How to Create a Sales Funnel that Converts Every Time
Work from anywhere.
These are the words that probably motivated you to start your own online business.
But if you haven’t gotten there yet, these words might be haunting you as you wonder “how exactly do I actually reach my goals with my business?”
I know this feeling all too well.
This can be such a frustrating time.
Believe me girl, I would rather give my children Mountain Dew and drive them across the country than be back in that whirlwind of confusion and stress.
But I’m here to tell you that those seven words can become a reality for you.
And the key to getting there is mastering the sales funnel.
Like I said, I’ve been in your shoes. I’ve gone through the webinars and masterclasses.
I’ve invested in my online business with both my time and money, knowing what a successful business could do for myself and my family.
Capture leads. Build your email list. Turn those leads into customers.
Hook, line, and sinker.
It sounds so simple, but I learned the hard way that it just isn’t as easy as online gurus want you to believe.
And I know that when you’re just getting started in marketing your business, just reaching the right audience and getting their attention seems like an impossible hurdle to tackle.
But the truth of the matter is, you can capture as many leads as you want, but if that’s all you can do, then your funnel is useless.
A sales funnel is so much more than your reach.
You need to not only capture your leads, but be able to follow up with them quickly.
You need to be able to manage those leads and organize them and to nurture them until they’re ready to make the purchase.
96% of people who visit your landing page or site are not ready to make a purchase yet.
Read that again:
96% of people who visit your landing page or site are not ready to make a purchase yet.
That means that you’re missing out on the vast majority of your leads if you’re not focusing on follow up and nurturing them towards a purchase.
This is why it’s so important for you to create your sales funnel with conversion in mind as opposed to just capturing leads.
And that’s what I’m going to teach you–step by step–in this article.
So are you ready to learn how to do just that?
How to create a sales funnel from scratch that converts every. single. Time? Let’s get into it!
Let’s Start with the Basics
So what even is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is simply the path of identifying, nurturing, and converting a prospective lead into a customer.
The chosen shape of this process is a funnel because you will inevitably be attracting more people than you will be converting, and as each step of the funnel progresses, you’ll be drilling down towards the leads that will become your customers.
As time goes on, you will learn what’s causing drop off between steps, and you’ll adjust accordingly, decreasing your drop off rate and increasing your conversion rate.
So it sounds a bit counterintuitive to say, but the goal of a funnel is to actually move as close to a cylinder shape as possible.
You want as many as possible of the people you’re capturing to get to the bottom of that funnel.
Here’s what a basic funnel looks like to help you towards that goal:
Now let’s go through the purpose of a funnel from top to bottom:
Top of the Funnel
I like to think about the top of the funnel as your first couple dates with a new potential partner.
If we’re talking about the modern dating world, then the top of the funnel is like that first swipe right, where you two first match. You’ve just found out that this person exists.
Still part of the top of the funnel, but moving down to the next step, you go on your first date.
You’re just dipping your toes and starting to get to know each other.
Next, you decide whether you want to continue to get to know them, and once that’s decided you move down a little further to the next step.
Finally, you realize you really like this person and want to date them exclusively. This is the last step of the top of the funnel, before moving on to the middle of the funnel.
So in essence, the top of the funnel is all about brand awareness. If people don’t know that your brand exists, chances are, they will not buy from you.
Customers want to know who they’re buying from.
Surveys show that 71% of customers consider it important to recognize a brand name before making a purchase from them.
So, the goal of this step is for your potential customers to recognize your brand so that when it comes time to make a purchase, there’s a level of familiarity, and therefore, trust.
Middle of the Funnel
Continuing with the dating analogy, the middle of the funnel is when you’re dating but not engaged or committed long-term.
So this is the part of the funnel where you’re pulling out your best stops.
You’re giving away free information like video training that your potential customer wants. You’re making YouTube videos that offer real solutions to your leads’ problems.
And like in dating, the middle part of the funnel is a two-way street. Your potential customer is scoping you out and seeing what you can do for them. But you are also looking at them and asking:
“Is this the ideal customer that I’m looking for?”
“Does this person fit into my target audience?”
If so, then you need to focus on creating intentional and specific materials for them so that you are nurturing them toward the end purchase — whether that’s a masterclass, one-on-one coaching, etc.
Bottom of the Funnel
This is the final stage of your funnel.
It’s when you “propose” to your potential customers and they decide whether or not they’re ready to commit to you and your brand’s product.
