what is a purchase funnel and why is it important to design it?
When a user wants to interact with a website, whether it is a registration, a purchase or any other, they must go through certain processes. The steps to follow are defined by the website itself, which will be responsible for managing them, creating a quality experience for the future customer. The success or failure of an interaction may depend on the good definition of these stages through which a visitor must pass. In order to measure the effectiveness of Inbound marketing, the purchase funnel is used.
We can visually represent in our mind that neck that narrows and filters as a process that should end in the loyalty of our buyers and lead them to identify our business as a value to be taken into account.
The stages of the purchase funnel: TOFU, MOFU AND BOFU
When we talk about a funnel for converting potential customers into loyal buyers, we must try to see the funnel as a modular element. At the top or beginning we will always place a larger piece, trying to bring together the largest number of potential customers.
As we go deeper into our process, our purchase funnel will tend to have narrower pieces until we end with the smallest part, but which is really the one that will bring the benefit. These modules with which we can create our marketing strategy will be:
TOFU: Top of the funnel or top of the funnel is what we will call the process aimed at attracting or making contact with our potential customers. We must understand that at this stage we are creating a need for the customer. It is not that we are inventing the situation out of nothing, but that we have analysed the market, reviewed the possible needs and offered an object or experience that can satisfy it. Obviously, nothing arises without a prior study or evaluation of the market.
As the aim is to engage and make yourself known, you cannot transfer your actions directly to the commercial side. You are not going to make a direct offer, but you will try to spread your product, create sites where they can interact with your offers and give brand value to your products.
Once the potential customer has consumed the information you offer, whether in post format or any other, you will have helped some of your visitors to identify their needs and they will be able to feel that your product adapts to them and can satisfy them. With this, we could consider this module of the purchase funnel closed.
MOFU: Middle of the funnel or intermediate part of our funnel would be the stage that comes after the initial stage. At this stage of the process, potential customers have already managed to discover their need and give it a definition. You have to imagine how users who have reached this stage have gone through a screening process and reached a lower part, while the visits in which we have not managed to awaken that need remain at the top.
If the user has reached this stage, your mission is to convert that interest into leads (customers with whom you have already had a first contact and you have their information to enter in your database). At this point, your strategy will be based on creating content that can identify your product or brand as a potential dispenser of products or experiences that meet the needs of the potential buyer.
To do this, we must have identified what those needs are and what your buyer personas are, which is nothing more than your target market or ideal customer. This process must be predefined, since without the clear identification of our target audience, our efforts will not be fruitful.
Your role should be focused on being a companion in the buying process of your potential customer, who already knows that they have a need and that you can satisfy it. You must be an option to consider for your future buyer at this stage of the purchase funnel.
- BOFU: Bottom of the funnel or narrow part of the funnel is the key to our marketing cycle focused on achieving a sale. It must be understood that at this point there will only be potential customers who have already recognised you as an option to satisfy their needs and see among your services offered a possibility of purchase.
This is a delicate process, because a mistake can ruin all the efforts made in the upper and intermediate part of our purchase funnel. Your content should include posts, videos or specific and personalised demonstrations to close the sale. In this step you can include free trials or any other process that helps the customer to feel confident with your product and to make the purchase.
why is it important to create a strategy for our purchase funnel?
It is clear that with a segmented process, failure to identify or carry out any of the phases can lead to losing the sale. It is useless to get the future customer to identify a need if it does not match our service offered or if we have not correctly identified our buyer persona and we do not contact an appropriate audience.
We must give sufficient importance to each phase. Without reaching a broad sector of a similar target, we will not be able to get enough leads to end up with satisfied buyers. A satisfied buyer will become a loyal customer, which will lead to saving steps in our purchasing funnel.
If a customer is happy with their investment, already knows us and has been able to see our catalogue identifying new needs, the journey through our funnel will be faster and our effort to dedicate in the TOFU will be much less. A loyalty makes our customer feel that we have given them value, and that will also be part of our strategy, taking care of them even after the transaction is completed.
Digital agencies like Occam can offer advice or create these strategies to make your buying funnel efficient and save costs, as well as accelerate ROI. We must always keep in mind that this marketing plan and the good identification of our buyer persona will focus our business towards a good performance and greater effectiveness.
On the contrary, a careless behaviour will make our efforts, which are finite, fall on deaf ears and we will not be able to dedicate that time, energy and investment to other aspects, such as the innovation of our services to anticipate potential customers and meet their future needs.