Categories
Funnels

What Is A Tripwire Funnel And How To Use It In A Sales Funnel Strategy

A tripwire funnel is a popular type of sales funnels for one good reason – it works.

It’s a valuable tool in your overall marketing strategy to attract and convert website visitors into buyers.

But, even though tripwires have been around for decades, many people are still confused about how to use them.

The idea behind a tripwire is simple: make an irresistible low-cost offer to gain a new customer. 

Once people have bought an inexpensive item from you, they are more likely to purchase something else.  

That’s the real value of a tripwire funnel. 

Using this method gives you the best opportunity to upsell your new buyer once they are in your sales funnel.

If you’re interested in turning more lookers into buyers, then read on.

We’ll explain what a tripwire is, and how to use a tripwire funnel to boost your leads and generate more sales.

Table Of Contents:

  1. What Is A Tripwire?
  2. Why Use A Tripwire Funnel?
  3. How To Create A Tripwire Offer
  4. How To Use A Tripwire Funnel
  5. How To Test And Measure Your Tripwire Funnel 

What Is A Tripwire? 

Although the word conjures up images of someone getting caught in a trap, the definition is far from sinister!

A tripwire is a compelling, low-priced offer that’s designed solely to turn a prospect into a customer. They’re usually priced at between $5.00 – $30.00, but the majority are less than $20.00.

The price point you choose depends on how your tripwire offer fits in with your higher-priced products. 

It’s important to remember that a tripwire funnel is not the first step in your sales process.

To capture new email subscribers, you must begin with a lead magnet. This is usually a free resource like an ebook, a template bundle or a mini training course delivered via email.

When you have built an email list from your lead magnet signups, you’ll add a tripwire offer to your sales funnel to start generating revenue.

Keep in mind that the goal of a tripwire is not to make money, but to turn leads into first-time customers. 

Why Use A Tripwire Funnel 

Your tripwire funnel gives you 5 main benefits:

  1. It offsets marketing and advertising costs

When you’re promoting your business online, it costs money to generate traffic.

The costs of creating, marketing and advertising can add up quickly. A well-defined tripwire offer will help to offset those costs. 

  1. It fills your email list with buyers.

When someone purchases from you for the first time, they begin to develop their relationship with you via your email communications, social media pages, and your website resources.

This means that they are more emotionally connected to what you offer next – whether that is paid or free content. In other words, they are more likely to buy from you again.

  1. It allows you to test different offers.

Tripwire funnels allow you to test what your market is looking for. 

When you offer a selection of inexpensive products, you will see which topics interest your buyers the most, and customise your follow up communications with them.

This means that you target only those prospects who seek a specific solution to their problems.

  1. It creates audience loyalty.

When you get your tripwire offer right, people are thrilled that you gave away so much value. You’ll create happy and loyal followers when you consistently provide them with high-quality material at a no-pain price point.

  1. It encourages micro-commitments.

Micro-commitments are easier for people to accept because they’re allowed to make smaller decisions over time. Your prospect signs up for your mailing list, buys a small product, then buys a bigger one.

A tripwire offer is the best example of a small commitment which leads your customer to comfortably complete a larger commitment in the future.

How To Create A Tripwire Offer 

The key to a successful tripwire is to create an inexpensive, but irresistible, deal.

A deal so good that someone knows in a split-second that it’s something they must have.

But, first, you need to create your offer.

This is easier than you think because there are multiple ways for you to create tripwire products from content you have created already, e.g. your online course.

What are the main components of a tripwire?

  1. It’s inexpensive

While the price is usually relative to the cost of your main offer, most tripwire offers are under $20.00.

Numbers containing a “7” seem to prevail, so we often see tripwires promoted at $17.00 or $27.00.

  1. Very high quality

You can’t compromise on quality just because you’re selling something cheaply.

Your tripwire offer may be the first interaction many people have with your products. If you fail to impress them right from the start, then why would they buy a more expensive product from you?

  1. Simple to use or implement 

It shouldn’t take another product to explain how to use the first one. Whatever you offer, it must be easy to obtain and implement so that your buyer is clear on what they need to do.

  1. Related to your core offer

What happens if you’re building a mailing list that doesn’t care about your core offer?

You’ll be stuck with customers who won’t buy your flagship course or premium products. It’s easier to make this mistake than you think.

  1. Promises a quick win

Ensure that your tripwire offer allows people to achieve what you promise within a short space of time. For example, if you tell your customers: “Create Your First T-Shirt Graphic in 7 days,” then that must be an attainable goal.

Ideas For Your Tripwire Offer

A Single Course Module 

For example, you might sell an online course that includes written materials, video lessons, and a private Facebook group for members to network and interact with other learners. You could segment off one module from that course and offer it at a low price as a tripwire product.

Bonus Material From Your Online Course

How many digital offers have you seen that include bonus materials?

We’re guessing it’s quite a few.