This stage involves appealing to the emotional side of the potential customer, because emotion is the driving force in the decision making process.
And since nothing is ever “as easy as 1, 2, 3,” this stage will also most likely involve reminders and retargeting to further nurture that lead into becoming a customer.
Common Problems with a Sales Funnel
When diving into something like creating a sales funnel for the first time, it’s of course important to learn how to do it step-by-step (and we’ll get there in a bit), but it’s also very helpful to be aware of potential speed bumps and how to avoid them.
So here are three common problems that can stop a funnel in its tracks:
- Focusing on quantity over quality:
“More leads = more conversions”… or do they?
It sounds like that would be correct, but it’s that logic that gets many marketers in trouble when it comes to creating a successful funnel.
If you’re just focusing on shoveling as many leads into your funnel as possible, then you’re going to spend just as much time weeding through those leads to find the ones who actually fit into your target audience.
It’s a much smoother approach to focus from the beginning on targeting the exact people you want and going after them.
This means less work for you throughout the rest of the funnel because you’re already reaching people that you know you want as customers.
2. Not nurturing your leads:
Following up with leads is the key to making a conversion.
It’s the way you keep your brand in front of potential customers and increase familiarity. It’s the way you increase engagement among potential customers.
And it’s the way you will ultimately make that sale.
In fact, studies show that leads that are nurtured spend on average 47% more than leads that are not. So nurturing leads doesn’t just get you more conversions, but higher priced conversions.
So many marketers just put out landing pages with their offer and that’s it–that’s where the funnel ends.
But it’s in the follow ups, the re-targeting, and the email marketing that the real conversions lie.
3. Not appealing to the customer’s emotions:
Every brand and entrepreneur believes they offer products that do something amazing and life changing — otherwise, why even create that product in the first place?
And many of them make the all-too-common mistake of just listing off the pros of buying their product, hoping that that’s what will convert a lead.
And sure that might work for a lead here and there. But in order to really connect with your leads and make them return customers of your products, you need to get in touch with their emotions, motivations, and pain points.
The Steps to Creating a Sales Funnel that Will Convert Every Time
So now that we know the basics of a sales funnel and what not to do when creating your first funnel, here are the steps to creating a funnel from scratch that will convert every time:
- Hone in on exactly who your audience is.
As I said before, a smaller amount of quality leads is much better than a large group of leads that aren’t going anywhere.
But how do you reach quality leads? Well, you have to start by identifying precisely who that should be first.
By the time you’re ready to build your sales funnel, you should know exactly who you are selling to.
You should know what they want, what they hate, what they need. You should practically know their Starbucks order!
Things to consider when pinpointing your audience:
- What are their pain points?
- What social media platforms do they use?
- What are their interests?
- What are their expectations?
- Where do they live?
- Why would they want to buy your product?
- How will they use your product?
- What motivates them?
Getting answers to these questions will help you to position your brand uniquely and intentionally so that it is set up to attract the quality leads you are after.
2. Once you’ve identified who you want to reach, you need to get your brand out in front of them (build brand awareness).
Here’s how you do that:
- Create a content plan and improve SEO: If your content is coming up on Google searches left and right, warm leads will start to recognize your brand and inherently trust it.
- Create shareable infographics: Shareable infographics are huge on Instagram and Facebook, so if you can create one that goes viral, your content could potentially be seen by millions of people.
- Stay active on social media: The more people see of you the more they’ll start to trust you, so it’s super important to post regularly on all social media platforms.
- Run Facebook/Instagram ads: Ads on Facebook and Instagram are king in the paid marketing world because they are so advanced in their targeting. Use these ads to bring awareness of your brand to exactly who you want as your customers.
- Start an affiliate program: you’re being vouched for from someone whom the potential customer already trusts.
- Create great content: Blogging is a tried and true way to build your brand awareness, and it’s not going anywhere anytime soon. If you can create some amazing blog posts, your leads will warm up and be ready for an offer in no time.
3. Now that you know who you’re trying to reach, it’s time to create your lead-capturing landing page.
A lead-capturing landing page should be more high-converting than a regular informational page, and an ideal one should have the following elements in it:
- A list of features
- “How to” focused text
- A call-to-action button (CTA)
- Social proof
This type of landing page can come in many forms.
It can be a page where you offer a freebie like this PDF cheat sheet:
It can be a free trial landing page like this Shopify one:
It can even be your homepage, like in this example of HubSpot’s homepage:
But how do you create a landing page? Do you have to know how to code?
