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Startup Sales Funnel Guide to Getting More Leads or Signups

In this startup sales funnel guide, I will cover how you can test your idea with an MVP Funnel for your new business and how you can generate more leads or signups with some clever tactics and a lot more. I also have put together a pack that you can download to access these resources.

1. MVP Funnel

MVP Funnel

The good thing is even before launching your product or service you can test its viability. I first heard about the term MVP when I came across Eric Reis and his book the lean startup. Definitely worth a read so the idea is to come up with the most minimal way possible to test your idea.

How Can You Do This?

Use my google doc to put a structure for a wireframe. You can easily build a wireframe in a tool like whimsical. Once you have a wireframe, then head over to Upwork and hire a landing page designer and ask them to convert the wireframe into a mockup using your brand logo colours etc.

So now here is what you can do, head over to usability hub com and conduct an experiment. You can define the target audience and their demographics and ask them simple questions. Some of the questions could be

  1. What do you think we are selling on the page?
  2. What was most appealing on this page?
  3. Would you trust the website and make a purchase/start trial etc.

Based on these questions, you can get some understanding of how people find your page. It’s a great exercise because as founders, you might know everything and want to archive through your startup, but oftentimes, that communication is never transferred.

By running this experiment, you can get a feel of what some random visitors think.

2. Pre-Launch Funnel

Once you have a mockup, you can ask a landing page developer to take the mockup and code it. You can either choose WordPress or Unbounce. It depends on your budget. Once the page is up and running, you can start sending traffic to the page.

Now here is how the pre-launch funnel gets interesting.

If you know your product or service solves a problem, then use google ads and target those keywords which people are typing in.

Let’s consider you are a Saas business and offer a Holiday booking API service. If your prospect is looking for your service they will type in those keywords as they looking for a solution or product around Holiday booking service API.

But if your prospects don’t even know they have a problem and therefore don’t know that you exist. Then you need to first educate them and increase their awareness about your product.

You can have a Facebook ad that educates prospects and then takes them to a landing page where you can tell them about the solution and introduce your product or service to them.

prelaunch sales funnel

In a pre-launch funnel, you can get visitors to fill out a simple form to get their email addresses. So the idea is to build a list of subscribers who you can market to when you actually launch.

As the name suggests you want to create excitement around your business and offer something valuable in return for their email. Eg. Early signup would get a 10% lifetime discount on launch.

sales funnel beginners guide

Now chances are you might have heard about pre-launch landing pages. Now let me share with you a version of a pre-launch sequence that can increase your chances of turning signups into customers by 20%. This is known as the reservation or $1 Funnel or the VIP funnel.

In this funnel, once a visitor signs up on your pre-launch page, you redirect them to a one-time offer page. On this page, they see an option to join the VIP list. The VIP list could get them an exclusive discount or early-bird access to your crowdfunding page

The catch is – they need to pay a deposit of $1.

so what’s happening here.

Visitors who put down a deposit have taken the next step of giving out their credit card, which means they have shown purchase intent.

Once you launch, you can now create a 1-click upsell for your pre-launch VIP list who are waiting to buy your product or service. You can easily distinguish your Facebook Ads and show different ads to the Pre-Launch List Subscribers vs the VIP list.

thank you page

3. Book a Demo Funnel

As the name suggests on a book a demo page, you can get prospects to fill out a form so that they speak to you in person. This is ideal if your product is either a high-ticket item or product or service that’s complex and needs education.

Book a Demo Funnel Practice

I remember signing up for superhuman, in which I was on-boarded by a Product Specialist. Only then I was able to access/pay for my account. After going through the product demo, which by the way, was super personalised, I jumped on signing up for the service.

Back to our landing page, to have an effective book a demo page, you have a couple of options.

  1. Show the appointment scheduler form directly on the page.
  2. Or Capture just email on the landing page.
  3. And embed the appointment scheduler on the next page, i.e. the thank you page.

4. Free Trial Funnel

Free Trial Funnel

The free-trial funnel is great for getting sign-ups for your SaaS business. However, you might already have a free trial built in your app. What I am talking about is slightly different.

Free Trial landing pages sit outside your app because they are outside they are less rigid and easily editable. See where I am going here?

Free trial landing pages are linked to paid campaigns and are great for testing out any hypotheses. When building these pages, you can capture just email, which you can track as a conversion, and using URL parameters pass this over to your main sign-up page where subscribers can complete the registration.

Free Trial Landing Pages

The immediate benefit is you can test our multiple landing pages and match them to different target audiences.

You don’t have to worry about the infrastructure and access management as these pages are hosted on a sub-domain so these pages are completely detached from your main app.

Since these pages can be built using page builders like Unbounce, and Swipe Pages, you can allow your marketing team to go wild and test them out. With clever UTM tracking, you can pass this data over to your CRM and know exactly which marketing channel is working for you.

5. Click-Through Funnel

In a Click-through funnel, you basically redirect visitors to a free trial/product demo or sign-up page. Your target audience is either problem aware or they are completely unaware.

Depending on their awareness level, you can warm or educate them first before you send them to your app sign-up page.

Click-through landing pages have a very simple objective to push visitors down the funnel by increasing their awareness. One of the benefits of a click-through funnel is that you can create multiple landing pages to target different personas.

E.g. If you are building a CRM and one of your target audiences is an agency owner. Then you can create a landing page that is highly relevant to the personas and talks about the benefits and features of the CRM for just them.

6. Lead Generation Funnel

If you are planning to generate inbound leads, you need to build lead generation landing pages as part of your content marketing. Lead generation pages or lead magnets are great for collecting emails in exchange for a downloadable cheat sheet, calculator, case study, webinar, etc.

You can use lead generation landing pages as part of your sales funnel. They are a great way to build trust and authority.

Lead Generation Funnel

Consider a scenario where you are running Google ads and sending visitors to your sales pages. Most visitors will drop off and won’t sign up for a trial or book a demo.

Now, let’s plugin lead magnets. You can run retargeting ads and show ads focusing on a problem these visitors might be facing. Based on the problem, you can build a calculator, and once they interact with it, they can get the results when they fill out their email.

After capturing the email, you can now educate them via an email sequence and introduce them to how your product solves their problem. At this point, you can link your trial or free demo pages. So instead of wasting your paid traffic, you have now brought them back into your marketing funnel.

I hope you got value from this blog, Startup Sales Funnel Guide. I have put together a Swipe folder of all the funnels you can download and use to create your own funnels. I’ve also included copywriting tools that can help you wireframe your landing pages.

Also Check:

Top Of Funnel Marketing
Middle of the Funnel Lead Generation
Bottom of The Funnel Leads
How to Generate Leads Through the Blog
What are Unqualified Leads: Identification and Management
B2B Startup Marketing Guide: Key Elements and Strategies

Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure
Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure
Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure
Waseem Bashir
CEO of Apexure

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