices available to them – which will likely include your product along with your competitors.

So how do you separate yourself from the pack?

For online marketers, this is where you want to create more informative, product-focused messaging. Whatever ad units you create, whether they’re image or video-based, should link to your site and possibly include strong calls to action (CTAs).

Another great consideration strategy is the targeting of “lookalike” audiences. Here at FieldTest, we use this technique to find new potential customers that “look like” (or match in our data) users that visit your site or make a purchase. By going after people with similar interests, you can expand your audience and introduce your product to parties that may not have been your initial target.

Unlike awareness, were you inform about your offerings, consideration is where you’ll “showcase” your product’s features, differentiating your goods and services from the competition. Depending on your marketing goals, your mission here is traffic, clicks, and views of your website.

CONVERSION

It may be the bottom of the funnel, but it’s top priority for turning sales. Once you have attracted customers and helped them understand the benefits of the product, it’s time to convince them to take out their credit cards and complete a purchase.

Here, you’ll test price-point and promo messaging, providing customers a closer look at key benefits so you can lead them to make an informed purchase.

Conversion is also where you retarget people who visited, bought, and even abandoned your site. Don’t forget that just because they walked away doesn’t mean they’re not interested in purchasing.

Conversion ads are also unique because this is where you can create custom messaging for both new and returning customers, based on how far they travelled into the purchase journey.

Did they buy something? Great, tell them about your other offerings or similar products.

Did they leave at the cart? No problem. Show them the products they left behind, or something in a similar category.  

When you combine calculated retargeting, creative sequencing, and custom messaging, you can effectively move customers from prospecting to sale at scale, and at a profitable CPA. In other words, you’ll seamlessly help the customer convert from an interested shopper to a dedicated buyer.

Closing Thoughts: No Set Rules

We know every advertiser will have different results at each stage of the funnel. From top to bottom, there are different ad formats and content types that are more successful than others, For this reason it’s important to use a full-funnel approach that incorporates strategies and learnings across all your stages.

Always remember that the purpose of your sales funnel is to create a smooth pathway that seamlessly leads prospects to a final purchase. It may not be perfect at first, but with a bit of effort you and your marketing team will quickly put the “fun” in funnel.

If you’d like to learn how FieldTest can help grow your campaign beyond organic reach, click below to see how easy it is to make your content into funnel-worthy ads.

Peter Luttrell