What Are Funnels? Can They Help You Grow Your Business?

Have you ever tried creating an effective funnel to sell your product or service? In this article, we will dive deep into what funnels are and if they can help you grow your business in 2020.

If you are here, it means you have at least heard of funnels and are curious as to how they can improve your business.

Simply put, a sales funnel is a process by which you lead your prospects to become clients or customers. There are many types of funnels and here I will break down how a funnel works and more importantly — what makes it work.

What Are Funnels and Can They Help Your Grow Your Business in 2020? How Sales Funnels Work: What Makes Them Different from A Website?

In most cases, I am sure, you have tried creating a blog or website, added content to it and dabbled in some search engine optimization (SEO) and paid ads to get traffic to your content.

You probably also have a lead magnet you have created painstakingly and have received a few leads; however, those leads have not converted, and you are running a loss.

If that is you, you are in the right place.

Websites, content and lead magnets are just but a few components of what makes a successful sales funnel — there is more involved.

Simply running an ad on Facebook with your lead magnet may get you emails but they are very cold. You will need to warm them up with great content and then drive them to your lead magnets.

Digital marketing sales funnel: What Are Funnels and Can They Help Your Grow Your Business in 2020?

Let’s take a quick glance at your website or blog. First, you’re going to want to add links, buttons, call-to-action buttons (CTAs), and opt-in forms to your site.

These have a specific purpose: to move people from one step to the next within your sales funnel. That way, they go from being a prospect visiting your website for the first time to a subscriber on your email list.

In order to have a chance at doing this, you must first give quality content for free.

This content must keep most of your website visitors on your website for long periods of time. This will have two effects:

Google will consider your website to be of great value to readers and drive more traffic your way.

That means your readers are more likely to want to learn more from you, thus making them warmer leads.

Next, you want to consistently be in their face. The second they leave your website; they must not forget about you. Tools such as pixels are great and can help you retarget.

Have you ever searched online for a digital camera, gone to the online store and browsed a specific make and model? Once you leave the website and go to Facebook or Instagram, you immediately start seeing advertisements for the same item.

That is retargeting.

What Are Funnels and Can They Help Your Grow Your Business in 2020?
Retargeting

In short, you getting your reader to learn more about you. This is when you can retarget them with your lead magnet based on the article that attracted them to your website.

Attracting People into Your Funnel (Traffic)

You finally have great content that people would stay on your page to read and your retargeting is in order. Now let us drive traffic to your content and start getting the wheel moving.

You may be a perfectionist and want to get all the components done first. However, driving traffic comes second on my list because it is crucial to the success of your business.

Not only driving traffic: driving highly qualified traffic. Thank God we are in the 21st century. There are many tools and strategies you can use to drive qualified traffic to your content.

Qualified traffic is crucial because these are people more likely to be interested in your content and as such; your goods or services. If you drive unqualified traffic to your offers, you are more likely to warm them up for someone else to close them.

What Are Funnels and Can They Help Your Grow Your Business in 2020?
Qualified vs Unqualified leads

Tools to Drive Traffic to Your Funnel

There are many tools you can use to drive traffic to your offer like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, search engines, Pinterest, YouTube (also a search engine but deserves a special mention), or AdWords. The first thing you need to know when selecting your traffic choices is: are you going free or are you willing to pay for it. Each method has its own pros and cons as you will see from the table below:

Advantages and Disadvantages of Free Marketing

Pros Of Free MarketingCons Of Free Marketing
It is free: This means that all you need is a good strategy that may include good content or incorporation of good SEO tactics on your site. You do not have to pay a single penny Free traffic can be time-consuming if not done well. This is because strategies like SEO (search engine optimization) require a lot of time and effort
It is less demanding: Free traffic strategies are not as demanding as paid traffic strategies and can, therefore, be left for a couple of days even as you continue to enjoy good traffic flow.Success is not guaranteed when using free traffic methods as they are not measurable. Sometimes your efforts may not produce any results
Traffic flow can continue to flow long after you have stopped the campaign. When your SEO campaign is good and you get your site at the top of search engine results, you can be sure that traffic will come in long after you have stopped the campaign

Advantages and Disadvantages of Paid Marketing

Pros Of Paid MarketingCons Of Paid Marketing
You get traffic fast. It does not take long before you start seeing the results. It can be costly. In some cases, you may end up spending a lot of money before you actually see results
It is easier to reach your target market by targeting tools and the use of keywords.If you stop the campaign results may also stop as the ads are no-longer shown to your target audience
It is measurable. You can view reports and get details information about what your results areYou must continue testing in order to reach an optimal return on your investment. Your first ad may fail dismally

A good mix of both paid and free marketing is crucial to the long-term success of your sales funnel. In the long-term, when you move on to other product offerings, free traffic will continue to fuel your past offers and keep your profitable.

