Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Content That Converts: Writing for Your Sales Funnel

We've all seen tons of websites that just didn't do it for us for whatever reason. Maybe you got hit with a gigantic wall of text covering everything the company does, thinks, and believes, when all you wanted was to find the right replacement part for your lawnmower motor. Or maybe you clicked onto a page promising to solve that exact issue, only to slog through more generalized, irrelevant content. It's enough to make you jump ship for a competitor's website, isn't it? Well, your online presence may be suffering the same problem -- a low conversion rate caused by folks ejecting themselves from your sales funnel.

Attention-grabbing Articles

If you've been in sales for long, you know of course that the sales funnel is your system from grabbing a large number of visitors and narrowing that number down to red-hot qualified leads. You scoop them into the top of the sales funnel by coming up in their online search for a particular problem, topic, or question. For instance, someone in the Austin area searching for "lawnmower trouble" might be rewarded with a link to your blog article on "Lawnmower Troubleshooting Tips for Austin Homeowners." The article itself might invite readers to click through to your website for more helpful information. So now you've got Austin homeowners coming to your site for answers to their lawnmower problems. Assuming that's what you wanted, congratulations!

Web Wrangling

But there's still the rest of the funnel to guide your prospective customers through -- and without the proper content, you'll lose them somewhere along the way. You might even lose them right from the home page, in fact. Some businesses try to land the sale immediately, which not comes across as pushy but also turns the home page into a gigantic mess of "Here's way more than you wanted to know. Now click here to purchase." Sales don't work that way! You have to route your visitors to specific areas of the site that offer solid, specific solutions. Make sure your site navigation is clear enough that they can find these portals quickly and easily.

Landing Leads

Your customers-to-be are now in the midpoint of the sales funnel: your product or service landing pages. These pages do a lot of the heavy lifting in converting your prospects. Now that you've gout your audience pared down to a specific need or interest, here's your chance to demonstrate your detailed understanding of their problem, along with an exciting sales pitch for your solution. There's a good chance that your visitor might be intrigued enough to make a purchase or contact your business at this point -- but don't count on it!

Fulfilling Followups

Yes, there's usually one more level of the sales funnel to negotiate. Your visitor may be almost ready to buy from you, but maybe not right this minute. It's imperative that you grab their contact information at this point so you can continue to follow up with them later. You do this by enticing them to sign up for a special offer such as, say, a free ebook on "How to Keep Your Lawnmower Working for 50 Years." You can then send them periodic email blasts and e-newsletters to keep them interested until they finally buy.

As you can see, different parts of the sales funnel call for different kinds of marketing content. Once you've achieved this fine tuning, you'll be able to keep those visitors moving through the funnel until they emerge as genuine leads. Contact me if you'd like some professional help as you write your way to higher conversion rates!