A high-performance sales funnel builder is an essential online marketing tool for every digital marketer or entrepreneur. Whether you’re a startup, selling an online course, offering B2B services, building a membership site, or creating marketing campaigns for a small business, the best sales funnel software will dramatically increase conversion rates. All business owners, from ecommerce retailers to service providers, must build robust sales funnels to be successful. Trying to choose between email automation, website plugins and all-in-one platforms is very confusing – but we can help! Read on for the ten most important features to look for when choosing a sales funnel tool.
What is a sales funnel, and is software necessary to create one?
At its core, the sales funnel is simply the sales process that converts potential customers into paying customers. Companies have been nurturing new customers through the sales journey decades before the internet, via catalogs, in-person sales presentations, and direct phone marketing. However, today’s sophisticated software tools and fine-tuned data make it possible to create far more effective funnel strategies.
The true power of funnel-building software lies in its ability to streamline and automate the process of moving customers through a sales pipeline. With software, digital marketers can sync and analyze each stage of the customer journey: from awareness, to consideration, to decision. By measuring performance at each step, they can improve the campaign at any time.
Of course it’s possible to build a funnel manually by combining miscellaneous digital tools like web page builders and email software. However, an all-in-one sales funnel tool makes the process far more efficient and effective, converting a higher percentage of potential customers and maximizing sales.
What features should a sales funnel builder include?
Sales funnel software is designed to work automatically. It’s a set-it-and-forget-it money making machine. However, to get the best performance from your sales funnel tool it’s important to understand the different funnel features that are available. Make sure any marketing platform you consider offers the following before you invest time in creating a complex funnel:
With Kartra’s Funnel Mapper, you can design effective, automated sequences in minutes. Create a visual plan of your funnel workflow as you plot each step of your marketing funnel, then run simulations of cost and revenue projections using the Funnel Simulator to understand the potential outcomes of each step.
Pre-Built Templates and Done-For-You Campaigns
Whether you’re a beginner at building sales funnels or have done them for years, using ready-made, proven templates is a huge time saver. Quality templates include ready-to-use landing pages, sample email marketing campaigns with triggers, signup forms, and CRM tagging. Streamline your funnel setup by using templates and done-for-you marketing automation and save valuable time. In an industry where agility is critical, your time is much better spent on keeping your campaign optimized.
Saving time on your workflow is not the only benefit of using templates. Here at Kartra, some of the world’s top online marketers have uploaded their best marketing campaigns, giving you access to “plug and play” marketing for your own online business. For digital marketing professionals, these proven templates provide a master course in digital marketing… that their customers pay for! Let your business profit from expertise that took years to acquire.
Landing Page Builder
Virtually all sales funnels include landing pages. A landing page (sometimes referred to as a squeeze page), is a dedicated page on a website that is designed to spark a specific action.
Because landing pages are so frequently updated to improve SEO, a funnel software’s website builder should have a drag-and-drop editor page editor that makes it simple to create customizable landing pages. If they have pre-built landing page templates, you can use them to have your page up and running quickly.
You’ll also want to make sure the landing page builder includes a robust form builder. Forms are key to gathering information from potential customers on lead generation pages or checkout pages. They need to be easy to set up, have proper spam filtering, and integrate seamlessly with your email marketing platform.
Automated Email Marketing
Sales funnels use email automation and drip campaigns extensively, so robust email marketing capabilities are essential to a high quality funnel software.
The best email campaigns include automatic “triggers”, so when a subscriber takes a specific action (like clicking a button, filling out a lead generation form, or visiting a particular page) they are added to an email list. Email automation software then sends a follow-up message series to nurture them further down the sales funnel. Without autoresponder functionality, sales funnels have to rely on manual integrations with email service providers, which creates a time-consuming task for team members.
It’s important to understand that while many email marketing software brands claim to build out full funnels, they are often just designed and built around email autoresponder functionality. While this is a very important feature it is not robust enough for multi-channel sales funnels, which require all ten of these features for optimized performance.
A sequence building feature makes it easy to visualize your sales funnel and adjust your strategy. If a sales funnel software doesn’t offer a drag-and-drop builder for sequences, prepare for hard work and frustration! While it’s possible to manually connect a maze of email sequences and landing pages, this creates opportunities for error as layers of campaigns are added and updated.
With an integrated sequence builder, you can simply add, remove, or re-order events within the flow without having to reprogram all your original triggers. Want to share a webinar on-demand to follow-up on a white paper that a visitor downloaded? Sequence mapping makes it easy to add a trigger that automates the right sequence for that prospective customer.
A Powerful CRM
Using a CRM is vital to organizing your sales and marketing efforts. A CRM is a customer relationship management database that contains information about your customers and leads. Email addresses, shipping addresses, purchase history, social media, and a host of other information can be stored in each customer’s profile, making it easy to identify and segment them. Funnel software that includes a CRM eliminates the need for additional tools and integrations.
In order to make sure your sales funnel is working, A/B testing is a must-have feature. An A/B test (sometimes referred to as split testing), tests two versions of a page, email or online ad to see which one is more successful. The goal of an A/B test is to improve performance and increase conversion rates.
A/B testing is a common tactic for these campaign elements:
- Ad creative
- Email campaigns
- Landing pages
- Checkout pages
- Opt-in Forms
Sales funnel software helps you set up and track your A/B tests, and reports which version performs best so you can quickly optimize your campaign.
An upsell is a popular sales funnel feature that uses pop-ups, alert bars, or automatic page redirects to push limited offers and related products. Upsell functionality encourages customers to add more products or services to their cart before they finally check out. Good sales funnel software makes it easy to create, test, and optimize upsell offers.
Shopping Cart & Payment Processing
Because most sales funnels ultimately end in a purchase, it’s smart to choose a sales funnel software that has payment functionality built-in. This allows customers to complete a transaction seamlessly and quickly without being taken to a third-party purchasing page.
The sales checkout feature should integrate with multiple payment gateways (such as Stripe, Square and PayPal) and include templates for one-click checkout and targeted sales pages.
Analytics & Data Tracking
Sales funnel analytics are used to examine the series of actions each customer takes before completing a specific goal or conversion. An accurate sales funnel analysis helps identify friction points, showing you exactly where users are dropping off the conversion path.
Find your highest-converting marketing channels, and understand user behavior at every step of the conversion path. See time to conversion, frequency and conversions over time without the need for another app or program.
Integrations That Help Businesses Thrive
Even when they choose robust software for their sales funnels, businesses still need other workplace tools in order to thrive. Any platform you use should provide easy integrations with popular tools and software. Syncing your sales funnel software to popular apps like Google Workspace, Slack, webinar hosting software, and other business tools keeps things running smoothly and improves customer support.
Popular ecommerce platforms like WordPress, Shopify, and Squarespace offer some integrations but they are not sales funnels or marketing platforms. Using these tools seems easy at first, but they force users to buy plugins and third party software that require a lot of time and attention.
If your sales funnel platform has an API, you can either use the API or a tool like Zapier for a smooth integration with your chosen funnel software.