The AIDA Sales Funnel and The Online Decision Making Process
how do you design fans and welcome back as we set the stage for effective landing page design. It just makes sense that we spend a few minutes talking about the decision making process and how people actually buy from you after all. The whole point of this is to get more people to take the meaningful actions on your site that will ultimately lead to some sort of revenue generation. So it's worthwhile to to understand how buyers progress to making those purchases to taking those conversion actions. And it's actually very important because the different stages of the funnel represent different strategies and different appropriate ways to design your landing pages. So the if you're if you've ever been in sales you've probably heard of the Aida Sales funnel, you might pronounce it. However, however you pronounce it Aida Aida right. But it's it's it's the foundation and the backbone of essentially every modern sales team and it's accepted in the world today as something very very reliable a...
nd proven over and over and over again. This is a construct originally put forth by Elias ST Elmo Lewis in 18 98 using using customer studies from the U. S. Insurance market to try to understand how sales activities and how sales teams operate. The basic assumption of the Aida sales funnel is that every single buyer goes through four main cognitive phases on their journey to purchasing something. The first stage is awareness, right? People becoming aware that they have a need for a specific product or service and an awareness that that product and service actually exists. It's the it's the foundation of ultimately getting to the purchasing point. The next stage of the funnel is called interest right now that I'm aware that I have this need, I'm aware that I that this product or service exists, right? I have that awareness and knowledge. I'm actually interested in learning about the product and service. I'm interested in in evaluating my options. I'm interested in getting more information. I'm and I'm interested in engaging with brands and spending time, mental attention to mental energy on brands that potentially offer that product and service. The 3rd stage is desire. Now that I've evaluated my options, I'm aware that it exists, I have a need for it. Now, I actually have an active sense of desire to pursue this specific product or service, Right. I'm actually in that mode where I've decided that I wanted, right? That's the desire stage. The fourth stage, not necessarily the last stage, but the fourth stage in the IDA funnel is the action stage, right? Very straightforward. I'm aware that it exists. I'm interested in learning about it. I then developed a desire to have it and now I'm going to take the action and actually become a customer. Here's an interesting point. The 1st 3 stages awareness, interest and desire are essentially due to extrinsic external stimuli in the environment. They are based on what's available in the marketplace there, based on the people that this person interacted with, their based on the circumstances of this person's life, potentially their income bracket. It's based upon the different companies that they've been exposed to, right? So it's external stimuli that affect the awareness, interest and desire stage. But what Elias ST Elmo lewis posited was that the action stage was not necessarily controlled by intrinsic or extrinsic stimuli in the environment. It was just simply a natural result. If these three stages were met, If awareness, interest and desire were met, action would be a natural result obviously providing that it was available to that potential customers. Now, let's just talk about a couple more things that are important about the Aida Sales funnel. Why are we talking about this with web design? Right. Because the whole purpose of this course is to teach you how to design effective pages and how to appeal to your website visitors. Well, your website visitors are always gonna fall in one of these categories, right? You have these two, You have these four categories of visitors. And we're gonna talk about how these visitors are applied to the web design in a second. But your prospects on your website visitors, they need a different they need different treatment and they think they need to be given different information based on where they are in the final, somebody who's in the awareness stage does not need to necessarily see the pricing page or to figure out where the checkout button is, right? They need to be prompted with different types of information. Somebody in the action stage does not need paragraphs and paragraphs of supporting copy what they need is an easy way to check out, or an easy way to get in touch with you. So, understanding where your visitors are in the funnel is very important. But more importantly, understanding how to appeal to those different stages and how to design your landing pages. That will be effective for for visitors in each one of those four stages is extremely important. Lots of subsequent research, obviously, this has been this, this the end of sales funnel was, was was first introduced over 100 years ago. Right, so lots of subsequent research, especially modern day research has shown that the buying funnel is much more complex today. So you, you might have people, you know, people going back and forth between different stages. There might be a lot of different nuances in each stage, There might be a lot of different variables in each stage, but essentially, you still, a customer still has to go through all four of these stages. The next most important thing to understand is that the length of the sales cycle can vary greatly the length of time, the amount of time it takes for a person to go through these four stages could have a huge wide range. Just as a quick example, let's say, take a car, for example, a person might be aware that cars exist and that it might be a need that they might have may have as a very