How To Bridge The Offline/Online Customer Experience Successfully

Nowadays, the average customer journey can be rather complicated. Consumers expect retail experiences that are smooth, seamless, and most importantly, omnichannel. As a result, retailers must look at how they can optimize their strategies to offer a holistic presence – bringing together both online and offline operations.

Econsultancy tells us that “nearly 40% of online searchers make a purchase after being influenced by an offline channel”. In maintaining an online and offline presence, it can sometimes prove challenging trying to connect the two. With that in mind, here are some tips for bridging the offline/online customer experience successfully.

Keeping things consistent

This first point is perhaps an obvious one, but it bears reinforcing. A big part of connecting the online and offline experience is consistency: in design, branding, and messaging. It’s often the case that a customer may see your advertising out in the real world before searching online to find out more. If your branding doesn’t match up, your credibility will take a hit.

Consumers expect consistency each time they encounter your business. Even if selling online doesn’t form a big part of what you do, a professional-looking ecommerce website that fits with the rest of your communications is essential. It doesn’t have to be a big endeavor, these days. On-brand imagery, language and ease of use are the most important factors.

Cosmetics retailer Lush is a good example. Observe the visual similarities in their online and offline branding below – font choices, color scheme, etc.

There’s something about mobile

As we’ve discussed, modern consumers use a variety of channels to make their purchases today. But one of the biggest things that can get in the way of this is mobile experience. More than half of us still find it cumbersome to complete a transaction on a mobile device, and around the same percentage of retailers fail to optimize their websites for tablets.

On top of that, a growing number of people are keen to take advantage of the opportunity to use their mobile phones while visiting a store, whether that’s to check if what they want is in stock, save money with real-time promotions, or earn extra loyalty points. As yet, most retailers don’t offer this service, so those that do have a distinct competitive advantage.

Shopify users will find that exploring functionality like geo targeting is not as complicated as you might think. For $10 a month, the Geo Targeting app integrates with your store to target offers, news and coupon codes at certain locations. The more visual and eye-catching you can make these notifications, the better.

The case for vanity URLs

A vanity URL is a shortened version of your web address that’s easier for customers to remember. They’re mostly used for offline advertisements, such as billboards and posters, so people won’t struggle to recall the website at a later date. What’s more, you can track this URL to judge the effectiveness of your offline advertising efforts.

Once someone has landed on your vanity URL page, you can then look to retarget those users digitally if they failed to convert the first time around. Vanity URLs are also easier to share and perceived as more trustworthy.

Below are some examples of what a vanity URL might look like. You can find out how to set one up for your landing page here.

  • becomes
  • becomes
  • becomes

Why you should be collecting data regularly

Whether offline or online, it’s important to know the best way to contact your customers. While it’s always recommended to collect a name and email when people buy from you online, asking for too much personal information in one go can be offputting – potentially enough to risk an abandoned shopping cart.

So make creating an account optional, and make use of those email addresses to send each new customer a thank you email, along with an incentive to complete a short survey about their shopping experience. That initial contact could lead to a series of feedback requests that help you improve your customer experience, both online and off. Good retailers understand the importance of reputation management – and if you wanted to bring the same ethos in-store, you might want to consider targeted smartphone notifications, surveys that can be filled out via tablet as customers exit the store, or comment cards.

Creating engagement through social media

Finally, your social media strategy can play a big role in engaging customers, whether they shop online or in-store. Even if they don’t visit your website, chances are if they shop with you regularly, they at least follow your social media channels. It’s a great way to remind them about offers, events, new releases, and your company ethos. Never underestimate the power of a good UGC campaign – the ultimate way to bring offline experiences into the online world.

In summary, keep in mind that today’s consumers do not see distinct shopping channels. Rather, they will have an overall view of your brand that’s informed by their experiences across multiple touchpoints. A unified approach is key, as the online/offline worlds will only continue to merge.

3 Simple Steps to Build a Social Media Marketing Sales Funnel

Originally posted on SME

Are you looking for a smart way to use social channels for lead conversion?

Are you tracking and leveraging your target customers’ path to buying your product?

Collecting fans and followers is one thing, converting them to paying customers can be quite another. That is, unless you have a customized sales funnel in place.

In this article you’ll discover how to put together a marketing and sales funnel with the right channels and key trackable metrics. You’ll also find advice on how to test and tweak your funnel for maximum boost.

Why Is Your Marketing and Sales Funnel Such a Big Deal?

Social media marketing is about using social networks and tools to guide prospects through a series of steps–a funnel–to get them to take the actions you want (e.g., becoming a fan, sharing their email address or buying your products or services).

There are tons of social media tools, networks and options that include everything from Facebook and Twitter to landing pages and email marketing to SEO and ads. Each of these social marketing channels is one more way to guide your prospects through your sales funnel.

marketing channels

Use varied social marketing channels to guide your prospects through your sales funnel.

