In this post, we’re going to talk about the basics of demand generation through the optimization of your digital marketing funnel. For the purpose of this topic I have intentionally chosen to focus on businesses where digital acts as a driver of demand, but the sales will still typically occur offline.
In its simplest form, I consider the overall marketing funnel for these types of businesses to be comprised of 4 components with the top 2 segments allowing for significant demand generation via digital channels.
At the top of the funnel you have all the visits that interact with your website and arrive from various traffic sources such as search, social, and direct. The focus here of course should be about driving quality vs. quantity.
Next, a percentage of these visits will turn into a web inquiry through the completion of specific actions on your website that enables you to capture their contact details in some shape or form. This could be via activities such as a contact form submission, downloading gated assets, enabling a free trial, or an interaction via LiveChat – to name just a few.
A percentage of these web inquiries will then become qualified sales opportunities, which depending on your industry will then be handled in various different means (i.e., telesales, retail outlet staff etc).
Finally, a portion of these sales opportunities will transact into a won/booked sale, with a revenue impact to the business.
It is the job of the sales and marketing team to pull on various levers within this funnel to increase the raw count of initial visits that effectively end up as a won/booked sale.
From a digital stand point, the first two segments of the funnel are the critical ones, and if done well, can have a significant impact in driving both net new names and incremental sales opportunities for your business.
If we use the data example below, lets assume scenario 1 is a business that has reasonable visit volume, but lots of room for growth and a very poor web experience leading to sub optimal conversion from visit to enquiry. Scenario 2 follows after investment in their web experience and various digital tactics to drive increased, and relevant web visits.
All other elements being equal, the net gain in revenue impact to the business is 332% . This is of course, just a hypothetical example, but its certainly not outside the realms of possibility for many businesses that currently have a sub optimal digital footprint.
|Metric||Scenario 1||Scenario 2||Variance|
|Conversion Rate to Enquiry||1.5%||3.6%||+140%|
|Conversion Rate to Sales Opportunity||50%||50%||-|
|Total Sales Opportunities||75||324||+332%|
|Conversion Rate to Won/Booked Sale||20%||20%||-|
|Total Won/Booked Sales||15||65||+332%|
|Average Deal Size||$1,200||$1,200||-|
|Estimated Revenue Impact||$18,000||$78,000||+332%|
So, lets talk about some basic elements you can action to start on the journey to generating incremental revenue via digital.
Pour more visits into the top of the funnel
Firstly, you can simply increase the volume of visits you pour into the top of the funnel. This can be achieved through many tactics, but in my experience the biggest opportunity for growth still comes via search for most businesses. Given the market share dominance, this basically means being visible on appropriate keywords in Google, either in the paid, local, or organic listings.
No matter the industry or solution area, there will be searches occurring right now that could lead to incremental business. The critical elements of course are understanding what those search keywords are, and then effectively getting your company visible against them.
The nature of the channel also enables you to pre-qualify a visitor before they even reach your website, ensuring you focus your time and investments in the most appropriate areas.
For example, if someone is searching for ‘canvas stretching’ and lands on your website – you know upfront where their interest lies.
In this situation, your chances of converting that individual from an unknown visitor into a known contact is significantly increased if your website effectively handles this type of query.
Which brings us to the next critical lever you can pull…..
Optimize your website experience for improved conversion from visit to inquiry
There are many ingredients to successful website optimization, but at a high level we can boil it down to a few foundational ingredients to get things started.Number One , ensure your landing page content is effective at addressing the needs of the prospective client, and make it clear, very quickly that they are in the right place. This can sometimes be a little subjective and often you can test and learn over time to get the right fit, but at a high level – if someone arrives on a specific page having searched for ‘canvas stretching’, then make sure your content very directly addresses the key content needs of this topic.
If I was to land on the example below, the reinforcement that I am in the right place is pretty strong, and likely to encourage further interaction rather than seeing me bounce back to Google.
This can include tactics such as:
- Having a clear phone number and contact form visibility should they wish to reach out to you directly.
- Linking to additional, high value assets that exist behind a registration form.
- Leveraging proactive LiveChat to try and engage the prospective client there and then.
In the example below there is a couple of clear actions proposed as a next step. Submit a form to request a quote or a proactive pop-up has shown enabling me to speak directly with a sales person.
The real key to driving long term success from digital channels is to ensure an appropriate level of focus and investment in both visit generation activities and your website experience. It is sadly still too common to see investment in paid advertising that leads prospective clients to irrelevant, and non-responsive landing pages, which is a phenomenally effective way of wasting your money.
If your website experience is not up to scratch, then please invest here before you consider turning up the dial on visit generation. In the long run your bank balance will thank you. Good Luck!