Don't make these 10 sales funnel mistakes

Female entrepreneur building a successful sales funnel using a Kajabi sales funnel bundle by Just Add Your Brand™.

There are numerous opportunities at different stages in the sales funnel to connect with your audience and ultimately convert them into a client or customer. At the same time, missed opportunities can allow a potential customer to drop out of the sales funnel. Here are some sales funnel mistakes to avoid.

1. Not Defining Your Target Audience

One of the biggest mistakes marketers and brands make with their sales funnels is not defining a target audience. Trying to be all things to all people is seldom a successful strategy. Messages that try to appeal to too wide an audience end up sounding vague and falling flat. In order for your pitch to succeed, you need to define who you’re pitching to.

Start by defining for yourself who your target audience is. What are their needs and concerns? What makes your offer a good fit for them? When you hone in, you can really speak to that specific audience's pain points.

Then, you can communicate to your audience that you understand their needs and are uniquely positioned to address them. A website or landing page should immediately answer the question, "Am I in the right place?"

Your audience wants to know,"Will this work for me?" "Will this work for my industry?"

Be explicit and let them know who your product or service is designed for. You can also define who your offer isn't for to help create this clarity.

Don't worry about leaving people out of your sales funnel.  You can always duplicate your offer or run a new launch that focuses on a different segment of your audience with messaging crafted specifically for them.

2. Unclear Outcomes & Path to Success

What results can the buyer expect to see? How will it impact their business or life? Be explicit about the value you bring to the table and the benefits your clients or customers will enjoy. If you can express these results with some kind of metric or numerical value, all the better.

Consumers also want to know exactly what to expect when working with you - no surprises. What is the exact process they'll go through? What does it look like to work with you or complete your course? If your offer is unclear, they’re likely to look elsewhere rather than take their chances. Show them the path to success.

3. It's All About You!

As marketers, we sometimes get so caught up in communicating about our brand or what we have to offer that we lose sight of the client, and this can be a turn-off. This is not to say that you should remove yourself and your personality from your offer. It’s important for potential clients to get a sense of who you are and what sets you apart.

But at the end of the day, what the potential customer wants to know is, “what’s in it for me?”

Put the focus on your audience. Talk to them directly. Show that you understand where they’re coming from, and describe how you will help them solve their problems and reach their goals.

Definitely still include an About section. If part of the offer is working with you directly, you will want to share some of your personality here and illuminate that experience of what it's like to work with you.

4. Lack of Visuals & Offer Mockups

Humans are visual creatures. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words, right? When it comes to marketing and sales, image-based ads perform better and are more memorable than text alone. Failing to take advantage of visual media is a major missed opportunity in your sales funnel.

Make it tangible. Make it real.

There are so many ways to make a visual impact, you can pick and choose what makes the most sense for your brand and your offer. You might include eye-catching photos or video, share-worthy animated GIFs, before and afters, screenshots of real client results or feedback, mockups, or graphs and charts that express your data in a visually appealing way.

5. Skipping Social Proof

Studies have found that the vast majority of consumers - 99% - read reviews when shopping online. Nielsen found that 92% of consumers around the world value the recommendation of a friend or family member above other forms of advertising when making a purchasing decision.  This goes to show that consumer decision-making is an increasingly social endeavor.

We are constantly being influenced - explicitly and implicitly - by our peers and authoritative members of our communities. So, use that to your advantage.

You can include client testimonials, features, client logos, social media, user-generated content, or a social proof widget like ProveSource. Social proof builds trust and confidence in your audience and thereby drives conversions.

6. You Haven't Addressed Objections

I like to view a sales page like a gem. There are all these different facets and ways to look at the same thing. You want to tilt it and show a different perspective because that one facet might just be the one that connects and resonates with your potential buyer.

There’s the emotional facet. You want to appeal to both the desires and pain points of your potential client or customer. Remember that people are as motivated (often moreso) to avoid pain as they are to seek pleasure. What about your offer will alleviate some of that pain? How can you make them feel happy, hopeful, special?

Then there’s the practical side of things. This includes things like costs, time investment, and potential value added. This is also a good place to address (explicitly or more subtly) possible objections your customer might have. What might stop them from converting? Anticipate and address those concerns.

The technical facet of your sales page should cover the nuts and bolts of your offer. It’s a good idea to have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) section where you can answer housekeeping questions and address other possible concerns your audience may have, like “Who is this not right for?” or “What is your refund policy?”

Other technical information includes:

  • Offer specs
  • Policies
  • How the purchase offer will be delivered
  • How the potential buyer can ask questions

7. There's No Sense of Urgency

Even a compelling offer without a sense of timeliness can cause a warm lead to go cold. Why should they buy now? What is the cost of waiting? What sales, growth, or other benefits are they missing by putting this off? Will they miss out on special pricing?

Use offer deadlines, countdown timers (must be genuine), fast-action bonuses, or language indicating a limited number of seats, to prompt your potential client to take action.

8. No Guarantee

When making a significant purchase or business decision, buyers want to feel a sense of safety. A guarantee can be that one thing that pushes people over the edge to feeling comfortable enough to go through with the purchase, especially if it's a high ticket item.

If your sales page accurately portrays the offer, you clearly set expectations, and then deliver on those expectations, you should have very few refund requests. You can structure this guarantee in many different ways. You might offer a partial or full refund within a fixed amount of time if certain results are not obtained, or if the business relationship doesn’t prove to be a good fit. Alternatively, you might offer a 30-day cancellation policy, or a free trial.

9. Trying to Get It Perfect, Before You've Even Gotten Sales

Sometimes, we perfectionists can spend so much time trying to get our plan and strategy just right that we don’t get our work in front of our audience. Certainly, take some time to plan. But don’t wait for perfection. There will always be more data you can gather to inform your strategy. There will always be more planning to do. But sooner or later you have to put your offer out there.

Once you have a working version of your sales funnel, focus on getting it launched so you can get sales and validate your offer quickly. You don't want to invest a ton of time and money into a sales funnel that you don't know will convert. Use templates, take action, work fast, let go of perfection, and get the thing launched so you can start selling and see if your offer works.

Your sales funnel will be a living, breathing thing that changes with time as you gather more insights from the responses you get to your offer. Expect that it will undergo multiple iterations as time progresses.

10. The Offer Itself

No sales funnel will sell an offer that people don't want. Consider carefully what kind of value you have to offer, and why your audience should work with you instead of your competitors.

Alex Hormozi's book, “$100M Offers: How To Make Offers So Good People Feel Stupid Saying No” is a bestseller and a great resource full of actionable steps you can take to craft compelling offers, charge what you’re worth, and close sales.

Final Thoughts

Your sales funnel is like a roadmap to a successful sale. By defining your audience, attending to their needs, and demonstrating your unique value along the way, you’ll be on your way to an influx of sales and satisfied customers.

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Amanda Olson - Owner and lead creative behind Just Add Your Brand™ Template Shop
About the Author

Amanda Olson is an award-winning designer and web developer with over 20,000 hours of experience in websites, design, and online marketing.