With all of these marketing channels at your disposal, how do you decide which ones fit within your sales funnel?

To answer those questions, you have to know who your potential customers are and how you can reach them most effectively. You also have to know your company’s goals, how you’ll measure those goals (i.e., the metrics you’ll analyze) and what your target numbers are for those metrics.

Without those key facts, your marketing and sales funnel will be skewed. Excessive focus on one part of your funnel can cause problems elsewhere. If you focus only on owned media like follower numbers and email addresses, you may have trouble with conversions. Or, if you only focus on brand awareness and neglect email marketing, you’ll likely miss out on sales.

Every decision you make about how to create brand awareness, garner engagement and make conversions and sales should be a reflection of your funnel.

The rest of this article shows you how to build, track and test your marketing and sales funnel to give your company the big results it wants.

#1: Define and Implement Channels and Jobs

Did I mention you have a ton of social marketing tools at your disposal? Frankly, it can be overwhelming to think about using all of them at once as part of your marketing and sales funnel. So don’t.

Start by determining what your high-level sales path should look like. In the example a little further down, I’m using Awareness, Repeat Visibility and Engagement and Sales.

Next, prioritize the social channels and tools your audience is already using and that you’re familiar with, then organize those by their primary function (or job). For example, Facebook is great for raising awareness and driving leads, but not for converting sales. Email blasts are excellent for conversions, but not awareness.

As you’re deciding which marketing channels go where in your funnel, consider which ones are most relevant to your short-term and long-term goals, what each channel’s strengths and weaknesses are and what job you’re expecting that channel to do.

marketing funnel concept

Use your funnel to organize your channels and hold each accountable for its role in the process.

As you see in the illustration above, you may have channels that overlap; for instance, different kinds of social ads in the Awareness part of the funnel. In addition, each channel may have different facets (e.g., Facebook ads versus Facebook fans). Each facet builds upon its own functions, as well as the functions of other networks, to lead to your ultimate goal: sales.

Your funnel should be stable, but not inflexible. If your company cares more about email marketing than its number of followers, adjust your tactics accordingly.

For example, instead of using Facebook ads to increase brand awareness and gain more fans, jump straight to an ad campaign targeted at list building. Create an ad that sends leads to an optimized landing page on your website where you ask them to share their email address to access content, a download, etc.

#2: Assign and Measure Key Metrics

Any bottlenecks in your funnel will slow your momentum or stop it completely. Depending on where the bottleneck happens, you could miss out on brand awareness opportunities, growing your owned media lists or conversions and sales.

To measure the health of your funnel, you need to assign key metrics to each stage. That usually looks something like this:

marketing funnel channel metrics

Set a key metric for each tactic in each part of your funnel to quickly diagnose where the funnel is anemic.

With your key metrics in place, look at each tactic in each funnel section and set any industry benchmark standards.

Use these benchmarks to compare your company to your competitors and your industry as a whole. How do you stack up? Look at which of your tactics and funnel sections are best or worst compared to industry averages and adjust as needed.

Speaking of benchmarks and comparing, are you making the most of your analytics and tracking what you need to track? Awareness metrics, Facebook Insights and Google Analytics all have flaws, but I have a few tips for you.

If you’re tracking awareness, I suggest looking at impressions instead of reach. Tools like AdWords don’t give reach data and Facebook’s reach data is inaccurate.

Have you noticed that you’re getting inconsistent results from your Facebook Insights? Start exporting your Insights data to an Excel spreadsheet so you can consistently track and compare the right metrics and get a better idea of how your tactics are working long-term.

You’re probably using Google Analytics on your website, but if you’re not using the Google URL Builder or event tracking, you’re missing out on a lot of useful data. Google URL Builder allows you to customize URLs for posts and ads so you can track visitors from social networks and how they move through your site.

yoast wordpress plugin

Yoast’s Google Analytics WordPress plugin tracks events.

Event tracking gives you information about button or link clicks, which is especially useful if customers have to go offsite to buy your product. If you have a WordPress site, you can even install this plugin that automatically creates event tracking for you!

#3: Test and Tweak, Then Test Again

The number-one thing you can do to boost your results is test everything. Every good idea you think of is something to test.

As you test, always think in terms of your key metrics and make use of your analytics to find out what works and what doesn’t. Let’s use Facebook as an example.

You can constantly test your Facebook success by trying a variety of status updates. Which has the best engagement rate—photos, text, links or video? Does your audience prefer news or funny videos or memes? Take the time to analyze your previous and current posts to see what worked and what didn’t.

If you want to find your engagement rate for a given post, I suggest dividing its total engagement (likes, shares, comments, clicks, etc.) by total post impressions. If you’re using Facebook ads, the Facebook ad display algorithm shows which posts get the most engagement.

post engagement metrics

Pay attention to which posts your fans respond to.

