Do you have a funnel?
If you have a one at all it probably needs improvement.. right? I am sure your aware that this is not a set and forget scenario. When you are launching a new product and maybe re-launching an existing one, the funnel is key. It can be the difference between success and failure. It seems I have been in the business of building funnels lately and I have found some common issues that I would like to share with you. Here are five keys to take note of:
Sales vs. Leads
Less experienced marketers seem to go straight for the sale. They are interested in making money and seem to overlook the basic need to build a list and nurture a relationship. Building trust is a key part of the sales process and collecting contact information, such as emails, is more important than making the sale. The good news is that you can have your cake and eat it too. When collecting leads, typically name and email, you can always send them to your sales page or webinar immediately after they signup. This way you aren’t sacrificing leads or sales. However, collecting the leads is only half the battle… the other have is followup.
Everyone is guilty of this one and I include myself in the list. I tend to build more comprehensive followup campaigns for my clients than I do for myself (cobblers shoes I guess). When pursuing leads it is important to follow up with them. Having a quality email sequence with well written copy used to be enough. Although it is a key ingredient the effectiveness of email continues to drop. The good news is that you can amplify your results with advertising and social media efforts. Retargeting is probably the most effective way to stay in front of a prospect these days. I insist that my clients build quality branding and banner advertising to build trust and passively pursue prospects. It is effective and very inexpensive.
This is a new requirement in my opinion. Back in 2008-09 We used to slap up a generic landing page with not physical address, no phone number, no logo… and still generate leads a sales. Now, with the help of Google’s new rules, you need to be credible. Branding and consistency helps your credibility and overall response to your products. Like it or not…. it works and despite my own skepticism the results my clients are seeing prove this point. Does that mean we have dumped direct marketing principles? Definately not. The amount of noise on the internet requires that you stand out and be memorable and branding helps… a lot. There are so many competitors NOT doing this, particularly in local markets, that it is an easy way to improve your marketing performance. Ihope to share some examples in future posts.
No big secret here… without traffic that landing page does not do you much good. Unfortunately… any old traffic wont do much for you and it is important to match your offer or lead magnet (free book or whatever) to the traffic source when possible. This will include the banner ad, the headline, the email copy etc. If there is a certain lack of consistency then you will lose people. For example you wouldn’t put up an Google Ad or banner that promotes Debt Relief and then have a landing page that discusses personal finance and debt management. Which is it? They are completely related and it just might be working for you but are you sure it is converting at the highest potential? That leads us to split testing…
This one is important but… before you run off and invest thousands of dollars on software, programming and new designs, it is a good idea to get something working at some level. So the best thing to do is start with the basics, good headlines, trust symbols, testimonials and other solid marketing principles. For example, if you have a basic landing page, you send traffic (Google, Email, Facebook etc) and your getting subscribers…. then your ready. In the case of landing page optins (name / email) I like to see something close to a 30% (30 of 100 visits) conversion or better (sometimes 50%). Split testing new pages, headlines and graphics to achieve higher conversions is important. Here an example of why this is key:
Traffic —> Lead Conversions —> Leads —> Offer —> Sales Conversions –> Sales
Assuming 1,000 visitors lets run through an example scenario:
Example #1 – 1000 –> 10% (LC) –> 100 Leads —> offer —> 1% (SC) –> 1 sale
Example #2 – 1000 –> 30% (LC) –> 300 Leads —> offer —> 1% (SC) –> 3 sales
Of course this is not including any sales from our followup process, just the front end (thank you page offer). Improving our lead conversion has a drastic impact on the number of sales we can produce (assuming a constant 1% conversion). In this example there are no dollar values for the traffic or the product but you can simply replace these with your own numbers. This is not restricted to online sales….
It Applies to ANY Sales Process!
If you sell face to face you just changes the names. Maybe instead of landing pages it is meetings or appointments and the traffic source is phone calls or seminars. Every aspect of your sales process can be monitored, measured and improved regardless of the specific process. In my experience most businesses seem to fail to convert prospects into customers for two primary reasons. Reason #1 – The person taking appointments, answering phones or scheduling meetings is untrained, unmotivated and is not following a script (defined process). Reason #2 – The business fails to follow up both before and after the sale, appointment or event (as mentioned earlier). But the key is that ….
This All Starts With Measurement!
You wont know if your improving unless your measuring current performance. In the digital world it is sooo easy too. Free tools like google analytics make our lives easier. You have to be religious about implementing analytics in everything you do. Even if you don’t start split testing right away….. having analytics from “day one” will give you some sort of baseline when you do start. Fixing your funnel is best tackled one small step at a time…. start with measurement, then you can make small changes to see if performance improves.