To incentivize conversions, you might offer one or two bonuses from your primary course. It could include a couple of short videos, several checklists, and a few articles.

A Mini-Course Via Video

This is a relatively simple way to provide a ton of value to your leads. Once your visitor has opted in to your list, send them a welcome email and tell them what to expect over the next 5 or 7 days. 

During that period, you send them a daily email including a short video training on the topic they requested.

Another alternative is to provide a mini-course as an educational email series.

Template Bundles and Checklists

These days, we’re all looking for ways to streamline our processes and reduce the time it takes to complete certain tasks.

This is why downloads of templates and checklists are so popular.

A Low-Cost Trial

A low-cost trial is useful when your main offer is a monthly subscription or membership. The cost of your subscription may vary, but a typical range is between $30 – $75.00 per month.

You might promote your tripwire as low as $1.00 for a 7 or 30-day trial membership. At the end of that period – and if they don’t cancel – your customer gets billed the regular monthly fee. 

Each of the above offers is hard to refuse. 

That’s because they require little effort and cost on the part of your prospect, and they provide excellent value.

More importantly, these tripwire offers show your customers that you deliver what you promise. 

Now, we’ll cover how to use a tripwire funnel.

How To Use A Tripwire Funnel 

Step One: Your Lead Magnet Opt-in

This is the start of your tripwire funnel and it’s exactly what it says – a magnet to generate leads. 

Before you begin actively marketing to a prospect, you’ll need to build a list of email subscribers.

A lead magnet is a free resource that you offer in exchange for someone’s email address.

People discover your lead magnet:

  • Organically – through a search that leads to your website or a particular blog post that offers your lead magnet
  • On social media – from a Facebook ad or Google advertising.

Most businesses promote their lead magnets and free offers via paid advertising because it’s the fastest way to start promoting their paid products.

Once a visitor has signed up, they’re often sent directly to a “thank you” page.

Don’t do that!

Why?

Because you’re missing a great opportunity to sell something to a person who’s already shown an interest in your content.

That’s where step two comes in.

Step Two: Your Tripwire Offer

There’s nothing wrong with sending your new subscriber to a thank you page after they’ve opted in, but thousands of businesses ignore the chance to sell something here.

Present your tripwire offer immediately after someone subscribes to your list. You already have their attention, so make the most of it.

Step 3: Your Bump Offer

It’s always a good idea to include a bump offer in your tripwire funnel.

A bump offer is an extra purchase that is shown to your customer at checkout.

For example, someone decides to purchase your video course for $17.00 (the tripwire) and they get the chance to buy the worksheets that go with the videos for an additional $5.95. 

The worksheets are your bump offer. There’s even better news for you because, if your buyer purchases those worksheets, you’ve just increased the sale value by a massive 35%.

Step 4: Your Upsell Offer

When someone clicks to complete a purchase with the bump offer, you then send them to a new sales page that showcases your upsell.

An upsell is an incredible deal you’re offering on a larger purchase. 

A sense of urgency is often conveyed to your buyer at this stage of your funnel, so that’s why you often see a timer on these pages. 

You’re giving your buyer an incentive to act now, and playing into the psychological effect of FOMO (fear of missing out).

One thing to keep in mind is that the upsells must be relevant to the core product you want them to purchase, otherwise people will drop out of your funnel quickly. 

Step 5: A Second Upsell Offer

You might choose to include an additional upsell in your sales funnel. 

This would follow the one-click upsell above – after your buyer added that to their cart.

Of course, they wouldn’t see your second upsell if they refused the first one.

Step 6: A Downsell Offer

A downsell offer is used when a prospect has declined your upsell offer.

It is always a less expensive option, and we suggest using downsells sparingly.

That’s because you don’t want to give the impression that, if someone waits long enough, they will always see a better deal from you.

Downsell offers target buyers who said “no” by encouraging them to try your higher-priced offer at a low-entry cost.

You might offer a limited-time trial or a payment plan which allows your customer to complete their purchase in several installments.

These offers work well for membership and subscription-based programs. Downsells are usually delivered via an email drip campaign, shortly after your initial tripwire funnel campaign ends.

Step 7: Thank-You Pages

The “Thank-You” page always comes at the end of your tripwire funnel, e.g., after your upsell offers were declined or accepted. 

It is the last page in your tripwire funnel because if it were the other way around, then very few people would stay to view your upsell.

Your thank-you page confirms that an order is complete and that your customer’s product is on its way or available to download. 

Step 8: Facebook Ads and Retargeting Ads

Facebook Ads:

When you place ads on Facebook or drive traffic using any other method, you direct all the traffic to the first page of your tripwire funnel – the lead magnet opt-in page.

It’s possible to run ad campaigns specifically for lead generation and to create a target audience for your ads.

Ideally, you already have a clear customer persona. This enables you to make your audience as specific as possible and direct your advertising towards those prospects most likely to buy from you.

