Sales Funnel Basics
These basic steps are the key to increasing your potential earnings!
I don't know about you, but when I first got started in Internet Marketing, I thought it be very easy to land big ticket clients. Afterall, the Internet allows anyone to become a success story in a seemingly quick fashion. As I've grown a business over the past several years, I've learned that it's not that fast or easy. It's actually a lot of hard work and more importantly a lot of working smart.
As much as we would like to be able to make $50,000 sale the very first time we meet someone, the reality is that unless your product is a major expense, like a car, house, or something niche like medical equipment, it’s very unlikely that you’ll find an audience of people willing to drop that kind of cash.
There is a way to get to big ticket buyers though… it’s through a sales funnel. A sales funnel is a very powerful process for generating income in any business. It’s a series of offers linked together in a manner that is strategically designed to maximize the opportunity to make sales. The offers typically start small in price. Smart marketers will often create a landing page that offers a free item, like a special report, in exchange for an email address (and other contact information sometimes).
Although making a free offer doesn’t seem like you’re making a sale at first glance – it most certainly is a sale! In offering an item in exchange for another valuable item, a sale has taken place. It’s a big deal these days to give a stranger your email as you never know what’s going to hit your inbox in the next few days. So never look at a freely given email as anything less than an act of trust that will lead to a monetary sale in the future!
The Simple Sales Funnel Process
The funnel starts with the ideal audience. The audience can be found just about anywhere that people gather. This could be in-person events, locales, or online. Since Marketing ReVamped is focused on digital marketing, the most common areas that we find an audience is on social media. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are very common sources for audiences that are broken down into interests.
Once a source has been determined, the next step is to identify the needs and wants of the audience you’d like to attract. You’ll want to spend time getting to know them. Consider joining the groups that your audience is in and have conversations about their needs and wants. Ask them what products they currently have (and use – there is a difference) and what they like/dislike about those products.
PRO-TIP: Focus on what the audience wants to buy or is currently buying. Don’t design your own product thinking that it will sell because you think it’s cool. There’s a marketplace full of products that don’t sell because they’re ultimately a solution to problem nobody needs to solve.
With the audience in mind, you’ll want to pull them from the source into your own collection. You could build your own Facebook page or group. From there, you’ll be able to provide links to your affiliate offers or your own products. Or you could choose to build a landing page (aka a Squeeze Page) to collect your targets’ data. Building your list is a slightly better option (though you may also want to manage a Facebook page and/or group as well) because you own the list. When you sell the business, you can use your list as an asset to increase the sale price. (Read that last sentence again.)
Whichever method you use to collect the audience, you’ll want to send them to an offer, or better yet, a series of congruent offers to generate sales. Herein lies the sales part of the sales funnel.
I'd like to take a moment to clarify that the series of offers which are being addressed in this post are all really considered “front end offers”. Higher ticket items, like those in the $297 to $3000 range, are typically sold via webinar - on the "backend". This is because the buyer for a product at this price point needs a little more confidence in the vendor of the product. A webinar that lasts about an hour and is value packed helps build trust in the vendor in the eyes of the customer. Moreover, when you have somebody who's willing to buy small ticket items and is done so in recent times, it's very easy to convince them to spend even more money.
Although I didn't discuss it in the video, you should be aware that there are additional opportunities to continue making offers though you will have to consider how you present those offers. This may mean that after the FEO and a couple of upsells, you put all of your buyers into a webinar that takes place after the initial launch period has ended. (And if you've been in this game for a little while you've probably been through this particular process.)
The process of creating a relatively inexpensive FEO with the intent of rolling all of the FEO buyers into a backend webinar is called “The Loss Leader Model”. When using the Loss Leader model, the product vendor typically gives very high commissions, if not 100% commission, to the affiliate in exchange for having his or her list built up very quickly. The product vendor knows that they can provide 100% commissions on the front-end product and potentially 50% or higher commissions on the upsells because they are focused on building a list for the backend webinar – one that is a high ticket offer and yields a substantial commission.
Part of your funnel planning will be to figure out whether you can use an automated process such as setting up a sales page or whether you'll have to be personally involved in making the sale. Once the offers climb above the $3000 to $5000 mark, the selling method transitions to some form of call, such as a Skype call, that is of a one on one nature. As the price point climbs, it's necessary to increase the amount of personal involvement that you have up to and including meeting your client in person. Nevertheless, if your goal is to make $50,000 deals or even multimillion-dollar deals, then you're going to have to meet people in person to close those deals. (Often those deals will require your personal involvement as part of the offer.)
What are the basic components of a sales funnel?
There are a few basic components of a sales funnel. As we've been discussing, you'll typically start out with a free offer to wet their beak. The free offer also has the benefit of helping your prospect become familiar with your brand. Since you’ve have set up an email sequence to help build the relationship with the prospect, you will now be in a position to send them to a small offer - typically in the $9.95 to $50 price point. (I want to point out that if you have a Facebook page or group you can also send people two offers as well.)
The front-end offer (FEO) is the main paid offer that people will see when they're beginning a sales funnel. This offer is going to be the lowest offer in the funnel and is something that almost all of the audience members are going to want. When viewing this offer, the prospect has only one of two options: buy the offer or close the page.
