We’re nearing the end of the spookiest month of the year! So today, let’s talk about things that go bump in the night and send a chill down your spine.
And for us entrepreneurs, nothing curdles the blood and quickens the pulse like the thought of our marketing funnels not converting. Ugh, I get shivers just typing it out.
In this week’s article, I want to break down 5 marketing funnel mistakes that may be robbing you of leads, conversions, and revenue. But, in keeping with the holiday spirit of Halloween, I’m going to put a monstrous spin on them just to keep things interesting.
Don’t worry: despite the goofiness, you will walk away with plenty of valuable takeaways!
Today, you will learn:
- The #1 bone-chilling error most business owners make with customer personas (and a simple solution).
- A seemingly harmless mistake that can drain your business dry of potential and growth, or even ruin it outright.
- 2 ways to deal with the bane of every entrepreneur’s existence — leads who just won’t convert, no matter how hard you try.
- The prime opportunity to improve your funnel’s performance that 99% of your competition doesn’t bother with (and why you should).
So, are you ready to BOOst your marketing performance (pun 100% intended)? Then read on!
1. Ghostly customer personas — they’re all in your head
Pop quiz: what’s the best way to construct a customer persona?
The answer is, interviewing real customers — whether existing or potential ones. You want these people to buy from you, so it only makes sense to go to them for insights!
But what do entrepreneurs do instead?.. Well, rather than do real market research, they just make educated(ish) guesses about who their ideal customers are, what they want, and how to talk to them.
Such a customer persona is nothing but a collection of assumptions — a kind of ghost, if you will. A phantom that’s got heck all to do with their actual target audience.
I don’t need to tell you how disastrous it can be to run your marketing funnels based off assumptions and guesses. Ghostly customer personas can lead you down false trails for days, weeks, and even years until you realize it!
They can make you chase customers who aren’t a good fit; market through channels they don’t actually use; or target them with messaging that doesn’t resonate.
So, what can you do about it?
What’s the solution?
Easy: go talk to your ideal customers! (Please.)
Sit down with 5-10 of them for an hour each, and learn as much as you can about what these real, flesh-and-blood humans want and need that your business can help with. That’s it! Leave phantoms and figments and phantasms alone — they won’t actually help you make more sales.
(Also, feel free to use our guide for creating solid customer personas.)
2. Shiny object vampires — don’t invite them in
And by “vampires,” I don’t mean old-school bloodsuckers from famous horror films. No, I’m talking about sparkly heartthrobs like Edward from “Twilight”!
I hear you say, “But Summer, those don’t sound scary.” Well, I beg to differ.
Shiny objects glitter and glow with false promise. They constantly make you think as if you’re one tactic, hack, or “secret” away from growing your business like never before.
And the price? Oh, a tiny little thing, barely worth mentioning, you won’t even notice it’s gone…
Your focus. Your energy. And your time.
Three priceless resources you want to keep invested in your core marketing tasks and projects — not drained in 20 different directions. That’s how you end up with a struggling, stagnant business that can’t seem to grow… or worst-case scenario, no business at all.
What’s the solution?
Let’s face it: disciplined, strategic marketing is hard. And it’s twice as challenging when something isn’t working. In that scenario, almost everyone’s first instinct is to switch tactics and try something new, rather than examine what’s wrong.
But the latter is exactly what you must do.
If your current marketing strategy isn’t producing the ROI you want, consider auditing it to discover what’s missing. If you’d like to get a free marketing audit from myself and my team, you can book it right here.
3. Zombie leads — let ‘em shamble at their own pace
You can find these on every email list or sales database.
These are the leads who didn’t convert over their expected lifecycle, like you were hoping they would. Now they exist in limbo: no longer “alive” opportunities deserving of active pursuit — but also not quite the dead weight you can cast off altogether.
So you hold on to those zombie leads on the off chance that they might come back to life and buy from you eventually…
…even though all the signs point to the fact that it’s not going to happen.
No, actually, scratch that. You’re not entirely wrong — it can happen. But it will take conscious effort on your part to reanimate those leads. Let’s take a look at how you can do that.
What’s the solution?
There are two approaches you can take towards reactivating old leads. One delivers results that are immediate but limited in scope; the other takes a long time to come to fruition but can create amazing returns in the long run.
