A sales funnel is the structure that brings people from discovering you to becoming a recurring customer. They also help your business in a number of other ways. Not only do the turn more leads into customers but they also help automate business processes. That saves you time and money, provides a better experience for your prospects, leads, and customers. All of thise leads to building your brand because your brand reputation is built on the experieices people have with it.
Without a sales funnel you will likely be scrambling to provide a consistent experience when people are exposed to your products or services. Sales funnels take a very noisy, busy world with multiple communications channels and streamline them into a single flow. And a single funnel is way easier to manage than dozens of communication channels.
WebStarts was built from the ground up with sales funnels in mind. One of the most valuable things you can do with a website is use it as the hub of your communications and to get people into a manageable workflow. By utilizing the business features WebStarts offers you'll be taking your website from essentially what is an online business card to a fully automated business flow you can't live without.
How do you create such a funnel? The first step is to determine the goal of your website. What is the outcome you eventually want? Is the outcome you're looking for to sell a product? Is it to book a client for a service? The answer to those questions will help determine the structure and content within your sales funnel.
There are some things your sales funnel should contain regardless of the types of products and services you're selling. When someone comes to your homepage for example they should see a clear consices headline, the page should load fast, and there should be a clear answer to the question - "What do I do next?". Definitely checkout this article for more ideas. I've assembled an exhaustive list of things you should do to ensure you're getting good conversion rates.
These are the most important things to remember as they pertain to creating a sales funnel for a website.
1. Offer the people who visit your site something of perceived value in exchange for their contact information.
This is important because people are not going to want to share with you their contact information for no reason. Too often I see something on a home page that says "Subscribe to our newsletter" with a place to enter your email and click a button. That's better than nothing but it doesn't tell them why they should subscribe. You have to answer the question "What's in it for me?" Here are some ideas that help answer that question.
A free trial
A free sample
Be the first to know
A secret revealed
These are only a few ideas. Let your imagination run wild and come up with your own.
2. Ask for as little contact information you can and still follow up appropriately.
The more information you ask for the higher the perceived value will have to be for giving that contact data. For that reason I recommend asking for as little information as possible. In many cases that's only an email. After all, if you do a good job following up by email you can build around that data as the relationship deepens. That being said there are times when a phone number is highly desirable and if you feel like you can get one you should. Big ticket items are rarely sold without at least a phone call. So consider what you're selling.
3. Follow up aftter you've gathered the contact data.
This should be obvious but people notoriously fail. Probably because it's hard work. Truthfully only about 3% are looking to buy anything at any moment and that means only 3 out of 100 follow up calls are going to lead to a sale. That will feel like toil. However, this is where email marketing becomes a big help. If you follow up with everyone with an automated email you can entice the most serious leads to respond. Then you can get them on the phone, text, or send one off emails to them. This is much more efficient than sifting through leads that are either uninterested, can't afford what you're selling, or misunderstood your offer.
You can send pre-written follow up emails to the leads you captured from the form on your website in WebStarts using the Email Marketing app. The data you capture with a WebStarts form is automatically put into a list in the Email Marketing app even before you activate it. So when you decide to activate you'll have the contact information gathered from your form ready to use.
In addition to creating those pre-written follow ups that go out at scheduled times you can send email broadcasts to all the leads. That's perfect if you're running a big sale or have an announcement.
4. Make it easy for your leads to become customers.
As a customer one thing I find very annoying is when I'm convinced to buy a product and the place selling that product doesn't give me a clear way to close the deal and pay for it. If you want to get the most out of your sales funnel you're going to need to make it clear to your leads how to become your customers. Usually this means giving them a way to pay and on the web it's going to be paying by credit card.
If you're selling products you can use WebStarts to create an online store. When you setup the app it's automatically configured to accept credit card payments using a company called WePay from Chase Bank. You can quickly and easily create products for sale in the store app. Sending yoru customers to the store link will give them a way to pay.
If you're selling a service you can use a payment enabled form in WebStarts to receive payment via Paypal. To learn more on how to accept payments via forms on WebStarts read this article.
5. Provide responsive support and follow up with your customers after they buy.
A common mistake businesses make is not following up with their customers after they make a purchase. I'm sure you've heard word of mouth is the best form of advertising and if you remember at the start of this article I mentioned how the customer feels about the experience they had with you affects your brand. That's why it's super important to stick with your customers after they make a purchase. If you treat them right and make them happy they'll be a walking advertisement and they're also likely to be a recurring customers. And everyone knows it's far more profitible to get a customer to spend more with you than to find a new customer.
Use the Contacts App in WebStarts to manage your leads, prospects, and customers. In additon you can use the Email Marketing App to organize your cusotmers into lists by the things they've purchased etc. In fact, you can move any contact from one list to another and create as many lists as you want.