Who woulda thunk it? Certainly not most business owners when they start running Facebook ads. Turns out most entrepreneurs have no idea about the different ways you can construct an ad funnel.
A funnel’s a funnel, right?
Every Facebook advertiser has one (whether they realise it or not) – but most assume there’s only one way to convert people from the first point of contact to becoming a loyal customer. Their go-to funnel is often the one they cobbled together way back at the start of their business.
The reality is, most ad funnels come about by accident rather than design. They’re often the result of winging it, instead of following a strategic plan.
The result? Poor quality leads or not enough sales…and a huge amount of frustration at the amount of money wasted on ineffective Facebook ads.
Now, there are countless ways to construct a sales funnel. It can even be baffling to think of all the different ways you can start your funnel…like, Google, YouTube, Organic social media, TV, radio…not forgetting Facebook ads.
There are also hundreds of routes clients can take through your funnel – some more direct than others. But the end point is always the same. That’s because the ultimate goal of your funnel is always to generate a sale.
Often, gurus talk about funnels like they involve some kind of mind-boggling voodoo magic. They draw crazy funnel diagrams with arms shooting off in all directions. This is intentional. They want to make funnels look complicated, so you’ll pay them lots of money to untangle the world’s most difficult advertising puzzle.
Here’s the thing – a funnel is just a fancy way of intentionally leading your ideal customer from…
Point A – “I don’t know who the chuff you are”
Point B – “I love you, I want to buy all your stuff, and I want to make shopping babies with you”
There’s no trickery or magic here. It’s simply the path you construct to warm up your customers and transport them willingly to your checkout page.
But like I said, when most businesses run an ad funnel, little strategic planning goes into it. It’s just there because it’s there. Which is why I want to show you some of the most common funnel types, as well as explaining when they’re most appropriate.
Straight-up ad funnel – Who says a funnel’s gotta be complicated? Sometimes, all you need is a killer ad that leads directly to a product page.
This works well for many E-Comm products, especially those that are easy to understand, with a strong USP and positioning. It also works well if you’re selling a lower-priced product to a less skeptical audience.
That’s because your prospect doesn’t need much convincing in order to make a purchase.
Long-form ad funnel – In niches with skeptical audiences or more complex products, you can still get away with a simple funnel flow. For products like low-ticket online courses, paid E-books or a health supplement you can drive Facebook Ad traffic directly to a sales page.
However, this kind of product is trickier to pre-frame in a Facebook ad. It’s why more complex products need long-form sales pages to convert cold audiences into paying customers.
Typically, products that use this kind of long-form ad funnel have a high customer acquisition cost. It’s why many business owners believe you can’t sell info-products directly off a Facebook ad. That’s not strictly true – it’s just that a lot of businesses don’t have a high enough budget to make this type of funnel work or they have a sucky sales page with a super low conversion rate.
If that sounds like you, this is where the next type of funnel can help…
Pre-sell ad funnel – A little constrained budget-wise? Or worried about the messaging on your sales page? A pre-sell funnel can help!
It works by inserting a strategic piece of content in between your Facebook ads and your sales page. This helps to warm up cold traffic so they’re in the right mindset to buy before they hit your sales page.
This can help in a couple of ways:
1. Cheaper message testing – Look, some landing pages are just naff (most in fact). Trouble is, getting a new one takes a lot of work. Or it can cost a lot of money to hire an awesome copywriter to fix it. And that’s before you even factor in A/B split testing to find the best message.
A pre-sell funnel can help. By inserting a pre-sell page between your ad and your sales page you can test different messages to find one that converts (without spending £10k on copy for a new one).
2. Cheaper, more qualified leads – Let’s face it, Facebook Ads can get very expensive very quickly. What’s one way to bring your costs down? Run traffic ads instead of conversion ads. These cost less money but still steer cold traffic into your funnel.
However, you shouldn’t run traffic ads to a sales page. That’s because traffic ads are designed to find you browsers rather than buyers (It’s why they cost less.) So, you’ll probably generate less sales if you don’t include a pre-sell page in your traffic funnel.
With a pre-sell page, you do a little bit of upfront persuasion concealed within a piece of content that looks like a blog. This helps get prospects thinking the right way before hitting your sales page.
That means cheaper traffic that’s been pre-qualified before arriving on your sales page.
PLF video funnel – Product Launch Formula (or PLF) funnels are Jeff Walker’s baby. The idea of a PLF funnel is to take some of the pressure of your sales page while still converting cold traffic in a short amount of time.
It accelerates average cold conversion times from about 90 days down to between 3 and 7 days, with the help of a strategic series of videos.
Prospects go from your Facebook Ad to an opt-in page, where they can register for a free video series, containing several pieces of high value content. At the end of the series is your sales pitch plus your long-form sales page.
These funnels tend to be more complex and more labour intensive to create, but they shorten your customer journey and allow you to quickly break-even on your customer acquisition costs.
Lead Magnet ad funnel – Many businesses already have a lead magnet funnel. Often, traffic comes from organic sources like social media, YouTube, blog posts or podcasts. However you can also create a paid lead magnet funnel using Facebook Ads.
First, let’s talk about the downside of a paid lead magnet funnel. Typically, it takes around 30-90 days to convert cold traffic from opt-in to first sale. In many cases it can take as long as 2 years…and that’s only if you have an effective and consistent follow-up system in place (usually through email marketing).
When you spend money on a lead magnet funnel it can take several months before you break even, and even longer before you make a profit. It’s why a lot of online businesses avoid this type of ad funnel.
That said, it can still work well for businesses with small ad budgets who want to widen their reach…if they make a solid email strategy on the back-end of their funnel.
Similar to the PLF funnel, your Facebook Ad drives traffic to an opt-in page. Only this time it’s for a lead magnet like a free EBook or PDF resource.
This type of funnel does not steer prospects directly to a sales page. Instead, it relies on regular emails to slowly move prospects to their online cash register. While this strategy is definitely one of the cheaper ways of generating leads (around £3 per lead), it also takes much longer to turn cold leads into sales.
As you can see, there are lots of different ways to structure your Facebook Ad funnel. In fact, these strategies are just a tiny sample of what’s possible for your business.
Here are the key things to remember when you create a Facebook Ad funnel:
- Be clear on your objectives – do you want to generate sales immediately or are you happy to convert leads at a later date
- Be guided by your budget – different types of funnel cost a different amount to create and to run
- Understand your cashflow – how long can you afford to wait until you break-even and how much are you willing to spend to acquire a customer?
- Know your market – some products sell easily with a simple funnel. Others require more persuasion. Build you funnel around the complexity of your product and the sophistication of your market
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