Retargeting Ad Strategy: 

Visitors who’ve been active on your site within the past 30 days are probably still interested in your offers and products.

Retargeting is your chance to convert some of those viewers into buyers. You do this by showing them ads for specific content that brings them back to your website, or to your opt-in forms and tripwire offers.

Step 9: Email Sequences

Every marketer knows that email provides the best ROI, so communicate regularly with your subscribers.

Your aim is to direct them back to your website – and offers – and encourage them to spend more money with you.

An email drip campaign is used throughout the sales funnel for:

  • Promoting your tripwire to your opt-in leads
  • Engagement with those people who bought your tripwire
  • Marketing your core offer to those who purchased your tripwire

In the end, your tripwire sales funnel will probably look something like this:

The right combination of the above pieces in your tripwire funnel can dramatically increase the number of leads and sales you receive. 

How To Test And Measure Your Tripwire Funnel 

It’s great that your tripwire funnel is in place, but you can’t set it and forget it.

To analyse the results you’re getting from your funnel, it’s necessary to track a few metrics.

Some of the data to measure includes:

  • Opt-in conversion rate
  • Tripwire conversion rate
  • Upsell rate
  • Cost per customer acquisition
  • Average cart value

Another way to judge the effectiveness of your tripwire funnel is to A/B test for different elements. A few simple changes will enable you to find out which components work best. 

Consider adjusting some of these details:

  • Page layout design and form placement 
  • The copy language, as well as text sizes, colors, and styles
  • The price of your tripwire product
  • The price of your upsell offer
  • The tripwire that you’re offering
  • The down-sell product that you offer
  • The copy and style of your email sequences

Your tripwire funnel is both a lead generation and a sales machine, so spend time testing different options to create a funnel that meets your targets.

Conclusion 

The tripwire funnel we’ve outlined maximizes the amount of money you make per conversion and gets the prospect used to buying from you.

It’s up to you whether you decide on a basic funnel with a few pages or a more complex one with several extra pages. 

To create and optimize a high tripwire funnel takes time. It’s hard work.

It requires a combination of professional copy, funnel and page design, and strategy. But, it’s a proven and successful model in today’s competitive market.

We don’t doubt that using a tripwire funnel is a fast track to generating leads and sales because that’s exactly what we do for our clients.

If you’d like us to help you do the same, then contact us today.

Categories
Funnels

Sales Funnel: What Kinds are there?

WTF is a funnel?

A sales funnel is all the steps that lead someone from hearing about you for the first time to becoming a lead, getting interested in your products or services and buying. Then buying again and again.

What kinds of funnels are there?

There’s five funnels that I use on a regular basis and I’m going to talk you through them and how to know which one you should use. These funnels are:

  • Tripwire funnel for selling info products
  • Webinar funnel for setting appointments for services sales
  • Webinar funnel for selling online courses
  • Sales funnel for services
  • Free trial funnel for SaaS businesses

There’s a whole lot of other funnels out there (e.g. Ask Funnel, FBA review funnel, FB messenger, Free + Shipping) and there’s tons of variations of all these funnels, but these are the ones I find to be the most common.

How they work and when you should use them

Tripwire funnel for selling info products

Tripwire is one of the simplest funnels, but it’s unbelievably underused. Anybody selling an info product should have a tripwire funnel set up.

You’re selling an info product and you have a lot of traffic coming to your website. You have lead magnets available and people are signing up for them. What you probably don’t have in place is a tripwire funnel.

So, after somebody originally signs up for the lead magnet, you’re probably just thanking them for signing up. And that’s it. 

This is a huge missed opportunity, because this is a magic moment in people’s minds.

Just after they’ve signed up for a lead magnet, they’re at this stage where they’ve had a problem in their lives and have been motivated enough to go and search the Google. They’ve gone through different listings, and then they’ve found your website. Excellent work!

Now that they’ve come to your website, they had a look around and decided that they trust you and your content.  But they wanted their problem solved more, so when they saw a lead magnet available (a cheat sheet, a video course, etc.), they decided to sign up for it. 

Now some percentage of those people (usually between 1-5%) actually want their problem solved more thoroughly right now and are willing to pay money to get that solved immediately. And out of those people, some of them will still buy later if you just follow up by email, but definitely not all of them because you lost their attention – you know how many emails we all get nowadays. 

So that’s why you should make something available for sale at that stage.

Now some of those people who bought the tripwire actually want something that solves their problem more thoroughly. And you can offer those guys your premium option as an upsell straight after someone’s hit checkout.

However, not everyone will buy the tripwire. Only 1-5% of people will. So you also want to offer the upsell to those people who didn’t get to see it because they didn’t get the tripwire. The easiest way to do this is by setting up an email sequence to promote the upsell.

And some people will drop out part way through the checkout process. So you’ll want to set up a cart abandonment email sequence.

