Steal Their Thunder: The Best Sales Funnel Examples of 2018
Digital marketing is more competitive than it’s ever been. There’s a lot of competition in any conceivable market that you’ve got to stand out from. There are currently almost 2 billion websites online and that number’s growing by the second.
Digital marketers also have a nearly infinite array of powerful tools at their disposal. These powerful marketing tools give independent businesses the same tools and techniques that Fortune 500 companies use. These tools become even more powerful when paired with solid business principles and best practices.
We’re going to focus on a powerful, popular digital marketing technique that still manages to be misunderstood. Sales funnels are a way to help steer your customers through the buyer’s cycle as efficiently as possible.
To help you make sense of the current state of digital marketing and sales funnels, we’ll be taking a look at some of 2018’s best sales funnel examples to see what’s working and what isn’t.
2018’s Best Sales Funnel Examples
To get a sense of what constitutes the best sales funnel, let’s start with the basics. We’ll take a look at what a sales funnel is and how they can help streamline your digital marketing and eCommerce efforts.
What Is A Sales Funnel?
Digital marketing and eCommerce have made the buying process exponentially more complex and nuanced than any other time in history. Customers are more informed and have more options with so many businesses competing in the same industries.
This whole process is called the ‘buyer’s cycle’ or sometimes ‘the buyer’s journey’. It’s got several phases with more being added all the time. This is where your online sales funnel comes in.
The first stage of the buyer’s cycle is ‘Awareness’. This is the stage where a potential customer realizes they have a problem and that there may be a solution to it.
The next stage is called ‘Interest’. It’s when your audience indicates they may be interested in a product or service. Reading product reviews is one possible indication of interest, for example.
‘Evaluation’ is the next stage in the buyer’s cycle. This is when customers are actively researching products or services and comparing their options. Reading a blog post comparing multiple products might be one signal that your customer has entered the evaluation stage of the buyer’s journey.
The sales funnel is tightening by the time your customer reaches the ‘Decision’ phase. This is the final step before making actual conversions. The decision phase is where the customer reaches a decision and begins negotiations.
This is the phase of the buyer’s cycle where the purchase is actually made. Your sales funnel should always be driving towards the ‘Purchase’ phase. There are different ways to go about this, however, as we’ll see a little later.
The ‘Re-evaluation’ phase can be useful for marketers in a variety of ways. One is reaching out to customers who have made a purchase with your company and seeing how they are liking your product or service. Contract renewal is another if you’re offering a service with a set expiration date.
The ‘Re-evaluation’ phase of the buyer’s cycle is the stage where your marketing data and overall business strategy intersect. Your customers can give you ideas on things that need to be improved on your existing products.
Customer feedback can even give you an idea for future business ideas if you listen carefully!
The final stage of the buyer’s cycle is similar to the ‘Re-evaluation’ phase. The ‘Repurchase’ phase is when a customer buys your products or services again.
If someone’s satisfied enough with your products to become a regular customer, you must be doing something right!
You should definitely try to poll these customers to see what’s working and what isn’t. They’re the gold standard of your audience base. You should appeal to them in any way possible.
Sales Funnel Examples For Success
Now that we have a better understanding of what sales funnels are, let’s take a look at some real-world examples to figure out how you can optimize your digital sales strategies.
Web hosting isn’t exactly glamorous, despite the fact that we all need it. That’s part of what makes WPEngine‘s sales funnel so striking.
What’s most striking about WPEngine’s sales funnel is the lack of pop-ups. Instead of focusing on all of the modern gimmicks, WPEngine focuses on time-honored marketing techniques and doing them really well.
First off, WPEngine features a popular, authoritative blog. This checks the boxes for inbound and content marketing. They also feature a lot of free webinars, as an example of offering an incentive to get customers to sign up.
Secondly, WPEngine features discounts and deals from time to time. While certain marketers don’t like to rely on sales to generate traffic and leads, there’s no denying the power of a good deal to whet a customer’s appetite for the main course.
Lastly, WPEngine has an extensive affiliate program which brings in a lot of their traffic and leads. This is an old-fashioned example of social proof, crossing the divide between pro blogging and traditional testimonials.
Logojoy‘s sales funnel is a truly striking example of a couple different modern marketing trends.
First of all, they offer their inspiring AI-enhanced design services for free, for customers looking for a logo when they’re on a strict budget. They offer numerous add-ons at this point of the funnel, from business cards and social media packages.
They also offer upscale design packages with actual graphic designers for those looking for something more elaborate.
Finally, they have a popular blog, like most of the company’s on our list. You shouldn’t overlook the powerful potential of inbound marketing, if you haven’t started blogging in earnest yet.
