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What is a Sales Funnel and Why Should Content Creators Care?

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“What the heck is a sales funnel?”

I remember that thought going through my mind when I first started to get serious about my blogging. I forget where I first saw the term, but I certainly didn’t know the definition of sales funnel or why it mattered to me as a blogger.

More and more, I saw it, though. And not just for bloggers. It seemed like everyone was talking about it – podcasters, business owners, video producers – pretty much everyone creating content online.

So I decided to get to the bottom of it. What is a sales funnel? And since understanding this concept, I’ve been able to take my online content to another level. So today, I wanted to do a little 101 lesson for anyone out there who doesn’t know what a sales funnel is or doesn’t think it applies to them. I assure you, it matters, even if you don’t think you work in sales!

A sales funnel can be illustrated with this simple graphic:

sales funnel So let’s say you’re working in a traditional sales setting. The first level, the wide pool, might be 1,000 names and numbers you’re given to cold call. Of that wide pool, most people hang up on your or say they aren’t interested, but maybe 10% or 100 people show some interest. They’re in that second level. Once you explain your product more, maybe 10% of those, or 10 people, are willing to come into your office to discuss more – they move to the “very interested” level. And over those 10 people, maybe 1 person actually takes action and buys the product.

The theory is that the more people you put into the top of the funnel, the more people who will come out the other side having taken action. If 1,000 cold calls = 1 sale, I need to call 10,000 people every month to make a quota of 10 sales.

The reason to look at a sales funnel is so you can make improvements. 10,000 people might be WAY too many people for me to call every month. So, to meet my quota, maybe I need to improve my pitch so that instead of 10 people being interested in coming into my office, 50 people are interested. If I still make sales to 10% of them, that means 1,000 cold calls is worth 5 sales instead of 1, so I only have to call 2,000 people every month to meet my quota.

Or, looking at the sales funnel, I might determine that I need another step or level. Maybe instead of inviting people to the office as the next step, I ask if I can send them more info in the mail as the next step, and from there I follow up with the ask to come into the office to hear about the service or product.

But Why Should You Care?

As a content creator, you may or may not be selling a product/service. But you do have an end goal, an action you want your audience members to take. When someone lands on your website, what is it that you most want them to do.

Let’s say that you have an ebook to sell. Someone who comes to your site for the first time probably isn’t going to buy it right off the bat, unless they had a strong word-of-moth recommendation. Instead, you have to move them down that sales funnel. This is what it might look like for you:

sales funnel 2 Your funnel might have more steps. But think about what moves a person from level one, where they’re visiting your site for the first time, to the final level, where they’re buying your ebook. Then look at the conversation rate of each step. How can you boost the percentage of people who move down the funnel, so more people are making it to the end of the line? (This is an awesome guest post on proven techniques for boosting your conversation rate.) Or what can you do to add more steps? If you’re jumping right from reading posts to trying to sell your ebook, people might not respond as well because that’s a big action to take. But if you’re asking for something smaller, like signing up for a mailing list, more people might be inclined to move to the next level.

Like I said, this works even if you don’t have a product to sell. For example, let’s say that your goal is to get as much traffic as possible because you make money through sponsored posts, and the more traffic you have, the more sponsors will be willing to pay for these posts. In this case, your end goal might be for people to share your posts on social networks. So, your funnel might look like this:

sales funnel 3 The more people you get to each level, the more people who will come out the other end of the funnel sharing your content. So maybe you need to start at the top can think about ways to get more people to see you links. Or maybe you need to work on your headlines so that more people who see the links move to the next level and click.

You can create a sales funnel for ANY goal you might have. Just think about the action you’d most like new visitors to take, then write out the steps someone would take to get there. Go back and analyze your conversion for each step to see where you can improve.

Now that you understand what a sales funnel is, will you start using it? Leave a comment to tell us your plans (or what you’re already doing to funnel people to your final goal)!

3 Ways Google Remarketing Increases Sales and Online Interaction

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Every website exists for the purpose of being seen. Whether you are a small business offering products or services, or a blogger looking to gain readers and wider web influence; you want prospective clients to see what you have to offer. However, achieving those site visits is only half the battle.

