Guest Post: Sales Funnels 101

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What Are They, What do you need, and where to start!

I'm sure you've heard the term 'sales funnels' floating around the interweb.  If you spend any time on Facebook inside the thousands of entrepreneurial groups, I know you have. But what do people really know about funnels?  How do they work? What do needs to be included? What needs to be excluded? What makes one funnel successful and another not? And most importantly where do we start!

Make a consistant and sustainable income as an entrepreneur wit sales funnels. Here's a guide on what sales funnels are, what you need, and where to start.


 

WHAT ARE SALES FUNNELS?

Sales funnels are a fancy 'marketing' term for the buyers journey, usually for one product or service.  It's a series of steps that take cold traffic (i.e. peeps who have no idea who you are) to hot, sizzling traffic that gobble up all your products and services (at least that's the plan).  But how do we get cold traffic to hot, sizzling traffic?


Well first, we have to understand a bit of psychology.  


The first thing one needs to understand is that sales are made based on relationships.  Where we buy groceries to where we buy our cars, it's all a form of a relationship.  Now usually we don't buy from people we haven't built a relationship with before.  There are exceptions but lets be honest, we all have our favorite grocery store to shop at.  Our fave gas station. Our fave clothing store.  And although there are lots of 'tactics' that will get you the first sale, repeat sales all depend on the relationship.


Sales funnels are online relationships.  But instead of talking to your customers face to face, you're communicating via email, photos, videos, social media and your website.  

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO CREATE A FUNNEL?

Ultimately you need a way to communicate to your visitors and previous customers.  Usually, we use email.  But we can also use re-targeting ads through Adwords and Facebook.   Both cost money but how much varies and the success rate varies to each.  


The second thing you need is a product or preferably a line of related products that we can build an upsell/cross sell system to your visitors. 


Which leads me into:

WHERE DO WE START?

Surprisingly we don't start at the beginning.  We start at the end. What do I mean by that? We start with the end in mind.

So grab a pen n paper and write out the answers to these questions:

  • What is your high ticket product/service that you want people to buy?
  • What product do you have, or can you get/make/create that's related to your high ticket offer but that's in the $40-$100 range?
  • What product do you have, or can you get/make/create that's related to your high ticket offer or your mid-priced offer that you can sell for under $20?
  • Lastly, what can you provide as a free gift in exchange for someone's email?

I'll provide an example:

Meet Adrieanne.  Adrieanne is a 37yr old fitness blogger who's target audience is mom's with extra poundage around their middle, thanks to baby making.  After successfully losing 40 pounds herself post-partum, she now coaches and advocates for other moms to refind their sexy bodies and their new selves.

Adriennes high ticket services is 1:1 coaching where she provides not only meal plans and fitness schedules, but mindset work to help moms schedule their fitness into their busy lives and overcome the beliefs we have as moms regarding self care and self love.  This is a $2000 program that runs 4 months.

But Adrieanne knows not everyone's going to jump into her 1:1 program.  Some people don't need it.  Some can't afford it at this time. And some don't trust her, yet.

So she offers a couple smaller packages to get people 'moving' and see results. 


Package 1: Personalized Nutrition assessment and Fitness Package.  $200 value..  Based on a survey she provides, she offers a customized program to help moms get started on the right food.  


Package 2: 3 Week fitness schedule for busy moms.  Only requires 20 min a day, 5 days a week, for 21 days.  $19 value.  


Free Gift: To get emails, she provides her survey that's part of Package 1 for free, so mom's can figure out where they are making mistakes as well she provides 10 useful tips to get back on track.


This is the sales funnel.  It's a series of offers, free and paid, that build trust, credibility and authority with your audience.  

But there's more at work here.  There's psychology at work.
You see, when we ask someone to do something like give us their email in exchange for a free gift (a wonderful gift at that) and you deliver on greatness, you build trust.  When you ask for the next small purchase, because it's low risk (<$20), and you deliver, you build trust again.  Usually by the third purchase you have their trust, if they do buy, and the relationship is formed. 
However, don't forget a couple key facts:
  1. Your offers still have to rock.  
  2. You must solve one of your visitors problems.
  3. You must still offer free ungated content either with blogposts, social media, communities, videos or something. 
  4. You must deliver on your promises.  Don't make it sound good but thin in quality.
  5. Always have a guarantee.  This is the buyer's safety net to give them comfort when purchasing online.  Too many scammers (eBay comes to mind) where people have been taken and we're now a weary bunch when buying online.  
Lastly, understand a couple of things:
  1. The Sales funnel can take 30 to 180 days to go through.  Remember couples date before they get married.  Hell they skype before they go for coffee! So expect this to take time.   There isn't a 'get rich quick' in this.  
  2. The beauty of sales funnels is the automation.  You can easily set this up, optimize it and let it run on autopilot.
  3. The success is in the details.  Landing page optimization.  Sales page optimization.  Offer strength.  Email copywriting and strategy.  etcetcetc.  
I certainly hope this generates an understanding of not only what a sales funnel is but how to setup your products and services to get one running.  If you have any questions, feel free to drop them in my own community, http://bit.ly/TM-COMMUNITY.

About the Author
Maggie Benson is a digital marketer based out of the Okanagan Valley in BC, Canada.  She helps fierce entrepreneurs build their businesses and make more money online so they can a better quality of life and spend more time with their peeps.  She's a certified Google Adwords Professional, Inbound Marketer and Search Marketer Master.  When she's not typing away on the laptop, she's enjoying her 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 Nigerian Dwarf Goats, 20+ chickens and a strong cup of java!

5 comments

  1. This is awesome advice! I have been stocking up on sales funnel research, so I love this!

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  2. Loved this article! I am still working on my sales funnel strategy to tie in with my email marketing strategy; something I haven't focused on in a while. This article was a great reminder to get on it ASAP! :)

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  3. What an amazing post! Super helpful in understanding sales funnels and how they work for bloggers.

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  4. This was a great article snd could not have come at a better time!

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  5. Glad the post was helpful ladies!!!

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