Build your Sales Funnel: 4 Steps to Multiply Your Business.
Today you are going to learn how to build a sales funnel, how to automate your business, and how to expand it beyond your expectations.
Think of it. When you consider growing your business you meet with many tools and tactics. It can be extremely confusing and overwhelming. Sometimes you may decide to make attempts. Then you make mistakes, and you use a lot of time and a lot of money.
What if you want results now?
In this blog post, I will give you a practical and easy blueprint. It is a roadmap with the steps you should use to build your digital sales funnel.
Bookmark this article and read it one piece at a time.
The four steps are listed at the end of the blog post. But first, we need to cover:
- A. Your value sequence
- B. The importance of your value sequence for your business
- C. The definition of a Sales Funnel
- D. Five steps to plan your Sales Funnel.
At the end of the post, you will find your action plan in four points.
A. Your value sequence
You meet a lady at a party for the first time. In the first few minutes of your conversation, you ask her to marry you. What happens next? You know that she will walk away.
In business, in the same way, you cannot ask your customers to marry you after your first meeting. You need to articulate your business offering with a value sequence. Let me explain.
A.1 The (free) gift – Lead Magnet
You start offering to your prospective clients one or more free gifts. These are parts of your main product or service. They are valuable because they solve a problem your customers have.
Most of the times, you will ask for email addresses in change.
They need to trust you for them to give you their email, but not so much yet. Your prospects have a safe opportunity to experience what you provide. It’s an easy decision.
A dental clinic could offer a checklist: “Ten steps to a brilliant smile.”
Our own “Essential Marketing Funnel Checklist” is one of our gifts for you. You can download it here.
At this point, no money changes hands.
A.2 The low-cost item – Tripwire
A low-cost item is a part of your main offer. It is not complete because it does not solve all the problems your customer has. But it has significant and inherent value, because it solves one of those problems well.
The dental clinic could offer a cleaning session for a nominal price.
During the cleaning session, the dentist will find some issues. And he will offer to his customer more treatments.
We offer our “Build your website in one day” guide for example. It helps you build an excellent website without hiring anyone. It has a low cost and it provides an enormous value. You will have a website, but you will be far from having a sales funnel. And you will consider hiring us to get your sales funnel designed and implemented.
The purpose of the low-cost item is to convert your prospect into your buyer.
For them is a small step, a comfortable and safe decision. It is a significant psychological transformation taking place. Your customer has chosen to give you money and to trust you. If you deliver value and they like what they get from you, they are ready for the next step.
A.3 Your main offer
It is your main product or service.
The dental clinic, for example, offers dental implants or orthodontics.
With our “done for you” sales funnel design and implementation service, we deliver the greatest value to our clients.
There is a percentage of the customers who bought your low-cost item that will be ready to buy your main offer. Some will be ready after a few minutes. Some will need more nurturing.
The low-cost item achieves the psychological transformation. And it funds part or all your marketing.
Your main offer is what makes your business profitable.
A.4 The VIP Offer
Some of your customers will want a “white gloves” treatment and will want to pay for it. Some will want the highest level of service and customization your organization can offer.
A dental clinic offers subscription programs with monthly preventive sessions. Or it offers packages of pre-planned treatments.
At this fourth level, your business becomes extremely profitable.
Let’s move to another industry to summarize with another example: an HR consulting firm. In this case, you may have:
- a free lead magnet, (your gift): “Five daily habits of the successful HR Director”;
- a low-cost item: a toolkit on how to coach their employees;
- the main offer: a year-long coaching program, or an exclusive “club” for HR directors.
- the VIP offer: a customized series of workshops you run in person.
B. Why does your value sequence matter for your business?
There are three main reasons:
1. You offer your customer a safe and gradual experience of your business. You let them progress one step at a time.
2. It’s proven that such a progressive and safer approach will get customers to buy more of your services.
3. You can fund your advertising with the sales coming from your low-cost items. You will be able to pay more to reach the same customers your competitors are looking to attract.
And you will still be much more profitable with the sales coming from your main offers.
C. What is a sales funnel?
Your sales funnel is a combination of automated events. These events start when your prospect performs the first action.
