I think that most people have a very general idea of what a sales funnel and landing page are, but most people don’t know how to implement one effectively. So this post will be focused around explaining what a sales funnel is and how to create one.
The majority of successful internet businesses rely on something known as a online sales funnel to achieve their overall success. The best online businesses and internet marketers are almost all heavily reliant on sales funnels as a marketing tool.
What is a sales funnel?
In order to explain what a sales funnel is we will put it in the context of the various stages of the online marketing phases a lot of successful business employ when selling products.
The concept of the sales funnel begins at the very start of a marketing phase where you are trying to capture the interest of as many visitors and prospective customers as you can via techniques such as:
- Writing quality and targeted content and articles from your blog to bring “organic” visitors to your site via search engines
- Building a list via email signups through your blog by offering free downloads or gifts
- Using a landing and other sales pages to get people to take a specified call to action – ie, signup, buy etc
- Using social networks to signup people in order to be able to broadcast your special offers or the latest blog article releases
- ….and there are many other techniques you can use to generate more traffic and interest to your website, but hopefully you get the general idea.
Now from the aggregated group of visitors you get through the strategies listed above, there will be a smaller group who will ultimately become clients.
At this phase the effectiveness of the sales funnel will really start to shine due to the fact that it will be instrumental in further engaging this smaller group of individuals who have actually currently demonstrated an interest in your product and a tendency to buy from you.
You might by now be recognising the factor for the “funnel” analogy.
That is, at the very beginning of your marketing efforts you will normally start with a larger group of visitors, and after that a smaller variety of these will become customers or routine readers of your blog, then an even smaller number of these will become clients.
Simply puts during each phase of the marketing process individuals will drop off up until you have a little minority who become your consumers.
In essence, the sales funnel concept involves the removing of disinterested potential customers by concentrating on and additional engaging your most responsive clients due to the fact that of their verifiable willingness to acquire from you.
Hence why we utilize the term sales funnel, since you are beginning with a broad set of marketing methods and visitors and gradually narrowing this down as the process continues by tightening your marketing with laser-like focus to a choose group of really targeted clients.
Why are sales funnels necessary for the success of your business?
Marketers who have studied consumer behavior and psychology will tell you that people who have already shown an interest in your products (ie, existing customers) will by far be the most likely group to buy from you again.
Based on this fact, by spending a lot of your energy and marketing efforts focusing on this group of people means that you will get higher conversions because you are intelligently using your time and resources for maximum returns.
Below are some important qualities of sales funnels which demonstrate why they are a powerful concept to use in your internet business.
A sales funnel will help increase your conversions
As we’ve gone over earlier, during each phase of the sales funnel, the variety of people will reduce however the variety of likely potential customers will increase.
By its very nature, a sales funnel will filter out non-prospective buyers and help develop as numerous targeted prospects as possible.
This is due to the fact that as the funnel starts to narrow at each phase the marketing approaches carried out become progressively more targeted.
For that reason the sales funnel will create a more fertile environment with extremely targeted prospects who will have already showed an interest in your items or who have acquired formerly from you.
You can then spend your marketing efforts interesting the wants and needs of these people understanding that you have a higher than typical opportunity of transforming.
An example of an essential sales funnel component is the landing page. This is usually method down in the most narrow part of the funnel where you are pitching your message to really targeted visitors.
Sales funnels can be used to accurately predict the number of sales you will make
The structure of the sales funnel mechanism means that at each stage of the marketing phases you can quantify the number of prospective customers and hence use this to predict the percentage who eventually become actual customers.
Remember earlier we said that as a prospect moves through each stage in the sales funnel they will be considered a more targeted visitor and hence the marketing which is presented to people as they move down the funnel will reflect this.
As a simple example, Nancy Thomas has been monitoring his website traffic for at least 6 months and he receives 5000 visitors per week to his website.
Of these, Nancy usually gets around 3% (ie, total of 150 people per week) who sign up for his free weekly newsletter.
Then from the 150 people weekly who sign up to his list Nancy ends up converting around 1.5% who become paid members or buy one of his products.
