Why An Online Sales Funnel is Better than a Website.

onlineSalesFunnelOptimization

A properly designed sales or marketing funnel can be 10 to 100 times more effective than your current website.

That’s a bold statement.  Here’s what I mean:  It can a generate 10 to 100 more revenue—If you have a business that can be automated and truly scale.

Now maybe with the constraints on your business, you can only double your revenue.  Even a 20% increase would be incredible for most companies.  This is a more modest goal and is certainly achievable when you employ and optimize an online sales funnel.

Before I explain how let me ask you for context: What is the purpose of your business or organization’s website and other marketing efforts?  Are you merely trying to create awareness about your offerings and your company’s brand?  No.  What you really want to do is grow your sales in some form or another.

But if you’re a little unclear about your goals and that’s partly why your website and general marketing itself is unfocused.

You see, a company website tries to do too much.  Just look at all the pages and menu links a visitor can click on.  A website simply has too many calls-to-action, and too few of those move the visitor toward a sale.

Your website isn’t really conversion focused, and in this way, it can be hurting your business.    If it’s primary goal isn’t to perform like a salesperson, you’re missing out on lots of leads and sales.

Perhaps you have lots of great content, and you attract lots of organic or free traffic to your site. Great! But are you also tagging those visitors into segmented categories for re-targeting, or collecting segmented leads and then converting them to a sale?  If so, are you tracking all this and your offers so you know how well they are working?

As a business owner or executive in charge of marketing or sales, your online presence should be focused on (and you should be tracking) one or all four of these goals:

  1. More Leads
  2. More New Customers & Initial Sales
  3. Higher Ticket and More Profitable Sales
  4. More Repeat Customers.

These are the only ways to grow your sales.

Let’s postulate some scenarios on how a well-designed funnel can do compared to your website, your existing funnel or other marketing assets.

First, when you have a truly well-designed funnel, you can buy targeted paid traffic and, for example,  triple the amount of traffic you currently have.

Let’s also say we can also triple the % of opt-ins you have (because you offer an irresistible lead magnet that answers a question your prospects really want to know).

Let’s also say that this targeted traffic is now of higher paying customers that will pay double your average ticket when they do convert.

Next, presume that your first-time buyer conversion rate goes up double and that we can double the number of repeat buyers.

Let’s tally that up:  3 x 3 x 2 x 2 x 2 = 72 times increase in revenue of what your website or other asset are producing. Yes, that is possible, even more, presuming you can scale your business.

What’s a Sales Funnel and How’s it different from a Website?  

An online sales funnel, which is what I’m referring to here, consists of usually paid online traffic directed to a series of constrained landing or web pages, along with coordinated emails (and/or Messenger chat messages) that moves a prospect to a lead and then on a customer journey of least resistance, in order to become a higher and higher value customer.  This happens by providing a series of focused content pieces and offers, which provides more and more value and trust with your prospect and customers.

A website, on the other hand, has navigational menus and allows a visitor to browse in any direction they choose.  In this regard, a website actually hinders you from getting the leads and sales you want, even if it includes an opt-in button.  A funnel has a series of landing or web pages but without navigational menus, except a single button that takes the visitor in a direction you want to take them.

Funnels are Designed for Targeted Paid Traffic

Buying targeted traffic to your site is easy, super-abundant but not always cheap.  You can buy ads or promoted posts, or make YouTube videos to get targeted traffic to your website, but it’s not designed or optimized to convert that traffic into customers.

A well-designed sales funnel, however, is the perfect place to send paid traffic.   In fact, most paid traffic is too expensive unless you send it to a well-designed funnel that converts.

The great thing is, you can target your ideal, potential high paying customers and send them to your funnel to convert them into actual high paying customers!  You do this by providing them value, building trust, engaging them, and then a good percentage will result in a sale.

This all starts with getting clear on your goals: do you want more leads, more awareness on social media, more sales, higher value sales, more repeat customers?  You can achieve any of these with a different style of a funnel.

