Let’s talk about funnels in general before we dig into the Swim Lane Sales Funnel strategy.
A sales funnel represents the very simple steps that your business orchestrates to drive your target audience from strangers to customers. The number of phases or steps may vary based on your business, however the end goal is the same. To do this, you need to have them opt in for something for free, nurture them either to a webinar, workshop or free strategy call and then encourage them to buy one of your products or services. Voila! That’s it.
Again, most small business owners struggle because they don’t have all the pieces in place and they’re frustrated. They’re either trying to outsource their funnel or they just don’t know how to construct it effectively. They’re overwhelmed and see this process as way too complicated. So they continue to consume more information and try to add to it instead of take away. Things like, what should I build? What really works? What tools to use? Do I use lead pages or click funnels? Not to mention other issues like, how to format the content itself? What to say in the content? What time to send the content? What do I title my content?
The result of all this noise is a leaky bucket. You put together a funnel and it doesn’t work properly because its taped together. It’s leaking and killing your business.
Even worse, a lot of business owners try to outsource their funnels because they see it as too complicated or because they don’t have the time. Don’t do this. Never, ever. You must make the time. You must be the architect of your own destiny, this holds true for life and business. You have to drive your strategy. Don’t get me wrong, I love outsourcing. But I outsource tasks, not strategy. Think about it. If you pay some “expert” a handsome price for a “done for you funnel” don’t be surprised if you don’t achieve the results you’re seeking. The reason is simple. The content, execution, excitement, heart, promise and motivation will be lacking. It’s not genuine and your audience can sense it from a mile away. Don’t waste your money.
Now to the good part. You can build a simple funnel that requires only a few steps and will be an absolute game changer for your business.
Let’s dive in and break down the swim lane sales funnel template. I’m excited to share this with you as this is the simplest and powerful marketing strategy that you’re going to see.
So what’s with the name, Swim Lane Sales Funnel?
Imagine an Olympic-size swimming pool with ropes dividing up the lanes for the swimmers. These lanes provide each swimmer a clear path from point A to point B. Your new marketing strategy works based on this same concept. There are five unique paths or “lanes” you should be using to move your prospects to the next step (or lane) of your funnel. From where they enter your world (point A) to where they will eventually end up (point B).
This is also fully automated, which means that once you set it up, it works for you.
Right now, while I’m writing this, there are leads coming in, people clicking on ads, going through my courses and buying my products. And most importantly, it qualifies and sorts out the people that are not a good fit for my business. So think about that. Sure, you’ll need a little elbow grease up front, but then it’s “show me the money”! The bottom line is you can generate clients on demand. Think about the power of turning up your leads at will. Imagine saying “Yeah, I want some more leads this month. Lets’ just crank up the ads”. With an effective funnel you can do this confidently because you know that your funnel produces x amount of customers based on x amount of leads.
Let me go ahead and just pull back the curtain on the exact steps that I use to build this funnel, the exact ads, the lead magnets, the landing pages. I’m going to show you everything I did, so you can use the same model. I’m holding nothing back here.
Obviously, I have to make a disclaimer that I can’t guarantee these results for you. You have to actually do the work and put in the time. As simple as the frameworks might be, there are no shortcuts.
OK, so after you have your concrete foundation in place (the first 4 of the 7 steps: avatar, USP, signature system and perfect offer) and your lead magnet thought out, we can move on to creating…
THE 5 SWIM LANES OF EVERY SUCCESSFUL SALES FUNNEL:
- Landing Pages
Landing pages are a series of actual webpages, with a single call to action. Your funnel will consist of these landing pages and should mirror your sales process. Before you create your landing pages, its important to ask yourself “what actions do I want my prospective clients to take before they buy my time or services?”
Perhaps they initially opt in for your lead magnet of a free guide or tool kit. From there you might want them to get on the phone with you or go to a webinar, then maybe buy something or come into the office. Each one of these steps should have their own, individual landing page with a single form and goal in mind. The page might be an appointment confirmation page or video series, whatever the case it should be a specific page for that specific action.
I started to grow my business by simply driving the below Facebook ad to an opt-in page offering a lead magnet, then I offer a free webinar after that. So, after they clicked on the ad and downloaded my lead magnet, I sent them to a thank you page where I talk about something along the lines of:
“Hey, I’m glad you got the lead magnet. Let me walk you through it.” Which is an opportunity for me to build trust with them, and then I go on to say..
“There’s a bigger opportunity here. Your website is only a small part of the process. Sign up for this free webinar and I’ll help you get crystal clear on the whole big picture and change the way you look at your business.”
After the webinar, the next step in my funnel is a free 15 min call (only if they qualify based on their monthly revenue, which I collected with a field on my lead magnet page). If they qualify (doing over 20k monthly), I give them access to my calendar to book a brief call. The goal of the call is to qualify them for my high end mastermind group (because I know their more advanced and can afford it). If they don’t qualify (under 20k monthly), I send them to a lower end offer geared towards beginners.
