Do you want to learn how to create an online sales funnel that will help you increase your revenue? If so, you have come to the right place! In this blog post, we will discuss 6 easy steps that you can take to build a successful online sales funnel.
Creating an online sales funnel is one of the best ways to improve your online business. Not only does it help you convert more visitors into customers, but it also helps you track your progress and measure your results. Ongoing measurement and optimization are key to building an effective sales funnel.
While some sales funnels are complex and can take a long time to set up, some are quite simple, easy to build, and very effective at generating sales.
Read on to learn how to build a simple online sales funnel that converts!
For tools to build high-converting sales funnels, check out this list of the best sales funnel builders.
What is an Online Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a concept used by businesses to track and measure the progress of potential customers as they move through the sales process. An online sales funnel is a specific type of sales funnel that tracks and measures the progress of potential customers as they interact with a business online.
Generally, the 3 different stages in a traditional sales funnel are:
The awareness stage is when a potential customer is made aware of a brand, product, or service. Next, the customer moves on to interest, where they learn more about what they are considering buying. Finally, when the customer is ready to buy, they move into the decision stage.
An online sales funnel takes this traditional sales funnel model and maps it onto common online touchpoints. This includes website visitors, online ads, social media engagement, and email interactions. Each touchpoint is responsible for bringing the customer further along in the customer journey.
Reasons You Need to Know How to Build an Online Sales Funnel
A sales funnel is called a “funnel” because, at each point along the customer journey, users will drop off and decide not to progress. This gives the customer journey a “funnel” shape where many people enter at the top stage and only a few make it to the bottom.
Therefore, by understanding where customers are at in the sales funnel, you can tailor your communications to speak to their concerns, and encourage them to move to the next stage, while also screening out the people who are not interested.
An online sales funnel allows you to track data and get valuable insight into user behavior at every stage. This data and insight can be used to optimize your online presence and maximize your conversion rate.
Step-by-Step Instructions to Build an Online Sales Funnel
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Building an online sales funnel is a simple process when you break it down into steps.
Follow this 6-step method to create a sales funnel that generates converting customers:
Step 1: Map out your Existing Sales Process
Sales funnels can take many different forms. It is all industry and objective oriented. This is why it is important to map out how customers currently interact with your business and your ultimate goal.
The ultimate goal for your customers is to perform a conversion action. A conversion action could be a newsletter signup, booking an appointment, buying a product, or submitting a form.
Look at the steps that a customer takes before coming to an eventual conversion action. Think about how you could nurture leads along this process. Typically, customers don’t go directly from the first interaction to a sale. Instead, there are usually a few steps guiding interested customers toward a conversion while screening out the uninterested.
Here is the basic structure of a common but very effective online sales funnel:
- Customer sees an advertisement
- Customer clicks through to a landing page
- Customer decides to opt-in for a newsletter
- Newsletter shares more information with the customer
- Customer clicks through a newsletter promotion to a checkout page
- Customer buys a product and “converts”
Step 2: Build a Landing Page
Once you’ve mapped out a complete sales funnel process, put together a landing page to drive traffic. A landing page is a sort of hub in the awareness stage of the sales funnel. This is where interested prospects can come and learn more about your product or service.
A good landing page should have these three elements:
- A clear indication of what the product or service is
- Clearly stated benefits to the end user
- A CTA that encourages the user to take action toward the next step in the funnel
This landing page structure is so brilliant because it gives the user just enough information to make a decision while not overwhelming them with irrelevant facts and figures.
Step 3: Set up an Opt-in Form
After users go to the landing page, the next step in the sales funnel should be opting into ongoing email communications. An opt-form is where a user enters their email address and agrees to receive your newsletter.
The opt-in form should be concise and clearly state what the user will be getting when they sign-up. Promise to send valuable tips and tricks about a topic so the user knows they will not get bombarded with nothing but cheesy promotions.
Another way to entice more users to signup is to offer them a lead magnet. A lead magnet is a useful and relevant tool or piece of information that is offered for free in exchange for an email opt-in. This could be an e-book, a whitepaper, a free trial, or really anything that could be useful to your ideal customer.
Set up your opt-in form to send the lead magnet to the user by email once they enter their email address into the form.
