Few decisions we make in life are black and white, but regarding your sales funnel there are some clear actions that need to be taken to be successful and others that need to be abandoned to avoid failure. They say that a smart man learns from his own mistakes, but a wise man learns from the mistakes of others. But this is only half true. A wise man also needs to learn from the successes of others. If you are new to lead generation and sales funnels, you undoubtedly need to know the basics of what you should be doing and what you shouldn’t be doing. You’d be surprised how even the tiniest mistakes can have a large impact on your conversion rate, but correcting these errors can help you make significant improvements in your monthly sales volume. Whether you come from a service industry or you are selling products via e-commerce, pay attention to the following do’s and don’ts of sales funnels.
Don’t: Purchase the Leads and Direct Them Your Sales Funnel
We’ve all gotten that dreaded phone call just when we sit down for dinner. It’s 7:00 pm and telemarketers are in full force – and we all know how annoying that is. But where did they get your contact information in the first place? More often than not they purchased it from someone who scraped and aggregated lists of contact information.
In the digital marketing world, it isn’t uncommon for people to purchase lists of email addresses either. That’s why you sometimes see spam and marketing messages from domains that you have never visited. While it’s certainly true that some of these lists can contain industry-specific leads that are somewhat targeted, they most often result in low quality leads.
Think about it. Would you be inclined to make a purchase after receiving a postcard in the mail or another irritating spam email? The spam complaints that you’ll get from people you have emailed are enough of a reason to adopt an optional strategy.
Do: Perform Direct Marketing
The flip side to that coin is that you do absolutely have the ability to directly email and contact leads – and in some situations it’s even a good idea.
Take subscriber lists for example. If you can offer something of value on your website in exchange for an email address – such as an eBook or other form of valuable content – you can build your list. This is typically referred to as a lead magnet. And people won’t be as irritated when you send them emails because they opted into the email list- and having an email list of interested website visitors gives you a lot of leverage and quality leads that you can send newsletters (value) and marketing messages (sales) to.
NOTE: Want to learn more about lead magnets? Check out our free upcoming webinar on 7 steps to building a sales funnel
Don’t: Wait to Start Building Your List
Ideally you would want to start building your email list from the time you launch your website. List building is superior to list purchasing, and it has the ability to make your revenues grow at quicker rates than you ever thought possible. Your business will especially benefit from list building while you are still considered a startup, though, because most startups have little to no marketing budget.
Though other parts of your website such as social media marketing can wait longer, you need to start building your list as soon as possible because it is a long term investment. Some websites experience virility and immediate success with their list, but for most people it is a long term endeavor that will pay massive rewards months down the road. As such, you need to get started as quickly as humanly possible.
Do: Change Your Strategy for Different Portions of Your Sales Funnel
Your sales funnel has many different stages, and you need to adapt your content creation strategy for each individual phase.
For example, you are going to need to create email content and newsletters to draw people in to your sales funnel, but that content should be fine-tuned differently than the content you want on your landing page – which would likely contain more sales-related copy. On the other hand, you would also need to adapt different strategies for your on-site blog content as well as lead magnets such as eBooks.
To help better identify your target audience and make considerations about how to tailor your content to your audience at different stages of your sales funnel, it would be a good idea to setup and understand different buyer personas. By adapting your content to each stage of the sales funnel, you will be able to attract higher quality leads and ultimately increase conversions.
More reading: Check out our post on sales funnel myths