Building sales funnels is a difficult task, and most businesses tend to stop themselves from even trying. They delay the time it takes to deploy a sales funnels that work, and rob themselves of the competitive edge because they end up sitting on the fence for a variety of reasons.
There’s no doubt about a few things that you’ll absolutely need if you are looking to generate leads and make sales (regardless of how you drive traffic to your funnels):
- You’ll need to make an offer — an enticing, exciting, valuable, relevant, and timely offer that makes your website visitors or landing page visitors want to sign up right away. Read up on our Funnel Factor report to get up to speed on funnels.
- You’ll need landing pages and funnels to make it all work. Aim for Sales Funnels Simplicity. Generically sending traffic to your website is a sin. Don’t ever get caught doing that.
- You’ll need an email service provider to help with lead magnet or offer delivery and effective, highly-engaging lead nurturing. Then, there’s the art of creating autoresponders and drip emails that work magic. Catch up with our Email marketing handbook which lays out exactly how to do this.
- Some degree of marketing automation is highly recommended.
- There are hundreds of tools and services to help you build sales funnels, email autoresponders, regular sales pages, video sales letters, marketing automation, and also for analytics. You’ll have to make choices fast and run with it (you can change anything you want later).
With that out of the way, let’s look at a few sales funnels related questions you should stop asking forever after reading this article:
Why do we need a sales funnel?
If you have a business, you need a sales funnel.
Sales funnels are the digital equivalent of everything that happens the moment a customer walks into your physical store (if you had one) and then leaves (hopefully, after purchasing).
For a physical retail store, it’s not as straightforward as one would think, is it?
Say hello to customer behavior and a mind-boggling array of possibilities when it comes to sales attribution.
Most people search, check you out on social media, read reviews — all before even entering the store.
Not all customers who enter a store buy right away — some come in just to “look around” and others are “accompanying friends and family.”
Others come in but just leave. A few others arrive and ask questions (they already did some research online) and they leave making mental notes (consciously and subconsciously) on what they’d like to buy.
Physical retail store owners would do well to collect all the information and data about all customers arriving. Doing so may enable some sort of follow up to be get back the customers who left without buying (most retailers don’t do this).
At least digitally, say with an ecommerce store, sales funnels can do all of the above, almost automatically, without you ever lifting a finger.
You have different categories: visitors, subscribers or leads, customers, and repeat customers. Then, you can also segment each of those categories based on what they are most interested in, types of products they like, and also based on specific problems they want solutions for.
Only well-crafted, intelligent, and optimized sales funnels can do this.
What’s a well-crafted, intelligent, and optimized sales funnel?
There are sales funnels and then there are sales funnels that work.
Sales funnels that truly work well don’t happen because of pure luck or because a genius marketer was behind it.
The best sales funnels are simple. Plus, the reason why they work is because a lot of work goes into the funnel — enticing offers made to targeted audiences, simplistic design, and a marketing approach that puts the customer first (and not the business).
Well-crafted, intelligent and optimized sales funnels are all that, plus they have a certain degree of marketing automation built-in. These sales funnels also make use of proper segmentation practices, split testing various elements of the funnels, and are almost always personalized.
How do you build the perfect sales funnel?
You have a few options to build a great sales funnel:
- Build the sales funnels yourself and take the DIY sales funnel approach, with the help of tools available today.
- Have an expert build your sales funnels, customized specifically for your business.
- Hire an in-house team of various talents, including copywriters, designers, and marketers to build sales funnels for your business.
- Work with an accomplished agency that specializes in making sales funnels to save on costs otherwise incurred with an in-house team.
- Hire an assortment of freelancers, consultants, and remote staff to help build your sales funnels.
In-house teams are hard to build. If you do manage to do that, it’s ridiculously expensive to keep them all under one-roof. Unless you have deep pockets to pay for all this, it’s not an option.
Finding freelancers and consultants is a trial-and-error approach which demands time, investments, and are mostly a hit-or-miss arrangement.
Agencies, like DoneForYou, on the other hand, are a much better choice since they come with experience and they can hit the ground running.
What are the essential components of a sales funnel?
Sales funnels always start with an aggregate of your traffic sources. You could drive traffic using SEO (includes general SEO as well as guest blogging), advertising, social media, etc.
All that traffic normally points to landing pages (single or multi-page setup) to gather leads for an offer you’ll make. Landing pages are singularly-focused, highly-targeted, and distraction-free web pages with only one goal: to generate leads.
After potential visitors sign up as leads on your landing page(s), email autoresponders are triggered to welcome them or to deliver what you promised as an offer (an eBook, details about your product, a free course, etc.).
Following that first email, you’ll send out more emails — one after the other — with more information exclusively created for each of these leads (this is called “lead nurturing”).
It’s beacause of these emails that sales finally happen.
Is my sales funnel is the best it can be?
Let’s say about 1,000 visitors got to your page from a particular traffic source. About 10% of those people converted. This got you 100 leads.
Now, is 100 leads the best your sales funnels can do? No, because it can do more.
How would you know? You’ll know when you test out a few elements or components of the sales funnel. For instance, you could test:
- The Ad copy or the angles you take for ads (If you use ads as your traffic source)
- Ad images (If you use Facebook ads or Google Display Network ads as traffic sources)
- Your offers (Is 20% better than 30%? — don’t just assume)
- Landing page headlines
- Landing page Calls to Action
- Email autoresponder subject lines
Split-testing opens up the gates of opportunity, and market-driven insights allow you to make necessary changes and give your potential customers exactly what they want.
When do sales funnels fail?
Sales funnels often fail. Just because you took the trouble to setup a sales funnel doesn’t automatically guarantee success. There are a lot of factors that contribute to the failure of sales funnels, but here are a few basic ones:
- When your offer isn’t tempting enough
- The entire focus of the funnel is on “getting leads and sales” and not solving the real problem your customers have
- When you overdo sales pitches, cross-sells, and upsells — like making pitches at every stage of the funnel such as Interstitial pages, thank you pages
- Forgetting that it’s people that you are selling to
- Abusing the power of email autoresponders and trying to sell within every single email that goes out
- Ignoring the importance of split-testing all aspects of your sales funnels.
- Trying to “fix and forget” ad campaigns, sales funnels, marketing automation, or your email marketing setup
What other questions do you have for us on sales funnels? Feel free to ask us anytime!