A purchase path is the process that a person follows from initially being a first-time visitor to your website to becoming a buying customer. Let’s take a closer look.
Strolling down the street on your way to the library, you wander into a shoe store. You love shoes! You want to browse through the shop, absorbing the new styles. The feel of the leather excites your senses; and the colors are intense. Just then an annoyingly hungry sales person appears, determined to sell you a pair on the clearance table because he gets a bonus if he does. You want him to go away.
Now shift scenarios. You are on your way to your sister’s wedding. You’re in the wedding party, running late and the heel on your blue satin shoe just broke. Now, in the store where you found the original, you have found a replacement pair, but your size isn’t on display and you can’t find a sales person.
When you are offering a product or service for sale, you must understand that your customer expects you to react to them according to their mindset along the purchase path. Are they just becoming aware of their need, do they know their need but only beginning to form a plan to fill it or are they at the buying stage? In the world of online marketing, you must provide options, depending on their position on that path.
Since visitors to your website are not likely to buy on their first visit, it’s up to you to nurture them through the process over a time frame, building a relationship and planting the idea that you and your products or services are what they need when the time is right for them to buy. In order to do this, you must have a system to capture their email address, your only current connection to them. This ‘lead capture’ system is more familiarly known as a call to action. “Leave your contact info and in return, get a free copy of my book…or a percentage off your first order…or a lifetime membership to my private newsletter.” Remember, it must be something with value to entice their cooperation.
Let the Nurturing Begin!
Once you have that valuable email address, the nurturing begins. Much of this part of your sales funnel can be automated, but it must be designed toward your target market. A newsletter filled with success stories and testimonials is a great tool. Emails with links to a tutorial, a webinar, your social networks or new blog posts, urging them to move along, charging their excitement and tempting them to buy will refresh their interest. Don’t overload their inbox, but stay in touch so you stay in their memory. Create a reason for them to buy from you. Information that you provide to make their own research easier is a positive step in the right direction.
As I mentioned in the beginning of this article, you must provide plenty of options for your customer, no matter where they are on their purchase path. Make sure you give answers to questions and objections. Write rich and informative content on Social Media and blogs and keep your website fresh and up-to-date with the current trends. If they need time, be courteous and give them space, but fill it with suggestive sales triggers. If they know their problem, let them know you can provide a solution. And if they are ready to buy, make sure you have a big smile on your virtual face when you take their order.
There are many ways to design your website to be fully functional in your own sales funnel. We can work together to recognize the ideal outcome you want and the steps to get you there. I’m here for you.