Updated October 18, 2021
A Marketing funnel is a map or strategy that makes it easier for businesses to understand precisely what customers need from them at each interaction they have with a business. It is based on the idea that if the customer is able to trust and even have a level of relationship with a company, eventually they will buy from that company.
The funnel is based on something marketers call “the buyer’s journey,” which shows how a customer who makes a purchase has gone through a step-by-step, predictable decision making process that starts with a perceived need and ends with a purchased solution to that need. The mix of the buyer’s journey with the marketing funnel is designed to take the guesswork out of connecting with your potential customers.
Here are the the steps of the buyer’s journey and how your web design services can nurture the relationship with your potential customers at whatever stage they are at:
In this beginning stage, the customer has just begun to realize they have a problem that needs solving.
In the case of website design, there are likely several different customer types you should be aware of as you seek to market to people in this stage, including:
- Customers that need a brand new website for their business and don’t have the time or inclination to make one
- Business owners that aren’t getting the results they are looking for from DIY website platforms and have begun to realize that Wix or Squarespace isn’t working out for them as their business grows
- Those trying to find a way to help their website have a higher chance of doing well SEO wise right off the bat
- Business owners who are fine with their current website, but are tired of managing it while running all the other aspects of their business.
These customers want to see your brand display confidence in the website design services field and they want to see that you are aware of the challenges they face. At this stage they are looking for examples of your web design authority and, frankly, free information that they can perhaps use on their own to better their situation.
Blog posts and social media marketing in Tampa proofs (like customer reviews or articles written as case studies) on your website are perfect for boosting your authority in your field and for helping people to become more acquainted with your brand, which is the best thing you can ask for at this stage.
The more the customer feels understood, the more you will have their attention. You can tailor your articles or blogs on your website to answer common questions or speak into some of the frustrations that those looking to better their website are facing.
This is also the stage where the famed “lead magnet” comes in. These often take the form of a pop-up box that shows up soon after a visitor reaches a website and are designed to immediately engage with the user.
The lead magnet is an email address negotiator: give me your email address and I’ll give you a free bit of information to help you with a challenging aspect of your website journey. A lead magnet can also be a section of your website placed at a spot where the visitor can go back and enter their email anytime in exchange for your free informative material.
Let’s say a customer came to your site because of a growing suspicion that her website could be doing better in the SEO department. Their internet search brought her to a blog on your website that was written about an aspect of search engine optimization. All of a sudden, a box appears offering her a free list of tips to generate more traffic to her site. Though you are offering this for free, the information you are giving out does not detract from your website design service because SEO is more of an art form than most people realize. She gives that box her email address in exchange for your SEO tips and now you’ve got the contact info of a potential lead and the customer has a tangible offering that has been geared to help her. Positive vibes all around.
The lead magnet provides that person a reason to give you their email address because of your awareness of her problems and willingness to help. People buy from who they like and helping someone out for free is a great way to get them to like you.
And if they like you, they will hopefully be more willing to open up emails from you in the future, which leads us to the next step of the journey which is…
At this point, with a potential customer’s email address in hand, it’s time to start weighting the balances towards your company being the answer to their problem by becoming a go-to resource for all things web design. This is commonly done via marketing emails sent out at regular intervals, whether daily, weekly or monthly.
Have you written a short ebook about making a more efficient website? Give them a link to it. Can you offer your prospect more how-to type support articles relating to web design or boosting their site traffic? Gear those posts or emails to show how your website design services can take the headache and stress out of their web presence.
This is the perfect time to send out an email to them courteously making them aware of your varied resources. This sends the message that you are an authority in your field and that you are here to help.
At this stage, as they are “considering” which avenue to go down to solve their problem of needing a website, so showing the customer exactly how your website design services can make their life better is key.
This is where the classic marketing concept of features vs. benefits comes in. A feature is what you know you do as a web designer and is usually more technical in the eyes of the customer. A benefit, on the other hand, is why the customer should care about that feature because of how it will make their life or business better.
In other words, a benefit is the end result of a feature. It is how your clients will experience the website you build.
So Instead of telling the customer,
“We can design a responsive, custom site with UI/UX in mind,”
you might say instead,
“We handle every detail that goes into creating an efficient website for your business needs, giving your customers both a mobile friendly and user friendly experience that clearly showcases your brand and your product.”
Your customer probably doesn’t care what UI/UX is. But they do care that the website you build is clean and fluid so that people can have an easier time buying their goods or services, which in turn will help them make more money.
Once a potential customer has…
- Realized their need of a new/updated website
- Researched their options
- Warmed up to the idea that you may be able to help them by giving you their email address and engaging with your content
…now it’s time to influence them towards your website design services in the decision stage.
This is where the customer will be actively comparing your services to what your competitor offers. Your promos, trial offers, ebooks and personal consultations have the opportunity to tip the scales in your favor. What are you doing for your potential customer that perhaps other website designers aren’t?
For example, if someone who has been following your emails about web design or SEO strategy gets an email about a limited time promotion you are running for the very product she has been considering, especially when some of the risk has been removed from the product (30 days or money back, limited time pricing, free personal consultation), all of a sudden you are offering a lot more to her than the others and that might be the extra nudge she needs to purchase what you offer.
All of this might seem like a lot of work, but website design services are not a common impulse buy for most people. They are making the choice to rely on you for how their business is represented on the internet and that takes a lot of trust. The good news is once you have these various customer resources set up on your website, they do all the work for you so you can go back to focusing on your current customer load. Meaningful engagement with a potential customer through each of these stages can be completely automated and still very effective.
When a marketing attempt fails, often it’s because the potential customer isn’t being given what they need from a business at the right stage of where they are at. Clients who are in the awareness stage haven’t done their homework yet on what their options are and therefore will be a lot less willing to purchase something compared to a client who is in the decision stage.
A customer will need different resources from your company in different stages and that’s where taking advantage of marketing funnel logic can help your website design business grow.