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Don’t Make These 9 Costly Sales Funnel Mistakes

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Funnels are powerful models and tools for any digital marketing strategy. In addition to tracking the client journey, they focus a business's efforts–from first contact to purchase–on adding value and producing conversions.

Design the stages of your funnels with conversions in mind. That includes every bit of content you generate, each exchange with the customer or potential customer, and any marketing or sales endeavor.

Customer touchpoints are increasing. They now include apps, social media, mobile, e-commerce, websites, landing pages, reviews, and more. Multiple touchpoints have spurred significant changes in the ways organizations engage with leads. As a result, you must create a well-developed funnel.

​Funnels are dynamic and ever-changing. What works now won't necessarily work next year. No one funnel is perfect, but there are some common mistakes you can avoid to improve yours and increase your bottom line.

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A Well-Built Funnel

A sales funnel model depicts the customer journey to an ideal purchase. Much like the whirlpool that appears in a sink of draining water, the top is wide and open, containing a vast amount of water. These are your potential customers or leads. As the funnel narrows, you better qualify all possible leads and ensure you two are a good fit.

​Gaps in the funnel can prevent a business from capturing the right kind and amount of leads. Avoid the following nine mistakes to keep your funnel working well:

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1. Poorly Defined or Segmented Target Audience

You must know who you’re trying to reach before you call them out. Many businesses cast their net too wide and try to entice everyone. However, this wastes time and resources. It's best to focus on a specific group of people and design your funnel around their wants and needs.

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2. Weak Landing Pages

Create pages that lead the customer to your desired outcome–your website’s homepage doesn’t. There’s too much for them to do on a traditional home page. They could easily end up distracted or frustrated and leave the funnel.

​Want them to subscribe to your newsletter or loyalty program? Dedicate a landing page for that action with a few details they need to determine if it’s right for them. Want them to make a purchase? You got it–dedicate a landing page for it.

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3. Disregarding Mobile Use

With smartphones in most people's hands these days, your audience is likely viewing your funnel via their mobile device. You'll best serve your customers with a mobile-friendly funnel. Your pages must be responsive–auto-fitting to their screen size. And your upload time must be short.

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4. Mediocre Content

Once you've defined your target audience, reward them with the creative content they crave. It should be compelling, valuable, informative, and interesting. Bonus points if you can make it interactive using quizzes, surveys, polls, and calculators.

Many businesses mistakenly make content an afterthought, and the quality suffers. However, poor content quality can halt your funnel. A robust funnel builder will help you create attention-grabbing content without learning how to code.

​Your content serves multiple purposes. First, it boosts engagement with your brand. Secondly, it’s a source of data about your audience. It can improve your marketing efforts as it helps you segment and target potential customers.

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5. No Incentives

To drive your audience through your sales funnel at a decent pace, you must present them with irresistible offers, like a free ebook, trial period, discount, or anything to prompt their conversion.

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6. A Friction-Filled Conversion

Make conversions as frictionless as possible. Customers will exit your funnel if your sign-up or checkout process is too involved, confusing, or looks or feels untrustworthy.

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7. Neglecting Lead Follow-Ups

You want customer loyalty–someone who buys from you without you having to advertise to them. An email subscriber or someone who made their first purchase isn't a loyal, lifetime customer…yet.

​You must build a relationship with them. Maintain contact with your leads and nurture the relationship after they convert. Here are a few ideas:

  • Send them valuable emails
  • ​Provide exclusive and fleeting deals
  • ​Update them about new products on the horizon
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8. Ignoring Data-Backed Results

Track a metric that closely aligns with your goal. Moving along with your current processes without continuing to track your progress is like closing your eyes while driving a vehicle and wondering why you crashed.

​Many funnel builders include built-in analytics. Use those features. Set up at least one other form of tracking, like Google Analytics, for more in-depth insights on how an audience engages with your funnel.

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9. Skipping Tests and Improvements

Too often, businesses want to either "set it and forget it" or split test too many variables at once to determine what factor was the biggest needle mover. A/B (split) testing elements in your sales funnel is critical. A/B testing allows you to experiment with different variations of your funnel to see which version outperforms the other.

​Testing enables you to improve your funnel for optimal conversion rates continuously, so don't skip it. You will only know if you could experience better results through split testing.

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Optimizing Your Funnel

A perfect sales funnel doesn't exist. Yours will need testing and updating to change with your audience and trends. However, you can avoid these common mistakes and adjust to create a more lucrative funnel.

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