Did you know that you can increase profits by up to 95% by improving customer retention? Maybe you didn't know the figures, but you better understand the maths. As a business owner, no one completely grasps the importance of attracting and retaining customers better than you. You know that your business growth is directly proportional to the strength of your client base.
Unfortunately, that knowledge alone is not enough to boost your sales and entice the customers you desire. You have to take action steps and strategize to make that happen. While numerous tactics can help you gain and maintain customer loyalty, only a few are as effective as the customer acquisition funnel.
A customer acquisition funnel is an efficient tool that tracks your marketing efforts. It monitors the efficiency of your customer acquisition and retention strategies. This tool also ensures that your customers continue engaging with your business from the moment they become aware of your brand. Our team at June understands how implementing this strategy can lead to a significant breakthrough in your business. So, we've dedicated this article to explaining all you need to know about the customer acquisition funnel. Let's get started.
Why Is the Customer Acquisition Funnel Important?
The answer is simple — it helps to prevent potential client losses. A lot happens from the time a prospect becomes aware of your product to when they decide on a purchase. The customer acquisition funnel keenly monitors the processes to ensure that your audience doesn't lose interest in your brand.
The customer acquisition funnel engages your potential clients and influences their thought processes to your advantage. The good part is that this strategy is highly cost-effective and productive. With this technique, you can enter your target audience's minds to determine what they like and why. This helps you improve your products and customer care services to suit their needs and preferences.
It's also an excellent tool for discovering weak points in your marketing strategies and the best ways to fix them. Ultimately, the customer acquisition funnel helps you gain and retain customers without trial and error.With June, you'll have accurate insights to understand your target audience and see if your growth efforts are leading to an increase in customer acquisition.
Customer Acquisition Funnel Stages and Models
Let's begin with the stages of the customer acquisition funnel:
Lead generation is when potential clients become aware of the products and services. At this stage, your primary concern is to stimulate their desire for your products. After capturing their interest, you can intensify your efforts to groom or nurture them into patronizing your brand when it's time. An example of lead generation is convincing potential clients to fill out a form.
Lead acquisition is the second stage in the customer acquisition funnel, where you obtain generated leads. Here, more than submitting information, the potential client engages with your brand. They check out your product and services to determine if they need them in this stage.
This is the third and final stage of the customer acquisition funnel. In lead conversion, the prospect becomes your client as they've decided that your offers are worth investing in. In this phase, they make payment for your products or services. Lead conversion is typically the most challenging phase in the funnel. However, June simplifies it by providing you with accurate data of your complete user journey to make well-informed decisions for improved conversions.
Customer Acquisition Models
AIDA/AIDAS and Variants
AIDA is an acronym for Attention, Interest, Desire, and Action. First, the prospect becomes aware of your brand (attention stage) and proves interest (interest stage) by performing an activity.
It could be signing up for your newsletter, filling out a form, downloading an ebook, etc. In the desire stage, the prospect's interest in your product heightens as they learn more about its benefits. This leads to their taking action and purchasing your product (action stage).
The AIDA funnel model of customer acquisition conversion and retention has numerous loopholes. First, it's overly simplistic and assumes that lead generation is easy while focusing primarily on stimulating interest and ending with sales. Due to its inadequacies, business strategists modified AIDA to AIDAS by adding the satisfaction stage representing client retention.
Over time, this model has metamorphosed into TIREA (Thought, Interest, Risk Evaluation, Engagement, and Action), REAN (Reach, Engage, Activate, and Nurture), and ACTLA (Awareness, Consideration, Transaction, Loyalty, and Advocacy).
The AARRR! Metrics
Dave McClure developed the AARRR! metrics that focus on client loyalty and community building in 2017. It represents Acquisition, Activation, Retention, Referral, and Revenue. In acquisition, your brand creates awareness through adverts, social media marketing, etc. This leads to the activation stage, where the prospect converts to a client by purchasing or subscribing to a free trial.
The retention stage focuses on sustaining the client's interest, and the referral stage tells you if users like your product enough to tell others about it. Finally, in the revenue stage, the metric analyzes income while determining how to improve services for better outcomes. June offers ready-made templates for each of the stages in the AARRR framework, making the process much easier for your team.
TOFU, MOFU, BOFU
TOFU is at the top of the funnel (the largest part) that focuses on brand awareness. In MOFU (middle of the funnel), the potential clients indicate interest in patronizing your brand. Finally, at the bottom of the funnel (BOFU), the clients purchase your products or services.
TOFU, MOFU, and BOFU are used to create and deliver personalized content to clients at different stages.
The Double–Ended Funnel
The double-ended funnel has eight stages — Awareness, Engagement, Consideration, Purchase, Adoption, Retention, Expansion, and Advocacy. This is the most complete B2B customer acquisition funnel.
There are also the flywheel and looping journey models.
With these numerous models, choosing the one that best suits your business can be overwhelming. However, you can look to your competition to influence your decision on the perfect model for your enterprise.
You may also identify customer behaviour or choose a model that focuses on your most important stage. There's no harm in experimenting with different models to discover what's best for you.
Tips for Creating an Effective Customer Acquisition Strategy and Funnel
Don't just create a new customer acquisition funnel for the sake of it. Ensure that it's effective by taking these steps:
Ask the Right Questions
Asking the correct questions helps you create a framework that suits your needs. First, determine what your goals are. For example, is it to generate revenue, get conversions, or create brand awareness? Also, choose your target audience, the channels you wish to use, measurement metrics, etc.
