Sales Funnel Strategy: The 3-Step Process to Create a Powerful Sales Funnel (Includes Template)

Sales Funnel Strategy: The 3-Step Process to Create a Powerful Sales Funnel (Includes Template)


So today, you’re going to learn about the
legendary sales funnel, also known as the marketing funnel. We’re going to do a deep dive on what the
sales funnel is and why it’s super important. We’re going to go through all the steps you
need to design your own from scratch, and we’re also going to talk about the pitfalls
that people mess up, and how it’s going to really trip you up if you don’t get it right. So stay for whole video because we’re going
to take you through the exact process that you need to set up your own marketing funnel
from scratch. I’m Tommy Griffith with clickminded.com. Let’s get going. So diving in here to the sales funnel. It’s also known as … it’s the sales funnel,
the marketing funnel, conversion funnel. Whenever you hear about the funnel in general,
these are all kind of the same things. So do keep that in mind as we get going. So we’ve designed our own funnel, how it looks
like from our perspective. We have this as a free downloadable for you. If you want to grab it, go ahead and click
that link down below to get it for yourselves. So let’s go ahead and dive into this. So the very top of the funnel is going to
start with your persona. There’s a lot of different words for this. Target persona, customer avatar, sales avatar,
a lot of different ways to describe this but they’re all really the same thing. So your target persona is designed to represent
the wants and needs of your customer base. You create a target persona for each kind
of segment of your customer base in order to better target all of your messaging. So some people do this very lightly, but some
people get really, really heavy into this, and I actually recommend getting very heavy
into this. The goal here … a really successful target
persona or customer avatar is someone that you actually design, you actually create a
fictional person that represents certain interests, or wants, or needs of your customer base. You give them a name, you give them a job,
you give them a salary, you give them an interest, family life, relationship level. Whatever it is, you actually create that person,
and then all of your marketing messaging going down targets that particular avatar, that
particular type of person. There’s a ton of different ways to do this. We have a bunch of resources for you on how
you can create your own down below. We’ve done this at ClickMinded and there’s
a bunch of different ways to do it, but one of our favorites is just getting on the phone
with your customers. So doing interviews, doing surveys, actually
figuring out what the wants and needs are of your customers. Incredibly helpful. Literally, a moment in our business where
everything changed because we got really, really detailed specific customer avatars. We’re going to talk about the rest of the
sales funnel next, but the point here is that every thing flows from this customer avatar. Your sales funnel doesn’t really matter if
you don’t have a really good rock solid customer avatar first. Everything flows from defining this at the
beginning. Our next step are your traffic sources. So you have your customer avatar, we’re going
to talk about the funnel next. Your traffic sources are the things that get
poured into your funnel. And so, from a digital marketing perspective
there’s a couple of them. Direct traffic, which is people typing in
your domain name, your URL. SEO, anyone coming from a search engine. You have paid traffic, you have social media
traffic, you have referral traffic. All of these are potential traffic sources
that can be poured into your funnel. Traffic sources are independent channels,
and they apply to each step of the funnel. So we’re only going to briefly mention some
of these today, but each channel is large enough to be an entire specialization. Out of each channel, you could make a career,
a team, or even a company. I was an SEO specialist for a very, very long
time as a career. I was part of an SEO team and there are certainly
SEO companies out there. You could be an email marketing specialist,
even part of an email marketing team, or you could join an email marketing company. So, yes, of course, understanding all these
channels is fantastic and super important, but they’re so big, each channel’s so big,
that you could make a career, a team, or a company out of each of them. So do keep that in mind. These traffic sources are not small. That’s kind of the point here. So within traffic sources, there’s also the
return path. In dealing with a return path, is that these
are ways that you can re-engage users and bring them back to your site. The two big ones are retargeting and email. So return paths are things that you do to
bring any user back into your funnel once they’ve fallen out. The return path can either drop users back
in at the same stage of the funnel that they were at or they can start them over at the
