For every 100 people in your sales funnel, 97 won’t buy a darn thing from you. This isn’t an inflated statistic. In fact, 3% is considered a decent conversion rate. But what can you do about those 97 people who ended up in your funnel?
Are you going to just let them sit there without buying anything?
If 3% of people are buying your offer, I bet you could sell more.
The key to making more sales is to optimize your sales funnel. Internet marketing isn’t about plugging away at your laptop. It’s about locating bottlenecks in your funnel, testing your copywriting, and understanding conversion optimization.
You shouldn’t chase new customers until you’ve already optimized everything you can inside your sales funnel.
You’ve already done the hard work of attracting these people. Now let’s work on getting them to buy.
This article will give you 3 steps (plus one BONUS tip) to optimize your sales funnel, increase your conversions, and sell your products.
What is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the experience your audience has with your brand. This journey takes them from being a reader or follower to becoming a paying, happy customer, and eventually someone who promotes your product for you. It’s their entire customer journey.
The goal of conversion optimization is understanding the customer journey and giving your audience what they need to move closer to buying.
Your job is two-fold. First know what your customer expects. Second, deliver.
If a visitor clicks through to a landing page, you’d expect the landing page copy to match wherever they’ve just clicked from, like a Facebook ad.
A typical sales funnel will start with an opt-in (also known as a lead magnet). Then you send emails to nurture your audience before offering them a paid product or service.
An example sales funnel inside Funnelytics. Nicola Moors Ⓒ
Now I’ll show you how to optimize your funnels by mixing a little bit of copywriting know-how with data and analytics.
Step 1: Understand your target audience
Your customer is not a lifeless avatar. They’re a real-life human with beliefs and values.
In fact, you can highlight a shared value you have to create a deeper connection because you’re showing your prospect that you care about what they care about. As an example, innocent drinks (a UK-based brand) isn’t just selling smoothies. They’re selling a better future.
They’re not selling you a drink. In their copy, they highlight that by buying their products, you’re contributing to a better world.
Your sales copy should sell the promise of how much better your customers’ lives will be once your product is in it.
That’s because transformation sells.
Pioneering neuroscientist Antonio Damasio and fellow researchers at the University of Iowa, discovered in an experiment named the Iowa Gambling Task, that patients with damage to the part of the prefrontal cortex that processes emotions often struggle with decision-making. This tells us that emotion drives decisions.
So by treating your target audience as a 2D persona, you’re missing out the reasoning behind the decisions they make.
Take the emotion from your copy and you’re likely missing out on conversions.
The number one rule of customer research is to never assume.
Throw out everything you think you know about your audience. Let your research and data do the talking.
How Do You Research Your Target Audience?
Here are the top ways you can dig into your audiences’ values, beliefs and emotions.
Research Option 1: Surveys
”Surveys are easier and faster for customers to quickly provide feedback,” according to Easy Digital Downloads.
In my experience, people love being asked for their opinion. So use this to your advantage by inviting your customers (and even people who haven’t bought from you) for their feedback.
In fact, implementing this customer feedback loop is the easiest way to retain more customers.
Create automations and insert touch points that ask for intel at every stage of your customer journey.
My favorite places to ask for feedback in my funnels are:
Adding a question on your lead magnet’s thank-you page to ask visitors why they downloaded it
Asking for feedback before you launch a new product to uncover your audiences’ beliefs and objections to that particular topic (great for creating pre-launch content)
Asking new students or buyers to give insights on why they bought from you so you can attract more people like them
Requesting feedback from non-buyers to find out how else they’ll solve their problems uncover the hidden competitors you might not know about
All of the above can be created and added in so you can collect intel automatically at each stage of the customer journey.
An example survey question I love to ask buyers. Nicola Moors Ⓒ
Research Option 2: Interviews
Remember we want to uncover our target audience’s emotions. And while surveys are great for quantitative data, it’s really difficult to go deep. So I use customer interviews to ask follow-up questions and really dig into the heart of what’s really going on inside your customer’s head.
We want to uncover the insights that they might not even tell their friends about.
So if I was to interview the person who responded to my survey question above, I would want to know the following:
Explain what you mean by “nebulous idea”?
How had you gotten your information on brand voice previously?
