The art of the sales funnel is a necessary tool for business owners to perfect. It doesn’t matter how many likes your posts on social media get. Without an optimized sales funnel, you can’t convert your audience into customers! There are many different types of sales funnels out there that you can use as a template depending on your specific needs.
In today’s post, we’ll cover:
- What a sales funnel is and the three components
- The one important step you need for any sales funnel
- 4 types of sales funnels you should create as a service provider
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel helps guide potential customers through the process of discovering your product. The end goal of a sales funnel is a purchase or conversion. Sales funnels are designed to maximize your revenue.
While there are many different types of sales funnels, they all typically follow three basic steps.
Step One: Traffic
The first step is where your potential client, or lead, discovers your brand.
Your lead can come from many different places, from a Facebook ad to a pin on Pinterest. When your lead arrives on your landing page, you want to convince them to take the next step by offering them something!
This is your chance to engage them and turn them from a stranger into a subscriber.
Do you give them a free email course or cheat sheet for signing up for your mailing list? Do you invite them to register for a free webinar or email course?
You want to show them that you have something of value that will improve their lives.
Step Two: Value-Adding
Now that someone’s entered your sales funnel, you want to create a mechanism to add value to your leads.
People rarely buy right away.
In fact, it usually takes at least seven touchpoints to turn a lead into a buyer. These touchpoints are all about building trust!
How you add value will depend on what you’re offering. Now that your lead is on your email list, you can share information with them. This can take the form of an email nurture sequence, blog post, or webinar.
You have a lot of value to offer. It’s up to you as a service provider to figure out how to nurture your funnel with something of value!
Step Three: Pitch
In the third step of the funnel, you’re pitching your product. You’ve now built a relationship with your potential customers and demonstrated your authority within your niche.
Now they’re ready to engage with you more deeply!
All of the value-adding in the world only works if you use that momentum to make a sale.
At this point, your potential client knows and trusts you. Make sure to actually give your leads something to take action with! Pitch your product at the end of your free webinar or as your email sequence wraps up.
The One Important Step You’ll Need for Any Sales Funnel
No matter how perfectly you set up a sales funnel, many potential clients won’t progress all the way through. They’ll drop out at some stage. To make the most out of your sales funnel, and continuously improve it, you’ll need to know why.
The key to this is monitoring your metrics!
Monitoring your metrics doesn’t just allow you to identify where you’re losing potential leads. It also allows you to figure out your ROI for your sales strategies and marketing efforts.
Your metrics give you the specific information you need to improve your sales funnel, taking the guesswork out. You can pinpoint the specific weaknesses and direct your energy there.
Metrics also allow you to collect data on the touchpoints your potential leads are experiencing. You can compare those to your revenue, which lets you forecast your sales more accurately.
If you’re monitoring KPIs (which you absolutely should be), your metrics will provide you with actionable insights to improve.
No matter what you’re selling, monitoring your metrics is an essential step in the sales funnel process.
4 Types of Sales Funnels For Service Providers
There are many different types of sales funnels out there, but these four are some of the best for service providers. You can use these to increase your sales and conversions.
The goal of these types of sales funnels is not to make a profit right away. Self-liquidating offers (SLO) are designed to generate leads and bring in just enough money to cover ad costs.
While it may seem counterintuitive, using SLOs is actually a really smart business move. They essentially allow you to acquire leads for free. This means that any money you make through these leads in the future is 100% pure sweet profit.
SLO funnels typically go like this:
Landing page > Tripwire (a product you’re offering at a one-time low price) > Upsell #1 > Upsell #2
The tripwire will convert a small percentage of your cold traffic, but its goal is just to offset ad costs. The real profit comes from the additional sales you make with your upsells!
Lead Magnet and Email Funnel
The classic Lead Magnet and Email Funnel is the most commonly used funnel for getting customers to actually make purchases.
Used correctly, and on products under $200, it’s an effective choice. (More expensive products typically need more than just an email.)
The great thing about this funnel is that it’s super simple! Anyone can do it. All you need to make this funnel work is a quality landing page and an email nurture sequence that converts.
These types of sales funnels tend to look like this:
Landing page > Email nurturing sequence > Customer purchase > Upsell
Make sure to choose an email marketing service provider that’s a good fit for your business! We use ActiveCampaign (affiliate link). Their marketing automations are dynamic and the best to work with we have found.
Automated Webinar Funnel
Webinars are a great tool for turning leads into customers because your potential clients get to spend time with you.
This gives you the chance to demonstrate your knowledge and build trust that can lead to purchases. Automated webinar funnels are best suited to offers that range between $300-2000.
Before you can set up this automated process, you have to have a proven product. This means you probably need to start by hosting live webinars as a “proof of concept” to demonstrate that you can sell your product effectively in this way. When you’ve figured out how to successfully leverage the webinar experience, use that method as your template and automate it!
Hint: You’re more likely to create a successful sales funnel when you provide potential customers with a transcribed copy of your webinar. You should also consider providing translations if you want to expand the reach of your content.
Organic Content Marketing Funnel
Many types of sales funnels rely on organic marketing. SEO and social media can both be used to generate traffic into a sales funnel!
By including several opt-ins, your blog posts can direct traffic to a specific landing page. This is called a lead generation funnel. You can even include a tripwire to try and pick up some sales!
Using simple, organic content marketing funnels will allow you to build an email list from scratch.
You just need a little patience and at least one of the following:
- An engaging and actionable blog post
- A thank you page
- A lead magnet that relates to the blog content and offers a solution to a problem
- An opt-in form on either a landing page or pop-up
- An email sequence or autoresponder that will deliver your lead magnet
If you want to steer clear of paid advertising, there’s one other thing you’ll need. Having a good idea of how to promote your content via social media or SEO is what makes this work. You still need to generate leads, just in a different (and cheaper!) way.
Knowing which types of sales funnels work best for your business goals will help you focus your energy. Different products and situations require different approaches and sales funnels. Remember to monitor those metrics so you can keep improving your funnel without having to guess what will work!
Once you’ve figured out what works for you, you’ll be able to control the path your customers travel down. When you control the path, you can boost conversions by building their trust in you from the beginning!
Boosting your ROI with a strong sales funnel is really powerful. We’d love to support you in reaching your goals by building a marketing strategy that works.