There is no such thing as a perfect sales funnel. Anyone that says you are able to knock your funnel out of the park, on the 1st attempt, misses the major point to sales funnel building.
As with any imperfect action, there is much to be done to refine your work over time. This applies to all elements of your sales funnel.
Before I go any further, let’s define what a sales funnel is so we’re all on the same page.
A sales funnel is the process you put your customers or potential customers through in order to convert them from someone that doesn’t know you into a long term, high value client. This happens through the use of several marketing and sales systems working together to produce your desired result.
There are 5 main elements to a sales funnel:
- Traffic Sources
- Landing Pages and Lead Capture
- Email Marketing
- Sales Page(s)
- Checkout Processes
This would be your blog, social media posting, podcast, guest blog, guest on a podcast and Facebook/Google advertising. When we think about traffic sources we consider a source anywhere people are able to find you online. These sources should be pushing to a Lead Capture so that new people who discover you can start to engage with your brand and your business.
Landing Pages and Lead Capture
This is where you are sending people that find you through your traffic sources. Whether it is on your website or you are using a page builder like ClickFunnels, you want to send people to your page so they can subscribe to receive more information from you in exchange for something of value (ebook, guide, webinar, challenge etc).
Using emails to elevate your know, like, trust and engage factor with new people is super important to having them become a client down the road. You will use emails to tell your story, humanize your brand, share your struggles and differentiate yourself from other programs which may have not worked in the past. You will also use email to invite, offer and provide social proof which increases your authority within your specific niche for your product or program you are looking to sell. Not sure which email marketing platform to use? Check out this post for more.
This is the webpage that you send warm and engaged traffic to, with a paid offer to work with you/buy from you. These pages can be created on various platforms but the key is that it allows people to purchase what you are offering.
How are you able to collect money to close the deal? Are they going to a paypal checkout, using a credit card on your page itself? (There are many options for payment collection).
Being aware of how you are acquiring your clients and where within your funnel they are falling off (leaking) gives you the ability to address the issue strategically to help improve your funnel and convert more sales.
Each platform has a dashboard and provides statistics regarding the performance of each stage of your sales funnel. For example, if people are opening email #1 but never opening email #2, you know you have a problem with email #1.
Same thing goes with your ads. If you have a high click through rate for your ads but a low conversion rate on your landing page, you know you need to look at the page itself for some answers. Maybe it’s the headline, maybe it’s look/design of your page.
The point is to isolate different factors and watch to see how big an impact the changes have made. The only way to do this is to know where to look and what to look for when considering the data you have in your possession.
The goal is for you to eliminate the guesswork when making changes to your sales funnel. Start using the numbers to inform your decisions.
Here is a breakdown of where to find the data available and what to look for in each part of your funnel.
When referring to “traffic sources” we are simply talking about where people find you and your business online. It is important to make sure you are driving people to the appropriate place based on the source where they are coming from. Meaning, if you are on a podcast about fertility, don’t send them to a weight loss lead magnet.
Stats here will vary quite a bit, but click-through rate (CTR) is a good general indicator of the performance of a traffic source. Click-through rate (CTR) is the ratio of users who click on a specific link to the number of total users who view it.
In other words, your CTR measures how your audiences is responding by performing the action you want them to take (clicking on your Facebook Ad, clicking on the show notes of your guest podcast interview, etc.)
When evaluating how your actual Facebook ads are performing, understanding your CTR is key.
From our experience, Facebook newsfeed ads on average have CTR of 2%. This changes based on how warm the audience is with you, your brand and your message. The warmer the audience the higher the CTR. For example if you are using “Lookalike audiences” it would increase to 3% and for Retargeting you should be looking for around 4%. CTR is only the beginning of the story but it does indicate whether the 1st interaction you are having with your people is working.
Landing Pages and Lead Capture
The Landing Page/Web Page the person is directed to after clicking a link is essential to generating new prospects for your business. As mentioned above these pages can be created as part of your website or separately in a Landing Page builder like ClickFunnels. I believe the performance of this page is essential to building your business online. The main stats that you should focus on when evaluating how your page performs are opt-in rates, page session time, bounce rate, and cost per conversion.
Bounce rate is an Internet marketing term used to analyze web traffic. It represents the percentage of visitors who enter the site or page and then leave (“bounce”).
A visitor may bounce by:
- Clicking on a link to a page on a different web site
- Closing an open window or tab
- Typing a new URL
- Clicking the “Back” button to leave the site
- Session timeout
When people visit your page and leave super quickly it is a indication that your page is not converting effectively. Some of the things to consider is the copy on the page and the way the page is designed visually perhaps even adding video to engage your visitors.
When considering Bounce Rates, think about what the page from their perspective. This is where using a page builder like ClickFunnels can come in handy. Being able to create a visually appealing page and to make adjustments to the campaigns as they evolve on the fly is one of the major benefits of using page builders. Having the ability to split test your pages and improve based on performance will have a big impact on how you present your brand online moving forward.
