Stability and high results are essential for the development of your educational business. It is vital to find the drawbacks of your project in time and correct the sales strategy to succeed. It will help analyze buyers' behavior based on a unique marketing model called "sales funnel." Let's figure out what it is and what types of sales funnels exist.
What Is a Sales Funnel
The sales funnel model is one of the most essential marketing tools to analyze the customer's path to buying something. When you understand every step of a potential buyer along the way to decide on a purchase, you can control their behavior and stimulate them to buy your eLearning product through different types of sales funnels.
Elias St. Elmo Lewis first coined the term "sales funnel" in 1898. However, the final version of this model was formed by William Townsend in 1924.
The meaning of this concept is to determine all the client's steps on the way to making a purchase and then build top-notch communication, taking into account the previous decisions of the customer. In this case, visualization of the client's movement from the first contact to buy is needed.
Why You Need a Sales Funnel To Launch
The primary purpose of this model is to turn sales into a more controlled and transparent process.
In addition, the different types of sales funnels will help you:
- Grow the number of sales. So, the funnel model will make it more straightforward to put forward hypotheses for improving the eLearning business. For example, you saw that 75% of users put an item in their cart but did not proceed directly to the purchase stage. A possible solution is to add unique payment methods and set up a mailing list for customers with abandoned carts.
- Find problem stages. Sometimes the sales funnel narrows dramatically at a particular setting. Therefore, find the problem and why there is a short dropout of customers. For example, perhaps you have chosen the wrong advertising channels, or there is a problem with the communication of the sales department.
- Create a more reasonable sales plan. If you know your exact conversion rate, you can quickly determine the number of sales.
- Determine the effectiveness of individual advertising channels. However, this will require building several models.
Types of Sales Funnels
The sales funnel model is built for each business separately. Moreover, it must be adjusted depending on the current state of the educational business.
There are 4 types of funnels:
- "From interest to sale" - displays 3 stages (first interest, initial communication, direct sale).
- "Sale + service" - provides for the stages after a direct sale.
- "Sales only" — shows data on the deal cycle. Using them, you can estimate the number of page visitors who passed the previous funnel stage or assess the quality of the work of managers.
- "Cross-sells and upsells" - this funnel displays unplanned and more expensive sales to the customer.
The sales funnel changes depending on your product, marketing channels, business size, and other metrics. Therefore, the ideal scheme does not exist.
What Does a Sales Funnel Consist Of
In the classic version, it is divided into 4 stages (according to the AIDA marketing model):
When these steps are superimposed on the number of people performing specific actions, you have a funnel that narrows towards the bottom.
At the same time, the widest part of the funnel represents people who realize that they need your product. Moreover, they want to learn more about it and analyze its analogs. The acquaintance process is unique for every business direction, but the algorithm is standard: tell website visitors about your educational product and interest them.
As soon as users have learned the first information, they become curious about the brand and choose the final option more carefully. So, the customer compares the visual design, various features, and, of course, the price.
If users have made a long-awaited decision to buy a product, they move to another funnel stage. It is crucial to provide clear and concise answers to all questions at the decision stage. In this case, the customer will add your product to the cart.
And finally, the narrowest part of the model is the purchase itself. Here it is vital to present the most convenient and diverse payment options. If the funnel model is carefully thought out and users have become buyers, they will probably return to your site.
How To Set Up a Sales Funnel
This model will bring the desired effect only if it is based on a solid concept. To do this, you should analyze your target audience, review all types of sales funnel and determine the product's primary advantages over competitors, and provide a unique offer for every client. Here are 7 top moments to consider for all types of sales funnels:
Creating a High-quality USP
A unique selling point (USP) contains data about the value of a product or company. It is almost impossible to attract a person with bland phrases like "the highest quality" or "the best prices on the market." All you need to do is show the value and uniqueness of your product so that the website visitor is interested in it.
In creating a USP, specificity is king. Use the exact amount of the discount, referral program, money-back guarantee, etc. Pay due attention to the description of the features of your product; tell your clients about its strengths. Thus, you will place the main advantages in the unique selling point.
Getting cold contacts
Next, you should consider where to get cold contacts. The easiest way to do this is through the registration form on the website while launching an ad campaign through all priority marketing channels. In addition, it is crucial to segment the audience through a CRM system for greater efficiency.
You should also think about how you will stimulate interest in your product from a cold client? How would you point out the benefits and uniqueness of the product? The answers to these questions depend on the quality of your cold customer base and the formed USP.
