Awareness, Consideration & Decision – The Three Stages of Customer Conversion

Life is a journey, and so is sales and marketing. Unlike life, it’s a buyer’s journey – a path of potential clients from being just a target audience to awareness consideration, and the final decision-making stages. Like every journey, a sales funnel ends – in an eventual conversion.

However, before you get to that final conversion stage, your target audience needs to be converted from one stage to the next. So let’s take a look at the conversion goals and means for every step of the buyer’s journey.

Now, there are three main stages in every potential buyer’s journey:

  • Awareness – when a person discovers your business, product or service
  • Consideration – when a person takes an interest in your product or service
  • Decision-Making – the final stage, when a person decides to purchase from you

Each of these stages can be used for any marketing funnel, no matter the source of the channel. It’s worth noting that at times the customer’s journey is depicted in more detail with over a dozen stages, like in this graph:

Yet, awareness consideration purchase stages are the three major ones. We will discuss these buyer’s journey stages through the prism of drip campaigns and email marketing. And show you what approaches can be used at every step to convert more people.

Awareness

Awareness is the foremost stage of the customer’s journey. During this stage, the customer realizes their primary concerns and tries to define their pain points. This is when they come across your company or service – while researching their problem. At this point, it’s necessary to provide the targeted audience with more information about your products or company calmly and educationally. The less promotional and sales-oriented your content is, the better – the person is not loyal to your brand yet. Hence, it’s easy to scare off your potential customer if you get pushy.

Numbers show us just how vital it is to help the customers in their research if you want to convert them further: 81 percent of shoppers research before buying, with 75 percent of time shopping is spent on research only. Before making your move, make sure you can answer the subsequent questions:

✔ What are the buyer’s challenges and ultimate goals?

✔ How do buyers educate themselves on their challenges and goals?

✔ What will the results be of doing nothing?

✔ How do customers prioritize their goals?

There are various types of free content you can utilize in your email sequences to convert more people from the Awareness to Consideration stage. It’s best if this content is easily-sharable – in B2B there is on average 7-20 people included in the purchase process:

  • Whitepaper: Works really well for enterprise-level projects or businesses that have complex mechanisms or structures behind them. The whitepaper is a serious piece of educational content that contains more significant research, explains the methodology adopted, or describes the company’s approaches to various problems. It can provide both products as well as market data.
  • Detailed Guide: Works for all types of business, as such content is purely educational in nature and relates to your service or product. It should educate first and promote second. It’s ideal for writing your guide in a how-to style, so it’s not merely educational, but also practical.
  • Free e-books: E-books serve the same purpose as guides, but with more useful content included. People love to have e-books because you can save them in a pdf format, read them later, share them with colleagues and friends, and much more. They are also perfect for viral or evergreen content. Once you’ve created an exciting and useful e-book relevant to your niche, you can utilize it time and again, for months on and even years.
  • Practical Checklist: A practical content write-up works great for any business. Checklists can be used as a sort of questionnaire that helps identify problems that need solutions. Conversely, they can also be used as an action list that pushes your target audience to act and use your products or services.
  • Educational Videos: Videos are an easy-to-digest form of content that can explain solutions to the potential customer’s queries in just a few minutes. Videos can also be used as evergreen or viral content. Just remember to keep them their educational aspect of your priority.
  • In-depth Articles and Expert Content: Probably the most common kind of content used at this stage of the sales funnel. You can use blogs that have already been published on your website or create new ones particular to your current email marketing campaign. When creating an article, make sure it’s educational and useful, and your call-to-actions look organic and casual.

To make your content easy-to-discover, use stage-specific SEO keywords. For this customer’s journey stage, “how-to”-queries are the most prevalent. Below are a few examples:

  • how to find leads
  • how to find emails online
  • how to find clients online
  • how to find clients for {business}
  • find email addresses
  • find emails online
  • find emails on {{social_network}}
  • find someone’s email address
  • how to generate leads
  • generate leads online

As you can see, this stage relies on optimized, shareable, educational content that helps your potential buyer, not sells to them.

Consideration

Consideration is the second stage of the potential customer’s journey. At this step, they are a little familiar with your service or product and are evaluating the problem, its urgency, how it can be solved, and whether it needs to be addressed here and now. Your ultimate goal is to show them the ways their problem can be resolved, how beneficial it can be for them, and how you and your business can help. You also need to show what makes you better than the competitors in this regard.

At the consideration stage, 60 percent of customers want to get in touch ASAP with a sales manager. Make sure your salespeople are ready to answer any customer’s queries, but first, see if you can answer the below questions:

✔ What types of solutions are the buyers looking out for?

✔ How are buyers educating themselves on these solutions?

✔ How do they ascertain the pros and cons of every possible alternative?

✔ How do customers decide on the ideal option?

