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According to some sales statistics, 65% of companies do not have a defined system or funnel for generating leads, 68% are yet to identify or measure their sales funnel, and 65% find lead generation as their biggest marketing challenge.
The challenge is real, so you aren’t in this alone.
Building a sales funnel requires more work than just using a funnel template. The whole process could be overwhelming.
And that’s why it’s the biggest challenge for most companies.
However, there are companies that excel with their sales funnel. They have successfully hacked the best practices.
According to ClickFunnels, only 1% of its customers have generated over a million dollars using a single sales funnel.
They’re doing something different than the remaining 99%.
In today’s post, I’ll uncover the best sales funnel practices that you can implement right away.
But before that, let’s look at some of the reasons your business needs a sales funnel.
Why do you need a sales funnel?
If you’re still wondering why you need a sales funnel, think of it as a real-world funnel.
Why do you need a real-world funnel when pouring something into a container with a smaller opening?
It’s clear; so you don’t spill the substance on the ground.
That’s the exact reason you need a sales funnel. You need a sales funnel so you don’t spill your prospects and leads on the ground before getting to the purchasing stage.
As usual, only a very small percent of website visitors end up purchasing your product. Some times, it’s less than 1% of them.
By implementing a well-structured sales funnel process, you can increase the percentage of people that convert and buy your product.
Besides, using a funnel helps you identify the holes where your prospects and supposed-clients are dropping off.
Since it’s a funnel, you can easily trace where you get to lose some of your prospects, then you fix it.
Also, a sales funnel simplifies the buying process for your prospects. And that’s exactly what your prospects want from you; an easy buying process.
According to a research study published by HBR, companies that create an easy buying process are 62% more likely to win a high-quality sale.
If a quality sale is what you want (definitely), then on this note, you need a sales funnel.
TIP: If you are too busy, you can always hire a sales funnel expert or a freelancer on Fiverr.
7 Best practices for your sales funnel
Let’s get into some of the best practices to implement to turn your sales funnel into a powerful sales machine.
1. Tweak your headline
If not you, a lot of people still judge a book by its cover. Similarly, a lot of people judge the value of a product through its headline.
The headline means a lot if you want to make the best of your sales funnel. In formulating a headline for your product, have a look at what’s working for others.
That said, there are some things that you could implement to change the whole story for your business.
First, make your headline short and concise. A long headline is enough to bore your prospects before even getting to take action.
Your prospects could lose focus on the whole idea while reading the headline. A long headline doesn’t mean that your prospects will understand why they should take your offer.
Secondly, add some curiosity to your headline. Don’t just tell them what the product is all about. Instead, tell them what it isn’t.
Being clear about what it’s all about will not make the offer interesting enough to your prospects.
To capture them, you need to tease them with the headline. Tell them what it isn’t. Exhaust the options they could think of and make your offer more captivating.
For example, change “How to Drive More Targeted Traffic to your Website with Facebook and Instagram Ads” to “How I Drove 100,000 Visitors to my Site in Three Weeks without SEO”.
Both of them mean the same thing, but the result will tell how different they appeal to the brain.
The first lacks curiosity. The prospect is already aware that you’re going to be talking about Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads.
And that alone could piss them off.
The latter is better because of its curiosity. The prospects know that it isn’t about SEO. But they don’t know the secrets you’ll be talking about.
They try to weigh in other options. And to make it better, increase the curiosity even more in the description.
A live example is Hotjar. Their homepage reads: “Understand how users are experiencing your site without drowning in numbers”.
There’s some level of curiosity in the headline. It tells you what it isn’t (read: “without drowning in numbers”).
Also, check out Ahrefs homepage:
Ahrefs’ headline reads: “With Ahrefs, you don’t have to be an SEO pro to rank higher and get more traffic”
Similarly to Hotjar, Ahrefs add some curiosity by telling you what you don’t need to be to use their tool.
Going forward, to make your headline strong, add power words. Power words are words that send some emotional thrill down your spine.
Examples include deadly, dangerous, sure-fire, mouthwatering, hurry, scary, kickass, fire, doom, boom, etc.
