So you have built a sales funnel.
But what conversion rate should you aim for?
Today we are going to discuss:
- The four types of sales conversion rates.
- The #1 way to increase the conversion rate of your sales funnel.
- The best conversion rate optimization practices.
Want to take your sales funnel to the next level?
What Is a Conversion?
A conversion is the act of responding to the call to action by taking that action.
Typically, doing that means progressing to the next step of the sales funnel, whatever that next step is.
- Subscribing to an element list.
- Downloading a lead magnet.
- Buying a product.
When someone does what you have asked them to do, you can say that they have “converted”.
What Is a Conversion Rate?
A conversion rate is a metric that shows what percentage of people who have been presented with the call to action converted.
Let’s say that:
- 100 people visited your lead magnet landing page.
- 10 people downloaded your lead magnet.
You can use this formula to calculate the conversion rate:
The total number of visitors that converted divided by the total number of visitors multiplied by 100.
So in this case the conversion rate is:
10/100 x 100 = 10%
Note that sales funnel software such as ClickFunnels can do this math for you.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a system designed to convert:
- Potential customers into leads.
- Leads into paying customers.
- Paying customers into repeat customers.
Here’s how the big picture of a sales funnel:
- Top of the funnel: Target audience.
- Middle of the funnel: Leads.
- Bottom of the funnel: Customers.
Every business in existence uses a sales funnel similar to this one.
The 4 Types of Sales Funnel Conversion Rates
It’s important to understand sales funnels usually have four separate conversion rates that you need to keep track of:
Visitor To Lead Conversion Rate
The first stage of any online sales funnel is converting a page visitor into a lead by persuading them to give you their contact details (usually an email address).
This is typically done through a lead generation funnel:
- You create a lead magnet.
- You create a landing page for that lead magnet.
- You drive traffic to that landing page.
So what we are talking about here is the lead magnet landing page conversion rate. What percentage of the people that visited it gave you their email addresses?
What is the normal landing page visitor to lead conversion rate?
When Unbounce analyzed lead generation landing pages across 10 different industries (with a total of 74,551,421 visitors), they found that the average conversion rate was 4.02%.
However, they have also discovered that lead generation landing page conversion rates vary wildly between the industries, so the average conversion rate for your particular industry would be a better benchmark to use.
Lead to Paying Customer Conversion Rate
Once you have someone’s email address, you need to convert that lead into a paying customer by persuading them to buy your product.
This is typically done via email marketing:
- You send the lead a sales email.
- They click through to the sales page.
- They buy your product.
So now we are talking about the conversion rate of your sales page. What percentage of the people that visited it bought your product?
What is the normal lead to paying customer conversion rate?
We encourage you to aim for a sales page conversion rate of at least 10%.
That being said, here at ClickFunnels we often see much higher conversion rates, with some outliers reaching conversion rates of 40%+.
Paying Customer to Repeat Customer Conversion Rate
Okay, now it’s time to convert that paying customer into a repeat customer by persuading them to buy another product.
This is also typically done via email marketing following the same process.
However, since you might be selling several products, paying customer to repeat customer conversion rate is the percentage of the existing customers that made a second purchase, no matter what that second purchase was.
What is the normal paying customer to repeat customer conversion rate?
We encourage you to aim for a paying customer to repeat customer conversion rate of a minimum of 20%.
Again, that’s just the minimum, you want to maximize this metric because successful businesses are built on repeat purchases, not on one-off sales.
Note that if your lead to paying customer conversion rate is great but then paying customer to repeat customer conversion rate drops off the cliff, it’s likely that your frontend product doesn’t provide enough value.
The Overall Sales Funnel Conversion Rate
Then there’s the overall sales funnel conversion rate.
The way you calculate it depends on how complex the sales funnel is.
If you have a simple sales funnel with just one product, then your overall funnel conversion rate is the same as the lead to paying customer conversion rate.
However, if you have a more complex sales funnel that includes several products, then you might want to track the percentage of leads that went through the entire funnel.
What is the average overall sales funnel conversion rate?
In the case of a more complex funnel that includes several products, we recommend aiming for a minimum overall conversion rate of at least 5%.
The #1 Way To Increase the Your Sales Funnel Conversion Rate
As we have already mentioned, every business in existence has some sort of sales funnel.