Oh girl, don’t worry– you don’t have to have a tech bone in your body to get a landing page up and running.
That’s because there are tools out there, like Online Sales Pro (OSP), that do all of the work for you and make it super easy.
OSP helps you capture your leads, monitor them, and automate email marketing to them. It’s so easy to use that you can have a high-converting landing page up in under 5 minutes. It’s insane.
Online Sales Pro focuses on not only setting up your sales funnel but also optimizing it so you can get the best results possible.
Easy-to-use and quick functionality, along with the hundreds of hours of training available for users, make Online Sales Pro the perfect tool for beginners and people who want to just get their sales funnel out there quickly and efficiently.
Here’s a quick walk through to show you just how quickly you can get a landing page set up on OSP:
- Click on the “Edit” tab on the homepage:
2. Choose a template:
3. Upload your background image and fill out your headline, subheadline, and button text.
4. You can also customize the page by choosing a page color under Page Settings:
5. And finally, choose a Destination URL and name your page:
And the big kicker is that OSP also offers a mobile app that allows you to track your leads on the go:
So if you want a way to get going on your high-converting landing page today in little to no time, check out Online Sales Pro and sign up here!
4. Start driving traffic to your landing page.
Don’t have money to drive traffic to your site the traditional way (paid ads, etc)?
Well lucky for you, we live in the age of social media marketing where there are plenty of ways to get started without financially investing in ads and marketing.
And these methods, if you do them right, can get you further than paid ads on FB and instagram because they’re not only bringing you leads…
they’re also building you an audience that trusts you and likes your stuff.
So what exactly am I talking about?
Organic Growth Methods
The three big ways brands are building audiences organically is through TikTok, IG Reels, and Instagram Hashtags:
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past year, I’m sure you’re well aware that TikTok has blown up as a social media favorite among many.
But let’s let the stats speak for themselves.
In 2019, TikTok was the fifth most downloaded app. Now in 2020, it’s shot up to #1. It’s now the most popular app that everyone is carrying around at all times.
There are countless stories out there about how it’s easier to “blow up” on TikTok than any other app.
Just look at Charli D’Amelio, who focuses on doing dance videos where she dances for around 30 seconds, and in just over a year, she has amassed 86 million followers on the platform.
That’s just her follower count from today as I’m writing this. By the time you’re reading this, I can guarantee that number will be higher.
Estimates from Cloutmeter show that engagement on the app is at a staggering 51.3%, yet only 5% of marketers are using TikTok.
So what does this mean for entrepreneurs)? It means there’s a HUGE opportunity to grow an audience organically and quickly.
From your TikTok account, you can send your leads to your website, your Instagram, etc, and you can market your product right there on the platform.
Another new way to increase organic reach is by using the new IG Reels. These are similar to TikTok but they are on Instagram.
While these aren’t as popular as TikTok right now, they have the huge advantage of being on your Instagram account, so everything is in one spot and the growth you gain from your IG Reels will translate straight to Instagram followers.
- Instagram Hashtags
What are some other ways to grow on Instagram?
But it’s not that simple. You can’t just use a bunch of hashtags on every post and gain a following.
Turns out, there’s a right way to post hashtags, and a wrong way to post them. And doing it the wrong way can not only not work, but it can actually hurt your brand.
But on the flip side, doing it the right way can skyrocket you to gaining the audience you dream of.
Just take a look at influencer and successful entrepreneur Allie Reeves who has used this method to grow her online following from nothing to thousands of followers…
which has translated to growing her business to thousands of dollars in revenue per week.
Allie found this hashtag method the hard way– but now that she’s mastered it, she has used it to generate 6 figures in 2020 alone!
And she now wants to share this method with entrepreneurs like you through her training called Hashtag #LikeABoss.
She wants to give you the easy route to that same end result…
Audience growth and conversions.
In fact, here’s her talking about hashtags and her method in her own words:
How amazing is that?
So if you want to transform your business and your life through this truly life-changing hashtag method for a fraction of its regular price, click here for a limited time offer on Hashtag #LikeABoss!
Paid Growth Methods
Do you have a little bit of money to throw at ads on top of using organic traffic? Here are a couple of the paid ways you can drive traffic:
- FB and Instagram Ads:
As mentioned earlier, Facebook and Instagrams are the bread and butter of paid ads for a reason– they work.
There is no other platform where you can fine tune your ads so well, A/B test your ads until they’re perfect, and allow for you to stay within your budget.
