A question that many new entrepreneurs ask is: What are online sales funnels? Or, what is a funnel? It can get daunting at first, but, believe me, the answer is simpler than you thought.
Funnels are nothing but a series of steps that takes the prospective customer from awareness to desire to purchase. Basically, the funnels leads the user through the AIDA steps: Attention, Interest, Desire and Action phases. The prospective customer (or lead, as we will refer to hereon) is first presented with an enticing offer in the form of an attention-grabbing headline or graphic. The lead gets interested to learn more and exchanges his email ID in return for more details. The details are presented in various forms including a Sales Page. This page creates the desire to own that product or service, leading the lead to make a purchase decision.
Before the concept of ‘funnels’ became popular they used to be called the ‘Buy Cycle’.
Sales Funnels are not new. You’ve been through multiple funnels all through your life and didn’t even know you were in one! Let me explain.
Do you read magazines or newspapers? Do you notice the ads? What do you do when one of those ads piques your attention? You’d visit that product’s website or call up the contact, right? You can think of many other similar examples from your life.
Did you know you were in a sales funnel? I guess not.
Well, the sales funnel doesn’t end with one product normally. After you purchase a product you still may be presented with a better offer – something that either enhances the value or profitability of the product you just bought. That’s called an upsell. Funnels can have any number of upsells, and it’s a good practice to have them as you are increasing your chances for more sales from one lead.
So, if you’re into Internet Marketing, Funnels are your indispensable tool.
By the way, the Funnel itself is not a tool! The funnel is just a diagram/blueprint/outline/series of steps that helps you model your actual sales assets – which are your sales pages, popups, membership sites, and so on.
Ok! Now you may be confused.
If funnels are so important and if they are just pictures, how do they work for my business?
Would you be fine if I pull you into a hypothetical scenario?
Imagine that you’re a Personal Development Coach and want to offer your training programs online. You have the course ready and want to get sales. How will you accomplish this?
Here are some possible questions/thoughts you may have:
- How do I tell people about this program?
- How will I get them to my program?
- Where should I advertise?
- Which page of my website should I give people access to?
- How do I give access?
- How do I collect the payments?
- Where do I collect payments?
- What if the people get access to my course before making payments?
- How and when do I tell them of my one-on-one coaching plan?
Maybe you didn’t think of these questions. Perhaps you have other questions.
Here’s a thought for consideration. Do you have clarity for what needs to be done to get people to your program? Are all the steps clear to you?
If yes, that’s great! You have a good understanding of what a purchase funnel should look like.
If not, even greater! Because, I now have an opportunity to show you a picture of a simple funnel. (Yeah, I know – just some bragging).
Now, does this picture give you more clarity?
The first section indicates all the places where you can advertise your program. A visual diagram is good, isn’t it? Now, it’s clear that you can use blog posts, YouTube, Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram and paid ads to get your offer out. Without this diagram you still would have thought of these platforms, but may not have covered all.
The second step is actually the first step of the funnel. The funnel begins when people click through to your landing page. The landing page in this case is an Optin Page. This goes by other names as well – squeeze page, lead page, etc. This is the page that captures the email ID or (and) name of the leads.
(By the way, I created the graphic using Funnelytics, an online app to visualize funnels.)
Normally what many new entrepreneurs do is connect the Optin page to the sales page and the flow goes on to the next steps and beyond. Now, what happens if the lead isn’t convinced with the sales page? The lead will move on to some other page on the internet. You’ve just lost a lead.
But, with this funnel visualization you know that the Optin page is connected to email as well! That’s the secret to closing higher number of sales. The moment the lead gets into your email list, the autoresponder starts sending out automated email campaigns to your leads on a daily basis (of course, you have to set all this up initially). So, even if the lead does not convert at the sales page you will have at least 3-7 more opportunities to showcase your product highlighting different benefits to convince the lead to buy. By the seventh email, in most cases, your lead may convert into a buyer.
After the sale is completed, the buyer needs to be sent to your final product page – in this case, the membership page. Your membership could be a one-time subscription or a recurring one. That’s your choice.
Now, all you have to do next is keep sending more people to your Optin page and you have a working funnel that will keep bringing leads into your business.
How do I create an online sales funnel?
There are many tools available online to help you create sales funnels. You might have come across some of them. ClickFunnels, BuilderAll, GrooveFunnels, DropFunnels, etc. These are some of the bigger players on the market.
In addition to these, you will need an autoresponder to help you with the email part of your funnel. GetResponse, Aweber, ActiveCampaign, etc. are some of the good ones out there.
The cost of subscriptions to both these tools will be close to $120 per month. That’s a lot if you’re just starting out.
By the way, I tried all of them, and then decided to go with something that’s both a funnel builder and an autoresponder. An all-in-one solution that has made it a hundred times easier (slightly exaggerated) to work on my funnels.
The tool I use is Syseme.io. It’s a brilliant piece of software and there are raving reviews from users who have shifted to this platform from ClickFunnels and BuilderAll. I absolutely love it for a couple of reasons:
- Systeme.io (SIO) helps me build funnels, email lists and membership sites, all under one roof
- I don’t have to worry about connecting multiple tools to work seamlessly together
- The cost is insanely low for the features and benefits it offers
- The interface is clean and uncluttered
- The funnel pages load at lightning speed!
- I can easily connect forms to my blog, and also create popups based on click or page load
Let me stop praising this tool and give you an opportunity to take it for a spin yourself. Click the button below to get a 14-day free trial of the platform. Test it thoroughly and if you’re able to find the value in it, I’ll be happy for leading you to it.
Until next time!