How To Build An Online Sales Funnel
Are you frustrated by your online marketing efforts?
Most businesses waste a lot of time, energy and resources on digital marketing.
Posting on Facebook just to post or tweeting just to tweet is a huge waste of time.
Writing daily blog posts that have very low read rates (less than 15 people per post) is also a waste of energy.
Your digital marketing efforts should be part of a cohesive strategy that makes all of the content you produce work for you.
The best way to do that is to build an online sales funnel.
Online sales funnels ensure that all of the content you are creating is in unison with one another.
A well built and executed sales funnel can turn cold traffic (people who are unfamiliar with your brand) into loyal fans, leads and even clients.
If you are interested in learning how to build a sales funnel for your business so you can stop wasting your time on digital marketing, then keep reading.
Set Your Goals
Before you begin building your sales funnel, you must establish a clear goal that you want your funnel to achieve.
Choose one business goal in which you would like to focus. This could be growing your email list, acquiring more leads or increasing sales of a certain product.
For this article we are going to use the example of a financial planner that is looking to acquire more leads from millennials (Generation Y).
Now, write your goal down on a piece of paper. Remember that an unwritten goal is only a wish and you can’t cash a wish at the bank.
Here is our financial planner’s goal: Acquire Leads From The Millennial Demographic
Choose Your Traffic Source
After you have written down your goal, you must now choose your traffic source.
A traffic source is a source that sends traffic to your website.
For example, if you post a blog from your website on Facebook and users from the website read your blog, then Facebook is your traffic source.
Your traffic source could be Google AdWords, Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest.
The traffic source that you should choose depends on your business.
Here are some recommendations:
Facebook: Any business that has products or services less than $10,000
Twitter: SaSS businesses, Smartphone Applications
Pinterest: Mommy blogs, any products targeting women
Google AdWords: Plumbers, HVAC and speciality services
Generally, Facebook is a good place to start as a traffic source. Facebook has more than 1.2 Billion active users.
There is a high likelihood that your target market is using the social network.
Our financial planner will be using Facebook as their traffic source.
Facebook has an extremely advanced ad platform that allows you to serve ads directly to your target market.
Your traffic source will help your company create brand awareness amongst a new audience and drive highly-relevant people to your website.
Create A Premium Piece of Content
What is a premium piece of content you may ask?
Premium content is used to entice people to sign-up for your email list.
Premium content is gated meaning that a website visitor must provide you with their information in order to receive the content.
Premium content must offer an enormous amount of value to your audience.
The value that a website visitor will receive by getting this piece of content must be greater than the personal information you are asking them to give.
The less information you ask, the more likely individuals will fill out the form.
This is why we traditionally recommend only asking a web visitor for a name and email address.
Below is an example of a gated piece of premium content that we have on our website.
Here is an example of a premium content that our financial advisor could offer:
Millennials Guide To Paying off Student Debt
Once you determine what piece of content you want to offer, you will need to start writing it.
After you’ve written the content and it has been edited, you’ll want to save the file as a PDF to your desktop.
Build A Squeeze Page
You will want to add an additional page on your website that specifically encourages people to download your premium content.
This is often called a landing page or squeeze page.
The sole purpose of this page is to encourage people to exchange their contact information for your premium piece of content.
Below is an example of great landing page:
Write A Thought Provoking Blog Post
This is one of the most important steps of setting up your sales funnel.
It is important to begin with the end in mind.
While the main goal of your article should be to provide value, you ultimately want the reader to download your premium content at the end of the article.
Try choosing a topic for your article that aligns with your premium content.
For example, if their premium content is How To Become Debt Free in 3 Years or Less, then your article should be How To Manage Your Expenses and Live With Student Loan Debt.
It is important to keep in mind that the length of the article is important. It should only be long enough to convey your message.
However, the article needs to be broken up into clearly defined sections, and italics and bolded words should be used to allow for skimming.
At the very end of the article you will want to have a strong call-to-action (CTA) encouraging readers to download your premium piece of content.
Once the article is ready to go, you will want to post it on your website.
If you have a blog section or a place for written content to be displayed, it will preferably go there.
Cashing In on Your Email List
People who are reading the blog post should be clicking-through to your squeeze page and opting in to receive your premium content.
Every time a person signs up to receive your premium content, you should consider them a lead.
It is up to you to nurture that lead into a paying client.
There are several ways that you can go about doing that.
The first option is to start sending a monthly newsletter that is specifically tailored to your target demographic.
You will want to provide useful advice in these newsletters and have a strong call-to-action encouraging them to come meet with you for further help.
Facebook Retargeting Ads
Facebook allows you to upload your email list directly to their ads manager. They then match the email addresses to users in their database.
Once Facebook has matched your email list to Facebook users, you can then start serving Facebook ads directly to those on your email list.
This is extremely powerful because these people are already familiar with you and your brand.
You can market to them more aggressively on Facebook since you have already introduced yourself to them.
You can serve ads to your contacts offering free consultations or discounted services to get them in the door.
This is a great marketing tactic to stay top-of-mind and build a relationship with that new lead.
Keep your email very short, no longer than 215 words ensuring you are providing your lead with relevant content that will provide value to them.
You can even ask them to share their business struggles or goals with you. You’ll be amazed by how much people are willing to share!
This will help you build a long-term relationship with the client and nurture the lead into a paying customer.
Try setting up an eight week autoresponder that sends one email per week to your new lead and make sure you do not try to sell them in these emails.
Only two out of the eight should be about your business.
Once everything is completed here is the sales funnel that we have made for our financial planner.
Take It To The Next Level
Ready to take your online marketing efforts to the next level?
Fill out the form below, and we will contact you to schedule a free 15 – minute consulting session to teach you how your business can build their own sales funnel to bring in a steady stream of leads and clients.