Sales funnels guide your potential customers to a buying decision through a series of landing pages, emails, videos, offers & payment methods. A sales funnel is built ONLY for 1 specific purpose – the purpose you want the visitors to land on your page & take any action on a particular subject without getting lost in other things on the page.
If you wish to exponentially increase sales in your business, you need a sales funnel. It’s that simple!
A typical sales funnel is designed in such a way that it keeps bringing the prospective visitors closer to converting into paying customers & then being loyal consumers of your product/service offering. The diagram below visualizes the various stages of a customer’s journey inside the sales funnel from the outer ring & ultimately to the innermost ring where they convert:
Why do you even need to optimize your sales funnel in the first place?
Marketing & sales go hand-in-hand. Modern-day performance marketing is all about analyzing the data of your hypothesis, A/B testing your results, making the desired changes & optimizing your operations accordingly.
We don’t think anyone would disagree with what was just said. There absolutely is no sure-shot proven formula that is ‘one size fits all’. Marketing is all about following a proactive approach to fetch the best possible results!
Similarly, there is no perfect sales funnel for anyone. A sales funnel might work for your online course today, it might not work tomorrow. So, optimizing sales funnels is the best way to keep the leads to keep on converting.
Some of the few crystal-clear benefits of an optimized sales funnel:
- Helps you procure for your business, the right marketing strategy that is targeting the right prospective audience!
- Builds an understanding of multiple reasons why your product/service is not up to the mark for your prospective customers, hence giving you the opportunity to build suitable services & target the right audience.
- Gives you a certain edge over your competitors to optimize the user’s journey in a better way than them & convert better.
So without an optimized sales funnel, you would be jumping off a cliff & hoping to make a safe landing in terms of your leads converting into customers.
How to optimize your sales funnel?
Now that you have understood what sales funnels are & why do you need to optimize them for your online academy, let us look at the best optimization strategies that you can cater to your personalized sales funnels:
Understand your audience, DILIGENTLY
First things first, how on earth are you even planning to optimize your sales funnel when you don’t know enough about your audience in the first place? The more you understand your current customer & prospect customer base, the better you will be able to market your product/service to them & convert into paying customers.
For that to happen, you will first need to build an in-depth buyer persona of your prospective customers & understand them in & out. Mentioned below are just some of the points that you should identify.
|Personal Details||Male/ Female, Married/ Single, Number of family members|
|Demographics||Age, financial standing etc.|
|Career Background||Seniority, experience, Job Title and responsibility, Career Goals, KRAs, etc.|
|Career Goals||Money, Recognition, Industry awards, Promotions, Etc.|
|Values and Attitude||Eco-friendly, Human Rights, Education, Status etc.|
|Personal Interests||Sports, Hobbies, interests, likes and dislikes etc.|
|Bottlenecks||Routine, attention span, access etc.|
You will be wasting your precious time & money if you have built a sales funnel targeting the wrong buyer personas. So, dedicate a good enough amount of time on building a dedicated buyer persona & then start optimizing a sales funnel as per the need!
For a detailed buyer persona, you can also access an amazing free tool: Make My Buyer Persona by HubSpot
- Pump up your landing page game
A well-built landing page is the best team member of a highly optimized sales funnel. Why? Because it can possibly include everything you would need to optimize your sales funnel for high conversions. Following are 3 of the most important elements to be incorporated in a landing page to optimize sales funnels:
- Quality content
Good quality content works, every time! Make sure the copies are on point, be it your primary promise or things as simple as subheadings. Having said that, the layout & design of your content is extremely crucial too. Make sure not only your content is compelling but the way in which they are designed is appealing to the eye too!
- Make use of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
SEO involves creating content on the lines of multiple guidelines by Google so that it effectively ranks on Google’s search engine. The purpose to do this is to drive traffic to your sales funnel, collect leads & generate sales.
When built properly, an SEO strategy works like wonders for you. Even though it can take a tad bit of time to see the desired results from SEO, it still is worth the wait if you have an effective long-term strategy in mind!
- Social proofs, testimonials & case studies
Prove & validate your product with the help of multiple social proofs, & just don’t be shy in this segment. You can incorporate social proofs via Video Sales Letters (VSLs), Graphs, Charts as well as customer testimonials & success stories!
We want you to be completely bang on with as many case studies & social proofs you can fetch for your online course business & BUILD that CREDIBILITY.
To have a detailed understanding of the elements of a perfect landing page for optimizing your sales funnel, click here.
- Build an email database & capture the lost leads using Email-Marketing
Even well-designed sales funnels experience several leaks and YOU, as a sales funnel master should NOT leave the probability of converting even those leads into paying customers.
But what is the best way to do it? Email marketing! Best marketing practices include Email Marketing as a very important element to re-target the prospective audience & induce them again to buy the service offering through the sales funnel.
This helps in driving lost as well as cold traffic to your sales funnel that convert into paying customers!
- A/B testing – MOST IMPORTANT
Optimizing a sales funnel is all about ‘Launch, Test, analyze, Launch again & repeat!’
A/B testing your results is the most CRUCIAL part of optimizing a sales funnel. Why?
Like we said earlier, there is no single sure short formulas for the perfect marketing optimization strategy. The entire bunch runs on trial & error via the help of multiple data sets! Hence, A/B testing comes to the rescue as a definitive tool to understand the feedback of your sales funnel & then make the necessary changes accordingly.
A/B testing helps you narrow down your alternatives & choose the best one between them so that you can optimize the funnel for better results in a fairly easier way.
No matter how laborious & time-consuming it may sound, optimizing your sales funnel is not a 1-day task. However, apart from all the elements that help you optimize your sales funnel, the most important one is TESTING!
A sales funnel can never be called an optimized one if it is not regularly tested, and the results not regularly analyzed
With whatever you just learnt - keep testing, keep analyzing & keep refining to optimize your sales funnel!