[Checklist] Fixing customer funnels that aren't converting

In this blog post I’m going to share with you the most common reasons that a customer’s marketing funnel, doesn’t convert.

You can use this checklist on their current website and funnel, even if you haven’t built it. Treat it like a troubleshooting guide, that lets you uncover the biggest reasons, why a business isn’t getting the results you want.

Or, use this list to explore with customers how they can increase conversions on their current funnel, that you’ve built. Even if customer funnels are converting, they can always convert better.

The problem with funnels is that they’re always springing a leak. When we look at conversion rates, often something like sales or leads will drop because of a change either in the market or the funnel.

It’s never the product – it’s the offer

THIS is the most important part to remember. Conversions don’t stay low because of the product.

If you’re suffering from low sales it’s rarely because of the product. If you’re suffering from slow list growth, it’s almost certainly not the lead magnet content.

It’s impossible for the customer or lead to gauge the quality of a product before buying or signing up. Yes, they’ll trust you because of previous relationships or they’ll know your past products have been of great quality, but so often people blame low conversion rates on the product.

When someone suffers from low sales or list growth, they’ll blame the product or lead magnet and immediately move to change that. Instead, it’s almost always the offer and message which needs changing.

You need to measure one month to the next

The second thing to remember before fixing a funnel, is that you need numbers. You must measure one month before you can improve the next. Customers often keep lousy sales and conversion records. You might need to audit their site and analytics in order to get a clear picture.

Set up a report and measure what they do in a month. Intuitively they might feel that their numbers are low, but without data we can’t support any ideas.

Ask them what they DO want sales and leads to look like, then compare that against the previous month. You’ll know if you can grow to those numbers, compared to what you see now.

That’s why we built Beaver Funnels with some high level analytics in it. It measures conversions in a funnel across pages, just inside that funnel.

Let’s get into the funnel fixes that you can apply to your customers.

Low sales

Low sales can mean a few different things.

  • Number of sales per day/month etc.
  • Size of average transaction
  • Frequency of sales per customer
  • Number of new customers/sales

When customers notice “low sales”, it’s important that we identify what they mean by this exactly. A gas station with low sales will have a very different idea of low sales, compared to a business coach.

No offer being made

THE most common reason that businesses suffer from low sales, is because the product is never offered to the customer.

Simple as that, the business never ASKS the customer for the sale. I’m always staggered at how many businesses complain of low sales, but when I ask to see their “ask ratio” (the number of times the offer the product to the customer), they can’t tell me.

Even worse is when I go digging and can’t find any sales emails, promotions, phone calls or direct marketing. I remember a telco company that I consulted for, talked me through their low sales number for a particular product.

It wasn’t selling well and they were POSITIVE that it was because of the quality of the product. One of the managers was convinced it ws because it was too expensive.

After 45 minutes in their autoresponder system and listening to 3 hours of sales call recordings from their customers, it became very obvious why they we’re selling any.

Not a single person had ASKED the customer if they wanted to buy.

Solution: Ask more customers. It sounds obvious and you need more than a web page with the product on it. You must ASK the customer if they want to buy. Ask repeatedly and ask often. The absolute worst that’ll happen is that your customer will tell you not to mention it again.

Selling at the wrong time

Question. Are you more likely to lose a sale because of offering the product too early or too late?

Most people when asked this will answer “too early”. We’re afraid that offering a product early, will scare the customer off.

The truth is that offering the solution too late is why people miss out on sales. Why?

  • A competitor got there first
  • The need/problem is no longer there
  • The customer forgets who you are

If you offer a product too early, 99% of customers who don’t buy will just ignore you. If you offer a product too late, 100% of customers that don’t buy aren’t going to buy from you.

So you can either offer the product again to someone who said no too early, or miss out on EVER selling to someone who now doesn’t need you.

Solution: Check out when the customer makes the offer and move it further up the process. Ask for the sale earlier.

Test a sales letter

Does the customer product have a good old fashioned sales letter? All too often we go design crazy and have a beautiful product page. But it just doesn’t convert that well.

Then try testing a sales letter and driving current leads and customers to that sales letter. Have a clear call to action and use the sales letter to test the message and offer.

Test a sales webinar

Finally, try driving leads and customers to a sales webinar. Offer some training on a call and make a sales call on the back end.

Most people don’t buy because they’re not asked, not because they don’t want to. People LOVE to buy, so offer them the chance to solve a problem and get a result.

Low subscribers

If you customer’s email list is low, or their email list growth is slow, that means there’s something wrong with their subscriber conversions.