young child, right? You might be 34 years old too three years old. When you become aware of cars. Maybe when you're a little bit older, but you might not. So you might not really be interested in becoming a customer car. But when you pass your permit test and your license test, you become interested in cars. You start researching different types of cars. You start learning about the different components of cars that make a good car or the type of car that you'd want. You might start looking at pricing. Now that might be when you're 16 or 17, When you're 22 and you can actually afford a car. You might enter the desire stage right now I want. Now I mentally want to pursue The purchasing of a car. And then finally, when you find the right option for you, you evaluate lots of options. It might take additional months or years. You take the action and buying a car. So we just described a sales cycle that could span 23 years. There also might be the, the Aida sales funnel that spans 23 seconds. If I'm on a website and I see a pop up sale for a Bluetooth headset that, um, is water resistant and it has hours of talk time. Right? That's something that I might not have been aware of existed. I might not have. And this is just an example. Obviously this, I might not have been aware that bluetooth headsets had 40 it could have 40 40 hours of talk time and that were water resistant. I immediately become interested. Oh yeah, I know that. I could afford it cause I see the price in the ad, it's it's $15. I have a desire for it. I click the add and I go to the checkout phase right at the checkout stage because I was guaranteed with a 30 day money back. No questions asked return policy. Right? That was a 23 seconds. I had a sales funnel as opposed to 23 years. So depending on your products and services, depending on the business model you're in and depending on the type of conversion you want to track right, if you want to, if you're tracking sales, if your conversion action that you're optimizing for is sales. So you're typically going to have a longer sales cycle, people are typically not gonna buy things within a few minutes of becoming aware that they exist. Right? It's much more natural progression, which is why you nurture the leads, which is why you have supporting information on your website, which is why you offer free case studies, which is why you offer guarantees, you do all these different types of things to make that sales funnel go quicker and help the user Progress Stage two stage. If your sales cycle, if your conversion rate rather is just a newsletter, sign up, you're gonna have a much much faster sales cycle, they become aware that you're offering them an e book, they're interested, they desire it, they give their email a name and they get the e book, right? So it's a much, much faster, easier sales funnel. But if you're, as you go through these examples, you're kind of seeing a cool thing that these four stages are crucial components to every single, um, to every single buying journey. And, you know, just to quickly point out this basic concept of the funnel is, is the, why is it called the funnels? Because people drop off stage to stage. Right? So you, you might have your top level of the funnel here, right? This could be your awareness, right? Your awareness stage. So you'll, you'll get, you'll get your products and services in front of a lot of people and get them to become aware of it and people will come into the funnel right? All your clicks on your PPC, your S Ceo, your direct traffic, your email, traffic, your, your social media, marketing campaigns, you have lots of people entering in the funnel and then you have, you know, you might have your second stage of the funnel, which is interest. So a lot of people who are aware, but you're gonna have a lot of people who came through PPC and different things, they're not necessarily gonna make it through, You have a lot of drop offs right spill out of the funnel and fewer people that came in. We'll make it through to the interest and then obviously you have desire the same thing, you'll have more spill out from interest and then the smallest percentage of people are actually gonna take an action and by so you start off with the, the greatest amount of visitors that represents visitors. And as you get to the bottom of the funnel, you have fewer and fewer visitors that are potentially gonna convert. And then once again, this goes back to this idea that we were speaking about of the maximum conversion ceiling in this bucket going into the top of the funnel, you have your guesses, your maybes you maybe maybes your nose right all the different types of visitors. And just a small percentage of people are going to actually take an action, but everybody has to go if anybody gets to the action stage of the Aida sales funnel, they get to this stage. They necessarily had to have gone to the previous three stages and this is important. It's not just hyperbole. This is going to become very important as we design our webpages more effectively now. Andrew check. In 2002 wrote a book called submit now and he applies the four cognitive stages of the eid a sales funnel to your typical website visitors and, and he did a really cool job TIM Ash talks about this in his book. Um landing page optimization, fantastic book. I recommend you all getting it. Um You'll see a lot of the different things that we're talking about there. Um So browsers is kind of what could be represented by the awareness stage. These are people who I haven't made any cognitive mental commitment yet towards towards your product or services. They might not really even be that interested. I'm just looking right. These are a lot of those people who are in the no category of the website visitors. If you're lucky, nothing that you really do will turn a browser into a customer. Um But if you're lucky, a lot of these browsers will become interested in those, those people who are interested will will have developed a desire for