Google organic is a fickle beast. One day she loves you, and then in the blink of an eye she’s no longer interested and your income stream is all dried up. To diversify and guarantee your company’s income streams, you need to build optimized sales and traffic funnels that you can control and maximize.
In this article, we’re presenting a step by step strategy to create an optimized sales funnel based on traffic from paid search and social.
Step 1. Facebook Ads for Traffic Acquisition
Creating a high-impact cadence of Facebook ads where you are constantly producing and sharing new ads is a powerful way to generate traffic. Facebook has never ending streams of traffic that you can test and lure to your website. The trick is to create a high volume of ads that you can use to test images, copy, and audiences until you are able to identify the right combination that produces a high volume of sales.
First we’ll discuss the general process of creating the ads, and in the next section, we’ll talk more specifically about the landing page you’ll be sending consumers to and how that landing page will impact the types of ads created. Finally, we’ll talk about techniques to nurture the lead and push them diligently down the sales funnel.
The first step is to identify the ad copy and images that resonate the most for you broad audience. At this stage, you are testing very broad audiences and consequently, broad USPs (unique selling propositions).
What is the hook that will get users interested in your product or service? What image will capture their interest?
To start the Facebook Ads process, create a series of ads following similar criteria:
- Test Ad Copy: The control factor will be the image, which will be the same for all ads. The variable will be ad copy, where you test different headlines and descriptions.
- Test Images: The control factor will be the ad copy, and then you can create a dozen different images to see which ones has the best metrics.
- Test Placements: Will your ads perform better on desktop, mobile, instagram, or the right column? Run a few tests where the ads have the same copy and images, but run on different placements.
Vary all the different elements and run several testing campaigns so you can, over time, see patterns on what resonates the most to a BROAD audience.
The next crucial factor is to test the audience. For your audience tests, identify interest groups using the Facebook Ads manager to create audiences. If you are selling yoga clothes, for example, you might want to create campaigns testing yoga types (bikram, vinyasa, ashtanga, etc), large yogi communities, people who like Gaiam, etc.
You can use the winning ad copy, images, and placements from the first round of tests, and see how they resonate with the different audiences that you’re testing.
Audience Creative Tests
Once you find strong audiences, you can then start testing different creatives for those audiences. Test images and headline, descriptions, and placements to get the strongest possible ad for that interest group.
This is an opportunity to focus on resonating to a particular audience and using elements of that audience in your images and ad copy. For example, if you are testing a Bikram audience, your ad copy can include Bikram such as–Love Bikram Yoga? Then you’ll love these yoga pants made for hot yoga! Your images can show Bikram Yoga poses or visual elements representing Bikram.
Below is an example of this principle, applied to the brand “Under Armour”.
By the end of this testing process, you should have strong performing ads that bring a high volume of targeted traffic to your site. But where should you send your content? What is the best landing page? Typically, marketers send the traffic to a product driven landing page. We’ve found that content landing pages perform better. Let’s discuss why and the process of creating these.
Step 2. Content Engagement Landing Pages
Facebook ads targeting interest groups are generally considered a top of the funnel acquisition source. You are trying to identify people’s pain points and present them with a solution without them actively searching for that solution. Instead of sending people to a product or category page directly, adding an additional landing page that talks about your target audience’s pain points is a powerful way to capture their interest.
In the example above, you can see that the ad is not selling a product, but simply addressing a pain point–that of organizing the flow of content creation for a blog. Using this additional step may seem counter-intuitive, yet this methodology can increase conversion rates significantly.
Elements of a Content Landing Page
Your content landing page should contain the following:
- Strong Headline that addresses the pain points of the target audience
- Large Hero Image that resonates with the audience
- Readable Content that is broken down into bullets and is fast and easy to read
- Video that talks about the problem
- Link to a Category Page where they can find products that are a solution to their problem
Here’s an example of a powerful content landing page:
While you are using this landing page to both inform and convert, you can also add an exit-intent app to offer visitors and additional incentive to give you their email address. Opti-Monk is an onsite retargeting platform that can be used for this purpose. In the future, you can use these email addresses for your email marketing to create custom audiences in Facebook.
Here’s an example of an exit pop up:
QuickSprout has a variety of these popovers that take over your entire screen and are used to capture a visitor’s email address.
Step 3. Category Page or Product Page
From the content landing page, you can send visitors to a category page containing various products that solve the problem experienced by your target audience or to specific product pages.
Where possible, focus on showing a few solutions to the problem, enhanced with videos and social proof about these products.
Here are a couple of examples of strong product pages:
Elements of a Product Page
Here are the elements of a strong product page to improve conversions:
- Hero Shot of the product
- Product Description focusing on benefits, not just features
- Product Sales Video
- 3rd Party Pitch Videos where other people talk about or review your products
- Social Proof Section where people leave reviews and ratings
- Cross-Sell Section recommending other relevant products
With these elements in place, you’ll have strong pages that convert.
