FUNNELS

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Funnels

About Funnels

Let’s face it — a website without paying customers is like building a store in the middle of the desert without a single road leading to it. That’s where ‘funnels’ come in… A funnel is like a “digital road” that moves your dream customers to your website and into your online store with their credit cards in hand!

The funnel is the secret to your online success. It’s the difference between the 1,929,999,999 websites that don’t make money, and the .000000002% that do!

Without a funnel, your website is nothing more than a ‘digital brochure’...sure, it might look fancy, but it’s a confusing buying process that doesn’t tell your visitor where to go, or what to do. So they leave, along with your chances of turning them into a lead or customer.

But WITH a funnel, you can send a targeted stream of people straight to your offers, so that the buying process EASY for them! Funnels are the KEY to getting more customers, and growing your business online!

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DOTCOM SECRETS

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Dotcom Secrets

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74 FUNNEL SWIPE FILE

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Sales Funnels and How to Optimize Them

Sales funnels are the future.

If you have a business and you’ve heard that said before, great—you’re researching and listening to the right sources. If you haven’t heard that before or don’t know what a sales funnel is, you’re missing out on massive opportunities for your business.

Even if you do know what a sales funnel is, you might not be creating them or utilizing them to their full potential with the right funnel building software. So, entrepreneurs everywhere: buckle up because it’s time to learn everything about marketing funnels and how they can level up your business in a big way.

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What Is a Sales Funnel?

Let’s start with the basics. Sales funnels are a way to convert brand-new prospects into repeat customers. It’s called a sales funnel because you’ll start with a large audience at the beginning stage. Each stage will weed out those who aren’t interested in your product and bring forward the most promising leads. By the end, you’ll have “funneled” your large audience into a smaller group of loyal, high-value customers.

Sales funnels may be the future, but they’re not exactly a brand-new concept. The idea of a sales funnel was born in 1898 when Elias St. Elmo Lewis, an ad agency executive, sought to develop the best method for converting customers.

Lewis divided his sales funnel into four basic stages:

Stage 1: Awareness

The first stage, awareness, usually comes through advertising. It’s where the potential customer becomes aware of your brand. This can happen through your ads, social media, or search engines.

Stage 2: Interest

Not everyone who becomes aware of your brand will be interested in your product or service, but those who are will move on to the next stage. This is where your audience becomes interested in your brand and how your product can benefit them.

Stage 3: Desire

The next stage of the funnel is where your audience develops a desire for your product. Usually, they do this because they’ve investigated your brand enough to feel that your product is worth the purchase cost.

Stage 4: Action

Here’s where your customers take action—they’ve seen your brand, decided they liked your product and trusted you, and decided to invest in your product.

Thousands of companies still use Lewis’s basic sales funnel today…but we’ve tweaked his model and developed something much more impactful.

Marketing Secrets’ Sales Funnel

The difference between our funnel and sales marketing and Lewis’s funnel is that the original version allows the customer to become distracted by shopping around.

There are a lot of parts involved in a funnel: the sales funnel takes them to a traditional website, which allows for a lot of navigation and interruptions. With multiple pages on your site and numerous products available, customers tend to become overwhelmed and leave the site without purchasing anything.

Additionally, a good portion of customers are lost right in the beginning when they see the price of your product. They don’t know or trust you, so why would they spend money on you? This model can be somewhat effective, but it’s not ideal.

Our model, on the other hand, is designed to keep customers laser-focused on purchasing your product or service. Not only that, but it also involves purchases at nearly every stage instead of just saving them for the end. This funnel marketing strategy keeps your customers engaged throughout the process and increases overall value.

Pre-Funnel: Traffic

Above your funnel is a cloud labeled “traffic.” This represents everyone who sees your ad or sales page. This will be your largest group—many people will see your marketing materials, but not everyone will enter your funnel.

Stage 1: Lead Magnet

This is the top of your funnel. People in this stage have clicked on your ad because what they saw interested them.

Your lead magnet draws in potential customers at this stage. This is anything that attracts your ideal customer to your brand, usually offered for free or highly discounted.

You might be wondering, “Why would I offer something for free? I’d be losing money!”

Well, yes, often you technically lose money at this stage. But stay with us because, with our funnel marketing strategy, you stand to see a lot more opportunity in the following stages. The point of this stage is to increase traffic and get leads.

In exchange for your lead magnet, you’ll ask your audience to enter their email address. This will add them to your digital marketing software’s list of subscribers so you can market to them personally.

Let’s say you run a home decor business. Something you could offer here would be a free guide to designing and decorating your home office since so many people are now working from home.

Stage 2: Front-End Offer

Here’s where we begin the upsells. The next stage of your funnel involves people who have entered their email addresses and received their free product.

To explain this easily, we’ll go back to the home decor business example. In this stage, a portion of your audience has signed up to receive their free home-office design guide and given you their email address. They’ve entered the stage where you can start to offer more.

Now that your customers have received their free guide, they’re sent to a landing page displaying your offer for something low-price and low-risk. “How about our beautiful and functional desk organizer?” you ask them.

It’s small. It’s not your highest-value offer. Maybe your product is discounted—maybe only for a limited time. The point is that customers have started to build trust in your brand now that they’ve received something free they’re more open to small purchases. After all, your guide sure makes it seem like you know what you’re talking about.

And with that, you’ve made a sale.

Stage 3: Middle Offer

This stage is the customers who have seen your ad, clicked on it, received your free guide, and purchased your first upsell. You’ve built trust in your brand, and this portion of your audience likes what they’ve received from you.

So, it’s time to make another offer! You’re going to recommend something of middle value. It’s not your highest-end product, but it’s worth more than your front-end offer.

“Now that you’ve gotten our free guide and discounted desk organizer, would you like to try our bookshelf?” Tell them the merits of your product. Again, you can discount it or explain if this product will only be available for a limited time.

