How To Build A Sales Funnel

Date: Jul 24, 2022

In two of our most recent blogs, we’ve chatted alllll things passive income. From our top tips to maximise sales to the essential emails you need in your launch flow, we’ve laid the foundations for creating an amazing income stream for your biz.

But how do you take all that juicy knowledge and apply it so that it actually lands? How do you ensure you even have a community to share your products or services with? 

A successful sales funnel is the difference between everything looking good on paper to actually securing those sales IRL. So now we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a look at how to turn those emails into a fully functioning sales funnel that transforms casual browsers into paying customers. Cos that’s what we really want, right?

It’s easy to overcomplicate your sales funnel or be put off from ever creating one because if you’re honest, you’re not entirely sure if you know what a sales funnel even is but I’m here to crack the mystery… A sales funnel is simply the process, a series of steps someone takes from finding out about you to purchasing one of your products or investing in one of your services.

Meaning, whether you realise it or not, or whether it is effective or not, if you’re currently in business, you already have a sales funnel. Let’s get it optimsed and set you up for success, shall we?

5 Steps to building an effective sales funnel

Step #1: Pick the right email platform

Before we dive in, make sure you’re creating your sales emails on the right platform for you.

Now I’ll preface this by saying there actually is no right or wrong choice, in the sense that each email platform is great in its own right. However, one platform that might be absolutely perfect for your competitor might completely hinder you and restrict what you’re trying to achieve.

It all depends on what you need. Looking for incredible integrations and sophisticated automation? ActiveCampaign is a match made in heaven. Want to create visually stunning, editorial emails? Flodesk is your new bestie. 

You can read our whistle-stop tour of the main email marketing platforms’ pros and cons here to help you find the right fit.

Step #2: Think about your top-of-funnel strategy and snag them with an incentive 

It’s all well and good crafting a beautiful and engaging email series, sharing all about your new product or offering… but what’s the use if you don’t put that same energy into getting people into your ecosystem and onto your mailing list, AKA your ‘top of funnel’?

Getting a website visitor or member of your social community to sign up to your emails is step one in the sales funnel. And it’s a biggie. It shows they want to engage with you on a deeper level, receive direct communication from you into their inbox, and find out more about what you have to offer. What a compliment.

Coax people into signing up with a thoughtful incentive that will be beneficial to them. This way, you’re offering them something of genuine value and getting something of value in return. I’m talking stuff like exclusive product discounts, early access to a launch or a downloadable freebie. You want to make sure that your freebie is complementary to your products or services – don’t just create something because you’ve seen someone else do it, think – how does this freebie fit into the larger picture of my product ecosystem and act as a stepping stone towards working with me. 

Need an example? Our MBR freebie is an Instagram Links Page Template, custom designed, really effective and completely free to download. (Go on, grab one for yourself if you fancy it!) It’s perfect for someone who doesn’t have a website yet (or is currently using something like LinkTree, etc)  BUT it’s also only the first step in taking your business online, if you want to grow, you’re gonna need a full website, sooner rather than later and whaddya know… we happen to have a website template that perfectly matches this free Instagram links page, making it easy AF to upgrade. 

Step #3: Make it easy

We love an easy life. Remove any obstacles that might stop people taking the first step in the journey. Make it so simple to sign up to your emails that even your Nan could manage it.

Pop a link in your social bio (see our free IG Links Page above!), add a pop-up to your site, or craft a unique opt-in page to seal the deal. 

Our two newest Showit website templates, Harper & Jaime come with both short and long opt-in page options, plus an opt-in thank you. The bold, clean and intuitive pages help to shine the spotlight on your unique offering, making it crystal clear how people can sign up and get involved. 

Step #4: Plan out and write your emails

Let’s talk psychology for a sec. 

Although there’s no concrete recipe for success when it comes to a sales email flow, the order you send your emails in could be the difference between a sale or an unsubscribe. It’s all about revealing nuggets of information in the best possible order, so it’s received the way you want it to be. 

Just like when you start chatting to someone new, you don’t bombard them with all your most private and personal info on the first date. It works the same with sales: come across too OTT, sales-driven and pushy, and you’ll lose people quicker than you can say buy my stuff.

Your email order, delivery cadence, subject lines and overall tone of voice is going to be hugely important to your sales funnel. Think about the way you roll out your messaging, frame your offering, and build your brand. 

Check out this post here for guidance on which emails you need in your sales funnel.

Remember, if someone has signed up for a freebie, you’re going to want to send them a few welcome emails before you dive into selling, its just polite. I’d recommend at least 3 emails, that would be;

  • Email 1 – Deliver your freebie!
  • Email 2 – Introduce yourself and your biz (no selling at this point!).
  • Email 3 – Give value! You could share something helpful and link to 3 of your most valuable pieces of content, show that you’re an expert at what you do and also that you care about getting people results.

Step #5: The extra stuff

There are other things to consider outside of your main sales emails that can (and will) affect your bottom line.

While your main automated sequence is ticking over, don’t forget about the people who have already been through the funnel or have been in your email community for a while, it’s a great idea to throw in added value one-off emails to build your brand, share more about what you do, and create a more authentic relationship with your subscribers. Sending out unique fortnightly or monthly emails to your whole mailing list is a great way to remind them you exist, nurture them and make them feel valued.

You can lean away from traditional marketing emails and get as creative as you like with these. Try chatty think pieces, behind-the-scenes stories, horoscopes, playlists, recipes, and things you’re loving RN. This is the perfect opportunity to delve into storytelling and brand building– and it also gives your mailing list a break from the fatigue of sales emails in their inbox. You’ll cut through the noise and stand out in their minds.

Same thing with social media, if you’re active and consistent in showing up on your social channels, not only does it keep you front of mind, it adds a layer of trust for anyone currently in your email funnel and on the fence about investing in your products or services, the two strategies really go hand in hand and if you can apply both, at the same time (to whatever degree you can manage) you will absolutely see better results.

If you follow these steps, you’ll help gently move your audience from interested clickers to engaged customers in no time. (Ofc ideally over time, you’ll then transform these one-time buyers into long-term regular customers… but we’ll get into how to achieve that another time!)

Got an email flow you’re proud of, but a website that lets you down? If you want to start confidently directing your audience to a beautiful, impressive new website, you can browse our Showit website templates here.

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