Once again, quality content can help you convert more people from consideration stage to the decision stage of their buyer’s journey:

  • Free webinars: Another best content type to convert your audience from consideration stage to the decision stage in Free Webinars. Webinars allow you to speak to a larger audience and create a kind of dialogue between you and your potential consumers. It’s a good idea to create your webinar half-educational and half-promotional. For this purpose, start with some useful tricks and tips. Then show how your product can help with the problems they are facing in life.
  • Case studies: This is content that cannot be overrated. Many potential clients are looking for case studies at the consideration stage. This is because case studies are the best demonstration of how your service or product helped other businesses grow. Case studies help convert people like crazy, just make sure they are detailed enough in terms of the business, the particular niche, the problems, the solutions, and their results. The more elaborate and number-rich your case studies are, the better. If you have any case studies available – don’t hesitate to incorporate them into your email marketing campaign.
  • Free samples: People love freebies. Seriously though, who doesn’t? If your business allows you to send some free samples of your product, don’t hesitate to use them in your campaigns. This doesn’t just work for physical products but also for digital products. You can offer than free reports, free analysis, or any other similar service. It’s important always to remind people of the value of your free samples. It should be considered a very generous offering, not a random giveaway of whatever item you couldn’t sell earlier. If possible, make your free samples personalized.
  • Specification Sheets: Work best when you need to render your target persona with more details about your product or service. This kind of content is widely utilized by businesses that market software, tools, technical platforms, technical services, automation tools, and the likes. Make sure to add features, benefits, and even some case-studies in your spec sheet, not just technical data. A call-to-action to request a specification sheet can also be easily incorporated into your email marketing campaign.
  • Catalogs: The catalog is a must-have piece of content if you are offering multiple products or services. Make it more educational by including use-cases and tips to specifications and descriptions. You can quickly put a Call-to-Action(CTA) to download or request a catalog into an email message.

As for SEO, these are the queries that work best at this particular stage:

  • email hunter
  • email finder(s)
  • email finders alternatives
  • email finders comparison
  • email finder extension
  • {{your_companyName}} alternatives
  • {{your_competitorName}} alternatives
  • {{your_companyName}} vs {{competitorName}}
  • {{your_companyName}} and {{competitorName}} compared

Decision

The decision-making stage is the final stage of the buyer’s journey, at which your potential customer makes a decision based on their research. Your goal is to help them make a favorable decision and finally become your life-long client. That’s when the final conversion occurs.

By this stage, a target has become more loyal to you, and you should use this to educate less and promote your business more. Sixty-five percent of B2B customers claim that the vendor’s content impacts their buying decision, so this is your time to shine (bright). As always, make sure you can answer these below-mentioned journey stage questions:

✔ What do customers appreciate the most about your offer?

✔ What scares them off of your business?

✔ How many people are actively involved in the decision-making process?

✔ What influences their decision?

✔ Do buyers expect a trial run before making the final purchase decision?

✔ Do prospects have to make any arrangements before making a purchase?

If your salespeople did an excellent job at the previous stage, you wouldn’t have any problem answering these questions.

As for the content, the ideal promotion is the product or service itself, so here’s what you can offer to improve your conversions:

  • Free Trial: Works great for digital products. If you sell software, digital services, or tools, allow your potential clients to try it for a week, two, or even a month. Once your potential client sees the benefits and results, you can be sure they won’t just leave. Put a call-to-action to try your product or service for free into your email copy.
  • Demos: Similar to a free trial, but instead of letting your potential client test it on their own, you show them how your product or service works based on their specific needs. Sales reps or account managers usually hold demos, and they can convert a person to a client right during the demo. A demo is an excellent chance to offer a discount or a coupon that works for a limited period(we will discuss this later in this article). Make sure to provide your target audience to schedule a demo or test in your emails.
  • Expert Opinion: Just like a consultation, a bit of expert advice usually is more focused on assessing the potential customer’s problem by an expert and suggesting to them a specialist opinion on how to solve it. An expert opinion is more private and personalized. You can utilize a CTA in your email campaign that offers to schedule a meeting with your in-house experts.
  • Estimates and Quotes: Personalized content is very close to the conversion. When a person requests a particular quote, or you’ve successfully marketed your quotes, it means that the potential client is really “hot.” You should make sure to add more information with your quote and mention the benefits – for instance, a one-off payment instead of a recurring one, or a volume discount applied to the price. You can also include a CTA for a quote request in your mails to see how many of your potential customers are genuinely interested and want to become your clients.
  • Coupons and discount codes: Probably the most popular way of converting people going through the last stage of the buyer’s journey. Just a piece of quick advice for better conversion: if you send out free coupons to all of your leads on the decision stage. Ensure that you utilize a randomized code that looks like AF994WTB – this way, it feels more personal, as it’s been generated for a specific client only. An excellent practice is to use a CTA to ask for a coupon or a discount – hence, you can assess and score a person before providing them with any discount. Therefore awareness consideration decision are the three stages

Here’s all the information you’re going to need in organizing your buyer journey’s content in the form of a share-able infographic:

Final Thoughts

Various stages of the buyer’s journey require different kinds of content to convert someone from one step to the other, as well as make the ultimate conversions to a client. In other words awareness consideration conversion stages.

For the first stage, use content that is at least 90 percent educational and just 10 percent promotional. Remember that a potential customer has just stumbled upon your business or services, and they can easily be turned off by content that’s too pushy or promotional. Make your content feel and look exciting, useful, and shareable.

For the second stage, use content that can help understand the problem, the value of your solution, and the results your client can get. The more value-showing your content is, the better. Keep it 30% educational and 70% promotional. Remember: focus on the problem, your solution, and positive results.

For the decision-making stage, use content that helps you sell your product or service. Personal contact in the form of a demo or an expert opinion is a great chance to showcase your expertise, your product, and win the deal. Your content should be 90% promotional and maybe just 10% educational – your goal is to sell now. At this stage, your potential client is already “hot.”

Which content do you use to improve your conversions in the buyer’s journey? Let us know in the comments!