If you’ve been reading about funnels lately, you’re not alone. We’re all talking about them, and with good reason.
If your business isn’t using marketing & sales funnels then it is time to get started.
For those of you who are still feeling around in the dark when it comes to online marketing, don’t worry, this isn’t going hurt a bit.
To start off, ask yourself:
- Do I understand what a funnel is?
- Why would a business need a funnel?
- What can a funnel do for my business?
If you don’t know the answer for any of these questions, it’s no problem. We are here to give you a little background on these handy tools, and show you how to get a great funnel in place, asap!
We Love Funnels Too!
Consider this your invitation into the wonderful world of funnels. If you are still fuzzy on what a funnel is, here is a simple way to think about them:
A funnel turns anonymous visitors into traffic you own (e-mail), and guides them to a goal that you create.
Think of it as a predefined path that you lead your visitors through…
Instead of sending traffic to a website where people click around and eventually convert at a very low rate, you send people to a page where you lead them to the next step that you defined.
Homepages are needfully complex, but the landing pages that comprise a funnel are the exact opposite. They will present a specific offer, and generally will lead a potential client into a conversion that is without cost, at least at first.
It’s a series of webpages that people go through in a very specific order. Let’s take a closer look at how a basic opt-in funnel looks like:
Like I said… This is the most basic funnel that you’ll ever see, but you need to start somewhere, right?
You’ve probably came across some websites where they put a popup in your face right before you leave the website, offering something that might have some value to you.
The moment you fill in your e-mail address is when the actual magic starts to happen.
The website owner now has your e-mail address, and he has some kind of clue in what you’re interested in (you don’t give your e-mail address for something you’re not interested in).
He can now start building a relation with his audience through e-mail, and eventually market his products or services to you over a large time span.
Or if the website is investing heavily in paid traffic, they can try to liquidate the money they invest into getting people to the opt-in page by offering a deal right after they opted in.
Let’s go back to the drawing board and take a look at how our basic funnel looks like now:
Let’s say we’re offering an ebook on how to lose weight just by juicing on our opt-in page. Visitors fill in their e-mail address and they move to the next page of the funnel.
Instead of saying “Hey, thanks for signing up…..”, we’re moving them to a page where we already try to close a first sale. Because we know that they are trying to lose weight, we can offer another additional products or service that will get them result faster or with less effort.
If they buy the product, we move them towards an upsell page, if they don’t buy the product we move them to a downsell page.
After the upsell/downsell, they arrive on the thank you page.
If you are able to make offers people can’t refuse, you’ll be able to get a lot of opt-ins, and a part of those opt-ins will already buy in this initial stage.
So using this funnel we are able to
- Get people to leave their e-mail address (so we can market to them in the future)
- Get people to already buy one of our products or services, liquidating the amount of money we initially invested in ads
But we can take it another step further…
Because we have the e-mails of the people who opted in, we can segment them between the people who bought and the people who didn’t buy.
In the scheme above we start sending the people who didn’t buy an e-mail sequence that will eventually move them back to the offer we showed them in the first place.
Of these people, another x% will buy the initial offer, but only if you are able to provide them value with what you tell them in your e-mails.
This is just a basic example of an opt-in funnel though… you can get very creative with them, and there are hundreds of variations you can come up with.
And don’t forget, you’re now building an audience of people you can market your other products or services to… next time you launch a product the only thing you need to do is craft a sales funnel and send out an e-mail to your list.
Let’s take a look at an example of how uber funnel looks like, and let’s take one of funnel guru Russel Brunson himself… The offer here is a webinar script… Let’s look at the funnel steps:
*hint: if you don’t know who Russel is, I recommend you checking out his book Dotcom Secrets. You’ll only pay shipping to get this shipped to your doorstep.
So This Is Totally Revolutionary, Right?
No, this isn’t a new idea, but it is finding new life in the world of online marketing.
While not always thought of as being necessary, today creating funnels isn’t really optional anymore of you want your company to stay competitive.
If your company isn’t using a purpose-built funnel, you are almost certainly losing out on business.
The idea of a sales funnel dates back more than 100 years, but they are just starting to gain serious traction online. The new form they have taken recently is truly unique, and they are creating value for some of the most successful companies on the planet!
Especially with the advent of mobile technology, sales funnels are going to make a big difference in your bottom line. In addition to getting your website a higher conversion rate, funnels offer you a level of analytics that simply aren’t possible otherwise.
The idea of a funnel is simple enough, and implementing them is easier today than ever before.
How A Funnel Creates Value
Every funnel system is going to be different, but the ultimate goal will always be the same.
Your funnels are there to lead potential clients into a conversion of some kind. This process can happen in a number of ways, and there are also multiple options to create funnels for different services your company offers.
At their core, today’s funnels are very similar to traditional funnels in some areas. They are made to bring potential clients further into your funnel system, and drive revenue higher. A well designed funnel will have different levels of conversions, and can be thought of as having two distinct parts.
The marketing level will offer potential clients something free in exchange for their information, or their participation in one of your marketing programs.
This works by giving away something of value from your company, like an ebook or a discount, in exchange for the ability to continue marketing to them on a direct basis (converting them to “owned traffic” for those of you who like nomenclature).
The sales section of your funnel is all about closing the deal, and getting a potential customer to covert to a sale. The idea of a funnel is used because as potential clients get closer to the sale at the end of the funnel, there will be less and less people at every step.
Why Every Company Needs A Funnel
The simple fact is that a well made funnel will generate a higher conversion rate, and easily pay for itself many times over. People are far more likely to respond favourably to simple landing pages that direct them straight to your goal, than by using complex layouts on your homepage.
Sales Funnels also allow your company to create specific funnels for different products or services, and give potential customers relevant information that will be useful to them.
A well made funnel isn’t just about marketing, it is about helping potential clients find what they need in an ever expanding online marketplace.
What Makes A Good Funnel?
While websites have become very complex, good sales funnel landing pages are simple as can be. Your goal should be to create a great looking page that gives a potential customer a good feeling about your brand and offer.
A landing page should use interesting graphics, and large text that is easy to understand. It is important to keep in mind that many potential clients are going to be viewing your slick new landing page with a smartphone, so make sure all the buttons and text fields are optimised for mobile.
SEO plays a role with a classy landing page, so optimize it for a quick download. There shouldn’t be any extraneous steps in your funnel, and every page should either offer the ability to convert to something, or solid information that is useful to a potential client.
The Money Thing
Online advertising is getting more expensive all the time, so it makes sense to find ways to move potential clients away from your paid traffic group, and get them into your owned traffic.
It is much cheaper to market to people once they have opted-in to your email list or other form of owned marketing program, and this is where a well designed sales funnel shines.
The vast majority of companies has moved over to using sales funnels that take advantage of landing pages to isolate their potential customers and get them into their owned traffic.
The predictable stream of leads is reason enough to start using a sales funnel, but the potential pump to your margins by moving customers up the value ladder makes using sales funnels a slam dunk.
Really, I Mean Everyone Needs A Funnel
At this point if your company isn’t using a funnel to drive leads and create owned traffic, it is at a disadvantage.
Many smaller companies and local businesses have avoided moving over to a funnel to drive new revenue, but now there really is no excuse to put it off any longer.
For most businesses all this means is setting up a few classy landing pages, and creating some incentives for potential clients to give up their contact into.
Think about what your clients would love, and give them something that will make them glad to jump into your sales funnel.
From there, all you have to do is figure out what closes the deal!