How To Create Effective Sales Funnels With Your Marketing, Website & Emails

Your website is just 1 step in the process to capture leads, clients & customers. But most business owners that create a website for themselves often turn their website into a dead-end. 

Creating a "Sales Funnel" simply means creating a way in which a bunch of targeted people are led towards an end goal, which is usually to purchase the product or service you offer that meets a need in the marketplace.

Here are the 4 main steps you must address in order to create an effective Sales Funnel:

1. Drive people to your website
There are hundreds of ways to do this, such as word-of-mouth referrals, business cards, door-to-door flyers, Facebook Ads, Google Adwords, Twitter ads, SEO & blogging, and other third-party referral websites that bring people directly to your website. Don't try to do all of these marketing methods at once. Instead, pick 2 or 3 that seem the most appropriate for the audience you are trying to capture. If you know who your typical customer is, then it's easier to figure out which method will work best for your business.

2. Clearly create a call to action on your website with email sign ups or contact forms
This is a big one that business owners glaze over, but is crucial. Your website must effectively capture email addresses through a subscription sign-up box, a contact form, a pop-up, chat/messaging box or other interactive feature. These "Call To Action" boxes must be super obvious on each page of your website and must direct your visitor to take action. The sales funnel on your website is not necessarily a call to buy something right away, but instead should lead a visitor to "take the first step" towards becoming a customer or client. 

3. Send out weekly email marketing
Another thing that business owners often shy away from is regular email marketing. However, studies consistently show that it is the highest-converting marketing method available to small businesses. If you fail to send regular email marketing to your list of email contacts, then you'll fail to grow your business in 2018. Your emails don't have to be amazing or fancy. You simply need to do it, practice it, and learn how to get better at doing it over time. Email marketing is a great way to build trust with your audience, show how your product or service is valuable, and gives people the opportunity to ask questions or engage with you directly. If you don't do weekly email marketing, your business will likely stagnate. 

4. Call people to action back on your website, or with an email or phone call
Studies also show that people need at least 7 or more moments of exposure to your brand before they are willing to purchase. That's because people need time to consider their options, compare prices, gather feedback, look at reviews online, or wait until they feel your brand is trustworthy. So once you start doing regular marketing on a blog, email newsletter, social media, or direct mail marketing, you should be prepared to lead people towards taking action. And that's often the most effective with an email marketing "Call To Action." That means pointing them back to your website to purchase an item, or inviting them to call you or email you to get started with your services.

These are the 4 main steps of using marketing, websites and email campaigns to grow your business online and create a Sales Funnel. In 2018, if your business relies on internet traffic, then organizing your marketing with these 4 steps is absolutely crucial. 

Squarespace & GDPR

Squarepace has always made it easier for small business owners to keep up with technology updates. They tend to take care of all the details, like making websites SSL/HTTPS secure, integrating mobile responsive design into their templates, and ensuring the platform doesn't break.

With the GDPR changes coming at the end of May 2018, the main thing you need to be aware of is this:

If people from the European Union go on your website, you can't collect their info unless you ask for explicit permission from them. It has to be super obvious that if they are signing up for a newsletter that you will be using their email address or other information fairly, appropriately, without being sneaky. 

The main thing Squarespace recommends you do is create a Privacy Policy for your website. Instead of making this up from scratch, it will be best to make your own template and edit the details with your own company info. For instance, do a Google Search for "GDPR Privacy Policy Template for Websites."

Here is what Squarespace recommends you do as well: 

  1. Create or update your privacy policy on your website
  2. Let people know what you are collecting, like cookie data from Google Analytics or email addresses from Mailchimp
  3. What you will do with that information, like look at analytical data or use it for email marketing

Learn more at Squarespace's website here.

How Often You Should Send Email Marketing With Mailchimp

Most small businesses are scared to send out regular email marketing to their clients and customers. But it is the most important way to drive new business back to your website, being more important than Social Media & online advertising. Don't be afraid if you're email marketing isn't that good at first, or that people might unsubscribe. It's more important that you continue to practice and send out email marketing at least once per week. 

If you're a small business, using Mailchimp.com is the best way to get started because it is so easy to use and learn, as long as you understand the basic principals of email marketing. 

How To Use SEO With Squarespace

In 2018, SEO is really about creating great content that other people will want to read. It's not about web development tricks, using secret codes, or keyword cramming. That is why Squarespace is the perfect platform to use for your business and to develop SEO. Squarepsace takes care of all the technical website and back-end details, like creating SSL certificates, making your site mobile responsive, and ensuring the technology is up to date. That way, you can spend more of your time writing and creating helpful content on a blog that other people will want to write. And the more helpful content you create, the higher Google will rank you in SEO. 

Here's Why Your Photography Website Isn't Working

Most photographers copy other photographer's websites, and so they all end up looking the same. But most photography websites just sit online and do nothing for their business. Your website may not be driving enough leads because it is missing some really important elements in order to work effectively. 

Here are 4 ways to make your Photography website much better:

1 Make a clear call to action for people to ask for pricing or to book a session
Having a basic "Contact" page isn't enough. You must tell your visitors what to do in clear way. For instance, "Get Pricing Now" or "Book Your Session" is a much more clear Call To Action and leads visitors to do something on your site. Simply saying to "Get In Touch" makes your visitors have to think too hard about what they should say to you. If you give them directions, such as "Fill out this form to get pricing" or "Fill out this form to schedule your photo shoot" then they are more likely to fill out the form and get started with you. Ask your visitor to take the next step.

2 Blog on useful topics for your clientele
Most photographers have a bunch of blog posts on their most recent work. While this is helpful to show people that you are actively working as a Photographer, it's not much more valuable other than that. Instead, blog on topics such as "Here are the best 5 spots in Waco, Texas to get great family photography" or "Here is a free checklist on how to get your kids prepared for your upcoming family photoshoot." This is information that your clientele will actually find valuable and is more likely to read. Great photos are important, but you must pair it with very useful information to your ideal client. 

3 Capture email addresses with a PDF download or Checklist
This is a huge mistake that most Photographers and all other business owners make. They don't use their website as a way to capture email addresses. So, instead, their website sits online and does nothing for their business. It ends up being a dead-end. The most important thing you can do with your website is to capture email addresses, and there are so many ways to do this. You can offer a free "Pricing Sheet" PDF download, or a free "Fashion Shoot Checklist" download, or "How To Prep For Your Photoshoot" PDF download. There are so many creative things you can do to collect email addresses. But the worst is "Sign up for our newsletter." Nobody fills that out, and it doesn't do anything to help your business. Get creative with how you collect email addresses.

4 Show only your best photography, not all of your photography
A big mistake photographers do is just pile on thousands of photos on their website. No one is going to look through all of them. Instead, just show the 20 or 40 photos that people say "Wow" or "I love this one so much" or "I want my photoshoot to look just like this." If you show only your best photos, people are more likely to get in touch with you for the quality of the work you show. So don't just show every single photo you've ever taken. Just show your best work.