How to Create an Effective Online Sales Funnel

Information about How to Create an Effective Online Sales Funnel

Published on September 9, 2014




How to Create an Effective Online Sales Funnel: How to Create an Effective Online Sales Funnel PowerPoint Presentation: Before I jump into this month’s topic, let me start my saying, “You’re invited!” On Friday, September 12th, I will host a webinar related to this month’s column: How to Create an Effective Online Sales Funnel for Your Business in 7 Easy Steps . PBN readers can join the webinar free of charge. Sign up here: PowerPoint Presentation: Incidentally, I typically use GoToWebinar for online presentations. GoToWebinar is to de facto standard for such things. But recently I saw someone use Google Hangouts for their webinar and it went really well – despite some 500+ people attending. We can save $99/month by moving to Hangouts and enjoy added benefits along the way. Perhaps we will visit that topic in a subsequent column. For now, let’s focus on how to use the web for lead generation. In last month’s column, we took at look at services like and how we can rapidly build squeeze pages, or landing pages, to encourage the user to provide their name and email in exchange for something, like a free download. PowerPoint Presentation: If you think about, we spend a lot of time opening and reading email. So although social media is sexy and new, good old-fashioned email marketing still rocks. Regardless of your market space, you should invest the time and energy to harvest those emails and curate your email lists. The goal is use the emails to generate even more sales. For example, you should have email lists for employees, former employees, people who want to work for you, current customers, customers who haven’t purchased from you in a while, prospects, leads, vendors, etc. Each list deserves a different email message and each message requires it’s own list. Don’t send generic emails to generic email lists. That’s a waste of resources. PowerPoint Presentation: Over the last few weeks I’ve been testing lead generation techniques and I have learned a few very interestings things. And I want to share them with in this month’s column. Squeeze pages are effective. You should definitely start playing with that tactic. The problem is not all prospects are equal. Some are better potential clients than others. To ensure the best return on your investment, you should focus on the “A” prospects. We can save the “B’s” for later. And we won’t worry at all about the “C’s.” PowerPoint Presentation: The other problem with generic squeeze pages is people aren’t stupid. If you’re like me, you probably have 2-3 different email accounts. One is for work, one is for home, and the other is a throwaway. So when I am prompted for a bribe in exchange for an email, I usually don’t provide my work nor home email addresses. Those are coveted. Instead, I use the throwaway – which I seldom open. PowerPoint Presentation: As you can imagine, a prospect’s throwaway email is useless for email marketing. You want the home or work email. You want the email address that is opened daily because you have something important to share. Note: Many businesses are shy about email marketing. They don’t want to annoy their base. I agree. We don’t want to send spam. But if you offer a good product or service, doesn’t it help your customers live a better life? Don’t you want your customers to have a better life? The key is positioning – to give your customers what they need in a way that’s genuine and sincere. The goal is sales; and the mission is to be helpful. There’s nothing spammy about that. So how do you create an effective sales funnel for your business? Well, it requires some masterminding and a bunch of testing to get it right, but here’s what you do: PowerPoint Presentation: 1.Determine which space you want to dominate. Don’t try to be all things to all people. The first impulse for most marketers is to chose a hugely popular search phrase. The problem with high volume search terms is they tend to be too broad and too competitive. Instead, run a campaign based on a highly specific search phrase with far less competition. The best place to start is listing the types of questions prospects usually ask you when considering your products and services. So in my industry, instead of targeting an ultra competitive search phrase like ‘web design companies’ I might instead focus my campaign on ‘how much does a new web site cost.’ Fewer competitors, higher conversions, and higher ROI. PowerPoint Presentation: 2.Think about how you can segment your prospects. This is the part where you reverse engineer the sales process. You probably sell a range of products and services. You may want to select the higher margin ones for now, but you still need to get the right sales message to the right prospect. If I capture someone in my funnel who is asking ‘how much a does a new web site cost’, I need to map the sales cycle backwards based on the types of websites we sell. A new e-commerce site is a different product and requires a different sales cycle than a simple brochure-type site. PowerPoint Presentation: 3.Create a landing page with an explainer video that encourages the prospect to take a survey. This step is critical. The point is not to say something like, “To serve you better, take the survey below.” You have to be much more persuasive than that. Basically, the prospect needs to realize that he/she runs the risk of making the wrong the decision and/or missing a valuable opportunity by NOT answering the self-discovery questions. Motivate the prospect to take a few micro commitments. Once they have taken a few small steps, it’s easier for them to take bigger action. You also want to be sure the overall message is convincing enough for prospects to relinquish their real email addresses, not the throwaways. In the example ‘how much does a new website cost’, the info I need to collect and thus engineer into the survey includes: name, email, type of site they want, number of products (if e-commerce site), samples of sites they like, and budget. PowerPoint Presentation: For other industries, e.g. health care, you can imagine gender and age may be important capture fields since healthcare is different for men versus women and young versus old. 4.Integrate the survey with merge fields. Essentially what you are doing is gathering intelligence. You are using pay-per-click advertising, social, search engine optimization, etc to drive qualified traffic to your landing page and then you are motivating the user to complete the survey. The info you collect with the survey is extremely valuable for two reasons. One, you can serve the product or service based on the prospect’s answers. Two, you are now building a database of warm leads with real data attached to them. PowerPoint Presentation: 5.Setup auto-responders for each segment. Using email platforms like AWeber and MailChimp , you can set up an automated stream of sales pitches with each message custom- tailored for each prospect. The auto response sequence needs to be thoughtfully engineered so the user feels like, “Holy moly ! This is perfect for me.” PowerPoint Presentation: If you stop and think about it, online sales funnels make a lot of sense. Based on our experiences in the brick-and-mortar world, we know selling to a group of people is more efficient than selling one-to-one. We also know we need to send the right salesperson for the right job since one salesperson may be more qualified to sell a particular product or service than another. We know the sales cycle may require several “touches” in order to seal the deal. And finally, we know it’s more profitable to sell a current customer more products and services than to go find a new customer to sell. PowerPoint Presentation: Online sales funnels can help us do all this by providing a low-cost, highly effective way to generate sales without working so hard. To learn more about how you can create online sales funnels for your business, join our webinar on the Friday, September 12th. It’s free for PBN readers: PowerPoint Presentation: Call Us: 1-800-385-3635

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