Converting Browsers Into Buyers with a Sales Funnel

What is a Sales Funnel?

A sales funnel is essentially a multi-step process that moves prospects into buyers. They are key to understanding your sales and marketing activity.

Most of the examples I found online are geared to multi-level, corporation companies; I decided to create my own for small eCommerce businesses. A lot occurs between the time that a potential customer enters your funnel, to completion of a purchase. Depending on your niche and sales model, they are typically 4-7 stages. My sales funnel is broken down into five levels:

1. Awareness:

This is when the visitor’s arrive at your shop or website. They typically arrive from ads, an enticing offer, or social media- anything that makes the visitor aware of your product. This is where strong branding and offers create leads. Now, your goal is to move them through the stages that will take them from visitor to buyer.

2. Interest:

Now that they are aware, you need to build their interest- At this stage, customers have looked through your website and favorited or bookmarked your shop, signed up for your mailing list, or followed your social media page.

3. Evaluation:

This is the “fence-sitting” stage where prospects debate following through. They will research your reviews and testimonials. This is also the stage where customers will discard options based on a considerations like price point, competition, shipping and quality – so, what makes your product stand out?

This is also a great stage to follow-up and implement an automated email sequence – you can include FAQ, testimonials, benefits of your products, or your current deals or promotions.

4. Decision:

At this stage, customer prospects decreases further, but the chances of closing a sale rise. This is the final choice to purchase or walk away.

With that being said, this is a great time for tactical moves – flash sales, bonus offers, free shipping, and promotions. The offers may entice the prospects to make the purchase

5. Action:

The final stage- the sale is completed. Although, you should always follow-up and practice customer retention tactics to create a return path.

My Sales Funnel Flow Chart:

Sales Funnel (1)

Now, time for a sales conversion. This can quickly give you valuable information on areas that need improvement versus areas that are succeeding. Across eCommerce industries, the average landing page conversion rate is 2.35%, yet the top 25% are converting at 5.31% or higher. As of January 31st I had 6 sales and a total of 199 views on my Etsy- that is a 3% conversion rate.

total visits as of 1-31

Feel free to use my funnel tactics to create your own;  just keep in mind that its an evolving process, always modify and repeat!

 

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The Going Deep Summit Review

The Going Deep Summit ​is a one-day conference held in Pittsburgh; it is geared to help entrepreneurs, innovators, and connectors take their thinking to the next level.

The speaker’s were a diverse group of established professionals. They all spoke on a variety of topics but also focused on personal and professional development. I honestly could not pick a favorite or even a top three! They were all awesome in their own way. The list of 2018 speakers can be found on the summit’s webpage

I would definitely recommend it to anyone with a goal-oriented, entrepreneurial mind-set. Aaron Waton’s is the mastermind behind the summit.  He did a great job creating a space for like-minded individuals to connect. I left feeling refreshed and fulfilled.

The Going Deep Summit 2.0 will be held on March 23rd, 2019. I am anticipating another great convention- I will certainly be attending.

going deep

Simple, Free Strategies to Grow Your Followers and Business on Instagram

Instagram is an excellent tool for expanding your business; posting engaging, quality content and engagement are essential for gaining followers.

Here are some strategies for gaining followers and potential customers.

  1. Use #Hashtags in your photo captions 

Hashtags are keywords used for searching on Instagram.  They are known to increase followers. Keep a list of hashtags in your notes– copy and paste them into your photo captions. Just keep in mind that Instagram enforces a hashtag limit of 30 per post.

  • Use hashtags that are relevant to your area. It may connect you with locals or people visiting in town- (I’m from Pittsburgh, so for example) #412 #pittsburgh #steelcity #steelcitygrammers #pittsburghartist
  • Tag things in your niche (e.g., my Etsy Instagram hashtags) #etsybusiness #shopsmall #etsy #etsybusiness #etsyjewelry #jewelry #handmade #handmadejewelry #madewithlove #artoftheday #artjewelry #etsyseller #shopsmall #localartist #artistsoninstagram #jewlrymaker #shopsmall #handmadeart #smallbusiness
  • Check out your direct competitors, what hashtags are they using?

It is key to use hashtags that are centered on your business focus and will target the right audience, rather than hashtags to get likes.

  1. Ask questions or use calls to action in the caption of your photo

This is a great way to increase engagement. Try to get people to comment, even its unrelated to the image. The more engagement, the more traffic your posts and profile will be seen — using these following “calls to action” wit

  • ask opinions, what city are you from, what is your favorite song/movie/book
  • comment ___ in your language below, #tagafriend, #tagyourfavoriteartist
  • let me know what you think in the comments, share your idea in the comments
  1. Posting regularly is essential but also post during these specific times

My goal is to have at least one post a day but I always aim to post at these times:

Sundays (lowest post day), Wednesdays (mid-week posts get more interactions), and 2am and 5pm are good times to post. (heres why).

Life gets busy – download Hootsuite to save time by scheduling posts. It is an excellent app for social media management.

  1. Run a contest for a giveaway

Offer a few free products, trial, or an experience: 1 like, 1 share, 1 comment with tagged friends, and/or one repost = one entry. Bonus idea: pairing up with one or more other businesses for the giveaway; find businesses in a complimentary niche who have a similar follower count. This copromotion presents an opportunity to multiply each other’s audience.

Here is a link to a free random winner generator.

  1. Utilize mutual friends 
  • Post your business Instagram to your other social medias and offer a follow-back.
  • Ask your friends to share your profile
  • Add your Facebook friends and contacts directly- go to settings>follow people> and voila! It connects you with your contacts.
  1. Ask an Instagram guru/ influencer if they will mention or tag your product

If they already use your product, great! If not, offer them a free product or trial for an Instagram review and “shout-out”. It very well could work; resulting in tons of new followers. The worst they could say is no!

     7. Dedicate time to growing your social media every day

As mentioned previously, engaging is the key point behind all of these strategies.

  • Spend time liking photos, and leaving thoughtful comments and questions.
  • Search hashtags and follow profiles in similar niches; remember it is about quality, not quantity. Following people with hashtags like #f4f or #followback may gain you followers, but the likelihood of them looking at your posts and products is low – they are probably following thousands of people already.
  • Always answer back to comments and questions on your post- even to questions you may be asked repeatedly.

Ecommerce is growing 23% year over year. What makes your business stand out? Tell me about your business in the comments below!