If you’ve been head-desking your way through trying to get your sales funnel to actually, y’know, SELL, then stay with me.
Because if your sales funnel isn’t working, chances are good that you’re making at least one of the mistakes I’m breaking down here.
As someone who dissects copy and sales funnels every day, ALL day, and has reviewed hundreds of pages of copy, there are common faux pas I see people make all the time with their funnel.
In just a sec, I’m going to dish on exactly what those are, and what you can do to fix ‘em now, and avoid making the same mistakes again.
What the hell IS a Sales Funnel, anyway?
If you’ve been around the online biz space for any length of time, you probably already know what a sales funnel is. But, if you’re just starting out, then maybe you’re not too familiar with this tactic.
Also called a marketing funnel, a sales funnel is the process of rapidly guiding a prospect from being a complete stranger (or distant kissin’-cousin) to a customer.
Sales funnels aren’t a new concept. They’ve been around for almost as long as people have been buying and selling on the internet. Today, they’re an essential part of most online businesses.
(I say *most*, because not all businesses need or even want a sales funnel)
Implementing a sales funnel actually isn’t that difficult with amazing tools like ClickFunnels that eliminate the techy side of things. But in reality, there are a LOT of factors that will determine your success (or lack thereof) using a sales funnel.
And, it’s been my experience, that the simpler the funnel set-up, the better. For one, it’s WAY easier to implement and maintain than a convoluted system of upsells, downsells, and bumps.
How It Works: The Dead-Simple Sales Funnel
Here’s the skinny on how an online sales funnel should work:
Step 1: You advertise a freebie or blog post (like this one)
Step 2: Someone signs up for the free offer linked in the ad (or the blog post)
Step 3: On successful completion, they’re immediately presented with a bite-sized, one-time-offer (or “tripwire”) which complements the free offer in some way, and represents a low commitment in time and money to the purchaser.
Step 4: You cross your fingers that they’ll buy, then…
Step 5: The subscriber then remains on your email list until they unsubscribe (or you do it for them), with the intention that they become a paying client for higher ticket offers at some point.
Side note: In some instances, thanks to some weird rebellion against selling and actually making money for your business, some “experts” suggest that subscribers should be ushered through an excruciatingly long series of “nurturing” emails in a misguided attempt at building the know, like and trust factor.
So…first things first: STOP DOING THAT.
The longer you wait to convert someone into a paying client, the slimmer your chances are they ever will be.
Studies show that the window of opportunity to convert a browser into a buyer closes within 90 days.
Which means if you can’t establish a relationship strong enough to warrant a teeny-tiny taste of commitment from someone…they’re not the droids you’re looking for.
Whew…now we’ve got THAT out of the way, let’s dive in so you can start seeing better results from YOUR sales funnel.
Rather watch? Click the video below!
The Top 5 Reasons Your Sales Funnel Isn’t Working…and what to do about it
When I perform a Funnel Analysis and Critique for clients, there are certain areas I look at to uncover what could be the reason (or reasons) that their sales funnel isn’t working.
These are the 5 areas where I see the most common problems.
Reason #1: The Ad
If you’ve thrown a TON of dough at Facebook or Google ads and haven’t been getting the results you want, you might be thinking, “FACEBOOK ADS SUCK!”
But chances are pretty good that it’s you (sorry…).
There are multiple areas where things could be falling short for you here.
First, how’s the ad copy?
Your ad copy needs to connect with your target audience in a way that screams “Yes! I can help you!”…while staying within advertising guidelines, natch;)
What To Look For
One way to tell if your ad is actually making a connection with your target audience is to take a look at your ad metrics and performance.
If people aren’t engaging with your ad and clicking through, then a good place to start is by taking a look at:
- The copy: Is it compelling enough?
- Have you targeted the right audience?
- Are you advertising the right offer to that audience? (message to market match)
- Do you need to test a different image or images?
If you’re seeing pretty good results from your advertising but list growth is still slim, it could be your…
Reason #2: The Squeeze Page + Offer
One of the biggest hurdles between you snagging someone’s email address or not is on your squeeze page, also known as an opt-in or landing page.
Because if there’s any degree of friction, people will simply click away.
Friction can be distractions (like menu navigation) on the page, multiple calls-to-action (CTA), overall layout and design, or copy that just doesn’t connect with the reader and grab their attention.
How to fix it
1. Have a singular focus:
So…remove any unnecessary navigation or additional CTA’s that may be confusing to the reader.
2. Grab attention and make your reader give a crap ← that’s your copy’s job. Tell the reader what’s in it for them if they throw down their email address. What are you going to do for them? Why should they care about any of it?
Your squeeze page should have a high-interest headline that grabs your reader by the short n’ curlies, and bullets that explain your free offer and make the would-be subscriber curious.
