If you’ve monetized your blog with affiliate links or Google AdSense, you already have a sales funnel, whether you realized or not.
Here is our super-simple definition of a sales funnel:
The process of converting your blog audience into paying customers.
There are many different ways to do this, from basic blog optimization, all the way to ‘advanced re-targeting pixel paid traffic email campaigns.’ (that’s a mouth full)
Related Articles (5-Part Series)
The two key concepts you want to understand fully are landing pages and A/B testing.
Whenever you create content, you need to know it’s purpose. How do you want your audience to react to the content?
Maybe it’s just a quick, fun blog post meant to entertain your readers.
Perhaps it’s an epic tutorial that you want to become one of your defining pieces of content, a masterpiece that gets thousands of social shares.
Or, it’s a sales page, with the sole purpose of selling an offer. This is where landing pages come in.
A landing is a post/page template that is designed to remove distractions from the viewer.
All traffic arriving on a landing page needs to be ‘funnelled’ into one purpose. i.e., sign up for a free offer.
To accomplish this, we remove the header, footer, and sidebars.
We don’t want the prospect to click on something non-related, bypassing the sole purpose of this page, the email signup.
A/B testing is also called split testing. The sole purpose of A/B testing is to optimize your website.
You want to optimize your titles, fonts, colors of buttons, everything. Optimizing your website, increases conversions, which increases your income.
Easy to create landing pages and automated A/B testing can be both accomplished using the Thrive plugins.
Sales Funnel Example
Let’s look at a paid traffic email campaign sequence. This way we can quickly understand the concept of a sales funnel and start thinking of our blog in a new light.
This example scenario is an aggressive email sequence and not recommended for your basic ‘Newsletter’ email sequences. Email sequences should NOT always be used to sell, sell, sell.
To be a successful blogger, you need to provide your audience value.
For our example, the traffic source is paid traffic, i.e., a Facebook Advertisement.
Using an advertisement (AD #1), we send traffic to our sales funnel.
The traffic that clicks on our advertisement (AD #1) arrives at our website and ‘lands’ on a landing page. (A – Email Signup)
For paid traffic, the landing page should always be an email signup offer. We want to give something away for free in exchange for their email.
The first email to the customer is the confirmation email. The 2nd email is a thank you email, with an offer. In our example, this is ‘B,’ our $7 basic course. You have their attention, now is the best time to present an up-sell offer.
The best leads (customers who have given us their emails) are customers that purchase our $7 basic course.
Once a customer has demonstrated that they will open up their wallet to purchase a product from you, they are far more likely to buy future offers.
Paying customers are the best customers.
Email Sequence (cont)
Advertisement #2 is an email sequence that contacts the leads who signed up for the free offer but haven’t continued to B, the $7 basic course.
Advertisement #3 is an email sequence that contacts the customers who purchased B, but not C.
Advertisement #4 is an email sequence that contacts the customers who purchased C, but not D.
In a perfect scenario, (highly unlikely) after only seeing the 1st advertisement (AD #1) the customer would sign-up for the free offer giving us their email, would open their thank you letter, buy the $7 course offer, and proceed to buy the $99 and $999 up-sells.
Why is Getting the Email so Important?
If you paid for traffic, you want to get maximum value for your advertising dollars. If you buy traffic, send them to a landing page and not collect an email, once that customer leaves, you have no chance to contact them again.
This was the very first time this cold customer has visited your website.
Nobody buys on the first visit. It’s just an introduction. (That’s why Boosted Facebook posts are a waste of money)
The email is vital in order to continue the conversation, let the customer warm up to your blog and see the value in becoming a regular visitor. This is accomplished by an email drip campaign.
To be able to send automated email sequences, you will need an email marketing service, one that can track conversions and tag customers. It’s a mandatory tool for all bloggers.
We recommend ConvertKit.
Like we discussed in Part 2 of this series, A Blog is a Business, your blog needs to have a plan. The content you produce needs to be part of the bigger business plan for your blog.
You can’t write random articles. Each piece of content is going to serve a purpose.
Write about a problem, provide your audience with a solution.
Organic Sales Funnel
For example, say you have a Pinterest Marketing course you wish to sell to your customers.
You would follow these steps:
- Alternate Pencil
This approach is the more organic approach where you’re directing your audience to your sales funnel landing pages via links in your content.
We like to embed our organic sales funnel sequences into 5-part series formats.
This article is an example of this technique, i.e., You are reading part 4 of a 5-part series on How to Become a Successful Blogger. (See Below)
How to Become a Successful Blogger (5-Part Series)
By arranging your content into a 5-part series, you will increase your blog’s engagement, as readers will be more inclined to read the full set of articles.
Email Sequence Funnels
Subscribers to your email list can be directed to your sales funnel landing pages.
You should send your subscribers useful tips and advice, build a trust relationship over time and once in a while, you can send them offers that you feel will provide them value.
Email sequences are great tools because once you set them up, they run by themselves.
Paid Traffic Funnels
We’ve already seen an example of a paid traffic funnel in the top of the article.
As you blog grows and you have more product offers, and corresponding landing pages that are highly optimized to convert leads into sales, you will want to utilize paid traffic resources.
Paid traffic campaigns need to be closely managed and maintained.
Never set it and forget it.