If you have been online for more than 15 minutes you have probably heard that you need a “funnel”.
Funnels are hot, and getting hotter. And for good reason. They work!
The answer is simple.
Funnels work because they take a prospective buyer through a logical series of small commitments leading up to a sale.
All humans are the same in this regard – when we have made a series of small choices (to opt in or to download a free report, etc.) we are much more likely to say yes when the big decision (to buy or not to buy) comes along.
In outside sales we called this “yes momentum”. I have an article about it here if you are interested in knowing more.
For now, back to funnels.
In the old days (2007) the only funnel being discussed was a sales funnel. The idea was simple. Mildly interested people came in to the top of the funnel and money came out of the bottom. That’s when people start to get interest in web design and their usefulness, so everyone sites start to look good and be productive and responsive, now there are companies as After Five by Design that dedicate completely to improve their sites and others.
Or so the marketers claimed.
Today we are hearing about all sorts of funnels, including …
Traditional sales funnels
Sideways sales funnels
Here’s an interesting fact. Even with all this talk about funnels, and all the many types of funnels being created, most funnels don’t work!
It’s true, and strange. Today a new breed of marketer has come along … the one who will “fix your funnel”
A Google search (or is it Alphabet now?) for the term fix my funnel brought back of 1.2 million results.
So what’s missing? Cohesiveness.
In this context I’m using cohesiveness to mean offering a consistent message, look and “feel” throughout the entire sales funnel.
For example, if you give away a book about how to save time and money while home schooling and then your offer tries to sell a business opportunity there will be disconnect.
A lack of cohesiveness. People will say “no” and tune out.
But if your book about saving time and money is followed up by a coaching club that shows busy homeschooling parents what to do and how to do it your conversions will be high.
Simple – match the free gift to your offer and you will do well.
If your funnel isn’t bringing in a steady cash flow that grows month after month, then something is clearly wrong, and I’m betting it’s because you lack consistency and cohesion.
Most of us do, so don’t beat yourself up, but do take a look at your funnel and offers with a critical eye, and ask yourself these three vital questions.
The very first step in designing a sales funnel is often creating the lead magnet. A “lead magnet” is simply a free gift you give in exchange for people joining your list to learn more.
If you want to know more about lead magnets, and how to create them, click here to read my article on lead magnets.
When creating lead magnets, people will often throw together a simple eBook or webinar without ever stopping to consider if their ideal client—the one they really want to work with—really needs or wants it.
Unless your opt-in offer answers a burning question or solves a problem for your client, he or she is going to pass.
This is where a lot of funnels go off the rails—in the follow up.
In order to maintain cohesion and keep your readers’ interest, your follow-up emails should continue to address the issue that originally brought her to you.
Unrelated products and random affiliate offers do little to build trust and can even lead to unsubscribes.
This is an all-too-common mistake, and a fatal one when it comes to marketing online.
If your opt-in incentive is designed to help homeschooling moms manage their time better, then your group-coaching program must include an element of time management as well.
Anything less and your loyal readers will feel as if you don’t know them at all.
Just like a great sales page, all the pieces of your funnel need to flow naturally from one to the next, leading your readers toward bigger and better offers.
It’s this cohesiveness that will help plug the leaks and keep your funnel filled with prospective clients who can’t wait to buy from you.
In coming articles I will share my best tips for designing, measuring and fine-tuning a sales funnel for any offer, including affiliate offers.
Stay tuned, because having a well-oiled sales funnel working for you 24 hours a day … well that is a beautiful thing indeed!