As a SaaS analytics platform, we can’t help but evangelize the importance of making data-informed decisions around your customer acquisition and retention strategy. Making hasty decisions regarding customer acquisition is like making shots in the dark. There’s only a very slim chance that you can hit the target.
An effective customer acquisition funnel is one that takes into account the deciding factors that turned prospects into customers, and customers into evangelists. It also has a firm grasp on its target customers and how your SaaS has provided the maximum amount of value in the past.
Optimize Website Content
You can't underestimate the importance of a visible website in attracting prospects. So, focus your attention on creating engaging and SEO-worthy content to prove your search rankings. You can also improve on well-performing old content and republish them.
Campaigns and Advertisements
Creating ads on social media platforms is a cost-effective customer acquisition strategy. In addition, campaigns and sponsored ads help a great deal in boosting brand awareness.
Use Multiple Channels
When it comes to an effective customer acquisition strategy, never put all your eggs in one basket. Instead, diversify channels to ensure that an underperforming one doesn't slow you down.
Invest in Creative Assets
The effectiveness of your customer acquisition strategy depends mainly on the creative assets you invest in. So, aside from videos and images, invest in top-notch creatives for optimal productivity.
How To Create a Customer Acquisition Funnel Template
First, let's examine the factors to consider when developing a customer acquisition funnel template:
- The best-suited metric to help clients navigate the stages
- Lead prioritization systems
- The appropriate time to hand leads over to the sales team
- Customer onboarding strategies
- Methods of nurturing prospects
- Length of the sales cycle, etc.
In creating your customer acquisition funnel template, you can break the awareness, consideration, and decision stages into:
This is the first stage where a prospect gains awareness of your brand and visits it through your website or social media. It may also be via phone call or email.
Here, your marketing team notices the prospect's desire for your services or products. So, they follow up on the lead.
MQL is an acronym for marketing-qualified lead. Using lead scoring, your marketing team identifies the high-quality prospects that will likely convert to clients. This is where the marketing team passes a lead over to the sales team.
SQL is short for sales-qualified lead. Here, your sales team identifies the lead as a potential customer, ready for a direct sales push.
In this stage, the prospect is highly likely to become a customer. So, first, your sales team establishes that they have a pain point that your brand can solve. Then, they offer them a demo, free trial, discount, or target offer to push them into making a purchase.
The client pays for your services or products and becomes loyal to your brand.
The good news is, you don’t have to create a customer acquisition funnel template from scratch.
Common Failure Points in a Customer Acquisition Funnel
There are common failure points you may face in your customer acquisition funnel. They include:
Marketing to the Wrong Target Audience
If you're not targeting the right customers, you can't expect to make progress in your business. For example, convincing a 9-year-old boy to buy a SaaS tool is dumb. Unfortunately, this is similar to what many brands do.
To identify your target audience, first, determine the persons who need your products or services. Next, consider how many of your leads desire to purchase your products and if they're actively looking forward to your offers.
Sending Out the Wrong Messages
Another standard mistake SaaS businesses make is attempting to attract the right customers with the wrong message. Yes, targeting the appropriate audience isn't enough. Instead, make them aware of their need for your products by giving out correct signals.
When crafting sales messages, go straight to the point. Be approachable and cordial as you try to connect with prospects emotionally. Also, highlight your company's success and expertise through social proof to show them why they should pick your services. Lastly, make them the heroes in your pitch by revealing how your product will solve their problems.
Using the Wrong Channels
While you can use multiple channels, it's unwise to do so without researching the platforms your target audience uses most. Leverage print media, social prospecting, inbound marketing, etc., as long as they're the best ways to reach your customers.
Proposal, Product, and Pricing
Many businesses make mistakes in their proposal terms, pricing, and product features. Taking a step back to identify and correct such errors will improve your customer acquisition funnel's efficiency.
How To Maximize Your Customer Acquisition Funnel
Leveraging your customer acquisition funnel to the fullest involves identifying blockage points and solving them. Blockage points are areas in your funnel where there's no improvement. For example, they may include no leads at the top of the funnel, many prospects signing up for free trials but not making actual purchases, etc.
These are the common blockage point triggers:
Wrongly diagnosing your product or market fit will make you lose money on products your targets don't need. You can solve this problem by interacting with your target audience to understand their pain points and how you can solve them.
Beyond Product/Market Fit
Here, your customers are not motivated enough to take the desired action. For example, you may need your leads to fill a form, but they don't because they find the process overwhelming.
The first step to solving blockage points is understanding the concerns your leads or target audience have. After identifying fears, the next step is to find ways to ease their concerns and motivate them to take the required action.
For example, maybe your blockage point is getting leads to register for a free trial on your website. Your prospects' concern may be that they can't entrust their emails to vendors. In this case, the motivation will be a customer's viewpoint stating: "I have read positive reviews about this product, and I feel it's okay to trust them."
A customer acquisition funnel effectively manages customer behavior, from lead generation to lead conversion and retention. Many businesses are using this strategy to attract and retain loyal customers, and you can, too.
June provides product managers with instant analytics and increases engagement and retention. Sign up to learn more about our services.