A sales funnel is a very important concept in internet marketing.
A good sales funnel can automate your marketing and ensure that you make money on autopilot.
The conversion of your sales funnel is crucial if you want to scale your online business to earn more and more money.
WHAT IS A SALES FUNNEL?
A sales funnel is a process in which visitors to your website enter a virtual funnel in which they are gradually convinced to buy a product.
It is the process in which the visitors are taken to eventually become a customer of yours.
This happens in several steps as several things have to happen between the moment a visitor discovers your website and the moment he actually purchases a product.
The vast majority of your visitors will not be inclined to buy from you the first time they discover your website.
There is a process in which they gradually come to trust you more and more to the point that they are willing to pay money for a solution you offer them to a problem.
This takes some time.
Your leads have to go through several stages before they start spending their money on your products.
A good sales funnel follows this psychology of buying.
Good internet marketers know that there has to be a psychological process before visitors to your website pull out their credit card to buy a product from you.
HOW DOES A SALES FUNNEL WORK?
Let’s take a look at the image below to better understand how sales funnels work and how you can apply them in your own online business:
PHASE 1: ATTRACTING ATTENTION
The first step of the sales funnel is to get your website in the spotlight.
This is shown in the figure above by the magnet on the left that attracts visitors to your website. This is also called leads in English.
These leads can be attracted in all kinds of ways: blogging , social media , paid advertising , search engine optimization , …
The first step is for them to get to know you and show an initial interest in your content by subscribing to your mailing list.
The way visitors reach your website has some influence on the effectiveness of your sales funnel.
Depending on whether they came to your website via Google or via an advertisement such as Facebook Ads , your visitors will view your sales funnel differently and this will affect the number of registrations on your email list.
If a visitor finds your website through a Google search, this gives you a degree of authority as Google values your website and makes it appear high in the rankings.
As a result, visitors to your website will be more likely to subscribe to your mailing list because they infer from the fact that your website appears high in Google that what you have to offer will be relevant and valuable.
Search engine optimization (SEO) therefore has a positive effect not only on the number of visitors that end up on your website, but also on the percentage of those visitors who subscribe to your mailing list .
PHASE 2: AROUSING INTEREST
However you got your leads on your mailing list, the goal of your sales funnel is to guide them through the different stages so that they buy a product from you.
After they get to know you, you need to increase their interest. You have to build a relationship of trust .
You may have enticed them with an enticing, free offer (a lead magnet) to sign up for your mailing list, but getting them further down the sales funnel so they buy your products is even more challenging. .
Remember that people are smart. They won’t just buy something from anyone unless they have the confidence that it’s worth spending their money on.
That’s why your sales funnel needs to build trust in several ways.
You need to build a strong bond with your potential customer and you do that by delivering valuable content through your email sequence on a consistent basis.
The purpose of your sales funnel and your online business is to solve a problem for your customer.
Through your email sequence you have to make him feel that he is understood by you because you felt that way too until you discovered something that completely solved the problem for you.
You need to gradually transfer this story into your email sequence.
For example, the first few days after someone subscribes to your mailing list, you send them a daily email. After that, the frequency goes down a bit and you send new emails with a break for a few days.
You should also train the readers of your emails to click on your links. You can do this by including links to related blog articles in your emails.
Likewise, they will be more likely to click on your link if you promote a product that will help them solve their problem.
PHASE 3: MAKING A DECISION
The third step of the sales funnel is to convince your potential customers to make a decision.
This is not an easy step. How do you handle this?
You must offer them a valuable product in a way that somehow applies the six principles from Robert Cialdini’s book Influence – The Six Secrets of Persuasion :
- Principle of Reciprocity:Your leads will be more likely to pay money for one of your products if you have already delivered a lot of valuable content through the free ebook they received when they signed up for your mailing list and through the emails they receive from them afterwards received you.
- Principle of commitment and consistency:When people have already agreed to something, they are much more likely to buy from you.
This is a powerful selling principle. If you pay attention, you will find that the best marketers apply this by making you agree to something small in the beginning, such as sending a book for free or by asking if you agree with a statement they make.
- Principle of Sympathy:When people find you likable (ie they can identify with your stories), they are more likely to buy something from you.
How well you communicate your stories to your potential customers will play a huge role in their decision whether or not to buy your product.
- Principle of authority:how much authority do your production or services have? Are there any respected people in your community who have recommended it?
- Principle of social proof:are people enthusiastic about your products? Is there a lot of word of mouth advertising? Are people writing positive reviews about your products on social media and blogs? Do you have many success stories from other customers who have already used your products?
- Principle of scarcity:If you apply scarcity in your marketing correctly by, for example, limiting a discount price in time, it will encourage people to make a decision.
PHASE 4: TAKE ACTION
The last phase of the sales funnel is the action you want them to perform. In most cases this is the purchase of your product.
Now it comes down to optimizing your conversion.
If in the beginning of the 100 visitors that end up on your website, 10 subscribe to your mailing list, of which 2 eventually buy your product, then you have a conversion rate of 2%.
To further scale up your online business, you should focus on attracting more visitors or improving the conversion rate of your sales funnel.
HOW DO YOU CREATE A SALES FUNNEL?
What software do you need to build your own sales funnel?
Well, you need 3 things:
- Your own website
- Email marketing software
- A way for leads to subscribe to your mailing list
I absolutely recommend using WordPress to build your own website. Be sure to read my article on how to set up your own website with WordPress. If you know how to do it, it really isn’t that hard.
As email marketing software I use Aweber . With Aweber you can also build optin forms that you can place on your website so that visitors can subscribe to your mailing list.
I also use OptinMonster because it allows you to add optins to your website in even more ways.
Be sure to let us know in the comments below this article if you have any questions about using one of these tools to set up your own sales funnel.
There is so much information about making money on the internet. I can understand that sometimes you get overwhelmed and don’t know where to start.
I often felt that way in the beginning too. I read everywhere that it was easy to make money on the internet in no time, but every time the necessary steps and strategies were different.
I became more confused going through all that information than actually taking any steps forward.
Until I really took the time to understand what the common steps are that always come back.
Ultimately, you can reduce setting up any online business to 5 steps that you have to go through.