5 Steps To A Sales-Boosting Conversion Funnel

In this article, we’ll discuss how to create a marketing funnel for transforming visitors not only into customers but promoters.

Too often, I see companies attempting to turn a brand-new visitor into a converted customer. And while this does happen sometimes, it’s not common. Instead, we should focus our efforts on a series of different rings of a funnel, each with their unique marketing message and goal. Step by step by step, we move the customer through these rings until they naturally convert and willingly become promoters of the product.

For me, it looks something like the chart below.

convert

Step#1 Strangers

I use free articles and podcasts as a way to attract new strangers to my site. The content is based around topics that my customer demographic is interested in. Like “how to write a business plan”, “how to start a consulting business”, or “how to create a marketing funnel”. I post these pieces of content on my social media accounts and even run ads or keywords with a small budget.

Step #2 Visitors

As a new visitor moves through the content, I have call-to-actions (CTAs) and email captures strategically placed like the ones below. (Note: You might not be able to see these on actual articles if you’re logged in to your StartupCamp account.)

My First Call To Action

This box is placed inside the content typically a few paragraphs down. It fits the brand, it doesn’t feel intrusive, and it offers visitors a friendly way to learn more about StartupCamp. It speaks directly to my target customer, someone who needs help starting their own business and offers a potential solution. If you click the video, a pop up modal appears and plays the video, if you want to know pricing, it will open the pricing section in a new window. If you’re not interested, you can just scroll past it.

cta-1

My Second Call To Action

This box is placed at the end of the content. It’s a softer commitment and the last-ditch attempt to capture a visitor and help push them down the funnel. Again, I open with a headline that speaks directly to my target customer, I offer them something exclusive, and I set the expectations (every Monday & Thursday). By clarifying here, you have alleviated as much of the unknown and helped them feel comfortable receiving your content.

email

Secondary Call To Action

Lastly, if I can’t get a visitor to enroll and I can’t get them to give me their email address, maybe I can get them to follow me on social media. As seen in the image below, I offer the actual “Like” and “Follow” buttons (instead of just links to my profiles) at the top of my sidebar, I tell the visitor what to expect, and I show them a picture of the friendly guy they would be following 🙂

dale

It’s not how many people visit your website today that counts, it’s how many you capture to return tomorrow that makes the difference.

By capturing these social media followers, I have essentially placed them into a new funnel that will hopefully cycle them through the entire process and eventually convert them into customers. It looks something like this:

funnel

Step #3 Leads

Your content marketing funnel is working. You’ve captured email subscribers and social followers who have been to your site and are possibly interested in the product you offer. Now it’s time to focus on conversion. For example, I send two emails per week to a few thousand leads. I include a mix of free and premium content. But at the top of each email, I make a firm ask to enroll in the program. It looks something like this:

email-cta

While this might not convert leads immediately, it provides them a glimpse into all the free and premium content available to them if they chose to enroll. It gives them a chance to “feel out” the content before making a cash commitment. And for the record, every time I send an email, I typically see 5-8 new enrollments.

Alongside my email campaigns, I’ve launched a series of workflows. A workflow is a website or a series of emails or communication touch points that push leads into a more refined funnel. For example, a workflow might look something like:

  1. Are You Ready To Start Your Own Business? Take Our Free Assessment To Determine If You’re Truly Prepared
  2. The lead then lands on a website which takes them through a series of questions like “Have you written a business plan?” or “Have you completed a marketing funnel?” Based on their answers, the workflow would produce a score/report.
  3. Based on their answers, they will receive a certain message and pitch
  4. If they’re not ready to start their own business, we will offer them a free e-book and $20 off their first month if they enroll today.

The best workflows let the customer point themselves to your solution.

A workflow like this has now provided the leads with the clarity required to make a decision. Are they ready to start or not? If so, do you need help or not? And if so, here is a perfect solution for you on your journey.

Step #4 Customers

You’ve converted your first customers. But getting customers is different than keeping them. Now it’s time to pull out the wow. Every piece of the customer experience should exceed their expectations and answer potential questions even before they ask them.

For example, when you sign up for StartupCamp, you are provided specific instructions and links to you curriculum dashboard. Then, I have provided further instructions via video, and lastly, a receipt and email are automatically sent to the new student to provide even more instruction and important links. And to add a cherry on top, every element of the process is designed well.

Your job now becomes managing the expectation, the customer experience, and the quality of your product. For me, it’s been providing great content like this article or our collection of StartupShows or more importantly, great customer support. If you’re one of the few people who has needed support, I hope your experience was nothing short of first class. These are the elements that keep customers around. If you can do this well, you’ll find yourself at the end of the funnel. Which brings us to our last step.

Step #5 Promoters

Promoters are defined as anyone who is willing to refer a good friend to your product. Many companies consider their Net Promoter Score as a valuable metric to understanding this segment of customers.

In my experience, customers must be three things before they refer a friend:

  • Impressed – It’s good enough that you almost want to brag about it to a friend.
  • Heard – The company asks for feedback and is clearly trying to be better at all times.
  • Experienced – They have been a customer long enough to fully understand the company.

At StartupCamp, we aim to impress with good content and high design quality, and we are eager to hear feedback through module surveys (like the one below), great customer support, open conversation inside the private Facebook group, forums and article comments.

be-better

Lastly, we hope that as students continue through the program, their results and knowledge will naturally urge them to refer others.

And there you have it, that’s how to create a marketing funnel. Taking strangers and transforming them into promoters is a long process of steps and actions. As you make progress in your efforts, you will find you have 500 in the first ring of the funnel, 120 in the next, and 40 close to conversion. But it’s this clarity that will help you define your strategy and step by step turn your dream into a profitable reality.

Have you created a funnel for your business? What stood out most to you in this article? Let me know in the comments below.
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Author

Dale Partridge
Dale Partridge is the Founder of StartupCamp.com. He's also a keynote speaker and author of the Wall Street Journal & USA Today Bestselling book People Over Profit.

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  1. I’m with Lorina! My slang is that I pimp you out. Just did today to a friend of mine. Sent her your links. I told her what I was doing differently as my business language is starting to shift and your name came into the conversation. I told her what I was paying per month for the Startup Camp but told her to start with your podcasts. She was grateful and I’ll ask in a few days if she listened to them and which one she did. Thanks for posting this…I absorbed some, but know that I need to be a little further on in my “program” to be where this ALL makes sense. Stay Awesome!

    Reply
  2. Oh and I hope you go into the Net Promoter a bit more and also perhaps where affiliates fit in with Promoters. Or even Ambassador Programs.

    Reply
  3. Hey Dale — Do you use sosmething specific for the workflow marketing funnnel? I like how some of the same things that are made for the strangers are the same things that create value for your customers and your promoters. I am trying to nail down some ideas for the initial funnel for both startups I got going. I am trying to figure out since both are physical product companies.

    Reply
    • Nothing specific at this time. Take your time. It’s a hard process to get right.

      Reply

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