For example, The Fool-Proof Method That Doubled My Blog Traffic in Three Weeks.
Still on the same headline as the former, but this includes some power words like “Fool-Proof” and “Double”.
Sales are irrational. If you try to rationalize it, you might fail at sales. You just can’t explain how a single tweak in your headline could triple sales.
Lastly, personalize your headline in the best possible ways. People love stories and not some random tips that you can’t prove.
Personalizing your headline makes it sound like telling a story. And storytelling works. Instead of How to Double your Traffic, use, How I Doubled my Traffic.
Implementing these headline tweaks could skyrocket your sales funnel’s conversion rate.
2. Create multiple lead magnets
Here’s the thing you need to know about a sales funnel. Your sales funnel isn’t complete without a backend follow-up system.
An email list is a channel you use to keep engaging with your prospects and customers on the backend of your pipeline.
Even though it’s possible to get sales without an email list, getting repeat sales will be difficult.
And that’s where a lead magnet comes in. A lead magnet is something you give away for free in exchange for your prospects’ email address and other contact information.
Your lead magnet has to be attractive and enticing enough to get customers to exchange their email address with you.
But not just one lead magnet, you need multiple lead magnets at different entry points of your funnel.
A single lead magnet wouldn’t give you optimal conversions. You need to create multiple lead magnets to grow your list faster.
Multiple lead magnets mean that you can easily attract a larger category of prospects. And here’s what happens to your sales funnel.
You will have a larger audience at the top of the funnel. Simple.
What a lead magnet does is to pour more leads into your already made funnel. And the more leads you pour into the funnel, the more sales you should expect at the bottom of the funnel.
And this explains why a single lead magnet is not enough.
You shouldn’t feed your funnel from one source. Utilize multiple sources (Think: Lead magnets) to introduce more leads into your sales funnel.
Besides, having more lead magnets will help you discover exactly what your prospects are more attracted to. And that could help you in modifying your product.
Stuck in finding the perfect idea for a lead magnet? Solve one of the problems of your prospects and package that as a lead magnet.
A lead magnet could be an eBook, white papers, gated content, video, etc. Regardless of the format of your lead magnet, the problem it solves is what matters.
Here’s an example of a lead magnet:
Looking for more inspiration? You should check out Hubspot and CoSchedule. They have a customized lead magnet on nearly all pages and posts.
3. Optimize your sales page
A lot of sales pages are not optimized to close sales. Just a bunch of product descriptions alongside a checkout form.
You shouldn’t join the clique. You need to build a sales page that converts and closes the sales for you.
That said, to build a sales page, you need to appeal to the emotion and the logic of your prospects.
As said earlier, if you try to rationalize sales, you’ll fail. Sales are irrational. Emotion will always win over logic when it comes to sales.
For example, the battle between Apple and Android clearly explains it. Although Apple phones are very expensive compared to the regular Android phones, they have more loyal users that are generous in spending.
What could’ve been a demerit for Apple is a plus for them.
And that’s because of the brand they’ve built.
Looking at the case of Apple vs Android, Apple is winning because they’ve been able to appeal more to the emotions of their customers than logic.
Back to the discussion, if you want to optimize your sales page for high conversions, you need to appeal to the emotional part of your customers FIRST.
After that, you should appeal to the logic aspect.
The logic appeal is all about giving them reasons why they should buy your product. Logic is telling them what they stand to gain by buying from you.
However, emotion is all about sharing testimonials of what they could be missing out. The fear of missing out is actually a big influence.
Testimonials, good customer service, and getting personal in your sales page is what you need to appeal to the emotion of your customers.
For instance, every one of us does have memories of buying something we don’t actually need.
And that’s because some salesmen are good at striking the emotional chord in us. You just buy the stuff neglecting the logical aspect.
For me, I remember walking into a phone store with no intention of purchasing a phone but ended up buying because of how I was welcomed and treated.
While that might sound stupid, you also have products you bought out of emotion and not logic. Although I would eventually buy a phone, that wasn’t my intention at that moment.