Subtlety can be advantageous in all sorts of places, from cuisine to interior design. Your sales funnel is not the time or place to practice being indirect, however.
Grasshopper’s sales funnel is an excellent example of telling your customers not only what to do, but why they should do it, as well. They earn over $60 million, each year, so it’s clearly working. Let’s find out why…
Grasshopper’s sales funnel starts right off with a clear, click-worthy headline that lets customers know why they should try out their services. ‘The #1 Choice of Top Entrepreneurs’, in big, bold 32-point headline font.
They dive right into how it works from there, using a series of bold, colorful illustrations to drive their point home. There’s also a brief, thorough introductory video explaining how it works, as well. This lets Grasshopper take advantage of the rising popularity of video marketing.
Grasshopper’s sales funnel is a good example of how a sales funnel can work with other branches of traditional sales and marketing, from copywriting to web design. All of the pieces of your digital presence need to work together for your sales funnel to convert properly.
Mary Hong Art
Marketing art, creative products, or services is challenging at the best of times. It’s hard to convince people to buy original creations even though art makes our lives much more inspiring and uplifting.
The amount of competition between artists vying for the same hearts, minds, and wallets has made marketing art and creativity on the Internet a mad dash for the bottom. Artists are selling themselves short, looking to beat out their ‘competition’. Ultimately, everyone loses in this configuration.
Mary Hong Art‘s sales funnel is an inspiring glimpse of how to sell and market online effectively.
Mary Hong Art focuses on creating ShardWorx kits, meaning she has access to a large community of crafters and aspiring artists. She found herself frustrated with sales, nonetheless, causing her to look into optimizing her sales funnel.
First off, she created a 5-step marketing funnel, based around blog content and her mailing list.
Secondly, Mary Hong realized the ‘Arts & Crafts’ market was too broad and her message was getting lost in the line noise. Instead, she focused on marketing to a niche instead.
To capture her niche’s interest, she made marketing videos instead of relying on text landing pages. Audiences have a longer attention span for video than text, so she has more time to convince her viewers to make a purchase.
Finally, she creates a sense of urgency by making her kits available for a limited time.
All of these marketing techniques are supplemented with time-honored sales approaches, like social proof in the form of testimonials and exceptional visual branding.
All of these techniques, taken together, saw a 412% increase in Mary Hong’s sales over the span of a year!
Basecamp’s sales funnel isn’t exactly reinventing the wheel. They ARE creating an exceptional, exciting, noteworthy digital marketing resource, however, using traditional marketing tools and techniques.
First off, Basecamp have gone all-in with the Testimonials, leveraging the power of social proof for conversions. If you pay attention and read the small print, however, you’ll notice that quantifiable data is also used to convince and persuade as much as personal, relatable sentiments.
Consider this blurb from Tina Lannin of 121 Captions. “We can see exactly what needs to be done and when. We’re much more efficient.” Above this, a statistic reads “89% have a better handle on business.”
Taken together, that’s a powerful selling point. Who doesn’t want to be more efficient and productive? And 89% is an impressive figure. It makes you want to sign up for their services, even if you don’t know what they do yet.
Basecamp also use a lot of eye-catching, colorful illustrations to make their points. It also makes the material more light-hearted and humorous, which is no easy feat for a B2B business!
As one final note, Basecamp include a Thank You note as part of their sales funnel. This adds a personal touch that makes customers seem appreciated, which is one of the main goals of digital marketing in general.
Mixergy’s sales funnel is a mixture of classic sales funnel techniques with some bells and whistles to make it exceptional enough to be worthy of our list.
Mixergy’s blog-roll page is truly the standout feature here. First of all, it entices the reader to browse the website and see what else the entrepreneurship moguls offer. This does double duty in helping to advance Mixergy as thought leaders in the entrepreneurial sector at the same time.
They also feature some of their premium content on their blog-roll landing page, to give the audience a sneak peek into what they’re missing. Mixergy’s sales funnel culminates with a Pricing Page, with two different levels of plans available.
Mixergy’s sales funnel blends social proof, via testimonials, thought leadership, and classical marketing techniques to become an efficient money-making machine.
Mixergy’s sales funnel is also a reminder to not forget about time-honored marketing principles when developing your sales funnel. Their persuasive writing is top-notch, with short, sharp blurbs beneath each section convincing the reader to continue along the buyer’s journey.
If you want your digital marketing and eCommerce to be effective, you need to be focusing on automating as many of your processes as possible. Standardizing some of your marketing activities, to give you clear insights into your marketing efforts. It also frees up your sales and marketing departments so they can focus on more important things that require the human touch.
If you’ve been on the fence about implementing a sales funnel or automating your digital marketing, now’s the time to make the leap. Let 2019 be the year you embrace the future and all of its possibilities.
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