However, usually, these sales funnels are what could be called “it just happened” sales funnels, meaning that the business owner stumbled upon something that works and continued doing it.
And while “do more of what works” can certainly be a great rule of thumb, you need to be more intentional than that if you want to create a sales funnel that converts well.
So let’s take a look at the two most popular sales funnel models out there:
- The AIDA sales funnel.
- The Value Ladder sales funnel.
Which one should you use for your business?
The AIDA Sales Funnel
The traditional sales funnel model is called AIDA.
It was created in the late 19th century by the advertising and sales pioneer Elias St.Elmo Lewis.
Here’s how it looks like:
It has four stages:
- Awareness. You catch the attention of the potential customer.
- Interest. You pique their interest.
- Desire. You show them how your product will make their lives better.
- Action. You ask them to buy the product.
There’s a reason why AIDA has been around for more than a century:
That being said…
Is it the best way to sell online?
We don’t think so.
The Value Ladder
We believe that the best way to sell online is a sales funnel model called the Value Ladder that was developed by our co-founder Russell Brunson.
That’s what he used to grow ClickFunnels from zero to $100M+ in annual revenue!
Here’s how it looks like:
It also has four stages:
- Bait. You offer the potential customer a lead magnet in exchange for their email address.
- Frontend. You offer the potential customer your least expensive and least valuable product.
- Middle. You offer the customer a more expensive and a more valuable product.
- Backend. You offer the customer your most expensive and most valuable product.
The reason why this sales funnel model works so well is that it allows you to:
- Start the relationship with the potential customer by providing free value.
- Nurture that relationship by continuing to provide free value.
- Build trust by providing progressively more paid value at each stage.
Here’s how Russell explains it:
AIDA vs. The Value Ladder
The main difference between the AIDA model and the Value Ladder model is this:
- AIDA is based on giving, giving, and giving some more, then asking the potential customer to buy your product.
- The Value Ladder is based on a give-and-take dynamic, where you begin the relationship by providing free value, then start exchanging value instead of merely continuing to give.
The latter is based on how human relationships actually work.
Moreover, it makes use of the persuasion principle called Commitment and Consistency, which in this context is applied through the “Foot in the Door” technique:
“You get the potential customer to commit to something, then use that small initial commitment to escalate to more extensive commitments.”
As Russell explained in the video:
If he walked up to you out of the blue and said “Hey! I’m Russell Brunson. If you give me a million dollars, I’ll build a sales funnel for you”, you would think that he was insane.
But if he offered you a super valuable lead magnet instead, you would probably say “Yes” to that, right?
And then maybe you’d create a ClickFunnels account, buy his books, check out his courses…
And then, if you were ever in a position where you could afford to pay someone a million dollars to build you a sales funnel, Russell would be the first person that would come to your mind.
Now, of course, only a tiny fraction of the people who have downloaded your lead magnet will ever buy your most expensive product, but guess what?
If you had approached those same people with your Backend offer right out of the gate, it’s likely that none of them would have bought it.
You can’t just come up to someone and ask them to pay you a ton of money for your most expensive product!
So while the Value Ladder sales funnel might seem like a more complicated way to sell online, it’s actually much more effective than the AIDA sales funnel. Why?
Because it allows you to start by asking for a small commitment, then escalate to bigger and bigger commitments over time.
Want to increase your sales funnel conversion rate?
Implement the Value Ladder sales funnel model!
Best Conversion Rate Optimization Practices
Once you have a Value Ladder sales funnel in place, it’s time to optimize each page in your funnel according to the best conversion rate optimization practices:
Have One Goal Per Page
The most important conversion rate optimization principle is this:
Each page has to be designed with just one goal in mind.
Ideally, the call-to-action buttons should be the only clickable elements on the page, so that there would be nothing at all that could distract the visitor from taking the next step in your sales funnel.
- No navigation links.
- No featured blog post.
- No Social media links.
In fact, we recommend you to:
- Ditch your website altogether.
- Replace it with a sales funnel.
Because according to our data, on average, sales funnels generate 6x more sales than websites, so in all likelihood your website is losing you money. So what’s the point of having it?
Here’s how our favorite gold digger explains it:
Focus On the Benefits, Not the Features
The copy of the page is one of the key factors when it comes to its conversion rate. But how can you improve it when you are not a copywriter?