Step 4: Setup Email Marketing Communications
Once your users have signed up for your newsletter, you have to deliver on the content that you promised. Your newsletter should primarily consist of useful information about the focus of your industry, topic, or activity.
For example, if you’re selling washing machines, your newsletter could be about clothes and home care. However, your email list subscribers wouldn’t necessarily want to hear about biking or monster trucks.
After you have sent a number of useful and relevant emails to your prospect, toss in a promotional email with a unique and timely offer. This offer should be structured much like your landing page – sharing what the deal is, what the product benefits are, and a call to action to take advantage of the offer.
When you structure your email marketing with a higher value-to-offer ratio, you’ll get fewer irritated subscribers, less unsubscribes, and a larger list of qualified prospects to sell to.
Your email communications should be sent out via an email marketing tool. Email marketing tools allow you to organize and automate most of your communications so you can have maximum control over this part of the sales funnel. Many effective sales funnel builders have email marketing tools built in.
Step 5: Setup a Checkout Page and Payment Processing
The last step and the bottom of the sales funnel is to convert prospects into paying customers. After a user clicks on the call to action in your email, link them to a checkout page where they can input their payment information and checkout.
You can set up payment processing for credit cards, Apple Pay, debit, PayPal, crypto, and more using payment processing platforms.
Once a customer checks out, congratulations! You have just used an online sales funnel to make a sale!
Step 6: Launch Ads to Drive Traffic to a Conversion Action
After your online sales funnel is set up, it’s time to drive traffic to it using ads. It’s important to set up the basic funnel before spending money on advertising. If you run ads before having a way to capture and nurture leads, your leads will simply click away and the ad spend will be wasted.
Therefore, launching ad campaigns should be the last step in the process.
The most common types of online advertising involve social media ads such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, display ads, or Google Search ads.
While effective online advertising is a topic for another article, here are a few pointers to keep in mind:
- Go to where your audience is – there is no point in running ads on a platform or device where your ideal customers won’t be browsing. With a little research and intuition, you can find where and how your potential customer’s like to roam the internet.
- Use audience targetting to pinpoint your advertising efforts – with the amazing algorithms that online advertising platforms use today, there is no excuse to take a spray-and-pray approach. Limited ad budgets mean that you have to be intentional to show ads only to the highest priority users. Take advantage of audience targeting options on social media and keyword targeting with Google search ads.
- Always be measuring and optimizing – If you don’t measure the results that you’re getting from your advertising efforts, you might as well take your ad spend and set it on fire. One of the best way to run good ads is to run poor ads first, track your results, and improve the results over time. Tracking your impressions, clicks, click-through rate, conversions, conversion rate, and ultimately your return on ad spend, will give you a good idea of how to tweak your ads to squeeze out more return on your given budget.
This is the step-by-step method that many successful sales professionals, marketing professionals, and small business owners have used to drive traffic through an online sales funnel and generate reliable and repeatable sales.
Key Considerations for Successfully Building an Online Sales Funnel
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When you’re building an online sales funnel, you should always consider the user’s experience. One of the most common mistakes that people make in their sales funnel is making each step ambiguous or unclear. This creates friction in the user’s behavior because they become hesitant in their decision-making process.
Imagine, a user clicks through to a landing page because they are interested in a product. If a landing page has multiple calls to action, a user may contemplate whether they should call, book online, or fill out a form. This contemplation could lead to hesitation which leads to inaction.
Instead, aim to make each step in the process as clear and as unambiguous as possible.
Example: “Click on this ad to learn more -> Click here to sign up for our newsletter to receive ground-shattering advice about… -> Click here to buy now…”
When the user knows exactly what you want them to do, they are far more likely to take action than if you expect them to figure it out on their own.
Building an online sales funnel doesn’t have to be complicated. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can build a sales funnel that will nurture leads and become an integral part of your sales and marketing strategy.
Remember to make the steps of your sales funnel clear and easy to follow so that your customers will seamlessly move along and eventually purchase your products and services.
If you’re not sure where to start, check out this article on the best sales funnel builders. With the right tools in place, you can create an effective online sales funnel that will help you boost your conversion rate and generate more revenue for your business.