The above is a very common response I've heard when trying to argue the merits of advertising on Facebook with a new client.
"Ah but what was your sales funnel?" will generally be my response.
To be met with a blank look.
Too many businesses are using Facebook ads in the unsophisticated "interruptive" advertising methodology of past centuries assuming that if we just get our ads in front of enough people the sales will come rolling in.
They serve ads about their product to a totally cold audience and then they wonder why their ROI is so poor.
It's very rare for people to buy a new product online from a previously unheard of brand. That's why word of mouth marketing works so well. A friend has done your warming up for you so the potential customer is already positively disposed towards your brand when they see the sales pitch.
That friend (likely an existing customer of yours) has gently guided your potential buyer through the first stage of the sales funnel.
But what if you want to take more control and not be reliant on word of mouth promotion? Is there a way for you to coax people into and down the funnel yourself?
Well yes there is and the process is well documented by multiple entrepreneurial types.
I referenced Gary Vaynerchuk in the title here. His "Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook" process is one that delivers (free) valuable content in the form of jabs multiple times before going in for the sales focussed right hook. By this point the potential customer knows and trusts your brand, and even feels a degree of loyalty to it thanks to all that free stuff you've been delivering.
Here's an example from Hub Spot jabbing me with a freebie offer. The freebie is often called a "Lead magnet" do to it's data capture mechanic.
If I take up this offer I'll give HubSpot my email address which then enables them to email me the next offer in their sales funnel. I'm pretty sure that would be an actual purchase.
I also threw in the concept of the trip wire.
Trip wires are those offers you simply can't refuse - they are such a steal that you can't stop yourself from taking action. They perform the trick of moving people through the sales funnel into a paying customer, albeit on a heavily discounted ticket item.
Here's one such example. This appears to be a free offer on a $20 product but in reality you just paid for the shipping and handling at $4.95:
This ad surfaced on Facebook for me mere minutes after visiting Russell Brunson's website. A very nice example of website custom audience (re)targeting in action:
The tripwire is step one in the journey to becoming a paying customer. It's then a far easier step to convert them to what you really want to sell them - we call this the "core offer".
Here's an example of Amy Porterfield delivering a core offer.
I'm already a Facebook fan of Amy's. So I'm a warm audience that's already previously converted to a freebie webinar and then later on a trip wire offer. Now she's upselling me to her core offer (with, I might add, some spectacular bonuses all designed to get me to convert NOW):
There are further steps for people who fail to convert at any funnel stage as well as profit maximisers following uptake of the core product. It's a tried and tested formula, particularly beloved of US-based digital marketing gurus but one I see precious few small businesses adopting.
I go into more detail on this sales funnel approach in module 5 of our new course Facebook Audiences and Ad Targeting. I'd love to have you join me there.
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