Understanding Sales Funnels
Before discussing the difference between your website and landing pages, you should understand the concept of online sales funnels.
An Online Sales Funnel is the process you create to attract visitors, turn them into leads, and convert them into customers. As such, your Sales Funnel has three core stages:
- Lead Generation – attracting your ideal clients, and guiding them to your landing page. This can be done with inbound marketing techniques such as SEO, paid advertising, social media, and content marketing.
- Lead Nurturing – continuously providing genuine value and establishing yourself as an authority in your field. This is done through your lead magnet, your engagement on social media, and the way you position yourself within your industry.
- Converting Leads into Clients – earning the business of your leads. You can do this by following up with, engaging with, and providing real continuous value to your leads.
A Bad Sales Funnel
Here’s an example of an online sales funnel done wrong:
This funnel uses only two traffic capturing methods – SEO and Print Advertising – and then sends the visitor to the provider’s website.
Their website has the correct structure, but it doesn’t guide the visitor through the process. Visitors are left to just wander around with the provider hoping that eventually they’ll call or schedule a consultation.
In terms of lead capturing, sending traffic to your website is just about the worst thing you can do.
A Good Sales Funnel
What you see here:
… is much more effective. There are several traffic capturing methods that all lead to a specific landing page.
That landing page then offers a lead magnet – a free consultation in this example.
The idea here is to have the least amount of friction possible between your visitors and your lead magnet, while still capturing their contact information along the way.
How your Website Falls into your Sales Funnel
Now you might be wondering where your website plays into all of that.
The short answer is that it doesn’t. You need a website that is clear, informative, and useful. However, your website is primarily meant for people who already know you exist, and want to learn more information.
The long answer is that your website is also going to act as the hub for your landing pages. This is more of a technical detail since this is largely handled on the back end. At least some of your landing pages will be subdomains or slugs on top of your existing domain.
For example www.yourcompany.com/landingPage1
Your landing pages, on the other hand, play a vital role in your Online Sales Funnels. As illustrated when we talked about good landing pages, each traffic capture method should lead visitors to a landing page. And that landing page is where you offer your lead magnet.