Blog Post

Creating a Sales Funnel that Converts for Small Businesses

by | Feb 21, 2024 | Sales | 0 comments

Returning customers spend nearly 70% more than first-timers.

Your sales funnel isn’t only about attracting newcomers to your business. One of its top priorities is instead to boost customer loyalty and keep them coming back for more.

But you need to convert new customers first. The problem?

Creating a sales funnel that actually works is hard.

We’re here to help you solve your sales and master your conversions, so keep reading.

Rethinking the Sales Funnel: Buyers, Business, and You

In traditional circles, the funnel structure that takes the customer from an unaware yokel to loyal customer is simple.


It’s a straight and narrow path that starts with awareness and ends with a sale.

The digital age changed everything. In the 2020s, the customer’s journey is far from linear. Customers hop between the stages and take detours.

They get distracted, they drop off, and they reappear half a year down the line. Businesses need to rethink their sales funnel if they want to adapt and remain competitive, let alone if they want to thrive.


Start by seeing your sales funnel as a loop. Customers can enter and exit at any stage. They’re more discerning, and more proactive than ever before.

For an example think of the ubiquity of tech giants like Amazon.

Many customers aren’t drawn to their immense catalogue by traditional ads of affiliate links (even though those still work) but on their own initiative with a predetermined intention. They skip the “awareness”, “interest”, and “consideration” stages entirely, jumping straight to “intent”.

You need to shift your perspective to adapt.

From Root to Rise: The Sales Funnel Explained

What are the core components of the sales funnel? It depends on who you ask. In concrete terms, the stages look something like this:

  1. Awareness
  2. Interest
  3. Consideration
  4. Intent
  5. Evaluation
  6. Purchase
  7. Retention

Customers first become aware of a product via traditional advertising, word of mouth, or social media marketing. Some of them take an interest in what you’re selling, and some of those people will seriously evaluate a purchase.

In truth, though, most of these distinctions are arbitrary.

There isn’t a great deal of difference between becoming “aware” of a product and taking “interest” in it. For most, this sort of thing happens in the blink of an eye.

To simplify the sales funnel, let’s distil it down into three distinct phases:

  • What happens before a purchase
  • What happens around a purchase
  • What happens after a purchase

Identifying problems with your funnel structure means figuring out during which of these three phases you’re losing business. Each phase comes with only one real problem.

Either customers aren’t interested in making a purchase; or they’re put off by something at the moment of sale; or they’re uninterested in becoming loyal, repeat customers.

The Laws of Attraction: Crafting Lead Magnets

“Lead magnet” is a fancy term for any kind of offer you provide in exchange for a customer’s contact information. It could be anything from eBooks to sample products, to promotional mugs to webinars: If your customer finds value in it, it can be a lead magnet.

Lead magnets are crucial for addressing that “before a purchase” phase of your sales funnel. They provide an incentive for people to give you their contact information, which helps you push them towards the second phase.

Creating effective lead magnets demands a solid understanding of your target audience. What do they want? What are their pain points?

What content catches their eye and keeps them coming back?

Once you have a clear understanding of your audience, you can create lead magnets that resonate and lure audiences toward your sales funnel.

Defining Your Sales Funnel

What does your sales funnel look like?

Because, and here’s the kicker, whatever image a Google search spits out isn’t it. Every business is unique. And so is every sales funnel.

Start here: Attract, engage, convert, retain. These are your four mantras for defining a funnel structure, and from there, you can puzzle out what makes you different.

Perhaps you employ a unique marketing policy to grab the attention of users on social media. Maybe your business has a low conversion rate but an exceptional customer retention rate. Sounds bad, but it’s common across most specialised, niche industries.

The easiest way to gain deeper insight into your own sales funnel is to ask. Ask customers for their opinion. Ask potential customers.

Ask your employees and ask your friends and family.

Ask them to make (or simulate making) a purchase from your store. What was the experience like? How does it differ from shopping elsewhere?

