5 Reasons Your Funnels Aren’t Converting (and how to fix them)

We sat down and analyzed over 100 of our most recent funnel hacks to find the most common pitfalls. We found 5 common themes you can fix today.
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Are you struggling to convert leads in your marketing and sales funnels?

Business owners running their own ads focus so much time and energy on their advertisements, that they fail to realize that the ads are a very small portion of the formula. It starts with:

  1. The destination
  2. Your sales copy
  3. The offer
  4. The trust-factor
  5. So much more

So if you’re struggling, you’re not alone. It can take years to master the art of funnel building, but you probably don’t have that much time. So we sat down and analyzed over 100 of our most recent funnel hacks to find the most common pitfalls. We found 5 common themes you can fix today.

#1 YOUR AD SENDS TRAFFIC TO YOUR WEBSITE’S HOMEPAGE

The number 1 mistake we see is companies running ads and directing their paid traffic to their website’s homepage.

When you send paid traffic to your homepage, you are leaving it up to the visitor to take action and spend mental energy determining what to do next.

In reality, most website visitors need a map. An effective landing page is that map.

Don’t get me wrong, a website is still an important part of your marketing efforts but its (usually) not the place to drive paid traffic. There are exceptions to this rule and we can tackle that in another post.

But for the sake of this article, let’s assume the ad campaign you are running is not an exception.

Let’s start at the top: your ad. Your ad (whether it’s on Google, Meta, LinkedIn or another platform) needs to focus on one thing and one thing only. You CAN run multiple ads but they each have their own campaign and their own objective. Let’s talk about ads individually.

Because you ad needs to have one goal, your landing page needs to heavily align with the messaging in your ad. In fact if your ad does not align with your landing page, you’re likely to get your ad account shut down.

I want you to imagine this: You see an ad on facebook for an Amazon product that you HAVE to have, but when you click on the ad, it takes you to Amazon’s home page. Two things happen next: 1. You have to either spend your own limited time to find the product yourself or 2. (the more likely scenario) You say “screw it, I’ll find it later” and then you never come back to it.

Not only do advertisements like this frustrate your prospects when you should be creating an amazing experience, but it also drives up your ad costs (you just paid for a click that likely resulted in no sales). And it doesn’t just happen to one person – every single click you paid for was fruitless. You just set your ad budget on fire.

The same logic applies to your ads. 

Luckily, there’s a simple solution: Drive your ad to a page built specifically for that campaign. By doing this you can truly focus on the transformation of the course, book or eGuide you’re trying to sell.

Here is the key thing to remember: An effective landing page focuses on selling ONE thing – not your coaching, your course and your community – just one thing. Your sales copy needs to make your visitors feel like you understand their problems better than they do and that you have THE solution to those problems. Once you successfully sell them on one service, we can come back to sell the rest.

Does this mean you will need multiple landing pages? Depending on your business, most likely. However the cost to build a new page will be far less than how much money you’ll waste on ads to the wrong destination.

#2 YOU ARE SELLING TO THE WRONG AUDIENCE

I’ve had more marketing strategy calls that end being business strategy calls than I can count. There’s a few reasons for that.

  1. I ask the right questions. Anyone can build a page, run your social or start running ads. But good marketing and advertising ensures that the business model makes sense and the goals of your marketing are attainable and align with your current growth model.
  2. Because the solution they came to us for doesn’t actually solve their lead generation problem or
  3. The course, coaching program or book they are selling doesn’t actually solve a prevalent problem ie it has no demand in the market. That tells me that they don’t really know their market. That’s a big problem.

Now I know you might be thinking that you know your market, but there are LEVELS of understanding.

Here’s a great example: Nick worked for a financial services company about a decade ago who was developing a service because the founder thought people wanted it, but he did no true market research on it. The truth was, 100s of others were already doing the same thing, had a solid reputation and had already claimed a huge share of the market. Plus the features the market needed weren’t the features the founder was building (because he was building a product for himself).

Now, this can work but only if you have a differentiator.  

We will talk more about differentiation in issue #4. But right now, we need to focus on the issue most business owners and even some marketers have with their audience, and that is: you are literally just not targeting the right audience in your ads.

Look, there are advertising experts for a reason. This stuff is complicated and if you don’t get your audience right, you might as well kiss your whole campaign goodbye. You’ll blow your ad spend and see nothing in return. Plus, don’t get me started on how often Meta is changing what we can target.

