Great article Matt! I have a product-based business (skincare to be precise) and I’ve been doing a lot of research on sales funnels over the past few days but only ever come across examples for service-based businesses and struggle to apply those to my business. I do offer a free skincare guide at opt in but can’t think of anything else for the follow up emails to create trust as well as a limited time offer. Would you have any suggestions?
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To better understand the concept of a sales funnel and just how you can implement it in your own business, let's look at the following image from Shutterstock. On the left side of the image, you see a magnet. That magnet is attracting customers, which happens a number of ways. From blogging to social media to paid ads and everything in between, how the visitors arrive to your website has some impact on the success of your funnel.
Committed: Ideally, you want to close the deal when all red flags have been dealt with. In reality, most deals close while critical red flags still exist. At this point, you have provided the customer with a proposal that outlines key contractual terms. When a customer has agreed to move forward with a deal, they are “committed” (also known as “verbal commitment” or “verbal”). What remains is to work out the details of the contract, delivery and payment, all of which have the potential to“undo” the commitment. The commitment may be offered contingent upon certain terms being met.
Their homepage has an interesting graphic. It’s the first step of the sales funnel. A branding line similar to Mint.com’s, MailChimp’s slogan Being yourself makes all the difference really has nothing to do with the tool. That might be a good thing. It’s aspirational marketing not unlike Grasshopper above. It’s about identity, freedom, and self-expression — ideas that are bigger than a product.
As a software engineer myself, I can tell you that building funnels from an application standpoint takes massive amounts of work. There's a great deal of coding and integration that's required here. From email systems to landing page implementations to credit card processing APIs, and everything in between, so many platforms need to "talk," that it takes the bar too high for the average marketer.
If you’re using an email service like Mailchimp, then you might be stumped on how to send content upgrades without adding subscribers to a gazillion lists and thereby paying for your subscribers multiple times. LeadPages makes this a very simple fix. To do so, you just need to create a new “LeadPage” or “LeadBox” in LeadPages and then upload your freebie, which will automatically be emailed to your new subscriber after they opt-in. It’s an excellent solution if you want to grow your list with content upgrades, but don’t know how to figure it out tech-wise.
Steps in Sales Funnel – This lays out for you, point-by-point, each page and step the customer goes through on their way to making a purchase. In some cases, it also works to point out some of the follow-up steps and “if-then” scenarios. For instance, how does the funnel respond “intelligently” to get prospects who didn’t buy to come back to the website?
Transacted: A sale has transpired when a contract is signed by both parties. From a salesperson’s perspective, the fulfillment of the contract is the responsibility of other parts of the organization, and the salesperson can now focus on the next opportunity. In the case of early-stage start-ups, however, frequently the person that sells is also involved in fulfilling the contract. A signed contract can be booked as revenue from an accounting perspective.
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Trulia did something very similar to Bills.com with their landing page. It starts with a simple form asking for "an address" (which sounds less creepy than "your address," although that's what they mean). Below this simple form field is a bright orange button that contrasts well with the hero image behind the form, and emphasizes that the estimate will be personalized to your home.
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The messaging on the page reinforces the reason for their click, reducing or removing confusion and therefore increasing conversion rates. This improves overall user experience and reduces the bounce rate (individuals leaving the site without converting or navigating to another portion of the site) for the page. Good message matching can increase conversion by up to 50% in many cases.
Of course, if you're going the paid ad route, you could also use Facebook and Google re-targeting to keep that awareness and interest level high. For example, if you've ever noticed after leaving a particular website, that you begin to see their ad everywhere, there's a particular reason for that. Especially if they've already entered your sales funnel, this is a very powerful way to get them to act.