What is an Online Sales Funnel?

A process that controls the online visitor from capture and recording of their information on a database to warming them up and educating them to become a hot prospect for what you offer.  The funnel can then take them on the ‘Value Ladder’, up and cross sell, survey them. All automated.  (Websites offer menus and multiple-choice buttons meaning you do not control the visitor or even capture their details).

A funnel usually starts with a free and valued gift to capture email so that you own a growing database of qualified prospects.  The gift must be very high quality and wow them with something they find of great use.  An eBook is the most common, but it can be a variety of things.  The Internet world has trained people to expect free value to start a relationship, not a sales pitch.

Funnels work because they match the usual sales process of winning over and warming up prospects and educating them. They avoid the expensive and unreliable labour costs with previous offline sales processes. Most companies are still using expensive traditional sales processes meaning you have a major advantage moving with the times.

  1. It starts with paid advertising targeted exactly to the profiles of people you want.  Converting traffic you control into traffic you own.  Often on Facebook or Linkedin, it can focus on demo and psycho graphics.
  2. They are usually sent to a “squeeze page” which is deliberately simple and only offers the option of the free gift in return for their email. Probably an eBook with a very specific copywriting style.
  3. Then you take them up “Your Value Ladder” People who decline the initial buy offer can be offered an alternative. We can also add interactive chat, videos and webinars.
  4. Ultimately you can send out regular scheduled automated pre -written emails. This could be a video information programme with upsells.  The selling is very soft and in the background. Giving value being the key to winning them over as buyers. The funnel can be short or long depending on specifics.

The design starts after we have clear objectives and target audience.  Then we web research existing funnels known to be working with similar objectives known as ‘Funnel Hacking’, a very NLP approach.  Copywriting is the most important part. Small wording changes can make dramatic response differences.  After implementation each part of the funnel is analysed for conversion rates and changes made towards optimisation.  The funnel is managed, maintained and updated ongoing.

The advantage of Online Funnels are:

  1. They automate many of the communications of the customer journey with a good user experience.
  2. Reduce or even eliminate the number of staff required and the skills/expense/training level of those that you need.
  3. Respondents are filtered and educated on what you offer and what is special, and have the feeling of knowing, liking and trusting you.  They arrive as buyers or hot prospects.
  4. It takes over lead generation and a lot of the ‘sales pitch process’.
  5. They are transferable quickly to other markets.
  6. It builds you a growing database you own and have no further costs marketing to them.

So, the questions you need to answer are:

  1. Where at the moment would you see an Online Funnel being of most benefit?
  2. Who exactly is the target?
  3. What exactly do you want them to do?
  4. What are your ‘Value Ladder’ stages?
  5. What is the financial value/return desired?
  6. What ‘gift’ would be very in demand and ‘wow ‘your targeted audience?

Give me a call, Alex McMillan on 07525916574. alex@successmoves.co.uk