top of the funnel with a different type of content. The most famous, the most popular return path
is the abandoned cart checkout email. You visit a website, you add a product to
the cart, you’re about to checkout and then the phone rings and you go away. Thirty minutes later you get an email that
says, “Hey, you forgot to checkout. Here’s five dollars off. Make sure to checkout before the day ends,”
something like that. That is an example of using an email as a
return path to drop the user back into exactly where they were in the funnel previously,
which is the bottom of the funnel. You have your product in your cart at checkout,
you’re bound to checkout, you get brought back in at the last moment. An example of a return path back at the top
of the funnel, maybe you add your email address to a list, you get a bunch of content about
a particular topic, you don’t really respond to it, you stop opening it. And maybe that website owner would give you
a new piece of content on something entirely different to kind of start you over on a different
type of intent at the top of the funnel and then move you down from there. So, two examples of how to use return paths
to drop users back in your funnel, one at the state that they fell out and the other
one kind of starting the process over from scratch at the very top. Okay. Those were kind of the things that sit on
top of the funnel. We talked about the customer avatar or target
persona. We talked about different traffic sources. And we talked about return paths. Let’s talk about the actual funnel now. We’ll start with the top of the funnel, the
very famous top of the funnel. So this is going to be content, things like
blog posts, or videos, maybe a podcast. This is your super top of funnel mass market
stuff. If you think about an old school company with
old school marketing channels, this is your billboard on the highway. This is your Super Bowl commercial. This is your super mass market stuff that’s
designed to hit a very, very broad audience, maybe a YouTube video. It might be something like that, what you’re
watching right now, top of funnel. The goals here are going to be things like
acquiring new traffic or maybe segmenting your visitors based on their interests. The goals in metrics are going to vary for
everyone. We’ll just show you some examples from our
funnel. So the goal is going to be acquire new traffic
or maybe segment visitors based on their intent. The metrics you might use to monitor these
goals with things like total number of new visitors, it could be percentage of new visitors
of your overall traffic, it can be new direct visitors or the size of your retargeting list. These are all metrics that would sort of be
proxies for those two goals we first mentioned. Next up is the middle funnel. So the middle funnel is going to be stuff
that’s a little bit more targeted. Maybe it’s something that’s colloquially called
a lead magnet, giving users something in exchange for their email address. Maybe it’s some type of opt-in, or maybe it’s
a low-priced offer, it’s often called a trip wire, some type of zero to nine US dollars,
or zero to nineteen US dollars. Product that’s sort of designed to give the
user a ton of value in exchange for their trust. So middle funnel, the goals here are going
to be something like maybe the total number of returning visitors or maybe just lead generation
in general might be the goal. And the metrics for that would be something
like total returning visitors, total number of new leads, maybe the growth of your retargeting
list, or maybe the total number of sales of your low dollar product. These would all be metrics that align with
your middle funnel goals, returning visitors in the lead generation. But the basic idea here is, you have the user
at the top of the funnel, you’re kind of warming them up to your product and who you are, down
in the middle funnel, and you want them to keep coming and engaging with you again, and
again. Next up is bottom funnel. So the bottom funnel, there’s really one thing
going on and that’s your core offering. It doesn’t mean it’s just one product, it’s
not your best selling product. It’s just the thing that you do on your site,
or the primary thing that you want to be achieving in your business. So the goals here are going to be pretty obvious;
maximizing conversions and growing that conversion value. Those are kind of the two main things that
you do and the metrics that might be a good proxy for those goals, maybe your average
order value, maybe your total number of revenue per visit, or maybe the total number of skews
that you’ve sold, or the total quantity of things that you’ve sold that would be good
bottom funnel metrics for those goals. And finally is retention. A lot of people mess this up. Converting users is hard, it’s very difficult. Once you’ve converted a user, users are much
more likely to buy from you a second time. They’ve already bought from you and loved
the experience the first time. So a lot of people forget about retention. They forget about trying to give more value
