A sales funnel is a series of messages that are designed to help prospects learn about your products and services, while weeding out the people that are unlikely to buy. The result is a group of qualified leads you have a good chance of converting.
When you put the sales funnel to work on your website, the sales process becomes automated with little effort on your part.
Step #1 – Create a lead magnet
Lead magnets offer users insider secrets that they cannot access without providing their email address. There are a wide variety of lead magnets you can use, from cheat sheets to webinars.
Step #2 – Set up your lead magnet in your email marketing system
You need a way to both collect email addresses and provide the lead magnet information to users, and so leverage your email marketing account. Whether you have a free account with MailChimp or a sophisticated CRM, most systems will give you the tools to support a sales funnel.
You’ll want to create a list dedicated to users that sign up for the lead magnet. Once the list is set up, create an email that can deliver the downloadable file.
Step #3 – Create a drip campaign
Once you have started collecting leads, you don’t want to lose them, so create a series of messages to follow up with users after they have read your checklist. Most drip campaigns include 3-5 emails to move prospects through your sales cycle.
Remember that an important part of this process is catching a prospect’s interest and convincing them to hire you. That means that you need to create a relationship with the user before you attempt to sell anything. Thus only the last email in your drip campaign should be about sales. The rest should focus on sharing information freely, and establishing trust.
Need more details? Read this.
Step #4 – Promotions
Think about ways to put your lead magnet in front of people so that it can start working for you. Ideas include:
- Place a banner on your homepage promoting the resource
- Use a popup box to call attention to it on different pages of your website
- Promote it on social media
Connect your promotions to a signup form that will add them to the list you created in step #2. Most people embed this form into a page on their website.
Step #5 – Test and Refine
Your goal is to create a sales funnel helps you generate sales without a lot of effort on your part. That said, you can’t set it and forget it. You must make sure that your content resonates with people and that means using your analytics.
- Check your open rates – If your subject line isn’t encouraging people to open the email, then you aren’t moving anything forward.
- Click through rates – If you’ve provided additional content, are people taking advantage of it? If not, you may need to change up your offerings.
- Unsubscribes – Is there a specific point at which most people drop off your list? If so reevaluate the emails you are sending for both content and timing.
- Conversions – A sales funnel is designed to narrow down your leads, and if it is effective you should end up with a handful of people ready to take the next step. If you’re not getting any leads, go back to the drawing board and see if you can refine your efforts.
Step #6 – Expand and Target
Lead magnets are most effective when they are targeted at a user’s specific interest. For example if someone wants to learn about email marketing, but I offer them my cheat sheet on website elements, there is a disconnect in the user’s experience.
I need to make my lead magnet available to people who are looking at information around websites, and then create a different lead magnet targeted to the people looking at email-related information.
I’d recommend starting out with a sales funnel on your top service, and once you have an effective system going, expand on the process to attract people to other services.
Want to see this in action? Social Light does offer a cheat sheet for SEO optimizatin. Download it now!