The Basic Elements of a Sales Funnel – Demystified
Sales funnels. Maybe you understand the concept and even the importance, yet they still seem somewhat vague as a practicality. Too often, we allow jargon to put us off learning simple practices that would make a huge difference to our business. Let’s take a look at the framework for a sales funnel and how you can adapt it to create your own.
This is the honey trap: the bait that your reader will gladly trade their email address for and it may be the most difficult thing to create.
A free info product was once the way to go, but readers have become overwhelmed by the amount of info products out there, and more than a little apprehensive about giving their email addresses in exchange for yet another same-as-every-other-eBook they’ll never get around to reading.
Lead magnets need to deliver tremendous value and the most successful ones now come in the form of software applications such as Excel worksheets, or resource guides.
The Loss Leader
This is the product you sell for less than its worth. Amazon is a great example of a business that thrived on the use of a loss leader when it rolled out the Kindle e-reader. The company manufactured and sold its Kindle devices at a loss, but knew that they’d make the money back when their customers bought eBooks to read on those devices.
Follow up Content
This is content designed to establish rapport, entertain, educate and influence your reader to continue their buyer’s journey with you. Typically it will focus on how your high end products solve a problem for the end user.
The High End Product
This is your Rolls Royce product – the ultimate sale your funnel is designed to deliver.
Make it easy for your site visitors to spend money with you. The up-sell does so because your customer has overcome their own buying objections and spent money with you. Now is the time to allow them to spend more.
The down-sell, conversely, allows the customer who still has objections to buying a lesser priced product or receive a special offer to allow them to buy the main product at a cheaper price. The buyer gets some feeling of satisfaction at having been able to buy one of your products and not go away empty handed, having come this far on the journey.
Each part of your sales funnel must reward your site visitor for the investment of time they have made in arriving at that point.
Sales Funnel Metrics
There are a number of different options available to track the efficiency of your sales funnel, and the range of pricing for those options is broad. However, regardless of the tool you use to analyze your metrics, it’s important to understand what you are looking at (how to understand what’s working and what’s not in your funnel).
Monitoring the shape of your funnel is an essential part of your marketing campaign so that the top is broad enough to catch the attention of the majority of potential customers, and at its narrower end, encourages the least attractive customers to fall off.
At each stage in between, there should be a significant event that encourages potential customers to stay or leave. Here are 5 aspects of your sales funnel that should be monitored for effectiveness:
1. Your traffic sources.
Traffic alone isn’t a suitable metric to analyze. How that traffic behaves on your site is the telling factor. Does it engage with your content? What are your bounce rates and more importantly, are they typical of your industry? Do those who remain on your site continue to the next part of the funnel (as you have defined it)? What percentage of traffic do you realistically plan to convert?
Ignore comments, likes, and shares. They are great metrics for social media marketing, but in terms of your sales funnel they give no concrete data concerning your sales funnel. What content encourages engagement in terms of newsletter subscriptions? Not all content should sell, but what isn’t created with that aim in mind should be created with the aim of encouraging subscriptions.
3. Your CTA performance.
Split test (you’re going to get sick of hearing this, but split testing is vital to your business survival). Your landing page’s Call to Action should be the best one possible. Audit your CTA on a continual basis and maintain the highest performing one. Conversion metrics will shape much of your funnel.
4. Click Through Rates (CTRs)
CTR in your email marketing can help you evaluate what interests your customers. Always segment your list rather than risk split testing different content on the same segment of subscribers. That is the fastest way to lose subscribers. Email marketing metrics are a more direct way of measuring your engagement than blog content, so take them seriously.
5. Funnel Velocity.
Understanding how fast your whole funnel operates to bring a completely new visitor through the process and to turn them into sales. Excessively slow movement through your sales funnel results in an unacceptable amount of drop off in sales.
Remember to check back soon for Issue 2 on this topic.