If you have a consulting business or you’re a professional service provider, don’t offer a free consultation right off the bat (and never call it a consultation, call it a triage or strategy call). It’s a waste of your time and money. Have baby steps in place at the top of the funnel to weed out and qualify folks. Also, your audience needs to learn to trust you before they buy anything you offer. It’s usually a good idea to date before you get married, right?
This process is pretty straightforward. So, from a Facebook ad, to a cheat sheet, to a free webinar to a triage call or low end offer. Weed out the unqualified folks and build trust with those that are qualified.
- Email Sequence
Most of you have some kind of email auto responder. If not, you can start with something simple like MailChimp. For more advanced folks InfusionSoft might be a better fit. Regardless of what email software you use, you need to know how to progress your leads with good copy if they don’t take the next step in your funnel on their own.
How do you effectively do this? Well, you guessed it. We use a marketing framework called The P5 Copy Strategy. This framework is really effective because at the end of the day there are only 5 motivating forces that encourages a person to take action: stating a problem, promise, proof, ping or promotion.
You’re going to get their attention by tapping into their pain by stating a problem or frustration that you know their currently dealing with. What’s keeping them up at night? You know this because you’ve done your homework and mapped out their avatar.
The promise of what’s life going to be like if you get go from point A to point B. From stress and overwhelm to perhaps balance and freedom (you need to make a disclaimer here, you cannot guarantee anything. Real results will only come from hard work and determination. You cannot do this for them).
An impressive case study of how one client went from struggling to succeeding using your product or services. More detail the better.
A simple email asking a quick question. This will encourage thought, a response and action. For example, “What’s your biggest frustration?” “What are you currently struggling with?” “Where do you want to be in 90 days from now.” This is also a great way to collect data and understand what your audience wants, needs, desires in more detail.
This email is exactly as it sounds. It’s a promotion you’re willing to offer: a free strategy session, 50% off your membership site, 2 for 1 if you take action now, etc.
Make sure that you use each one or a variation of these psychological trigger emails. People respond to different forces emotionally, some will be more averse to a ping email and others will be more allured by the promise of a better future. So addresses all of them to make sure you’ve got everyone covered. Not to mention, having a framework for copy sure kicks writers block to the curb (or at least to the sidewalk).
3. Retargeting Ads
Retargeting sounds like one of those techy words that makes your brain want to shut down and go back to bed. The truth is it’s easy to implement and extremely powerful.
So let’s reflect for a minute. We have our landing pages rocking, we’re nurturing our list with awesome email content and people are moving through our funnel. Now, the fun part (that most every business owner wants to skip to from the beginning). We get to create some ads.
For those of you that are not familiar with retargeting ads, they allow you to gain authority and even a micro celebrity status within your niche by portraying the perception that you’re everywhere on the web.
Have you ever gone shopping on Amazon? Say you viewed a pair of shoes but decided not to hit the “buy now” button. You’ve decided to think on this purchase for a bit. While contemplating, you click over to People.com to read about who wore it best and whoa! There are the same shoes from Amazon in a sidebar ad.
This is the beauty of retargeting. You simply place a piece of tracking code on your website, upload some ads to retargeting software such as Perfect Audience or AdRoll and submit what ads you want following certain people (based on what pages and actions they were taking on your site).
For example, if I had somebody visit my webinar page but not opt in for it, I will follow them around the web with a webinar ad reminding them to sign up.
If Amazon keeps following me around the web with an image of those shoes, chances are I will click at some point and buy them.
Not to mention, your ads are being placed on reputable sites such as Forbes, New York Times, The Drudge Report, etc. You can’t beat that bang for your buck because conversions are cheap and you’re literally everywhere.
- Personal Outreach
In this digital environment, too many internet marketing gurus and small businesses owners place little value on good old-fashioned customer service and selling. Smart companies like Digital Marketer and marketers like Russell Brunson are saying, “Hey, where should I put human contact?” And the same should hold true for you as well.
If you know a lead to your business is worth 50 bucks, why wouldn’t you (or your team) touch base when they register for a webinar and after they’ve attended? A simple introduction is all people need sometimes. Remember when you used to get handwritten cards in the mail? It’s like that. Stand out from the mind numbing norm and make an impression. Be genuine and attentive to their questions and concerns, help them, share your knowledge. The time spent will be well worth it.
- Offline Marketing
The focus these days is on digital. So like I mentioned earlier, if you put a simple thank-you card or sales letter in the mail, it really goes a long way. Even with new clients. Send them a book, workbook, some swag after they signup and you’ll leave a lasting impression. Their happy and more opt to refer you to their friends. Letters, postcards and gifts are a great way to stand out and gain attention.
So the choice is yours. You can spin your wheels and go deeper into information overload, trying to figure out funnels, outsourcing and complex marketing systems or you can just use the proven Swim Lane Sales Funnel to build your business successfully. Again, I’ve used this exact formula to build a 7 figure business over. The proof is in the pudding.
And remember, the difference between 90% complete and 0% complete is still 0% complete. It doesn’t matter what you’re working on. It matters what is live and that is proven to work.
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