How to Create The Perfect Sales Funnel to Generate Even More Online Sales
Would you like a system on your website that builds rapport and trust with new and returning visitors, qualifies leads and encourages them to make a purchase?
By the time you read this article you will be able to set up a sales funnel that will convert casual visitors into buyers.
But first….what is a Sales Funnel?
The sales funnel is an often-used metaphor that describes the process of attracting potential customers to, and moving them through, your sales process to sort those who would be your ideal customer from those who would not.
Surely all customers are ideal customers?
That is not so. Your ideal customer is one who not only benefits from your product or service greatly but understands why they do so and are happy to act as brand ambassadors.
A less than ideal customer might be one who buys your product because they like the packaging, advertising or heard about it by word of mouth – yet they might not fully understand how it works or its benefits to them. Such customers often ask for refunds or spread false information by word of mouth.
There are other reasons why your potential customers or clients may not be a good match for you:
- Their budget may not reach your product.
- They may already have a supplier that offers them a product they are happy with
- Others may have requirements from the product that yours cannot provide.
In the offline world of sales, a sales funnel is the equivalent process of qualifying your leads.
Understanding this concept explains why you should vet your prospective customers to find a perfect match between your product or service and your
Customer and that’s exactly why sales funnels exist – and that’s why it’s vital you take the time to build and understand your funnel.
Like many systems and processes in digital marketing, your sales funnel is going to require consistent monitoring and tweaking to make it as effective as possible. Sales funnels may also change seasonally which demonstrates how important it is to understand your funnel and how it converts.
The sales funnel isn’t just a system that moves your potential customers through a qualifying process. It’s also a tool that allows you to predict how many customers you can expect to convert. Without understanding how many customers you convert it’s impossible to properly budget for your advertising.
Marketing expert, Russell Brunson, illustrates the sales funnel by using McDonalds as an example:
It costs McDonalds $1.91 in advertising to get you into the drive through…?
And when they sell you a burger for $2.09, they ONLY make $0.18…
But… when they upsell you fries and a coke for $1.77 more, they make (and more importantly KEEP $1.32 profit).
That is 8 times the profit of the initial sale.
Pretty cool, don’t you think?
But, what does that have to do with you and your business?
Well, If you’re like most people who sell stuff online, you’ve setup a website, and you started selling your product.
But just like McDonalds, even if people are buying it, often times, after your advertising costs, you’re probably not left with enough to even cover your hosting bills. 🙁
And that’s when you realize that if you want to make it online, you can’t sell from a flat website.
You need to do what McDonalds did, and setup an actual ‘Sales Funnel.’
But instead of having people go through a drive-in window…
…online they go through a “capture page” where you can gather their contact information and follow up with them through email…
Then instead of selling them a burger, you have a sales page created to sell your initial product.
And while you’re probably not going to offer your customers fries and a coke… you could upsell them on your other products and services…
Why Build a Sales Funnel?
After seeing that illustration, you may recognize how you’ve become part of other people’s sales funnels when you have visited their websites, read content, taken advantage of free offers or discounts, downloaded free information products or tools, or booked a free consultation.
That experience should hint at why you need to build a sales funnel for your business.
Simply put, a sales funnel is a highly effective tool to maximize your profits, with minimal human intervention.
Sales funnels take cold leads – those whose prior knowledge of you or your product was non-existent – and warm them up.
Creating warm leads is a process that depends on content marketing to a large degree and that’s what the outermost layer of your funnel will consist of: web content.
Web content comes in many formats, each appealing to a different kind of customer.
Many businesses offer discount fliers to the public, offers like buy one get one free, and free samples. They are all examples of businesses turning cold leads into warm. They want to build a rapport with you without pressuring you into a sale.
The idea is that if you like the sample or freebie, you’re going to trust the business enough to buy from them.
That’s how cold leads are turned warm in the offline, real world. Online, it’s not so different.
Even in today’s highly connected society, we tend to distrust a website where the landing page asks for our credit card number in return for a product. We need to be wooed a little. We need to learn more about who’s behind the website and why they are a good choice to buy from. We need to trust that they are an authority in the niche and not some shyster who set up a website to dupe us out of our money.
That’s why businesses who sell through a website face the greatest opposition to the sale and it’s also why you need to establish and maintain an effective sales funnel if you hope to make your site profitable. Doing anything else only strengthens the perception that your site is untrustworthy.
Imagine if you found a website when searching for a wedding photographer but there were no photos of previous weddings, no blog posts that shared information about the site owner, and no pricing breakdown. Instead, there was just a button asking for you to click the buy button on an expensive photography package.
Your first reaction would be to leave the site and go look elsewhere, right?
Now imagine the same search, but instead of the last website, you found a site where you could browse through lots of photos from previous weddings, see the social shares of other pictures, read customer testimonials, see the pricing structure and a breakdown of services offered, and download a free guide to getting the most from your wedding photographer.
I’m guessing that given the choice, you’d go with the latter.
Take this analogy a step further. You’re not fully committed to the second photographer but continue to look for your ideal guy or gal. In the meantime, you receive emails from the second photographer who shares valuable tips and insights with you about making the most of your wedding photography with fun ideas like leaving disposable cameras on the dinner tables for your guests to use. He even sends you a discount voucher for his own services and offers free framing for a photo of your choice.
Since visiting his site, not only have you been engaged via email, but during your other web searches, you continue to see his website advertised online. By now, this photographer is front and center in your thoughts whenever you think of the words wedding photographer. You know a little about him, you trust him because
you have evidence that he knows what he is doing and you feel some rapport because you have been reading his emails.
This is what going through his sales funnel has done. And the best part for him? After setting up the sales funnel, he didn’t need to become involved in following up with you at all. It has all been automated. The next thing he need do is pick up the phone when you call him.
This working example of a sales funnel should fill you with excitement at how effective a marketing funnel can be – turning your website into a real 24/7 sales person.
Creating Your Sales Generating Funnel
Sales funnels may seem like a lot of work and effort when viewed from the outside, but while the initial setup may seem awkward, the ongoing optimization and analysis takes a lot less time and effort.
Every sales funnel is different, and what works for someone else may not work for you – remember that the more barriers you place between your lead and your product, the less likely the sale.
Whether you realize it or not whenever you made a purchase online, you are going through a sales funnel, and some work much better than others.
Rather than just second guess how to create a sale generating sales funnel, we can help you set one up, that will guide your customer through the whole process and make it an enjoyable experience for them and a profitable one for you.
If you want to know what we use to create eye-catching, painless sales funnels or would simply like us to do it for you, please contact us today.