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Former Career Guy

Sales Funnel Strategy Part II: Generating Leads

In part one of this series I reviewed the basics and fundamentals of the sales funnel and even gave a personal experience of going through a sales funnel and not even realizing it.

The sales funnel is a highly refined filter you setup that turns your prospects into customers and then turns your customers into highly refined responsive customers. Once you’ve got these customers refined you have now made your customer base much smaller but these are hyper responsive customers that increase your profits as you sell higher ticket items.

However, before we can make this happen we need to attract prospects and this is where your creativity in marketing can shine and if you are not creative then I suggest you do as I did and learn via Internet Marketing courses.

Front End of Sales Funnel —- sales funnel strategy —-

So the front end, the hood or the front door is the most dynamic aspect on the entire sales funnel and this piece of the system needs continuous tuning and testing. As a car enthusiast I can relate a cool analogy. In the past I would tune and race cars but my choice of cars was a forced induction (turbo charged) vehicle because I always though NOS was to much trouble because its literally a 20lb bottle that needs to be refilled all the time. With a forced induced vehicle the turbo lag is minimal but the boost is always there but as it relates to the sales funnel depending on environmental temperature or different elements you would have to tune the engine or back off the PSI on the turbo in order for the car to run the its best.

So just as you have to tune the engine to run efficiently you also have to adjust the front end of the sales funnel in order to see what works and captures best.

As the Internet continues to change the schema of what worked a year ago may not be as effective today and new methods are continually popping up on how to capture leads. In the beginning, many Internet Marketers would just try to get some banners, newsletter clicks or some side ad space on other sites. Now these still happen today but in a much more sophisticated way using PPC, social media, blogging (HUGE), podcasts and web 2.0 tools.

The main objective is to attract as many qualified leads as possible to your front end who have the most propensity to purchase your products and get them into the rabbit hole and purchase products. At the front end we are just trying to refine who we are targeting and slowly educating them about the products that are offered or possibly you if you are in a service industry or network marketer.

Most of the time we qualify them when they first opt-in for the offer or whatever offer you are doing for them. Once this step happens you just turned an everyday web surfer into a prospect! The call to action was taken, they are interested and they are your highly refined customer one step closer.

Lead Generation Methodology Explained —- sales funnel strategy —-

The first thing we need to do is create the top end or what we have been calling the front end so you can capture peoples attention. When you create a capture page you then need to give them a way to opt-in, which in today’s marketing mix it can be done in very creative ways. As you can see from the image below you see the funnel opening (front-end) is big so is there only one method “capturing attention” to the opening? No, you should be using different methods to bring to this point.

sales-funnel-front-end

Below I am going to list some examples of how your business should be attracting people to your sales funnel. Remember we are only talking front end tools at this point.

  1. The first basic is allowing them to sign up for a newsletter.
  2. Having an option for web surfer to subscribe to your blog via email notifications or RSS feed.
  3. In my opinion the highest converting method – Having an opt-in option for web surfer to receive a free download or report or some type of e-book. Here is a perfect example this one is more geared towards business owners, here.
  4. Call to action button for web surfer to stay informed about the subject at hand. As you begin to refine your customer base those that are more serious about your subject/product are the ones you start to attract as the more hyper-responsive customers.

Now once someone enters your list they have actually raised their hand and said yes please keep me informed this is the type of information or product I want to learn more about or get. This is called permission marketing and they have now given you permission to stay in contact with them which is part of your overall sales funnel process.

With the Internet getting much more sophisticated I like have these call to actions but I personally like to have a balance when were talking about a lead because they don’t always have to “opt-in” but more so just pay attention to you. I get sales purchases on a regular basis of web surfers that never even opted in but were more so following me or watching videos.

I have become friends with some and finding out some just follow you via the RSS feed, blog posts, videos and they watch you and you have their attention (so shows you that content should be added daily). Since you have their attention the content you are putting out there is providing value to your refined customer base. This type of relationship is what counts more there is no difference whether they give you their email address or not.

However, once you do get the email address you will create a stronger relationship and now you have their attention and permission to contact them in the future. That is what the front end is all about!

What Price Do We Pay? —- sales funnel strategy —-

Email marketing is the most prevalent tool we use to do business online but typically handing over your email is the price to pay when you enter the sales funnel. From this point onward you just feed your prospect (no longer just a web surfer) value, weed out those that are not ideal for your product or service and then start offering front end products. I love this picture below it shows what I just described in a visual format.

sales-funnel-refined

As you see in the picture above you have a lot of balls coming into the funnel but we need to disqualify a lot of them so we can refine our customer base to those that actually want and need the product. If someone does not receive value or see the value in what you are offering they will not continue. It is your job then to focus on those that are interested in what you provide focus on them and take attention away from everyone else. If you still are left with no ones that likes what you are offering or the group is to small then you need to look at adjusting your niche market (speaking of niches…I have 99 problems but a niche ain’t one post is funny) or the offer your presenting.

Profits are Not In The Front —- sales funnel strategy —-

A common pitfall most business owners fall into is thinking their ticket to wealth is all on the front end and all of their focus is on releasing their product when they should be realizing the profits come in on the back end. When your out fishing when you take home the big fish because you used the perfect lure and bait so always remember you need to work and tweak your front end. Once these are finely tuned you will start making profits on the back end.

Now this is not a capture all rule because there are some companies that can make their money strictly from the front end sales but by adding the back end is where the profits explode!

Magnetic Marketing —- sales funnel strategy —-

The front end is all about seducing your web surfer and drawing them to your sales funnel and since there are so many ways to drive traffic online you will never run out of ways to drive leads.

This is just like a business so once you get all your back end setup you need to know your numbers (meaning how much is it costing you per lead). Once you have the back end staged correctly then you go to work on your front end and this is like my turbo racing car its constantly being tuned so you should never stop split testing, tweaking or trying new front end options (KPI to focus on is conversion rates).

Also depending on your marketing budget knowing your numbers allows you to see which methods are working, which methods are not and cutting  those that do not work and scale and tweak those that are.

Remember the front end is all about creating and forging a relationship and the stronger your relationship becomes through your content, free bonuses and free resources your customer learns and appreciates what you do.

In the next article I am going to cover the back end process and why its critical for long term success of your business growth and the differentiation point from your competitors.

See you on the next article!

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Joe Carrera

Internet Marketing Coach

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