A sales funnel is basically a series of events that take place after you initially engage your customer.
Once you drive a potential customer to a landing page of some kind and they opt in, giving you their name and e-mail address, the process starts.
The purpose of a sales funnel is to take advantage of two fundamental truths about marketing;
- People who have purchased from you are more likely to buy from you again, particularly while they are buying from you.
Satisfied customers come back again and when people are "in the buying mood" they often buy other things.
- It takes way more time, money and effort to get a new customer than it does to cross sell to existing customers.
You figure out a way to get people to your web page which is either a landing (squeeze) page or a sales page of some kind.
You have something to give them of quality, usually a free gift and in return they sign up to your list.
You now have the ability to follow up with them using an autoresponder.
This is a series of purposeful e-mails containing great content, tips and advice on a regular basis.
You put solid offers in place along the way, either right after the opt-in, in your series of follow-ups or both.
Also in the offers themselves, when people purchase or opt not to, they are presented with what's called a One Time Offer (OTO).
This is presented as "one time only" so it has both urgency and scarcity which are both key buying triggers.
Depending on whether people buy or not they are then funneled to different follow-up email lists.
Those that purchase are then "upsold" or offered more comprehensive higher priced products and services in future e-mails.
Those that opt in to your list but don't purchase are funneled to another list where you might e-mail them valuable content and free gifts for say 5 to 7 emails and then present another offer after you have made them more comfortable, interested and trusting.
All throughout the sales funnel, you are adding value and advice and continuing to offer higher value higher priced offers and other complimentary affiliate products and relevant add on products.
Examples of higher value offers could include video courses, audio courses, memberships and eventually coaching seminars.
As we all know, the biggest challenge is convincing people to listen to what you have to offer in the first place.
Once they opt in to listen to you, it only makes sense that you would place them in a well organized sales funnel and continue to service their needs forever.