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How to create a sales funnel in 5 steps [mini guide]

Let’s create a sales funnel together

It’s the best to learn on a particular example, so in this entry we will create a sales funnel in few easy steps. You’ll find out that in order to make money this way, you don’t have to have a team of specialists. In practice, we can either make a complex funnel, or a simple one.

In our case, we’ll focus on getting the best possible sales effects, using solutions you may apply by yourself. We’ll use the traditional sales funnel model.

Our company:

John Doe – eBay sales specialist (personal brand)

The offer:

How to open an eBay store in 2020 – an e-book guide – free

What to sell on eBay? The best examples – an e-book guide – $29.00

The best ideas for profitable eBay store – an e-book guide – $49.00

How to look for profitable products for your own business – a video curse – $199.00

As you can see, those are digital products, which makes distribution easier. It can all be prepared by one person, someone who is a specialist in online sales through eBay. Other interesting topics which can be used to prepare a fully digital offer:

  • advertising on FB and/or Instagram,

  • selling online on Amazon,

  • graphics

Step 1. Get to know your client

Who do you want to sell your products to? Everybody? Such target group doesn’t exist. You need to find out, who is your potential client. Next, establish, what problems they have and what are their interests.

Our audience is a group of entrepreneurs who make money online.

Potential problems: lack of technical knowledge, lack of market knowledge, low income.

Interests: e-commerce, sales, eBay, Aliexpress, etc.

Step 2. Draw attention

At this point, we encounter our first expenses. If you want to generate a significant traffic to your landing page, you need to invest in paid ads. Just ignore organic traffic, as we don’t have time for that. However, as your brand continues to grow, you should have accounts on social media.

If you run a blog, where you tell people about your passion, use that. Create a sales funnel with products, which correspond with it. Use all your capital to attract potential clients.

I our case, we will focus on Facebook ads. The product we offer is “How to open an eBay store in 2020.” In the beginning, we need to prepare two or three creations, where we can show our product in various ways. Creativity and clear form are the most important factors.

In the ad manager, we will choose target group with following interests: dropshipping, eBay, e-commerce. The aim of this campaign is to generate traffic.

Step 3. Create a landing page

You need to prepare several destined pages, so the Facebook campaign would have a purpose:

  • a page, where your potential clients can download the free guide (lead generator)

  • a sales/thank you page of the guide “What to sell on eBay? The best examples”

  • a sales/thank you page of “The best ideas for profitable eBay store”

  • a sales page of the course “The best ideas for profitable eBay store”

Step 4. Prepare mailing

If you have a lead page, you need to create a client database and the whole system of mailing. And you need to choose an external software. The best choice, that combines good price and quality, is NetSendo.

As we focus on maximisation of revenue in our actions, we won’t be creating a campaign focusing on providing valuable content. We concentrate on our particular offer. What’s crucial is to prepare three subscriber lists for the people who:

  • downloaded a free b-book

  • bought a guide for $29.00

  • bought a guide for $49.90

Every list needs to have a message queue assigned to it. Let’s say the messages will be sent on the third, fifth, seventh, and fourteenth day. On the first day, there will be a system generated message with a link to download the product and a thank you page.

So you need to prepare 12 messages to the message queue and 4 system messages, after the subscriber gets on the list. Below you can find a layout of the campaign:

Step 5. Stay in touch

Our sales funnel theoretically ends as the subscriber purchases a video course. In practice, it should never end. However, when you work in a specific field, your expertise is limited. If you create more funnels with new products, you will probably work on similar topic.

Instead of generating all the traffic once again, you need to use contacts, that you collected until this point. Contact database is totally independent, and the only person who can control it, is you – it’s the whole magic behind sales funnels. When you start to build a new funnel with an existing client database, it can bring you even better effects. The costs of generating traffic will be slightly lower.

Therefore, it is your responsibility to stay in touch with your subscribers after they bought the last product. You can do it through valuable content. You can drop the newsletter model and create a long queue that could be updated with new content. In effect, they will be available in full for the new people who decide to join to client contact database. When it comes to newsletter, content which was sent before doesn’t matter.

You can even go a step further and stay in touch with all the people who fell into the funnel, no matter if they bought a product or just downloaded the lead magnet. The choice is yours. What’s important is to never leave the clients unattended. You can’t let them forget you and your business.

Go to the entry to find out more: Types of sales funnels >>

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Sales funnel – what it consists of?

Every sales funnel is different

Depending on a model, funnels may differ dramatically from each other. The amount of options you have is so huge that it becomes a major challenge to organize them. Some specialists claim that sales funnel gives you all the possibilities online marketing can offer. Let’s see what funnels consist of.