PRO-TIP: Some marketers will choose to add an Exit Pop to the FEO that puts the customer back into an email sequence. This is questionable depending on context. If you’re using affiliates to promote the offer during a launch, this could alienate them as it appears that you’re ‘squeezing their list.’ Be very careful about this!
Upon buying the FEO, the customer will be routed to another offer that is essentially more of what they bought or is an improvement upon what they already have for a higher price. This is typically called an Upsell. As an example, when I launched Screen Profits my FEO was for Screen Profits Basic Training and the first upsell was for the Accelerated Profits training. The FEO teaches the customer how to use the video editing software Camtasia and the Accelerated Profits training teaches them how to be more proficient with video creation and other tips and techniques that I use to create new content for videos. The Accelerated Profits Training is a more advanced training that not everybody will want; however, if I packaged it with the front-end training, it might not sell as well because the offer is too big for many users and the price point might be too high. Any offer that follows a previously pitched offer can be considered an upsell in general.
Upon seeing the first upsell, the customer will either buy the upsell or select ‘No Thanks’. The ‘No Thanks’ link should be available near the buy button and take the customer to a downsell if you have one. Otherwise,the ‘No Thanks’ link should take the customer to the next upsell if one is in the funnel. (Or to the Thank You page/Download page if there are no further upsells.)
As you can see, a sales funnel is simply a series of offers that are strategically linked together. It's very important to make sure that all of the offers are congruent with one another. For example, if your front-end offer is a training course on how to create an effective email sequence, then some of your upsells may be collections of email sequences that have worked for you in the past. You may also wish to include some additional training as well - though templates are very attractive on their own.
What kinds of offers can you make in a sales funnel?
You can make all kinds of offers and a sales funnel. Video training courses are very popular, templates for various and sundry processes in marketing are also very popular. Video templates, email templates, PLR material, and graphics packs are all very common items as well. The main goal is to make each offer a compelling offer knowing that there will be another offer that is even more irresistible than the previous.
How are the offers arranged in a sales funnel?
In addition to the product itself, you'll also want to consider the price point for each offering the funnel. All of the price points need to increase over the previous offers as a general rule. You may of course choose to increase the price for the first 3 offerings in the funnel and if you're going to do additional offers, perhaps add on smaller price point items.
For example, your front-end offer will start at $15, your first upsell will be positioned at $20, and your second upsell will be positioned at $50, and a third upsell at $97. You may at this point want to tack on a fourth upsell at $10 per month recurring until cancelled. Even though the $10 per month is no greater than the $15 for the FEO, because it is recurring each month until cancelled, it has higher income potential. Also, the$10 per month seems like a trivial amount after the previous offers. (Make it very clear that it’s a monthly recurring charge. Also, make sure the offer provides value every month like access to new templates each month.)
Ultimately the offers are arranged in such a manner that the customers are the most likely to buy. One thing that you want to do is test your offers through private sales, especially before a major launch with affiliates. This way you'll know how the offers convert and if you need to make changes, you'll have plenty of time to do that before the main opening day.
About our basic funnel
As you can see in the video, the funnel for PLR ReVamped is relatively simple. You'll also notice that we didn't discuss any price points or go into great detail as to exactly what each offer would be in terms of materials. For the purpose of this post, I wanted to keep things very basic. Also, the exact pricing structure and offers are something that potential buyers need to find out as they go through the process rather than simply Googling and finding the information here in this post. (HINT: If you would like to know the exact funnel and offers, then I highly suggest you sign up for our newsletter such that when I'm ready to make PLR ReVamped available, you'll be the first to find out.)
You can download a PDF version of the funnel that I created in this video by clicking HERE. I hope you'll find this very helpful in designing your own funnels. Be sure to specify what each offer contains and what price you want to charge when designing your own funnels.
The critical connection for your funnels
Once you have created your offers and the sales pages to sell those offers, you'll need to set up some form of selling platform. I personally recommend jvzoo.com. JVZoo is a platform for product vendors and affiliates to come together and track sales and other vital stats in digital business. You can quickly and easily set up your funnel in JVZoo and then connect the links to your buy buttons.
This will enable you to track your sales via a third party which will also help you acquire affiliates who want to work with proven products. There are plenty of platforms that you could use that allow you to sell your products by yourself, and that's fine if you intend to go alone. However, if you ever want to have affiliates sending traffic your way, then you will have to consider some platform that's trusted by affiliates and reports your stats accurately. And that's why I use JVZoo for all of my products even the ones where I'm selling them by myself. I never know when I need third party validation for a product, especially if I ever intend to sell ownership rights of the product itself.
Mastering the process
Sales funnels require a lot of careful planning and consideration. You'll want to figure out exactly what your client base once. You'll need to spend a considerable amount of time looking into the solutions they've already found and how it's affected their lives and purchasing habits. Remember that the world is full of products that simply did not sell. There area lot of reasons why these products did not sell; often it's simply that the market was not prepared or ready for the offer or just didn't see the value of the offer. If the vendor would have paid more attention to the audience's needs and wants, then perhaps a different product could have been made to suit the audience.
Be very patient with the process of determining what is the best funnel. Use some helpful tools like LucidChart to plan out your funnels. Also be sure to test your funnels, especially if you intend to launch your product with the assistance of affiliates. Although it's a lot of work, it's better to be safe than sorry. In the process of doing so, you'll also become a master of sales funnels which is another skill that you'll be able to sell!
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