Are you focusing on the right part of your sales funnel?
Your conversions depend on it.
Knowing about your sales funnel and optimizing each part is perhaps the most important thing you can do to increase your revenue.
If you aren’t familiar with a sales funnel, it’s the path your visitors take before they make a purchase.
At the top of the funnel is your raw traffic, which includes everyone from qualified leads to people there by mistake. Next is your qualified leads, the people who have taken an action to show interest in your products. The bottom of the funnel is leads who have gone through with a purchase.
You will have a certain percentage of traffic turn into leads, then a smaller percentage that turn into sales. We all want to get more sales, how do we build a funnel that converts?
Let’s look at each piece of the funnel to optimize for converting as many people as possible from raw traffic to completed purchases.
This is the top of the funnel. People visit your website from various locations, like an organic search, social media, a link from another website, etc. They all come for different reasons, one person may want to read an article you wrote, another may be looking to purchase. These are unqualified leads, and most of them will never make a purchase.
Only 25% of leads can become prospects and get into the sales funnel. – Gleanster Research
The best way to optimize this part of the funnel is to look at where people are coming from, and what they expect when they get to your site. This has a lot to do with your marketing messages.
What message are you sending?
For example, if I advertise Holler Box as “The Smart WordPress Popup Plugin,” the people visiting my site will have expectations as to what that means. To me, it means that the plugin has smart automation features, and also that it is for smart people. If I start to see a high bounce rate (which means that people visit one page of my site and then leave), or I’m getting strange questions through my contact form, I may need to change my messaging.
It’s all about targeting.
The goal with this part of the funnel is not to get as much traffic as possible, but to get as much targeted traffic as possible. If I take out a paid Facebook ad with a picture of a sexy woman on it, I might get a lot of clicks, but those people will never buy my product. I want to make sure the message I send is targeted to potential customers, so that I get high quality traffic.
How do you get targeted traffic? Noah Kagan puts it this way on Quora:
Do extensive research about your target audience. This is not a tactic. This is a strategy and a process every entrepreneur MUST go through. You need to figure out who your audience are: their demographics, their interests, their desires, and their biggest pains. You need to create a pocket of people that you want to target and eliminate everyone else.
Many people focus on this part of the funnel exclusively, by paying for ads, writing lots of content, blasting social media, etc. It’s important to generate traffic, especially when you are first starting out, but once you have some traffic you should be focusing more on the bottom of your funnel.
By focusing on converting existing visitors, you will make your business an efficient sales machine. You will learn a lot about how to reach the right people, which will help you generate more qualified traffic. Let’s look at how to move your site visitors down the funnel.
The next step is to sort through the traffic and find your qualified leads.
This involves getting them to take an action of some sort, such as signing up for your email list, registering for a webinar, or sending you a contact request. These leads could be anything from people mildly interested in your products, to someone looking to purchase today.
Speaking of leads, want to get conversion and traffic tips in your inbox every week?
Building a list of leads that you can follow up with is the lifeblood of your business. It’s incredibly important to build this list of leads, and to treat them like royalty. There are several ways to generate these leads, let’s look at a few.
Email Optin Forms
The trick with email opt-in forms is to offer something really enticing that is a lead-in to your products.
For example, create a PDF ebook using old blog posts, centered around a theme. If you are selling eCommerce products, create an ebook on how to improve your conversion rate, or how to make more money with upsells. If you are selling mobile apps, create an ebook on how to make a great app for your business. It’s important that the ebook is useful, not salesy, and is something your ideal customer would be interested in.
Create a graphic for your ebook and add it to your site using embedded opt-ins or popups. Using a plugin like Holler Box, you can add your ebook graphic, integrate with your email provider, then easily show it on any site pages you choose.
Webinars can be a great way to collect leads.
People love them, and it’s a great way to build trust because it’s more personal. Marketer Neil Patel invites new members to his email list to a webinar right away. He’s seen great success with this method:
Our first 77 webinars had a total of 155,386 people who signed up to attend a webinar. Of those, about half (74,381) actually attended, and a solid 16,394 turned into high quality leads. – Neil Patel
The trick is to make your webinar something really interesting, like “How to Double Your Conversion Rate with WooCommerce” or “Watch Me Build an App in 15 Minutes.” Make sure it’s clear that people don’t need to attend if they register, because you will send them the video. This will improve your conversion rate, and give you a good reason to follow up with them.
You should advertise your webinar to your email list, and also on your website. You can create a blog post, or add a popup to get more registrations. I like to use Holler Box to create a simple message quickly that automatically expires when the webinar is over. For the webinars, I use Anymeeting.
Once you have a good strategy in place to collect leads, it’s time to turn those leads into sales.
This is the most important part of your funnel, converting leads into sales.
A mistake that I’ve made in the past is focusing too much on the top of the funnel, traffic. If you have a terrible conversion rate, you will have to get an insane amount of traffic to get more revenue. It would be much easier to improve your conversion rate first, then you don’t have to get as much traffic to make the same amount of money.
If you have a decent amount of traffic to your site, you should be focusing most of your time on generating leads and converting them to sales. If you’ve done a good job with your marketing messages and your lead qualification, you shouldn’t have to do a bunch of tricks to get people to purchase. At this point they should be sold already, but maybe it’s just not the right timing.
63% of people requesting information on your company today will not purchase for at least three months – and 20% will take more than 12 months to buy. – Marketing Donut
You want to nurture your list of leads by providing great content, and not hard-selling. Segment your list using a service like Convertkit, so that you don’t send the same emails to everyone. Potential customers don’t need to know when there is a plugin update available, and current customers may not need to know about a sale on an item they already purchased.
Get personal, no hard selling.
Follow up with all your leads in a personal way, asking them if they have any questions. Invite them to a webinar or a phone call, the more personal you can get the better. Talking to potential leads is a great way to find out how you can modify your product or marketing messages to better fit your ideal customer.
One way to follow up is an email series. Noah Kagan gives us another tip:
Think about it, when you join someone else’s list, are you already super passionate about what they have to offer? Most probably not. An email course (or email series) is a great way to turn the cold lead into a hot lead. You get to build trusts and relationships with them, at the same time, you get to monitor and manage their engagement during the entire process.
You worked really hard to get these leads, so don’t waste them. You can make a bigger impact on your business by nurturing these leads than you will getting more traffic to the top of your funnel.
Once you have a process setup for your funnel from top to bottom, you should be constantly reviewing and optimizing it. Small improvements add up over time and help your business grow, make your funnel a well oiled machine.
If you run an eCommerce site, it’s important to know your sales funnel and track how well it’s doing.
Look at each part of the process, and see where you have the most leaks. Are you getting a lot of traffic, but not converting well? Maybe you are getting the wrong kind of traffic, or you need to work on better email capture.
If you aren’t getting much traffic, you should be spending time each day on that. Don’t ignore the traffic you already have, even if it’s low. Even if you have 10 visitors per day, try to convert them all to customers.
Tweak and optimize each part of your sales funnel to increase conversions, little wins add up big over time.