Working for a small or large business, you undoubtedly are thinking about sales funnel optimization. Your sales funnel is the lifeblood of the future success of your company. It allows you to identify prospective customers—including your strongest leads—and to alter your pitch so that you can coax a lead to a purchase.
Sales funnel optimization isn’t exactly a science, however. It truly is an art. It requires constant iteration.
At Dubb, we spend time thinking about our own sales funnel and how we can help our clients leverage video to optimize their sales funnel. Through our experiences and the experiences of our clients, we have come up with a playbook to help you in your own sales funnel optimization efforts.
By reading and implementing the tips below, you will be on your way to creating a killer sales funnel that does the heavy lifting in acquiring and converting new customers.
Sales Funnel Optimization 101
So let’s start with some of the basics about sales funnel optimization. A sales funnel, as you know, is a metaphorical path that a potential customer takes from discovery to purchase. A funnel is a great metaphor for this experience, as the top of the funnel contains many more individuals than the bottom of the funnel. As they proceed through the funnel, individuals drop off for a variety of reasons. It can be that your product or service isn’t a great fit for that prospect. The prospect may simply lose interest in your product. Or (worst case scenario) the prospect recognizes that one of your competitors offers a better product or service and decides to work with them.
Quite obviously, the goal is to lead as many individuals as possible from the top of the funnel to the bottom. The more you are able to do this, the more sales that you will be able to obtain.
To attract prospects, the top of the funnel can contain a variety of different things. Most often, it involves inbound or outbound marketing. Inbound marketing can be especially powerful (it’s something we love at Dubb). If you’d like to learn more, I encourage you to check out our beginner’s guide to generating more inbound leads, which you can find here. The top of the funnel also relies on strong search engine optimization so that new leads can easily find you on Google.
Ultimately, your funnel will contain various calls-to-action (“CTA”) that make it extremely easy for leads to move down your funnel and make a purchase. As a prospective customer moves down your funnel, he or she receives more targeted and relevant content (and perhaps more interaction from you and your team) and follows your CTAs. The key word here is relevant. You and your team must provide continuous value to your prospects while not being too “salesy.” Admittedly, this is easier said than done. But if you are too salesy or promotional in the middle of your funnel, you are going to turn off your audience and lose potential sales.
By contrast, the bottom of the funnel is where you are making the final sale. If your funnel is designed correctly, the leads at the bottom of your funnel are knowledge about your product or service, are enthusiastic about your company, and are ready to buy. This is where your hard work pays off.
Sales Funnel Optimization: Effective Strategies
Considering these basics about sales funnels, we at Dubb have gathered some effective tips and tricks that can optimize your sales funnel. To reiterate, however, this is a constant process and requires significant iteration. Keep that in mind as you go through the strategies below.
Leverage Compelling Video Content
First, you should create compelling content for your leads. This is important at all stages of your sales funnel. Throughout your funnel, you want to create content that speaks to your audience. Show that you intuitively understand your audience’s problems. Explain how your product or solution can make their lives easier and better. This is your north star and is something that you should never, ever forget.
Along with this, you should be biased toward producing and sharing video content. Compared to text, video allows you to share your stories in a more compelling manner. You don’t necessarily have to create the most polished video content. The priority is connecting with your audience, showing off your personality, and explaining how you can help them. To read more about how you can leverage video in your sales funnel, check out our definitive guide to sales prospecting with video, which you can find here.
Create For All Levels of Your Funnel
In this discussion of content creation, you must also recognize that you must create content for leads who are at different parts of your funnel. Video content at the top of the funnel may not be relevant for leads at the bottom of the funnel. The obvious rule of thumb is that leads at the top of your funnel should obtain more introductory information about your product or service. Videos can be short (even as short as six or ten seconds) in order to pique the interest of your leads. From there, as leads travel down your funnel, you can provide more detailed, long-form content that explains how you can solve your leads’ problems. How you specifically proceed from here is up to you, but the bottom line is that you should create content for the top, middle, and bottom parts of your funnel. While this may lead to extra work, it is an investment that will pay off in the long run.
Next, when optimizing your funnel, you must recognize that data is your friend. Even though you may have a sales funnel that feels perfect, your data may tell you otherwise. So when you are constructing and analyzing your sales funnel, be sure to account for what your leads are telling you. This is exemplified in things like email open rates, views for your video content, and the percentage of leads that actually reach the bottom of your funnel. By leveraging a platform like Dubb, for instance, you can access this wealth of data and use it to improve your sales funnel.
That said, there is a key caveat here. You don’t want to slavishly follow your data. Even though data can provide you with a significant amount of helpful information, it may not be telling you the whole story. Intuition certainly is a factor, so you will need to balance both data and your gut. Unfortunately, this is easier said than done.
Don’t Forget About Reciprocity and Urgency
From following data, you should also leverage reciprocity and urgency in your sales funnel. Granted, if a lead isn’t interested in your product or service, reciprocity and urgency are not going to significantly move the needle. You first need to create value and show your leads that you can make their lives better.
That said, reciprocity and urgency can be two wonderful tools to optimize your sales funnel. For instance, offering a free product (like an ebook) in exchange for a lead’s email can be a terrific way to introduce a lead into your funnel. By giving away an item for free, you are able to tap into powerful psychological tendencies that make it more likely for a lead to advance through your funnel. Just make sure that your CTAs are clear, obvious, and easy for your leads to understand.
It also helps to create urgency. Countdown clocks are great for this. For example, in the middle of your funnel, you may have a landing page with an invitation to try a sample of your product. By stating that this offer for a free sample only lasts for several hours or days, you activate a sense of urgency. It may be the one deciding factor that causes an on-the-fence lead to give your product a try.
Make It Personal
Finally, you can optimize your sales funnel by embracing personalization. A sales funnel represents a relationship between you and potential customers. If you can show a lead that they are a treasured member of your community, that lead will be more likely to become a repeat customer. Through a service like Dubb, you can leverage personalization through custom email subject lines or even personalized text in your video previews. While there is a fine line between just enough and too much personalization, personalization can be your secret weapon in increasing your funnel conversion rate.
A Critical Task
Sales funnel optimization is an ongoing task for any organization. Whether you work for a startup or larger company, your sales funnel is a critical tool for your future success. The tips and tricks above are a great way to optimize your conversion rate. However, sales funnel optimization requires constant iteration, so you will need to keep tinkering and experimenting to find the best-designed funnel for you.
To optimize your sales funnel, I also invite you to check out Dubb. As discussed above, Dubb provides a suite of features that can help you determine the strengths and weaknesses of your sales funnel. If you are interested in learning more about how Dubb can help, free to click here.