Today’s Throwback Thursday post returns from March, 2014. It has been thoroughly revised.
To be a successful online marketer you absolutely, positively, have to have a sales funnel. One sale here, one sale there, is not going to make you successful. You need a sales funnel that can handle massive amounts of traffic and generate good and consistent sales. So, what is a sales funnel? Here’s a typical one:
A sales funnel is a process that can begin in a number of places, but which leads toward sales. An online sales funnel could start with a Facebook ad, a blog post, Twitter, YouTube, an email letter, or a number of other places, or all of the above. The point of a funnel is to take lots of volume and direct it all into one, tight stream.
The sales funnel online begins just as it does offline, with an initial contact. From the initial contact, interested persons provide information so that you can have further contact with them. They might respond to an ad, blog post, Facebook post, or some other form of marketing and click to go to a landing page (often called a squeeze page). The landing page is where you ask a potential customer or client for their email address in exchange for a free offer.
If someone responds favorably and enters your sales funnel by giving you their email address, this means that they have accepted your offer, and have given you permission to send them valuable information. This information could be in the form of a video, pdf, or some other form of communication. That exchange of email address for your offer is the beginning of what can become a profitable relationship for you and your prospects.
The email follow-ups that you send after the initial contact are a way to nurture prospects and customers and clients. This is the qualification stage for you and your prospects. They are checking you out as your qualify them. By providing quality content in your free offer and emails, you provide reasons to know, like, and trust you. This is important since people don’t initially know you, and are understandably cautious. Your emails are part of the process of them getting to know you.
Most people on the internet see lots of ads with lots of promises. Why will they choose yours? Your sales presentation, through emails, sales pages, video sales letters or pages, are ways that you can move the sales process along. Addressing your prospect’s concerns is part of this stage. Your call to action is your closing, where you ask for the sale.
If you google “sales funnel” you’ll find sales funnel templates, articles on sales funnels, and even posts that want to persuade you that the sales funnel is dead! Read what you want, but the truth is that without a sales funnel, you will have no way to establish an ongoing relationship with potential clients or customers. Which is why I call a sales funnel one of the essentials.
I welcome your comments and questions, and your likes and shares.