How to create a sales funnel for your online business

No matter how talented you are, making a living as a creator goes beyond the quality of your work. It’s all about keeping your pipeline full of qualified clients or customers so that you have consistent income coming in.

Unfortunately, a lot of marketing advice fails when it comes to driving consistent leads to your inbox:

  • Endlessly produce content and put it out there, just hoping that people see your value and buy from you
  • Cold-pitch your target audience, spending lots of time on prospects who won’t convert
  • Create ads for your products and services without a strategy, spending empty dollars for no return

But what if we told you you could develop a proven method for taking strangers from “no idea who you are” to excited paying customers?

You can. It’s called a sales funnel. And in this article, we’re sharing how you can create one for your online business.

What is a sales funnel?

The phrase “sales funnel” sounds complicated, but it’s not. Simply put, a sales funnel is the process that people must go through to become your customer or client, from the time they first “notice” your business to the instant they become a paying customer.

For online creators, the bulk of the sales funnel often takes place through email. But your sales funnel can also take place on a website or sales page, through a webinar, or through some combination of each of these.

Why is a sales funnel important for creators?

A sales funnel may seem like a fancy marketing tool for big corporations. But as you’ll see, in practice, creating a sales funnel is incredibly easy and effective for small businesses, too.

Here’s why sales funnels are the best-kept secret of successful creators:

Puts you in the driver’s seat of your marketing

You may think of your customers as the people who are buying from you already or who are about to buy from you. That is, customers who are already aware of their problem and are actively looking for the very solution you offer.

But there is a whole other world of potential customers out there who will eventually be ready to buy from you…. Just not yet.

These customers need to be nurtured. In other words, they have the potential to become awesome paying customers but something has to happen first: They need to be helped to understand why they need your product or service and get prepared to pay the cost.

This is the job a sales funnel does. With a sales funnel, you’re no longer waiting passively to be found by the few people who are already aware of their problem and looking for a solution. Instead, you’re actively turning a wide swath of ordinary people into amazing customers.

This active approach to marketing and sales is what leads to that holy grail of a full pipeline of qualified customers. These customers started off not knowing why they needed your product or service, and now they’re ready and willing to buy from you.

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Ensures you don’t waste time with bad-fit customers

A sales funnel does the work of educating your customers for you. Done well, your sales funnel will help the right customers self-select for your service or products.

This means that by the time you have to engage personally with potential customers, such as on a sales call, they’re far more likely to be a good fit for what you offer. No more wasting time on sales calls, emails, and messages with bad-fit customers! – Read more

Track These 5 Conversion Funnel Metrics To Identify Areas for Growth

You’ve spent many hours building a sophisticated sales funnel.

Now it’s time to analyze the conversion funnel metrics to figure out if it’s working to meet your business goals. There’s only one problem. There are so many metrics you have to keep track of that you’re getting overwhelmed.

So how about we make it easy by focusing on only 5 conversion funnel metrics that directly impact your bottom-line?

Track the data these 5 metrics provide to find out where funnel leaks are and to decide what to focus on to meet your sales goals.

These 5 metrics are:

  1. Sales conversion
  2. Desktop vs. mobile conversions
  3. Sales velocity
  4. Visits by source
  5. Cost per acquisition

1. Sales Conversion Metric

Imagine meeting a friend who looks pale and disorientated. Your immediate thought is most likely that there’s something wrong.

That’s what it’s like when you look at the sales conversion metric. You see the numbers and you immediately get an idea of the state of things. It tells you how many of the leads that enter your funnel have turned into paying customers.

Here’s the formula to measure sales conversion:

sales conversion rate = (number of sales / total number of visitors ) * 100

Track the sales conversion metric every month instead of waiting until the end of the year. This way, you can immediately see any dips or rises in sales. Check its trajectory every month and you get an overall idea of your funnel’s health.

Apart from the overall sales conversion metric, also keep track of the conversion rate for each stage of the funnel. This means gathering data on how many of the leads turn into qualified leads and then into paying customers.

Doing this allows you to see where the possible bottlenecks are. This then gives you actionable insights to optimize your sales pipeline.

