An optimized Sales Funnel can easily turn more non-customers into Qualified Leads. When cultivated properly, those strong leads can be converted into paying customers. With more customers, your blog will generate a higher income. Mastering this funnel can be the difference between $100 and $100,000 in income. Grab some coffee ☕️, and let’s get into it!
Pssst… Your Sales Funnel is only one part of a successful blog. Check out my guide on how to make money blogging for a big-picture view.
What are the benefits of a Sales Funnel?
Blog business owners often have products or services that cater to the needs of their audience. These can come in all shapes and sizes, solving problems large and small. The problem is, many times, the audience does not know about or understand the available solution. People want this information given to them in an easily digestible way. They want something they can easily follow that leads them to the solution they are looking for.
This is where a Sales Funnel comes in handy. It acts as a guiding hand, leading your audience to your product or service. Investing in the process will yield several benefits. Let’s explore some of them!
Attract more Qualified Leads
All kinds of people will visit your blog. Some will be looking for general education about your niche. Others will be researching solutions to a problem they have. A few of them might even be ready to buy something immediately. Not all of them will be customers to start. The good news is you can change that!
With a tuned Sales Funnel, you can convert more non-customer audience members into leads who might buy something in the future. Some users only need a tiny nudge. Presenting them with the right motivation at the right time can be the difference between a lookie-loo and a purchaser.
Qualified Leads buy things.
When focusing on making money, it is imperative that this group of users is given extra attention. Learn how they interact with your content. This will provide insights into how they can be converted into income-generating customers. Use this information to optimize your funnel, and you will see that boost in revenue you desire.
Boost your productivity
Another intrinsic benefit of an optimized funnel is the boost in productivity. There are many jobs on a blog. Each of them needs dedicated time to be executed efficiently. By increasing the efficiency of your funnel, you can open up more time for other tasks.
You will spend less time generating leads and attracting customers and more time on other high-value tasks for your blog. This is because efforts spent on your funnel are high-impact. Even a tiny bit of effort can generate hefty returns.
For instance, a minor change in the wording for your lead magnets can build your community email list exponentially faster. With an optimized Sales Funnel, more email addresses can mean more Qualified Leads. Those extra leads can also mean more money in your pocket. Thus with only a little effort, you have grown your income potential and freed up time for other tasks.
Increase your conversion rate
One of the most telling stats on a blog is the Conversion Rate. It measures the percentage of your audience members that spend money with you. The higher this percentage is, the better it is for your pocketbook. Any efforts that increase this number are worth the investment.
Your audience believes you have a solution. Sell it to them!
People who visit your blog come because they believe you have a solution to their current problem. You can tell them that your solution is the best all day. However, you must present this to them in a way they can understand. They need to know why you are the best. Tell them how you are better than other solutions. Point them to where they can find your solution. If you slack on this, they will ultimately never buy anything.
It is your job to optimize their experience. Tell them the story that leads them to buy something from you. Guide them through the narrative that sends them to your sales page. This improves your Conversion Rate: more engaged eyes on your money-making offers. Optimizing your funnel makes this happen!
Encourage brand awareness
Users who find you need to know who you are. They want to understand what you offer and if they can trust you. Users more clearly comprehend your product or service when you have optimized your Sales Funnel. Providing them consistently positive user experience will show them they can trust you.
More users will spread the word when they trust your brand.
Brand awareness is what makes you stand out in the marketplace. Loyal users, engaged by your funnel, will consistently dote on how wonderful their experience was. Their enthusiasm will attract more users to your content, which should again drive them to your funnel. It is cyclical and self-reenforcing if your funnel is implemented correctly.
Products and services attached to a high brand awareness will generate more sales. When customers are faced with a decision, they will almost always go with the name they are aware of instead of the one they are unfamiliar with. With strong enough brand awareness, competitors will fade into the background, and you will shine through.
Predict your future sales
One of the scariest thoughts as a business owner is the fear of not landing your future sales. Uncertainty can eat away at your psyche, casting self-doubt on even the most accomplished business people. Will you make more next month? Will you generate less income? How can you meet next month’s numbers? Are you missing opportunities that could make you more money?
When your Sales Funnel operates efficiently, your future sales become more predictable!
Your funnel can provide valuable information that can stabilize your revenue predictions. It will help you understand where users are dropping off. With that knowledge, you can implement small changes that will normalize your conversion rate. A more stable conversion rate will yield a more accurate perspective of your future income potential.
With predictable revenue, you can have a better grasp on your future budget and, by extension, your future spending. You can also catch holes in your current strategy. Identifying those holes can help you plug them, increasing your revenue potential. You can measure if your marketing and sales strategies yield what they should. Adjustments can be made to them to improve their efficiency.
Land more sales
A well-implemented Sales Funnel will help you make more sales. By the time your users meet with you, they should be aware of the value-prop you offer and how it could benefit them. These activated customers are easier to close and will typically spend more too.
Qualified leads convert to customers much more smoothly than a random sample of your audience. With a tuned Sales Funnel, a more prominent subset of your audience is primed and ready to buy. It only takes a little extra effort to push them over the edge. Because of this, you spend less time actively convincing them to buy. This allows you to close more of those sales within the same timeframe.
Sales Funnel Stages
There are several stages of your funnel. Everyone has a unique perspective on what those stages are. Most sources tend to cite around four stages. Here are the Sales Funnel stages that I focus on:
Only users who know you exist will consider purchasing from you. Your first and most essential job is to help them know you are out there and what you have to offer them. Remember, when faced with a choice, users will choose the name they know over an unknown brand every time.