Basic Sales Funnel Elements and Flow

  1. Ads. Start with paid targeted ads on Facebook, LinkedIn, display or search, directed at your ideal target audience and headlines/key terms for different stages of the customer journey.
  2. Content. Within the same headline as your ad copy, you can optionally provide a blog post or video which provides valuable answers to questions your audience wants to know at the stage of the customer journey you want to target.  You also “set a pixel” on various social and ad networks so you can re-target them later with lower cost ads.
  3. Lead Magnet. Offer an irresistible and preferably interactive content (quizzes, downloadable reports, case studies, video training, etc.) in exchange for their contact information. Now you’ve got a lead in the form of an email address or Facebook Messenger opt-in.
  4. Tripwire. This is another irresistible, low-cost item, typically $3 to $20 for consumer products, you offer with the same benefit but greater value of the previous content. This shifts their relationship to a “customer” which makes it easier for them to buy your core offers.
  5. Your Core Offer. This is the product or service that you are probably already selling… it’s the centerpiece of the funnel.  Ideally, this should be a highly scalable type of service that doesn’t burn up your time as you ramp up the volume.   They typically range from $400 to $2000.
  6. Profit Maximizer. This is a high-end product you may or may not be already offering. Some examples include high end, one-on-one coaching, done-for-you services, etc.   This may take more of your time but gives you the most value for it.
  7. Nurturing via Email, Messenger, and More (Re-targeting) Ads. Most people won’t take all your “up-sells” on the first visit or read.  It just takes some time and persistence so they grow in awareness of their problem, your solution, brand, and expertise. This is the key to success in anything.   You need to continue to re-target, email, and/or message your prospect/customer consistently every couple days for 3 weeks to increase the odds of converting. Ideally, you should continue your efforts with customers throughout the year, rotating in new offers and products to optimize what works best.

Sound Complicated.  Can I do this?  

Planning and implementing a fully developed funnel can be a bit complicated.  But it’s so worth it! You are engineering a machine that can scale your business potentially multiple times.   There are books and lots of training available online.  You can try giving it a go on your own, however, it can take quite a bit of time to get a firm enough grasp of all the various concepts to be effective at implementing the basic strategies. For example, there is funnel design and optimization, paid traffic, content marketing, email marketing, social media management, analytics and on and on…   Even then, you won’t have the knowledge that funnel experts that have been in the trenches for some time.

So, if you’re a busy business owner or executive, and you don’t want to hire a full-time specialist or recruit a team, you should consider hiring an experienced funnel consultant to put together a strategy and even build out your sales funnel.

Is a funnel right for my business?

If you want more leads, sales or revenue, a focused, well-designed funnel is the place to start, whether you are B2C, B2B, national or local, low or high-cost digital product, physical product or service.   But how valuable a funnel can be for you partly depends on how scalable you can make your business.

If you offer (or could offer) an in-demand information/digital product such as video training or software, you’re in one of the most scalable types of business.  One that can be automated and grow 100-fold from your current revenue, or more.

On the flip-side, if you’re a “solopreneur” in a service based business, where you are doing all the service work, there’s obviously a limit to how much more time you can work.  With the right funnel, you could scale and grow by hiring staff or outsourced contractors to do the work of your business.  This and other delegation and automation allows you to work on your business instead of in your business. This also gives you options to sell your business and even retire in style!

But even if you didn’t want to hire others, with a focused funnel, you can at least target and land higher paying customers, or offer a one-to-many product such as group or video training or coaching on the “profit maximizer” end of the customer journey.

Will a Funnel Really Work For Me?

If you’re in a growing industry, whether online or offline, even if in a competitive arena, a well-designed funnel with the right traffic strategy will work.  But the funnel, like any business, will only work if you’re solving a real problem with a well-fitting solution and offered in a form and price that customers want.   Again, funnels can be 10 to 100 more effective than websites.

Some simple funnels will work without too much much content or structure.  They might work with some boosted Facebook posts and convert directly to an appointment button on a single landing page.  Here a salesperson can provide the value and build the trust and close the prospect directly.

Be warned, however, that many people will fail when trying to build a funnel on their own.   More often than not, the offer, copy, sequence, targeting or something else will be off at in at least one of the stages.

Most sales funnels need a solid strategy and more content and followup emails to maximize the value out of each visitor.  In this case, newbies tend to shy away from writing and creating all the content for each part of the funnel,  and then give up when those expensive ads are not converting.

So, it requires a commitment to either hire an expert or consultant or to get the training yourself how to design a funnel, to do the work to create all the content, and to be flexible and persistent to dial in your ads and rotating your offers.

How much does it cost to build out a funnel?

Schedule a Free Strategy Call

Bob Allan is a software entrepreneur, digital marketer and funnel consultant with scalefunnels.com.  Scalefunnels can help you lower your risk and validate your funnels incrementally.  Get a free funnel consultation and quote for your own sales funnel at scalefunnels.com

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