Your sales funnel
All businesses, whether product or service based, have a sales funnel.
Even if you don’t know that you’ve got one, it’s almost a certainty that you have one if your business is up and running!
It sounds more complicated than it is, but basically your sales funnel is the process of taking someone from being a new lead or enquiry all the way through to becoming a paying client / customer.
So it may be something that you don’t even know about and just seems to happen organically. Or it may be a process that you’ve clearly documented and follow to the letter; so you know exactly where each lead comes from, how they convert into clients, what percentage of leads convert etc. Either way, you definitely have a sales funnel!
Where do Facebook ads fit into your sales funnel?
If you’re already running Facebook ads or are going to start using Facebook ads, then learning how and where Facebook ads fit into your sales funnel is really important.
Facebook ads can fit in at the top end of the funnel, which is where you’re converting a cold audience into warm leads.
But they can also fit in at the bottom end of the funnel, converting warm leads into clients and customers.
For a lot of Facebook ad campaigns we work at both ends of the funnel – driving cold traffic in and converting warm traffic into customers.
You may already be thinking “but I don’t understand how” and this is why I’ve written this blog to clarify a little bit about how Facebook ad objectives work, and how they can help you to target cold audiences and warm audiences to formulate part of your sales funnel.
The top of your funnel (your cold audience)
It may be that you just want to raise awareness of your business, your brand or your product and work on the very top part of your funnel, which is making cold audiences know who you are and turn them into a warmer audience
For this you can use Facebook ads that drive traffic.
So you’re bringing people across to your website, your landing page or to your Facebook page and making them aware of who you are, what you do, your products / services.
You may feel like there’s not much return on investment for this because people may not immediately buy your service or your product, but what you’re doing is you’re building your audience and raising your profile.
The usual rule of thumb is that people need six or seven touch points with you before they become a customer, so you need to ensure that they know who you are, what you do, and a little bit about you before you can start to anticipate that they may buy from you.
Using traffic ads to a certain post or a particular blog, or a relevant piece of information on your website, or even a Facebook page growth campaign to drive people across to like your Facebook page will start this audience building process and begin to put your name into people’s minds.
Once you have the Facebook pixel installed and your website audience has been built in Facebook Ads Manager, every person that you drive across to click on your website becomes part of your warm website viewers audience. And these people are ideal to be sent retargeting ads further down the line.
Using Video Ads
The top end of the funnel is also a great time to use video ads and build a specific video viewers audience. So you’re showing people something about your service or your product and engaging the audience with video.
When you’re using video ads, the analytics will actually tell you who has watched 25% of the video, who’s watched 50% and even who’s watched 100% of these videos. And that’s really useful knowledge. The people that are watching 100% of your videos are clearly quite into whatever you’re showing or telling them and these are a great audience for the future.
Moving the audiences through your funnel
Just because people have looked at your website doesn’t make them automatically a prospect to sell to instantly.
However, these are a strong audience to then offer something to further entice them. Perhaps you have something suitable available to offer them which is free; some kind of lead magnet, download or cheatsheet – a piece of value that’s helpful to them.
These would be conversion ads, with the conversion being that they sign up to your email list in order to receive your free download.
This gives you not only the opportunity of retargeting them with Facebook ads at a later date when you do want to make a sale, but it puts them onto your email list. And many more sales can be made from email marketing than just Facebook ads alone. So it’s important that you have email marketing as part of your funnel as well.
The lower end of your sales funnel (warm audiences)
When you do feel like you’ve warmed the audience up or you already have an audience that you know is warm to you, that’s when you can start focusing on the lower end of your funnel – converting people from leads into customers / clients.
This is when you build your ad campaign of conversion ads with the conversion being that they buy your product or they sign up for your service.
You have to bear in mind though, that this is a much bigger commitment for the end user to make. The lowest commitment is taking an action such as liking your Facebook page or going and looking at your website.
That’s why traffic ads and Facebook page growth campaigns can be quite low cost. Link clicks and Facebook page likes often come in anywhere from around £0.09 – £0.23 per action taken.
When you start asking for a bigger commitment, like opting into your email subscriber list, even if you’re giving them a free download, not as many people are going to want to do this. So you may see that costs rise a little and you start paying upwards of £0.45 (up to around £1.75 depending on the nature of the download) for a contact that goes on to your email list.
This of course varies from industry to industry. But if you get your targeting right, and you’re targeting people that are interested in what you’re offering, you should be able to get these kinds of rates.
When you move forward to trying to get people to part with money, that’s the biggest commitment that they have to make and obviously that is harder and your conversions are going to be less frequent and more costly.
There is no industry standard for how much a conversion is for something that’s paid for. It does depend on the cost of what you’re offering. And this is where knowing the lifetime value of a client is really important.
As an example, if you know that a customer only buys from you once, on average they spend 50 pounds and £40 of that is profit, then it’s easier to be able to work out exactly what you’re willing to spend per lead. If you don’t have that information, then you have no budget restriction that you can set in place and it’s much harder to be able to work towards ensuring that your ads are going to be profitable.
I have a client successfully running conversion ads with the conversion being the purchase of her products, which are ladies fashion wear. On average, we pay between £2.70 and £4.30 per conversion, and the items being purchased vary from £26 to £45. So you can see that this works out as a really good return on investment for her.
If you’re selling a product or a service, where you’re expecting the commitment from the client to be in the hundreds of pounds, then you would automatically expect to be paying quite a bit more per conversion.
Take your time with building your audience on Facebook
What many people want to do is immediately sell their products via Facebook ads, and the hardest ads to get to convert are sales adverts to a cold audience.
Think about how you spend your time on Facebook and how often you click through and buy something from a Facebook ad. Would you buy a product straight away from an advertiser that you’ve never seen before? You’d never heard of? You don’t know anything about?
The answer is usually unlikely.
However, if you had been enticed over to look at their product or service with a couple of adverts beforehand and you check them out (or perhaps you’ve even viewed them “organically” not from a Facebook ad) then your interest is likely to grow as you see more and more from this particular company. So when they do come to present you with a sales ad, your curiosity is more likely to have been piqued and you may well head across and make a purchase.
Ultimately, the bigger warm audience that you have and the more warming up of the warm audience that you do, the more likely you are to get sales at the end.
I always say that Facebook isn’t some dark mystical art but I think you have to bear in mind that you need to treat people as you would want to be treated. No one likes to be spammed with “buy my stuff” “buy my stuff” all the time. That would turn us all off.
So proceed with caution. Tread gently. Get to know people and allow them to get to know you before you ask for a sale.
Need some help getting started with Facebook ads? My course covers exactly that! Check it out here.