Solution:

To help you out, here’s a quick exercise to help you find the right audience – people who actually need what you are selling and have the means to purchase it.

Most people focus on the demographic information of a customer persona, so here we are going to dig into the psychographics (interests, activities, and opinions) more. Ask yourself these questions. And to help yourself through this process, I want you to actually think about one client you love working with:

  1. What are the demographics and psychographics of your BEST client?
    • Age, sex, location, income
    • How do they feel when they wake up each morning?
    • What frustrates them?
    • What brings them joy?
    • Where do they see themselves in 5 years?
    • What do they do with their friends and family?
    • What do they do when the kids go to bed? Is there a certain show they watch or podcast they listen to?
    • Do they even have kids? Are they married?
    • What concerns them?

If you don’t know the answers to these questions, you need to go back to square one and create a detailed customer persona. Next time you talk to your best client, ask them a little more about themselves. You can ask what they did over the weekend and if they’ve seen any good movies lately, found any great holiday deals, or made any New Year’s resolutions.

These psychographics will play a big part in understanding your buyers’ buying triggers.

Once you have these answers, use the data to test 3 different audiences in your ads. Monitor them for a week and then declare a loser. The next week, test the remaining 2 custom audiences. After just a couple weeks you should have a better audience (but we wouldn’t stop there because you can always test and find new audiences.)

#3 YOU HAVE BUILT THE WRONG FUNNEL

OH MAN this one is painful. There are many types of funnels and one size does not fit all. We base the type of funnel we build on the following aspects:

  • Are you selling a product or service?
  • Is it a low ticket or high ticket offer (meaning how much does it cost?)
  • Is the audience cold or warm?

Once we know more about you and your audience, we can determine the best funnel to start with (yep, that’s right, you probably want to run more than 1 at a time).

For starters, if you have a high ticket offer, there’s a few funnel types you can choose from. Some examples are:

  • Challenge funnels
  • Webinar funnels
  • Application funnels
  • Free consultation funnels
  • VSL funnels

High ticket items need more than a sales page or video because you’ll need to educate this audience more and let them get to know you before they feel comfortable pulling out their wallet.

Typically when you have a system of funnels that match your customer buying journey, you’ll find quicker success.


#4 YOUR OFFER STACK SUCKS

You need to present an offer that is irresistible.

Think about an infomercial. They very rarely sell you one “widget”. They create some type of offer that seems too good to be true, right? It goes something like this: “Get 1 magical towel (you know which one I’m talking about) for $19.99 plus shipping. But wait, call right now and we will throw in two more MAGICAL towels so you get THREE for $19.99. That’s an insane deal. But that’s not all, call now and order 3 magical towels, and we’ll also send you 3 other amazing and magical tools for just $29.99 total!”

It sounds a bit salesy and over the top… because it is. But the concept still works.

Let’s look at that magic towel. They probably had 1% of viewers ready to buy with their first offer. But then they stacked their offer and made it IRRESISTIBLE and now 10% of viewers are calling to buy. They’ve increased their orders without having to pay a single cent for a separate ad. 

This is called offer stacking.

You might ask why not just start with the best offer? Ahh that’s what a JCPenny CEO thought too in 2012ish. Check out a case study on what happened when JCPenney stopped offering coupons and started offering everyday low prices. There are hundreds of them but in short, when JCPenney took away sales and advertised “everyday low prices”, there was no excitement about getting a good deal so shoppers went elsewhere. 

Offer stacking is simply making prospects feel like they are getting MORE than they are paying for. And sure, this means there’s a little marketing magic going on here but it’s all about the “price framing” of a product that creates a perceived value, which all leads to the excitement of getting a good deal.

That’s what we are doing here.

Let’s lay out how this would actually look in a funnel:

Imagine this: You sell premium (out of this world!) Protein Supplements to people who take their fitness very seriously. You charge $65 per bottle (and you know that it costs you $25 each).

A proper funnel should look something like this:

After the ad:

Step 1 – Free download in exchange for their email address: 10 Delicious (and healthy!) Recipes To Make With XYZ Protein Powder 

Step 2 – Core offer: Get a bottle of our best-in-class protein powder, used by the most popular and influential workout stars in the space for $65.

Order bump: Add our popular shaker bottle (get all those lumps out!) to your order for just $9.99.