Somewhere in the funnel, there is a leak preventing visitors and traffic from converting into an email lead.

No offer being made

Again, the reason that people don’t sign up is because most of the time, they’re not asked to.

How many optin forms or sign up forms do your customers have on their site? It’s more likely to be none, rather than too many.

While we do believe that too many optin forms can also kill conversions, 0% of visitors can sign up when they’re never asked.

Even a super basic optin form asking to join a newsletter list will convert better than NO optin form.

Lousy lead magnet offer

When customers do have an optin form, if it suffers from low conversions, customers will do 1 of 2 things.

  1. Pay for tons of traffic to reach the optin form
  2. Change the lead magnet

Neither of those options will increase conversions. Especially not easily. Instead, change the OFFER of the lead magnet.

Which one of these lead magnet optin offers sounds more appealing?

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Yes, the first offer will convert some people. Learning how to do something is a great start. But the second offer is far more appealing. It talks to their pains, future wants and fears. It pulls at emotions and is far more likely to grow an email list.

Test your customer’s optin messages and offers before making longer term, harder changes.

No congruency

If your customer’s visitors are viewing a blog post on building a garden pond. What would be the best lead magnet to offer them?

Something that helps them build a patio, or choose garden furniture, or how to build a pond?

Sounds obvious doesn’t it? But there are thousands of examples where the lead magnet offer has no congruency with the blog post. If someone is reading something on TOPIC A, offer them that helps further with TOPIC A. It’s the easiest email list growth method I know.

Wrong type of traffic

There’s cold, warm and hot traffic to a website.

Hot traffic are visitors that know who you are, how you can help, what you do and they’re probably already customers or well qualified leads.

If you regularly visit a website to buy from them, that means you’re warm traffic. Do you think that warm traffic are likely to sign up to a lead magnet?

They absolutely are. But they might not be adding new email leads to a list.

Warm traffic is someone who has visited a website before, they know your brand but they’re probably not a customer. Warm traffic visitors make great email subscribers. It might take a few visits before they convert, but campaigns like Facebook remarketing can drive people back to a site to sign up.

The beauty of warm traffic is that they’re more likely to convert on a squeeze page than cold traffic, because they recognise you and your offer.

Cold traffic are visitors who have never visited your site before. They don’t know who you are or what you do. They will sign up to an offer on a squeeze page, but they’re less likely.

Investing in warm traffic is a great way to boost email lists.

Low traffic

Low traffic numbers are the #1 complaint from a lot of our funnel customers. Often because they believe low traffic is the REASON for low sales or email list growth.

After the above two problems of sales and subscribers has been fixed, we can start to focus on traffic. Maybe your lead and sales conversions are good, but you need to increase the number of people visiting the site.

No warm traffic investment

Like we mentioned about, warm traffic is a killer source of regular traffic. By setting up a Facebook pixel and custom audience, we can drive visitors who have been to your customer’s website, back to a specific page.

That means that anyone who visits your customer’s website, from whatever source, could be driven back for a very low price. Google also offers a remarketing service.

No regular content

In my opinion, this is the #1 reason why websites fail to grow their traffic. Without regular content (weekly at a MINIMUM), you are providing absolutely no reason for people to visit your site.

Fresh and regular content shows that you have something to share. It shows that you know what you’re talking about, and that you want to help your customers.

Frankly, regular content is non-negotiable now. You want Google to send you more traffic from searches? Then prove to Google that you’re a good partner for them, and show them new content.

Low quality content

When websites start to get into regular content mode, they often try to cheat and they pump out low quality content.

If a customer’s website is suffering from low traffic levels, take a look at the quality of the content. Is it of any real quality. Ask them “do you expect your customers to really read this?”

Be honest with them, you’re competing for people’s attention. If the content isn’t better than their phone, Facebook or Netflix, then how do you intend on competing with them?

Audit your customer’s content and focus on driving quality. It’s not that hard to produce consistently good content, it just requires a few templates and practice.

No content promotion

Finally, coming almost full circle. If you’re creating regular content and publishing it, but no one is reading it, why do you think that is?

If we treat content like a product, what is the first reason people don’t buy products? It’s because they don’t know it’s available.

Investing in small content promotion tactics like cold traffic, email marketing and social sharing is a very easy way to start boosting traffic.

Fixed funnels!

Funnels are never perfect, there are always reasons why conversions are low or drop off. But we have learned a few things.

It’s often the lack of awareness and promotion that kills traffic, optins and sales. Rarely is it the actual offer itself, but the messaging around the offer.

People will blame technology, systems and people, but most of the time it’s because we simply aren’t offering the solution to our audience.