Are you looking to drive more qualified leads to your business? Who isn’t?
Everyone wants to turn more prospects into buyers, but how do you do that exactly?
Every savvy digital marketer knows that the answer to both of these questions is through the use of an automated sales funnel. What are sales funnels? They’re custom-designed, automated systems that deliver your product and value offering to your client with perfect precision.
In this step-by-step guide to building your first sales funnel, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to enhance your campaign results.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
An automated sales funnel consists of seven steps that allow your prospect to migrate through your selling process organically.
Each step should add more value to providing a solution to your prospect’s problems or pain points. By applying your sales strategy in a systematically executed manner, you increase the prospects buying temperature until they are ready to receive your final offer.
Some sales funnels are more concise than others and involve fewer steps in the process. However, all sales funnels run through the following three stages.
1. Building Awareness
The first stage of any sales funnel is where you build awareness of your brand, company, product, or service offering. Imagine the top of the funnel, like you would a kitchen flour funnel. It’s wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.
In the awareness stage of the funnel, you capture as many leads as possible, using a variety of value-add strategies and tactics to entice people to enter your funnel.
2. Due Diligence
The wide point catches plenty of potential prospects, and as they migrate through the funnel, it shakes out those prospects that aren’t interested in your offer. However, your content and deliver tactics help to progress the interested buyers towards the conversion point at the bottom of the funnel.
In essence, this step of the process is qualifying your prospects through the use of automated strategies. With an automated sales funnel, you can handle far larger volumes of interested buyers than with a manual strategy.
Each of the prospects gets the same level of attention, and you take a hands-off approach to manage the process. All you need to do is tweak each step in your funnel to optimize your results.
Good sales funnels will convert as many prospects as possible. To make this possible, you have to design each step of the funnel to address a specific pain point in your customer.
The idea is to progress them through their experience and interaction with your company, where they organically rely on your CTAs to push them toward making a buying decision.
Set Goals for Your Sales Funnel
When building your first sales funnel, it’s a good idea to set some goals for what you want to achieve with the exercise. Ask yourself what objectives you want to set to reach your goals. After your prospect goes through your sales funnel, how do you want them to take action?
The answer varies depending on your company. For example, you might want them to buy a subscription service or online course; different companies have different goals. Greenpeace might want their prospects to join or donate to their initiatives. An e-commerce company might want the prospect to buy a product.
Be clear on your goals before you start building your sales funnel.
A Step-By-Step Guide to Building Your First Sales Funnel
By now, you should have a basic understanding of what sales funnels are and how they can benefit your business. In this section, we’ll look at how you can build and implement your first sales funnel.
Step 1 – Capturing Prospects
The first step of the process involves getting prospects to enter your funnel. It’s not as challenging as you think. All you need to do is present them with a value offering connected to your final offer. For instance, inviting your prospect to join a 3-day fasting challenge might be a great way to sell an e-book on fasting.
However, your value offering needs to add value to the client in a means that qualifies them for entering the funnel. For example, you could give away a $5 Amazon gift card to attract people into your funnel. This tactic would bring you a ton of prospects, cost you a fortune in your budget, and bring you plenty of unqualified leads.
Your value offering is a qualifying strategy to help you filter out a target market in your niche.
Design Content Around Solving Your Prospects Pain Points
To bring prospects into your funnel, you need to provide them with content that speaks to the pain points they have, and how your product or service can help. In the initial lead capturing stage, you’re not looking to sell anything.
At this stage, all you’re doing is acknowledging the prospects pain point through well-designed content that makes them take an interest in what you’re saying.
Think of it as building rapport with your customers. You don’t launch into shoving your product or service offering in their face straight away – have some tact in your approach. Blog content, social media posts, and forums all provide you platforms to pique the interest of your prospects.
After the content captures their attention, they move onto the second step of the funnel – the lead magnet.
What Is a Lead Magnet?
A lead magnet is a CTA on your blog or social post that asks people if they want to take further action on engaging with you, leading them into your funnel. Your lead magnet could be any one of numerous tactics, including the following.
- Video training courses
- Email challenges and a variety of others.
By taking action on the lead magnet and entering the funnel, the prospect is qualifying themselves by expressing interest in what you have to say.
By signing up for your free offer, the prospect enters their email address, name, and perhaps their phone number, but we don’t recommend that. Remember to keep your request short; people don’t like giving out too much information.
As a result of your lead magnets’ performance, you start to build your email list steadily. As any marketer can tell you, your list is the key to the success of your business.