Ideally, a well-written, unique selling point should create the client's interest in the product independently. However, you can use other marketing tools (including free solutions).
Working Out the Negative Feedback
Analyze negative customer responses and their objections. They can be different - the product's high price, the lack of significant benefits, inadequate quality, etc. You also need to find a convincing answer to each refusal.
Work with the negative comes through your manager's performance or alternative proposals. Try to convince customers discreetly and carefully. Aggressive marketing strategies can also affect you, but you should be extremely careful with them.
Closing the Deal
During this stage, the complete conversion of the website user into a buyer occurs. A unique selling proposition and the work of managers are important here. It is also worth considering working with visitors who have been weeded out through the types of sales funnels. You can return them to the website using remarketing tools.
If a user has landed on your page, added items to their shopping cart, but has not completed the purchase, remind them of this and encourage them to make a final decision with an additional discount. This can be done by email or by showing an advertising banner on social media.
Analyzing Funnel Data
Do not forget about the constant analysis of the developed model, and it will help you discover weak spots in the sales funnel and the whole company. Using analytics tools, you can identify stages with many user dropouts and correct shortcomings. You will also be able to identify the causes of negative feedback from the target audience and improve the product and unique selling point.
Increasing the Conversion
The more website visitors become buyers, the higher the conversion. It is necessary to work on tools for working with clients to increase this indicator.
They can be promotions, personalized offers, service discounts, a convenient chat with a manager, etc. It will allow you to consider the maximum number of claims of potential customers and encourage them to buy your product.
Sales Funnel Examples
Let's consider 2 standard approaches to creating different types of sales funnels:
#1: Paid Traffic Funnel
The standard model looks something like this:
Placing an ad on a social network ⇒ Redirecting to a landing page ⇒ Adding to a shopping cart ⇒ Payment and order
If the client initially refused to purchase, another option is also possible:
Social media ad ⇒ Landing page ⇒ Adding selected product to cart ⇒ Customer leaving the cart⇒ Social media remarketing ⇒ Landing page with a promotional offer or discount ⇒ Re-adding to cart ⇒ Payment and ordering
This funnel is a great solution to increase ROI and sales quickly. It will also become helpful in launching new products to the market.
№2: Inbound Marketing
To build this model, you need to use helpful content on the website and in email newsletters. The marketing model is built like this:
User search request ⇒ Page with useful content ⇒ Site pop-up⇒ Subscription ⇒ More useful content in mailing lists ⇒ Product introductions ⇒ Adding your product to the cart ⇒ Payment processing ⇒ Further reading of helpful content
This funnel is an excellent choice if you need to increase brand awareness and build high-quality contact with the target audience. In addition, if you manage to prove your expertise, sales will skyrocket.
Fixing Mistakes in the Sales Funnel
As we have said before, the funnel model will help you fix mistakes in the educational business. Let's look at the top 3 tips for improving the shopping experience with various types of sales funnel :
Make the Buying Process Shorter
Shorten the way a user needs to pass to make an order and pay for it. The more steps you set, the more likely the client will drop out. So try to provide a simple buying process.
Remember that you may accidentally remove important information from a page to simplify (e.g., product features or a refund process for your offer). Be careful; check different online sales funnel examples; otherwise, the website user will doubt your product and choose a competitor's offer.
Analyze website usability
The page's usability rate will help you optimize the website for future buyers and provide a flawless user experience. After all, business owners are faced with a low conversion of users into ready-made customers. The reasons for this are different:
- there is no shopping cart;
- an excessive amount of ads;
- a lengthy questionnaire when creating an account;
- a barely visible CTA button, etc.
If potential buyers are not well versed in the interface and cannot find information about the product's payment/guarantees/benefits, most visitors will leave the website. Therefore, pay due attention to the analysis of the page.
It is vital for creating and displaying personalized offers. So, for registered visitors, you can offer additional discounts and promotions. It is better to provide more information about the product's benefits for unregistered ones. Moreover, working with cold customers is different from working with regular customers.
Creating a sales funnel model will allow you to analyze customer behavior better. First, however, you should take this issue seriously into account and see various online sales funnel examples. Consider the features of your company, carefully examine the target audience, visualize their steps on the way to the long-awaited purchase and make this path user-friendly. In this case, it will be easier to create a unique selling point with no position to refuse.
We hope you found our article helpful. If you have any questions about the sales funnel, leave them in the comments below. We will answer them and analyze the most interesting ones in the following articles.