What you really want is interaction:

– Visitors making a purchase or hiring you for your services
– Readers linking to your blog
– Fellow bloggers talking about your blog through comments and re-posts
– Expansion of social media influence on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

Google Remarketing is the way to take your site to the next level! It gives you the opportunity to increase interaction, not just traffic.

What is Google Remarketing?

Google Remarketing is an online follow-up tool that allows you to continue to present your ads to prospects, even after they leave your website. You see, not every person who visits your site is ready to jump in. It takes constant exposure to your offers to influence your prospects to make some kind of interaction on your site, be it sales or a blog interaction. Google Remarketing gives you the ability to put tailor-made ads in front of your prospects wherever they go on Google’s extensive Display Network.

Here are 3 ways to use Google Remarketing to increase sales and online interaction:

1. Create More Action with Targeted Ads

With Google Remarketing, you choose what you want your visitors to do. Maybe you want them to buy a certain product, hire a particular service, or make a connection through social media. Google Remarketing gives you a programming code that can tell whether or not your visitor has taken that action step. If they leave your site without taking action, Google will know and that’s when Remarketing begins. After leaving your site, your prospect will be shown custom designed ads promoting your desired action step on every website they visit within the Google Display Network. This is an invaluable tool! Remarketing offers automatic follow-up for your website until your prospect takes the action step you want.

You control:

  • Desired action step (attending your webinar, purchasing an e-book, “Liking” your Facebook page, following your Blog or Twitter account, etc.)
  • Desired demographic. Remarketing allows you to create specific ads for certain target groups. In other words, you can show different ads to a stay-at-home mother versus a young entrepreneur.
  • Site-relevant ads for your products or services. For example, if you offer a landscaping service, an ad specific to that service will appear when prospects visit a relevant site (ie. HGTV.com).

2. Reach a Larger Audience

Google claims on their site that Google Remarketing “reaches 83% of unique Internet users around the world,” so the Google Display Network is an invaluable asset for those looking to achieve maximum exposure for their products, services or content. Every time your prospect visits one of these thousands of sites, they will see your customized ad specifically targeting them. Additionally, because the network is so large and includes so many big-name websites, you gain more than just exposure. You also gain the impression of “being everywhere” and being associated with big-name brands.

Sites within the Google Display Network include:

3. Get the Most Bang for Your Marketing Buck

The best part about Google Remarketing is it can actually get you a lot of free exposure. Google tracks your prospects, promotes your site, and compels those prospects to take the action steps you want them to take, and you don’t pay anything for this promotion unless your prospect clicks on the ad. This means that if your prospect doesn’t click on the advertisement directly, you are still exposing them to your brand and building the credibility of your site. This will make any future advertisements all the more effective. Building your brand and establishing credibility is paramount to turning site visits into interactions. Google Remarketing offers this service to your site with absolutely no risk.

Are you ready to begin building your brand and extending your web influence?

Google Remarketing is an incredible tool that turns website visits into site interactions. More sales. More readers and followers. More clients. You can also improve your local search rankings.

What do you think of Google Remarketing? Please enter your comments below!

How to Easily Create a Custom “Add to Cart” Button that Converts

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If you’re selling digital products, you know that a good sales page is important. Your sales page is what convinces people to buy whatever it is you’re selling, be it a an email course or an ebook or something else entirely. A great sales page converts, while a not-so-great sales page has people clicking the back button.

Now, most companies that allow you to upload and sell digital products (like E-Junie) give you “add to cart” buttons to include on your sales page. The problem? These buttons aren’t really that great. They aren’t attention-grabbing and they’re pretty generic, rather than matching your site. You can hire someone to design buttons for you, but in the following tutorial video, BlogWorld speaker Pat Flynn teaches you how to quickly and easily create your own custom add to cart button. Even if you have no design experience or graphics skills, this is something you can do to start making more sales immediately!

I absolutely love this tutorial. What a great tip – and so easy! I highly recommend the other videos on Pat’s channel as well; you’ll find a lot of gold there.

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