What is sales funnel copywriting?



How do visitors decide to buy your product or service? The process is a bit more complicated than clicking once to enter a website and clicking once more on “buy now”.   

Gone are the days when the sales cycle on the internet was short and sweet. Nowadays, it takes a lot longer to even get your potential customers interested, let alone get them to click “buy”.

It’s practically impossible to have an effective sales cycle without a well-thought sales funnel. Simply put, a sales funnel is the sequence of all the stages a customer has to go through, from the moment they interact with a piece of your content to actually purchasing something from you.

In a way, a sales funnel resembles the levels of a video game; however, instead of being extremely difficult to move from one level to another – like in a video game, in a sales funnel – it’s incredibly easy (at least it should be). The easier it is to move from one “level” to another, the higher your chances of conversion will be. 

Traditionally, there are four stages of a sales funnel (that you might remember from your marketing class):

  • Awareness
  • Interest
  • Decision
  • Action

Copywriting plays a huge part in each step of a sales funnel. In fact, it’s the most decisive factor behind successful conversion. From the very beginning of the sales process, to the moment the customer buys a product, everything is connected to copy. 

How does the process start?

Before customers can even think about buying anything from you, they need to know who you are. The awareness stage is the initial part of the entire sales process. Customers have to become aware of the possibilities that lie within your products/services and be quite comfortable in that “space”, so they can move on to the following stages. During the awareness stage, you need to make sure that your offer is clearly described, so that customers know what they can expect.

Also, what is very important to remember is that potential customers are still not your customers. Potential customers are those people who are generally interested in those kinds of products/services you’re offering. But just because they want or need that type of product (or a similar one), it doesn’t mean they will buy off you. That’s why we need to make a distinction between a customer and a lead.

A lead is someone who is interested, but still hasn’t reached the final decision to buy. This is why the awareness stage is very important, because if your offer is described well, you have a higher chance of turning casual browsers into leads, and leads into customers. 

There are several different ways in which a business can start generating leads. First of all, there are all kinds of ads: Google Ads, Facebook Ads, etc

Ads are the most common way to get in touch with your potential customers. But in order for ads to work, they need to be crafted in such a way that it drives interest from those people who read them. And this is exactly where copywriting enters the stage.

Each piece of text has to be carefully written, with attention to keywords, VOC (voice of customer), product requirements - so that it generates the right response. The first couple of lines of an ad are extremely important; that’s where you need to grab the customers’ attention and get them to keep reading.

Good copywriting will grab attention from the get-go and keep visitors engaged, so they keep reading on and, finally - click on the link which will take them to your website/social media page, etc. Mind you, this still doesn’t mean they will buy; we’re still in the awareness page. Sometimes, if a sales process is created in such a way, an ad can take a customer directly to the sales page, but in that case - the whole process is much shorter. Still, even then all the aforementioned four stages exist, but they are a bit shorter.

While your customers are in the awareness stage, you shouldn’t pressurize them to make the decision to buy. They are only getting familiar with what you have to offer. Copywriting in this stage should just present the facts and explain how or why your product is good and worthy of customers’ attention. 

Navigating the interest stage

Once customers are aware of your business, some of them will get interested to hear, learn and find out more. This is when simple awareness turns actionable; it’s still not stage #4 (action), but it’s one stage closer to it. If customers become interested, you can ask them for something in return. But not before that.

So many people make the mistake of confusing awareness with interest. These two are not the same, although they are indeed very close to one another. Interest is when customers have learned enough about the product that they are comfortable with giving you something in return.

The usual transition from the awareness stage to the interest stage is asking for email subscription. You can offer a lead magnet (ebook, brochure, etc.) in return for customers’ email, so they are on your email list. With ads, the interest stage starts when customers are ready to click and move over to your website or sales page.

So, using simplest language possible:

AWARENESS - “What is this product?”

INTEREST - “I want to learn more about this product.”

The difference between the first and second stage is in the amount of knowledge customers have about your product. And the more they know, the better.

When customers are interested, they are more likely to become your subscribers, followers, etc. 

And once they’re interested, you can expect them to eventually make a decision.

Enter the decision stage

What’s important to know about this stage? Depending on your business model, the decision can happen from minutes, to weeks or months after the interest. If you have a sales page, then the decision will have to happen pretty soon, right around the end of the sales page. But if you have a social media page, and you’re creating a following, the decision stage will be slower.

This is why we have a “middle stage” of sorts here – the nurture stage. If you don’t intend to create an offer right away after the interest stage, you need to keep that interest going. In the nurture stage, customers are informed of additional details about your products, so they don’t forget about you.

But eventually, customers will have to make a decision.

The decision is closely connected to action. Once customers decide that they want your product, they will take the action towards buying it. When will customers decide to buy your product?

When they are certain that:

1. They can trust you and that

2. Your product can solve their problem

If both conditions are fulfilled, chances are high your customers will finally take action. 

Provided that all three stages are passed, the fourth stage - action - is the easiest one (and the shortest one). It literally: clicking on your “buy now” button, subscribing to your list, etc. But setting this stage up is the hardest part, because a lot of things have to fall in place before the action stage happens. 

How to make it work?

In order to see real, tangible results from the sales funnel, you need to research your potential audience well and know exactly what they can gain from trusting you and your products. Once the research phase is over, you can start using the data and crafting the copy for the funnel. The copy should suit each of the stages, and help customers follow your message clearly and easily. 

The biggest mistake you can do when creating your sales funnel is expecting the customers to start trusting you right away. In order to be convinced, your customers will need to hear and learn a lot from you – and get a ton of information – FOR FREE – before they decide it’s enough to trust you. 

It can be information in one of your videos, blog posts, website, ebook, etc. But the main thing is that they understand how serious you are dedicated you are to actually solving their problems. 

Depending on your business model, a sales funnel can be very long, but also quite short. You can have all four stages on just one sales page. However, you cannot omit any stage - they all need to be present; otherwise, the entire sales funnel will fall part and you won’t have the desired results. 

That’s why copywriting plays such a major role in crafting a good sales funnel. The right language needs to be used from stage to stage, so that the customer doesn’t feel rushed into making the decision right away or (which is even force) having to click on the “buy now” button or subscribe before they’re ready.

By investing enough time and energy into sales funnel copywriting, you will be able to run your entire sales process smoothly and efficiently.