#3 in Our 20 for 20 Series
Welcome to 20 for 20 where we are celebrating our 20th year in business by giving you 20 of our best tips for email marketing and business.
Business people talk about using sales funnels, but what are they and how do they work? Essentially, a sales funnel is a “processing” of people through your sales cycle. It starts by taking a person that you might target as a likely suspect and converting them to a paying customer and raving fan of your business.
So how do they work?
Well, you can think of a sales funnel as the step-by-step sales process that is as old as time. Remember the model of AIDA?
I’ll let Alec Baldwin remind you how this works, but AIDA stands for:
That’s really what we’re doing in a sales funnel. We’re getting prospects’ attention, piquing their interest, invoking their desire, and, ultimately, inspiring them to act.
Now does that mean it’s easy? Well, no. Savvy consumers would prefer to “buy” something than “be sold” something. It’s your job to help customers discover your product or service and start asking themselves, “Could this thing help me survive and thrive?”
Remember, surviving and thriving is your brain’s goal as it goes through the day. It’s highly attuned to the idea that its job is to be on the lookout to help you survive and thrive. Whether that’s selecting the right mate, the right business partner, the right business idea, or the right business tools and investments.
So when you start a sales funnel, think about your key target and answer this question: What do they want? At Email Broadcast, for example, we know you want to grow your business, and in order to do that you need to use the right marketing tools. We know that email marketing is one of the most powerful there is, but it’s hard to do well. So we’ve assembled a team to do it for you.
If we give people all of that information in one breath, they might be ready to hear it, but chances are good they might not. They may not even recognize that email marketing is still a HUGE marketing tool. So we start with some awareness. They might not recognize HOW their company can benefit from it, so we show them how. Then we show them how other businesses are using email marketing so they desire to use it themselves. Finally, we give them a very clear path to take action: It’s as easy as one, two, three, and it starts with booking a free 20-minute consultation.
Now, again, we don’t do this all at once. We do it in bite-size chunks using email. Since we know which message will come first, second, third, fourth, fifth, etc., we can create this email series in advance and use it over and over again. It’s one of the most powerful uses of email marketing and we create these automations for our clients all the time.
So, what are the key elements of a good sales funnel?
1. Get their attention by offering your prospects something you know they want. Don’t be stingy here–give them something really good that your instincts tell you to charge for. The better it is, the more people you will attract and the more obligated they will feel to consider your product or service. The easiest way to think of this is offering a sample. Mmm. That was good. I wonder how good it would be to have a whole meal?
At Email Broadcast, we know our audience wants to improve their email marketing, so we give away the Top 5 Email Marketing Mistakes. You don’t want to miss these either. And, to further build awareness, we’re sharing these videos on social media in addition to our email subscribers. Think about all the ways you can start to build awareness.
2. Your sales series should establish that you understand your prospects’ pain. We call this empathy. We know that creating world-class email marketing from scratch is hard. All the different skills you need, how everything changes all the time, how technical it is, how you don’t have any time to do your other jobs, let alone get great emails launched. Feel their pain, and remind them of their pain. Bill Clinton, like him or not, was a master at this. Remember his frequent line from town hall meetings? I feel your pain.
3. Be sure to educate your audience on why they need your product. How does it solve this problem in their life? This is hard for some because you’ve been living in your own world for so long. Start with the basics and remind people of what they want and how your product or service can help them. Oh yeah, I DO want to grow my business… You know, I did think that our email marketing could be so much better… He’s right, I don’t have the time or staff to do this well on my own and I guess I’m not alone.
4. Next, you need to establish authority. How is your company’s product or service the natural choice for your prospects? What’s your credibility? Have you been doing it longer than everyone else and if so, why does that matter? What have you learned along the way? Do you do it better than everyone else? How? Show me. Or better yet, have one of your satisfied customers show me.
5. As your prospect gets closer to making a decision in your favor, they enter the “risk” phase. What if they waste their money or their time or, worse, their credibility or reputation in working with you? So you need to address the common objections that your customer is bound to have. I understand you’re concerned about making an investment in email marketing with no guarantee that it will pay off. The truth is, you’re already making an investment, but it’s a poor one. You’ve got an employee you’re paying $80,000 a year who spends a quarter of their time on email marketing. That means you’re spending $20,000 a year on a campaign that isn’t very good. See how we changed the paradigm here to help with this objection? Do the same. Whatever you can do to change the paradigm or minimize the risk like a money-back guarantee, make sure you include that.
6. Remember to keep giving to earn that reciprocity we all have as humans. You want your prospect thinking, Man, they have done such a good job educating me about this problem, showing me why it matters, and giving me a plan to solve the problem, I feel like I owe them a shot at my business.
7. If you’ve done a great job at what I’ve already mentioned then don’t forget to close and ask for the business straight up. Now that you’ve “processed” your target through the sales funnel and they have stuck with you (many will fall out along the way), it’s time to ask for the order or the first step of your process. If you’re ready to explore our services for your email marketing, go ahead and book that free 20-minute consultation now so we can talk.
8. Oh, and here’s an advanced tactic. Always use a P.S. They almost always get read so include a soft or hard call to action depending on the timing of your message.
Sales funnels are incredibly valuable, especially if your product or service is complicated, relatively expensive, or requires a large commitment from your customer. Having this sales tool means your email funnel can do the selling for you, helping you become very effective and stay very lean on the sales front.
For every 20 for 20, we’re giving away a prize to one lucky member of our email list. Today’s prize is a great book called The Invisible Selling Machine by Ryan Deis that’s all about sales funnels. The winner is Milton at email@example.com. Please contact us to claim your prize.
Be sure to subscribe below so you can get our next message about how to improve open rates AND get free donuts.
Sign up below to get 20 for 20—our best tips for email marketing and business. As a bonus, we’ll send you our Top 5 Email Marketing Mistakes that almost all businesses make. Once you’re on our email list, you’ll also be eligible to win one of our giveaways announced every month via email.