Social media accounts -beginning of sale funnels

Sales funnel usually begins on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram. It is hard to show valuable content there, but they can help you to build a brand reputation. Thanks to extensive possibilities of paid advertising they are, for the most part, responsible for generating traffic.

Google positioning

What people type into Google search bar is nothing else than questions. We can find answers for them on various websites. The more valuable the answer is the higher it appears in the search results. Then, the page can generate higher traffic. Therefore, all actions connected to positioning or Google Ads campaigns can be a perfect beginning of a sales funnel.

Affiliation

It is yet another element that could generate traffic for a sales funnel. Create your own partner program, where the members can recommend the brand in exchange for commission. Affiliate marketing is also a great as a way of generating leads.

Company blog

Blog is one of the best places for publishing valuable content. That makes it good not only for generating traffic, but also for warming it up. In order for the blog to do both, it should be filled with valuable content and function at least for a couple of months, so it is well positioned. If you don’t have that much time, just use the blog to heat the traffic up. Materials worth publishing on the blog:

  • Extensive educational articles

  • Guides

  • Case studies

Video Channel

Video materials are one of the most attractive forms of content, so it’s worth to use them. In sales funnels, video channel can function similarly to blog: it generates traffic and spark people’s interest in the brand. The example of valuable content, which can be put on video channel is a webinar or a course.

Landing page

Without a landing page, there wouldn’t be any sales funnel. It is a destined page, where you direct your clients with your marketing actions. Under this broad umbrella term, there are various types of pages, which provoke the client to take a particular action. They may differ from each other. For example, they can generate leads, or sell. Landing page may also be a particular page on your blog.

It is focused on one specific purpose. There should be no distractions, as they would decrease your conversion rate significantly. What does distraction mean? It can be any element that could divert a potential client’s attention from the action you want them to take.

But why would you direct your client to a landing page instead of company’s website? Because companies usually offer a broad range of products or services. Their websites are confusing and it’s easy to get lost on them.

A good example of such website is a platform of digital cable television company, which offers many different plans: family, sport, premium etc. If this company decides to do a marketing campaign, and direct the traffic to a generalcompany website, many clients will get lost while looking for the desired program. The number of finalized transactions would be really small, comparing to the amount of people who visit the website.

External destined websites can really help you. In this case the company can create as many ad campaigns as they have products in they offer. Every campaign has a dedicated page, which has all the information about a particular product. People, who click on the advertisement know exactly what to expect on the website, as they want to see the offer that interest them the most. Conversion rates are slightly better.

Lead page/Lead magnet

Lead page is a place, where your potential clients leave their contact information. Whereas lead magnet is a reason, why they want to share these information with you. In theory, it’s free, but actually it’s something the client receives in exchange for the possibility of contacting them in the future.

It’s a key element of every sales funnel, as it gives you the opportunity to build a closer relationship with the client. It could turn out to be beneficial to sales effects.

Obviously, the more substantial the lead magnet is the higher chance you have to collect leads. On the other hand, it shouldn’t be it’s only purpose. Lead magnet should also encourage the recipient to engage more with a brand and maybe to actually purchase something.

In order to achieve that effect, you can use a lot of engaging forms of lead magnet. The most popular ones are educational materials or discounts. But you don’t have to limit yourself to standard solutions. When you approach this task with an open mind, you have a higher chance to spark your client’s interest. Lead magnets which have the highest conversion rates are:

  • video courses,

  • ready-made templates/formulas,

  • demo versions (trials),

  • quizzes,

  • case studies,

  • coupons and promo codes.

Mailing

If the lead magnet works, you will obtain emails from your potential customers. The next step in your funnel is mailing, which means all the operations connected with gathering emails and running mailing campaigns. Since the moment you got the lead, this channel of communication has to be constantly used.

The biggest perk of email marketing is the opportunity to build a close, direct relationship with a customer. This effect can even be multiplied by customization of messages. Use the name of the addressee and their pronouns as often as you can. It will be easy to do in NetSendo.

Depending on funnel construction, mailing can be either more or less “aggressive” with sales offers. If your funnel is focused on providing content, mailing should function as a newsletter, where sales offers are rare or non existent. This way it’s easier to direct the traffic to the content that would encourage potential clients to take further steps.

However, if your funnel doesn’t form a long and extensive track, you can focus on presenting your offer in a mailing campaign. NetSendo offers you the feature, called message queue, and it would be the best for this purpose. This way you can create a series of offer emails, which will encourage to make a purchase by increasing the pressure. Standard message queue contains 4-5 emails, which should be sent in the right order and time intervals. It is recommended to send messages on first, third, fifth, seventh, and fourteenth day since joining.

