Building a sales funnel includes identifying your target audience, creating relevant content for each stage of their buying journey, and guiding them towards conversion through strategic marketing tactics.
Don’t reinvent the wheel. All Success Leaves a Blueprint.
That’s true when it comes to sales funnels too.
Established entrepreneurs have spent time and money developing the perfect formula for getting people to buy their products or services.
If you’re just starting out, you don’t need to go through all of that trial and error!
A word of advice, even thou you manages to build a sales funnel exactly the same as successful entrepreneurs do, doesn’t guarantee you the same results.
It all depends on your product, your customers, and many other variables.
In this guide, let’s find out “how to build a sales funnel” even if you are just starting out.
Conduct Competitive Research
Keep your friends close and your enemies closer.Sun Tzu, The Art of War.
This advice is true even in business.
Before creating your own sales funnel, look at what your competitors are doing.
How do they market their products or services?
How do they present their offers?
Take notes of all the things that seem to be working for them and those that don’t.
Knowing what your competitors are doing will give you ideas on what you should and shouldn’t do.
What is Competitive Research?
Competitive research is the process of gathering information about your competitors in order to gain insights into their strategies and marketing campaigns.
By understanding what other businesses are doing, you can develop strategies that will help you stand out from the competition.
Competitive research involves analyzing data such as website traffic and customer reviews, monitoring targeted keywords and content, researching pricing models and promotional activities, conducting surveys or interviews with customers or industry leaders, and more.
With a comprehensive competitive research strategy in place, you’ll be able to stay ahead of the game.
Here is a list of the benefits of conducting competitive research:
- Gain insights into your competitors’ strategies and marketing campaigns.
- Develop innovative strategies to stand out from the competition.
- Analyze website traffic and customer reviews.
- Monitor targeted keywords and content.
- Research pricing models and promotional activities.
- Conduct surveys or interviews with customers or industry leaders to uncover new opportunities for growth or expansion.
- Identify customer trends and assess how customers perceive your brand compared to others in the market.
- Find new opportunities to expand your business by identifying gaps in the market or unmet customer needs.
- Make informed decisions that will help your business reach its goals more effectively and efficiently.
With that said let’s look at the steps to conduct competitive research.
6 Steps to Conduct Competitive Research
According to U.S. Chamber of Commerce, these are the 6 steps to conduct a competitive research.
Identify main competitors
The first step in conducting competitive research is to identify who your main competitors are.
This involves identifying the businesses that offer similar products or services in the same industry as yours.
You can start by doing a quick search on Google and other search engines using relevant keywords related to your business.
This will give you a list of potential competitors, which you can then narrow down according to your needs.
Or you can go to websites like CrunchBase to get an overview of the companies in your industry and their market share.
Analyze competitors’ online presence
Once you have identified who you’re competing against, it’s time to analyze their online presence.
This involves looking at their website, sales pages, marketing funnel, social media channels, and other content platforms such as blogs or videos.
By looking at their online presence, you can get an idea of what kind of content they’re creating, how often they post it, and what types of messages they use.
This will also give you ideas for your own content creation strategy.
Gathering info about your competitors is important to build a sales funnel.
Sign up for their email list and follow their blog post and social media accounts.
See what kind of experience customers have with them.
You can even buy from them so you know what the product looks like and understand how their sales process works.
From there you get the insight what the company’s sales model looks like and be able to modify your marketing strategy accordingly.
Track your findings
I like to keep track of all the information I find when doing competitive research.
This helps me to easily refer back to it later on and also compare different strategies.
You can start by creating a document or spreadsheet and listing down your competitors, their main services, website, social media channels, prices, customer reviews etc.
Again, I usually use google sheets for this.
You can try Creately’s template if you need something more presentable.
Check online reviews
Reading customer reviews is an essential step when doing competitive research.
It helps to understand how their paying customers are perceiving the products or services of your competitors and what their pain points are.
Google, Amazon, Facebook, Yelp etc all have review sections so you can easily find customer feedback.
Nowadays, we will look into Trustpilot or other resources for reviews depending on the industry.
It’s also important to check the ratings of your competitors on these sites.
