A quick guide to sales funnels

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A sales funnel within digital media can be defined as steps designed by a business in order to guide its visitors toward a buying decision.

In order to generate sales the business will utilise the principals outlined in the four step AIDA model:

ATTENTION – The often overlooked first step of the model is where the business makes the visitor aware of the products.

INTEREST – Often poor marketers jump straight into this aspect of the AIDA model and ignore the first step and rely upon PPC advertising in order to self-select. –A mistake.

Instead, now the business has the attention of the visitor then it should attempt to persuade and influence that visitor into step three.

DESIRE – The business has attracted a visitor, brought attention to the product and now it must generate desire for access to the product.

This third step, which is also often referred to as ‘Decision’ is in many ways the most difficult to master for new businesses as they may not yet understand the optimal purchasing decision making process.

ACTION – The success of this portion of the process is often defined not only by the overall strength and tone of the message and proposition, but also by the call to action used to convert the visitor into a customer.

Now we have briefly outlined AIDA and have an understanding as to a sales funnel let us move on to describing the ingredients of a relevant sales funnel in more detail.

Key Components of a Sales Funnel

In this section of the book I will walk you through a typical sales funnel for a membership-based property. I have included options in here for single-copy sales and other potential products, but the aim of the funnel is to maximise subscription sales.

TRAFFIC – Your sales funnel will only ever be successful if you are driving relevant traffic to it. As a result, it is vital that you spend a significant portion of available resource in driving the audience to the property.

It is also vital that you then measure and understand where this traffic is coming from. Doing this merely requires some setup work on Google Analytics, or any other enterprise-class web analytics software you decide to use.

LANDING PAGE – This is the starting point of the funnel and is normally designed purely to motivate the visitor into an action. The layout and functionality of this page should be well researched, with notes taken from successful external products.

Walkthroughs, testimonials and reviews, et cetera can be used, if relevant and if they add strength to the message.

Personally, I like noting the ‘Reasons to purchase’ on the landing pages. Doing this enables you to immediately explain what the offering is; what problems the platform solves for members; and highlights relevance to the potential user.

EMAIL LIST – It is imperative that you capture as many peoples Email addresses as early in the process as possible.

However, remember what the end game is here. Do not attempt to convolute the offer; add additional forms to pages; or complicate the process. Just a simple lead generator will suffice.

A TRIPWIRE PRODUCT – If the funnel starts with free newsletter or report, then offer a free trial subscription to the website utilising standard tripwire marketing techniques.

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