If you’ve been in the internet marketing world for any amount of time, then you’ve probably heard the term “sales funnel” before. This is a popular concept, but many people still have trouble understanding what exactly a sales funnel is.
It’s really just a way of looking the whole sales process from the first contact until the day they stop buying from you. “Funnel” is a good analogy and makes the process easy to tweak and improve by singling out what steps work and what steps don’t.
Sales Funnel Process
A typical sales funnel has a few different steps. For internet marketing, this process begins by generating traffic and directing it to an opt-in form which generates leads. Through interaction with your list, these leads get warmed up and become prospects. When you present them with a great product or offer, some of these prospects will turn into customers.
Attracting New Leads
The first thing to do is to choose an enticing, niche-specific offer, or reason to come to your website. If they’re targeting the weight loss niche, for example, then they will choose an attractive product, service, or website which is targeted to people who want to look and feel better.
Remember that you want to generate traffic that you can turn into leads. You’ll need something enticing enough to get people to your website. Once you’ve picked a lead generation method, the next step is turning this traffic into leads.
Landing Pages and Freebies
The landing page is important because this is what you’ll be directing traffic to. A landing page is just a simple, single page website that presents visitors with a free offer. This freebie is usually something small but attractive. It could be a few short videos, an ebook, or even software. You can either create these freebies yourself or use someone else’s with permission.
Visitors access this free offer by submitting their email address in a form posted on the page. Once they’ve done that, they are now on your mass mailing list. This is how traffic is converted into leads. The entire purpose of the landing page is, in fact, to help grow your list of leads.
When you generate a new lead, it’s important to contact this person as soon as possible. Since most of us can’t just sit at our computer all day waiting for a new addition to our list, many marketers utilize autoresponders. This is a type of software that will automatically email someone when they sign up, and several times afterward to keep in touch with them.
This email can be used to start building a relationship which turns leads into prospects. The message this software sends can thank the person for signing up, deliver the free product they wanted, and possibly point them in the direction of something else they might like.
The sales page is the end of the funnel (for now). It’s where the leads you’ve generated get turned into paying customers. There are a few different theories on creating sales pages but they generally include an attention-getting headline, some sales copy or a video, information about the product, a call to action, and bonuses to add value to the customer.
The secret to success in internet marketing is creating an effective sales funnel. You can’t simply create a product and hope for it to sell. You need to generate traffic, turn them into leads, follow-up multiple times, and then convert leads into customers.
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