Businesses of all shapes and sizes require a sales funnel of some kind.
Some businesses work hard to create a tailored, and targeted sales funnel, whilst for others, the process has happened naturally over time.
Sales funnels are vital for converting audiences into paying customers, and the main goal of a sales funnel is to move people onto the next stage.
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to sales funnels, and what works for one company might not be successful for another.
Finding the right sales funnel for your business is no easy task but is essential for conversions and driving revenue.
A huge 96% of users who visit a website are not ready to make a purchase yet, but an effective sales funnel works to help nurture these users into paying customers over time.
This means it is more important than ever to understand exactly what a sales funnel is, how to create one and the best sales funnel examples around today.
What Is A Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel maps out the journey a customer goes through when they are making a purchasing decision.
It is a marketing concept that has been around for many years but is still more important than ever before.
A funnel is used as an analogy in which a large number of users start at the top, and throughout the process, only a small fraction makes a purchase at the end of the funnel.
As each potential customer passes into the next stage of the sales funnel, it shows there is a deeper commitment to making a purchase.
The four most basic stages of a sales funnel are;
Whilst sales funnels are often considered vital for online businesses; they are also essential for every type of organisation.
If you think about a retail store, awareness could be with a beautiful shop window, interest is in the browsing, the decision is in the changing room, and the action is going to the till point.
However going back to online sales funnels, in today’s technologically advanced world, an online presence is vital for all businesses.
A Google study revealed that 89% of B2B researchers and 81% of B2C customers use the Internet during the research process. No matter if you are operating as a B2C or B2B business, a sales funnel is an effective marketing tool to boost conversions.
How To Create A Sales Funnel
Creating a successful sales funnel can seem challenging, but it isn’t as difficult as it first looks. There are a few basics to bear in mind, such as encouraging referrals and contacting leads quickly.
A study from the Harvard Business Review revealed that businesses that respond to leads within one hour are nearly seven times more likely to convert, so ensuring your sales funnel includes a fast response is vital.
There are a few simple steps you can take to create a sales funnel;
Analyse Your Audience
One of the best ways of making sure your sales funnel is successful is to know your audience.
No business is marketing to everyone; instead, you need to be marketing to the customers who are interested in your products and services.
Closely monitor website activity and look into user behaviour to understand how people are interacting with your website.
Not only that but use existing customer data to get a solid understanding of who your customers are.
Grab Their Attention
Once you know who your audience is, you can start working on getting their attention and drawing them into your sales funnel. To do this effectively, you need to create relevant content and share it in all the right places.
Use blog posts, infographics, videos and images to create engaging content and post it on all platforms you have available.
Because you should now have a good understanding of who your audience is, you can post ads in places that are relevant to them. For example, if you are focusing on B2B, then LinkedIn ads might be your best bet.
Have An Effective Landing Page
All this content and online adverts need to take your audience somewhere. Most sales funnels lead to a landing page with a specific and relevant offer or call to action.
At this stage, potential customers are still fairly low in your sales funnel, so it is important to concentrate on capturing them as leads as opposed to pushing sales.
The goal of a landing page is to steer visitors towards the next stage of the funnel. An effective landing page will have a very clear call to action, such as watching a video or downloading a free e-book.
Create Email Campaigns
MarketingBlender published a study that revealed that email marketing has a 2x greater ROI than telephone marketing. This is why incorporating email marketing campaigns into your sales funnel is more important than ever.
The best email campaigns communicate regularly but not too frequently and offer valuable content.
Just one or two emails per week can be great for educating your audience before convincing them to make a sale.
An email drip campaign can take customers through to the final stages of your sales funnel, especially when you end it with an unmissable offer.
Don’t Forget Your Customers
One of the biggest mistakes that businesses make when creating a sales funnel is forgetting about existing customers.
Continue to reach out to past purchasers, whether that is with a new special offer, or by thanking them for their loyalty.
By keeping up with old customers and encouraging new ones, you are covering all bases within your sales funnel.
Retaining existing customers is actually between 6 and 7 times less costly than acquiring new customers, so this step is more important than ever.
The Best Service Sales Funnel Examples
When you are running a service-based business, it is important that you give your potential customers a clear path to follow.
A sales funnel helps customers stay incentivised and encourages them to take action to find out more about the services you offer. Some of the very best service sales funnel examples are;
Netflix is the most popular paid video streaming service in the world. Their customers can watch movies, TV shows and documentaries across a range of devices for a monthly fee.
According to Statista, there are a whopping 195.15 million Netflix subscribers as of 2020, so it is clear they are doing something right.
The Netflix sales funnel begins with its homepage, which is very simple with minimal text. The main message is the free trial and zero commitment to sign up.
There is a progress bar and a timeline to very clearly show customers what happens next.
Next up is the payment plan page, where Netflix automatically select their Premium option to encourage customers to sign up for the more expensive choice.
Finally, customers choose their payment options and finalise their sign-up.
The Netflix sales funnel is so successful because it is super simple and focuses on the customer. There is an emphasis on security and no-risk options, which help customers feel as though they aren’t being locked into the service.
Not only that, but Netflix harness the power of their huge brand to help with its sales funnel success.