And you can even have that FB retargeting at points where you don’t have their email address.

Then at every stage you want to set up some Facebook retargeting along with the emails to keep people on track.

That’s the basic idea of a tripwire funnel.

Webinar funnel for setting appointments for services sales

Ok – so another funnel that you might use is the free strategy call webinar funnel.

You’ve got a website with some traffic and you’ve got an email newsletter. Your emails point people to an optin. A while later, the webinar happens. At the end of the webinar, you hope that people become clients.

The first thing to add onto your funnel in this case is an option to book a call at the end of the presentation. They’ve just listened to the presentation and they are interested – so make it easy for them to book their free strategy call.

The next thing to do is to add some reminder emails in advance of the webinar so that your registrants are more likely to show up. Even then, only about half the people will turn up live. So you have to set up a replay for anyone who didn’t manage to attend live. This will increase attendance by another 10%.

And then set up more emails after the webinar to promote the free strategy call, and then before the call to remind them to show up.

Now you’ll get all booked up with calls – but not all of those people who book a call with you are going to be good prospects. You need to filter out the good ones, so you will add in an application form, so that they can only book a call if they meet the right criteria.

Lastly, set up Facebook retargeting at every stage to keep people on the right track. 

Here is the final version of the funnel:

Webinar funnel for selling online courses

If you’re selling online courses, this is the ideal sales funnel for you to set up. There’s quite a lot of steps in this funnel that most people don’t realise should be included, but they can make a really big difference. 

You have a webinar that you’re running. People get to your webinar optin page either through Facebook ads, blog posts, Facebook retargeting, your website and newsletter. There will, of course, be people who get to the optin page but don’t sign up. So you will be able to get them back on track with Facebook retargeting ads.

When someone signs up, they are going to be sent to the Thank you page and receive a confirmation email. You are going to be sending them pre-frame emails to make sure that as many people as possible show up on the webinar. At the same time, you would ideally have some Facebook authority ads shown to people who opted in, and the idea of these is pointing people to somewhere on the internet (not on your site) where you have been featured (a podcast, an interview, an article, etc). 

Ideally then, someone attends the webinar, and at the end of it they go to the sales page. But if they don’t go to the sales page, you will be sending them post-webinar email sequence and running some Facebook retargeting ads to point them to the sales page.

If they don’t attend the webinar, you will be throwing some Facebook retargeting ads and emails at them to get them to watch the replay. After they watch the replay, you are going to send them the post-webinar email sequence and show them retargeting ads to get them to the sales page.

If they go to the sales page but they don’t buy, you are going to want to show them a specific type of Facebook ads – testimonial ads. 

If they add to cart, but they don’t buy straight away, then you want to show them add to cart ads.

If someone goes to the sales page and they add to cart, and add in their credit card details, you should offer them something extra – an order bump. If they don’t buy the full-price offer, then you should offer them a reduced option one. You could even have a second, different order bump after that. At the end, they reach the order confirmation page.

After they’ve bought, you want to send them an email sequence with useful content that will occasionally point them to the sales page.

Free trial funnel for SaaS businesses

Another type of sales funnel is the SaaS free trial funnel. If you’re a SaaS business owner, this funnel could make quite a difference in terms of your conversion rates from free trials to customers.

So, naturally, you have a product and you have a website. You’re driving people to your website through guest blog posts, Google search and Facebook ads. You also have people sign up to your mailing list through a popup on your website.

Some people will go to your free trial page but won’t opt in. You will want to follow up with them with an email sequence that will eventually take them to the order page. You will also use Facebook retargeting ads to get them to the order page.

Some of these people will opt in for the free trial, but they won’t buy. You will again use Facebook retargeting to get them back on track and take them to the order page. If they reach the order page but don’t checkout – you know what’s next – more Facebook retargeting!

Free trial funnel for SaaS businesses

If you’re selling services, you should be able to implement this sales funnel to turn more of your leads into sales.

So, if you’re selling services, you most probably offer a 1-on-1 free strategy session to your prospects. Your prospects come to the page where they can book an appointment with you through various sources – email, website, blog, Facebook ads, etc. However, not all of your prospects would be good leads, so you need to filter them out. 

You can do so by adding in an extra step before they can schedule a call with you, and that step would be application. So, only if they meet certain criteria, they will be taken to the call booking page to schedule that free session with you. If they don’t take the application survey, you can use Facebook retargeting to get them back on track. If they meet the criteria but don’t book a call with you, you can point them back to the application again with Facebook retargeting ads.

As soon as they book a call with you, they will be prompted to a survey page where you will want to learn more about them and their business. Anyone who completes the survey, will be shown some authority Facebook ads until the discovery call takes place.

Once they’ve booked a call, they will receive a welcome email and will be shown a summary video about the call where you want to explain to them what they can expect on the call and how to better prepare.

