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How to Create an Effective Sales Funnel

How to Create an Effective Sales Funnel

All businesses require some sort of sales funnel because it helps them understand what’s working, and keep statistics. As the customer goes through the sales funnel, you can see what they have clicked, opened, or what caused them to purchase a product. Online companies and bloggers have been using sales funnels ever since the model became more affordable. Clickfunnel and Unbounce are two companies that provide you an all-in-online solution to build and test your entire sales funnel. However, it still helps to know what elements matter when trying to build effective sales funnel because this will help you avoid some of the common, time-consuming mistakes.

I decided to do some research and put together a list of the most important elements of an effective sales funnel. Let’s get started.

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A Great Product

For you to find out what parts of the funnel are most effective, it’s important people “actually” go through the funnel. One way to keep customers enticed is by offering great content or a great product—if I know that each time I receive an email from you guys I’ll save money or learn something new, then I’ll interact with your messages. To decide what products or content your audience wants to read, you should know more about them. One way to do this is by studying your competition, especially, those that have been around longer. I’m sure they have done all the work and figured out who their audience so learns from them.

Once you determine your audience, you can start building sales funnel around the products, content, and services they want.

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A Landing Page

There needs to be a point in your funnel where you capture the email address of the visitor. Many companies will have two sales funnels, one for returning visitors, and the other for new customers retained through marketing (will discuss later). For new visitors, you need to find a way to contact them after they leave your pages or you’ll have a hard time finding and attracting them later on. For this reason, it’s important to split test different landing pages to see which ones attract the most email addresses. The higher email opt-in rate, the more sales you can get from these new subscribers. Both Clickfunnel and Unbounce have several landing page templates that you can put together and create a split test.

Try different things when creating landing page like – headlines, buttons, text, videos, and images.

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Marketing Channels

A business only grows when you start to attract new customers, so you have to find ways to bring new people into your sales funnel. You should know how to utilize the different marketing methods online like social media, pay-per-click, and banner advertisements. All these marketing campaigns should be tested and optimized so you can continue to drive people into your funnel increasing opt-ins and conversions. You should always start slow and keep an eye on your budget because costs can get very high quickly. Once you find a winning combination, you can increase your marketing budget because by then you’ll have conversions from your funnel too.

Analytics

To really understand what’s working, you’ll need tools to keep track of visitors, landing page statistics, sales, and click-throughs. With high numbers across the board, it’s very easy to determine that you have a winning combination. The good news is that if you’re using a complete funnel solution you’ll have a reporting system built within. The first couple of days of setting up a sales funnel, it’s important you keep a close eye so you can make tweaks when required. However, you need to have actual data collected to find out what’s been working so I would suggest to give it 30 solid days before making any changes.

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Final Thoughts

An effective sales funnel can be huge for business because it automates all the tedious stuff like sending single emails, running manual tests, and collecting data. This can be done easily now, and is affordable at the same time. You should take some time right now to figure out how you can implement a sales funnel to your business.

Featured photo credit: easyautomatedsales.com via easyautomatedsales.com

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Rizvan Ullah

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Last Updated on July 22, 2019

10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

10 Killer Cover Letter Tips to Nail Every Interview Opportunity

A cover letter is an introduction to what will be found in the resume. In a cover letter, the applicant is able to use a conversational tone, to explain why the attached resume is worth reviewing, why the applicant is qualified, and to express that it’s the best application the reader will see for the open position.

Employers do read your cover letter, so consider the cover letter an elevator pitch. The cover letter is the overview of your professional experience. The information in the body presents the key qualifications, the things that matter. The cover letter is the “here is what will be found in my presentation”, which is the resume in this case.

Something really important to point out- a cover letter should be written from scratch each time. Great cover letters are the ones that express why the applicant is the best for the specific job being applied to. Using a general cover letter will not lead to great results.

This doesn’t mean that your cover letter should repeat your most valuable qualifications, it just means that you don’t want to recycle a templated, general letter, not specific to the position being applied to.

Here’re 10 cover letter tips to nail every interview.

1. Take a few minutes to learn about the company so that you use an appropriate tone

Like people, every company has its own culture and tone. Doing a bit of research to learn what that is will be extremely beneficial. For instance, a technology start-up has a different culture and tone than a law firm. Using the same tone for both would be a mistake.