Add-Ons: Exit Intent & Retargeting
As with the content landing page, you’ll want to make sure you have an exit intent pop up and your retargeting codes in place.
Since visitors at this stage have already shown interest in your product, instead of incentivizing them with content as you did in the previous stage, you can incentivize them with a discount. Offer a 10% off coupon to get then to purchase your product.
Step 4. Optimizing the Checkout
You’ve gotten them from Facebook to your content landing page, from there to your category or product page, and now you want them to add to cart and complete the conversion.
In this section we’ll talk about how to use the checkout process for additional cross-selling opportunities. Much has been written about optimizing the checkout process, so there’s no need to emphasize the importance of offering multiple payment options, simple and short checkout steps, etc.
Remember that these are top of the funnel visitors and many may not be willing to commit to the purchase right then and there. What can you do to turn them from visitors into buyers, especially when they are about to change their mind at the last moment?
Abandon Cart Email Sequence
Here is an example of a shopping cart recovery email process that you can use:
- 4 hours after abandonment: Send them a scarcity email telling them you are running out of stock
- 24 hours after abandonment: Reminder to finalize their order
- 48 hours after abandonment: Send them a social proof email including a video or reviews, to get them to engage with your website again
- 4 days after abandonment: Send them a discount coupon
- 5 days after abandonment: Social proof email with more customer videos and reviews
- 6 days after abandonment: Time constraint email with a discount code that will expire shortly
Shopify offers different solutions to help you manage this sequence of emails. The key is to find the best emails that impact your target audience, and to measure the results of these emails to determine how best to sway YOUR audience to get them back to your site and to complete the purchase.
The above is an email sent by NY&Co as part of their cart abandonment recovery email sequence.
One Click Upsells
If you do get them to add to cart and complete the checkout sequence, you can offer them one-click upsells. These are post-purchase add-ons that that they can add to their order with a single click.
Post-Purchase Thank You Page
Once they have completed their order, use the thank you page to create a connection with that customer and to start the process of converting them into brand ambassadors.
Add a thank you video to the page, telling them about how to use the product they purchased and anything else relevant to the brand. Add incentivized social sharing so people can share their purchase on social media or through email to increase amplification. You can use FriendBuy for this purpose.
Post-Purchase Email Sequence
The thank you email sequence is another opportunity to connect. Remember that the goal of this sales funnel is to convert a random social user who was checking in with friends on Facebook into an avid brand ambassador and loyal customer. To do so, we need to maximize every opportunity to connect and create brand loyalty.
Let’s talk about the post-purchase email sequence:
- Thank You Email: In this email, you can once again send them instructions about the products they purchase and all the information relevant to their order
- Days 1 – 5: Send a series of Pre-Arrival Emails building excitement and anticipation, focusing on the benefits of the products purchase
- Days 6 – 11: Start a Cross-Sell Sequence, where you offer complementary products using middle of the funnel content, such as webinars and videos.
- Day 12: Send them a product selfie request, where a photo of them with your product can be submitted as an entry into a monthly giveaway
- Day 14: Request them to Complete a Survey, which you can use as opportunities to gain a better understanding of your target audience and how they perceive your service
- Day 16: Invite them to send a Video Review in exchange for a discount code for future purchases
Depending on your product and what the reorder cycle is, consider using an email sequence to remind customers of when their products may need to be reordered. If your product typically lasts 30 days if used according to the instructions, send them an email reminding them to reorder about 40 days after their order. 60 days later, if they haven’t ordered, offer them a discount on a future order.
If you weren’t able to convert using all of the techniques listed above, all is not lost! There are other ways you can nurture those leads to eventually get them to convert:
- Retargeting: Make sure you have retargeting tags on your site, as all of the traffic generated can also be used in your retargeting campaigns.
- Email Auto-Responders: Remember those exit intent offers that we talked about early on? You can use the emails gathered from those popovers to create an autoresponder sequence continuing to talk about their pain points and offering solutions to those pain points.
If you use retargeting across Facebook and Google GDN, you’ll be covering a very large portion of the internet and maintaining the branding points to convert those visitors into buyers.
Facebook is not the only channel that you can use this sales funnel for. Once you’ve mastered the process of creating the content for these funnels, you can take this methodology and use it with other channels, such as:
Between these 4 channels, you have such a vast portion of the internet that the only question at that point is one of conversion optimization.
Beware: Some of the caveats that newbies run into can deter you from succeeding with this method.
The first problem we often encounter is that people target too broadly and the ads don’t perform well.
If the targeting is tight and relevant, the next hurdle is to sell the click. However, if you use the methodology explained above to test your images, ad copy, audience and placement, you should have a strong opportunity to guarantee a high CTR.
Finally, once they click, you need them to engage and stay on your site long enough to move their way down the funnel. The quality and interactivity of your content is key to success in this area.
If you can overcome the issue of traffic, then the only consideration is how best to convert that traffic into sales. The sales funnel explained in this article should help guarantee that you have very strong ROI and can convert all of your traffic into sales and subsequently, brand ambassadors.