At the same time, you want to do some research about them – connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Skype, and send them a couple of reminder emails to make sure they turn up for the discovery call with you.

Ideally, after the discovery call, they will sign up for your services and then you’ll have a chance to offer them an upsell. You will also want to ask them for referrals at this stage.

If they don’t buy, you want to follow up with them via email. If they are not a good fit for your services and company, maybe they know someone who is, so make sure to ask for referrals in this case as well.

There will be cases when someone books a call with you and then they don’t show up on the call. You want to follow up with them and give them an option to reschedule. Once that they do, send them a couple of reminder emails to make sure they turn up for the discovery call with you this time.

Hopefully that gives you an overview of what funnels are and which one you should use in your business in order to make more money from it.

If you need any help with planning, setting up or automating your sales funnel, just get in touch.

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Email marketing Funnels

Email marketing funnels – why, what, what kinds and how to ask someone to write them

I talk to a lot of online business owners who aren’t using email marketing funnels. And they know it’s costing them a lot of money. They feel bad about it. But they still don’t do it. Does that sound like you? I totally understand. I’m going to try and give you a hand with that here.

You know using email marketing effectively gets amazing results.

You might have heard that the average return on investment for email marketing is 44x.

Let’s do some maths (math for my American friends).

If you have an email list and you’re currently not emailing them about any other offers, then let’s see how much money you could make.

15,000 x 1% buying x $50 average sale = $7,500

30,000 x 2% buying x $50 average sale = $30,000

50,000 x 4% buying x $200 average sale = $400,000 (probably you’re not going to get 4% – but it can happen)

So what’s stopping you from setting up your email marketing properly? Comments I hear include:

  • “I don’t know where to start” ❓
  • “That’s not my speciality” 😏
  • “I don’t have time to do this” ⏱️

So instead you stick with what you know, whether that’s SEO, JVs, content creation or whatever. You don’t send enough emails to your existing list, and you lose all that lovely money.

I get that. It makes sense. There’s a real benefit to sticking to what you know. You don’t have time to learn email marketing. Your time is better spent elsewhere.

But . . . what if you knew just enough about email marketing to figure out the possible results, and to ask someone to do the work for you. Then you wouldn’t have to do it yourself, you wouldn’t have to learn it yourself, and you could still make all that money!

I’m going to try and help.

This is a high-level email marketing strategy post. This will explain the top things you need to know in order to:

  • Figure out how much money email marketing could make you
  • Figure out what kind of email sequence(s) you need
  • Ask someone to write the right email marketing sequence for you.

I’m going to break down for you:

  • the four most important email sequences
  • the benefit of each email sequence
  • how to tell whether you need it or not
  • when to send it
  • what kind of content is in it
  • how many emails are in it

My goal is that all of this will mean that you know what to do to get email marketing working for you.

If you can give you an email marketing person a brief telling them:

  • this is the kind of email sequence I need
  • this is what it’s trying to achieve
  • here’s links to some of my existing content that should be in it

Then they’ll be able to put something great together for you.

This is going to save you a lot of pain and back and forth trying to figure out what it is that you need.

The four email sequences most online business owners don’t use but should do

  • Segmentation
  • Engagement
  • Promotions
  • Upsell

There are other types of email sequences you can use.

But we’re not going to focus on those here – I want to make this as simple as we can – so we’re going to start with these.

Benefits

This allows you to figure out who is interested in a particular topic – before you send your emails to everyone.

The point of one of these is to figure out who’s interested in a specific topic, so we can communicate with just them about that topic, and not bother everyone else.

You need it if …

What you’re going to be promoting is only relevant to a specific segment of your list. For example – let’s say that you sell courses for teaching people about learning English grammar. You have teachers and students buying from you. You’ve now got a new high priced course specifically for teachers.

You could promote it to your whole email list – but the downside is that you’ll be promoting it to students who aren’t teachers themselves. Those people will become less engaged because you’re promoting a paid course to them that they’re not interested in. That will reduce your trust with those people who weren’t interested. The conversation in their head is “why the fuck are you telling me about this shit I’m not interested in” (though they might swear less than me, so it could be nicer than that.)

When to send it

When you need to learn who is interested in this topic (e.g. teaching English) you send this out manually.

What is in it

A segmentation email can take a few forms – but a very simple one is useful free content about the topic (in this case teaching English).

You promote an article (or a few articles) about teaching English to your email list – and then you tag those people who click on the links as being interested in teaching English.

Another option is a survey.

Number of emails

1-3 emails

Benefits

Main point is engagement and nurturing to get people thinking about the specific problem your course solves, and therefore more ready to buy. This creates good will and trust. Which will lead to more sales. According to studies companies using email to nurture leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.

You need it if …

You’re going to be promoting something and you need to get them thinking about the problem this solves and the fact that they need a solution. Or if you need to engage them more with you in terms of trust around this topic. This is the build up to your promotion. It will increase the conversion rate of your promotional emails when they go out.

