By Nick Tubis – Co-Founder of LiveVoice, which was acquired in 2017. Currently CMO at TSD Global, a large marketing and sales outsourcing company.
Lately, online marketing and sales funnels have been gaining a lot of traction among entrepreneurs, marketers and salespeople, and they should be — they work like magic. I’m going to show you today why and how you can set up an online marketing funnel for your business.
Why Marketing Funnels?
Consumers have access to more information than ever before and do a great deal more research before making a purchase. This has increased the price competition and made businesses lower their prices for their products in an attempt to get more customers. The problem with that is companies are essentially selling commodities, and then it’s a race to the bottom of whoever can sell their product the cheapest. Online sales funnels allow you drive traffic to your website where you can strategically capture leads through a squeeze page, generate sales, identify dream buyers and upsell your customers.
How Old Marketing Worked, And How Marketing Works Now
Twenty or 30 years ago, the mainstream marketing channel was direct mail. Businesses would send out sales letters and brochures that were disguised as free reports. Business owners used to buy time on television so they could advertise their infomercials. Companies used to advertise on the radio and place ads in the newspaper. Today’s marketing channels have completely changed — though not as much as you may think. Instead of direct mail, businesses use email marketing. Instead of radio ads, companies use podcasts. Instead of buying TV ads, entrepreneurs leverage YouTube ads. So, really, the strategy is the same, but the tactics have changed.
How to Build A Funnel
My first recommendation to build a successful funnel is to think about who your most successful direct and indirect competitors are. Your direct competitors are the companies selling the exact same product or service as you, and your indirect competitors are selling a different product or service, but they are targeting the same type of customer you’re going after.
Then, I recommend you screenshot or screencast your competitor’s entire funnel. This includes their ads, landing pages, upsells and downsells. This is to leverage a funnel that is already performing well so it will ensure that your funnel will be successful. Then model — not copy — their funnel from the ads, landing pages, copy and offers because they have proven to work.
I suggest you also buy ads on the same websites that your competitors are using. All you have to do is use a website analysis tool and plug in your competitor’s URL, and you will see where all of their website traffic comes from. Buy ads on the same websites, and you will start converting website visitors into sales. I recommend you get one of your current customers to write a blog post on their website about you, and have them link it to your website to pre-frame all of the traffic that comes from them. You will have built a great deal of credibility, and they will know who you are after they read your customer’s case study or blog post.
What Type of Funnel Should I Build?
There are three core funnels that any business owner should use: a tripwire, webinar, or high-ticket funnel. A tripwire funnel is a low-ticket offer, priced from free to $30, with the goal of building an email list and gaining customers quickly. A lot of entrepreneurs are using free-plus-shipping offers for CDs, books and USB drives. Basically, they record some amazing videos on what they are selling, put them onto a physical product and market them as free, but the customer pays for the shipping. This works extremely well because not only do you build an email list of leads quickly, but you can get the customer’s credit card information by making them pay for shipping. This allows for one-click upsells, just like Amazon uses with its customers. As soon as someone orders your free book or CD, you send them to the next landing page in your funnel, which is an upsell. This allows for a rapid increase in your average cart value and a way to identify hyperactive buyers.
You can also add an order-form bump to your order forms, which can dramatically increase your average cart value. For example, if you’re offering a free-plus-shipping book, you can add copy in the order form that says, “Get the audio book or the super conversion template for only $37!” and a large percentage of people will add to their order.
Another popular funnel that business owners are seeing success with is automated webinar funnels. I love these because it’s like being able to perform a perfect sales presentation 24/7 on autopilot. You can buy ads directly to your webinar or invite new members to your email list to view your webinar. A webinar is a prerecorded or live presentation of your product or services that’s typically 50% content and 50% sales presentation. It’s great for selling a high-ticket item from $1,000 to $10,000.
By building funnels, you don’t have to rely on selling your product for the cheapest price. You can focus on building something that will lower your barrier to acquire a customer and greatly increase your lifetime value.
How Can I Build A Funnel Today?
The best way to get started building funnels is to use a free trial of funnel-building software. There are several different ones on the market that are great. If you don’t want to build the funnel yourself, you can also go to LinkedIn and search “funnel builder” to find someone who could build it for you. You can implement the strategy and have the funnel-building expert build your funnel for you.