Remarketing

Remarketing is a relatively new thing for a lot of e-commerce businesses. However, without this, it’s hard to build a successful sales funnel. In order to understand how it works, you have to answer the question: how many people decides to use the offer immediately after they first encounter it? It’s a very small number. They usually need time to make a decision about finalizing the transaction. That’s why remarketing is such an important part of funnels. It’s main purpose is to create opportunities for the clients to see the offer again and get familiar with a brand.

Remarketing is a type of advertisement, but it’s directed to the group, which take a certain action. Usually, it’s a visit on the company’s website. Based on this, you create a campaign, which appears on websites. It is the biggest advantage of remarketing. It appears, where you can find potential clients. This way, you can build the connection with your client without evoking negative emotions.

Sales page

Sugarcoating the offer

Sales page is nothing else then a site, where the client can finish the transaction. It is usually placed at the end of a sales funnel, however, it is not the end part. There could be a few of them in one funnel. It all depends on your offer and sales model. If you have a couple of products, you can put them in the message queue from the cheapest to the most expensive one, so the client could be guided through a range of sales offers.

In order for the site to function properly, it should meet specific criteria. Above all, it has to be clear and concise. The person who visits such site, has probably analyzed their decisions and doesn’t need a lot of information. If you want to recommend your product again, you should focus on aspects you didn’t mention before. In marketing, this term is called sugarcoating. It means that in the last step of the funnel, the client receives the information, which not only increases their motivation to close the transaction, but also leaves a mark on their consciousness. A great example of sugarcoating is buying a book with an author’s signature. The buyer finds out about the autograph from a sales offer page. This makes shopping even more satisfying. It also increases the chances that this person will buy something in the future.

Call to action

Excessive information about the product on the sales page can bring the opposite results to what you want to achieve. It’s all because of distraction. The purpose of a sales page is to guide the customer to a checkout and not to make them analyze the product, as they have already done that. The person who enters a sales page has probably made their decision or they are really close. So, you can highlight the benefits of purchasing, but don’t convince a person who is already convinced.

Another very important element of a sales page is CTA (call to action). When it comes to a sales page, CTA would be to proceed to checkout. In order to increase your chances to succeed, you need to put a couple of CTA buttons on the site. The absolute minimum is 2-3 spots that could take the client to payment gate. This could be explained by the client’s attitude. They don’t need a huge number of information, as they are already convinced. So one CTA should be on the top of the page, another one in the middle, and the last one at the very bottom.

 

Go to the entry to find out more: Types of sales funnels >>

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Types of sales funnels

Every sales funnel is different

Sales funnels can have various construction. In fact, we can say that there are no two identical funnels. Every offer and target group is different, and requires a different set of tools. However, we can assume that there are two types of funnels: classic and modern. Let’s take a closer look into them.

Classic sales funnel

The most popular sales funnel in Poland. The important element of this kind of funnel is valuable content, but obtaining contact details of your potential customers is far more important. In this model, shopping path is relatively short, and connection between the client and the salesman is really shallow.

Modern sales funnel

The most important element of this funnel is content. This is the thing the client sees, when they encounter a brand. It all starts with content. In effect, the whole path becomes longer and the transaction happens much later. The important part is remarketing.

Classic or modern?

Most e-commerce companies use the funnel in the classic version. This way they can count on relatively quick effects in the form of leads and possibly finished transactions. There is a common belief that even if one does not close the transaction at first attempt, they can push the recipient through mailing. Unfortunately, this concept becomes outdated, as people check their inboxes less and less frequently. In effect, email queue can turn out ineffective.

Using a model based on valuable content is a better idea. Generating leads happens after the client encounters your content. The contact, however, is superficial. Best case scenario – they read several posts or see a video. This way you can evoke positive emotions, before they even give you their email address. The result is the process of generating leads becomes much more effective.

Power of content

The biggest challenge in the modern type of funnel is preparing the right type of content. Right, means the type of content that sparks interest and solidifies the brand’s image in the mind of your potential client. The second factor is more important. Without it, all your effort can go to waste. Your content should help the client to understand, what your company does and how the product could benefit them. Of course, you can’t do that by pointing them to the pricing page. At this stage, it is only about establishing your company as competent and specializing in a certain field. It’s enough.

If your potential clients have such opinion on your brand, they would go back to you even if they are disconnected from your content. If they feel the need to, of course. The most important thing is that during this comeback, you don’t want them to be confused and to wander around. They should come directly to you. This is the good time to collect their email address. Of course, some people won’t come back to you. Don’t worry about them for now.