Identify areas for improvement
Once you have done all the above steps, it’s time to analyze what your competitors are doing well and where they can improve.
This will help you identify the gaps in the market and also any areas where your business can excel.
For example, if your competitor is not providing good customer service, this could be something that sets your business apart from them.
Once you found the GAP you can either use this as your marketing angle or can use it to make some changes in your own products or services.
Just like the Pepsi Halloween commercial we all remember. (SAVAGE)
You can use these insights to make your sales funnel even more effective.
By doing competitive research, you can get a better idea of what works and what doesn’t in your industry, which will help you build a sales funnel that stands out from the competition.
How To Build A Sales Funnel?
What better way is there to create a sales funnel than by just following a checklist?
A while ago, I joined Funnel Builder Secrets.
Here are the 10 Checkpoint Checklists I compiled together to build a sales funnel:
Important Note: For the best result, you need to have your customer avatar ready before you start building your funnel.
Now let’s dive deeper into each of those steps.
Creating Your Offer
Before anything else, you need to create a compelling offer that your customers will love.
This is the foundation of any successful funnel so take your time and make sure it’s something that resonates with your target audience.
Some great tips for creating a killer offer are to make sure it is unique and valuable and to solve an urgent problem (Pain Point) your customer is having.
Once you found your killer offer, then you should give it a name.
A sexy name that will make it stand out and create a unique value in the customer’s mind.
If you notice Russell Brunson always uses “Secrets” for his offers, this is one of his brand signals.
Remember to use the name of your offer same as your URL.
This will help build trust with your customers and make it easier to remember.
I usually get my domain from Namecheap.
Now that you have an offer, it’s time to create a plan for how you will deliver it.
Here we are looking at the price point, and type of products or services to determine if you will have a free offer, tripwire, or core offers.
You also need to decide what type of funnel you are going to use: webinar, sales page, etc.
Finally, you need to define your goals and objectives;
- What do you want to accomplish with this funnel?
- How will you measure success?
These are all questions you need to answer before you start building your funnel.
Below I attached an illustration on pricing strategy for your reference.
Probably the most crucial part of your funnel is your copy.
Copywriting helps craft the story around your offer and gives it personality and emotion.
Copywriting also helps you to understand what kind of language resonates with your audience and makes them take action.
Write the copy for each step in the funnel, from headlines to thank-you pages.
Most copy follows a framework, such as AIDA, that helps you create the perfect copy.
If you struggle to come out with great copy, you can check out Copyblogger.com for great copy templates that you can use as a starting point.
Or you could leverage copywriting assistant tool like Jasper.
This step is where the fun begins!
Now you start to map out how your funnel will look.
Wireframe is a visual representation of a website or application that outlines the basic structure and features of the product.
You can use a tool such as Figma to create a wireframe of the pages in your funnel.
Wireframing helps you organize and structure each page in your funnel and make sure there is continuity between them.
It also helps you to visualize how all the elements work together; visuals, text, call-to-action (CTA), etc.
Figma also helps you to collaborate with other team members and get feedback.
The 5 Building Blocks
These 5 building blocks essentially cover all the elements you must include in your funnel.
- Style/Placement Block
- Hooks and Headlines Block
- Stories Block
- Irresistibility Block
- Follow-Up Block
One of the greatest quotes from a famous copywriter Eugene Schwartz once said:
Copy is not written. If anyone tells you ‘you write copy’, sneer at them. Copy is not written. Copy is assembled. You do not write copy, you assemble it. You are working with a series of building blocks, you are putting the building blocks together, and then you are putting them in certain structures, you are building a little city of desire for your person to come and live in.Eugene Schwartz
This is entirely true when it comes to funnel building.
You are not writing a sales page, you are creating an experience for your customers by assembling different building blocks together.
Now let me explain what each block means:
This block is all about the design, look and feel of your page. How will pages look on different devices? How do you want to place elements like CTA buttons, images, headlines on each page?
Hooks & Headlines Block
A Hook is a sentence that grabs your customers’ attention. How do you want to entice them with a headline and hook?
A story can be powerful in creating an emotional connection between your customer and product or service. How will you tell the story of how you solved somebody’s problem?
How will you make your offer irresistible? How will you use pricing, bonuses, scarcity and urgency to increase conversions?