What type of things were you Googling?
What information were you specifically looking for?
It feels like the idea of brand voice was confusing to you and your clients. Is that accurate?
Now you’ve used this product, how do you feel about brand voice?
Other things you might want to know:
What problems does your target audience have?
What are their goals?
What do they want to achieve by solving this problem or hitting this goal?
What is driving their decision making?
What’s holding them back from buying?
How else are they solving this problem?
Who else do they look to for support with this problem?
Research Option 3: Review Mining
Mining through online reviews is an incredibly insightful way to get even more intel on your audience. In fact, it’s my favorite way.
Look for the places your audience hangs out.
That could be:
Social media – for example Facebook groups
Social proof – review your testimonials and see what language is being used
And look at what they’re saying about your topic or product.
Search for keywords that will help you find out their problems, hesitations, and desires.
All of the above will help you get closer to understanding your audience and getting your message right.
Step 2: Optimize Your Product
Once you understand your target audience, you can use the intel to craft the perfect offer for them.
In marketing, the key to creating high-converting funnels and selling your products isn’t to find an audience for your offer. You design the offer for your audience.
The audience always comes first.
Never create a product just because you want to. Make sure there is a need in the market for it. (What we like to call proof of concept.) Your audience will crave your optimized offer because it solves a need for them.
How Do You Design the Perfect Offer and Optimize It?
Or how do you optimize what you’ve already got?
Even if your offer is already selling, go back to your research and look at the following:
What problems does your audience actually want to solve? How can your offer solve that?
How does your product help your customer achieve their goals? Remember your job is to show how their life will be easier with your product in it.
What could be holding your audience back from buying? If the cost is holding them back, could you offer payment plans or free delivery? I’m sure I don’t need to go into the enormous success of Amazon Prime.
If time is their hesitation, could you make the content in bite-sized videos or offer transcripts so they quickly read the content instead of watching a long video. If they’re unsure the product will work for them, could you offer a video demo or a money-back guarantee?
Compare yourself with the competition before your visitors do, according to CXL. What makes your product different? How can you position this? If your product is more expensive then you can explain why and how the benefits are worth the extra cost.
What’s your audience asking about your topic? For example, when building my digital product helping copywriters nail their brand voice, I saw they were asking what went into a brand voice guide. So I added a template and real-life example of a brand voice guide so they could see it in action. This made the product a no-brainer for them because they were already seeking this information.
Urgency or Scarcity
Why does your audience need your product right now?
Will the price increase?
Does the bonus run out after a time?
Social proof comes in many forms. If this is the first time you’ve launched this offer, you might not have testimonials from happy customers. That’s okay! Try adding logos of your customers to the page. You could also add stats, like Justin Welsh did here when he added, “Join 26k+ subscribers.”
Your audience needs to believe your offer is the next best step in their journey for them. Common objections might be:
“Is this right for me?”
“Is this worth the cost?”
Things like social proof, sales calls, providing your mobile number (if applicable) and behind-the-scenes demos can all help to increase your conversion rate.
A brilliant example of how to use social proof to build credibility with your prospect from Content Bistro.
Step 3: Craft the Perfect Message
Now your task is to craft the right message.
Getting deep on the right message is the fastest way I’ve increased conversions. But you don’t need to be a copywriter to write high-converting copy.
Luckily you’ve already done the hard work.
Effective copywriting is based on understanding your audience and re-using their language. You’re going to use the feedback you’ve gathered from your audience to write sales copy that converts.
Based on the problems and goals of your audience, what is the transformation you promise your customers?
The promise has to be accurate. Don’t inflate your promise or you risk losing customers—because you can’t follow through on the deliverables.
Use your target audience’s exact language so the copy resonates with them. Highlight the benefits of the offer in your copywriting so your audience can see how it will help them.
There are so many copywriting formulas out there and I think following Eugene Schwartz’ five stages of awareness is effective.
Unaware: Has no idea they’ve got a problem. Push marketing drives awareness.
Problem aware: Copy should talk about the problem your audience has and how it affects them.
Solution aware: Show them the transformation they can expect. What would life look like if their problem was solved?
Product aware: Introduce your offer and the benefits.
