Customer acquisition is a courtship. Brands are constantly challenged with attracting customers, converting them into qualified leads, and then executing sales. In the age of social media and online reviews, the relationship does not grind to a halt after the deal is final. Follow-up emails and relationship marketing tactics are opportunities to create brand evangelists.
Typically, most companies already have the tools to streamline their marketing funnel. The major shift is bringing that marketing funnel online. In the digital world, everything is trackable and measurable, allowing you to make more informed marketing actions.
Show, Don’t Tell
The widest part of the marketing funnel is brand-awareness, where you draw in people who haven’t heard of your brand. Marketing tools to increase awareness are based on education and information, the product, the service, and who you are. SEO strategy, blogs, and posts are where you put your brand’s best foot forward.
Find and engage
Once your top-level digital marketing efforts drive your target audience to your site, there’s a certain self-selection process that begins. Visitors coming to your site will drop off for a number of reasons – price point, not what they need – this is your bounce rate. An acceptable bounce rate will vary based on your industry and the volume of marketing and advertising you’re doing, but it’s important to keep track for your reference.
The next step is to engage your target audience using calls-to-action and lead capture forms, where you start to obtain information about them, their needs, and any actions you want them to take. You may want them to click the ‘make an appointment’ button, or submit their email to get an introductory packet.
It’s important to keep in mind where your customers are in their buying process as you produce content for social media, your blog, and your website.
Closing the Gap
You might find that new leads need a fair amount of nurturing before they convert into clients. In an industry as personal as mental health, this isn’t uncommon. This is where you maintain your circles of influence, and serve up information based on how your leads have interacted with your brand. As your leads move deeper into the funnel with more interest, take additional steps like reaching out with a phone call or offering a tour of your facility. There can be a dialogue to close the gap – you can ask your client what questions they have, and what other information they need to make their decision.
Once you’ve closed the lead, the real work begins. This can be as simple as a follow-up call to the client. If you receive any negative feedback, view it as constructive. Identify pain points in your marketing funnel and make it smoother for your next round of incoming customers. These carefully cultivated relationships are a huge asset – customers provide data for you to improve current and future customer experiences. Acknowledging feedback also shows you listen, and that positive feeling creates brand evangelists that share their positive experience and encourages others to go check you out.