When to send it

This should go out automatically to everyone who clicked on the segmentation email. It will go out over 2-3 days (depending if you have 2 or 3 emails).

What is in it

Useful content that talks about the problem that your offer solves. Everything in this should set up the sale.

Things you can talk about here include

  • talking about the problem itself
  • a few key secrets showing them that it’s possible to solve this problem
  • case studies
  • the journey you went through to solve it and how you didn’t know it would be possible – until you discovered this course or whatever you’re promoting
  • the benefits of solving this problem.
Number of emails

2-3

Benefits

This is where you make money! Everything else was the build up to this point.

You need it if …

You have something to sell!

When to send it

This should go out automatically after the engagement sequence.

What is in it

Details of your offer and a link to your sales page.

You’ve already found who’s interested in this topic. You’ve provided value to them about this topic. But the information you’ve provided is only solving one little bit of the overall problem. You’ve got them thinking about the problem that your bigger course solves.

Number of emails

1-3

Benefits

Get them to buy a more expensive version.

You need it if …

You have something more expensive than what they just bought (which you 100% should have).

When to send it

This should go out automatically to everyone who buys the initial product.

What is in it

Promotion of the more expensive version, with details of the benefits (this could be personal coaching sessions, templates to go with the training, etc.)

Number of emails

1-2

What does this look like?

Here’s a couple of versions of how this might look.

Or a simpler version might be like this.

How do you plan all this in?

The Promotional Calendar.

The Promotional Calendar is to help us plan out what promotions are going out when throughout the year.

This doesn’t have to look complicated. Most people I know who are really good at this use a spreadsheet or just do it in their calendar.

An example of last year’s promotional calendar from a company I run

How to write all of this

Don’t.

Seriously dude. Don’t write anything from scratch. Don’t do that.

And anything that needs writing – don’t write it yourself.

Two things:

  1. Reuse existing content
  2. Get someone else to do it

Get someone to start with your own copy that’s working, and copy some from competitors too.

Most campaigns should be based on previous campaigns that worked. And once you run a successful promotion you can then repeat that promotion year after year with minimal tweaking. The first time you do this will be the hardest, and then each subsequent year will be easier and easier.

For example – if you already ran a Black Friday promotion, then you can use some of that content to plan your Easter and Christmas promotions.

Ok.

I hope that helps. Hopefully that gives you an overview of the minimum you need to know about email marketing in order to make a bunch more money from it.

If you need any more help with planning or writing your emails just get in touch. Or if you need help with automating the sequences so the right emails go to the right people at the right time – then get in touch too.

Please ask any questions you have about email marketing below, or mention what’s stopping you right now and I’ll do my best to help here.

I don’t know it all, but I do have a good grasp on most. If I don’t know the answer I’ll say so.

Categories
Scaling business

How to increase your revenue by being data-driven

Most stuff we do isn’t that important. There are a few things that really matter in order to increase your revenue.“There are 1000 things you could be working on in your business, but only 2-3 really matter.” Perry Marshall

So how do you figure out which is which?

  • Should I develop a new product/ service?
  • Should I work on our autoresponder?
  • Do I just need more traffic?
  • Maybe I should redesign our homepage?
  • Do I need to study SEO?

I used to struggle with this.

I used to be really frustrated with developing our marketing and sales funnel.

I’d try new things, they might work, but they wouldn’t have the effect I was hoping for (to increase revenue).

I’d be all over the place with how to improve our marketing – jumping from one idea to another.

I can come up with 10 new ideas before breakfast, and often did. But it wasn’t helping me to make progress.

It felt like I was running through treacle. It was so slow.

I was obviously working on things in the 80% that didn’t matter.

 But over the last year I’ve developed a process for how to choose the next thing to do to improve our marketing and sales funnel and increase revenue. It’s allowed us to improve our funnel consistently week after week (except for one 7 week patch that I’ll explain later). And it’s made a huge difference to our business.

We’ve now got an automated system in place that fills up my calendar with sales calls with excited prospects.

I’m going to explain it in detail below.

I’m sure everyone knows the 80/20 rule.

The 80/20 rule (also known as the Pareto principle) states that, for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes

I learnt to use the 80/20 rule to look backwards at stuff I’d done and cut elements that weren’t working. Test 5 things. Cut the 4 worst performing ones. Do more of the top one. Great.

While that is great, and I regularly do that, I always wondered about using it to look forwards rather than backwards.

It’s easy to spend weeks implementing five different tactics before figuring out which is the best one.

Was there some way of figuring out what thing to work on in advance, rather than using the brute force approach of trying a bunch of stuff then cutting what didn’t work.

Could I figure out “What should I do next?” instead of “what should I stop doing?”

I thought about this many times over the years. I was sure that other people were managing this somehow. But I couldn’t find a specific process to follow.