Most aware: Use social proof and any risk reversals—like a guarantee or time-limited bonus—and give them an option to buy.
Following this outline will guide your copywriting so that you give your audience all the information they need. If done properly, you’ll have built enough rapport with them so that the logical decision is to buy from you.
Bonus Step: Map Out Your Lead Strategy
The number one mistake business owners make after creating a sales funnel is forgetting to create a strategy to generate leads.
You have a crave-worthy, optimized offer, with a killer message. But if no-one is reading your sales copywriting, then no-one will buy.
It’s that simple.
After you create the funnel, you have to create a plan to generate leads—AKA your lead strategy.
Here’s an example from one of my recent clients. This client hired me to write the sales page copy and email marketing sequence for a course launch. Mid-launch, my client was concerned that they weren’t hitting their goals. After analyzing the data, I spotted that the sales page was converting at 7.12%.
The best copy in the world won’t sell if people aren’t seeing it. You need to invest in a lead generation strategy.
Now this doesn’t mean you need to get as many eyeballs on your funnel as possible. That won’t necessarily translate into higher revenue.
There should be a balance between generating quality leads and generating a quantity of leads.
Quality leads are people who are likely to buy your product. This is why customer research is key. When you understand your audience, you’re more likely to attract the right people into your sales funnel.
The next step in generating quality leads is to look at which channels your target audience is spending time on.
Examples of channels might be:
Social media such as Instagram, LinkedIn, or Pinterest
Paid advertising like Google or Facebook
Direct traffic through search engine optimization (SEO)
Organic marketing—search engine optimization, content marketing, social media marketing, etc.—is a long-term strategy, but one you need to use for sustainable business growth.
Content marketing is pull marketing where you create valuable content that pulls your audience away from the search engine results page and onto your website.
And content marketing is an easy way to inform your target audience and funnel them towards being ready to buy. You can even embed opt-ins inside your blog post to move them into your email marketing campaign.
You can also use paid marketing, like running a Facebook ad to your newest blog post. This is push marketing. You push your content onto the platforms your audience is most likely to hang out on to interrupt their scroll and get them thinking and hopefully clicking.
As long as the blog post is written to meet your audience’s expectations, then it will funnel them closer to clicking the buy button.
So consider writing blog posts optimized with SEO copywriting, which will inform and nurture your prospect.
Conversion optimization and copywriting is so much more than just writing copy. Effective marketers test and tweak their copy to make sure it’s always converting as best it can.
Hopefully you feel confident in optimizing your marketing funnel, writing more effective copy, and increasing your revenue.
For your team, screen recorders can be used for several reasons — from creating tutorials for your website to recording a recurring tech issue to sending your marketing team a quick note instead of an email.
Looking ahead to 2023 and beyond, businesses worldwide face lots of uncertainty.
One thing will remain constant throughout this period — customers expect excellent experiences when interacting with a brand. According to Acquia’s latest CX Report, businesses plan to prioritize customer retention over the next 12 months: 56% plan to improve customer experience, and 58% will focus more on customer service.
This should be a common goal. To weather a potential storm, businesses must keep customers by meeting and exceeding customer expectations.
Cynthia Ramsaran is director of custom content at Third Door Media, publishers of Search Engine Land and MarTech. A multi-channel storyteller with over two decades of editorial/content marketing experience, Cynthia’s expertise spans the marketing, technology, finance, manufacturing and gaming industries. She was a writer/producer for CNBC.com and produced thought leadership for KPMG. Cynthia hails from Queens, NY and earned her Bachelor’s and MBA from St. John’s University.
Are You Prepared for the Shift in Website Design with the Rise of Blockchain Technology?”
Let’s take a deep dive into the exciting future and world of web3 blockchain technology, and its impact on website design and development.
I’m going to provide you with real-world examples, and by the end you should have a clear and concise explanation of how decentralization, data management, and interactions will work in the future of websites.
I’ll be sharing what I’ve learned about the benefits of adopting these technologies, including increased security, website personalization, and user control.
If you want to stay ahead in the field of website design and understand the future of the industry then this article is a must-read.
The way we build websites now is changing!
The way websites are built now is inefficient and requires a huge knowledge base to build correctly. Most website platforms these days use some form of a WYSIWYG “WiziWig” style builder like WordPress, Squarespace, Shopify, and countless others.
