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How to Use Content to Power your Sales Funnel

Your sales funnel is the process where you acquire a lead, nurture it, and turn it into a customer. It is called a sales funnel as the system looks rather like a funnel – wider at the top, and narrowing down to the point at the bottom like an inverted pyramid. When you are using content and email marketing to create your sales funnel it is important you choose your content carefully. The right content to the right people, at the right time, creates customers. The wrong content turns people away.

For example, you don’t want to send welcome emails and create beginners content for people who have been on your subscriber list for months. On the other hand, pushing sales content on people too early is likely to lead to an unsubscribe.

So how do you ensure you content matches your sales funnel? You research your audience in-depth, and you watch the timing and what you send. Here’s how to tailor content to each stage of the sales funnel:

Top of the Funnel: Help and Understanding

A visitor that has just subscribed to your blog or email list probably doesn’t want to buy right now, but they are interested in the content you have produced already and they want more. Their interest at this stage is gathering information, improving their knowledge, and building their relationship with you.

Sales FunnelImage via go digital/ Flickr

Content marketing at this stage gives your visitors and subscribers more of what made them sign up in the first place. Look at creating different blog posts and pieces of content that provide your honest opinions, your expert tips, tricks of the trade, ideas for improvement, and content that focuses on helping people solve their problems and give them inspiration. This is the time to freely provide your expertise with valuable content that is tailored to the audience. You can also be encouraging people to follow you on social media.

Middle of the Funnel: Nurturing the Lead

When people have been receiving your content via a mailing list for some time, they are still interested in what you have to provide, since unsubscribing only takes a few seconds. So you need to continue helping these people, but you can also give them a subtle nudge to take action.

You don’t want to be too direct about it. For example, you could provide customer feedback and share stories about people who have been happy with your product. Move from general content to more specific content, for example giving the audience concrete facts and figures that apply directly to their needs. You can also offer free tickets to events, host webinars, or answer questions on Twitter.

Bottom of the Funnel: Sealing the Deal

Now your sales funnel is directed at the people who have been regular subscribers for some time, and they have learnt enough to know that your product or service is the best for their needs. But they haven’t purchased yet. So your content must still be effective.

Sales FunnelImage via winnond/

Give people the details about your products including pricing, value, services included, benefits etc. You can revisit the testimonials you provided that show people successfully interacting with your products and services.

It is helpful to create short videos or infographics showing the benefits of products as you want this content to be compelling without being overwhelming. You need to answer all questions so people feel confident in making a purchase. It is important to create compelling calls to action on each piece of content at this stage because when people are so close to buying, they need to be able to act on their decision as quickly and conveniently as possible. Make sure you are clear about what they must do to buy or sign up for a service- your content should include these direct CTAs and they must be effective.

Moving people through the sales funnel from visitor or contact to customer can be difficult. But effective content helps a great deal, and can secure a sale when you do it right. The important thing to remember is that content is created specifically for each stage of the funnel and what the person wants from that stage. Knowing your audience is crucial for effective marketing.

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