sales funnel mistakes

You’re doing what the experts tell you and have created what you think is a pretty awesome sales funnel. You have your Email Opt-In Freebie and it’s getting you signups. You have a pretty decent email sequence that you spent hours perfecting. You have an amazing offer at the end. But it just isn’t converting as well as you hoped. You were told a Sales Funnel would help you “sell while you are sleeping”. But it’s just… not. Where are you going wrong? In truth, it’s likely not your sales funnel that is the problem if you have spent the time “getting it right” and “following all the instructions”. The problem is that for some reason Sales Funnels have become this magical answer to all our online marketing problems, when in fact they are only a part of the picture.

sales funnels are nothing new

They have been around for decades. What once was a traditional model of showing the different stages along the customer journey from “Awareness” to “Advocacy” has now been replaced by a specific sequence of events that result in a sale. But as with many things, the traditional model isn’t as relevant anymore in the modern landscape. It used to be based around the notion of sales representatives getting a list of prospects, cold calling them, identifying who is an actual lead and then slowly converting them to purchase. The majority of the heavy lifting was done by sales people. Online Marketing has changed this and now sales people often only enter the picture at the last step…. if at all. The traditional model goes something like this: Awareness > Interest > Consideration > Decision > Purchase. The modern model goes something like this: FB Ad > Webinar > Email Series > Offer. If you look closely at the above examples the modern way is just showing how the customer’s decision making process is represented by a specific activities. This is great for giving you an idea of what to do if you don’t know where to start, But it neglects one important factor…. everyone makes their buying decisions in different ways and at different times. Some don’t need much convincing at all. Others need a lot of support. Or others, just aren’t ready right now but maybe they will be in a year or two. This is often where the mistake is made. Expecting everyone to line up in a pretty row and follow directions. With the traditional model, the sales person was driving the activity and could adapt based on the feedback she was receiving. They could provide information at the right time. They could answer the exact questions that needed answers. They knew the right time to ask for the sale. As much as they try, email platforms, even with all their sophisticated tagging abilities don’t have the ability to adapt like a human does.

ok, but I don’t want to go back to the stone age

Me Neither!! We need to work within this new landscape but we still need to cater to different customers decision making processes. How do we do that? We need to compliment our “sales funnel” with other marketing strategies that will amplify its effect. We give our ideal customers a choice in how they will interact with us and then leave the door open for them to step through when they are ready. It doesn’t mean you stand back and wait.  It means you proactively provide resources and prompts so that they feel equipped and compelled to make the decision at the right time for them. So instead of creating just a funnel, think of it as creating a full framework of tools, each providing a different role.

the framework

The Amplified Marketing™ Framework is built on the 5 Pillars of a successful marketing strategy. Each pillar represents a stage in the funnel and they play a different role. However, the process is not linear. Instead all the components are interconnected and your audience can feel free to move from one pillar to another and back again. The 5 Pillars and their primary roles are:

  1. Promote : This is where you create Awareness. The intention is to Attract your Ideal Customer.
  2. Social Media : This is where you create Interest. The intention is to Engage with your Ideal Customer.
  3. Content : This is where you encourage Consideration. The intention is to Educate your Ideal Customer.
  4. Email : This is where you spur them to Action. The intention is to Nurture your Ideal Customer.
  5. Website : This is where you Convert them to purchase. The intention is to Reinforce your Message and to make them feel good about their decision.

The key is to provide various options, via calls to action, from one to the other. And in order to make sure they all work together in harmony and synergy, it all needs to be built around one core message and towards one core goal. That is the art of Amplifying.

increase those conversions

By building all of these pillars into your marketing strategy, when someone enters your “Sales Funnel” or Email Sequence, this will be complimented by an orchestra of other marketing efforts. Trust and credibility will grow as they see all the helpful content you create. They will feel more connected with you as you engage with them on social media, often just being social and not “selling”. They will recognise your brand and any promotional efforts when they come through. All of a sudden you will stand out from the rest of the crowd. From the rest of the people who are just trying to shout over each other. Instead, you are there standing firm in your power and in your message, being helpful, being likeable, being trusted. You see in a world full of overwhelm and shouting over each other, people instead find comfort in the familiar. Those that they see regularly. Those that show up. Those that don’t pressure or push. Those that are just there for them, when they need it. The key is to make yourself available. To have answers ready when they need them. To share a message that connects. Your funnel, for lack of a better term, provides a baseline path for them to follow. It answers the questions that they ask. It provides the motivation to make a change. It gives them that guiding push like a supportive coach. But it is not the magic bullet, it is just one of many resources you have that help your customers move forward.

5 ideas to make your sales funnel shine

I like to make things practical here at Mix Savvy, so instead of just leaving it there (with a little bit of a rant), I thought I would leave you with some specific ideas of how to add value to your funnel and allow your subscribers the choice of how they interact with your business, in a way that suits them.

No. 1 Give them Choices on how to Connect with you

Mix up those calls to action in your emails. Don’t just stick with product sales pitches. Instead, make the main call to action on one or two of them to connect with you more on social media. This could be in a Facebook Group you create or just one of your social media accounts. The idea is to provide a “no pressure” way for them to continue the relationship, yet be reminded of what you offer going into the future.

No. 2 Ask for a Reply!

Yes, really! In the first email you send, ask them a question or two about their business. A great one is always “When it comes to X, what is your biggest challenge?” (X being the area you help with). This serves three purposes:

  1. It starts a conversation with those subscribers who are highly engaged with you
  2. You get great market research information
  3. It helps to increase your email deliverability rates as their email provider will see that they think your emails are important.

Win. Win. Win.

No. 3 Compliment with Content

Providing consistent great content to your audience whether it be in the form of a blog, video, podcast or even some really great social media posts helps build that important know, like and trust factor. It gives you credibility and it shows that you aren’t just “in it” to get their money. So, firstly, if you aren’t creating much content, do so! This will not only help more people discover your email opt-in, it provides something of value you can continue to send through to your email subscribers. But remember, just because someone has signed up to your email list, doesn’t mean they have seen all the amazing pieces of content you have created to date. So use the opportunity in your welcome series of emails to share some of your favourites or cornerstone pieces.

No. 4 Retarget with Ads

Facebook Ads have a great ability for you to be able to create advertising campaigns only to those on your email list. If you have a look at your email open rates, there is always a large number of people who simply do not read your emails. So creating ads to this already warm audience will help reinforce your message. And because these ads are for those who are already familiar with you, you can use this space to directly promote your product or service. These ads are also relatively cheap because you are not trying to get clicks from a big pond of people. These are highly targeted.

No. 5 Keep on Going

As mentioned earlier, people will buy in their own time. Just because they don’t purchase during the “sales funnel” stage doesn’t mean they never will. They might not quite need your product or service yet. They might not have the money at this stage. Or they might think your product or service will make a great gift for their best friend but their birthday isn’t for 9 months. It is your job to keep showing up and reminding them. Now of course, I’m not talking about being spammy. I mean showing up reliably in their inbox either weekly, fortnightly or even monthly and each time providing extra value and not just a sales pitch. Remember, we are in this business thing for the long haul.

amplify

Through these examples you can see how you can utilise all of the different tools in your marketing toolkit to help amplify your message. Not only will you be giving your customers choice, but also providing many opportunities for connection. The key is to keep everything focused around one core message. That way everything is working to the one goal.

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