Therefore by using his knowledge of the number of prospects at each stage Nancy can accurately predict the percentages of people who will sign up to his newsletter and those eventually buy his product.
By being privy to the traffic and conversion figures of the various stages of his marketing phases, Nancy can use this to identify and improve areas needing attention (discussed more below).
You can use a sales funnel to identify marketing deficiencies or obstacles
By monitoring the traffic and statistics during each of the marketing phases you will be able to observe any down or up-trends during each stage of the funnel over time.
With this knowledge you can then make more informed decisions so that you can take the best possible corrective action or spend more time concentrating on a particular strategy if needed.
For instance you may spot trends that during the year where you might see a trend where there is drop in calls-to-actions for a certain month in your email campaign and you might decide to change your campaign content or increase the frequency of emails sent for the next few months.
Building a Sales Funnel
In order to convert marketing campaign into an optimized sales funnel there are a few essential things you will need to do.
You will need to have a product or service which you can sell
Before even considering the construction your sales funnel, you will need a product or service to offer to sell to your visitors.
Items which you can sell online can range from physical products to your own digital creations such as eBooks, videos or software and also things such as membership programs or consultation services.
If you don’t think you can create your own product there is also the option of affiliate programs such Clickbank, Amazon or affiliate programs available which you can use in conjunction with blogging from your website.
Ultimately it is very important that before choosing a product to sell that you try to identify a niche which people out there are demanding and then supply this need to them.
Following from the above point, keyword research is an important task for determining who your prospective customers are what they are searching for.
Keyword research allows you to identify the words and phrases people are using when they are searching for answers to their needs and desires. The best free keyword research tool to is the Google keyword tool. (If you’ve never used it just Google the words Google keyword tool)
There are other keyword tools out there some of which cost money and you should do your own research to choose the best tool for you.
Once you have discovered the phrases and words people are using for their searching, you can then apply these words to strategic areas of your website such as titles, subheading, blog content, landing pages etc.
There are many techniques in how you write your content or copy and it is advised that you read up some good books about copy writing.
The front and back end of your sales funnel
The front door of your sales funnel is the broadest part and serves the purpose of bring in a large base of prospects. This is the initial capture point where you are employing broad variety of marketing strategies to attract your visitors which will then be gradually directed further down the funnel.
Offering complimentary or cheaper priced items and bonus products is generally a good way to obtain individuals’s feet into your sales funnel’s front door.
Ultimately a few of your prospects will work their way into the more narrower parts of the funnel and a percentage will even make it to the back end.
The much deeper parts of your sales funnel is where your more premium products are provided to individuals that have actually demonstrated a specific need for these product and services.
At this stage your potential customers are highly targeted and most likely to buy due to the fact that this small portion of individuals have already bought products from you.
Really particular e-mail campaigns and product launches are a great method to keep engaged with these individuals because the engagement is the crucial to the success of your conversions.
Fine tuning your sales funnel
As we have already seen from above, a sales funnel is truly a marketing structure which represents all of the phases from your preliminary leads to actual sales.
Enhancing your sales funnel can appear as being rather complicated but is something which you may need to do as you go along.
You must seek to determine all the possible methods that individuals can enter your funnel so you can develop their origination point.
As soon as you have actually done that you must note all of the possible things that visitors to your site can do as soon as the have shown up there. They might be able to read blog site posts, enjoy complimentary video material etc. Then you have to evaluate the page data such as the time invested on page, many clicked links, entry and exit paths etc. (Google Analytics is a terrific tool for this).
As soon as you have done all of the above, you will be armed with the valuable understanding to figure out how your funnel in fact runs in reality and then you will be able to determine and correct weak points or make use of the strengths.
In summary, although this article has actually hardly touched the surface of the sales funnels, it will have ideally supplied you with an introduction to obtain you to see the huge picture of the mechanics of online sales and marketing.
Recommended Online Sales Funnel Tools:
- Leadpages – If you are looking to create custom online sales funnels, but don’t know how to do HTML? In my opinion, this is the best and easiest to use option for creating custom funnels.
- NameCheap – You’ll need a domain name for your business and sales funnel. They offer better prices, free identity protection (first year) and the tools are easier to use.