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How to Build an Online Advertising Funnel That Drives Leads & Sales

Online advertising funnels can make a big difference when it comes to the success of your advertising campaign. If you’re only getting started with online advertising, you may not know where to begin—or even what an online advertising funnel is.

Don’t worry—we’ll go over all of it here in this article. Armed with the information you need, you’ll be ready to launch those online advertising funnels. You may just see the uptick in leads and sales you’ve been waiting for.


What Are Online Advertising Funnels?

If you don’t have any experience with online advertising funnels, they’re one approach to tracking behaviors of your potential clients. Funnels can vary dramatically. There may be several steps in your online advertising funnel, or there may be just one or two.

However you think your funnel will look, studying the way it functions can give you a better idea of your consumer. It can also teach you how to better advertise your product.

It would be great if everyone who made it to the funnel would end up purchasing your product. That’s not likely, though. Instead of thinking of it as a slam dunk once someone’s caught in the funnel, think of it as a series of steps.

The first step is viewing your original advertisement. When this happens, your viewer is caught in the funnel. At each potential prompt (click a link, enter an email address, etc.) you do have the potential to lose your viewer.

The longer you keep your audience, the more likely they’ll make it to the base of the funnel—and make a purchase. It’s no secret that you want a truly compelling online advertising funnel that translates into leads and sales for your business.


The Structure of Online Advertising Funnels

To create your online advertising funnel, you’ll need to understand a little bit more about how an online advertising funnel is structured.

Think of your funnel as having three distinct parts. Just as with a physical funnel, the top of the advertising funnel is the largest. This is where your content will first come into contact with your audience.

Generally, this introduction to the funnel is a passive encounter for your future client. It may be a paid advertisement, a blog, or an article your client comes across.

From here, your potential client moves toward the middle of your funnel. When this happens, your information is becoming more specific—more targeted toward your ideal audience.

This targeting reflects the fact that you’re losing those who weren’t interested in that first part of the funnel. Those audience members who’ve made it to the middle of the funnel are more likely to be future customers.

During this part of the funnel, your corresponding content will be more detailed. Instead of passive encounters with your material, your viewer will likely be actively participating. The middle part of the advertising funnel likely has content more similar to personal emails and webinars.

If your audience has made it this far, they may simply trickle down to that final step. This is where highly specific content makes its appearance. Demos and product purchases are here, and they’ll lead to those final sales.

You’ll want to keep the structure of online advertising funnels in mind while creating your plan of attack. This can help you make better advertising choices and create a stronger strategy.


How to Leverage Your Online Advertising Funnel

Understanding the different levels of the funnel—and where your potential audience is during the funnel experience—can give you clues about what content belongs where.

For instance, those who are stumbling across your business for the first time may not be interested in making a purchase. Instead of spending that advertising moment pushing your buyable product, it may be the right time to introduce a video.

Once your viewer has experienced the video, they may be thinking more seriously about a purchase. Go ahead and insert a demo option here. Once your demo is concluded, you can push for that purchase.

Think of the progression of your advertising funnel as highly chronological. It may be tempting to try and cram in your final goal as soon as possible. That may not translate to the sales you’re looking for.

Yes, making that sale is your ultimate goal. When it comes to working with your online advertising funnel, you need to focus on those moments where your content is interacting with your potential client.

Skipping steps won’t help you here. Instead, focus on making every encounter memorable and productive. If you can do this, you will undoubtedly experience greater sales.


Understanding Your Potential Clients and the Buying Process

A great way to keep your online advertising funnel on track is to completely understand the motivation behind the buying process. Knowing your audience’s motivation can help you provide the perfect incentive at the right time.

There are five parts to the buying process. Knowing what happens at each part can help you anticipate your audience’s response and plan accordingly.


Part One: Recognising a Need

This is when your future client realises they have a problem. This problem will likely translate to a need. If a need is straightforward, a potential client may come looking for you. It’s pretty great when that happens because it makes your job a little easier.

Potential customers won’t always come looking for you, though. When creating effective marketing plans and content, your job is to leave your viewer recognising they have a need your product can fulfill.

Once your viewer knows they have a need, they’ll start looking for a solution to their problem. If you’re there presenting a potential solution at that moment of realisation you—and your product—will be at the top of the list.


Part Two: Searching for Solutions

Once there’s a known problem, your viewer is going to start looking for solutions. In today’s technology-driven world, this is likely to happen through online research.

Online research is a good thing for you and your business. It means you can share your product and business with people around the globe—as long as they’re able to hop online.

While researching solutions for their problem, people will frequently start with a widespread google search. They’ll be directed to existing articles and blogs and may open another window to start reading product reviews. Your potential customer may complete up to three Google searches before they are ready to buy.

What this can really mean is this—by the time your potential customer is ready to buy they’re ready to buy. They’ve completed the bulk of their buying journey already. They have processed the information they’ve come across and they are ready to commit to a purchase.

This also means you may have missed your opportunity to make a sale if you aren’t already in the running. This is why the online advertising funnel is so important to your business.

It isn’t when your future consumer goes to make a sale where you need to be investing your advertising budget. It’s during that prime research window. That’s when your advertisements, blog posts, and other content need to be at the forefront.


Part Three: Assessing Potential Options

Your potential consumer has started doing their research. They know they have a problem and they know there are available solutions to their problem. Now, they’re going to start narrowing down which option will be best for them.

You may have come across recommendations to connect your content to the keywords of competitors. This is why—as your potential customer is researching options, they’ll come across your business. Frequent viewing encourages familiarity and the building of a relationship.