2. Desktop vs. Mobile Conversion

There’s a good reason why mobile conversion is not at the same level as that of desktop devices. User intent is different. Desktop users are more often in the buying state of mind than are mobile users.

But just because most mobile users aren’t ready to buy doesn’t mean you shouldn’t optimize your site for them. A good percentage of these users will convert if you lessen friction points and give them enough motivation to buy.

So here’s what you do.

Go to Google Analytics and compare the desktop vs. mobile conversion in your funnel. You’ll likely find that visitors on mobile devices do not convert as much as the visitors who visit your site through their desktop devices.

But here’s where this becomes useful to your business. Study the journey that your mobile users take from the top of the funnel to the bottom of the funnel. Where do most of them drop off?

When you have this data, you can then make educated guesses on possible reasons why mobile users are leaving without converting. This will help you identify the direction of your next optimization tests.

This was what we did when we worked on Matthew Woodward’s agency which led to mobile conversion increases as high as 48%.

mobile conversion rates

Are you excited yet? Great. Here’s a video on where to find the data for mobile conversions on Google analytics and what you need to look out for.

3. Sales Velocity

It’s easy to get confused by the word sales velocity. You’d think it’s going to show you the speed at which a lead turns into a sale. Yet sales velocity is expressed in terms of dollars. Not speed.

Let me explain.

Here’s the formula to calculate sales velocity:

Sales velocity = (number of opportunities * Average Deal Size ($)* Conversion Rate) / Sales Cycle Length

And here’s an example of that equation using real numbers. – Read More

What Are the Differences Between a Customer Journey and a Sales Funnel?

My Post (19)The primary difference between the customer journey and sales funnels is that sales funnels work to turn visitors into leads and leads into customers while the customer journey is a representation of the entire overall path a person takes from interest and awareness to consideration and conversion.

Depending on your marketing strategy, the customer journey might be very simple or it might be rather complex. Here’s an example…

Of course, not everyone’s journey is going to be the same.

A customer journey is just a representation of averages — it’s a representation of the way that you expect and/or intend people to become loyal customers.

And the goal of mapping your customer’s journey is to better understand how your target market learns about your business, what catches their interest, when and why they decide to buy, and ultimately, how you can guide them from beginning to end more effectively and efficiently.

In a sense, the customer journey is a more detailed depiction of your marketing funnel — of how you take people from awareness to conversion…

But what’s a sales funnel?

Put simply, a sales funnel is a series of pages intentionally crafted to encourage visitors to take one specific action.

That action might be opting into your email list, downloading a free resource, or purchasing a product.

And there are different sales funnels for different things, depending on what goal you’re trying to accomplish.

Our Tripwire Funnel, for example, is designed to turn cold traffic into paying customers… and it’s extremely effective at doing so.

And our Product Launch sales funnel is crafted to build anticipation for an upcoming product so that launch day is a big success. – Read more

Here’s a Free Sales Funnel Template to Help You Sell More

My Post (6).pngPeople don’t just randomly buy whatever they see or like.

There’s a process we all go through before we swipe our credit card or click the “order now” button.

Sometimes it takes days, weeks, or months for us to make these decisions. Other times it’s the exact opposite. We make up our mind almost in an instant.

There are many reasons for why this happens but the bottom line is – this decision-making process exists and as a smart entrepreneur or marketer, you need to understand how it works.

Only this way you can meet your audience at different stages of their decision-making process with the right offer and marketing message.

And a sales funnel template can help you map out the most probable path your audience will go through before turning into paying customers.

Author’s note: If you’re looking for a solution that’ll help you automatically build your sales funnel from scratch and help you increase sales, check out the GetResponse Conversion Funnel here.

Now, what is a sales funnel template?

By now, you’ve probably figured the definition yourself:

A sales funnel template is a design of a consumer’s journey to becoming a customer and what happens after they do.

Think of it as a whiteboard where you completely map out, in drawing, your potential customer’s journey — from when they’re thinking about something they need to the point where they eventually find your business.

