The internet is a gold rush right now. People are putting up Shopify stores, selling products, promoting their websites, etc.. It’s a great move because people are sick of the cubicle life, mom’s want to stay home to raise their children, and many want to be in charge of charting their own waters instead of serving someone else’s visions for business. But the how and best practices of internet business changes with lightning speed.
A few years ago the process was simple. Put up a website and you were in business. But it’s not enough now as it doesn’t engage customers effectively. Then came Facebook and making sure you had a solid Facebook presence. Still so important but it doesn’t direct your customer yet. Then came Facebook and Google ads which are really awesome by the way. But now it is imperative to have funnels connected with those ads.
What is a Funnel?
It’s not something to overthink. In business a funnel is simply the process of channeling a customer to purchase your product or service. They first have to be aware, then engage, then add to cart and click the purchase button. After that and oftentimes before an Autoresponder is in place which automatically sends out on a schedule those thousands of emails that flood our inbox. A funnel is what captures those email leads.
Why Do I Need a Sales Funnel?
At present many are jumping on the Social Media Advertising campaign and that is smart. It’s where the action is at because it’s where the people are at. But social media ads are like a billboard. People see them but how do you know when they engage? How do you know when they convert to a customer? How do you sell to them again once they become a customer? These are where funnels are set up and the ad directs you to a landing page.
What Does a Landing Page Look Like and Why Do I Need One?
More than likely you have clicked something and landed on a landing page. On that landing page you are given typically a discount, a trial offer or a free something in exchange for your email address? Why? When you capture the email address you have access to your customer for future offers virtually free. Having that access is priceless. If your business ever gets in a tight spot and you can’t afford advertising, if you have an email list you’re in good shape. You still have access to your customers. At the end of the day, the business with the email list…wins.
Think of Groupon for a minute. Businesses will put their ads on Groupon but at what cost? Groupon charges around 40% of every transaction AND they keep the email address. Basically that translates that businesses are paying Groupon to work for Groupon. It’s genius on the part of Groupon. Not so genius for those who buy into their ad system.
How Does Funnels Work?
- First of all you need something to sell. You can do that with a business website, on a Shopify account, or even sell a single product with a funnel.
- Second you need to get people to click a link to your lead page. You can do that with Facebook ads, sending out emails or however.
- You need a page that will incentivize people to give you their email address. This can be a free ebook, a discount or virtually anything.
- You need a program to design that capture page (also known as squeeze page, opt-in page, lead generation page, etc…)
Which Program is Best?
Currently there is one predominant programs that will help you build a capture page called ClickFunnels. If you haven’t heard of it you probably have nonetheless been lead to one of their pages. They are dominating the market…for now. The strength of Clickfunnels is that it is so very widely used, funnels are very easy to share between business and people and it’s just popular. Also once you get into the funnels they are not nearly as hard as you think. Many of the funnels you can use are already pre-designed. You just need to fill in your own information. (Get a FREE Funnel here.)
There are other software programs out there that are soon going to pose a challenge to ClickFunnels, but as of yet they do not yet have the full integrations with other things such as Zapier (sends you emails and texts and connect programs when you get leads), and easy sharing capabilities. They are coming though.
If you want to understand more what I’m talking about (and they even give you a free T-shirt for trying their program), here’s a link to where you can get a 14 day Free Trial. It’s worth it to check it out and they have a nice little orientation in the beginning that is worth your time to watch (and is required for your free T-shirt).
If you have an online business, you really need to make sure you are integrating a full funnel system. Your sales will increase, you secure your business by getting a base of access to customers and you’ll be able to better monitor your results. If this seems like too much for you. It’s not an issue. There are many companies such as Sales Magnet Marketing that will do the work for you. But if you want to venture out on your own, this is a solid way to go.