Sales Funnels Explained. Why are these so essential to any small business?

Sales Funnels Explained. Why are these so essential to any small business?

In the following post, I will break down exactly what a sales funnel is, and how you can most effectively use one to grow your client base by attracting and then converting prospective customers into clients. I will then take you through three key types of sales funnels that can be applied directly to your own business.

Sales Funnels explained:

Simply put, a sales funnel is just a series of pages in order. Each of these pages contains interesting and useful content that increases awareness of the product you are selling. They guide the reader through a predetermined process with the end goal being that they will purchase your service or product. The pages are designed to transform the reader into a lead or paying customer. This process could even begin within the content on your social media pages, eventually guiding visitors to your product. 

If you can create funnels that work in harmony with each other, with pages that engage your prospects, they will be sure to take action and become your clients!  

Creating an effective Sales Funnel

There are five key elements to a successful sales funnel. They are as follows: – Traffic, Email List, Relationship, Solving a Problem, and finally, the Sales Page.

1. Traffic 

Being able to drive traffic towards your sales funnel is of critical importance. If you can do this, you will inevitably have more success with each stage of your sales funnel. Traffic can be sourced from various platforms, in a number of (cost-free) ways. Authentic, quality content will naturally attract traffic to your pages, and this will be your most dependable traffic. To be successful in this area, you must be consistent in the creation of good content. Readers will come across your page when they are searching for the products and services you provide. They are a lot more likely to read on if they can clearly see what problems you are able to solve. 

2. Email List

In the first few stages of your sales funnel, you will encourage prospects to sign up to your email list using lead magnets. However, it is very important that your sales funnel is also used to engage your existing email list and convert prospects into leads and then into paying customers. 

3. Relationship/ Building trust 

Before you even attempt to sell anything, you must establish a trustworthy relationship with your audience. If your audience doesn’t trust you, they are unlikely to see the stages of your sales funnel through till the end. How can you do this?

  • Share high quality, authentic content on various platforms including your own website, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, blogs, and podcasts. (The list is endless, get creative!)
  • Use story-telling to demonstrate how you can help your readers with their individual problems. This will create a more personal relationship. 
  • Create sales pages that will show prospects exactly how you can help them and what the benefits of your services/product are. 

4. Solving a Problem

It’s extremely important that you show your audience that you can solve the problem that they’re experiencing, throughout the stages of the sales funnel. 

You must use the funnel to prove that you have the solution, and that you are determined to solve the problem. 

The final decision on whether or not to purchase your product will be based on whether a prospect believes that you can solve the issue they are experiencing. 

5. Sales Page

This is the final stage of the process- the page on which prospects can take action and purchase your product or service. 

Three Key Types of Sales Funnel

Now that we have gone through the key elements that make up the sales funnel, I will show you templates of three of the most useful types of sales funnel. They are Cold Traffic, Membership, and Offers. 

  1. Cold Traffic Sales Funnel

The cold traffic funnel is used to direct all traffic from various types of content into your sales funnel. This funnel is actually used to create a budget that can get reinvested straight back into the company in the form of marketing. It may go towards Facebook ads or into the improvement of your SEO. This funnel will also grow your email list while generating cash for marketing. 

Stage 1- Sourcing the Traffic

You can source traffic for this funnel from Blog Posts, Pinterest, YouTube, Instagram Stories, and Facebook. 

Stage 2- Landing Page

This is where the traffic will end up- it will be a simple opt-in page, offering visitors something free in exchange for their email. This page must contain a compelling headline and information emphasizing the benefits of your product. There must also be an image of your product and a call-to-action button. All of this should be kept above the fold so that it is easy to take in at a glance. 

Stage 3- Follow- up Sequence

After people have joined your email list, it is important to follow-up with them and build up a relationship. 

You can also create a One Time Offer (OTO) page that will appear after the opt-in page. 

Stage 4- One Time Offer

This page shows the first of your products that is for sale. You can create a special offer, displaying a large discount from the original price. Once the customer has filled in their credit card information, they are taken to another page where they are offered an upsell. Without having to re-enter their credit card info, they will be given the chance to purchase something more expensive, at a greater discount than the first product they were shown. This gives the customer more value for their money as they can see that they will be getting an extremely discounted price. 

  1. Membership Sales Funnel

This funnel can be used after a customer has made a purchase or been added to your email list. 