Awareness starts before users get to you. Every detail deserves some focus. Your logo should be unique and identifiable. Other people should be doting on how incredible you are. Links to your blog should be presented to users searching in your niche. Exposure to your name and brand should be given to them at every step. These details take time to cultivate but are crucial to your brand awareness.
You can boost your chances of being noticed by implementing some powerful techniques:
- The SEO on your blog should be top-notch so that you have high SERPs. This will ensure that searchers can find you quickly.
- Build relationships with other blogs related to your niche. Those can be leveraged to signal your users that you are worth investigating.
- Invest in your presentation. People will quickly forget a brand that looks sloppy and disorganized.
Users aware of a brand will be more likely to purchase from it. Think about when you spend money on something online. Let’s say there is a product you need. You see that the product can be purchased on AmazingThingsPeopleNeed.com and Amazon.com. Which one will you choose to buy from? The vast majority of people will respond with “Amazon” simply because they know the name.
Does that mean Amazon has the lowest price? Not necessarily. Is the product Amazon offers somehow better than the one on AmazingThingsPeopleNeed? It is unlikely because we are talking about the same product. Is Amazon safer to buy from? That is debatable since Amazon primarily acts as a middleman between a seller and a buyer.
Amazon has cultivated strong brand awareness. It is practically a household name. This is especially true since the pandemic when it was the only option available. You can build your brand awareness too. It takes focusing on your Sales Funnel and converting window shoppers into Qualified Leads.
Once you have built up some awareness for your brand, it is time to segment out the users who have a problem to solve. These users have the intention of finding a solution to their problem. Users in this segment are Qualified Leads. They are how you make your money.
Users in this stage must be engaged. They need to feel connected to and invested in your brand. A powerful tool for reinforcing this is a Lead Magnet. Lead Magnets offer them something of value for free in exchange for their email address. Once they have received your freebie, offering up their contact information in the process, they have signaled a commitment to your brand.
You can use a service like ConvertKit to create a Drip Campaign that will keep them engaged based on how they interact with your content. This ongoing engagement will lead them toward your product or service. With a little nudge, they will be activated enough to take the next step toward a purchase.
If you are a service business, these users could easily be convinced to set up a meeting with you. Show them how easy it is to book that conversation, and many of them will take that step. Similarly, if you are in a product business, show them how easy it is to buy your product. Ensure these users have quick access to purchase it.
Users who have interacted with a Lead Magnet are trying to signal that they are looking for a solution like yours. Those Qualified Leads will move to the purchase stage when they have enough information and motivation. Do what you can to provide it to them, and they will take that next step.
Users in this stage have decided your offering might be worth purchasing. Maybe they scheduled a meeting with you about your consulting for that final push to purchase. Perhaps they have added a product to their cart and need a nudge to push the purchase button. Sometimes they have even started talking about your offering in a public forum hoping for validation from an external source. This is your time to shine.
Whatever the case, it is your job to ensure these users have the best possible experience. Meeting with them should answer all their questions and show them what they miss out on by not working with you. Carts full of items should be encouraged to purchase with notifications and possibly small incentives. Conversations should be engaged cordially, showing all the benefits your offering will afford them.
If you find users are stuck in this stage and not pulling the trigger, you may want to consider a few things:
- Maybe your proposal needs some adjustment.
- Perhaps the timeline suggested does not work for them.
- Your price could be outside the budget they had in mind.
- Sometimes the decision-maker is not the person you talked to.
Addressing their concerns is paramount to landing a sale. Doing so in a customer-friendly cordial manner should be a priority. Remember, once you close the deal, these Qualified Leads will become loyalists. Loyalists are brand ambassadors. They promote your brand to others because their experience has been excellent. They then step into the last stage.
This stage of your Sales Funnel is full of customers who had great experiences. Once a Qualified Lead converts to a paying customer, you must nurture them. These users will direct even more people to become members of your audience. Word of mouth is an incredible tool. Even today, it is the most powerful motivator for a new user to become a customer.
Repeat customers continue to invest in your brand without hesitation. Going back to our Amazon scenario from earlier, many users will always buy from Amazon, even if the product is available elsewhere. This is partly because of Amazon’s brand awareness. It is also because Amazon has a great experience. Buying is simple and reliable. For the most part, you can expect your product quickly, or at least on time, with the expectation set when you checkout.
More than that, loyal customers are brand ambassadors. These elite users will always promote your brand. With their vote of confidence, new users in your audience will be more likely to step into your Sales Funnel sooner, making your job much easier.
These local customers should be nurtured. Open up a conversation with them. Try to understand them better and understand their needs. You can offer them privileged content or exclusive offers. Doing this can make them feel special. When they feel special, their loyalty will increase even more; higher loyalty yields more social currency for your brand and more money for your pocket.
Now you understand some of the benefits of a Sales Funnel. Hopefully, you can see how a funnel can convert window shoppers into Qualified Leads. With that knowledge, you can convert those Qualified Leads into paying customers.
It should also be clear how each stage of the Sales Funnel functions and what it represents. Users in each stage can be convinced to move through the funnel to the next phase with tiny optimizations and engagement.
It is up to you from here. You have the knowledge and tools to make a change. You can do it! Take some time to evaluate your Sales Funnel, make some tweaks, and achieve that increase in conversion rate you came here to find.