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What is the key to a successful sales funnel? It’s not the products that you offer or the services that you offer. The price points that you offer are not key. The key to a successful sales funnel is your mailing list. That might seem a bit odd but think of it as the start of your sales funnel because without a mailing list, nothing else happens. Why is your mailing list so important?
First and foremost, it enables you to keep in regular contact with your prospects and customers. You know the old saying, out of sight, out of mind. If you’re not in regular contact with your prospects and your customers, they’re likely to forget all about you and they’re going to go and purchase from somebody else. You’re going to lose out to the competition.
Now, you’re going to need more than one mailing list. That’s because when someone makes a purchase, you want to move them from the prospects list to the customers list so that you know that people who have already bought from you are going to have more trust in you. You’re not going to have to sell quite as hard to them as you do to the prospects who have only got your freebie.
There are some marketers who go even further and have a separate list for each stage in their sales funnel. Once somebody has bought the low or a mid-priced product, they get moved onto a separate mailing list and they start being offered the high-priced products and then, when they bought those, they move up to a higher-priced products list and so on. At each stage of the game, they move over so that they only get offers that are more expensive and offered better value for money.
First thing that happens is a prospect visits your website and orders the freebie. They go to your squeeze page, as it’s called, and they get the information. They enter their name and their email address in. That gets added to the mailing list. Then, they get sent the download link to the freebie. They’ve got the freebie and they should be happy. Then, the prospect is sent lots of useful information.
Now, this is part of the process that a lot of people get wrong. They think that all they have to do is keep hitting their mailing list with sales information, with sales things. Buy this. Purchase my product. Get this affiliate product. It turns people off. What you want to do is you want to make sure that people know that they’re going to get a lot of information from you for free in addition to the freebie that they’ve been sent. Exactly how often you send this out is going to depend on your niche. It’s going to depend on how you operate. As a general rule, you want to send probably two or maybe three pieces of free information to your list for everyone sales email that you send.
Low Priced Product
Once that’s done, your prospect is sent information about your low-priced product. You send that with the sales link. Now, if they buy, and to be honest, most people won’t buy on the first contact for an offer, you keep them on the prospect list and you send them information about affiliate products and other low-priced products until they actually make a purchase. Of course, you keep sending them all the useful information as well.
Then, you get to the point where the prospect actually does buy something. When that happens, the customer, which is what they now are, is removed from the prospect list and added to the customer list. Now, some mailing systems will do this automatically. On others, you have to do it manually. It just depends which systems you’re using. I’ll talk a bit more about that in a moment. Then, of course, the customer gets sent useful information, same sort of way. Of course, the customer then gets sent information about your high-priced products and also about affiliate products at the same sort of price range. Again, you just simply rinse and repeat all the way through your sales funnel. This is an ongoing process that keeps going on for every stage in the sales funnel that your prospect or customer is at.
Now, the key to working your mailing list and sending all these emails out are programs called autoresponders. An autoresponder enables you to send automated emails to your list. You don’t have to email each customer or prospect individually. The software takes care of it for you. You can set it up to send emails on certain dates or so many days after the last email. You can also send one-off e-mails to your list. Some popular autoresponder companies are AWeber which you can find here, aweber.com, GetResponse which you’ll find here at getresponse.com and MailChimp which you’ll find here at mailchimp.com. Each of them have different pricing structures and are slightly different in the way that they operate but the basic principle behind all of them is pretty much the same.
Now, one thing that you’ll need to decide at the beginning of your dealings with an autoresponder company is whether you want double or single opt-in. Now, let me explain the difference between the two. With single opt-in, the prospect gets added to your list without any verification. Now, you’ll get more names on your list that way but not all of them will be genuine. Some people will put in a fictitious name, a fictitious email address just to get your freebie. They don’t want any follow-up emails so you don’t know whether it’s a genuine email.
Also, it leads you open to accusations of spamming because somebody might maliciously sign somebody else up to your list. They get hit with all sorts of emails from you that they haven’t asked for. Then, they complain and you’re branded a spammer even though you’re not. You’re a legitimate business person but you’re going to be branded a spammer because this person has not asked for the information to be sent. These days, double opt-in gets to be pretty much the default setting.
Having a double opt-in is the prospect gets sent an email with a confirmation link to click. If they don’t confirm, then there are no further emails. You don’t get quite so many names because some people can’t be bothered to confirm but you don’t get any spam complaints because you know that it’s a genuine address. You know that the person has asked to receive the emails from you and has confirmed. If they complain, you can go back with some systems and look it up and see, “Ah, well, you signed up on x date and you confirmed on y date so therefore, it’s not spam.” You can prove it so that really covers your backside, so to speak. As I said, double opt-in is becoming the default settings for most autoresponder companies.