Even though I’ve added the word ‘forex’ to the opening title, this article relates to all businesses, big and small. So whether you’re a marketer that’s working in the forex industry, an entrepreneur in a start-up, or even if you work for a conglomerate that’s taking over the world, sales funnels are essential.
What is a sales funnel?
I’m glad you asked. I like to think of a sales funnel as being a well thought out pattern of follow-up sequences, down-sells, cross-sells, and up-sells that are geared at maximizing the amount of income your company can earn from every visitor.
Join me in this and over the next set of articles as we head down the rabbit shaped funnel together and take a much closer look at what a sales funnel is, and how it works to bring you the maximum ROI.
Simply having a form on a landing page doesn’t mean you’ve got yourself a funnel
When I’ve spoken at various events, I get asked if a ‘marketing plan’ or a ‘marketing strategy’ is a sales funnel. The answer I always give is that first of all, a marketing plan isn’t the same thing as a marketing strategy, and a sales funnel isn’t the same thing as either.
As well as being a set of sequences, I also like to view sales funnels as a set of directions, or a map if you will. Your website visitors are passing by your site, and there’s a good chance that they know where they’re going, but there’s also a good chance they don’t, so you need to guide them along their journey. Hey presto, a sales funnel is born!
As the sub-heading implies, a form makes up a part of a funnel, as does a landing page, but that’s just the proverbial tip of the iceberg. For instance, most sales funnels start off with you asking your visitors for their email address, and if you own a landing or squeeze page, chances are it has a form on it. But there’s not much point of a form unless you’re giving something away, or offering value. I’ve highlighted the word ‘value’ as I’ll be talking about offering value in this and later posts.
Plus, if you read my previous article, you’ll notice that the second webinar piece offered value, and that’s super important for any sales funnel, but you’ll have to have a tiny bit of patience and wait for my next article.
Where were we? Oh yes, the infamous form that appears on landing and squeeze pages. The only reason visitors to your website are going to fill in the form and give you what I like to call ‘lead currency’ (we’re in forex – so the word ‘currency’ has to rear its head), is if you’re offering them something. That something might be an eBook or a place at your upcoming webinar.
To answer the point made in this sub-heading, you shouldn’t think that you’ve got yourself a sales funnel if you’ve simply added a form and got yourself some leads. If that’s all you’ve got, then what you do have is a landing page, a form, and some leads. Nothing else. To fully evolve into a sales funnel, you’ve got to know where you’re taking these leads. If you think that by having some leads in your CRM so that your sales team can call is the be all and end all, please think again.
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Are you taking your leads to a dodgy B & B, or are you taking them to a 5-star resort?
Once you’ve got that lead currency in your pocket, you’ve placed your visitor on the ‘map’. Now it’s up to you to decide where you want to take them. You’ve got a lot of options on where you can take them, and if you were to ask your visitors to pick whether they wanted to go to a dodgy bed and breakfast, or to a lush 5-star hotel, I know which option my money is on. And by the way, I’m talking in metaphors here. I know that some brokers like to take their traders to hotels, but I’m not talking about that.
The beauty of a well thought out sales funnel is that you get to decide where you want to take your visitors. They don’t really have a say in the matter. But the best part of this adventure, and the most thrilling, is that if you structure and plan out your sales funnel properly, your visitors won’t even know they’re on a predestined pathway that leads them to being a happy customer at your FX shop, start-up, or conglomerate business that’s taking over the world.
The spaghetti junction of sequences
How do you take your leads all the way from the start of the funnel, right to the end? The lead currency you now own, which should include your visitors email address, and if you’re really lucky, their mobile number too, should allow you to lead your visitors safely through your sales funnel.
But to navigate through any sales funnel successfully, you need to lead your visitors step by step through a series of sequences that offer value (there’s that word again) at each and every step of the way. This is where you create a set of sequences that leave breadcrumbs of value. To ensure your leads pick up the breadcrumbs and follow you, you’re going to have to decide what you can offer them, because the second you turn the value tap off, you can expect wave bye bye to all your hard work. Do you remember what I told you in my last article?
Your potential customers don’t care about you. They want to know what you can offer them
Offering them value is key, as is giving them information in a logical sequence that, as I mentioned above, never gives the secret away that they’re in a sales funnel. To do this right, you’re going to have to move the visitor through different doors, but if you want them to follow you, you’re going to have to build trust and credibility.
This is done by providing outstanding value and a list of incentives that will have them purring (I had to get a cat reference in here somehow…).
Your first sequence might well be an eBook or a webinar, or you might want to think outside of the copy and paste box that is the forex industry and come up with something unique. Whatever that first thing is, in sales funnel language, we call it bait. You set your bait and reel them in.
In my next article, I’m going to show you how you can build your own funnel, and also show you a funnel I’ve worked on, plus I’ll expand on how and why offering value is so important.