Your customer journey could look something like this:

  1. First your prospect identifies a need – “I need a pair of shoes”
  2. They go onto Instagram to search for inspiration
  3. They type their search term in the search bar
  4. After browsing through different shoes and designs they find something interesting
  5. Eventually, they find something promising and visit the vendor’s website
  6. They add their new favorite product to the shopping cart and check out

And sometimes, the customer journey is a lot more complex than what we’ve shown in this illustration, but this is basically how it works.

So what your sales funnel template does it helps your business show up at every step of the customer’s journey leading up to when they finally make a purchase (more on this in the “seven steps” section below).

Now that we’ve cleared the air on what exactly a sales funnel template is, let’s look at a seven-step sales funnel template you can use for your business.

And what type of business is this template for?

It’s universal!

It doesn’t matter if you’re selling digital products like ebooks or online courses. Or you’re a professional doing online consulting and coaching. Heck, even if you’re selling a service that’s delivered offline, like self-defense classes.

This sales funnel template will help you generate more leads and sales for your business.

The 7-step sales funnel template

Regardless of the nature of your business, consumers would often go through these seven (or similar) steps before they become paying customers:

Visual representation of a sales funnel template you can use to grow your business.

So the image you see above is the exact sales funnel template you need.

In fact, if it’s the only sales funnel you’re working with, it can single-handedly take your business to whatever level of growth you want it.

But of course, you first need to know how it works.

So we’ll explain each funnel stage we identified in the above illustration.

Step 1. Generate targeted traffic

Generally, the more traffic you get, the more sales you get.

But you probably know this already: it’s not that simple. Because it’s possible you generate thousands of visitors to your site or online store but never convert any of them into customers.

But that’s bad traffic, and you don’t need it; it never converts to sales.

Instead, here’s what you need: targeted traffic. Targeted traffic is site visitors who are most likely interested in your product or service and would be interested in buying it.

To get these types of visitors, you need to know where your target customers frequent every day — like the online communities and groups they belong to, search engines they use (and keywords they search with), and influencers they follow.

Then you’ll go to those places and give them a good reason to visit your site; “giving them a good reason to visit” means you’ll need to provide them with a free valuable resource (e.g. ebook, case study, webinar) they can get on your site.

You can call this a lead magnet. An incentive your target audience is ready to trade their email address for.

Once they land on your site, your sales funnel is already in motion. And this is where step two comes in.

Step 2. Send traffic to a SPECIFIC high-converting landing page

You may already be aware of what a landing page is, but if you’re not sure: it’s a page that you specifically design to convert visitors into leads or customers.

But one major mistake that ruins sales at this point is sending your visitors to a generic web page, like your homepage or some other “non-landing page.”

Your homepage (or any other non-landing page) is simply not designed to send visitors to the next stage of their buying journey.

So what would happen is they’ll land on the page and keep looking around — because a non-landing page is not focused on a SPECIFIC TOPIC. It often links to several other pages like your product/service page, about page, blog page, contact us page, etc. as shown below:

And there’s nothing wrong with having a homepage; it’s just not designed to help you convert as many visitors as a specific landing page into leads.

A landing page, on the other hand, focuses on a single topic and its goal is to speak to your visitors and persuade them to accept a SPECIFIC OFFER; so it looks something like this:

When you send visitors to a landing page like this, they know what it’s for and the page helps their minds to focus on thinking about one thing only: your offer.

The only two options they have here is to either a) sign up for your offer and give you their email address, or b) exit your squeeze page.

And this is exactly what you want to do in your lead generation strategy.

(By the way, this is only a landing page example, your landing page can be longer if it needs to be so you can effectively persuade your visitors to convert. Here you’ll find some great landing page examples that’ll explain this better)

Step 3. Convert visitors into subscribers & leads

Now, it’s one thing to send visitors to a landing page…

It’s another thing entirely to convert those visitors into subscribers and leads.

When people get on your page, they’re immediately thinking…

  • “Is this offer worth my time?”
  • “Should I sign up because I really need this stuff?”
  • “Or should I just leave?”

They’ll do one of these and you can influence (and speed up) their decision by what you have on the squeeze page – especially your headline, body copy, and calls to action (CTAs). You need to make sure these three landing page elements convey strong reasons why they need to sign up for your offer. – Read more