landing pages and conversion rate optimization blog by pagewiz

Marketing Funnels: Avoid These Mistakes to Build a Strong One

By Jeremy Reeves on December 1, 2015

Reading Time: 12 minutes

Marketing Funnels Mistakes

Marketing funnels are a funny thing.

They can (and should) be built differently for every business, every marketplace, and every unique product or service within that marketplace. Although having a template to follow helps, there are many factors determining the exact strategy and tactics used to construct your own marketing funnel.

Blanket statements on marketing funnels are instructions on changing a Chevy’s spark plug when the car is a Honda.

Marketing funnels that convert are built with the customer in mind.

A marketing funnel, or sales funnel is a process through which a customer’s journey through the process is charted and tracked. Building a good one will help you to create more conversions.

I’d like to reveal what I’ve found to be the most common mistakes people make when building a sales process and marketing funnel.

These mistakes cost time, profit and energy before you create your funnel. Get them right–you have a major leg up on your competition.

The best part? These seven mistakes apply to every business, regardless of your industry or what you sell, and they all have the easy potential of adding revenue to your business the moment you fix them.

I’ve personally seen them each increase revenue in my own and my clients businesses. Let’s jump right in.

Mistake #1: Making It Too Hard To Buy

Have you ever dealt with a company who literally made it hard for you to do business with them?

For example:

  • A salesman who kept asking questions even though you were already sold
  • Local businesses that don’t accept credit cards (and sometimes don’t even have ATMs!)

You might be doing the exact same thing to the visitors on your website, without even realizing it.

Friction is a conversion killer, plain and simple. The more fluid your sales process, from start to finish, the higher your conversions will be. There are hundreds of points of potential friction within any given sales and marketing process. Here are some of the biggest culprits in a marketing funnel:

1. Forms with too many fields in them (find your balance between conversions/quality)

2. Call to action buttons that don’t clearly state what the next step is

3. Not enough trust created before asking for the sale

4. Poor website usability

5. Not having a “no-brainer” offer

You can easily overcome many of these problems with Pagewiz as you create beautifully designed landing pages in the designer from scratch,  or select from a template.

Create clean customer data points with the right number of fields with ease in the Pagewiz landing page designer.
Create clean customer data points with the right number of fields with ease in the Pagewiz landing page designer.

There are more problems, of course. However those are the “big five” to start with. It’s possible to achieve lifts in conversion in each of those five elements by testing and improving them.

Mistake #2: Focusing Too Much On Acquiring New Customers

Almost every business I’ve ever known spends too much time on acquiring new customers, rather than maximizing revenue from existing customers/clients. It makes sense. Figuring out how to acquire new customers is the most talked about part of marketing. It’s more exciting.

But in the end, it’s costing you A lot of money.

The truth is that if you put too much emphasis on acquiring new customers, you’ll have a hard time becoming as profitable as you’d like. Your front-end is designed to acquire customers and start increasing your top-line revenue. Your back-end is designed to further increase your overall revenue, but with a much bigger emphasis on your bottom-line revenue (which, really, is the only one that matters).

If you put too much emphasis on your backend, you’ll have a hard time increasing your net profit. You won’t have enough customers to support your it.

Your attention needs to be split between both yourfrontend and backend, based on whether you’re primarily in a growth stage or a profit-building stage of your business.

Mistake #3: Not Maximizing Revenue During The Buying Process Itself

As we just discussed, your front-end products/services are designed to acquire customers, not primarily to increase your bottom-line profit. Almost every single 7-plus figure business breaks even with new customers, and makes up for it after the initial first sale by selling them more, higher-end products and services. Because of that, you want to make those customers as profitable as you can, as fast as you can. You can do this by understanding their behavior.

Anything you offer after the initial sale should convey at least one of those three main benefits to the person you’re selling to. If it doesn’t, you’re likely not being congruent between your offers.

Here’s an example:

A weight loss company sells an information product, “How To Get Shredded In 6 Weeks”.

A congruent offer would be personal coaching. The coach would be their one-on-one mentor to get them to their goals two times faster on average, with less stress.

It allows them to get faster, easier results. It fits perfectly into the reason they bought the original product (wanting to get shredded). You know most people will be interested in this, because it’s an extension of what they just bought.

An incongruent offer would be offering them a course on how to build a lot of muscle and achieve the bodybuilder look.

A body builder's interests are dependent on what market segment he or she falls into.
This body builder’s congruent offer might not be the same as another who is trying to bulk out.

Yes, a portion of the audience might want that, but another (larger) portion probably wouldn’t.

In this case, you would be better offering the muscle-building course via retargeting, or by segmenting based on who clicks on your buyers email sequence.

The point is, the first 24 hours after a person buys something from you is critical. I’ve seen campaigns increase overall sales by two or three times–or more, in a 24 hour window.

Mistake #4: Failing To Uncover Your Hyper Responsive Buyers

Uncovering your hyper-buyers is one of the most effective, yet rarely used strategies for business growth I’ve seen.

