If you are in the process of creating an online presence for your business, building your email list or doing business online, you’ve probably heard of sales funnels.
But what are they? How do you use them? Can you create them yourself, or do you need some kind of sales funnel guru? If you have a way to collect email addresses from prospective customers and a way to purchase your goods or services online, you already have a sales funnel. But is it a funnel that is going to grow your business?
Why You Need A Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is necessary whether you are selling a physical product, a service or a digital product or service. It is how you take someone from a prospective buyer to a satisfied (and hopefully repeat) customer.
Sometimes, people magically find a product and without any real coaxing or in-depth information decide right then and there to purchase it. That’s nice when that happens.
Sales Funnels Build Relationships
But most people need more. They need information. They need to know who it is that is selling them a product, what exactly they are getting out of that product and what to do next. They need direction.
Sometimes, this is a lengthy process. People need to think about it, they need to mull it over. And, they often need to feel really confident before forking over their hard-earned cash. They need a sales funnel. And they need it in such a way that they won’t forget all about who you are and what they were thinking of buying, because life is busy and sometimes people forget.
A sales funnel is often the following:
Website or blog
Email opt-in (there is often a freebie attached to this)
A series of emails that talk more about the product
A call to action
There are other elements: Landing pages, sales pages, free products, lower price point products, more sales pages, more emails, etc. The above example is fairly simplified but gives a straightforward illustration of how people arrive in the funnel and make their way from reading a blog post or stumbling across your website to purchasing a product.
Your sales funnel is basically a way to take your buyer on a journey, building the know, like and trust factor along the way.
The first step of your sales funnel is awareness. This can happen on social media, through a Google search or perhaps through Facebook or other ads. From here it’s important to capture the attention and interest of the prospective customer or client. Engaging content and a compelling offer are two necessities. You don’t want to beat the person over the head to get the sale, but you do want to create that awareness and interest. A person may have several contacts with your business before they decide to sign up for your newsletter or download your free content. Or, they may make this decision right away. For the most part, though, people will spend time getting to know you and your brand before they make a buying decision.
It’s important that you give to your prospect before you take. Giving includes valuable content and exclusive free offers. Some examples are free ebook downloads, webinars or video content that helps solve a problem. Giving value first is one way to increase the “know, like and trust” factor. From there, you will guide them to the next step, which is to purchase your product.
Once the initial sale has been made you will ideally continue to build a relationship with your customer. It’s important to continue to nurture your email list and create new offers that your customers will crave.
Sales funnels can be complicated, but they don’t have to be. If you think of it as building a relationship and taking your prospective customer on a journey, your sales funnel will follow a logical flow.