and monetize their users after they’ve already purchased. So do keep that in mind. Retention might be things like a big ticket
event, you have an annual conference, or something like that. If it’s consulting, you’ve ongoing consulting
product. Or maybe it’s a monthly subscription, it’s
a web application with a monthly subscription, or community, some type of ongoing product
that they get value from again, and again, and again. Those are all types of products you could
do. The goals here are going to be repeat buyers,
maybe growing your total lifetime value of your customer, maybe reducing refunds and
churn. These are all kinds of things that can help
there. The metrics that might map pretty well with
these goals might be the percentage of users that you’ve retained with your product or
application. Maybe your total user lifetime value or maybe
your total user net promoter score, all different metrics that you can kind of align to these
retention goals. Okay. So we talked about the three things that sit
on top of the funnel. That was the target persona, the traffic sources,
and the return path. Then we talked about the four stages of the
funnel: top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom funnel, and retention. Now let’s talk about the two things that are
sort of intertwined with every piece of the funnel. The first is measurement and track. So with the measurement and tracking, you
kind of need this everywhere, and it’s constant and it’s ongoing. Analytics can feel very overwhelming but it’s
just a matter of focusing on what really matters. What we’ve broken it down to is, we like to
pick a much smaller number of metrics to monitor throughout this whole process. It just makes it way easier. So most businesses are able to focus on five
metrics or less in order to see a real improvement. You really don’t need to monitor more than
that. When I was managing Search Engine Optimization
at Airbnb, we monitored a lot of metrics. But most people don’t need that. Most people can get away with five metrics
or less. Okay, so that’s measurement and tracking. And within that we are always constantly experimenting
and optimizing. So you define your persona, you have your
traffic sources, you have your return paths. You have every step of your funnel. Analytics and tracking is perfect. Next, you experiment and optimize, and you
do this forever. This part doesn’t end. So funnel design and conversion rate optimization
in general is just all the stuff that we do to increase the percentage of users that move
from one stage of the funnel to the next. Top to middle, middle to bottom, bottom to
retention. So this could be reading another post, entering
your email address, purchasing the core offer, purchasing the upsell, whatever it is. This is not just for sales. Do keep that in mind. A lot of people get that wrong. It’s not just for sales. This is about increasing the overall efficiency
of your entire funnel. So, CRO is not just about increasing the total
of number people buying from you, it’s about increasing the total number of people that
move through every stage of the funnel. So once you’ve done that, once you have your
target persona, you have your traffic sources optimized, you have your return path set up. You’ve created a really great experience in
the top of funnel, middle funnel, bottom funnel, and retention. You’re analytics is perfect, and all of your
optimizations are rolling, and you’re constantly reiterating and iterating on them, then ladies
and gentlemen, you have a loyal customer. Finally, if you want to grab this funnel template
and you want a super comprehensive Google sheet walkthrough on how to design your own
funnel from scratch, copy and paste, take it exactly from us. Go ahead and click that link down below to
clickminded.com to grab your free funnel template worksheet right now. And so that’s it. That’s the sales funnel, marketing funnel,
conversion funnel, whatever you want to call it. So I hope that was useful. If it was helpful and if you learned something
today, go ahead and click subscribe down below for even more digital marketing tactics and
tips from us. If you’re on YouTube, I would love a comment. What’d you think about this? Are you going to design your funnel this way? Do you do it a different way? I’d love to hear what you have to say. I read every single one. Finally, if you want this exact funnel along
with the super comprehensive walkthrough on how to do this for your own business, go ahead
and click that link down below to clickminded.com to get your free template and conversion funnel
outline right now. Thanks a lot.

7 thoughts on “Sales Funnel Strategy: The 3-Step Process to Create a Powerful Sales Funnel (Includes Template)”

  1. I have been researching funnels for a little while and really appreciated the infographic. As a visual learner it was nice to see how everything mechanically works together. Thank you so much for the content!

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