The following presentation was made to cloth diaper industry professionals at their 2010 Real Diaper Industry Association annual meeting, October 15, 2010, in Las Vegas, Nevada.
You’ve seen a lot of me already, so I’ll make it simple. I’m an academic who became an accidental diaper manufacturer then an accidental marketer. My doctorate is in American Studies and History. The perpetual student in me requires that I go to school for everything, so I have certifications in editing, nonprofit leadership, and inbound marketing
I loved the questions and comments some of you sent in response to my late-breaking survey. That helped a lot, and I want to address everything I can specifically.
The first time I saw a graphic of a sales funnel, it was a revelation. It made so much sense to me that we try to move every customer through a similar process, a process that gets more narrow as their needs get more specific.
Start at the top of the funnel and narrow down.
- SUSPECTS – This is everyone, the wide world.
- PROSPECTS – Those with some kind of affinity—a developing awareness, site visitors, readers of customers’ status.
- LEADS – THIS is where we are going to focus.
Once you know who your future customers are (newsletter subscribers, Facebook & Twitter followers), they are in your system. You MUST capture some kind of information to know who they are, though. That is very important
Today we’ll focus on how to nurture a lead through the social media sales funnel, but you may find that your time is even better spend nurturing customers. If you can create brand influencers from your customers, you’ve just multiplied your workforce without hiring employees.
- USERS – They bought something from you, but that’s it. Nothing extra.
- CUSTOMERS – They talk about what they bought, sharing by word-of-mouth, social sites, reviews, and blogs.
- ADVOCATES – These are your super customers who love you and your brand so much that they sell it.
At each of these stages, people need different kinds of contact.
If you SEGMENT YOUR AUDIENCE and shape specific messages to them, you have a much better chance of getting a measurable return on investment (ROI). It may seem like a lot of work, but it’s more efficient than tossing advertising out into the universe and hoping for the best.
Always work to build better relationships with existing customers. It costs less to get a repeat sale than to wrangle a new sale. Retention is cheaper than acquisition.
BUT, we’re in a business with turnover every two years at most. The lifetime value of a customer is relatively low unless we keep them for multiple children.
You still have to keep feeding the top of the funnel.
How to feed the top of the funnel?
Create remarkable content
that will be found through organic search
and linked by influencers.
It’s that simple. Time consuming, yes! But, the principles are very simple: content, search, and links.
Now, let’s move into the social media funnel to nurture Leads.