MailChimp is an email marketing service that has grown to be one of the most widely used in the world. Their business has grown exponentially after they started offering a free plan as well as their paid options.
The main point of the free plan is that all emails have ‘Powered by MailChimp’ in the footer, spreading the word across customer databases.
Their sales funnel begins by generating website traffic through organic search, email advertising, blog posts and word of mouth.
The website’s home page is very simple and aspirational, focusing on self-expression and freedom. MailChimp’s content is persuasive and proven to convert well.
Next on the funnel is the pricing and features page, where customers can clearly see the features available in each plan. Their main focus is on getting customers to sign up for their free plan so that they can capture emails, usernames and passwords.
This gets customers signed up quickly and lets them get started with the service right away.
From here, there are plenty of opportunities and incentives to upgrade to paid plans.
The Best Product Sales Funnel Examples
Most businesses are trying to sell their products, whether that is online or in brick-and-mortar stores. Sales funnels are vital for converting people from browsers and researchers to paying customers. Some of the best product sales funnel examples include;
Groupon has been around for years and has built a solid name for being one of the best places to pick up bargain products and major discounts. Today Groupon still reach millions of consumers every single month, and it is all thanks to their impressive sales funnel.
Traffic is driven to the Groupon website through online ads, direct traffic, referrals, email campaigns, affiliates and more. They have built a comprehensive strategy for driving website traffic.
Once consumers reach the Groupon home page, they are instantly prompted by a pop-up asking for their email address. Customer details must be provided in order for them to access the many discounts available on the site.
Once signed up, customers can freely browse the products and make purchases. The most effective part of this sales funnel is that once email addresses are captured, they are used to promote further products.
Follow-up emails are tailored specifically to customers, with a very clear call to action, which makes them very successful at converting.
Dollar Shave Club
Since launching in 2012, Dollar Shave Club has managed to build one of the most successful product sales funnels ever. The grooming company offer a subscription service for razors; a very simple but very effective concept.
Their website is very concise, with only six pages in total, all of which point users to the 3 steps sign-up process.
One of the reasons Dollar Shave Clubs’ sales funnel works so well is that everything is focused on getting customers to sign up. From driving traffic to their website pages, conversion is always encouraged.
Every single section on their home page links to their order process, and they often use videos and other rich content to gain attention.
The order process itself is a very classic sales funnel, which is simple and easy to complete quickly.
The Best B2B Sales Funnel Examples
A huge 68% of B2B companies do not have a solid understanding of their sales funnel and how it works for them. An effective B2B sales funnel will help to generate more sales whilst also refining the sales process. Some of the most effective B2B sales funnels are;
Basecamp offers a service for managing projects for companies of all shapes and sizes. They make their website and content feel personal, and the main focus of the message is to tell businesses the problems they can solve.
Basecamp uses a lot of testimonials and reviews in its copy in order to build trust and reputation among businesses. Their sales funnel begins with driving traffic on their blog, PR activities and organic search results.
On the Basecamp home page, they demonstrate their service in action and create an emotional tie-in. The call to action is a 30-day free trial, creating peace of mind that there is no initial commitment.
Unlike some other free trial services, users don’t need to enter credit card information to start the free trial. Basecamp’s pricing structure and features list are also super simple, encouraging conversions by not overcomplicating their service.
CrazyEgg helps businesses to improve their websites by providing insights into what is working and what isn’t. Their sales funnel is impressive because it is so large and focuses hugely on their high-quality blog. Their blog is actually the beginning of the sales funnel, and they generate huge amounts of traffic from Google organically.
Every blog post offers useful information for businesses and then is finished with a clear call to action. The call to action encourages customers to join the mailing list, where CrazyEgg then send further content and offers to the database.
The Crazy Egg home page is very simple, with the option to add a website URL to see a heat map. From here, customers are encouraged to sign up for a free trial or one of their package options. All pricing and packages are clearly displayed with all the necessary information.
What Is The Best Sales Funnel For You?
While it can be really useful to learn what other brands are doing well and how they’re maximising the most from their sales funnel, it’s important to note that their customers are not the same as your customers and your funnel may need slightly different paths.
Join the ASN Marketing Automation Launchpad
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the best sales funnel for your business.
The nuances of your customer’s journey, your brand’s identity, and your product or service mix create a unique ecosystem that requires bespoke solutions.
But, we can work that out together, amongst like-minded individuals, each navigating the complexities of sales funnels, marketing strategy and marketing automation.
The ASN Marketing Automation Launchpad, a free Facebook group, provides just that: a community where entrepreneurs, small business owners, and marketing managers gather to share insights, explore opportunities, and learn together.
Here, you’ll have the chance to engage in meaningful discussions, delve into practical advice, and uncover strategies that are most effective for you and your business.
It’s a place where you can ask your burning questions, share your successes and challenges, and gain invaluable insights from a diverse and dynamic community.
So, why not take a step towards a more informed, more strategic, and ultimately more successful marketing?
Remember, it’s completely free, and your marketing strategy can only benefit from the insights and experiences shared within this lively community.
After all, the essence of a successful sales funnel lies in its adaptability, and having an arsenal of insights and perspectives from other business owners can only enhance your ability to adapt.