Generating leads on cold traffic

If the content was really valuable, and all the elements worked as they were supposed to, you can relax. The readers, who disappeared completely, probably wouldn’t become your clients anyway. You can notice it in classic funnels, where leads are generated on cold traffic. At this stage, there is no positive connection. In effect, when you send emails to them, they usually remain unopened. Such lead is useless and it’s not worth to waste time on it.

Of course, there are methods, which allow optimization of actions connected with cold traffic leads. One of them is systematically deleting inactive subscribers. Give them one or two chances to read your messages. Send them a reminder. If there is no reaction, you can give up on such contact. Another method is segmentation of your subscriber list. Remember that this group is not homogeneous. So it is recommended to divide it into subgroups, consisting of people, who have something in common. This way you can send customized messages to each group, to evoke positive emotions.

Remarketing as an alternative

The real problem in generating leads is different. It doesn’t matter if they were obtained from a cold traffic or a hot traffic. The fact is that people check their inbox less and less frequently, and this trend will be more and more prominent in the future. Communicators and storage platforms make things even worse. However, universality is a huge strength of emails and there is no doubt about it. If you want your sales funnel to work efficiently, you need to put the content, where it can be noticed.

Remarketing is an integral element of both classic and modern funnel. This way, despite low email opening rate, your audience has a constant contact with your brand. Remember, remarketing content should be diverse. This way you create numerous occasions for the potential customer to get interested in your offer again. The more engagement, the more focus on direct sales offer, when it comes to remarketing.

Summary

Every sales funnel model has to work efficiently in various conditions. In order to establish, which model would work the best for your business, you need to test different options. Divide your traffic generating budget into two sections and focus on generating leads and content. Change the proportions, depending on results. Remember that modern model offers gratification later than the classic one. Therefore, before you make a decision, take your time and observe the process.

Go to the entry to find out more: How to create a sales funnel in 5 steps [mini guide]>>

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What is sales funnel? Offline example

The sales funnel is not so black as it is painted

People often perceive funnels wrongly. They think it’s a very complicated system that requires all day and all night work. It’s a mistake. Sales funnel is a natural process that is compatible wit human psychology. Therefore, we usually don’t realize that we fell into the funnel. What’s more, it happens that we create them unconsciously.

In order to understand what funnels are, we need to follow the path of a person from the stage of having a problem, all the way through to the solution. Let’s take an example taken from life, shall we?

Toothache as a beginning of a sales funnel

Everyday, while commuting to work, you pass by the dental clinic with an aesthetically pleasing banner that promise fast and painless procedures. You don’t pay much attention to it. Few days later, you start to feel an alarming toothache. You try not to think about it, but you know that at some point you would have to go to the dentist.

Next time you drive to work, something catches your attention. It’s a clinic banner: it looks different. This time they offer a free teeth scaling for everybody. Hmmm… You think it’s a great opportunity to improve your dental health and also share your concerns about the toothache with a doctor.

After work, you schedule your first scaling appointment. During the procedure, you find out about several teeth problems, so you schedule more appointments.

When your teeth are done, the dentist encourages you to whiten your teeth. As the procedure is quite expensive, you ask for some more time to think about it. Unfortunately, after a few days you forget about the whole thing. However, two months later, you receive a text message from the clinic, informing about the discount for teeth whitening. It turns out that you can pay installments. It made the decision easier for you and you agree to get the procedure done.

Oops… you’ve just fell into a sales funnel

This whole situation is a classic example of sales funnel, but it’s offline. The clinic has created it and you fell for it. How do you feel about that? People, who realize that it works like that are often disappointed and feel manipulated.

So look into the mirror and see your white, healthy and shiny teeth. Think about it once again.

Did the clinic give you a reason to feel that you’ve been used? All your problems have been solved. The service has been performed at the highest standard. This was the first time in your life when you actually liked your doctor! At the end, thanks to an attractive offer, you had your teeth whitened, and you’ve always wanted to do that. That’s a success, no reasons to complain.

So how did it happen that you’ve chosen this particular clinic and spend a significant amount of money there?

What does it look like from the other side?

Let’s revert the situation. You’re the dentist. After long years of working in various clinics, you’ve finally opened your own and that was a dream come true for you. You put your whole heart and savings into that investment. You buy modern equipment and hire excellent specialists. This just has to work. Unfortunately, there is not a single client in the day of opening, to your surprise. The situation doesn’t improve dramatically in the nest days, weeks…

Increasing frustration makes you look for unconventional solutions. You spend your last coins to change the banner. The cheesy one where you advertise painless procedures is replaced by an invitation for a free scaling. In the end, showing the quality of your services should be a priority.