The most important copywriting principle that you need to understand is the distinction between features and benefits:
- A feature is a function or a quality of a product (e.g. “These shoes are waterproof!”).
- A benefit is the value that the customer will derive from that product (e.g. “These shoes will keep your feet dry!”).
As the old copywriter saying goes:
Features tell, benefits sell.
People take action based on the benefits of the offer, then justify that action with its features.
That’s why the #1 way to make your copy more persuasive is to emphasize the benefits of your offer on the page:
So don’t talk about how cool whatever you are offering is.
Talk about how it will make the visitor’s life better.
Provide Social Proof
The phenomenon of social proof can be summarized like this:
When we are unsure of what to do, we look at what others do.
In the business context, this means that when a person isn’t sure what to make of your offer, they will automatically start looking for indications of what other people think about:
- You as an individual.
- Your company.
- Your offer.
That’s why you want to add social proof to your page by:
- Mentioning relevant credentials (e.g. a Ph.D. in a relevant field).
- Mentioning relevant accomplishments (e.g. an NYT best-selling author status).
- Featuring “As Seen On” media badges.
- Displaying endorsements from well-known people (they don’t have to be famous in the conventional sense but they need to be someone that your target audience respects).
- Providing customer testimonials.
All this helps reassure the visitor that you, your company, and your offer are the real deal, which consequently makes them more likely to convert.
Also, if you don’t have much social proof to speak of yet, go out there and obtain it.
Make Sure That Your CTA Button Is Impossible To Miss
You want your call-to-action (CTA) button to stand out so that the visitor couldn’t help but notice it immediately.
You can achieve that by making it:
- Bright. It should contrast with the overall color scheme of the page.
- Prominent. It should be above the fold so that the visitor wouldn’t have to scroll to find it.
Take a look at the CTA button that we have above the fold on our homepage. See how it stands out?
Also, if your landing page is longer than one screen, meaning, the visitor needs to scroll to read the page in its entirety, we recommend you to have at least three call-to-action buttons (more of it’s a long-form landing page).
Remove All Distractions!
When people ask Russell for feedback on their landing pages, the most common problem he sees is this:
Their landing pages are way too complicated.
That’s why he often tells them to delete 90% of the stuff on the page.
Here’s how Russell explains it:
So take a look at each page in your sales funnel and ask yourself:
- Which page elements are nudging the visitor towards conversion?
- Which page elements are distracting the visitor from conversion?
Then ruthlessly eliminate the latter.
Remember, all those bells and whistles might look cool, but they are likely distracting the visitor from proceeding to the next step in your sales funnel.
Bonus #1: 7 Simple Hacks To Get Your Sales Funnel To Convert
Did you implement the best conversion rate optimization practices?
Then you might want to check out this video in which Russell shares seven simple hacks that can help you to further improve your sales funnel:
Bonus #2: How To Get Any Sales Funnel To Convert – No Matter How Bad It Is
Okay, but what if you implemented all the advice in this article, yet your sales funnel still isn’t converting?
Then it might be time to zoom out and look at the big picture:
- What is your hook?
- What is your story?
- what is your offer?
When a funnel is not converting, it typically means that one, two, or even all three parts of the Hook, Story, Offer framework are off.
So if you want to get your funnel to convert, you need to fix that.
Here’s how Russell explains it:
Want Russell To Show You How To Build a Sales Funnel That Converts?
Our co-founder, Russell Brunson, is one of the world’s top sales funnel experts.
He used the Value Ladder sales funnel to grow ClickFunnels from zero to $100M+ in annual revenue in just over three years.
Since then, he has written a bestselling book on the topic, given countless presentations, and helped thousands of entrepreneurs grow their businesses with sales funnels.
In fact, today companies pay him $1M + 25% of gross revenue over the lifetime of the funnel to build one for them.
Wouldn’t it be great if you could learn from him?
Well, guess what…
Check out our 5 Day Challenge where Russell walks you through creating a sales funnel step-by-step.
You will learn how to:
- Generate unlimited leads.
- Create your first lead magnet.
- Build your first sales funnel.
- Create a simple 6-email follow-up sequence.
- And launch your funnel!
…in just five days.
So don’t hesitate.