80/20 Sales and Marketing talks about this a lot, but it doesn’t show step by step how to do it.

I found this article by Taylor Pearson useful where he talked about limiting factors.

“I’ve found that thinking in limits is frequently the best way to identify, and do, the obvious.

“Once I’ve defined the problem as a system with constraints or limits, I have the desired outcome that I can think backward from to see what the limits are and re-allocate my energy to address the appropriate limit.”

Taylor Pearson

I also found this article by Nate Smith useful where he said he focused on parts of people’s funnels that are underperforming.

Based on these and my own experience I’ve developed a process that I use once a week to identify the next thing to improve. An 80/20 SOP if you will.

It’s been life-changing for me.

We’ve been making improvements faster than ever in our marketing funnel, so I thought I should share it.

80/20 SOP – Basic version

Step 1

Write down the steps in your marketing and sales funnel. Let’s imagine this is:

Google ads —> Landing Page —> fill in enquiry form —> phone call —> sale

Step 2

Write down the conversion rate at each stage. For example:

Google ads $5
Conversion % from click to sign up on landing page = 13%
Conversion % from call to sale = 30%

Total cost per sale $128

Step 3

Look up an ok conversion % for each step. 

* Google ads – depends on your keywords, buts let’s say you find its $4
* Landing pages – depends on your offer, but let’s say about 20 – 25%. Some get much higher, but that would be an ok number.
* Call to sale – 33%. Really good is 50%.

We’re looking for which one is the easiest to improve considerably.

Google ads are already pretty close to a decent level. Landing page is way under average. Call conversion rate is quite close to average.

So the obvious place to focus is on the landing page.

Step 4

Research which elements of landing pages will have the biggest impact. Most people agree it’s:
1. Audience you’re sending there
2. Your offer
3. Headline

Figure out which of these might need improving.

Make a change to that thing and track the results.

80/20 SOP – Advanced version

Phase 1 – map out your funnel

Map out your marketing funnel step-by-step on a piece of paper or a whiteboard

Add each step to a spreadsheet. Here’s a screenshot of the spreadsheet we use each week.

Set up a model which predicts what would happen to your income if you change one of the numbers.

I’ll be honest. This is where it gets a bit mathsy. If you’re not comfortable with percentages or Excel then this might be hard work, so I’ve included a copy of our spreadsheet for you to start from.

Here’s a copy of the spreadsheet we use each week.

Here’s how the numbers work

  • revenue line at the bottom = revenue of enquiries x 75% (average % of projects that are won)
  • Enquiries = calls x 58% (average conversion percentage from call to enquiry)
  • Calls applied for = webinar attendees x 20% (average percent who book a call)
  • etc.

The model we use is in the second worksheet of this spreadsheet.

Find data for what other people with as similar a business as possible are achieving at each stage, and put a benchmark level of what you think should be possible to achieve (not the best of what others are getting, but something that seems totally realistic).

Step 2 – identify which area to focus on

Identify which of your numbers is furthest from the benchmark.

Try changing that number in the model and see what happens to the revenue number at the bottom.

If it has a big effect on your income then that’s probably the area to focus on.

Check that if you change that number it won’t cause problems elsewhere (e.g. you can increase number of enquiries, but you don’t have time to deal with any more enquiries).

If there are a few contenders then you also might want to change that number back and play around with changing other numbers.

So we might start by saying that we want to make more sales, but by the end of this phase we should have a much more specific focus.

For example, this week I’ve identified that we have good numbers of people registering for the webinar, attending the webinar, staying to the end of the webinar, signing up for a sales call and making an enquiry, but only 36% of them buy, and other people are achieving as high as 80% conversion rates from enquiry to sale. This makes me think I could get to 50% reasonably easily.

I also looked at what happened if I tripled our ad budget. According to the model this would increase our income dramatically, but I only have 13 slots per week for calls, and that would take me over that 13 number. That suggests that the number of slots for sales calls is another limiting factor we could look at that would make a big difference. Maybe next week.

Step 3 – Narrow in more on the problem

So we’ve used the 80/20 rule so far to find what the top area is. Let’s use it again to narrow down to the highest impact element of that area. The one most likely to make a difference.

This is the least well defined step of my process. I currently do this through a combination of meditation, research and editing.

I’ll write out the problem as clearly as I can. I’ll then meditate and get my head as clear as I can. Then I’ll read back through the problem and edit it till it’s clearer. I’ll then do some research into where we’re weakest in that step. Then I’ll read back through the problem and edit it till it’s clearer.

I might repeat this process about five times over the course of several hours. This is quite time consuming, but I’ve found it’s worth it because it gets me narrowed in on that top, most effective action.

For example – in the last phase I got to the point where I knew I wanted to increase the conversion % of enquiries to sales from 36% to 50%+. What is the current problem?

