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How to Create an Effective Online Sales Funnel

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Title: How to Create an Effective Online Sales Funnel


1
How to Create an Effective Online Sales Funnel
2
Before I jump into this months topic, let me
start my saying, Youre invited! On Friday,
September 12th, I will host a webinar related to
this months column How to Create an Effective
Online Sales Funnel for Your Business in 7 Easy
Steps. PBN readers can join the webinar free of
charge. Sign up here http//goo.gl/IoJlfZ
3
Before I jump into this months topic, let me
start my saying, Youre invited! On Friday,
September 12th, I will host a webinar related to
this months column How to Create an Effective
Online Sales Funnel for Your Business in 7 Easy
Steps. PBN readers can join the webinar free of
charge. Sign up here http//goo.gl/IoJlfZ
Incidentally, I typically use GoToWebinar for
online presentations. GoToWebinar is to de facto
standard for such things. But recently I saw
someone use Google Hangouts for their webinar and
it went really well despite some 500 people
attending. We can save 99/month by moving to
Hangouts and enjoy added benefits along the way.
Perhaps we will visit that topic in a subsequent
column. For now, lets focus on how to use the
web for lead generation. In last months column,
we took at look at services like LeadPages.net
and how we can rapidly build squeeze pages, or
landing pages, to encourage the user to provide
their name and email in exchange for something,
like a free download.
4
Before I jump into this months topic, let me
start my saying, Youre invited! On Friday,
September 12th, I will host a webinar related to
this months column How to Create an Effective
Online Sales Funnel for Your Business in 7 Easy
Steps. PBN readers can join the webinar free of
charge. Sign up here http//goo.gl/IoJlfZ
If you think about, we spend a lot of time
opening and reading email. So although social
media is sexy and new, good old-fashioned email
marketing still rocks. Regardless of your market
space, you should invest the time and energy to
harvest those emails and curate your email lists.
The goal is use the emails to generate even more
sales. For example, you should have email lists
for employees, former employees, people who want
to work for you, current customers, customers who
havent purchased from you in a while, prospects,
leads, vendors, etc. Each list deserves a
different email message and each message requires
its own list. Dont send generic emails to
generic email lists. Thats a waste of resources.
5
Over the last few weeks Ive been testing lead
generation techniques and I have learned a few
very interestings things. And I want to share
them with in this months column. Squeeze pages
are effective. You should definitely start
playing with that tactic. The problem is not all
prospects are equal. Some are better potential
clients than others. To ensure the best return on
your investment, you should focus on the A
prospects. We can save the Bs for later. And
we wont worry at all about the Cs.
6
The other problem with generic squeeze pages is
people arent stupid. If youre like me, you
probably have 2-3 different email accounts. One
is for work, one is for home, and the other is a
throwaway. So when I am prompted for a bribe in
exchange for an email, I usually dont provide my
work nor home email addresses. Those are coveted.
Instead, I use the throwaway which I seldom
open.
7
As you can imagine, a prospects throwaway email
is useless for email marketing. You want the home
or work email. You want the email address that is
opened daily because you have something important
to share. Note Many businesses are shy about
email marketing. They dont want to annoy their
base. I agree. We dont want to send spam. But if
you offer a good product or service, doesnt it
help your customers live a better life? Dont you
want your customers to have a better life? The
key is positioning to give your customers what
they need in a way thats genuine and sincere.
The goal is sales and the mission is to be
helpful. Theres nothing spammy about that. So
how do you create an effective sales funnel for
your business? Well, it requires some
masterminding and a bunch of testing to get it
right, but heres what you do
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1.Determine which space you want to dominate.
Dont try to be all things to all people. The
first impulse for most marketers is to chose a
hugely popular search phrase. The problem with
high volume search terms is they tend to be too
broad and too competitive. Instead, run a
campaign based on a highly specific search phrase
with far less competition. The best place to
start is listing the types of questions prospects
usually ask you when considering your products
and services. So in my industry, instead of
targeting an ultra competitive search phrase like
web design companies I might instead focus my
campaign on how much does a new web site cost.
Fewer competitors, higher conversions, and higher
ROI.
9
2.Think about how you can segment your prospects.
This is the part where you reverse engineer the
sales process. You probably sell a range of
products and services. You may want to select the
higher margin ones for now, but you still need to
get the right sales message to the right
prospect. If I capture someone in my funnel who
is asking how much a does a new web site cost,
I need to map the sales cycle backwards based on
the types of websites we sell. A new e-commerce
site is a different product and requires a
different sales cycle than a simple brochure-type
site.
10
3.Create a landing page with an explainer video
that encourages the prospect to take a survey.
This step is critical. The point is not to say
something like, To serve you better, take the
survey below. You have to be much more
persuasive than that. Basically, the prospect
needs to realize that he/she runs the risk of
making the wrong the decision and/or missing a
valuable opportunity by NOT answering the
self-discovery questions. Motivate the prospect
to take a few micro commitments. Once they have
taken a few small steps, its easier for them to
take bigger action. You also want to be sure the
overall message is convincing enough for
prospects to relinquish their real email
addresses, not the throwaways. In the example
how much does a new website cost, the info I
need to collect and thus engineer into the survey
includes name, email, type of site they want,
number of products (if e-commerce site), samples
of sites they like, and budget.
11
For other industries, e.g. health care, you can
imagine gender and age may be important capture
fields since healthcare is different for men
versus women and young versus old. 4.Integrate
the survey with merge fields. Essentially what
you are doing is gathering intelligence. You are
using pay-per-click advertising, social, search
engine optimization, etc to drive qualified
traffic to your landing page and then you are
motivating the user to complete the survey. The
info you collect with the survey is extremely
valuable for two reasons. One, you can serve the
product or service based on the prospects
answers. Two, you are now building a database of
warm leads with real data attached to them.
12
5.Setup auto-responders for each segment. Using
email platforms like AWeber and MailChimp, you
can set up an automated stream of sales pitches
with each message custom- tailored for each
prospect. The auto response sequence needs to be
thoughtfully engineered so the user feels like,
Holy moly! This is perfect for me.
13
If you stop and think about it, online sales
funnels make a lot of sense. Based on our
experiences in the brick-and-mortar world, we
know selling to a group of people is more
efficient than selling one-to-one. We also know
we need to send the right salesperson for the
right job since one salesperson may be more
qualified to sell a particular product or service
than another. We know the sales cycle may require
several touches in order to seal the deal. And
finally, we know its more profitable to sell a
current customer more products and services than
to go find a new customer to sell.
14
Online sales funnels can help us do all this by
providing a low-cost, highly effective way to
generate sales without working so hard. To
learn more about how you can create online sales
funnels for your business, join our webinar on
the Friday, September 12th. Its free for PBN
readers http//goo.gl/IoJlfZ
15
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