It’s taken over 30 years for websites to be as good as they are today, this direction is for the long term thinker who wants to be on the cutting edge of the industry and build their brand in a space that is extremely new.
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You will need to learn the technology overtime and become proficient with the types of industries that are looking to build web3 websites and applications. There are already a few decentralized website and web app builders out there that are fully running on blockchain technology.
Decentralized Web App Builder Example: ICME
One example is a company called ICME that has “world’s first smart contract marketplace and web3 no-code suite.” Their modules even offer the ability to integrate with web2 applications that support API Post Requests.
Their entire code base is built on a blockchain technology called Internet Computer, which is why I’m actually invested in their Cryptocurrency known as ICP on exchanges. It allows you to do everything from building landing pages, websites, blog posts, online stores, Linktree type pages, Store NFT’s and more.
I do see some existing platforms like WordPress evolving into a fully decentralized Web3 platform, that would dramatically speed up market adoption as they have such a huge knowledge base and community of creators, it’s just a matter of time.
The exact evolution of website building tools is yet to be seen, but what’s certain is that web3 and blockchain technology will play a significant role in shaping the future of the web. The sooner you start to adopt and learn this technology the further ahead you will be when the time comes to switch from the internet we know it to what’s coming in the not too distant future.
Web3 Websites will be easier to build and customize with AI Tools.
The process of building websites in Web3 becomes much more intuitive and easy with the integration of artificial intelligence, with tools like OpenAI, you will simply give the program a prompt and give it a clear description of what you want your website to look like, say, do, and create.
This is where things will get fun for a designer and being able to let your creativity and artistic talent reach a level never seen before.
The need or demand for front end website programmers will change as less custom coding will be required, your website will be able to change visual elements and maybe more in the future with ai.
Web3 Websites are going to become very personalized experiences and brand centric.
Websites will collect data with consent(which is another point for later), that allows the user to have a completely customized user experience and interaction. Imagine a traditional website as a restaurant where the customers order their food from the menu and the kitchen staff prepares the dishes.
In this scenario, the restaurant manager is the central authority that controls the flow of information, the menu, and the preparation of the food. However, in a web3 and blockchain enabled website, this centralized authority is replaced by a decentralized network of customers, chefs, and kitchen staff.
With web3 and blockchain technology, website users can interact with the site in a more direct and efficient manner. Instead of relying on a central authority, users can participate in transactions and interactions on the website without intermediaries.
This eliminates the need for middlemen, making the process faster, more secure, and cost-effective.
For example, a user can easily and securely create their own profile, manage their data, and participate in transactions on the website. This level of user empowerment enables them to take control of their online presence and interactions, providing them with greater privacy and security.
The decentralization of website interactions through web3 and blockchain technology represents a shift towards a more user-centric and efficient web experience. It eliminates the need for intermediaries, providing users with greater control over their interactions, transactions, and data.
Web3 Data Management will become more secure.
Imagine now you are running a restaurant and you need to keep track of all the ingredients you have in stock, what dishes you serve, and the orders from your customers. In the traditional system, you would keep all this information in a single ledger book, written by hand.
However, with the integration of blockchain technology in your restaurant, this system of record-keeping becomes much more efficient and secure. Each ingredient becomes a unique item with its own blockchain record, and the orders from customers are recorded as transactions.
This decentralization of data management ensures that all the information is secure and can be easily accessed by any member of the team who needs it.
In the same way, decentralization will work for data management in website design and development. Instead of relying on a single central database to store all website data, this information can be spread out across multiple nodes on a blockchain network.
This means that website data is not stored in one central location, but is instead distributed across many different nodes, making it much more secure and resilient against hacking or other forms of data loss.
For example, user data such as personal information, preferences, and transactions can be stored in a secure and encrypted manner on a blockchain network like Internet Computer. This allows website owners to manage their data in a more secure and efficient way, giving users peace of mind that their information is protected.
The integration of blockchain technology in website design and development will lead to a more secure and efficient way of managing our website data.
Like William Mougayar said author of The Business Blockchain “In a world where data is currency, the blockchain offers a new model of trust and control.” By decentralizing our data management, website owners will know that all information is stored in a secure and transparent manner, promoting trust and confidence among users.
