9 steps a sales funnel that will increase conversions
skyrocketing your sales

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel refers to the system where leads are walked trough the buying process, essentially funneling the lead down to a purchase, this is usually seen as 7 steps.
This varies significantly dependent on the size of the purchase required, for a small Business to Consumer sale the steps could be very few, but for a large purchase the steps become more important as more trust is required.

Why use a sales funnel

A sales funnel pushes people to the goal of your website, often-being a purchase or a consultation, if you haven’t optimized your sales funnel you’re likely bleeding cash.

Creating and improving a sales funnel can create large magnitudes in profit increases for websites and are an essential part when making the most of an online presence.

Step 1: Choose your offering

The first step to a sales funnel is deciding what you’re going to advertise as your hook.

Most pre-built businesses already have a list of products and should pick a best selling item to ensure grabbing attention and a high conversion rate.

If you’re wanting to start an online business from scratch, shopify has written a guide to finding items to sell in your e-commerce store.

Step 2: Identify Your Customers

Now that you know what you’re selling, you need to know who you’re marketing this to, this a very difficult step as it’s often not who we think.

Klenex is a massive tissue company but they originally started as single use make up removal wipes, after a while they used data from their sales to figure out that most of the people buying their tissues were making the purchase as tissues for sickness.
After rebranding and changing their marketing towards sick people, sales increased by over 300%

Klenex did not target their customers very well

It’s not always easy to know how to market your product initially but start with identifying your ideal customer, think about age, location, income bracket, relationship status, whether they drink coffee or tea and what times they sleep. You should build your list as long as possible.
Use the customer outline below to create a buyer profile, create a few and then use this guide to go more in depth on discovering your ideal customer with Facebook advertising.

Step 3: Decide on your advertising medium

Now that you’ve identified your ideal customer, you need to recognize where you’ll find them, this should be easy to recognize by the time you’ve created your customer avatar.

It’s good to start with Google Adwords and specifically target exact match buying phrases such as “buy black and white t-shirt” or “shop black and white top online”, questions where there’s a high chance of a conversion but these phrases often get very small amounts of traffic and cost quite a bit per click.

To increase your reach in a cost effective way it’s good to reach out to potential customers on a social media platform where you’re likely to find them, this is often found by looking at the user demographics of each platform.

Facebook has a very general population with almost 2 billion users, you can find anyone and everyone on here but you’ll need to be specific with your advertisement targeting.

Instagram is heavily skewed towards the younger generation with almost 60% of people 18-29 on instagram with the majority of users being female with a lower income.

Linkedin has a more even distribution of age with 20% of people 65+ using it, the gender is skewed males with a significantly higher income average than other platforms.

Twitter is slightly skewed towards high paced male youth with income distributed in an inverse bell curve.

You should use a mix of these buy understand why you’re using each of your chosen platforms.

Social Media platforms for sales funnel

Step 4: Create your advertisement

Each platform has different advertisement formats and set ups so you need to create specific to that social media.

Guide to Facebook advertising

Guide to Creating Linkedin Advertisement

Some platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and google’s display network require an image for advertising alongside the standard text, all of this should be optimized for you specific audience, including correct jargon and imagery.

When a user clicks one of your advertisements they should be taken to a landing page.

Step 5: Create your Landing Page

The landing page is one of the most important parts of your sales funnel as it’s the first major connecting point any visitors have with your brand, the landing page must be optimized to maximize conversions and have as much relevance to the traffic as possible, this often means having many many landing pages, Dell has hundreds.

Each advertisement should bring the user to a landing page extremely relevant to the advertisement clicked, for example, if you had an advertisement “best web design in New York” the title of the landing page should be along the lines of “New York’s best web design company” and not “Best web design company” as it becomes more generalized.
All landing pages should only have one call to action in the design to make sure the visitor only clicks that one option.

Although having less landing pages is nice, it significantly decreases the amount of traffic that’s likely to convert.

anatomy of a landing page for sales funnel

Step 6: Subscribe to email opt-in (optional)

On the landing page it’s possible to make a sale in itself, but if it’s a large purchase a customer is rarely comfortable buying from an unknown company, instead give them an easier step to take and build up a relationship with you by offering a free email opt-in.

Mail Chimp is an excellent tool for this and recently started offering their automation for free, allowing you to build up a series of emails that automatically send to your customers to build up a trusting and valuable relationship to help them make larger purchases off you.

Step 7: Re-targeting Advertising (optional)

If a visitor has clicked your advertisement to a landing page it’s safe to assume they’re interested in your product or category, they’re potentially a qualified lead which is why re-targeting advertisements have a significantly higher conversion rate than standard advertising.

Instead of letting them just leave, we’re able to send them continuous advertisements from you across the internet, this is often important as it’s recognized to take between 7-20 impressions before a customer is willing to act on a purchase.

The tracking is often done through pixel based advertising where a cookie is placed on a visitors computer and you’re now able to segment them into your audience to send further advertisements tailored to them, this often brings a potential customer back to your site and converts them to a customer.

Step 8: The Sale

Some of your leads should have filtered down into the end of your funnel and are now at the point of purchase, this journey is often longer as the size of the commitment increases, if a purchase is less than $150 it’s often not too difficult to build trust for a sale and has a greater rate of conversion.

The sale is the final step in your funnel, at this point you should take information from your analytics software and calculate the conversion between each step to get the complete cost of each sales (Cost Per Acquisition, CPA) and make sure it’s less than your profit on each sale.

Step 9: Optimizing your funnel with A/B testing

Once you’ve completed your funnel it’s a great start, but next step is to make continual changes, optimizing it for conversion rate to decrease lost profits.

A/B testing is when visitors are shown one of multiple pages at random as their landing page, the pages only have a single difference but it’s tested to see whether it makes a difference for conversion rates.
The pages are compared against each other and the page with the greatest conversion rate is chosen.

The test is then repeated on this new page with another small difference to maximize conversions.

A/B testing is not just refined to your own pages either, testing on advertisements to increase Click Through Rate is an important factor, this could be done to check whether your customer identity was correct by targeting different demographics and seeing who responds best.

A/B testing is the ongoing process of funnels that never stops.

Conclusion

A sales funnel is your system of steps designed to guide your visitor towards a sale.

The bigger the commitment the more steps need to be involved for building customer trust as they’re rarely ready to buy straight away, an excellent way to nurture these relationships are to bring them to a landing page and then offer free opt-ins such as an email list or free PDF in exchange for their email and then grow that relationship with email automation.

Get started today with our guide or get in contact with us to build a sales funnel that will skyrocket your business sales.

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