Here they are:
- Jolt your leads to life with a focused and powerful message. E.g. you can use the 9-word email created by marketing legend Dean Jackson. It works wonders for grabbing people’s attention and qualifying them as prospects, even if they’ve been inactive for a while.
- Keep nurturing your zombie leads, delivering consistent value over time. It’s not uncommon for people to stick around for years, consuming your content on and off, before they are ready to buy. At the end of the day, you just don’t know when someone is ready to convert — all you can do is show up regularly and stay top of mind for them!
I recommend you use both strategies to maximize response from leads. You got this!
4. Mummified metrics — don’t keep them under wraps
(Can you tell I was having fun making up these subheadlines? I hope so!)
Many business owners — too many, if you ask me! — track their metrics obsessively, check them all the time… but then they don’t do anything with them. Even when something goes wrong with the funnel, they don’t leverage all that potentially useful data to figure out a solution.
It just sits there, like a mummy in a sarcophagus. (Yeah, I know this metaphor is a reach, but I was running out of monsters to reference, okay?)
Metrics and analytics aren’t just numbers on screens. They should inform your marketing strategy in a positive feedback loop — affecting your decision making, which in turn impacts your numbers, which cause you to reevaluate your strategy, rinse and repeat.
In order for your marketing to succeed, you want to put your metrics to good use. Here’s how…
What’s the solution?
First, you want to ask yourself:
What are the most important metrics that reflect the performance of your marketing funnel? E.g. for a standard landing page funnel, you want to look at incoming traffic, traffic-to-lead conversion rate, and your sales conversion rate.
Then, you want to make a plan for how you’re going to improve those KPIs on an ongoing basis — not just when something goes south. Have a plan for scaling targeted traffic to your landing page; create regular protocols for testing and tweaking your conversion flows; and always be auditing your funnel for leaks and “weak links” to fix.
Here’s a good guide to get you started, which addresses some of the easiest-to-fix missed opportunities in your funnel.
5. Skeletal pitches — put some meat on them bones
I’m sure you’ve encountered sales messages that are… well, just that — pure selling and not much else. They are so bare-bones you can practically hear them rattle.
(Skeletal pitches are especially prevalent in ecommerce, but you can find examples of them in every industry.)
There’s a misconception among entrepreneurs that all customers really want us to get to the point and just present the darn offer already. But in reality, people don’t enjoy being sold on something so nakedly. It gets their guard up, and it doesn’t motivate them to say yes.
If anything, it makes them want to say no, even if they really need your solution!
To be compelling, any offer needs context for the transformational value it provides. Here’s how you can flesh out yours…
What’s the solution?
Always frontload your sales messages with value, so your prospects never feel like they never got anything worthwhile out of your pitch. In fact, try to maintain a ratio of 75/25 of valuable information vs. actual sales pitch.
You can do that by:
- Crafting a captivating sales “hook” for your offer. Speak to the burning problem your target audience is struggling with, or pain the vision of results they want to achieve.
- Enhance your selling points with benefits and outcomes that your customers will find attractive. Don’t rely on features alone to sell anything — always explain how they will help, and why your prospects should care.
- Start a sales email sequence with 2-3 messages that focus on pure value. Teach your prospects something or help them solve a pain point without asking for anything in return… at first. Then, make your 4th and 5th messages more sales heavy — by then, your leads will be hooked and ready to hear your offer!
- Proof can be a form of value, too. Supplement your sales pitch with case studies and testimonials that demonstrate the power of your solution. Or alternatively, explain the process behind your product or service, or even better — show it off in action!
Want to build a high-converting lead funnel for your business?
For many entrepreneurs, the #1 challenge of creating a marketing funnel isn’t even about figuring out how to do it… it’s about getting started at all.
There’s just so much to learn about lead generation, nurturing, conversion, friction, and a bajillion other things that it’s very easy to do nothing, and keep descending that research and learning rabbit hole.
But research and learning count for nothing without implementation.
Are you ready to take action — and finally start getting results from your funnel? Then you will love the 5-Day Lead Challenge created by Russell Brunson — Founder of ClickFunnels and a friend of The Draw Shop!
Check it out below: