Time to read: 5 minutes
Right, that’s an enormous claim of me to make…
But sometimes, a small shift in thinking can have a huge impact on your bottom line. At least, I can vouch for that.
That’s why I want to try and shift your perspective about your marketing and your sales funnel today.
The principle that ties your sales funnel together and makes it work as intended—to bring money in the bank, is…
the DoesItMakeSenseTM principle.
What does that even mean?!
Allow me to tell you a story to illustrate the principle:
Johny, a startup founder, was reading about growth hacking. He stumbled upon this awesome post about 5 growth hacks that don’t require the help of a developer on the GrooveHQ blog:
“Awesome!”, he thought and devoured the entire post.
At the end of it, Johny saw this offer to learn even more about growth hacking from GrooveHQ.
“Lessons on growth? $500k MRR? YES, I want to learn more!!”, he thought.
At this point, GrooveHQ has Johny’s email. And he was happy to give it to them.
Because it made total sense.
The DoesItMakeSenseTM principle ♥ your funnel
In the above example, we looked at what makes people move (successfully) from website visitors to email subscribers on the GrooveHQ blog. This is just the first step in a sales funnel for GrooveHQ.
And here is how an entire sales funnel (one of many), in this scenario, would look like:
(Yea, hideous attempt for a graphic, I know :))
The DoesItMakeSenseTM principle will apply at any point where people move down the funnel. Here’s how:
0. It all starts with the audience
Who are your ideal customers? e.g. GrooveHQ’s ideal customers are startup founders.
Action for you: Who are your ideal customers?
Take out your notebook and describe them as in-depth as possible.
1. People move down the funnel when they get something.
Does it make sense that they would want this thing at this step? e.g. At step 1., does it make sense for GrooveHQ’s potential customers (startup founders) to want to read a post about growth hacking? Yes! Startup founders are crazy about growth hacking. CHECK! It makes sense.
Action for you: What do your potential customers want?
I won’t get tired of repeating that the only way to know that is by doing research. Sorry, there is no shortcut.
2. At each step, when people move down the funnel, there is a call to action.
Does it make sense to ask them to take that particular action at this step? e.g. Moving from step 1. to 2.: A startup founder, one of GrooveHQ’s potential customers, has just read that post about growth hacking. Does it make sense to ask him to subscribe and learn more about growth hacking? Yes!
Action for you: What would you give your potential customers so that they would want to move down the funnel?
e.g. After they read your blog post, they want to learn more on the topic. What more can you offer? Does it make sense that your readers would want that thing right now?
3. Every step down the funnel has to be inline with the audience and the final goal
It gets a bit complicated here, so please slow down and read carefully. :)
We want a consistent non-leaky funnel that moves people from one step to the next effortlessly. To do that, we want to keep everything in context. If, at any step of the funnel, things stop making sense, people will quit or not take action. In either case, it’s a leak.
That’s why we take a look at our final goal before working on a particular step of the funnel.
The goals at each step of the funnel have to be in-line with that final goal.
That is, getting emails is (1) about getting the emails of your ideal customers and not random people and (2) it’s about getting these emails in the context of your product.
If you’re selling helpdesk software, you don’t want to build a list by promising beard grooming tips. Even if your audience cares about that. That’s an extreme example, but I hope I’m making a point.
Everything you do has to lead to the final goal and, when the moment comes, fulfilling that goal has to seem like the only reasonable thing to do.
e.g. The final goal of GrooveHQ is to get startup founders to sign up and pay for their helpdesk software.
The narrowest context of helpdesk software is “dealing with customers”. A wider context, where growth hacking fits, is “growing the business”.
An aspect of growing the business is also… unsurprisingly… scaling customer service!
There, we finally made the full circle.
Does it make sense for GrooveHQ to talk about growth hacking and growing a business and, in that context, ask their subscribers to start a free trial of GrooveHQ? It sure does.
But is growth hacking the only context helpdesk software for startups fits in? Are you limited to one “right” context only?
No, and GrooveHQ’s blog is actually an example of that because they have several other sections.
And why does this whole thing work for them?
Because they write about the things that their audience cares about. This makes their audience like them and trust them.
We buy things from people (or brands, but preferably people) we like and trust.
Because they started with the audience in mind and tailored their entire funnel to that audience.
Because they chose a context that fits their final goal: To sell helpdesk software.
Actions for you
- What is your final goal? What is the last step of your funnel?
- What larger context does your final goal fit in? If your final goal is to sell a particular tool, what wider context does that tool fit in? e.g. a time tracker fits into the context of “productivity” or even “life hacking”.
Funnel building using the DoesItMakeSenseTM principle:
- It all starts with your audience. Find out who they are and, yes, you guessed it, research them.
- At the top of your funnel stands content. What does your audience care about? Only research can tell you that. List their interests.
- What is your final goal? Probably a sale. In what context does your product fit? Which of your audience’s interests coincides with the context your product is in? That’s the sweet spot. Write content about that.
- The second step of your funnel is usually an email list. What more can you offer people in the context of the content they consumed in step 1. of the funnel? Use that as an incentive to motivate people to give you their email. Of course, you should also take care of following up.
- The third step is usually, but not always, some sort of a free trial. Always offer a free trial in the context of the current email/blog post/other content.
- The final step is usually the purchase. If you kept everything else in the same context, it will make sense for your subscribers to purchase the product. WIN!
That’s it. I hope all this makes sense…
Obvious pun totally intended. :)