As an entrepreneur trying to stay relevant and thrive in the competitive digital age, there’s one marketing strategy you’ve likely heard holds the secret to growing your business online: sales funnels. You’ve seen the ads, read the blogs, watched the tutorials, and tried your hand at implementing sales funnels in your own business.
But for some reason, you haven’t hit the jackpot. Scaling your business through sales funnels still feels like rocket science —and something is definitely broken.
You know funnels have the ability to bring in customers for your business on autopilot and turn your customers into loyal repeat buyers, but how do you make your sales funnels stand out and actually grow your bottom line? Here are four proven strategies and pieces of actionable advice you can implement immediately to help turn your sales funnels into predictable, profitable client acquisition systems.
Offer something valuable in the first step of your funnel
Years ago, we had category kings — industry leaders who dominated their markets and had little to no competition. Thus, business owners didn’t have to necessarily try so hard to win new customers.
Now, it’s not that easy. Due to ever-growing competition, online brands and entrepreneurs have to put a lot more effort into winning customers online and demonstrating why someone should choose them over a competitor. One of the most effective ways to do this is to offer new customers something at the very beginning of your funnel that is no-cost, yet highly valuable. It should be something that helps your ideal customer build trust with your brand before ever pulling out their wallet. Some options: a free case study, a mini training series, a checklist, a guide, an e-book, or a demo of your product. If you can solve a small part of your ideal customer’s problem through it, that’s even better.
In a phone conversation with Gusten Sun, founder and CEO of Funnels And Experts, he explained how his agency builds clients’ funnels using this exact strategy of providing value first. “To give you a practical example… let’s say you’re a movie buff, but you want to stop spending so much money at the theaters,” he says. “You do a quick Google search and find an online movie streaming service that offers a free 30-day trial. You sign up, watch movies for free for a month, and afterward, they ask you if you want to continue watching unlimited movies from the comfort of your home. You say yes and pay. That’s an example of a successful funnel, and that’s the concept of providing value first in order to build relationships and turn browsers into customers…Oh, and you may have guessed: That’s the sales funnel of Netflix.”
Make sure your funnel leads with value and gives something free before you make an offer. Creating a sales funnel in this order will make it much easier to turn a cold lead into a happy customer.
Swap outdated sales copy tactics for authentic emotional response marketing
As a business owner, you know your target customer needs to feel like your brand is speaking directly to them. Copywriting is how you do that, but effective copywriting has made a massive shift in the last decade.
The modern customer is tired of pushy headlines and in-your-face copy that screams BUY. If you look at old sales funnels, you will see this type of copy heavily used. It worked back then, but not anymore. The only way to make your sales funnel copy work in 2020 is to be authentic, honest and real. You want your copy to sound more conversational and less “car salesman”. This is the type of copy that speaks to the modern-day consumer.
Cody Griffin, CEO of Griffin Copywriting and Marketing Solutions, expanded on this shift to me. “This is why an increasing number of successful brands are moving away from direct response copy tactics to what industry experts are calling emotional response marketing,” he says. “Your funnel doesn’t have to be complicated, but what most marketers fail to do in their copy is to meet their market at their current level. It’s vital to relate to where your client or customer is now versus where they want to be and how your product or service will help get them there. Doing so will result in more conversions, more sales, and success with your funnel.”
Stories build a deeper emotional connections and responses with your audience. Think less about clicks and more about feelings. Your funnel’s overall performance will skyrocket.
Set up retargeting campaigns
In an ideal world, every person that visits your funnel’s landing page opts-in and makes their way to the very end of your funnel where they make a purchase. Unfortunately, it rarely works that way.
If you want your sales funnels to convert, put strategic retargeting campaigns in place. These can be a series of either ads or emails (or both) that get sent to people who land on the first page of your funnel but don’t take the action you want them to (download your lead magnet, watch your video, opt into your webinar, etc.).
The secret to making retargeting campaigns works is making sure they are full of valuable content such as educational videos, inspiring stories, objection handling topics, bonus training, product reviews, customer case studies and testimonials. Every piece of content a prospect sees after they’ve left your sales to funnel should show them why they should reconsider your offer and why they can trust you and your brand.
Don’t limit your traffic to one source
It’s no secret that using social media as sources of traffic can be one of the most profitable ways to drive customers to your sales funnels. However, most businesses make the mistake of focusing their traffic efforts on just one platform.
This leads to chaos and panic within your company when the social platform of your choosing crashes for one day. Don’t put all your eggs in one basket. Social media platforms have the power to control your ability to use their sites for running ads and driving traffic, so invest your resources into getting multiple streams of traffic set up.
Though using social media platforms to drive traffic is arguably one of the best strategies, don’t overlook the power of content marketing in 2020. Utilizing emails, blog content, SEO, case studies, etc. is and will be more effective at driving traffic to your funnel than social media alone.
In an email conversation with Cindy Pate, CEO of Manifestation Rebel, she explained this well. “Old stars still shine,” she says. “To drive quality traffic to your funnels, don’t make the mistake of underestimating good old-fashioned email marketing. Emails are still as profitable as ever and will always be a secret sales weapon when used correctly in addition to your social media platforms. Sending traffic to your funnel via organic blog posts, SEO and podcasts are also among the highest-converting forms of content marketing you should be implementing in your funnel strategy today.”
Bottom line: There are traffic sources beyond social media. The value is in the real assets that are gained from a sales funnel including the telephone numbers and email addresses that you store in our own systems outside of social networks. Don’t limit your funnel traffic to one source unless you want your sales to be completely reliant on one platform.