Funnel Vision Episode #001 – Your first Funnel

Welcome to the inaugural episode of Funnel Vision! View the entire episode here or read the summary below.

In this episode, we take it back to basics and discuss what a marketing funnel is and how we can apply it to an online experience.

We put our theory into action by integrating the first stages of a marketing funnel onto my web agency’s blog post.

Here’s what went down

As many website owners could relate to, I’ve spent a considerable amount of energy on writing and publishing blog posts over the last few years and I actually have no idea what kind of return on investment I receive on this activity.

I could vaguely point to small rises in Google rankings, enhanced credibility to my users and at least it’s forcing me to keep up to date with things, however if I stopped doing it tomorrow I probably wouldn’t be any worse off. But that’s just the thing, I really have no idea.

These blog posts do attract some traffic, but I doubt any of that traffic has ever converted into a sale for my agency. It’s just too great a leap from reading a blog post to spending $10k or more on a website.

Enter the funnel. Placing the starting point of a funnel on these blog posts should help me attract leads that I can then nurture and convert into a paying customer later, and help get the most out of these blog posts in a way that is measurable.

This is what we did

Step 1 – decide where to start the funnel

First, we checked my Google Analytics data to see which of my blog posts was attracting the most traffic. This post would be the logical place to start a funnel. Here’s the data:

The Funnel Vision

The first blog post that appears in the list (number 6) is one I had pushed advertising to, so I’ll discount that. After that, by far the post that attracts the most organic traffic is number 7 in the list above, which is a post about analysing sales and checkout pages on e-commerce sites. For whatever reason, this page gets eyeballs and it’s the most logical place to offer a lead magnet in exchange for an email address (using an “opt in” form).

Step 2 – creating a lead magnet

So, next step; creating the lead magnet. I’ve decided to offer a simple checklist on improving an online store for store owners, which I figure is very closely related to the post people are reading. (Note: you definitely want to keep the topic of the lead magnet in line with the content of the page it’s offered on.)

But before I got stuck into writing content, I wanted to get some ideas for headline text, and text I could use in the opt in to attract the most sign ups.

Using Google Trends, I plugged a bunch of keywords and phrases I thought would be interesting into the analyser. As it turned out, the phrase “starting an ecommerce store” was far more popular than anything else I came up with. See the graph below:

The Funnel Vision

So, naturally, I decided to use this phrase in the copy of the lead magnet and opt in form.

Step 3 –  Setup Email Marketing

After I finished creating my shiny, new lead magnet, I needed some way to distribute it, which is by creating the opt in form on my website.

Before I jumped into sticking a form on my site, I created a Mailchimp account and a list within it for subscribers of my checklist. Then Mailchimp gives you the code for the opt-in form you can plug in to your web page and also lets you setup automation, so subscribers automatically receive a welcome email and whatever follow up nurture sequence you want (all of this is free in Mail Chimp by the way). Watch the video to see exactly how to set this up.

Step 4 – Publish your opt-in form

After we setup my list in mailchimp, we were all set to stick the opt in form into my blog post, which we added to the footer and it looks like this:

The Funnel Vision

Not amazingly pretty, but it’ll do for now.

We discussed some tips for making it look nicer, such as designing some nice graphics for the form and having the opt in form in the side bar (which was pointed out won’t show on mobile devices).

So definitely room for improvement in the design and placement of the opt in, but at least we have something up and running, ready to capture leads and I can stop wondering why.

Next steps in the funnel we will discuss on a future episode are:

  • Creating a higher converting opt in form
  • Best way to deliver the lead magnet
  • Creating a nurture sequence of emails to send to subscribers.

Stay tuned amigos!