Sometimes, when you’re stumped about why your sales funnel isn’t converting the optimal amount of customers, it helps to look at examples. We’ve revisited more than 10 companies that have strong sales funnels to see what changes they’ve made over the years. We’ve also added several brand new sales funnel examples and we plan to add more in the future.
The metaphor of the funnel is used because people drop away at each stage of a long sales process: for example, many of your unqualified prospects may have existing suppliers with whom they're very satisfied. Others may have needs which other competitors are better-placed to satisfy. Still, others may love your products, but not have the budget to buy them.
However, many businesses prefer not to add dozens or hundreds of additional marketing pages to their website—especially if they don’t plan on running a particular marketing campaign forever. In addition, creating a landing page on most websites can be a real headache, so unless you have solid design and coding skills, building your landing pages on your own website might be overwhelming.
If you're wondering what a sales funnel is, simply imagine a real-world funnel. At the top of that funnel, some substance is poured in, which filters down towards one finite destination. In sales, something similar occurs. At the top, lots of visitors arrive who may enter your funnel. However, unlike the real-world funnel, not all who enter the sales funnel will reemerge out from the other end.
In this example, Spotify attracted you to their service through a mix of SEO and brand recognition. Their offer for a free Spotify subscription converted you from an anonymous website visitor into a lead and the email helped close the deal. But it didn't stop there. The high quality of service and social sharing options inspired you to refer friends so the cycle could continue.
Netflix changes its background image based on what movies and shows are being promoted. Their site is very simple. There’s a risk reversal right off the bat. You can cancel any time and not be locked into anything. You can try it free for a month. They’re not saying, “Hey, this is movies streaming online.” They’re relying on the power of their brand.
Unfortunately, most people instinctively distrust marketing material. Generally speaking, most marketers tell the story that puts their offer in the best possible light. After all, marketers make money off of telling people their product is great. Maybe your offer is as good as you say it is, but it’s hard to believe someone who gets paid to talk about how awesome their offer is.
When I first wrote this article in 2011, I mentioned how the marketing copy for Crazy Egg’s heat-mapping feature could have been stronger by better explaining how the tool helps customers to increase conversions. While this information is clearer now thanks to the detailed visuals and simple copy layout that allows the reader to skim and scan — it could be better by explaining a bit more.