A sales funnel is a marketing tool that can help you to move potential customers from the broad base of awareness all the way down to making a purchase.
This blog post will give you step-by-step instructions on how to create your own sales funnel so that you can increase conversions and improve how much money your online business makes.
Table of Contents
Why your online business needs a sales funnel
Every business wants to increase its bottom line and so will try to increase its sales numbers.
There are common challenges that slow down the growth of an online business, and often a few simple fixes can make a big difference. This is when sales funnels come in handy.
Without a sales funnel, you are leaving money on the table.
Let's break this down using an example....
Imagine that your website is selling a gardening e-book for $10 per copy and then you optimize your website that it ranks on Google.
You then get 1,000 visitors per day to your website. With a 1% conversion rate, you can sell 10 copies of e-book per day and make $100 daily. Not bad, right?
But you also need to think about the 990 other visitors who do not buy. They left your website without leaving any details like their emails.
So, how are you going to follow them up? That is a lot of income opportunity lost because you do not collect these 990 visitors as leads into your sales funnel.
Now imagine another scenario in which you sell the same product at the same price rate but you also put a sales funnel into your website.
Out of 1,000 visitors, around 10%-30% might subscribe to your email list and into your sales funnel. This means that you have 100 to 300 new leads that you can follow up in your sales funnel to make sales. Out of these leads, around 1% to 3% will make a purchase in the future and this means 10 to 30 new sales added to your account!
Now you see why having a sales funnel can greatly increase your sales and business?
You may have a great website that converts well but if you aren't capturing leads and moving them through your sales process, you're not making as much money as you could be.
A sales funnel helps to automate this process so that you can focus on converting more visitors into customers.
The 3 stages of a sales funnel
The objective of the sales funnel is to provide a system for gathering prospective customers and nurturing them through all three stages of your business offerings.
The first stage is called attract, where you will try to develop a marketing goal to create interest in your product or service.
The second stage is the convert stage, and this is where you'll try and build upon that interest by providing more information about what you're offering. This is the stage where your follow ups through email marketing will play an important role.
On average, a prospect needs to be exposed to a product or service at least 7 times before they decide whether they want to make a purchase or not.
Your email follow up sequence is where you warm cold prospects so that they are ready to buy from you.
If they were just browsing at first, now they're ready to take action if you follow them up properly. You can use offers such as discounts or an upfront payment option to encourage them to make a purchase right away.
The third and final stage is the called nurture. In this stage, some of your subscribers have now become buyers/customers and it is very important for you at this stage to nurture them and keep them happy.
These three stages are usually being implemented as follows:
Stage #1: Attract
A sale starts with a visitor on your website. This is the first step of moving visitors into leads, which you can then turn into customers and finally make money from them as repeat buyers.
At this stage, your aim is to move the visitor from the top of your funnel to the middle of your funnel.
You want to nurture them through the funnel stages so that they are more likely to buy from you.
Selling too soon can often result in visitors not buying from you.
To start a sales funnel journey, you need to get your website visitors to sign up for your email list.
You can get them to sign up by offering them an incentive, usually called a "lead magnet".
A lead magnet is an ethical bribe that you can use to get your website visitors' emails and then follow them up using your autoresponder software.
Your lead magnet should:
- Solve a problem: whatever your visitors are trying to overcome, your lead magnet must be able to help them solving their problems.
- Be of high value: your lead magnet must have valuable information despite of being free.
- Actionable: your lead magnet must include easy to implement strategies or solutions.
- Focused content: your lead magnet must be focused on a key topic relevant to your product or services.
Here are some examples of lead magnets:
1. A free ebook or whitepaper
2. A free video tutorial or course
3. A free podcast episode
4. A free webinar
5. A discount for your product or service
6. VIP access to a members-only area of your website
7. Free shipping on orders over a certain amount
8. A free trial of your product or service
9. Access to exclusive discounts or offers
10. A download of a valuable resource
Stage #2: Convert
The next step in the process requires converting those leads into paying customers.
You will want to create landing pages that convert well and offer incentives like free shipping to help push prospects along the path to purchase.
You can also use email marketing to continue nurturing those leads until they are ready to buy.
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways to convert leads into customers, as it allows you to build a relationship with them over time.
It's important that your emails provide value and aren't just another sales pitch.
Some tips for writing effective emails:
- Personalize your messages: address your readers by their first name - you can do this automatically using an autoresponder - and talk about their needs, not yours.
- Make it easy to unsubscribe: nobody likes feeling trapped so make sure it's easy for people to unsubscribe from your list if they no longer want to receive your emails.
- Include a call-to-action (CTA): always include a Call-To-Action in your emails, as this is what tells your readers what you want them to do.
- Make it easy to read: use a simple font and keep the layout clean and organized.
- Provide value: send content that is interesting and helpful, not just sales pitches.
- Segment your list: divide your email list into different categories based on their interests so that you can send them more relevant content.
Stage #3: Nurture
This is a crucial stage for long term business because a happy customer will not only repeatedly buys from you but might also tell their friends, family and co-workers about the product or service they just bought.
This is where word of mouth marketing can really pay off for your business.
Encourage customers to review your products and services so that others know what they're getting into before making a purchase themselves.
You can do this by offering incentives such as discounts on future purchases if they leave reviews after completing their transaction with you.
You can also use social media to promote your products and services, by sharing stories that are relevant to the people you want to reach.
Encourage them to share their own experiences with other users on social networks like Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
The more shares your posts get, the higher they will rank in search engine results.
This means one of two things: either someone who is searching for information about what you offer may be directed towards your website; or an influencer (someone with a lot of influence over product decisions) may take notice and start promoting your brand themselves.
You can also hold an exclusive subscribers-only giveaway or contest during special occasions, such as Christmas or New Year.
For example, you can launch a viral giveaway contest in which a subscriber or a customer who can refer the most new subscribers into your funnel in a certain period of time can win exclusive gifts or perks, such as discounts on their next purchase.
A tool that I can recommend and personally use to build viral giveaway contests and campaigns is UpViral.
Another way to create loyal customers is by providing excellent customer service.
Respond quickly to inquiries, solve problems efficiently and go above and beyond to make sure your customers are happy.
If you can make your customers feel valued and appreciated, they're more likely to stick with you in the long run.
To wrap it up....
So, now that you’ve made it to the end of this blog post and learned about how to create a sales funnel, it is time to put it into action.
Start creating your sales funnel today with OptimizePress. The builder is easy-to-use and will help you create an eye catching landing pages, squeeze pages and sales funnels in minutes.