Do You Understand Sales Funnels?

I have done my best to teach several different social media platforms on my website, putting a strong emphasis on engaging with your customers.  We all know that we want folks to know like and trust us, but the bottom line is that we want our fans/followers to BUY from us.  That is going to involve a sales funnel.  Do you understand what a sales funnel is?  Do you use a sales funnel?

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What is a sales funnel?

An online sales funnel encompasses all the stages involved in going from attracting an audience to generating a sale. 

 

Unfortunately, that is the ideal world, and only a small number of your followers are going to buy. There are many sales funnel images; I would like to give you three out of the many that I found:

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Stages of the funnel

Attract or entice:  You bring people into your funnel with great content. It does not all have to be your content, and it should NOT be all about your business or products.

razor social

You are trying to get folks to sign up to your email list. For example, you create great blog content, inspirational quotes on pictures, or something that will encourage some type of engagement. You can create a great free opt-in offer or lead magnet.  More details on this are available on my email marketing class training.    As this stage, you’re trying to entice as many people as possible who are relevant.   Most people you attract will not be buyers – but some will

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Engage – Once you entice people into your funnel, you try to get them to take the next step and this is where you build engagement with them.  For example, they may sign up as an email subscriber and you can then build an engagement series with them to build trust, authority and relationships.

Another way of engaging them and moving them onto a faster track is seeing if they will buy a low-cost product to take that first step.  This is not your real money earner but it’s a way to find the real buyers!

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I chose to send emails with updates weekly that included links to articles I did not share on social media sites.  I also included information about classes I was giving; these were free classes with free handouts.  My next step included a survey to find out what platform my subscribers wanted me to do next.  I was totally shocked when Snapchat was one of the classes chosen.  I had my grandkids teach me the basics and then learned how to apply it to business.  The real key since I started was to build a relationship not only with my email subscribers, but on Social as well is to be seen as someone they know, trust and see as giving value in what I am offering.    Of course I want my Social Media fans/followers to subscribe to the email list.

Sell:  Of course the end of the day, we are all here to sell products and services.  We might try putting different coats on what we are doing to try and disguise it, but the bottom line is we want sales.  We found our core group of people and now it is time to sell to them.

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Support: Your existing buyers are people that can possibly bring you more sales by way of referrals.  Support and great customer service with those that have made a purchase is absolutely crucial step to ensure they give great reviews.

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What Do You Need to Create that Sales Funnel ?

Blog

You use the blog to write consistent high quality content, thus attracting people to the top of that sales funnel. You will be showing yourself as an expert.

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This is not where you want to sell. It is all about targeting your potential audience with content that is relevant to them.  Knowing who that potential customer is helps you as you create that content.

Optin Form-the next level

You encourage folks to give up their email with a “hook”  You can encourage them to buy a product, sign up for a free consultation, sign up for a webinar, etc.

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Here are a few examples of some of my opt-ins as well as other companies.

 

images sidebardomination-example-e1334753625568 sidebar-quicksprout

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What makes a good opt-in offer?

  • It really is something of value
  • The images show it is a product and people love getting something for free
  • You are clear as to what they are going to receive
  • The call to action tells them what will happen when they click the button
  • The value on the course and you get it for free

All too often a blog is full of pop- ups trying to get you to opt-in and give them your email. 

A pop-up can be set to show when a visitor has scrolled to a certain point on the page or even after they have spent a certain amount of time on the page or even after the person has spent a specified amount of time on the website.

My website is set for ¾ into the page, assuming that if a person has stuck with me that long they could be interested in what I have to say.

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There are also what are called exit pop-ups and when a person is about to leave your website, a popup appears.  I have noticed that most of the “exit pop-ups” have ridiculous yes and No answers.

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The yes being something like receiving a list of something to help you succeed and the no being something like “I would rather stay in the dark and let others succeed before me”   Personally I do not like these just because I may not choose to get more downloads I do not have time to read and do not like to feel as if I am unwise for not receiving them.

Having expressed my opinion, here are some reasons why this is a good choice

  • It is psychologically powerful.   Who wants to stay in the dark?
  • There are only two options and we all want the positive option
  • “Yes” is highlighted and stands out.

Email Sequences

When someone signs up to your opt-in, you want to thank them and you want to ensure that you are receiving what you offered.  If you are new or just starting, you may not want to pay approximately $20 a month for that service. There is a free version with not as many great and fancy options available through mail chimp and I do training on that and it is available here.   

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Typically, most marketers will send a series of emails that share your best content and show folks why they want to be around you as you are a definite authority in your niche. 

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Then you would lead up to a small sale with an up-sale as an unreal offer.  I am not going into detail on this, you have all seen them.

Payment Method

If you are selling product on your site, you will need a payment method.   This is an integral part of your sales funnel.   There are many options available:

  1. Stripe is a relatively new and easy to use system
  2. I like PayPal, mainly because I will not order on a site if it does not have PaPal.  They will take all of the credit cards and you do not have to have an account to use it.

Tracking and Analytics

You want to know what is working and what is not working. In order to do that efficiently, you will have to do some tracking of your results.

Most of the email services will offer you information as to percentage of opens and clicks.  (They will also tell you the industry averages)

You will most likely see about 2% conversion rate to start and you can use these facts and figures to increase your conversions.  If you are using pop-ups, you will most likely see higher conversion rates.

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Tools such as Google analytics will allow you to set up sales goals and actually track how many people  visit your page, where they originally came from and what they purchase.  That amount of information could be worth a small investment.

Summary

You create great content and you write a fantastic blog.  You want people to find you that really need your help and you want them to visit your website to see how much you can help them.

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Your turn:  What do you feel is the most important part of a sales funnel? Please comment below and let me know.

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