Example: they (prospects) download a gift. They are taken to an upsell page; they receive an autoresponder email series. Some of them will buy. Those who won’t buy will be sent yet another sequence and will be redirected to yet another page. And so on. A sales funnel consists of a few steps or many steps. A sales funnel can combine many sub-funnels.
A sales funnel is an automated system. It takes your audience through the steps of your value sequence.
Once it has been set up, you can let it work for you.
A sales funnel consists of assets such as:
- blog posts
- visual content
- website(s) and web pages
- landing pages
- squeeze pages
- VSL (video sales pages)
- marketing automation tools
- automation design testing and implementation
- copy that you write on the different pages
- email auto-responder sequences
- opt-in forms
- payment systems
- Everything is integrated in the way that makes the most sense for your business
D. How to plan your sales funnel.
These are the steps you should follow to plan your sales funnel.
You must learn and develop a strong understanding of the demographic you are talking to. These are your ideal clients. I have written here about the importance of creating customers personas. And here I’m providing a tool you can use to create customer personas for your business.
In this step, you are making a decision on who are your customers.
You are also clarifying what problem you solve for them. You want to know about their emotions, their feelings, their challenges, their dreams.
Don’t skip this step. Else you will waste money and time talking to the wrong people and offering the wrong solutions.
Do plan how you will attract your customers. But do not get started with attraction unless your funnel is ready at least in its most basic version. For example, do not send visitors to a landing page if you don’t have your auto-responders ready.
Attraction is about getting the right people to visit your landing pages and your offers. We define this attraction as “driving traffic.” Most often you start driving traffic to the landing page where you offer your gift.
When a funnel is ready, you will have set up email autoresponders series. You will have published sales pages with up-sells of your low-cost items and main offers. You will have down-sells and payment systems in place. You will prepare and automate most of these steps.
Most people never buy after the first interaction. You need to set up the automated interactions your customer needs.
“Attraction” will take many shapes. It begins with blog posts, quizzes, ads on Facebook and Google. It’s a science of its own and we’ll go into depth in future blog posts.
After you attracted your potential customers, you have many ways to engage with them.
After they consume your gift, you will send them autoresponder sequences or broadcast campaigns. You will ask them to subscribe to your social media channels. You will take them to your pages with upsells or down sells.
You can remarket to them using “pixels” and show them more Facebook ads. (If after you read this blog post, you’ll see our ads, you will know that we are remarketing to you).
You will automate most of these steps. We recommend Active Campaign as the most cost-effective email and marketing automation platform. It allows you to interact with different groups of customers in a variety of ways. For example, you can send different messages to different customers depending on which page of your website they visit.
At some point, your client is buying. This step is the most crucial engagement moment. You should design your funnels so that after a prospect downloads your gift, you offer them your low-cost item. When and how this happens in your funnel depends on how aggressive you want to be.
The aim of your low-cost items is not to make your business profitable.
Your low-cost item accomplishes two results instead:
a. it funds your advertising. You should aim to fund your marketing expenses with these sales.
b. when the low-cost item(s) is sold, the relationship between you and your customer shifts.
The moment your customer buys from you for the first time is a defining moment: they decide they trust you. They become part of your audience at a much more intimate level.
D.5 Make your business profitable
A percentage of those who bought your low-cost item will buy your main offer.
Then, a percentage of those who bought your main offer will buy your VIP offer.
When the rates of conversion are good enough, your business becomes profitable.
Your effort consists of:
1. attract enough prospects to the top steps of your funnel
2. get an adequate percentage to buy a low-cost item, and
3. get another adequate percentage to buy your main offer and your VIP offer.
Steps 2. and 3. are called conversions.
You improve your profitability by a) increasing traffic and b) improving conversions.
Your work is to:
- outline the architecture of the funnel
- choose and integrate the right technologies
- write the content: sales copy, emails, web pages, etc.
- drive traffic
You can start driving traffic to our top page in the funnel when everything else is ready.
This is your action plan:
- define your value sequence
- plan your funnel through the steps: know; attract; engage; sell; make your business profitable
- choose the technologies you need and install your sales funnel
- when the funnel is ready – drive traffic to the funnel
And a question for you: how do you think a sales funnel would help your business?