This leads into the second important metric to consider when evaluating how your pages are performing. Cost per acquisition (CPA), also known as cost per action, pay per acquisition (PPA) and cost per conversion (CPC) are used to measure how well the pages are performing. For example, are you achieving a sale, click, or lead magnet request submission.
There could be lots of reasons why your pages are not converting. Some of those elements include Headline, Product Images, Branding Story, etc. It’s important to look at these one at a time to identify which factors are helping or hurting your conversions.
Many people claim that email is dead, or dying, or drying up. I say BS. The truth is generic broadcast emails might be dying (although I believe there is a place for that as well, but that’s another topic). But personalized, segmented and meaningful email will always be a major part of an effective online marketing strategy.
With that said, what are some of the things we need to look at when considering effective emails?
There are three major indicators to look at when starting to analyze how well your emails are performing.
- Are the emails being opened?
- Are the links inside the emails being clicked?
- Is the person taking the desired action after reading the emails?
Open rates is the first step when approaching email marketing. As I mentioned earlier, if your potential clients or clients are opening your 1st email but not your other emails, you know you have an issue with either a) deliverability or b) subject lines for your emails.
Deliverability: If people never get your emails how can they open them? While there are many factors that affect your deliverability, it is important to remain authentic in the nature of your emails and be sure you are engaging people who are opening your emails.
Some strategies that are essential to enhance the performance of your emails are:
i) Have a professional, business email sending address. We usually encourage clients to use their own domain for their email address. This lets the email provider know that the email is coming from an actual business and it is not a scam using a free @gmail.com email address.
- ii) Encourage your respondents to safe list your emails. Also encourage engagement within the Immediate Response email by asking people to click on links to subscribe or join. The act of people clicking actually sends signals to the provider that your emails are welcomed which will help your deliverability.
iii) Make sure your subject lines do not use spammy language. Avoid the use of all CAPS or using $$ symbols etc. You want your wellness business to present as exactly what it is. The email providers have filters in place to root out unwanted communication, so make sure you are not confusing the bots by being overly salesy with your subject lines.
- iv) Match the content of your email with the message in your subject line. If the 2 are unrelated you will find yourself in spam folder more often.
Are they clicking inside the emails?
Engagement inside your emails sends signals to the Email Service Providers that people desire to receive your emails. We suggest you encourage link clicks and engagement multiple times within your emails. This gives the prospective client the opportunity to engage at whatever point they ultimately feel comfortable.
Using Amazon S3 to have them click to download a PDF is 1 way to encourage the described engagement. Additionally, inviting your subscriber to your Facebook group or encouraging to engage with you on social media will also qualify as a useful click.
As a rule of thumb, you should have 3 places for people to be clicking inside your Immediate Response emails. When appropriate using 3 as a goal makes sense, however, I warn you not to overuse it when the subject matter doesn’t really fit.
Providing authentic opportunities for people to receive a tangible benefit from clicking inside your emails will provide the desired outcome.
If people are not clicking, change the call to action by matching your offer to your subscribers’ needs. If a PDF download isn’t working, try changing the wording of the call to action and even play around with sending them to a blog post or video instead. Don’t hurry to make these changes. Rather watch the data and let it suggest it for you.
While open rates will vary, it is good to look and see the trend within your emails. If you start with a 30% open rate and see a steady or drastic decline, it is a good indication that you are losing your people.
Try different tactics that make the positioning of the email clear from the subject line. Incentive the open with a useful tip, tool or technique. Remember to be genuine and make it the point of the email to provide value to the person opening it.
Taking the Desired Action After Reading Your Email
There must always be a purpose behind the emails you are sending. Sometimes your goal is to have your audience purchase your product, yet other times, it’s to foster engagement.
After sending your emails, does your audience behave in the way you intended them to? For example, if your CTA is asking them to read an awesome blog post you wrote, do you see a spike in traffic to your post? Does your blog post get reshared on Facebook or pinned on Pinterest?
The best way to measure if your email is effective is to use the stats from your current campaign against your previous campaigns to see if your audience engagement has increased, or decreased.
In addition to using Google analytics, you can use page tracking in your automation inside your email marketing software to gather these stats to help you make informed changes to your campaign.
What does your checkout cart experience look like? We always encourage the concept of “the fewer steps, the better’. This is because the more actions you require a new person to complete in order to complete the sale, the less likely a sale is to occur.
It’s always best to keep your customers within your own ecosystem throughout the entire experience. This enables you to reinforce your offer and provide social proof for your new buyer.
If you notice a trend of people abandoning your cart, this is a direct indication that adjustments to your checkout page/process are necessary. By being able to track people that visit your sales page, make it to the checkout page, yet don’t complete their purchase provides the opportunity to retarget these potential customers to complete the sale.
You are able to use “Site Tracking” through your email marketing provider (we use ActiveCampaign) and your FB pixel with custom conversions set up to track specific actions in order to utilize this type of information.
By tracking and retargeting the people that are most likely to make a purchase you can greatly increase your sale potential.