Say goodbye to hackers once websites are on Web3.
There were 22 billion breached records in 2021 alone, the biggest reason behind that is due to the nature of Centralized servers and website platforms. In Web3 security can be compared to a fortified castle, providing superior protection against outside threats and ensuring the safety of you and your clients or customers valuable information and data.
Using blockchain technology, website owners will be able to offer a greater degree of security to their users, protecting their data and transactions from malicious actors.
This will be particularly important in fields such as finance and healthcare, where the protection of sensitive information is of utmost importance and required by HIPAA and other regulatory agencies.
Just as a fortified castle protects its inhabitants from outside threats, web3 provides a layer of security to websites that is unparalleled by traditional web design.
The decentralized nature of web3 eliminates the need for a central point of control, making it much harder for hackers to penetrate. In addition, web3’s advanced encryption algorithms and blockchain technology provide a secure platform for website data and interactions.
In a traditional website, all data is stored in a central database, making it a prime target for cyber attacks. On the other hand, web3 stores data across a network of nodes, making it much harder for a single point of failure to occur. This eliminates the risk of large scale data breaches, as well as reducing the risk of individual data being compromised.
Finally, web3’s immutable ledger ensures that all website interactions are transparent and secure. This means that all transactions and changes made to the website can be tracked and verified, making it easier to detect and prevent any fraudulent activity. So if you want to protect your website and your clients website and their users from outside threats, web3 is going to be the way to go!
“Blockchain technology offers a level of security that was previously unachievable on the internet.” – Don Tapscott, blockchain expert and author of Blockchain Revolution
Automation will be effortless with Web3.
Blockchain Web Apps will have the ability to work together seamlessly, I see a future not too far off where ecosystems of dozens of programs are consolidated into one. Checking your social media posts, messages, your email, text messages, and website inquiries all in one place in just minutes.
Automation when done properly removes friction and resistance from any area of your business that is a lower revenue generating activity. Your time is the most valuable thing you have and using automation tools is how you buy back that time.
With web3, websites will be able to automate many processes, reducing the need for intermediaries and streamlining operations.
I want to give a few examples of ways we can Automate our websites with Web3. The first is dynamic pricing and inventory management: Web3 and blockchain technology will allow for automated and real-time pricing and inventory updates on our e-commerce websites, reducing manual labor and increasing efficiency so that you and your team can focus on higher revenue generating tasks.
The second is user authentication and verification: Web3 and blockchain technology will provide a secure and automated way to verify user identities, reducing the risk of fraud and making it easier for websites to manage user access and permissions.
I’ve already had to dramatically improve my knowledge around user verification after working with nearly a dozen blockchain brands since 2016.
There are already QR codes being used to login to websites like discord and other utilities like Crypto Wallets. The last example is content delivery and distribution, Web3 and blockchain technology allows for the automated content distribution, reducing the need for manual content updates and ensuring that the most up-to-date information is always available on your site.
This will free up time and resources for more creative and meaningful work, and will help to reduce costs for both users and website owners. This is good for any business owner that wants to lower their bottom line costs while raising their top line revenue simultaneously by leveraging time at the highest level of efficiency possible.
When it comes to Revenue Web3 will give you maximum monetization potential.
In the world of websites, monetization is the process of generating revenue from a website. Traditional website monetization methods include advertising, subscriptions, and e-commerce sales. However, with the advent of web3 and blockchain, the landscape of website monetization is about to change.
For example purposes let’s use a loyalty program analogy, a loyalty program is a rewards system offered by businesses to incentivize customers to continue using their services. Similarly, on web3, website monetization will offer new ways for website owners to monetize their content and incentivize users to continue visiting their site.
One example of how websites on web3 and blockchain can monetize their content is through tokenization. In this model, websites can issue tokens that represent ownership of certain content or access to premium features.
Users can then purchase these tokens and exchange them for access to the content or features they are interested in. This creates a new revenue stream for the website and offers users an incentive to visit and engage with the site.
Another way that web3 and blockchain can monetize content is through micropayments. In the traditional web, micropayments are difficult to execute due to high transaction fees and slow processing times. However, with the speed and low cost of transactions on the blockchain, micropayments become a viable option for websites to monetize their content.