Step 3 – Upsell 1: Wait! Don’t make the mistake of forgetting to reorder! Join our subscription club and we will ship a month’s supply straight to your door at the beginning of every month for the next 6 months. For $350, we will also give you a free:

  • Shaker cup ($9.99 value)
  • Tee shirt ($15 value)
  • Access to our VIP coaching Facebook group ($400 value)
  • Workout guide ($25 value)
  • 5-video workout series ($65 value)

Notice the order stack in step 3?

Step 4 – Downsell: Not ready for monthly deliveries? No problem, we will give you 2 more canisters and another shaker cup for your spouse right now for just $90 more ($140 value). 

You see what happened there, right?

You’ve now made them an offer SO good that it is painful to pass up. You added an immense amount of value at very little cost to you (the videos and exercise workbook are a 1 time cost, you get your shirts and shakers pretty cheap) AND you created monthly recurring revenue that they are unlikely to cancel at the end of their 6 month subscription.

But even better? If they pass up that insane offer, you offer them something they are more willing to spend on. Regardless, you have their contact info and can retarget them with ads AND send them friendly emails when it’s time to reorder. 

Now as long as you DELIVER on an exceptional product and experience, you are creating long-lasting relationships and recurring revenue. If you don’t deliver, that’s when people will start questioning your tactics and your recurring sales will plummet.

Have you implemented an order bump, upsell and downsell opportunities? If not, we can pretty much guarantee you are leaving money on the table. So get creative and think about what else you can add to your offer stack.


#5 YOU ARE NOT OPTIMIZING YOUR FUNNEL CONSISTENTLY

I think most marketers know that they should be optimizing their funnels, but they simply don’t have the time. BUT as a business owner? You probably don’t even know where to start.

That’s okay. I’m guessing you’re stretched pretty thin as it is. I TOTALLY get that and have been in your shoes before but the hard truth is if you are not actively analyzing and optimizing your funnel, you are BURNING money… again.

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You CANNOT set and forget funnels. When we sell funnels as a done-for-you-service, we always require at least a 3 month retainer, though we recommend having someone to optimize every piece of your funnel as long as it is running.

Not only is there always room for improvement (aka more money back) but as we all know, tech changes all the time.

Luckily, this isn’t a guessing game. Your funnels should have tracking analytics codes installed – like Google Analytics, Funnelytics, Facebook and Linkedin Pixels. These tracking codes give you hard data to see where traffic is dropping off in your system so you know EXACTLY what to fix.

The first step is to run a funnel analysis – after a few weeks of actively pushing traffic to your funnel (we recommend at least 1-2 weeks to obtain hard data), take a deep-dive into your funnel analytics, and locate where potential customers are dropping off. (Funnel scorecard coming soon!)

Solid conversion metrics are different based on industry and experience. We like to use this resource to determine what the average benchmarks per industry are for Google.

When you’re looking into your funnel analytics, some things you may want to ask are …

  • Is your sales rate at least 2%?
  • Is your messaging between your ads and landing page congruent?
  • Is your ad Click-Through-Rate at least at 1%?
  • Is your Sales Mechanism (sales page, webinar, mini class) converting at least at 2%?
  • Is your Opt-in Page converting at least at 25%?
  • Are you following up enough with Retargeting Ads and Emails?
  • Can you increase Cart Value by adding an Order Bump, Upsell, or Downsell?
  • Do your emails have at least a 25% open rate? If not, change your subject lines.
  • Do your emails have a 4% click-through rate? If not, start testing different copy (shorter emails, different color buttons, different messaging).

Once you’ve located some of the problem-areas, you can begin testing new versions of your landing pages, CTAs and ads.

Look, even the best funnel builders need to continuously improve aspects of their process. Different audiences respond to different tactics and messages. The key to a continuously successful funnel is to: test, analyze, optimize, repeat.


FINISHING UP

We have confidence that if you implement these strategies, you will start experiencing better conversions and a higher ROI. But if you are at your wits end and are SICK of trying to figure all this out by yourself, let our team of conversion experts conduct a FREE audit and show you exactly how to increase your ROI and start converting more leads into paying customers. Book your call here.


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Crystal Volinchak

Crystal Volinchak

In her 7 years as a growth marketer and entrepreneur, Crystal Volinchak has helped dozens of companies boost online traffic and sales and strengthen their online brand reputation. Volinchak is the co-founder of CNV Creative and CNV CMO.

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