It’s important to learn how to create websites that not only look good but are designed to maximize sales. As a business, that’s the whole point of having a website! Many businesses tend to forget this, and the end result is your typical ‘corporate website’ that has visitors scrambling for the back button.
Being able to design websites that convert visitors into customers will allow you to take control of your online marketing. It doesn’t matter how much traffic you send to your website if you can’t design websites that sell.
Creating a website that is designed to sell actually helps your visitors by offering a clear, more streamlined user experience. They’re gently lead down a single path of action.
You’re doing your visitors a disservice by not learning this stuff. They WANT to be sold to, it’s your job not to let them down.
After you learn how to design websites that sell, you’ll feel like an internet business wizard that can siphon money from any market you want.
The opposite is true if you continue creating websites that you think are ‘cute’.
In this guide, I’m going to show you how to squeeze the most amount of money from your customers online by using a sales funnel on your website.
A sales funnel is a systematic approach to selling. One of the most successful examples of this is McDonalds. When you come in to purchase a hamburger at Mcdonald’s, they’re really only making about .18 cents profit on that. Now when they upsell you on the fries and coke, their profit margin jumps to over a dollar.
So they draw you in to purchase one product; the hamburger, or sometimes it’s the McRib, and then they upsell you on complementary products or more of the same (Buy One Get Two).
Now instead of bringing customers through a drive-thru, we want to bring customers thru our website sales funnel. First to buy one product, then to upsell/cross-sell/downsell them on complementary products.
Why is this so powerful? It’s because "The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20%. The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70%" – Marketing Metrics
Experienced marketers have known for years that the ‘money is in the backend’, which means that the bulk of your profit potential is not on the first sale but on all subsequent sales made after a customer is added to your email list.
Many are afraid to upsell or cross-sell because they feel as if they’re just annoying their customer. On the contrary, if what you’re offering is enhancing their experience with your business and making your original offering even better, then it’s a win/win.
Let’s say you were staying at a hotel, and upon check-in they offer you a breakfast voucher for 50% off. You were probably going to already get breakfast, but now you get it 50% off if you purchase the voucher at the time of check-in. It’s a win/win for both the customer and the business.
Let’s say you’re selling a Wordpress theme for $40 and you have a conversion rate of 2%, making the value of each visitor about $.80. This means for every 1000 visitors you’d make roughly $800.
Now let’s say instead, you drop the price of the theme down to $20 and doing so increases your conversion rate to 6%. This makes the average visitor worth about $1.20, already better than the first scenario but it’s just starting to get interesting.
What if you now offered a complimentary Wordpress plugin for $30 after people bought the Wordpress theme. If just 30% of the customers who bought the theme go on to buy the plugin, that’s an extra $540 in profit.
See how powerful a sales funnels can be? This is just scratching the surface too. You can have multiple upsells, and you can upsell higher priced services and products as well. The sky is truly the limits when you know how to design profitable sales funnels online.
One huge advantage to those businesses with a fine-tuned sales funnel is that they’re able to outspend their competition in advertising since they make more money per visitor on average. It’s basic math really.
A sales page or squeeze page has 3 basic elements:
-Your headline aka your ‘unique selling proposition’. Leading with pain your audience is currently experiencing is a great way to start your pitch. Direct quotes from happy customers also make great headlines.
-Your call to action.
Some sales letters have more elements than this that can increase conversion, like the money back guarantee and count-down timer for a limited time offer, etc. but these 3 elements are the foundation, the must have elements if you want to convert visitors into customers.
You only want to ask your prospect to do one thing per page, otherwise they’re likely to be overwhelmed and leave your site. For this reason, it’s best to have your navigation links in your footer.
This guide is not meant to be a comprehensive guide on sales letters and landing pages, it would be too long if that were the case. It’s about how to get started creating your own sales funnels online in the shortest time possible. For more on this topic, check out this excellent article.
After your visitor takes action on your first offer, they are then presented with your upsell offer, cross-sell offer or both. You’ll want to test out different offers to see which work best as upsells or cross-sells. Typically, the idea is to offer a limited-time offer a higher priced version of your existing product (upsell) or offer a complimentary product (cross-sell).
If you can make a one-time offer as your upsell, it should increase conversions even more.
You want the customer to view the upsell after they have entered their email or payment info for your first offer, otherwise it’ll lower your conversion rate for the first offer.
Alternatively, after they take advantage of the first offer you could put them through an email sequence leading up to a limited-time special offer. This works great too as it allows you to deliver even more value and build anticipation for the limited-time offer.
1-click upsells are ideal since they don’t require the customer to re-enter their payment info, they simply click the buy button and it’ll be added to their order.
I used to recommend setting up an exit intent pop-up which offers a downsized version of your offer for less money or maybe offering a payment plan but these days I don’t use exit intent pop-ups for a couple reasons:
(1) I want to use as little code as possible for my pages to ensure they load as fast as possible.
(2) There are rumors that Google will start penalizing sites using pop-ups of any kind and I rather play it safe in this area.
If you’re not concerned with being penalized by Google and are able to achieve fast load times then by all means test this out as it’s known to increase conversion rates.
Step 1: Create your first offer and create the sales page. If you’re not a web developer, I honestly recommend just hiring one to create pages that load fast. I’d be happy to help in this department.
Step 2: Create your Upsell or Cross-sell offer.
Step 3: Create your downsell offer if you’re going to have one, and create the thank you pages where customers will download your product. Here’s a free exit intent pop-up you can use if you decide to go that route.
Step 4: Start driving traffic to your sales funnel and keep testing different offers w/ different upsell and cross-sell offers. Google Ads is a great source of traffic that you can tap into starting today!
Step 5: Use marketing automation software like Drip.com or ConvertKit.com to create email sequences that more effectively sell to your email list.
Step 6: Use software like RightMessage to show the right offer at the right time based on where your subscriber or customer is in your sales funnel.
It may take a while to hit on a winning sales funnel. If a sales funnel is not performing how you’d like it to, there are a couple things you should test before ditching the offer.
Price: If you can test different price points, you may find that a cheaper price point results in much higher conversions and profits or maybe a higher point converts higher for some reason. You never know until you test.
Headline: Sometimes your headline may not be doing it’s job pulling people into your sales letter. Test out a few different headlines to ensure you’re giving your offer the true test.
Limited-time Offer: Scarcity and loss aversion are powerful sales tactics that are known to drastically increase conversion rates for any given offer. Studies have shown that the pain of a loss is almost twice as strong as the reward felt from a gain.
If you follow the advice in this guide, you can easily increase your return on investment with very little hassle for almost any campaign your business is running. You’ll also be able to outspend your competition who doesn’t have a fine-tuned sales funnel simply because you make more on average per visitor and per customer.
If you sell services instead of products you can also apply this sales funnel strategy to drastically increase your sales and profits.