Online Marketing Tips
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Have The Sales Funnel Explained In 6 Steps
- Tara Hornor
- March 12, 2012
Simply put, the sales funnel is a way of looking at the way a business sells its product. It isn’t so much a radical new idea or extreme marketing technique—instead, it’s a tool that allows a business to maximize its selling potential by analyzing the entire sales process, from the first contact with customers to the final sale.
Imagine a funnel: wide at the top, narrow at the bottom. As you progress down through the sales funnel and closer to the final sale at the bottom, prospective buyers will drop out, narrowing the funnel. Remember that this isn’t a bad thing; it’s simply the process of transforming potential buyers into committed clients. Analyzing the flow of prospective customers from one stage to the next can help you identify your weakest steps—helping you make your business plan stronger than ever.
Learn Why Your Online Marketing Sales Funnel Management Is Failing
- Jason Kelley
- February 22, 2012
One day you get an email from a friend of a friend, and he asks you to meet him at a restaurant. He has a business proposition to discuss with you. You’ve heard good things about him and his business, so you say alright.
“Where should we go?” you ask in an email.
“How about that sushi place on the other side of town?” he says. “It’s about thirty minutes.”
“That sounds pretty far. What about Lil’ Saignon?” you ask. "It’s a lot closer…"
“Ah, but this one is brand new – and they have the best squid you’ve ever tasted...” He includes the link to the website, but it’s one of those restaurants where the menu doesn’t list the prices.
“Hmmm,” you say to yourself. “I don’t know if it’s worth driving all that way and paying who knows what for squid.” But, your mutual friend vouched for him, so you go ahead and agree.
“Great!” he sends back. Then at the bottom of his email you read, “Hey, by the way, you mind picking me up? My car’s on the fritz.”
"Well, fine,” you say. But you’re starting to think twice about this whole thing.
“Ah, thanks!” he says, “Look, it’s right up your alley. The only thing is I’m not sure how long we’re going to have to wait at the restaurant. See there’s no reservations. And there’s always a line.”
You email him back and say, “Look, can you give me some more info about this deal you’ve got, because I’m pretty busy and I want to make sure it’s for me.” You’re getting anxious now.
His response comes back quickly. “There’s nothing to worry about! You’re going to get a lot out of it, I promise. But hey, one last thing – I’m kinda broke, do you mind picking up my tab – just this time? It’ll pay off in the end. I promise.”
This friend of a friend – We’ll call him Jerry – has just put you through the worst sales funnel of all time. You haven’t even gotten to the business proposition yet, and already, he’s asked you to go somewhere unfamiliar to you. He’s giving you vague reasons that it will be worth your while. There will be a wait during which you’ll probably want to leave. Turns out he also needs a ride – for someone with a business deal, he seems awfully needy. And then, when you finally agree based on his good name, he raises the price by asking you to pay for his meal too.
When a customer hears about your product or services, whether it’s via your website, an email campaign, or an advertisement, they’re looking at an open door. If they step through it, they’re inside your sales funnel. Jerry got you this far. You admitted that you were interested in what he’s got to sell. But – the more difficult that sales process is, and the more confusing terms you heap onto the customer as they travel down the funnel – the more likely they are to back up, to click away, and to cancel the purchase.
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