I went back through our CRM to look at all the jobs we didn’t win, and identified as best I could what we should have done better. I got this down to 3 things
I haven’t followed up with some of the people who didn’t buy, and they still might buy. Reason I didn’t follow up is the task for following up either didn’t get added or was lost with too many other tasks in my CRM
I didn’t follow my own sales call system every time because there are some bits that aren’t mapped out precisely and because I couldn’t always remember every step

Other things that I looked at were whether to offer bonuses to make our proposals a better offer. Or to focus on how to build more rapport with clients.

I can definitely be better at building rapport, but I’m pretty good already.

I could definitely test adding bonuses, but this is something where my gut tells me that I could actually make things worse. If I offer our online training as a free bonus to someone who we’re wanting to run a campaign for then there’s some dissonance there. And I’m not sure what else we’d offer as a free bonus.

Phase 4 – Identify the top options for solving that problem

We’ve used the 80/20 rule to identify the top area, then we’ve used it again to choose the top issue within that area. Now we’re going to use the 80/20 rule to focus in on the top things to do to address that issue.

My next step is to find materials to study on that very, very specific problem and identify what everyone agrees on.

If I can I find one reliable expert and follow their advice.

If I read or watch information from a few people then I make a note of what they all agree on and start there.

For example – maybe one expert says that to improve the webinar conversion rate you shouldn’t teach, but should focus on inspiring people to believe they can achieve the objective.

Another expert says you should teach as much as possible.

Well – both work ok then. Don’t worry about that.

But if they both agree that you should give a clear and strong call to action at the end. Well – you need to do that.

I’ve found that this stage is a great point to get others involved. If I can put a very clearly defined problem in front of my contacts, mastermind, colleagues or even non-business friends then it’s sometimes possible to identify what to do really quickly.

For example – Heather Shannon from my mastermind was able to identify that I was talking too much in my sales calls and not asking enough questions and I immediately increased the conversion rate dramatically. Steve Forrester was able to identify that I should implement SMS follow up in my Facebook Ad campaigns, and we got a huge increase in response rate.

Back to my sales example.

My problem was:
I haven’t followed up with some of the people who didn’t buy, and they still might buy. Reason I didn’t follow up is the task for following up either didn’t get added or was lost with too many other tasks in my CRM
I didn’t follow my own sales call system every time because there are some bits that aren’t mapped out precisely and because I couldn’t always remember every step

So it’s now reasonably straightforward to see that I should:
Follow up better after sales calls
Follow my own system better = role play sales calls more
Map out every step of sales call better (eg write up answers to objections)

How can I do those things?

I watched this video from Chet Holmes about following up with prospects. He explains the process he recommends for effective follow up. I copied that and added a step to tag these follow up tasks with people who made an enquiry as important so I do them first.

I watched this video from Chet Holmes about the sales process and identified that I don’t have enough questions about the prospects’ pain points in my sales call script. I ask one question, but then don’t dig deeper.

I went back through the last 20 projects we didn’t win and wrote up answers to the most common objections.

Then lastly I added a task to practice my sales call script every week.

In this process I also identified that I could probably improve this sales process by adding in bonuses and improving my close. But they aren’t solving the very specific problems I identified.

Phase 5 – Check it’s the smallest possible thing

What I’ve learnt is that if I change anything big then it will take me longer to implement it, and it’s more likely that it will have an adverse affect on something else in my funnel.

Whenever you change something it affects other things. We want to make the most laser-targeted improvement possible.

I therefore identify the smallest possible thing I can do to fix the specific problem I identified.

By just changing the smallest possible thing, I’m taking the 80/20 rule to the next level.

Most results for least effort. That’s what 80/20 is all about.

Looking through what I chose I think those things are quite straightforward. So I’ve not got anything to cut, but normally I have a few things here to cut back down to size.

Phase 6 – Check it won’t break anything else

I found that if I made changes to two consecutive steps in my funnel it made it more likely they could affect each other and cause an issue. I also found that it was harder to tell which thing didn’t work if one of them turned out to be a bad idea.

For example when I automated the webinar and change the call to action in the webinar then one didn’t work, but it took me 7 weeks to identify what the problem was. 7 painful, frustrating, weeks.

I’ve therefore started to only change things that are further apart in the funnel. I don’t have a hard and fast rule over how far apart the two parts have to be before changing, but quite a long way apart is the way that I’m thinking about it.

Results this has got me

For me this has been incredible and it’s meant that every week I’ve made an improvement to my marketing funnel that had a clear and obvious effect

Avoiding temptation

On average this takes me 5 hours to figure out. I’ve found it’s really tempting to just come up with an idea and start working on implementing it. But that thing could easily be something that doesn’t have a very big effect at all. So I’m constantly having to remind myself to only work on the things I identify through this process.

I’ve spent months before working on things only to find out they had little impact long term. 5 hours is less than that.

How about you? How do you decide what to do next in order to increase revenue?