This allows websites to offer users access to small amounts of content in exchange for a small payment, giving users a more affordable way to access quality content they are interested in.
One of the best examples I’ve seen so far is how Tom Bilyeu has used NFT’s as a way for people to get access to his content which ranges from events, to video games, tv shows, education and a ton more his nft’s are cleverly called the “Founder Keys.” There are lots of perks that brands are giving to early adopters that support the web3 movement and help us move closer to a better, safer, and more balanced internet.
Websites can also create loyalty program-like systems that incentivizes users to continue visiting and engaging with their site.
As the web3 and blockchain ecosystem continues to grow, we can expect to see an influx of new and creative monetization models emerge, providing websites with new opportunities to generate more revenue, and their users and visitors with new and exciting ways to access and engage with your content.
Decentralization puts Consent into action.
As a designer, the websites or graphics I create that started from an idea, a conversation, or something i’ve experienced are valuable and belong to me, knowing that there are AI design tools that can take my 15 years of experience, and use it to create an even better version in seconds and essentially for free?
That’s a big NO NO for the creators and artists, in fact there is a movement happening right now about consent and how these big platforms don’t have the consent to use their art as reference for AI design tools.
I stand behind being able to give consent if your work is going to be used without your permission, if movie and music piracy is a federal crime shouldn’t companies stealing a designer’s work without consent a crime too?
I think so, and that’s why I’m so excited about Web3 and Blockchain. Being able to create smart contracts and public records of your creative assets is a huge step forward for creators and designers around the world.
Imagine a world where your designs are stored on a decentralized platform, accessible only with your consent. You can choose who can view your work, who can use it, and how it can be used. No longer do you have to worry about your designs being stolen or used without your permission.
With web3 and Blockchain, your work is protected by the power of blockchain technology, ensuring that your designs remain yours.
In this new world, you can also monetize your work in new and innovative ways. For example, you could offer limited use licenses for your designs, allowing others to use them for a specified period of time. You could also offer exclusive access to your designs, giving a select group of people the ability to use them in a unique way.
By giving you the power to control how your work is used, shared, and monetized, web3 decentralization empowers you to take control of your career and build a future that reflects your vision and values. Decentralization is a game-changer for designers and creatives alike.
You get complete power of consent for your work to be used in any way, web3 decentralization empowers you to take control of your career and build a future that reflects your vision and values. So why not embrace this exciting new technology and start building your future today?
Interacting with Web3 Websites will be easier than ever.
Web3 website users will be able to customize a range of interactions on a website like content creation and sharing. Users will be able to create, share and consume content that aligns with their interests and preferences, without relying on centralized platforms.
Community building, users will have the ability to build and join communities that align with their interests and participate in decision-making processes, creating a more personalized and engaging online experience.
Interaction with E-commerce, users will be able to buy and sell goods and services directly with one another, without the need for traditional payment processors, creating a more transparent, secure, and affordable online marketplace.
Users will be able to access personalized services and experiences based on their data and preferences, creating a more user-centered online experience. A good example is a pizza shop website that keeps track of the last purchase you made and gives you the option to re order it at a discount price.
Web3 users will have the ability to customize a wide range of interactions on the website, from content creation and community building, to e-commerce and data privacy, creating a more user-centered, personalized and engaging online experience.
The adoption of web3 and blockchain technology is poised to bring about a revolution in the world of website design. From decentralization to automation and from security to monetization, these technologies offer new and innovative ways to interact with the web.
As a designer, it is crucial to keep up with these changes and be prepared for the new opportunities and challenges that come with them.
Web3 decentralization empowers creators by giving them control over how their work is used. Automation streamlines processes and saves time, while security measures are reinforced, giving website owners peace of mind. And with monetization options like a rewards program, website owners can explore new and innovative ways to earn revenue.
Overall, the future of website design is bright with the integration of web3, blockchain, and ai. Designers should embrace the power of these technologies to unlock new possibilities on the web and create better online experiences for everyone
“Unlock the power of web3 and blockchain to unleash your creative potential, embrace the future of website design, and build the digital world of tomorrow.” – Adrian Boysel