A sales funnel — also known as a marketing funnel, conversion funnel or purchase funnel — is a marketing model that shows the journey that a prospective customer goes through up to the point of purchasing a product or service.

Any business that is in existence, regardless of how new it is, has a sales funnel. Marketing funnels vary depending on the company in question. Some are quite simple, while others have several phases based on a business’ sales model. The earliest model, which has since been modified by marketers to suit modern-day customers, included these steps: Awareness, Interest, Desire, and Action. As simple as that sounds, a great well-defined and closely monitored sales funnel can turn your business from being virtually unknown to a successful multi-million-dollar company in a relatively short time span. Below is a simple illustration of a sales funnel.

sales funnel

Why do you need a sales funnel?

As an online entrepreneur, you can understand how frustrating and painful it is to miss a sale. It is especially disappointing when you have dedicated your time, resources and effort to convince the customer and they do not make a purchase. You may find yourself in this situation when you do not have the right purchase funnel. The more established e-commerce companies spend a lot of time and resources on developing effective sales funnels. If you want to increase your revenue, you must also take the time to understand and develop a proper sales funnel for your business.

Why is a sales funnel important?

The importance of a sales funnel cannot be understated. Among other things, it will assist you to:

  • Attract and convert new customers
  • Know the total number of opportunities or leads amassed
  • Identify where you need to change your strategy
  • Follow up on visitors who do not convert
  • Predict future sales outcomes
  • Turn a customer into a repeat purchaser
  • Reduce your marketing costs

How to make your sales funnel work

If your sales are yet to pick up, do not despair. There are several ways you can improve your sales funnel using SendPulse email service.

  • Create subscription forms. By using SendPulse, you can create sign up forms easily and place them on any page of your website to attract subscribers. You can choose a template and customize it to your preference. With these forms, you can collect users’ personal information then use it to boost customer engagement.
  • Send drip campaigns. Also known as automated email campaigns, this is a form of targeted marketing that entails sending out scheduled promotional emails to your mailing list. Register at SendPulse for result-driven and targeted marketing campaigns using the Automation 360 feature.
  • Segment your subscribers. Knowing your subscribers will help you send them more personalized marketing emails, create offers that are relevant to their needs and wants, and identify the ideal time to send them emails. By using SendPulse to develop your sales funnel, you can easily segment your users by age, gender, geographical area, new/active subscribers and so forth.
  • Monitor your subscribers’ ratings. Use SendPulse to analyze your subscribers’ activity and customize your marketing content. Get statistics such as open and click rates through graphs and reports. With this feature, you can see subscribers’ reception of your emails, sent and delivered marketing emails, and any spam complaints from recipients.

How to create an effective sales funnel using SendPulse?

  1. Create a registration form for your site.  A signup form is used to gather users’ personal information such as name and contact details. They essentially help you reach your users more easily to initiate conversations. By using SendPulse’s predesigned forms or creating your own, you can add any fields that you like, upload images, and add text to your preference. Choose among embedded, floating, pop-up or fixed forms. Make sure to add a lead magnet to encourage people to subscribe.
  2. Automate your emails using Automation 360. Use the email automation feature to create automated welcome emails for new subscribers, weekly newsletters with subtle promotions, “thank you” email after purchases and reminders for customers who are yet to complete a purchase. Plus, you can specify the frequency of sending out these emails.
  3. Upsell or cross-sell to buyers who convert. Once a subscriber makes a purchase, you can try to upsell or cross-sell to them. Or simply keep them updated through regular promotional emails or automated web push notifications

Check out the following flowchart to understand these concepts better:

Upselling and cross-selling

How to optimize your sales funnel for better conversion?

Having a sales funnel in place is not enough. You must optimize its functionality to reap maximum benefits. To accomplish this, you should do a number of things.

  • Conduct A/B testing. With the help of SendPulse, do A/B testing to figure out which marketing strategies work best for your business or brand.A/B testing
  • Make use of triggered emails. Take advantage of triggered emails to increase customer engagement and retention. Send right messages at the right time as they’re predefined by your customers’ actions. This way, you can reach out to your audience via email, SMS, web push; send different messages; and monitor conversions on each stage.
  • Add new content to your website regularly. Good content in and of itself drives traffic to your website. Therefore, add fresh and relevant content as often as you can.
  • Listen to your users. Take into account your visitors’ or customers’ questions, concerns or suggestions while creating content and promoting your service.
  • Create different CTAs. One call to action is not enough. They depend on the sales funnel stage your lead is currently on. Make your offers client-oriented.

Make them visible at all stages of the customers’ purchasing journey to encourage conversion.

Best sales funnel examples

Below is a more comprehensive illustration of a typical sales funnel:

Sales funnel

And now, here are two real-life examples of successful sales funnels in use:

Groupon

  1. Traffic: visitors come in from ads, affiliates, referrals, organic and so forth
  2. Homepage: visitors are given incentives to sign up
  3. Internal homepage: users are led to a more specific web page
  4. Purchase form: the user converts by filling out the form

Grasshopper

  1. Traffic: from blogs, ads, and PR
  2. Homepage: short invitation video as well as text explaining the services
  3. How it works: an in-depth look at how the services work
  4. Pricing page: has info about the different packages offered
  5. Sign up: a form for registering

Bottom Line: Pay Attention to Sales Funnel Principles

The first principle of creating a sales funnel is deciding on who your target audience is. Remember, once your sales funnel is up and running, much of your effort will be directed at making people purchase your product or service. Get it right, and your business succeeds. On the other hand, if you get it wrong, you will waste time trying to sell to people who will not buy what you are offering.

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