Basically when we talk about a sale funnel we are describing a marketing system.
In other words the process from when a customer lands on the landing page (just a page they land on) of your website to when they buy a product. This process is nowadays automated and termed a funnel.
I am sure you have all visited websites before only to find a little box that pops up asking you for your name and email when you start browsing through their pages.
This is part of the sales funnel and called an opt-in or squeeze page. The opt-in page normally has an offering or something that attracts the reader to enter their details and take action.
Of course you can always choose to close the opt-in page and continue browsing through the website content, but the people who value what they read and get enticed by the offer enter their credentials which then go into a database where the emails are captured.
The database which is called a list can then be used to send out mass emails to the people in it.
Now these squeeze pages have two purposes…
The main one is to capture your email address so that you can be marketed to in the future and the second is to redirect you to another page (also called a landing page) where you will receive the offer that was promised.
A lead is someone who is interested in what you do and has opted in by giving you their email address.
Leads are also classified into warm and cold leads. A warm lead is someone who has the same interest in what your business is offering.
Potential customers are leads that are further along in the funnel process and are actively interacting with you and have shown an interest in your product.
Customers are self-explanatory, but the point I want to make here is that with a sales funnel you have the potential to build up a business relationship with your customers so that they will become repeat buyers.
You are not going to turn every lead into a customer because there are simply going to be some people that are just not going to be interested.
The main purpose of a sales funnel is to turn a lead in to a potential customer and then in to a customer.
Why they call it a funnel is because all your leads pass through the wide end and filter down through a process.
Some leads leave, but others that show interest flow down to the lower stages of the funnel where they become your prospects.
If you nurture these prospects well enough some of them will eventually turn into customers.
So we now have customers, but you still have to retain those customers so that they become repeat buyers.
Remember the emails we captured in an opt-in page. We are going to use that list to constructively send out marketing material to all your leads and customers.
You get autoresponder programs that automate this function for you. Basically you can write a series of emails and broadcast them to everybody on your list at scheduled times.
I must also mention that if any new leads come along they also get the series of emails because the schedule is based on the number of days the lead has been in the funnel.
An example of this is:
Email 1: Welcome message (send on day one)
Email 2: Value Email (send on day three)
Email 3: Value email with upsell links (send on day seven)
Well you get the idea here. Every lead will be sent these automated emails based on the number of days they have been in the system.
By using an autoresponder you save a lot of time and money by targeting all you leads at once.
This has only been an overview of a basic funnel system, but there are different more complicated systems out there which I will address in my future posts or pages.
Hope to hear from you soon and thanks for reading.