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2. Don’t use generic cover letter terms — be specific to each company and position

Hiring managers and recruiters can easily identify generic cover letters. They read cover letters and resumes almost every day. Using words and terms like: “your company” instead of naming the actual company, and “your website” instead of “in your about us section on www.abc123.com”, are mistakes. Be as specific as possible, it’s worth the additional few minutes.

3. Address the reader directly if you can

It is an outdated practice to use “To Whom it May Concern” if you know the person that will be reviewing your documents. You may wonder how you’ll know this information; this is where attention to detail and/or a bit of research comes into play.

For example, if you are applying for a job using LinkedIn, many times, the job poster is listed within the job post. This is the person reading your documents when you “apply now”. Addressing that person directly will be much more effective than using a generic term.

4. Don’t repeat the information found in the resume

A resume is an action-based document. When presenting information in a resume, the tone isn’t conversational but leading with action instead, for example: “Analyze sales levels and trends, and initiate action as necessary to ensure attainment of sales objectives”.

In a cover letter, you have the opportunity to deliver your elevator pitch: “I have positively impacted business development and growth initiatives, having combined two regions into one and achieving 17% in compound growth over the following three-year period”.

Never use your resume qualifications summary as a paragraph in your resume. This would be repeating information. Keep in mind that your cover letter is the introduction to your resume- the elevator pitch- this is your opportunity to show more personality.

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5. Tell the company what you can do for them

As mentioned above, this is your chance to explain to the company why you are the best person for the open position. This is where you tell the company what you can do for them: “If hired as the next (job title) with (company name), I will cultivate important partnerships that will enhance operations while boosting revenue.”

Many times, we want to take the reader through the journey of our life. It is important to remember that the reader needs to know why you are the best person for the job. Lead with that.

6. Showcase the skills and qualifications specific to the position

A lot of people are Jack’s and Jill’s of all trades. This can be a great big picture, but not great to showcase in a cover letter or resume.

Going back to what was mentioned before, cover letters and resumes are scanned through ATS. Being as specific as possible to the position being applied to is important.

If you are applying for a coding position, it may not be important to mention your job in high school as a dog walker. Sticking to the exact job being applied to is the most effective way to write your cover letter.

7. Numbers are important — show proof

It always helps to show proof when stating facts: “I have a reputation for delivering top-level performance and supporting growth so that businesses can thrive; established industry relationships that generated double digit increase in branch revenues”.

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8. Use testimonials and letters of recommendations

A cover letter is a great place to add testimonials and information from your letter of recommendations. Mirroring the example above, here is a good way to use that information:

I have a history of consistently meeting and exceeding metrics: “(Name) rose through the company and became a Subject Matter Expert, steadily providing exceptional quality of work.”- Team Manager.

9. Find the balance between highlighting your achievements and bragging

There is fine line between telling someone about your achievements and bragging. My advice is to always use facts first, and support that with an achievement related to the fact, as shown in the examples above.

You don’t want to have a cover letter with nothing but bullet points of what you have achieved. I can’t stress this enough — cover letters are your elevator pitch, the introduction to your resume.

10. Check your length — you want to provide no more than an introduction

The general rule for most positions is one page in length. Positions such as professors and doctors will require more in length (and they actually use CV’s); however, for most positions, one page is sufficient. Remember, the cover letter is an introduction and elevator pitch. Follow the logic below to get you started:

Start with: “I am ready to deliver impeccable results as (name of company) next (Position Title).

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What you know and like about the company, what initiatives, missions, goals resonate with you: “I read/listened to an interview that your Chief of Staff did on www.abc123.com. His/her statement regarding important up and coming employee engagement initiatives really resonated with me”.

Overview of your qualifications and experience: “I have a strong background in developing, monitoring, and controlling annual processes and operational plans related to community relations and social initiatives”.

Highlight/ Back up your facts with achievements: “I’m a vision-driven leader, with a proven history of innovation and mentorship; I led an initiative that reduced homelessness in four counties and received recognition from the local Homeless Network and the County Commissioner”.

Close with what will you do for the company: “As your next (job title), I am focused on hitting the ground running as a transformational leader who is driven by challenge, undeterred by obstacles, and committed to the growth of (name of company).

Bonus Advice

When applying for a job online or in person, a resume and a cover letter are standard submissions. At least 98% of the time, both your resume and cover letter and scanned via ATS (applicant tracking systems). You can learn more about that process here.

The information provided in a cover letter should be written and organized to be compatible with these scans, so that it can make to a human; from there, you want to make sure that you capture the recruiter and/or hiring managers attention.

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Featured photo credit: Kaleidico via unsplash.com

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