These customers have received two of your products now, and if they like what they’ve gotten, they will be very inclined to make that next purchase.

Do you see how this e-commerce sales funnel already increases your opportunity for success more than the original funnel concept? With an offer at every stage, you’re building more and more trust with your consumers. Even though you “lost” money with your free product in the beginning, you have an opportunity to make up for it now.

Stage 4: Back-End Offer

This is where you drive your most significant offer. The customers in this stage have gotten their free guide, subscribed to your email marketing list, and have made two purchases. Because they clearly trust your company, you can freely offer something big.

“Since you loved our other products, check out our desk and chair set!” This is a more significant investment for your customers. You wouldn’t have much success with making this sale initially because of its high value, but because you’ve built trust, you’ll have a much higher funnel conversion rate.

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Why Do I Need a Sales Funnel for My Business?

It’s easy to see how a return on investment (ROI) has potential to be higher with this funnel marketing strategy than with the traditional websites. Even though you’re offering something free initially, the upsell at every stage supports more value and opportunity for you and your customer than just the one sale at a single point.

And even though your audience grows smaller at every stage, the trusting relationship you’ve nurtured encourages more, higher-priced purchases.

Best of all, that relationship often strengthens through your email marketing. You can send them personalized campaigns based on their previous purchases. You’ve now primed your audience to be loyal repeat customers instead of uninterested, one-time buyers.

Another advantage of the sales funnel is that your audience gradually gets to know and trust you as you make them offers. Think of it like this: a stranger comes up to you on the street and starts pitching a product to you.

You probably wouldn’t buy anything, right? You’d just wish they’d stop peddling their product so you could get on your way.

It’s the same thing with regular paid ads. Too many businesses spend money shouting at their audience through ads and receive very few conversions.

Your leads often won’t be ready to buy when they first come across your brand, but staying in touch with them through email keeps you in mind when they are ready to purchase. With this sales funnel marketing strategy, you’re gradually building trust at every stage, making your customers more inclined to buy from you.

With all those opportunities, are you ready to start building your own content marketing funnel now? But how do you do it?

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How Do I Structure and Optimize My Sales Funnel?

Know Your Offers

Before you build your sales funnel, you should know which offers you’ll provide at every stage. You should find a way to connect each offer within your funnel to the next one. For example, when you offer your free office design guide, you show your audience that you know how to make an office both beautiful and functional.

In your next stage, offer them one of your beautiful and functional products: your desk organizer set. This furthers your credentials by showing you know what you’re talking about and providing additional value to the customer.

Now that your customers have part of their home office organized, you offer them your bookshelf to help your customers manage the rest of their office. This is directly linked to the ideas you put out in the beginning: that you’re an authority in organizing and beautifying spaces, and your products reflect your taste and expertise.

Last, now that they’re organized, you offer your customers your desk and chair set to complete their home office. It’s an aesthetically pleasing and thoughtfully designed set that goes with your previous offers.

Before you start your sales funnel, strategize every offer so each one builds on the next.

Level Up Your Copywriting

Once you have your sales funnel’s offers ready, it’s time to word everything in a way that will optimize your funnel for success.

At every stage of your funnel, you should make your message relatable to your audience. Ensure you’re writing clearly and concisely so your audience is engaged through your funnel. An excellent way to do this is to add regular subheadings, images, or bullet points.

You should also make sure that your call to action is crystal clear. They need to know precisely what they’ll receive and exactly what to do to get it.

And this will lead us to our next point: pack a punch with your language to give your audience an offer they’d be crazy to pass up.

Make Your Lead Magnet Irresistible

A crucial part of your sales funnel is to make your lead magnet absolutely irresistible to your audience. You can do this in a variety of ways.

Add Curiosity

You need your ad's headline to pop to get as many people as possible to enter your sales funnel. Your customers will be left wanting more when they see a headline that makes them curious about your Most Incredible Free Gift Ever (“MIFGE”).

For example, your home office design guide shouldn’t be called “7 Creative Ways to Design Your Home Office.” First, that’s boring, but second, it leaves nothing to the imagination!

Instead, try something like “How to Intensify Your Productivity with These 7 Design Techniques for Your Home Office.” Now, your audience is wondering how the design of their office can affect their productivity. Curious people lead to more sales.

Display Your Credentials

Whether by displaying reviews or social media posts by your customers, recording achievements, or demonstrating your expertise in the field, you must show your audience that you’re the real deal.

For your home decor business, showing visuals might be the best route. Social media posts from your customers that rave about your products would be a perfect option.

No matter what you do, your audience needs to know that you’re not just one company among thousands—or, on the extreme end, that you won’t scam them with a sub-par product.

Ramp Up the Urgency

Even the people most likely to purchase from you can get distracted. They may intend to buy your product, but it may not happen right then for many reasons. And before you know it, they’ve forgotten about you, and you’ve lost out on a sale.

To prevent this, you need to make your offer an urgent matter. Maybe it’s on a very limited time frame, or you only have a certain number of products to offer.

Since your design guide is a digital product, you wouldn’t realistically be able to tell your audience that you have a limited supply. Instead, tell your audience that your guide is only available until the end of the month or for the first 500 people to claim it. After that, it’s either completely unavailable or open to buy at full price.

No matter what you choose, ensure you honor that limitation. You need to make your lead magnet as juicy as possible for optimal funnel conversion. Your audience should feel a strong sense of urgency to enter your funnel right then, or they’ll lose out on the offer of a lifetime.

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Level Up Your Business with a Sales Funnel

There’s a lot to learn about digital marketing and e-commerce sales funnels. The points we’ve listed above are just a few of the dozens of techniques you can use in your sales funnel strategy when building and optimizing your funnel.