Basics of Sales Funnels

Figuring Out Sales Funnels

Get Up To Speed On How Sales Funnels Optimize Conversions

What business owner doesn’t want to bring in more sales? Who wouldn’t want to increase profits without having to increase their advertising budget? One of the most effective ways to do this in online marketing is to build a sales funnel.

If you have a service or product you sell online, you’ve probably heard a lot about marketing funnels. And if you’re just a little embarrassed to admit you’re not 100% sure exactly what one is or how they work, you’re certainly not alone. So stop blushing and relax: we’re here to demystify the funnel.

What’s A Sales Funnel And Why Do I Want One?

Sales funnels are named after a basic tool that’s been around for centuries. If you’ve ever changed your own oil or played with a chemistry set, you’ve used a funnel. (Did you know they are also great for separating eggs? You’re welcome.)

With a wide, broad top and narrow bottom, a funnel ensures you don’t lose any precious stuff during transfer. Whether it’s oils, chemicals or egg whites, a funnel gets all the “juice” in the bottle without losing a drop. A marketing or sales funnel does the same thing: it filters your web traffic right down to your sales page without losing potential business on the way.

There’s something online sales funnels have that old fashion metal ones don’t.  Not only do effective sales funnels prevent you from losing customers, they actually increase the value of the ones you already have. A good funnel offers up ways to increase sales without having to rustle up additional web traffic.

First Things First: You Need Web Traffic

So, how does a rudimentary tool translate to a savvy marketing strategy? Let’s start at that wide, broad top. That’s your web traffic. All the people who click on your ads, follow your links and end up on your website are the wide lip of your funnel.

There are a number of ways to drive traffic to your site. Sometimes it happens organically. People might find you through great SEO content or links with strategic partners. If you’ve already developed a strong mailing list, you can get traffic through carefully crafted email campaigns. (Haven’t got a great list yet? Guess what can help. Yup, funnels!)

More likely, you’ll drive traffic to your site through paid ads like Facebook or AdWords. These can rack up your advertising budget quickly, so you’ll want to be sure you’re directing that traffic exactly where you want it to go: down a one way street towards your checkout button.

How To Direct Web Traffic Using Landing Pages

The traffic you drive to your site has to end up somewhere, and the first place you’ll send it is to a landing page. Landing pages are often set up much like a short form sales letter. Their one specific goal is to get your visitor to take one specific action. It could be signing up for a newsletter, downloading a file, or watching a video. There are countless ways to creatively engage your audience.

Landing pages funnel your traffic wherever you route it. Think you want them to jump right to your checkout cart? Think again. You’d be missing many a golden opportunity. A good landing page is where you start to really engage your audience. It’s your chance to build a connection that lasts far beyond one single sale.

Build A Loyal Base and Quality Email List In One Easy Step With Lead Magnets

Not only is it very rare that someone enters your site and goes straight for their wallet, ultimately that’s not the best outcome for your bottom line. People need a bit of time to warm up to your brand, understand your company and decide if they trust you enough to invest their money. But once you’ve earned their trust and hooked them on your product, you’ve got a customer for life. Or at the very least, a customer who wants to do business with you again.

So how do you do it? How do you really engage them? You’ve gotten a prospect to click on your landing page, but how can you stay in touch with them? How do you build a connection that makes them want to learn more and more about you?

This is where a little goodwill goes a long way. You give them something. Of value. For free.

Well, almost free …

Use a call to action and ask them to sign up for their complementary gift. In exchange for their freebie, all they need to do is enter their first name and email address. Bam! Now you’re well on your way to building a quality list of prospects who you know are interested in what you have to offer.

Everyone’s Got Something To Give

Not sure how a free giveaway would work for your business? Think outside the box. Say you’re a hairdresser. There’s no need to give out free appointments – that’s your bread and butter. But you could easily film a quick, no frills video with 5 tips to keep hair healthy. It costs you nothing, but has a lot of value to the person who landed on your site concerned about her split ends.

Dig deep! Have fun with this part. Make your offer interesting and unique, but make sure it’s useful and offers real value to your prospect.

How Autoresponders Build A Connection To Your Audience

Autoresponders are just what they sound like: an automated response to a visitor’s action. When someone signs up for whatever your lead magnet offers, it will trigger a short email message crafted to pique curiosity, send them deeper into your funnel and ultimately convert to sales.  Because these autoresponder emails are going to someone who has already expressed interest in your product they offer a fantastic opportunity to engage and convert a truly viable prospect.

Autoresponders are helpful, if not crucial, to a successful funnel. Most will include a powerful call to action, and they should be used throughout your campaign. From capturing the lead to upselling products, autoresponders will allow you to build on your relationship with a prospect. They rarely include the actual offer itself; instead, they pull the reader in and urge them to click a link to learn more. They propel your prospect down your funnel. Use autoresponders all the way through to following up with paying customers. Once you’ve converted that prospect into a buyer, thanking them for the sale, offering helpful hints and making sure they know your customer service department will support them is a great way to build brand loyalty, gain repeat business and have them telling all their friends how much they love you.

Tell People What To Do With A Call To Action

We’ve mentioned Call to Action a few times now. Are you scratching your head wondering what we’re talking about? Don’t be concerned if you aren’t up to speed with industry lingo. A call to action is just that: a request to have someone take an action. This may sound simple, but a fundamental part of getting someone to do what you want them to do is to tell them exactly what they should do next. Never assume they already know. Spell it out. Make it obvious. Tell them exactly what they should do once they’ve clicked onto your landing page. Tell them exactly what you want in exchange for your lead magnet. You’ll use calls to action throughout your sales funnel.

Upselling Is Still A Key Component To Great Sales

Now that you’ve built up a relationship with your visitor, you’re ready to keep the funnel flowing towards the sale. Funnels are an excellent way to increase revenue from a single visitor without increasing advertising dollars. How? Well, there’s no need to pay for fresh traffic when you’ve got multiple ways of engaging the same prospects. Simply make the best use out of the ones you’ve already got! Instead of budgeting advertising to bring in 5 more potential customers, your funnel can get your potential customer interested in 5 other items you offer. Get creative about what and where you can make small add ons that result in big sales numbers. No matter how much technology advances and platforms change, tried and true sales principles just work. It’s the old “can I get you fries and a coke to go with that burger?” It’s as effective online today as it’s always been at the local dinner.

How To Not Mess It Up In The Checkout Line

So you’ve made it all the way down your funnel, channeling traffic to flow straight (well, not exactly straight) to your checkout button. This is the moment the rubber meets the road. You’ve built up trust, opened a channel of ongoing communication and educated your prospect on additional products and tools they need from your company. Now it’s time to close the deal. Make sure you nurture your potential client all the way through the funnel until you get the conversion you want.

So there you have it. That’s a funnel – from the top to the bottom. Makes a lot of sense, doesn’t it? It’s easy to see why this model works so well to increase engagement, community and sales numbers.

The best thing about funnels? No matter what type of product or service you specialize in, there’s a funnel that will work for you. Like any successful marketing campaign, spend time getting to know your ideal customer and think carefully about what resonates with them. What information would they find most useful? What other products would they need to compliment one they are about to buy? Then design a funnel with that in mind.

At Wiltwyck Web Design we can incorporate a funnel into your website with automated email responders, and we can help figure out the perfect Lead Magnet and marketing strategy.