That’s exactly what it takes to optimize your sales page for a better conversion rate.
Again, to optimize your sales page, you need to appeal to both the emotion and the logic of your customers.
4. Have flexible payment and shipping options
In addition to optimizing your sales page and entire sales funnel, provide a flexible payment and shipping option.
Your sales page is not yet optimized until you provide more payment options. And according to statistics, 66% of online shoppers will buy from your competition if they offer more shipping options.
Needless to say, this alone could be the reason why you are yet to see a good result.
Don’t accept PayPal alone as payment. Accept credit cards, debit cards, Payoneer, etc. Accept as many as possible to simplify the purchasing process for your customers.
Also, optimize your checkout page.
A lot of customers don’t end up purchasing because of the long list of information required in order to complete a purchase.
To solve this, simplify the purchase by using a one-click checkout page. Using this checkout page has helped a lot of businesses improve their conversion rate.
Likewise, if you’re selling physical products, don’t restrict the shipping to a particular country, try as much as possible to support global shipping.
This is what the internet was created to solve. So, do not run your online business using the rules of traditional businesses.
5. Offer an order bump
An order bump is the process of including an additional product to the original product before the checkout.
It’s a good way of increasing the average spending of each customer on your sales page. Instead of selling them a single product, you display similar products to add to their cart before checkout.
Here’s how to do it. If you’re selling an online course, why not sell the workbook or a cheat sheet as an order bump.
That is, before your customer’s checkout, you could persuade them to add more products to their cart.
To make this work, you need to include a relevant product that complements the original product in order to persuade your customers to add it to the cart.
For example: Grant Cardone who happens to be a sales trainer and influencer uses order bump on one of his free-plus-shipping offers.
On the checkout form, Cardone smartly adds an order bump, giving the buyer instant access to get his exclusive ‘Rebuttal Manual’ at a discounted price.
This creates a sense of scarcity and exclusivity by informing the buyer that the order bump is a one time offer. Not available anywhere else. Reasonably priced. Attractive.
6. Offer an upsell
Similar to an order bump, an upsell is the process of allowing your customers to make another purchase but this happens after the first purchase or check out.
An order bump happens before making the first purchase (you add it to the original product cart). While the upsell happens after the first purchase (a new cart).
However, purchasing via upsell is very fast and does not require you to enter your details again. It’s a 1-click checkout.
That said, either upsell or order bump, the average spending of each customer will increase.
If you’re yet to implement this in your sales funnel, then you should start doing that now. You can check out some upselling tactics here.
7. Webinars work well
First, webinars are on the rise. And if you’ve not yet been practicing this in your sales funnel, then you should start now.
Adding a webinar to the thank-you page of your sales funnel is a good way of increasing engagement and also provide the assurance that your customers made the right decision.
You should give them a reason to rationalize “buying from you”. After purchasing, don’t leave them alone.
Your webinar should guide them on how to use the product, what to do next with the product, etc. Or lead them up your value to the next phase of your funnel.
Especially for the higher priced items.
This is the very reason you need a good sales funnel builder. Not all sales funnel software offer some of these features, you need to find the best fit for your business. That allows you to educate and nurture your leads via webinars.
Webinars give you the opportunity to teach your leads and help them understand why our product(s) or service(s) is valuable in the first place.
It allows you to build personal relationships and have real-time conversations and get to know your audience before the main purchase.
The struggle to find a highly-converting sales funnel is real and a challenge for most. You need to keep tweaking and measuring your results.
Having a sales funnel isn’t a full guarantee that you’ll have an excellent conversion rate. You need the best practices to improve the efficiency of your sales funnel.
And as covered in the article, you need a working headline, multiple lead magnets, order bump, upsell, and a few other elements to help your sales funnel fire.
But if there’s anything you take from this article, let it be; appealing to the emotion of your customers and the irrationality of sales.
What are some of the best practices that you have seen or implemented before?
Guest author: Khris Steven is a content marketer and the founder of Khrisdigital. He blogs about sales funnels, marketing tools and trends, and how business owners can make more from their business by serving and impacting lives.