I loved playing video games as a kid. The Legend of Zelda for Super Nintendo was my favorite. There was a princess, time travel, and a hero with a sword. Back in the day, it had everything a kid could want. But there was one thing that kept me glued to the legend of Zelda day after day. That was trying to bring together the “Triforce.”
You see, the Triforce was the balance needed to bring good times and prosperity to the kingdom. It was a balance of power, courage, and wisdom. When all of these pieces came together, the kingdom’s prosperity was restored.
In later years, as I poured over analytics and built sales funnels, it felt like playing Zelda.
When you think about it, building a sales funnel is similar. Balance is needed if you want yours to convert. I call this balance ‘the 3 F’s.’
When you bring together the 3 F’s, your sales funnel achieves that ‘magic balance’ that generates leads and converts customers.
WHAT ARE ‘THE 3 F’S’?
The 3 F’s represent the essential stages of sales funnel creation. The most effective sales funnels are built in stages. These stages work together and complement each other. You can’t build the next stage if you don’t have the last one in place.
So what do they look like?
SALES FUNNEL STAGE #1—FOUNDATION (YOUR WEBSITE)
The first ‘F’ is for ‘Foundation.’
Your website is the foundation of your online sales funnel.
Everything happens here. It attracts leads and converts them.
So, naturally, it comes first.
But just having a website does not mean you have a well-laid foundation.
What really matters is how the elements on your website work together to convert visitors.
So let’s talk about the foundation cracks you need to fill.
Do You Have Good Website Copy?
Website copy plays a large role in a visitor’s decision to stay or leave the page (or convert).
Simply put, your copy can make or break your website.
Every sentence should have meaning.
More importantly, all of your copy should lead visitors to the next step in your funnel.
For more on copywriting, read our post on the pro’s top copywriting strategies.
Do You Have the Right Call-To-Action Buttons?
Are there Call-To-Action buttons on your site?
Are they in the right places?
A strong Call-To-Action button will get clicks for two reasons:
- It has relevant copy—the Call-To-Action button should tell the prospect where to go next (this means it should make sense in the flow of your site).
- It is in the right place and easy to see—one of the best practices for the placement of the Call-To-Action button is above-the-fold. Your Call-To-Action button also needs to be easy to see.
Do You Have a Blog?
Every website should have a blog.
It helps with SEO through content marketing, so the right leads find you (more on this later).
And, if you write relevant content, it helps you establish a relationship with your audience.
It can also drive email opt-ins.
Do You Have Social Proof?
This is another key element in your foundation.
Every page on your website should have social proof. Be it a number of subscribers or past clients or even a simple testimonial.
This is because high-converting websites have one thing in common: social proof.
It showcases your experience, which gains your prospect’s trust and woos them.
Do You Have an “About Us” Page?
If you’re a service business, you should definitely have an “About Us” page.
A study done by two B2B marketing firms found that 52% of visitors want to see “About Us” information.
Just make sure that your About Us page doesn’t spend too long talking about your business. Those are the boring details.
It should be a testimonial to your experience, with a Call To Action.
Most Of All . . .
A fantastic foundation needs flow.
All of the elements of your website should seamlessly work together.
The Calls To Action should make sense, and the visuals should work to complement the copy.
If you want more best practices for designing your website, take a look at our article featuring the best landing page designs.
Once you have that foundation laid, you’re ready to level up.
What’s the next stage of your sales funnel?
SALES FUNNEL STAGE #2—YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW UP
The second ‘F’ is the Follow-Up.
If your foundation is strong, you will be getting leads from your website—and hopefully some conversions.
However, you’ll always have some visitors who don’t buy anything.
Most people aren’t ready to buy at first glance.
That’s why the ‘follow-up’ is an important stage of your funnel.
This is where you reconnect with the people aren’t customers yet, but did opt in to your email newsletter, free course, etc.
The goal here is simple—you’re working to bring those people back to your website.
You want to build a relationship, nurture it, and convert them.
Here are some follow-up methods you could use:
Email Autoresponders send emails straight to your prospect’s inbox.
Maybe you got their email with a lead magnet—now is the time to turn up the heat.
There are a few great tactics to convert prospects with autoresponders. For one, you can send them through an onboarding sequence, which usually lasts 1 to 3 weeks and is designed to convert them.
The best part? These are all automated, so you don’t have to lift a finger.
You know those ads that follow you around the internet after you’ve visited a site?
Those are called retargeting ads.
This is your best bet if you want to target visitors who recently left your website without purchasing your service.
Now you have two ways to fill the follow-up stage of your funnel.
You also have a strong foundation, designed to convert leads.
But one thing is missing.
SALES FUNNEL STAGE #3—FUEL (ACTIVATE YOUR SALES FUNNEL WITH TRAFFIC)
At this point, your foundation is strong. Your website is setup to attract and convert leads.
Your follow-up plan is in place.
But how do you get it to work?
Get ready, because it’s time to turn on the gas.
The final ‘F’ is for ‘Fuel.’
But you can’t dive into stage three if stage one and two aren’t completed.
The fuel for any sales funnel is the traffic (the visitors).
You can work to generate traffic yourself, or you can use paid traffic.
The main goal in this stage is to get visitors flooding into your site.
Here’s a few ways to do that:
SEO + Content Marketing
The advantage to using SEO is that you can get more qualified leads to your website.
But, this takes more time to build up. It’s a long-term traffic generating strategy.
Paid Facebook Ads
Paid Facebook Ads are an immediate way to get clicks to your site.
Put up an ad on Facebook that speaks to your audience, and watch the number of your visitors increase.
Some of those visitors will turn into leads, if your foundation is laid correctly.
Social media is also another great way to build a fanbase—and by extension, grow your traffic.
Similar to SEO, this strategy has a delayed payoff. It relies on consistent and relevant posting.
My advice here? Focus on one source of traffic.
It will take time to generate quality traffic.
But soon, you’ll see your more visitors moving down the funnel.
Traffic will turn into leads.
And leads will turn into conversions.
‘The 3 F’s’ are a great resource for any small business building a sales funnel.
It’s a focused look at how the stages work together to convert traffic.
To grow online sales, all three stages need to be present and properly implemented.
Of course, each one of these stages could take months to complete.
But if you choose to develop your own funnel stages, be assured that with the 3 F’s and persistence, you’ll see conversions.
Remember, there’s no shame in going back to stage one. At which stage are you going to start?
Keep Hustlin’, Stay Focused.
This article was originally published at Petovera.com, by author Matt Ackerson.