What Are Funnels and Can They Help Your Grow Your Business in 2020? Targeting the Correct Traffic for Your Funnel:

Maybe I missed one basic component in this entire section on traffic. Answer me this by leaving your response in the comments sections:

What is traffic? Is it a) customers b) leads c) people)

Traffic is simply — people: the people you are targeting to be your future clients.

People have needs, hobbies, friends; they speak different languages, have different sports and tv shows they watch and the foods they eat.

Download the buying persona builder on the left, to learn more about the people you want to bring to your content.

When using paid ads, you have more control over your targeting as highlighted in the table above. With Facebook, you can narrow it down to as small a group as possible, thus making your traffic more qualified. Other platforms are only just entering the marketing game and will likely catch up soon.

Understanding that you are targeting people helps you to understand several things:

  1. What platform to use? Each platform attracts a different kind of user with Facebook being known for a more mature audience than Instagram and Snapchat.
  2. What hobbies they are likely to enjoy.
  3. Who they listen to or follow on social media?

Hint: If they follow other people in your niche, they are more likely to be a very qualified target audience.

A lot of businesses underestimate the importance of targeting: by targeting, you can shorten your sales lifecycle and also attract instant loyal clients. This is something I always say to my clients and I am always surprised that they are shocked by this fact.

What Are Funnels and Can They Help Your Grow Your Business in 2020?
Typical customer lifecycle for your funnel

What Does your Funnel Need from Your Prospects?

Social media marketing is getting more and more complicated. With each marketing strategy you try, you can get different outcomes, which is why you should use different tools.

Paying for marketing allows you to utilize all these tools and get quantifiable results.

The question becomes: do you need to collect any information? – Yes, absolutely.

Data collection is the key to success in the modern world. As a result, having a good CRM system is also a good idea and would make your life easier when it comes to sales and customization of service delivery. For the sake of this article, let’s focus on the basics.

Basic Data you Must Collect for Your Funnel to Work

What are your key touchpoints with your clients and prospects?

As mentioned before, there are many types of funnels you can use to achieve different results; however, a single funnel cannot be used and expected to achieve maximum results.

The most basic information your funnels need in order to work are:

First Name: A first name is great for personalization of content and email. Imagine getting an email from a marketer that does not have your name. It frustrates me when marketer gets my email from a random list and uses the front end of my email as my name, or worse simply calls me “Customer”

Having the first name can also help you when managing your contacts lists and knowing your buyers. Be sure to make this a mandatory item to collect on your contact forms, lead ads and call to actions.

  • Last Name: Having the last name also helps with personalization, invoicing and data management. If you want to keep your opt-in forms short, I would keep this as an optional field.
  • Phone Number: The more customer touch points you have the better. When it comes to following up with buyers, reminding people about the pending orders or simply getting in touch with people: phone number is the most direct.

Remember what we said above? All your targets, leads, and buyers are simply just people like you. Put yourself in their shoes, what is the fastest and easiest way to get in touch with you?

If you feel that there is a lot of value in your lead magnet, I would suggest adding a phone number collection to your opt-in forms. The warmer the lead, the more data you can collect from them.

  • Cookies: Not the edible type. Cookies, in simple terms; are what websites use to collect your browser information in order to prevent you from repeating steps and to show you new information.

Having a plugin that collects cookie data and uses it constructively can help your funnel in ways you cannot imagine. Simply knowing the exact video the visitor watched last time and showing them similar content next time or offers in line with that — That is a powerful tool.

  • Email Address: Without a doubt, this is the most valuable item you could collect

A single email address in your contacts list is valued at an estimate of $1 (one US dollar) per month. If that is the case, 10,000 emails would be worth $10,000 per month: that is not to say each email address will pay you $1 per month. However, on average, you should be able to earn $10,000 from a few sales monthly if you get your funnel right.

Email collection must be the top of the list of items to collect because simply having names is redundant — this will lead us to the section on automated email marketing.

Automated Email Funnels:

Now that you have collected everyone’s emails, first names and last names, it is time to reach out to them.

Email is the next touchpoint in your funnel: this goes directly to them and as such, requires personalization; adding their name in it makes it clear you know them.

There are many tips and tricks you can follow for effective email content, however, the easiest way to do emails is to keep them short, text format and add only one link if possible. The link must lead to something valuable — not only push leads to an offer.

An email funnel can be designed based on the lead’s actions: thus, getting a proper email system is crucial. We at SNCT Marketing, have personally worked with mail chimp and sendin blue: both systems are powerful and less costly than the alternatives most people use. You could also reach out to us for more information about our own powerful emailing tool by scheduling a consultation below.

Keep in mind, in most cases you do get what you pay for when it comes to online services, so do your research and choose quality or price.

What Should My Email Automation Do for My Funnel?

As far as questions go, that is a good one to ask.

Look at your funnel as a road map that should lead your clients from point A; not knowing you, to point B; buying your products and trusting you.

Your email funnel should do the same.

Sending frequent personalized emails will allow you to guide them and stay in their faces, even when they are not browsing the web or using social media.