In every market, a portion of the customers you are serving want to spend more money with you. Are you currently serving them?

Having a high-ticket offer in your sales funnel is one of the fastest ways to double your business I’ve ever come across. To show you what I mean, let’s do some math.

Let’s say you currently have just one product or service (for simplicity’s sake).You sell 1,000 of these each month for $100. Or 100 of them for $1,000 in the case of a service.

That’s $100,000 per month. Now you decide to add a higher ticket item into the mix.

In his book, 80/20 Sales & Marketing, author Perry Marshall shows research proving that 20% of any given audience would be willing to spend four times the amount of money they just spent with you. I can personally attest to that statement, as my own stats match it almost perfectly.

In this case, 200 of those customers might be willing to spend $400 with you.That’s an extra $80,000– nearly doubling your profits, by adding a single offer. That is, as long as it’s congruent enough to get at least 20% of your customers to buy it.

After seeing these results, you could decide to take it up another level.

You come out with something four times higher than that product ($1,600) and again, maybe 20% of those buyers will purchase it. 20% of 200 comes out to 40 people. 40 multiplied by $1,600 is another $64,000.

That takes you from $100,000 per month to an astonishing $244,000 per month, simply by adding two high-end products and services to your backend. If those numbers seem high to you, realize that we’re talking about selling to existing buyers–not your total list which would include prospects.

Mistake #5: Using Online Marketing Only

Want to make more impact and reach an audience you currently aren’t reaching? Add direct mail to your marketing efforts. Most people these days are obsessed with marketing on the Internet. They call themselves “Internet Marketers”.

That is the worst term I’ve ever heard. Have you ever heard anybody say they’re a newspaper marketer? A radio marketer? A only by pay-per-click marketer? Of course not. Promoting your business online is just one method of growing your business.

By creating a hybrid marketing approach, you hit people with multi-modalities and tap into segments of market you are not currently reaching.

One of the biggest hindrances to conversion rates these days is attention. We deal with so many distractions online, sometimes it’s perplexing even understanding how people get any work done. (Most don’t.)

If you want to break through the clutter, stand out, and increase your sales, go offline.

Send automated postcards to new buyers, offering them an additional upsell. Create reactivation campaigns designed to win back customers who have not done business with you in awhile. Compile a manual list of the people who have already spent the most money with you for your new high-end offer and reach out to them via “lumpymail.” Easy!

But even as you take some of your marketing offline, you’ll still want the best methodology to track the information you collect online for these practices. You’ll find functionality for this in PageWiz as you design variant landing pages that engage your ideal customer and easy to implement forms that help you collect information to use offline.

You can track which segments of your market have responded to particular variants of your page from your dashboard as you tailor a message to follow up with them via targeted campaigns and expert copywriting.

The Pagewiz dashboard is a fantastic place to organize campaigns and analyze data from variant testing.
Users responding to variants of a campaign can be easily tracked from PageWiz’s dashboard.

Mistake #6: Lack Of Segmentation

Ever get an email from a company which included an offer you had absolutely no interest in? There is a good chance you’re creating that same negative experience for the people on your list as well.

By segmenting your list, you are able to speak directly to their desires, fears and frustrations while delivering offers that make sense to them. This allows you to stop speaking in generalities and speak directly to the core of that person.

A person's interests and personality are key in marketing of any type--including digital.
Speaking to a person’s interests and personality is a long-tested and time-honored sales tactic that should not be ignored by digital marketers.

Ever have someone speak to you in a way that made you resonate deeply with what they were saying? Did it feel incredible?

Whole books can be written about segmentation, but here’s a quick list of segments you can create in your business.

1. Segment prospects based on specific interests

2. Segment prospects & buyers

3. Segment those who show an active interest in your site (i.e. they clicked on specific links several times)

4. Segment based on whether that person is a cold/warm lead

5. Segment based on demographics

I’ve seen an email campaign increase by 270% after we segmented an audience and began sending them more targeted emails. It works.

Mistake #7: Failing To Introduce Continuity Offers

Continuity in any business gives you the added security and freedom from knowing you’ll have enough money in the bank at the beginning of the month to pay the rent.

I typically suggest introducing continuity offers to existing buyers. You can also sometimes sell continuity to prospects if it’s a low-end offer. Your membership program should then be used to funnel those members into higher end offers, so you get the continuous stream of income along with the bigger chunks of cash flow all at once.

Just remember–it’s all about value.

Putting It All Together

When I work with private clients, these are some of the biggest mistakes I see people making in their sales funnels. You probably noticed mistakes you’re currently making in your own funnel.

I hope this has helped you and I urge you to comment and let me know which one of these seven you’ll be fixing first!

Landing Pages Designer

Jeremy Reeves is a sales funnel specialist. He builds advanced marketing funnels for his own businesses and clients. He has added over $40 million in revenue for his clients in the past few years alone.