your product. Then you have evaluators, evaluators are those comparison shoppers, shoppers, they're actually spending more time. They might be writing down notes on a pad saying, I saw the Samsung tv on this on this for this side. Should I wait till till the black friday sale, whatever it is. But they're interested right? They're aware they've narrowed down the model they want and now they're interested. Trans actors are people who are now in the process of going through a transaction, as the name indicates. They're not necessarily customers yet, but but they're they're in the zone, They're adding items to their shopping card. They're looking at payment information there, potentially applying for a line of credit for 18, 18 months of free financing. These are all trans actors. They're highly committed. They're not necessarily highly committed to you. They there's an overlap here, right? They might still be evaluating, they might not have had they might not have had made a final decision, but these people need to be given all the supporting information, the clear calls to action for how to find transaction assurances. Um A sense of trust that this is a valuable qualitative product or service. Um and there in that desire stage, right? That that represents the desire stage of the end of sales funnel. And then obviously you have customers who actually became a customer, they finished the transaction. And now it's important what what modern research has introduced this idea of evangelizing of making sure customers stay satisfied with. You might have heard the buzz word, delighting your customers, making sure your customers stay satisfied. So really one of two things could happen, they're gonna come back and buy again. Right? So making sure they say satisfied means everything as simple from from something as simplistic as actually sending them their goods or actually providing the service that they're paying for to also going above and beyond for your customers are staying in touch with their customers to making the customer experience with your packaging be something special and unique. And you see a lot of these really successful companies that that do this sort of thing. They delight their customers and they turn their customers into referrals for new customers? Obviously that comes with a zero cost per acquisition. It's the highest most powerful form of getting leads and new customers with word of mouth referrals. But they also become lifetime customers where they continue to buy again repeat customers, which increases the lifetime value of your client, which increases the amount that you could pay to acquire that client. Um And throughout these four stages there's two basic recurring themes as you design your web pages. In the very next chapter, we're gonna go in and we're gonna talk about the rules of awareness. We're gonna talk about the key elements that will help promote awareness and the things that will detract from awareness. And and I'm gonna show you some cool things over there. But the two real recurring themes That you really have to think about through all four stages is do you have what I want and why buy from you? Okay. Those are gonna be questions in the customer's mind as you progress through all as a customer or a potential buyer progresses through all four of these stages? Do you have what I want? Yes. Great. No CIA, but why should I buy it from you if if the if your competitors also sell it, what makes you distinct, what makes you unique? What's in it for me? And if you remember this is the five second test. Right back going all the way back to lecture one, we said, what were the two questions that I told you to ask? The strangers or the or the people in your five second test is what do you sell? What does this company sell? Meaning do you have what I want and what value is given to your customers from your company? So why should I buy it from you? Those are the two questions and and those are the two most important questions that are in a customer's mind as they progress through the different stages of the, of the sales funnel. And it's a good exercise to get to keep in mind as you continue to buy things right? If you're if you're gonna go tonight online or you're interested in buying a service or you're taking a vacation? Think about your own sales funnel. When did you become aware? At what point did you become interested? But what were the triggers? Think about the triggers that lead you from one funnel to the other. When you became aware, what was it that got you interested in the product when you were interested? And you were evaluating what was it that got you interested in a specific solution? Was it just the practicality of it? Was it the price, Was it that you really like the sales rep you were working with? Think about these things and then you're gonna be able to apply the triggers in your own life, in your own sales cycle to how you design your pages for your website visitors, and ultimately what decides what made you decide to become a customer. And were you delighted? Did you have a good experience? And if you had a good experience, what made it a great experience and you had a bad experience? What made your experience poor. That's gonna be really that I'm telling you I've done this. It's, it's a really cool exercise and you'll get a lot from it in the next lecture. In the next few lectures, I want to take some time and and talk about specific rules of web design as they relate to these four stages of the Aida sales funnel. That would basically wrap up section one, and then we're gonna jump into chapter two, which is gonna be really exciting stuff. Actually implementing an understanding, good design on landing pages, bad designing, landing pages, everything in between and how it could ultimately impact in a positive way the bottom line of your company. So, thank you for sticking with me through this one. Um this is fun stuff and I look very much forward to seeing you all very soon in the next section