Your automation should start by sending the prospect their opt-in items automatically and then send them to future content on your website, YouTube channel and anywhere else you wish to drive traffic.

Email is very important and sadly most small and medium-sized businesses do not take full advantage of this, to keep their clients loyal and to get non-buyers to eventually buy something.

Flawed Email Funnel: What Are Funnels? Can They Help You Grow Your Business?

Your Email funnel and automation must be tracked and the data studied at all times. This is because a failure in this funnel could lead to a total breakdown of the entire system.

Consider this: You pay $1,000 to drive traffic to an article; the article opt-in converts and gets you an email lead that is eager to learn more from you; you send them your first email and they do not open it; you then send them more emails and all are unopened.

What is the end result here? — yes, you have lost money.

The goal is to make money when you spend it. Taking a little extra time to study your numbers and make the required changes to your funnel could be the difference between a $1,000 loss or $1,000 profit.

So, keeping a close eye on the numbers of your business is very important.

Just to drive this across further: imagine working in a sales company as a sales manager. You need to make sure your staff has done their daily follow-ups, cold calls; time per each call, tame taken for breaks, number of sales coming in and emails each sales rep sends out.

The same goes for an automated system — keep the system accountable.

Stats That Support an Email Marketing Funnel

If you were not sure just how important and effective email marketing can be for your business the following stats will prove it. 

Marketing strategy resource EmailMonday published its Ultimate Marketing Automation Statistics for 2017. Here are some key findings from the report:

By using email funnels, 77% of marketers had more conversions and 80% had more leads, according to 2015’s “Marketing Automation, How to Make the Right Buying Decision” from VB Insight.

It can take time to make more money using marketing automation, according to 2015’s Benchmarking Report Marketing Automation from Circle Research and B2BMarketing.net. The study found that in six months, just 8% of companies will have higher revenue. Up to 32% will have more revenue in a year, and up to 40% will have more revenue within two years or more.

Email funnels are everywhere. In last year’s The Ultimate Marketing Automation Stats from EmailMonday, 55% of B2B companies and 49% of other companies favored marketing automation.

EmailMonday

 

The Lead Magnet, Driving Leads into Your Funnel: What Are Funnels? Can They Help You Grow Your Business?

Have you ever heard of a lead magnet?

If you run a brick and mortar business, consider the free trials, test samples and consultations you give to prospective buyers and clients.

Now, instead of just picturing a salesgirl offering you free splashes of cologne in the perfume shop, imagine if she had a short presentation first: where she offered you three samples to smell; 1) a rose that with a simple wave, emits a floral fragrance for a feminine touch, 2) a piece of wood that when rubbed produces an oak/woody fragrance designed for a strong man and 3) leaves, when lightly crushed in a mortar, make you feel like you were walking through a forest.

After which, if she gave you a free sample and asked you for your email address —­ would you say yes?

What exactly is a lead magnet?

A lead magnet is simply, a quality item or service you provide to potential clients in exchange for their lead information. Lead information is the collectible data listed above such as first name and email address.

You are basically giving away something valuable in exchange for their contact details so you can send them more information in the future.

Please pay attention to my clear use of the words valuable and quality. Yes, your lead magnet must be well designed and delivered as promised. This will help you increase the amount of trust you garner from your leads. Ask yourself this — if the free giveaway is of such great value: what sort of value would they expect from the product you want them to buy?

What Can I Use as A Lead Magnet for My Funnel? What Are Funnels? Can They Help You Grow Your Business?

Lead magnets can be anything really. So long as they actually provide value for your leads and represent your brand well.

You can provide it in the form of a PDF similar to the one I am offering with this article. Other formats could be a file of stock photos, a free consultation, free software or a free app.

The primary job of the lead magnet is to get you an email and contact details of the people visiting your website or offers.

A Sales Funnel That Converts: What Are Funnels? Can They Help You Grow Your Business?

Now let’s answer the question, “What Are Funnels and Can They Help Your Grow Your Business in 2020?” When you are dealing with sales funnels, there are considerable investments required to get the ball rolling. Even if you go for free services and free traffic, you will still need to work tirelessly to get everything working smoothly. In this business, time is also a major investment. It would be a shame if you built a sales funnel that did not work.

So, here is what you need to know about your funnel before you set it up:

  1. It will take time for the funnel to convert a prospect to a buyer.
  2. You will not sell to every one of your leads.
  3. Your funnel should embody the customer journey. Test it to make sure it is smooth and painless.
  4. Test everything. Do AB testing on your marketing, your landing pages, and your lead magnets.
  5. Manage your email list closely, 10%-30% of your list will be inactive with the year.
  6. Most importantly do not give up, instead, improve and adapt to the numbers from your campaigns.

If you are keen to find out how you can implement a successful converting sales funnel into your business, schedule a free, no-obligation, 1 on 1 consultation with me and my team and we can help point you in the right direction.

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