Hello! Today we will be looking at sales and marketing funnels, also known as conversion funnels. The concept of conversion funnels has been around for years in the digital marketing world and it is the subject of many many articles and videos. Everyone is always waffling on about optimising complex landing page strategies, with fancy diagrams and serious-looking statistics. but there is very little to be found in terms of concrete online case studies with actual video proof.
but there is very little to be found in terms of concrete online case studies with actual video proof. And that is something I would like to change over the next few minutes. I will be talking you through an existing conversion funnel of an actual brand. The brand in question is Cooldrops, the solution that the team at Dropsolid offer to small businesses and independents. I’ll be taking you behind the scenes of our conversion funnel, using real campaigns, , real tools and real interaction between different systems. And this will hopefully provide you with the insight you need to start building your own digital sales and marketing funnels. Before we dive deeper into our Cooldrops case, let’s go back for a second to our basic customer journey using this touchpoint model. You’re probably already familiar with this model in one form or another. The top half displays our digital touchpoints, and the bottom half shows us the physical touchpoints. Now, it’s not about the type of touchpoints, or the order that they’re in. The point I’m trying to make here is very simple: there are just so many of these touchpoints. Very often, we notice that companies tend to work on every single touchpoint individually, thinking that everything will somehow magically come together into a coherent funnel, leading up to better awareness, more site visits and higher conversion rates. If you don’t set up a system, though, this is very unlikely to happen, and the only build-up these companies ever get to see is one of frustration. Let’s steer clear of the idea that we can set up a successful funnel using individual tools that don’t communicate. What we want to create is a single, connected digital experience, something you can think of as a marketing machine. So, what do we actually need to build that marketing machine and solid conversion funnels? First and foremost: a powerful, flexible and scalable content management system. For Cooldrops, we always rely on Drupal for this. Secondly: a CRM tool, in this case Teamleader. Third one in the list: your own marketing automation tools, in this case Hubspot. You can of course also go for Marketo or other platforms – either way, as long as they suit your own philosophy and get the job done. A fourth important element is dashboarding. Of course we can’t live without Google Analytics for website statistics, but there are many more reporting tools available out there. A very recent addition to our stack is Cumul.io, a tool that allows you to create your own dashboards – I’ll be showing this later. There are a few other platforms and tools like sales enablement tools or ERP systems that might be relevant to your business, but we don’t use any of these in our Cooldrops conversion funnel. So, recap, the four things we use for our funnel: a CMS, a CRM, marketing automation and reporting tools. Why is this so important? Not because these companies have paid us to mention them – because that is not the case – but because it is important to work using systems that allow easy integrations and that can communicate with each other. All too often, we notice that a company’s choice for building any sort of IT-related business project sometimes still depends on legacy IT systems. It’s incredibly difficult and expensive to to hook those old systems up to a modern environment, and their lack of innovation simply does not match the speed of open, scalable platforms. You don’t want that to happen when building an ROI-based conversion funnel make sure you don’t get hijacked by some nineties technology “just because it’s always been done that way.” Now, let’s move on to discover the secrets to the conversion funnel of our Cooldrops brand! The Cooldrops business model is quite simple: we build scalable websites for small SMEs and independents. We do this using our own Drupal platform at the core. . The most basic offering in that Cooldrops universe is calledfix for freea free basic website. Sounds like a very easy product to get people engaged with, but you’d be surprised how difficult it is to win young entrepreneurs over with a free offering that usually costs money elsewhere. And I have to say it took us quite a bit of time to build and tweak the right funnel for those free websites. Our primary goal for this funnel is very simple: we want to push new entrepreneurs and independents to sign up for a free website via our registration form on the landing page. So, how did we tackle this? Step one: SEO. No matter how much you spend on advertising: a good SEO strategy will still help both your short-term goals as well as the search rankings of your site. . It’s never too early to invest in high-quality content about topics that are relevant to your target groups. So think about getting a head start with dedicating some time to writing. Good contentwillget picked up eventually by search engines, it just takes time. Also, don’t forget about video as part of your strategy. To give you an example: at Cooldrops we create new video content and written articles every single week. We measure the effectiveness of our Cooldrops SEO meticulously using Moz, a pretty nifty tool for SEO analysis. Its dashboards allow you to check your rankings against your competitors for certain keywords. When your SEO is right, you can start building your adverts. There’s one crucial factor that separates a good ad from a great one:testing. And more testing, and then some more. Small things can make a tremendous difference: teaser images, target groups, CTAs,… Trial and error is usually impossible to avoid to a certain extent, but there are of course some best practices that help for certain sectors and target groups. Also, don’t underestimate the differences between video ads on Facebook and Google. Now, we only have one primary goal for our Cooldrops funnel: to make sure new entrepreneurs register for a free website through our own landing page. One clear landing page for one segment: that is what keeps things clear for our own marketing people and sales team. Our landing page for Cooldrops was designed using Hubspot. This allows us to make last-minute changes or carry out A/B tests and different versions. Everything is automatically tracked using dashboards, where we can keep track of everything and anything that happens. All leads are automatically synced to our CRM, where the sales team can keep an eye on things and intervene if necessary. Behind the landing page is a hidden world of automated e-mail flows and phone call alerts, where everyone involved can see the real-time status of every lead at any given moment in time. This eliminates missed opportunities. The integration between different tracking codes and tags on our website gives us additional insight into the effectiveness of certain lead channels. – so we can shift into a higher gear on certain channels if appropriate. Content and ad creation is only a first step: it’s that continous tweaking that will improve your funnel and conversion rates significantly. We check our Cooldrops video stats every day on the Google and Wistia portals, and we also keep an eye on the visitor paths on our website using Mouseflow. In addition, the CRM and Hubspot communicate with each other, so that they are both up-to-date at all times. Because we track everything so meticulously, we can build aggregate statistics. For Cooldrops, we do this using Cumulio, an advanced tool for custom reports. We created our own Cooldrops dashboards that show us detailed ROI, lead sources, time spent, etc. All-in all: a great way for that continuous improvement. Remember: everything I’ve just shown you wasonefunnel, specifically designed foronesingle product, aimed atonetarget group. . As soon as you start to scale and build multiple funnels, you just have to automate as many processes as possible to keep track and improve the ROI of your spending. Just one more thing I would like to share, and it’s a rather optimistic takeaway: Every organisation or company is capable of building a marketing machine. You can start out very small and scale up later – as long as your foundations are solid and scalable, pretty much anything is possible if you bring in the right resources. As a young independent starter, for example, you could go for a combination of a Cooldrops Drupal website, a MailChimp account and some basic Google Analytics tracking. SMEs usually opt for slightly more mature integrations between Drupal, Teamleader and Hubspot. And true mid-market companies can go all-out and build a full digital experience that integrates their web platform and their existing BI tools like Salesforce or Marketo. Interested in finding out more about our conversion funnel? Just continue reading on our blog or sign up to our newsletter. If you want to start building a conversion funnel yourself, just get in touch with Dropsolid.