3. Remove barriers to signing up. Weird layouts or complicated sign-up forms create a barrier to people signing up. Keep the layout simple, with the email, name and button easily visible above the fold if possible, so the reader doesn’t have to scroll. Limit the number of fields the reader needs to fill in to ONLY what’s absolutely necessary and relevant to your sales funnel goal.
A Quickie Case Study (Results Fo’ Realz)
I recently did a review and critique for a coaching client who was getting amazing click throughs on her ad, but the opt-ins just weren’t happening.
On closer look, there were a few things going on with the squeeze page, like:
- A boring headline
- Snore-worthy freebie title
- The title in the image on the squeeze page and the title in the copy of the free guide being offered didn’t match (<– hello, friction!)
- Bland bullets
Absolutely all of those contributed to her less-than-stellar results.
Once I walked her through exactly what to fix, how to do it, and why it mattered, she saw an insane 81% lift in conversions and a 50% decrease in cost per lead!
So, now that we’ve handled the very top of the funnel, it’s time to dive a little deeper into why your sales funnel isn’t converting.
Reason #3: The Thank You Page
The whole purpose of a sales funnel is to SELL. But, there are multiple ways to leverage a thank you page and actually put it to work for you.
In the traditional online sales funnel, your thank you page is actually the sales page for your one-time-offer or tripwire.
Which, of course, leads into a whole different set of problems if you have zero clue about how to write a sales page. But I digress…
Just like a long-form sales page, the purpose of your funnel’s OTO/tripwire page is to guide the reader from point A – having just signed up for your freebie – to clicking the Buy button.
Done right, this baby can make serious cashola, even with a bite-sized offer.
If you’re not seeing the conversions you’d like with your current one-time-offer, then take a look at:
- Your headline, hook and lead. Are they compelling and engaging? Are they speaking to your customer’s current problems and pain?
- Is your tripwire offer something people actually WANT? (Not sure how to find out what your audience wants? I’ll show you a painless way you can leverage your thank you page to get answers here)
- Is your offer unique?
- Have you included urgency to buy NOW? (using a countdown timer and having the offer expire after a set period of time is popular)
- Is the offer ultra-specific? For example, it needs to be focused on helping the purchaser do one thing…which should be an extension of your free offer or something that complements it
But just because someone doesn’t take you up immediately on your OTO doesn’t mean it’s a dud. I mean, you just met and all;)
Which brings me to the 800lb gorilla of online business, and the biggest part of your sales funnel…
Reason #4: The Emails
Contrary to rumors circulating that ‘email is dead’, email remains the #1 conversion method for online businesses.
Email isn’t going anywhere, anytime soon.
But here’s the thing…
People get weird when it comes to emailing their list. They’re afraid of pestering them…and usually terrified of selling.
What the inexperienced and uneducated don’t realize is that you’re doing people on your list a favor by promoting your products and services.
After all…they’ve got a problem (clearly, or they wouldn’t have signed up).
YOU can help them solve it.
And since everyone’s so dang busy these days, with a gazillion emails putting a chokehold on their inbox, it’s critical that YOU make an appearance often.
When it comes to your sales funnel, they need a reminder that, if they haven’t already taken you up on your OTO, time’s a-tickin’ and they will miss out.
In your sales funnel, make sure you have…
- AT LEAST one email reminding them to download/watch/read your freebie (2 is better), and that the time to snatch up your tripwire is NOW.
- Another tripwire reminder email at the 24-hour mark (if you’re running a 48-hour OTO)
- AT LEAST 2 more reminders for your limited-time offer
So…for a regular ol’ evergreen funnel, that’s 5-6 emails, all leading the new subscriber on the path toward enlightenment.
Not sure how to put ’em all together? I’m sharing my sales funnel email blueprint fo’ free, right here – clickety-click!
Which all leads me to possibly one of the biggest reasons your sale funnel isn’t converting…
Reason #5: The Vision
This actually should have been at the top of the list. And that’s because when you’re guiding people on a journey, whether it’s a blog post, sales page or funnel, you ALWAYS start with the end in mind.
Here’s what I want you to do…
Grab a pen and paper. Then, list your Big Offer – what are you selling or guiding people toward?
Next, think about what a logical small step would be for someone to take that prepares them for your Big Offer and fills in the blanks from your freebie. It should be something they can do quickly and easily, and doesn’t require a huge commitment from either of you. This becomes your one-time-offer or tripwire.
Finally, think about what makes sense to kick things off with. What would someone love to have that sets them up for a small amount of success…without giving away the goods?
Great free offers or opt-ins include checklists, a short video training, ebooks, quizzes, and more.
Now it’s YOUR turn.
In this post I shared a YUGE scoop of “insider” info, so you can start getting better results, fast, from your sales funnel.
Now I want to hear from you. What trips you up the most when pulling your sales funnel together?
Is it the strategy?
Let me know in the comments!
(And if you liked this post, share the crap out of it!)