Don’t forget, during this part of research your potential client is looking at the option they think is best. It’s very likely that they’ll learn information along the way that points them toward your product instead. Linking your product to competing brand names and products can be a great way to give your product the extra edge.


Part Four: Making a Selection

Your potential consumer has made it to this stage and your product is the one they want to go with. This is a critical moment for your potential client. Especially if your product is an expensive one, you want to make sure those final steps to a sale are problem-free.

The last moments before making that purchase are pretty critical. One too many negative reviews and your buyer may back out. Confusion during the checkout process may lead to the same ending. Make sure all the details are ironed out on your end to avoid customer loss at this stage.


Part Five: Repeat Customers and Word-Of-Mouth Recommendations

Congratulations, you’ve closed the deal and have an official customer. This is a consumer who’s successfully made their way through the online advertising funnel.

You may think your relationship with that consumer is over, but that’s not the case. Your post-sale behavior should be just as dedicated as the pre-sale.

You may find your consumer will be in a position to purchase from you again. And remember those early important researching moments? It’s quite possible your new customer can contribute a positive review to help bring in future customers.


Aligning Your Approach With the Client’s Journey Through the Buying Process

Now that you know what your client is doing and why you can better understand what content should be included at each step. Your goal here is to provide the right material at the right time. This will help keep your future consumer moving through the funnel.


Part One: Reiterate the Need

Your responsibility at this junction is to help your client see the need they have if they haven’t identified it on their own. Your product doesn’t have a clear need attached to it? If that’s the case, your advertising campaign should hinge on making it look like a real necessity.


Part Two: Provide the Solution

Your client has identified they have a problem and a need. You’ve reiterated it and they’re convinced it’s true. Now’s the time to provide your product as the solution.

It’s possible your future client hasn’t even begun to do research yet. Putting your product in mind at this junction can be a good way to start off—and stay as—a top competitor.


Part Three: Support Your Argument

You’ve made it to part three of the process. You’ve acknowledged the need and provided a possible solution. Now you need to help your future client understand why your product is the best choice.

A great way to accomplish this is by pitting your product against main competitors. Your job here is to show clearly why your product is the better of the options.

It’s important that you not get caught up in the positives of your business. At this point in the process, you only want to address how buying your product will benefit the client.


Part Four: Provide Exceptional Customer Service

Once you’ve convinced your consumer that your product is the way to go, you need to make them comfortable with purchasing from you. You’ve practically made the sale, so if you’re losing your customer here, it usually comes down to a poor customer experience.

By the time you’ve gotten here, you’ve convinced them this is the product they need and want. Now you have to convince them that purchasing from you doesn’t come with a risk.


Part Five: Maintain Your Status as a Trustworthy Source

You’ve closed the deal and made the sale you were looking for. Don’t plan on abandoning your client now. Instead, continue to offer your support and stand by your product.

Offering continued support to your customer will help encourage them to share their experience with others. In essence, each sale you make has the potential to become part of your future advertisement campaigns.

Business growth and success is your ultimate goal. It’s what will continue to keep your business viable. It’s tempting to think that closing a sale is the end game. The truth is, though, that it’s only one step in growing your business’s reach.

Creating a positive purchasing experience can get you repeat customers as well as more visibility through positive write-ups and reviews.


Making the Most of Your Online Advertising Funnel

Now you know the ins and outs of what an online advertising funnel is made out of. You also know what your responsibility is at each crucial juncture. Now, you need to know what you can do to get the absolute most out of your online advertising funnel.

An advertising funnel is just an advertising funnel until you factor in and monitor metrics. Without metrics, you won’t be able to identify clearly what’s working and what isn’t working.

Metrics allow you to make changes to your advertising approach that can improve your campaign and lead to better sales. This will leave you with a better, stronger business.

There are many metrics you can follow to help keep your business on track. You may want to start with the following:


  • Where your traffic is coming from: Finding out where people are coming across your product is key. If you can tap into where your existing market is coming from, you’ll be able to strengthen that market. You can also look for similar sources to tap for more sales.
  • How long are your potential clients staying at each step: Identifying which steps are moving quickly can let you know where you’re on the right track. If people are getting stuck for long periods at certain stages, it may mean you need to adjust your advertising approach.
  • Where you’re losing people: Like when people spend a greater amount of time in a single stage, steps losing a lot of audience may need work. Knowing your weak spots can allow you the opportunity to make your campaign more effective.
  • Your sales rate: This is probably one metric you’ve planned to keep an eye on. After all, your ultimate goal is to make sales. Fortunately, this is also one of the easiest metrics to keep track of as well. Keeping track of your other metrics can help you know what changes you’re making are working to improve your sales.
  • Who’s buying your product: Knowing who’s buying your product can help you identify fresh areas to market in. It can also help identify strengths—or flaws—in your marketing strategy.



These metrics can leave you with a stronger campaign. These are just some of the things you can track. If you have the ability to track it, don’t hesitate to do so. No matter how inconsequential it may seem alone, used alongside other metrics, it may be quite powerful.


Making More Sales With Your Online Advertising Funnel

Your online advertising funnel and your marketing strategy will go hand in hand. Understanding the process can help you make the kind of choices that can leave you with a better business.

Of course, an online advertising funnel is only as good as the marketing strategy that’s behind it. Before analysing your online advertising funnel, you need to make sure your marketing strategy is doing its job. A great strategy and a strong online advertising funnel can give your business the edge you’ve been looking for.

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