What is a Blog Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the official term to describe the process in which you make sales on your blog.
The different sections of a sales funnel are:
And this can keep going as long as you continue to have valuable products and services to offer your customers.
It is shaped like a funnel (or upside-down triangle) because as your funnel progresses, the pool of how many people move to the next stage gets smaller and smaller. The positive thing about this is that depending on where someone is in your funnel can tell you how to effectively communicate with them.
Stage 1: Awareness
The awareness stage of a sales funnel is the absolute first connection your audience has with you. This is your social media, Facebook/Instagram ads, and even your blog’s SEO-if done right and you rank on the first page of Google.
Anyone who has ever seen your name is in (at least) this phase.
This group is not one that you would try to pitch your most premium product to. Your goal is simply to get them to the next step. That is the mistake a lot of bloggers make, they try to go in for the kill when their audience barely knows who you are.
At the end of the day, the main purpose of this stage is to build awareness and establish yourself as an expert in your niche.
There are two types of traffic in this stage of the funnel: Warm and Cold Leads.
Warm leads are those people that know you through your social media channels, they have been to your website, or maybe even one of their friends wrote about how much you have helped them. This could even be an old client of yours that is looking to reconnect.
Cold leads are those that haven’t really heard of you and found you on what they think was an accident. This could be through your advertisements, someone shared something of yours on social media and they clicked on it or read it, or maybe they were searching for something on Google and you came up.
Stage 2: Interest
A customer moves into this phase of the funnel when your customer indicates that they are picking up what you are putting down… or showing interest. Imagine that.
This is where everyone that has signed up for your opt-in exists in your funnel. You have established yourself as a credible source for your niche and your audience is noticing you.
Your opt-in, also called a lead magnet, is extremely important to the success of your business. It is this offering that gives your audience a small taste of what you have to offer.
Be sure to be collecting email addresses with a service like MailChimp or ConvertKit and continue to build the relationship to move them to the next stage, decision.
Stage 3: Decision
It is difficult to pinpoint if someone is in this stage unless they tell you “I am interested in your solution, I just haven’t bought it yet.”
Someone could have moved from stage 1 to stage 3 in five minutes if they really felt a connection with you (or your sales copy was THAT good). Others may have read some of your posts and became really interesting in your courses/coaching/whatever it is you are selling, but just didn’t buy it yet for any reason. Maybe they are waiting for their next paycheck or maybe they realized they need to complete some other steps before they can utilize you.
In this stage, you have introduced your products/services and it is up to your messaging and communication to move to the next stage… the most exciting phase…
Stage 4: Action
You did it! They have completed some sort of transaction that rewards you for your hard work! Your paid customers are passing through this stage of the funnel and I bet it feels so good.
Now, it is your turn. You need to make sure you are supplying what you said you would and carrying out your end of the deal.
You may think that once someone has paid and you have delivered that your funnel is done. Perhaps it is if you want to leave a lot of money on the table and walk away with the fraction that you potentially can make.
Stage 5: Evaluation/Retention
Here is the stage where you are going to work to keep your paid customers happy. Sending them follow-up emails, surveys, usage guides, and special offers.
You got them in the door, now it is time to upsell them on your other services that will further help solve the problem you found in the higher sections of the funnel.
Keeping your customers happy is a huge deal because not only are they WAY more likely to buy a premium product now that they have had a taste, but they are also going to be your greatest marketing asset: your testimonials and word of mouth marketers.
Stage 6+: Action Part 2 & beyond
Let the upselling begin! It is time for you to give these premium customers your premium value and attention. This is your full e-books, one-on-one coaching sessions, access to a private community, or whatever else your big kahuna service is.
Remember, the price you put on a premium service must be ethical. DO NOT just copy your blog posts into an e-book and try to upsell this. That is a quick way to make maybe one sale before everyone figures you out as a cheap fraud.
If someone is in this phase, you need to look at them as your biggest fans. They know they what to expect from you and they are there to support you. This is where you are going to make your real money and turn your blog into a true business.
Curious about what else you could add to your funnel? Check out this infographic for an example funnel that made a million dollars!
The best part about sales funnels is that EVERY business has one, but only those that have mapped out their customer journey or journeys truly can say they understand why they are doing what they do. If you are stuck in the “what next?” phase of your blog or business, refer to your funnel. Is there somewhere that you see a lot of people stopping and disappearing?
Keep in mind that you will obviously lose some potential customers throughout each phase, hence the funnel shape, but if you are seeing a significant decrease, this should be where you focus. Is your opt-in still relevant? Is it worth an email address? What about your prices… are they too steep or are they too small, signifying that there may not be as much value as your potential customer is looking for (yes, that is a thing)?
Good luck on creating your funnel and as always, leave a comment below if you learned something or have a question!
Interested in learning more about creating a profitable blog? Check out these related posts: