If you are interested in Digital Marketing and selling online, you have probably heard at some point about the concept of “Sales Funnel” or “Conversion Funnel”.
This strategy is often accompanied by the brand name ClickFunnels, one of the best-known (and most expensive) software for creating sales funnels.
But this is not your only option, in fact, you can create sales funnels directly within your WordPress.
As you will see throughout this guide, there is no need to abandon your favorite CRM!
Sales Funnel vs Conversion Funnels
Before we continue, you must be clear about what we are referring to when we talk about a Sales Funnel.
For me, a Sales Funnel is a type of Conversion Funnel.
A conversion funnel is a visual representation of the different phases that a user goes through to achieve the final goal that you have defined.
Its purpose is none other than to segment the process of achieving this objective so that you can analyze and optimize it.
Of course, this visual representation then has to be converted into reality (technically speaking).
So ideally, you can view anything as a conversion funnel.
When you do this, the steps in each funnel will vary, as each Funnel will have a different objective.
Example of a Conversion Funnels
Imagine you are a YouTuber (or maybe you already are!)
Within this platform, you could have many different conversion funnels, even one for each video.
The most classic YouTube conversion funnel is the funnel to get subscribers, whose steps are very simple:
- Appear in search results,
- Get people to click on your video,
- Get people to subscribe to your channel.
When you analyze events from this perspective, you can better understand any process, and improve it.
- Not showing up in the results? You can improve the video description, add subtitles to cover more keywords, add tags, share the video on social networks to gain views and make it seem more relevant to Google…
- You show up but people don’t click on your video? Improve the thumbnail, add a more attractive title…
- People watch your videos but don’t subscribe? Maybe you’re not adding enough calls to action, you’re not leaving cliffhangers for the next video, you don’t offer a clear value for subscribing…
Even YouTube itself offers you information about this customer journey!
What about the Sales Funnel?
Having seen the example above, understanding the sales funnel concept is much easier.
At least from my point of view, a sales funnel is a conversion funnel in which the main objective is none other than to sell more.
Not subscribers, not shares on social networks, not comments: but SALES.
Of course, on many occasions, getting more sales translates into getting more potential customers (subscribers).
But you should not confuse these two metrics.
Sure you would get many leads by offering a free consulting service or sending a free product sample, but this does not mean that these leads would become customers and profit.
Why are sales funnels so effective?
As we have already mentioned in this guide, sales funnels (and funnels in general) usually work very well because they allow you to see a complex process such as sales, divided into small steps.
“Not selling” is one thing, discovering that most of your potential customers abandon the buying process when you show them the shipping costs, is something different.
In addition to that, Sales Funnels are focused on increasing the customer’s trust in your product (or in you) by offering them the right offer (or even more offers) at the right time, making the average customer value increase.
What do I need to Build a Sales Funnel?
Now that you’ve brushed up on the concept of a sales funnel, you’ll probably want to create one for your business.
This is all you need to get started.
A marketing plan with defined goals
During this guide, I have tried to convey to you the concept that conversion funnels, and sales funnels, are not exact strategies.
Two companies, or two stores, can have totally different sales funnels, even selling the same main product.
Therefore, the first thing you have to define, before anything else, is what your action plan is going to be.
This will vary depending on your business and the product or service you sell, but my suggestion is to start with something simple.
Don’t try to implement upsells, cross-sells, bump offers, and cart abandonment at the same time.
Instead, think and implement only one of these steps to your funnel (you will have time to make it bigger and better), and define what is the goal you would like to achieve, for example: 15% of abandoned carts recovered.
Marketing content to support the funnel
Depending on what you are selling, this could be one of the most laborious points to complete.
It is true that many funnel creation software helps you with templates (so that you can easily create each step or page of the process quickly), but at the end of the day, you are the one who has to create the content base.
I’m mainly talking about:
- Design of the offer (product, price, conditions…).
- Persuasive text for each page/step ((tip: you can use the Copywriting PAS or AIDA formula to generate this content more easily).)
- Images and graphic support of the product and/or service (e.g. mockups, or videos)
- Testimonials from former customers…
And if we talk about selling digital products, you will also have to create them (courses, ebooks, audiobooks, worksheets, etc.)
Creation and Analytics/Tracking Tools
If you really want to create a sales funnel, you will need a tool (or several) to make it all work properly.
This would include for example:
- A plugin for selling: if your ultimate goal is to sell, you will need a plugin focused on this task, allowing you to have for example a system where to add products to a cart, a checkout page, integration with payment gateways like PayPal or Stripe… The most used in these situations is WooCommerce.
- Page builders (optional) if you want to create visually appealing pages, it is advisable to use tools such as Thrive Architect, Divi Builder, Beaver Builder.
- A sales funnel plugin like CartFlows.
- Tracking Tools: As we have already mentioned, one of the benefits of sales funnels is to be able to measure what happens at each step.
What is CartFlows and how it can help you build conversion sales funnels in WordPress?
CartFlows is a plugin developed by Brainstorm Force, the company behind the famous WordPress theme Astra, and the ProjectHuddle plugin, which we already mentioned previously when we talked about how to establish better communication with your clients.
How does it work?
Important: first of all you should know that CartFlows works together with WooCommerce (a free plugin), so your store must be based on this plugin for everything to work smoothly and correctly.
CartFlows works through Flows.
A flow is the path your (potential) customer will take, receiving different offers along the way.
You can create as many flows as you need, for example, one for each online course you sell, as you may want to have different offers for each of them.
The best part of it all?
CartFlows includes pre-designed, conversion-focused templates for a wide variety of situations.
This means that in just a few clicks, you’ll have a flow ready with the pages you need to sell your product, ebook, or online course, and you only have to worry about adding your content (text, images, etc).
CartFlows is working to make these templates available from a multitude of page builders.
It is possible to add additional steps to these templates if you need, so you can create a funnel as complex as you need.
Then, you will only have to add the products to the corresponding pages/steps (for example, the thank you page will not have a product, but the upsell and downsell pages will).
These products must have been previously created with WooCommerce.
On the checkout page, is where you will find for example the option to add Bump Orders, which will allow the user to add an additional product to the cart at the time of checkout (before paying).
The interesting thing about this bump order is to add it with a discount to make it more attractive to the user.
This is something that you can easily configure from the checkout page itself, which as you can see, is very easy to understand as it is integrated into WordPress.
In addition to Bump Offers, CartFlows also allows you to modify the design of the checkout, for example by hiding fields you don’t need, to make the process smoother and improve your checkout experience.
You can also do the opposite, i.e. add additional fields that you want to know about your customers.
How to move your customers through the funnel is also easy in CartFlows, since on the different pages you will find shortcodes for the situations in which the customer accepts the offer or not
For example, if the customer does not buy the upsell, you will usually redirect the lead to a cheaper downsell)
- Tip: you can use Upsell to sell more quantities of a product (if you are selling a physical one) at a cheaper price.
As you can see, very straightforward.
Don’t forget that one of the most important points of a sales funnel is data analysis.
Fortunately, CartFlows has simple analytics that will allow you to see, for example, how much profit each part of the funnel is generating.
Remember that CartFlows also includes a tool to recover abandoned carts, and another one to perform AB tests, as well as other small productive utilities that will allow you to clone flows and/or steps easily to gain speed.
Thanks to all this, it will be very easy for you to create your own sales funnels within WordPress.
CartFlows offers a free tier so you can start playing around with the plugin.
However, in this version you will not find the basic features of a good sales-oriented plugin, such as the ability to add bump orders, or upsells.
But, within the free version, you’ll find (among other things) the recovery of abandoned carts feature, so you can start using it in your business, increase your profit, and use that money to purchase of the Pro version.
This Pro version is available through:
- A $239 purchase (which you will have to renew annually if you want to continue receiving updates).
- Or a lifetime purchase of $999, which you can pay in 4 installments for convenience.
Both licenses will allow you to use the software on up to 30 different sites and use all the features of the plugin, there is no difference between the two paid licenses.
Sales funnels will not only help you to sell more, but to better understand the whole sales process, and most importantly, to know where you are failing or where you can improve your system.
As we mentioned in a previous section, it is very easy to be seduced and try to create a mega funnel with dozens of options, but unless you have a team of people to help you out with this task, this will surely go wrong.
Starting simple, and reinvesting your new profits in improving the funnel, is a smarter choice.
Remember that although the main idea of this tutorial is to create sales funnels in WordPress, depending on your type of business you may need to use a different platform at some point, for example, if you want to make the final sale over the phone.
The concept you should stick with, is that you don’t have to adapt your business to a sales funnel, but rather sales funnels should adapt to your business.
And for that reason, you should use a tool that allows you to work with freedom, and design the funnel you need.
CartFlows is our recommendation, but if you use another plugin or platform, don’t forget to leave a comment with your suggestion!