A sales funnel is a model that illustrates how online business makes sales, from a customer’s first awareness of the brand to the close of a purchase. The funnel begins with awareness and proceeds through a number of different steps that vary depending on the model of business used. No matter what steps are in between, the final portion of the funnel is the purchase. The wider you can make the base of your sales funnel, the more successful your business becomes.

Create a Superior Landing Page

Your website’s landing page is usually the first thing that customers see when they visit your store. This also means that the way in which you present your landing page is the first impression that helps form a newcomer’s opinion about your business. Make sure that you create an attractive, easy to read landing page that can impress new visitors while also providing useful information to returning customers. You should make sure to include an easy way to subscribe to the website so customers can receive future updates and your contact information so people can get in touch with you easily.

Think about the Pre-Sell

When you have a visitor’s attention, getting that individual to take the first step into the sales funnel becomes absolutely essential. You can boost your chances of a conversion by focusing on the pre-sell. This means you need to provide products and services that engage the potential customer and encourage an additional click. To accomplish this, make sure that the most popular products are front and center, either right at the top of the page or in easy sight for any visitor. By presenting familiar and popular front-end offers, you engage the visitor and move them along the sales funnel.

Provide Cross-Sell Options

Once a customer takes an interest in your pre-sell, they move further down the funnel and should become targets of cross-sell offers. A cross-sale is the addition of an accessory or related product that can work with the main item of interest. You should make these add-on items relatively small and affordable, and make sure that they remain relevant to the product your potential customer has already expressed an interest in.

Make Downsizing Easy

While it doesn’t seem desirable because it means less revenue coming in from the sale, allowing customers to downsize their order at any point helps you move them further down the sales funnel. The ability to reduce costs by discarding items from the cart, editing quantities, or getting a similar but more affordable substitute for a product keeps customers who might abandon a sale due to budget reasons moving closer to that final checkout.

Communicate with People who Leave the Funnel

The reason it’s called a sales funnel is because each step decreases in overall size, with the smallest part of the funnel being the people who complete a sale. Some attrition through the process is natural and expected, but there are ways to bring people back into the funnel even after they leave. Keeping track of abandoned shopping carts, for example, gives you a way to send a gentle reminder about the potential sale. This brings some people back and sometimes provides you with reasons as to why a person left the funnel in the first place.

Leverage Social Media

All sales funnels begin with a single click. In most cases, this click comes from a landing page, which takes the customer to a product page, which takes them to the shopping cart, and so on. Social media is another major way to get people to the product page and enter them into your funnel. Make sure to provide links to special deals and items of interest, using clear, attractive pictures. This will provide an alternate entrance to the funnel.

Follow up after the Sale

While some may view the sales funnel to be complete following a purchase, it’s worth noting that the true success of the funnel occurs when you manage to create a repeat customer. To accomplish this, make sure you follow up with the customer after the purchase is complete. This includes standard emails such as shipping notifications, but also a quick follow up to check for customer satisfaction or to offer a chance to write a review. Taking this step helps you build a relationship with the customer.

Using the funnel technique helps to convert general traffic into actual sales. If you build the funnel appropriately, it also demonstrates how easy and efficient the purchasing process can be, encouraging those customers to come back again in the future.