- Influencer marketing:
Influencer marketing is huge right now, and looks like it’s here to stay. The reason for that?
The returns are insane.
According to a 2019 study, businesses are making $5.20 for every $1 spent on influencer marketing.
Because of this, 63% of marketers intend to increase their influencer marketing budget in the next year.
Influencer marketing works because customers will buy from people they admire and trust, and that’s exactly what this level of marketing taps into.
5. Create powerful lead magnets.
So you capture your lead from one of the strategies outlined above. Now you need to keep nurturing these leads.
This is the key to a successful sales funnel. This is where the difference lies in getting to where you want to be from where you’re sitting right now.
Lead nurturing means following up with leads on an offer, responding to comments and questions from them, and re-targeting them.
One huge part of lead nurturing is building an email list, and you do this is by creating lead magnets, or in other words, setting up resources to collect email addresses.
Lead magnets do a few things.
They offer an incentive for leads to provide their email address and other information, which allow you to follow up with them.
They create more brand awareness and position you as an expert in your field, which increases trust between you and your leads, and therefore, increases your conversion rate.
And they offer instant gratification to your leads, reinforcing that you will deliver what you promised.
Here are some lead magnet ideas that you could use to build your email list:
- A free PDF checklist filled with helpful information that your leads need
- Free training videos that will blow your leads’ minds
- Samples of your product
- Free templates that make things easier for your leads
- A free trial of your product if it’s subscription-based
6. Create an email marketing campaign.
Once you have your email list, it’s time to create an email marketing campaign.
While getting an email marketing tool like MailChimp or AWeber might cost a little bit of money, the return is well worth it–according to a survey of over 600 entrepreneurs:
A typical email marketing campaign looks like this:
Step 1: A “welcome” email thanking the subscriber for being interested in your brand or product.
Step 2: Another lead magnet email offering a freebie PDF checklist, training video, etc.
Step 3: An email that includes a case study or testimonials about your product.
Step 4: A more in-depth freebie that shows the best of the best of what you can offer them.
Step 5: The big offer email.
Some things to consider:
Make sure your content is useful to your target leads. Like really useful.
I don’t know about you, but my inbox is filled to the brim with brand emails that include information I couldn’t care less about.
Don’t be spammy.
One way to make sure that your brand isn’t one of those annoying spammy brands that people unsubscribe from, make your emails more personal and practice quality over quantity.
You could also even send a little survey out to your email list asking them for the type of content they want to see from you.
Let them know that you are here to answer their questions, and then just create an email marketing campaign where you’re literally just answering their questions and relating those answers back to your products you offer.
That way, it seems less sales-y and more like you’re there as a mentor and have so much more to offer them!
And one way to make your life a whole lot easier is to use a tool like Online Sales Pro that lets you track leads in real time AND connects to your email marketing tool so that your follow ups and lead nurturing is as painless as possible.Sign up for Online Sales Pro today to make your life so much easier!
7. Test, track, and improve your funnel.
While there’s certainly a method to the madness of marketing, it’s undeniable that there’s a little bit of trial and error in every sales funnel.
That’s because every sales funnel is different and every target audience is different.
You need to give yourself the room to track what’s working for your funnel, what’s not working, and test out different landing pages, lead magnets, etc.
One easy way to do that is by using a lead generation tool like Online Sales Pro that provides data on all of your leads– what landing page they clicked on, which lead magnets got them there, what platform they were on that led them to your landing page, etc.
Here’s a screenshot of a dashboard on Online Sales Pro and their lead-tracking data:
With these kinds of real-time updates, it’s as easy as taking the landing pages that are working and pushing them out to more people, and scrapping the ones that aren’t working so you don’t waste anymore leads on those.
And since it takes less than 5 minutes to set up a funnel, you can make these changes quickly, which means more money in your pocket at the end of the day.
Okay– that was a LOT of information, I know!
But really going through all of this information and using it to create a killer sales funnel is DEFINITELY worth it.
So let’s recap what we’ve gone through in this article, so that you’re ready to get started right now!
The steps to creating a high-converting sales funnel are:
- Figure out exactly who your audience is.
- Get your brand in front of that audience.
- Create your lead capturing landing page.
- Create your lead magnets.
- Start an email marketing campaign.
- Test, Evaluate, Revise your funnel.
If you follow these steps and this guide (especially the test, evaluate and revise step), you will succeed and get those sales you’ve worked so hard to get!