Sales Funnels 101: the most underrated business tool

Odds are if you have a business or are researching on starting one you have come across the terms "sales funnel" or "pipeline".

All businesses have a sales funnel.

Sales Funnels are the most underrated and one of the most important parts of a business. Especially so for online entrepreneurs.

I’ve noticed that the way a lot of people explain it is a little complicated to understand. Don’t worry I’m here to break it down for you!

The process has many names but they all mean the same thing. It's the different steps it takes to make a stranger aware of what you were offering to landing sales (and having them come back).

Here's an example:

Facebook ad >> Landing page for your freebie >> They use freebie >> Sales page

>> Order Form >> Success

Sales funnels consist of four levels.

  1. Introduction - A basic funnel usually starts with an online ad or post offering something free or discounted. At this point the customer becomes aware of your product. This is the top of your funnel and the level that reaches the most people. The funnel progressively gets smaller.

  2. Opting in (showing interest) - At this point in the process someone has clicked on your ad/ post and now it brings them to the point where they can sign up for your email list (or whatever works for your business) in exchange for whatever you initially offered them.

  3. Engagement - At this point you should be working to build a relationship and to offer them something in exchange for their time and money. This is also the importance of the last step where they gave you their email. With your mailing list, you can then present your customers with a series of low-cost offers.

  4. Retention - After offering the customers the chance get a "deal" with your business you can work to upsell to a higher- priced or different goods or service. If they choose to purchase with your business then you should try to have something that’s evergreen. Something that they will keep coming back for or tell their friends about.

And that’s the goal isn’t it? You generally want to have repeat customers. Whether you are working with a social media marketer or are doing it yourself you should look at your demographics and see who is interested in your product and market directly to them. Sometimes you’ll get lucky and nailed on the first try. But like most things in life that doesn’t happen often. It’s really a game of trial and error.

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