What is a sales funnel and how do I build it?

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A sales funnel is a detailed journey outlining the ideal customer conversion process of your business, basically how it gets leads and makes sales. A sales funnel in eCommerce by itself is more or less shorthand for basic business infrastructure, but it’s important to get all of those aspects right if you want to succeed. The sooner you’re in the black, the better, and that’s why emphasizing sales funnels, trying new ones that convert more sales, is really important in the beginning. It takes a lot of guessing out of the equation.

There are a couple of different types of funnels, but with the most common, a front-end funnel, the business’s business finds potential sources of relevant traffic, as in people who could reasonably be expected to need their products or services. These people do not know about the business at all, 999 times out of 1000 or more, and they’ll have to get their attention by being annoying, spammy, or a nuisance.

Those customers are attracted through a single, effective one-to-many promotion technique, such as social media ads, TV ads, or influencer marketing deals. This proceeds until the participant in the funnel must make a sale at some point, or else they will be eventually funneled out over time from whatever contact method, such as email, you are using. What this means is that you only pay for customers who really are worth something to you monetarily, and you have no problem scaling up in size because your list grows proportionally in profitability with its size. Furthermore, after the customer passes through some sort of buying stage and completes a checkout, things change and it’s time for another funnel stage. These people are no longer just curious information hogs, now they’ve helped your venture grow with the best possible expression of confidence, their hard-earned money.

And so, because most people are bigger spenders than they like the believe, a savvy business will immediately contact that customer again at the last minute, usually right before or after checkout, to offer upsells, downsells, and cross-sells. Basically, “you want fries with that” but applied to anything.

Once people agree to buy something, it’s not that hard for them to make a snap decision, in a moment of inspiration, to commit harder and spend more than they initially had expected. Use this stuff for good, folks. Respect that there are many different people out there. Some will buy regularly, once per month, if you don’t bother them, and others will follow you on your social profiles and need to be coaxed through there with the right post. Don’t be greedy, still provide a great product, but give as many people as possible multiple potential avenues to pay you and support your business.

Not many prospects will do these alternative bonus opportunities to give you money, that needs to be made clear. But some will, which will add up quickly to pay off for your advertising even more.

In a perfect world, what I just described would be the business model that most struggling small business owners adopt, before anything else. It really is the bare, no-chance-of-failure basics to start earning an income online. If you take nothing else from what I say here, look into making and optimizing an eCommerce sales funnel, like the one I described, for your business.

Now, you asked how to build one. That is hard to offer pinpoint advice on, but the best way in my experience is ClickFunnels. If that’s too much right now, and you want to start small and experiment a little before you have multiple upsells ready, I recommend creating a Weebly or WordPress site and hooking it up with an eCommerce store plugin like WooCommerce. There’s a million of them, so maybe shop around and see what’s considered the best for the type of business you run and the type of things that you sell. Get an email service if you don’t yet. GetResponse is pretty good. You will use your main website and landing pages to scoop up potential prospects when they buy, or click to buy but leave the checkout before completion. You can make specific funnels for these exact scenarios to say the exact kind of things that that sort of customer might want to hear. Starting to see the power of list-building with funnels?

The key to making an acceptable funnel really good is the categorization and retargeting. Retargeting allows you to show ads to people on other sites they visit, not just where you’re advertising. Creepy? Sometimes? Useful? Sometimes, indeed. These systems also allow you to create extremely detailed and user-friendly experiences for your funnels.

For instance, a person who bought your product offered on an email welcome series should never receive another email asking them to buy it, again. That is not ideal. Instead, move to upselling them on something related, gradually. This level of convenience is going to make people care about the emails you send. And with a little bit of effort, they don’t, as most beginner online business owners worry, annoy subscribers with their frequency or their eagerness to sell. These are very cool, not annoying, and there for the long hault to try and become a valued staple of each person’s daily email inbox checking. That’s the kind of power email offers, which is why when most people talk about sales funnels online, they’re talking in some manner about email.

There are basically two main types of funnels: front-end and back-end. Front-end funnels take brand new, unqualified traffic and turn as many of them as possible into leads and repeat customers while attempting to upsell confirmed customers on more stuff. Whereas, with backend funnels, you market to people who are already familiar with your brand to get them to buy higher-value products, affiliated products, ongoing services, even speaking engagements if your brand is personality-driven.

If you want to learn more about what you can do with expert sales funnel design I would recommend Dotcom Secrets by Russel Brunson. I have a review of it on my site.

Please feel free to reply, if you have any questions.

Good Luck!


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