How will you follow up with people who don’t buy at this time? How will you create a nurture sequence so they come back in the future and make a purchase?
These are all important questions to answer when building your funnel.
Once you’ve answered those questions, you are well on your way to having a killer sales funnel!
Finally, test it and see what works best for you. Try different versions of the same page and see which one has higher conversion rate. It’s all about testing and tweaking until you get the perfect funnel.
With your wireframe complete, you can now work on the design of your funnel.
Here you want to focus on making sure the design is visually appealing and in line with your brand identity.
You can use a tool like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe XD to create custom graphics for each page, or you can use a template from Canva.
If you need some inspiration for your design I sometimes go to Behance.net to get some ideas from what others are creating out there.
Let’s not forget about mobile users.
As more and more people are using their phones to access the internet, it’s important to make sure that your funnel is responsive across all devices.
As of 2022, 62.06% of website traffic comes from mobile devices.Zippia.com
Make sure all the elements look good on both desktop and mobile screens.
Recreate another version specifically for mobile if you may.
Integrations & Automation
Now its time to connect your marketing and sales strategy together.
You can use these tools to create automation.
Such automation can be trigger-based, like when someone signs up for your funnel they are automatically added to an email list.
You can nurture your potential customers with automated emails and create a more personalized experience.
You can even trigger email sequences based on how long they have been in your funnel and what actions they took.
So you can optimize your buying process for higher conversion.
Test Your Funnel
Before you launch your funnel make sure to run tests, both technical and UX (User Experience) related.
Check for broken links or page elements that don’t look right across different devices.
Make sure you have the right tracking in place and all your integrations are working correctly.
You can also ask your friends to test it out and get feedback; this will help you fine-tune any issues before launch.
Once everything is ready, then you can officially launch your funnel and start collecting leads.
And of course, test your payment process to make sure customers can buy your product with no issues.
Launch Your Funnel
When all the tests have been done and you are happy with the results, then it’s time to launch your funnel.
This is an exciting moment as everything you’ve worked hard on will become live and ready for customers to start using.
Before launching, make sure that all tracking codes have been properly implemented in order to monitor the performance of your funnel and website accurately.
You should double-check that any integrations or automation processes are working correctly so that they can help nurture leads efficiently.
Finally, test out the payment process one last time before going live – this way customers can quickly purchase from you without any issues!
After these steps have been taken, it’s time to hit the launch button and let people experience what you’ve created!
Optimize Your Sales Funnel
We all wish that our funnel would be perfect from the moment it is launched.
Unfortunately, that’s not always the case.
Most likely you will need to do some optimization and tweaking for your funnel to work effectively.
Split testing is also an effective way to optimize your funnel.
For example, you can test different versions of the same page or CTA button to see which one works best.
By doing this, you can make sure that your funnel continues to get better and more optimized over time.
Once you have optimized your funnel, you can then start to scale it until it’s working effectively and efficiently for your business.
You can always cross-check your figure with some sales funnel metrics to make sure you are on the right track.
Related: The Perfect Webinar Secrets Review
Sales Funnel Important In Sales Process
An effective sales funnel should be made up of various sales funnel stages, each designed to maximize the marketing efforts of a sales team.
The landing page attracts prospective customers, while existing customers are nurtured through the different stages.
This allows businesses to tailor their own sales funnel stages and provides them with an effective way to nurture their customer journey through each stage in order to increase conversions.
Additionally, it allows businesses to focus on specific target markets and optimize their marketing efforts in order to reach their prospective customers in the most effective and efficient way possible.
Depending on which stage of the sales funnel the prospective customer is at, businesses can use different strategies to further nurture them.
These strategies could range from email marketing campaigns, to personalised messages and offers, as well as targeted ads on social media platforms.
By using these tactics in conjunction with a sales funnel strategy, businesses can create an effective process that leads their customers further down the sales funnel and increases their chances of converting them into customers.
This ultimately leads to increased revenues for the business and better customer engagement with the brand.
In short, an effective sales funnel is the key to a successful marketing strategy.
It helps businesses reach their prospective customers, driving higher levels of engagement and conversion rates that lead to increased sales and revenue.