There are two different entrance points to this funnel:  an Opt-in List or Social Media Ads.

  1. Opt-in List- You can direct your email list over to a monthly access page. 
  2. Social Media Ads- You can re-target members of your email list as well as customers who have already bought something, by creating adverts that will take them to a monthly membership page. You can also target the group that clicked through to the checkout page, but never bought anything. This group can be re-targeted with ads that send them to a page offering them to opt in to a cheaper trial of the membership. They will be more likely to try out a cheap trial than sign up for the monthly membership, given that they didn’t sign up the first time they went down the funnel. 

Membership Program – Recurring Revenue

Creating an enticing membership for your product or service provides an opportunity for recurring revenue, and if you can do this, you’re onto a winner!  

So, what does a Monthly Access Page actually look like?

In the Monthly Access Stage, a prospect will choose to opt-in to a monthly membership program, or alternatively, they can be offered a cheap trial that allows them to try out the membership for a week. Not every prospect will get directed to both of these options. It depends on how they entered the funnel. 

However, both entrance points will lead prospects toward an annual membership upsell. 

The Annual Access Savings Stage gives customers the opportunity to save 50% by pre-paying for a year of access to the membership. When customers choose to sign up for the Monthly Access to the membership, they will be asked to fill out their credit card info. Before the payment is complete, they will be taken to a page where they are offered to sign up for the year at a greater saving. 

On this page, it’s important to emphasize how much money can be saved with the annual pass so that customers will seize the opportunity to do so. 

Of course, for all of this to work to its maximum effect, you must first come up with a good product or service that will make customers want to purchase a membership. 

3. Simple Offer Sales Funnel

This is the simplest of the funnels, but also the most significant. In contrast to the other funnels, this one is just a sales page, and doesn’t contain a series of stages leading up to it. 

This page can be reached by sending out a sales offer to your email list or posting a coupon code on social media. This can only be done in one stage when the awareness of the product/service already exists. 

This has proven to be one of the most successful funnels once the relationship of trust has been built with customers. 

The kind of traffic you can direct to these pages can be: members of your opt-in list, those who showed interest before, or those interested in similar products online.

Be sure to create compelling copywriting on this page to ensure the best results! 

Take your Sales Funnel to the next level with a One-Click Upsell: It is definitely worth considering the option to attach a one-click upsell to your final page (the offer/sales page). 

First of all, your Cold Traffic Funnel be used to target new potential customers from a range of different platforms and encourage them to sign up to your email list. It is important to note that this funnel will require some tweaking to get it working smoothly and effectively. Do not feel disheartened by the fact that it takes some time to get this dialled.

Next comes the Membership Program. This will also require some adjusting as you will need to create an attractive program at a price that your audience will be willing to pay. Once this is done, you will be receiving regular cash income, which will provide you with security and enable you to grow your business. 

The likelihood is that once a customer joins your email list through the initial Cold Traffic Funnel, they will want to get more involved, so the Membership Funnel is then used to encourage them to sign up.

Finally comes the Sales Page, in which products are released and sold to customers, usually via the email list. 

The funnels work together to target and re-target as necessary, thereby giving the most value to customers and increasing the chance of bringing in new customers who will benefit from the products and services you are providing. 

Adding a One-Click Upsell to your Sales Funnel

This feature can be attached to the sales page to give customers the opportunity to purchase something worth a greater value at a bigger discount. The appeal of a more significant discount will entice your audience to pay for a more expensive product which will also be of greater benefit to them. 

It is important to consistently provide value to your cold audience, leads, and customers, and the best way to figure out how you can do this is to get to know your audience as much as possible. 

Keeping your Sales Funnel Active & Profitable

By re-investing the money you make from your sales pages back into your website, ads and marketing campaigns, you will be sure to enhance and increase the success of your sales funnels, thus growing your audience. It is very important to remain focussed on your customers’ needs and how you can best help them. Not only do you want to attract new customers to sign up to your email list, but you want to make sure that your current customers are being looked after and are kept engaged.

But how do you keep your email list engaged?

By consistently offering free valuable content that displays what you can do to help them. 

If you can show your audience through this content that you can provide them better value and better results, they are more likely to opt in to the next sale you offer them. The more they trust you, the better your chances of increasing your sales.

Conclusion- What should you take away from this article?The most important things you can do with your sales funnels are: build a mailing list, keep that list engaged, and continually strive to offer your customers the greatest value. 

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