Jeremy is Co-Founder of uSERP, a digital brand mention agency that helps companies land better media mentions. He is also the CMO at Wordable.io, a tool that directly exports Google Docs to WordPress. His expertise has been featured on Entrepreneur, ReadWrite, Orbit Media, HubSpot, Foundr, G2 Crowd, Drift, SEJ, Codeless, Shopify Enterprise, BigCommerce, Nimble, Keap, and dozens more.
Disclaimer: the sales funnel I am about to show you is not the only type of sales funnel that you can create to sell your course, but it is one that is currently being used by many online instructors in the Thinkific community. Thinkific customer Justin Brooke, for example, uses this sales funnel to sell his online courses. And as you can see from the post he shared in Thinkific’s Facebook Group, it’s working out pretty well for him:
Not having a sales funnel for your online course is the equivalent of setting up a lemonade stand in the middle of the desert where no one will ever find it. Sure, it may be super hot outside. Sure, your lemonade may be delicious. But if you’re not giving people a clear path to follow and that leads to your lemonade stand, they will never find it. This “build it and (hope) they will come” approach rarely translates into sales and enrolments, at least in the real world.
This was one of the most profitable funnels Clickfunnels has ever seen, and formed the basis of a supplement ecommerce business that generated >$500,000 a month in revenue. Clean and highly optimized, it combines multiple marketing strategies in a single relatively simple-looking page – a micro-commitment, a free offer, a video, money-back guarantee, call-to-action, and sense-of-urgency techniques. This mega-converting page leads to an optimized Sales page and not one but two Upsell pages, and then a Thank You page.
Sure, Squarspace isn’t that cheap. But there are NO hidden fees or complicated stuff. Trust me, I’ve tried everything, but they are all disappointing. Squarespace has not suspended me or those stupid rules other site builders have. You’ve got to pay more to do some advanced stuff like coding but there is always a workaround. It’s the best platform I have ever found!
Test the customer service team: You will need post-purchase support at one point or another, so you want a hosting provider with a knowledgeable customer service team that’s available 24/7 via different channels, including phone, email, and chat. Contact customer service at different times of the day, and evaluate the quality of their responses to very specific questions, such as “How do I set up my business email?”
If you don't have a design already in place and think templates are too limited, consider Adobe Muse CC. This unique little program concentrates on letting you design. Templates are handy, embeddable web fonts are great, and the sitemap view may be the best way to get an overall feel for what your site will have. Export it to HTML and you're ready for upload. It's part of the Creative Cloud bundle and also available individually for $14.99 a month with a yearly plan.
The selection below should be plenty to get you started. Read the blurbs and then click through to the linked reviews to find the one that best suits your needs. And don't hesitate to chime in below in the comments section to report your experience with a site builder or praise one that's not included. For more advice and alternatives to DIY website building, check out our primer, How to Create a Website.
With all these services, you build everything yourself, starting with a template you choose from a (hopefully) wide, well-categorized selection. Most use simple drag-and-drop interfaces that let you include items such as social share buttons, photo galleries, blogs, and media players. Some even let you restrict viewing with a password and let you have people join up as members of your site (see the table).
The first example to look at is the email delivery service MailChimp. MailChimp allows users to sign up and use their service for free. If you have a more extensive email list or require more features, then you would join their upgraded plan. They want to make their services seem as easy as possible in an effort to be accessible to both professionals and novices. In MailChimp’s funnel, they have traffic which they get a lot of via word of mouth. Next up is a homepage that draws you in with its slogan and its iconic monkey graphic. They place their buttons strategically around their page for ease of browsing. They next utilize their pricing page and emphasize their free option. They want to get you signed up for their services so you can show everyone how easy their platform is and help them grow.
Several of the services included here offer free options, too. If you choose that path, however, your site will include branding from the provider, which necessarily makes your site less impressive to savvy surfers—and shoppers. Free offerings vary greatly in the storage, bandwidth, and site options they allow, so read the small print to find out how much you get with each provider. Strikingly, Weebly, Wix, and WordPress.com are among the most generous with their free offerings, if that's the way you want to go.
One more important note — Europe recently released their GDPR law, which affects your site visitors’ privacy. It affects you no matter where your website is located, since chances are, people from Europe will hit your site at some point. It basically requires you to get explicit consent from your lead opt-ins. All Sumo opt-in forms come with a GDPR compliant opt-in box you can add to your forms, so you don’t need to worry.
Creating PROFITABLE Funnels For Your Online Store | eCommerce Marketing Funnel Example
Wix now has two options for creating a website. In addition to the traditional Wix Editor, there’s also Wix ADI, an artificial intelligence program that designs custom sites based on questions you answer. We recommend using the Wix Editor, which gives you full control over the customizations available on the platform. However, if you want to try the Wix ADI, by all means, go for it!
In sales funnels, you don’t have to worry about designing your site as there are a lot of templates to choose from and also has amazing features that you can use to create nice sales funnels. It doesn’t matter how skilled you are or not because you can make good pages in just a few clicks and is customizable. Aside from this feature, sales funnels can integrate other features such as automated responses and payment gateways. These are some of the things you need to consider when you are looking for a new landing page builder. Let's go over some more features you will find in sales funnels.
For more than a decade, Jeffrey L. Wilson has penned gadget- and video game-related nerd-copy for a variety of publications, including 1UP, 2D-X, The Cask, Laptop, LifeStyler, Parenting, Sync, Wise Bread, and WWE. He now brings his knowledge and skillset to PCMag as a Lead Analyst. When he isn't staring at a monitor (or two) and churning out web hosting, music, utilities, and video game copy, Jeffrey makes comic books, mentors, practices bass and Jeet Kune Do, and appears on the odd podcasts or convention panel. He also collects vinyl and greatly enjoys a craft brew.
The retention stage: These are beyond-the-funnel customers. You’ll use email sequences, customer accounts, and loyalty programs to keep these customers back for add-ons, upsells, and cross-sells. The goal of stages one through four is to keep the customer moving deeper down the funnel toward becoming a customer. The goal of stage five is to keep the customer coming back.
Support among the services varies widely, from free WordPress.com account's only offering community support, to Jimdo's email-only service, to Wix's telephone-callback service—even for free accounts! Many of the site builders offer rich online support knowledge bases and FAQs, so there's a good chance you won't even need to contact the company. I test each service's support as part of the review process by asking about some less-common site-building procedures.
Responsive design is a popular web design strategy used by some of these site builders. This approach reformats the same webpage content to fit different screens. But in terms of SEO (search engine optimization), the search engines only care about whether a site displays suitably on mobile screen sizes. Both Bing and Google have pages where you can enter your URL to see if your site plays on mobile acceptably.
As we said in the last step, templates provide a framework. Given how many people use builders to make a website nowadays, odds are there are a few sites out there with the same framework as yours. At the very least you will need to populate a chosen template with content specific to you. And to really stand out, you’ll need to do some customization.