Understanding this structure and visualising it will help you better understand the buyer’s journey as it relates to you.

Creating a Sales Funnel That Wins

It’s not about the flashiest website, the swankiest Javascript addons, or the best sales copy.

It’s about understanding your customers above all else.

The first step in creating a winning sales funnel is to define. You can’t hope to understand your customers if you don’t know who they are. Ask yourself:

  • Who your core customer base is
  • What your ideal customer looks like
  • What your customers need and want

From there, you can focus on attracting potential customers to your funnel. This will probably involve a number of established and proven approaches – content and social media marketing, SEO, native advertising, and traditional ads. The key is to provide value (real value) and not empty promises and vapid pledges.

With potential leads in your sales funnel, you need to engage them. Free trials and discount codes encourage potential customers to get their feet wet. Valuable content keeps them coming back.

The goal here isn’t to sell; it’s to build a strong relationship that will eventually result in a purchase.

Only when your customers have marinated in your funnel for long enough are they ready to be converted.

Grabbing Attention

Targeted marketing campaigns are one thing, but they only work if your marketing materials grab attention and don’t fade into obscurity.

Content marketing involves creating engaging content that your target audience finds useful. How-to guides, viral videos, thoughtful blog posts and shareable content (even memes) attract audiences and make your business website more palatable to the search engine deities.

Remember, billions of people use social media every day. Your socials are a cornerstone of your online presence, and they’re the cement in the strong foundations you’re building.

By posting engaging content and interacting directly with your followers, you build a powerful presence, win over more people, and attract more leads to your sales funnel.

Capturing Intrigue

A slew of content is worthless if it reads like corporate slop.

Content needs to be genuine to foster awareness, and your customers need to have somewhere to go for more to truly capture their intrigue.

One of the most effective methods is through email marketing. Valuable and personalised emails sent to your subscribers help you build a relationship, eventually guiding them towards a purchase.

And, thankfully (for them), your marketing emails contain multiple clickable links that take them straight to your product pages!

Retargeting is another way of capturing intrigue. By showing ads to people who have previously visited your website or otherwise interacted with you online, you increase your chances.

Converting Interest Into Sales

Now we arrive at one of the two fundamental goals of your sales funnel: Conversion.

This is where potential customers turn into actual customers. But you need to convert waning interest into sales for that to happen. Yes, even without effort on your part, some leads will convert on their own.

The rest of them need a subtle push. Strong calls to action (CTAs) encourage customers to take the next step and complete a purchase. Persuasive sales copy highlights the benefits of your products or services, convincing those who remain on the fence.

Every potential customer will have objections and reasons they might hesitate before buying. Your sales copy needs to address these objections to reassure them while highlighting the benefits of your products.

Testimonials, reviews, accreditations and certifications enhance your credibility. Unique selling points demonstrate what sets your products apart.

You need to harness all of these to increase conversion rates and boost your profitability.

Capitalising on Repeat Business

Repeat business is the backbone of a strong bottom line.

Loyalty won on the back of excellent customer service and satisfying products, convinces customers to come back for more. This involves responding to inquiries promptly and resolving issues some customers will inevitably face.

In addition, you should consider offering additional products to your existing customers. Discounts and promotional deals are one side of the coin. Free promotional items like promotional mugs remind your customers of their affinity for your business every day when they sit down for their morning brew.

Optimise Your Sales Funnel

A well-oiled sales funnel drives small business success. By guiding leads through the buying process and ensuring a smooth experience, you will increase conversions and build loyalty while you do it.

Creating a sales funnel that converts isn’t easy. But we’re sure you’re up to the challenge.

Whether it’s a naughty hot chocolate, wake-me-up coffee or a mid-morning cuppa, promotional mugs turn those “me time” moments into winning branding opportunities. At Prince William Pottery, we offer every kind of mug from budget-friendly to bone china.

Get in touch today to learn how our mugs can transform your business.


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