As in, “sales funnel.”
As in, what you do to take someone who is brand new and first being exposed to your business, and build your relationship to them to the point of maximum exchange of value for revenue.
For those who are deep into the world of internet marketing, this may sound a little late to the game to be writing about this now.
For those who aren’t aware of it, this is something you need to be getting up to speed on, quick.
The best marketers online right now have sophisticated sales funnels that are five or more offers deep.
You get an offer for a free something on their website.
Take ‘em up on it, you get an offer for them to send you a book or CD interview free, if you pay shipping.
Take that, and you’ll get yet another offer for a slightly more comprehensive, systematized, or immediately-beneficial product — often for a little higher price point.
From there, you get an offer for their “big system” — sometimes delivered via continuity, sometimes as a big box of stuff, this would have been the centerpiece of their business a few years ago.
For those who buy into the “big system,” there’s a level after that. Maybe it’s a live event experience. Maybe it’s a higher-end coaching program. Or something else designed to get you results faster and easier.
And above and beyond this higher level, there’s another. And another. And another.
Up until the point where they’ll have your baby if you pay ‘em enough. Okay, maybe not that. But you get the point.
These tiered funnels are becoming standard fare if you want to even just scrape by in competitive markets online today…
They started with a simple principle…
If I can pay more than my competitors to get a lead, I can dominate a market.
In order to make that infinitely scalable, you have to be able to get higher value per conversion out of each new lead.
This doesn’t just happen by selling something more expensive up front. Often, selling a more expensive product up front will actually drop your conversions enough that your lead value is similar to what it was from the lower-priced product.
Enter the upsell. The idea is that if someone buys product A, they are at least somewhat likely to be interested in a higher-priced product B.
In mail order, you had to wait as much as a week or more to make this second offer.
Online, you can do it on the thank you page.
And so some smart marketers decided to start experimenting…
“What happens if we add an upsell to product B after they get product A?”
“Oh, some buy product B!”
“Well then I wonder what happens if we throw product C in line behind product B…”
“Oh look at that, more sales!”
“Let’s try something crazy… Let’s throw in products D, E, F, and G… And just let people stop when they decide they’ve had enough…”
“Holy cow, I think we need a product H!”
And then they got even smarter.
They decided to start experimenting BEFORE product A…
“What can we throw in front of our entire funnel to get even more folks who might be a fit for our products to connect with us, even if they’re not going to buy today?”
“Oh, goody! More leads!”
“And what happens if we actually make this funnel more automatic — and build out automatic follow-up systems in between products, based on wherever folks stop in the funnel?”
“Oh wow, more sales!”
This is how we got to today’s environment of incredibly sophisticated, powerful, and massively profitable sales funnels.
If you’re selling things online, you need to be reverse-engineering this whole story. You need to be looking at your product line and identifying where you can build funnels.
What can you do up front to capture the most leads, before even presenting them with a sales message? How can you stack and structure your offers so that a customer is naturally led from your lowest-priced offers to your most-expensive — getting more and more value along the way? And how can you automate the process so that whenever they make a purchase, they’re shown the next offer? And wherever they stop, they’re given a logical follow-up sequence to support them continuing to move forward through the funnel?
And if you’re a copywriter or marketing consultant, you need to get to know the “funnel” approach inside and out.
How can you spot holes in your clients’ and prospects’ marketing systems to help their funnel work better? What copy goes in which places to make the funnels maximally effective? What new packaging or offer restructuring can you guide your clients towards in order to add highly-profitable higher tiers to their funnel?
Either way, if you’re not doing it, your competitors are. And you’re going to get left in the dust as a result.
Because with their funnel, they can afford to spend more per lead than you can. They’ll rank higher in all the advertising networks. They’ll reach market segments that you can’t. They’ll be able to get media that you can’t. And the further ahead they get, the harder it becomes for you to catch up.
This is my reason why “funnel” should be considered your most important word in your internet marketing vocabulary for 2015 and beyond…
And why I think it could be a total breakthrough for your business to put more time, effort, and attention into as well.
Yours for bigger breakthroughs,
Editor, Breakthrough Marketing Secrets