What Is a Tripwire?
Some of the prospects that enter your funnel are ready to spend money right away. Prime these prospects for purchasing your final product, and keep them moving down the funnel. Offer them a “tripwire” purchase straight away after they sign up for the lead magnet.
A tripwire is a product you offer a prospect immediately after they opt into your lead magnet. The tripwire product should be at a lower price-point than your final product or service, and it should always be a related offering.
Get More Prospects Using Facebook Ads
Many bloggers that want to sell products or services on their site, or act as affiliates for other companies, think that marketing is challenging. However, the reality is that social platforms make it possible for anyone to get in front of their target audience.
If you already have social accounts on Instagram and Facebook, start putting them to use. Invest in a few paid advertising campaigns with your marketing budget, and watch traffic to your lead magnets soar.
Facebooks ad manager lets you create a laser-targeted ad campaign that reaches your target audience. There’s so much you can do to customize your ad campaign within the ad manager; it’s a powerful software tool that every digital marketer needs to use in 2020.
Step 2 – Using the Data
After your lead magnet captures your prospect’s data, your automated sales funnel will send the first in a series of automated emails directly to their inbox. At this stage of the funnel, you’re still not trying to sell your prospect anything. All you’re doing is building value in your, your brand, and your company.
By nurturing the relationship between you and your prospect, you start to earn their trust, increasing their buying temperature, and the possibility of conversion at the end of the funnel.
Your email strategy should include the following steps.
After signing up for your lead magnet, the system sends an email to the prospect’s address. In most cases, this might require your prospect to confirm they got the right email, asking them to click a link to activate the email course.
At the same time, you need to add further value to the prospect to get them to complete this step. You do this with an initial response with your congratulations on taking action. The welcoming email can also give the prospect an overview of what they can expect from the course in the upcoming days.
The Soft Offer
With this step, your prospect starts to enter the decision stage of the sales funnel.
The second email in your series should include a soft offer to test your prospects buying temperature. You don’t have to go for the jugular, but it’s at this point that you want to introduce your prospect to your final product offering.
The idea of this email is to start to present value in your final product offering. You need to continue to focus on your customer’s pain points and how your product or service can provide a solution.
The FAQ Email
Once your prospect gets a first look at your product or service., they’ll probably have plenty of questions. It’s at this time that you want to present the answers to common questions presented by your prospects. Base your questions on your past customer engagements, or look at what your competitors are saying.
At this stage, you can also ask your prospect to communicate with you as well. Ask your prospects to reach out to an email address with any specific concerns they have. Customers that take action on this CTA are in a prime position to convert.
The Offer Email
On this step, you’ll start selling your product. Present your main offer, plus any buying incentives. If you intend to offer any bonuses with your product, now’s the time to present them to your prospect.
The Final Call
In this email, you’re looking to convert any prospects that didn’t take action on your previous email. There could be a million reasons why they’re still sitting on the fence, and you need to capture their attention again if you want them to convert on your offer.
Step 3 – Closing the Deal
The decision step of the sales funnel is where the action happens. It’s at this stage that you’ll start to see the real results of your marketing campaign, your content, and your product or service offering.
If they progress through the email series, you’ll need to provide top-quality content that’s relevant to solving your prospect’s problems. Your final CTA needs to include an offer that your prospect can’t turn down.
Some of the content that works well in the decision stage include the following strategies.
Online Events – Free webinars, training courses, and masterclasses are an excellent way to show your prospects value by giving them a taste of what you have on offer.
Free Demo – A free demo trial of a product or service is an excellent way to get a closing commitment from your prospect.
Include Testimonials and Case studies – what are other people saying about your product? People rely on some form of social proof when formulating a buying decision.
Put a Limit on Your Offer – create a sense of buying urgency in your prospect by offering them a countdown timer on your offer.
Don’t Discard Prospects That Don’t Convert
It goes without saying that not all of the prospects that enter your sales funnel will end up making a purchase. However, that doesn’t mean that they’re not interested in your offer. Some people might get distracted as they progress through the funnel, and they need a nudge to get them back on track.
The software can help you bring these lost prospects back on board. You can also retarget prospects that didn’t take any action on your offer with a secondary product offering, and pull them into a secondary funnel.
In Closing – Invest in Technology
There are various software products available to help you build and manage your sales funnel. Before you settle on an automation tool, make sure you do your due diligence. Assess the tools to see if they are a good fit for your marketing strategy.