Wow! You didn’t expect that. A lot of people started scheduling their appointments. You use that to inform them about all their teeth problems. They didn’t even have the chance to pay you, and yet they get something valuable. You add a high standard and voila! People start scheduling more and more appointments. Finally, business starts growing.

What now?

So you just roll with the punches. You realize that drilling and filling teeth is not enough to use the whole potential of your clinic. You include aesthetic procedures to your offer – teeth whitening for example. In order to perform this procedure, the teeth of a patient have to be fully healthy. So you recommend the offer to the people, who have already done all the necessary procedures. It doesn’t go as well as you expected. Some of your clients immediately decide to get their teeth whitened, but for the most part the offer is not very attractive for them.

So you analyze, what could go wrong? Until one day one of your patients asks if they can pay in installments. Eureka! It was all about the money. The procedure itself is not so expensive, however, including all of the previous visits, it could be a challenge for your clients’ wallets. So you change the strategy. Now you inform your clients not only that the end of treatment is a perfect time to perform whitening. You also tell them about the real cost of such procedure.

At the same time you decide to remind your clients about whitening via text message. Messages are being sent 2 months after patient’s last visit. You also include installments option. The effect? A lot of scheduled procedures.

What does sales funnel include?

As a clinic owner you’ve done a fantastic job. By acting according to the doctor’s practice and your own gut feeling, you’ve been building a sales funnel for your business. You subconsciously optimized your actions to increase the sales and maintained the high standard of your services. In effect you implemented all the elements of a good funnel into your business:

1. Awareness

2. Interest

3. Decision

4. Action

Let’s explain all of the above elements, using the example of a dental clinic.

Stage 1. Awareness

Your clients need to be aware that your brand exists and what you do. When it comes to dental clinic, the banner was a great idea. Other methods that may work in this case are flyers or an ad in the local newspaper. In the typical funnel, awareness can be built on social media (Facebook, Instagram).

Stage 2. Interest

When people are aware that your company exists, another step is to get them interested in your offer. It is easiest to do by offering free value, which can be used to solve problems of your potential clients. When it comes to our example clinic, the element that sparked interest was free scaling offer. This encouraged the customers to consider paying for other services.

It is an important element of the whole funnel – you receive contact information to your potential client. As it turns out, the free scaling procedure was not entirely free. Patients had to give the clinic their personal data and contact information. It was a true price.

This way you can build your own client contact database. It is created by your potential clients, so you can direct your sales offers to them, without them getting upset. That was exactly what a clinic owner did, when he wanted to inform his clients about a discount for teeth whitening. He used the fact that his clients gave him their telephone numbers. It could’ve even been an email address.

However, the clinic owner didn’t do one thing: he didn’t build his contact list before opening the clinic. It would have been so much easier to grow a business at it’s early stages, if he had collected his patients’ contact information, so he could inform them about a new clinic directly. Of course, there are certain legal limits. The patients have to give their consent in order to receive sales offers.

Stage 3. Decision

Decisive process is really complex. The closer your offer is to solve the client’s problem, the faster they make their decision. Two biggest obstacles on the way are the price and the lack of trust. Your task is to make those obstacles insignificant in comparison to benefits of your offer.

When it comes to the example of clinic, the task was relatively easy, as a doctor is trustworthy. Of course, it is not enough. It is not easy to argue with a doctor’s diagnosis, however, the patient can still choose from a variety of clinics.

A key element is to build a relationship with the client. Kind and professional service make patients feel safe and they trust their doctor. This kind of relationship make decision easy, even if the price is high.

Stage 4. Action

A key element of the whole funnel. If your client sees your product as a solution to their problem, they trust you, and the price is acceptable, they will make a purchase. Don’t treat this element as an end of your funnel. A good system should contain several sales offers. What’s important, the price should correspond with real needs of your client.

A good example is a teeth whitening offer in our clinic. The price of this procedure was much higher than the standard, so the chances of success grew with building a good relationship with the client and by making the payment process easier with installment option.

And yet, the dentist, who knows what they’re doing, could even add a step between a standard procedure and teeth whitening. For example sealing, which protects teeth from decay. Doing that procedure would help the patient to patiently wait until they can afford the whitening procedure.

The power of problem

The example of dental clinic was supposed to show that sales funnels are a part of our lives and everyone can experience this kind of story. After all, who doesn’t go to the dentist? Exactly.

Everyone has problems. Not only dental ones. While creating your own funnel online, you should focus on the problems your potential clients have. This way you can understand their motivation and you will be able to complete your range of products.

Go to the entry to find out more: Sales funnels – what it consists of>>