The key is to look at your best and your worst posts. In both instances, keep an eye out for differences in post type, topic, colors, sentiment, message and graphic style.

What do your 10 most engaging posts have in common? What do your 10 least engaging posts have in common? Just knowing the commonalities of those top and bottom posts can help you dramatically boost your post engagement.

When I went through this exercise for a client, their page had a month-over-month increase of seven times as many likes, comments and shares and 31 times as many link clicks!

Are you using ads? Then you definitely need to be testing!

Ads burn out fast, so it’s important to create and test ads weekly. If you have the budget for it, you can create, test and optimize new ads three times a week or more.

If you’re using AdWords, create new ads until the point of diminishing returns. Check actual search phrases to see if you need more negative keywords. If your AdWords manager is slacking, get an AdWords Audit.

google adwords

Do you use Google AdWords?

Not sure which channel ads to spend money on? Compare your options. Run Facebook, Twitter and even Reddit ads to see which works best for your audience and gives you the best awareness or conversions for your money.

A Quick Note About Content Calendars

A lot of brands use a content calendar to create a month of posts (for Facebook, Google+ or any other channel) ahead of time and then submit it for review. This seems organized and diligent, but in practice I believe this approach makes you less likely to improve your posts and get better results.

Every month you need to analyze your key metrics and learn from any mistakes. It’s hard to implement those lessons when you’ve already assigned content for the next month (without the benefit of analysis).

In place of content calendars, I recommend submitting examples of types of posts you want to test or creating your posts daily, or at least weekly.


Customers like to make decisions on their own terms. In most cases, they’re looking for a relationship with a company, not necessarily a hard sell. You can use this human nature to your advantage.

Take note of the social channels your audience is using most, then use those channels to guide them through your sales process.

Set up a funnel that allows leads to jump in wherever they need to. If your funnel is stable but flexible, you’ll be able to adjust its use to fit your customers’ behaviors and needs—and make sales.

Your biggest sales results will come from constant measuring and testing. Be prepared to make changes quickly and match your customers’ reactions to your efforts. You’ll be seeing intensified results in no time.

REPLAY: 5 Marketing & Sales Funnels Mistakes 99% of Businesses are Making [Facebook Live Show]

Episode SEIS of Live Online Learning (LOL):

To be sure not to miss future live shows, opt in here to join the email list so we can keep you notified!

Here’s what we talked about, in addition to attendee live questions we answered:

  • What IS a Funnel?
    • You may have heard of clickfunnels but that only covers a small part of the whole sales and marketing funnel
    • AIDA: Attention –> Interest –> Desire –> Action
    • Ads –> Landing page –> Content –> Capture/owned media (email/retargeting) –> Sales process
  • What is YOUR Marketing and Sales Funnel?
    • You have a sales funnel even if you don’t know it
    • It’s the steps people take to buy from you
    • Map it out or you won’t know how to improve it
  • #1 Mistake: Too Many Steps in Your Funnel
    • People won’t go too far out of their way
    • People want it to be easy
    • People are easily frustrated
    • How many steps do people have to take to buy from you?
    • How many clicks?
    • How many form fields to fill out?
    • Why the fan-getting process doesn’t work
      • Extra step
      • Fans don’t see posts
      • Still have to pay to get visibility
      • Fan buyer overlap is small
  • #2 Mistake: Not Getting Enough People Into Your Funnel
    • Most businesses aren’t reaching enough people
    • How many people do you need?
      • Do the math
      • Ubiquity
    • Cold traffic
    • Retargeting to get them back
  • #3 Mistake: Not Getting Shares and Virality
    • Don’t sneeze at free exposure and traffic
    • Get more people from the people you already get
    • Is your content valuable enough to get shares?
    • Is it the kind of thing people share?
    • Does it make them look good to share it?
    • Is it easy to share? Share buttons?
  • #4 Mistake: Not Creating and Testing Enough Ideas
    • How many funnels have you created?
    • Are you split testing landing pages?
    • How many new ads have you created this week?
    • If you only have one idea for your funnel, what if it doesn’t work?
    • Russell Brunson says on average with a new business idea they have to try 7 funnels before they create one that’s profitable!
    • When we split test landing pages in lead gen we get 5x the leads
    • Too few ideas leaves you vulnerable to failure and going out of business
    • More ideas means bigger results and profits
  • #5 Mistake: Don’t Be So Inbound and Anti-Push That You Never Close Any Sales
    • Without customers, you go out of business
    • Does your funnel, content and lead magnets pre-sell them?
    • Does it make the sale easier and more likely?
    • Do you ask for the sale or tell them to buy? Are you using calls-to-action?
    • Sell fearlessly. If your thing is valuable and helpful, and you’re focusing on their pains and problems and they’ll welcome it.


The Key Metrics You Don’t Have That Are Killing Your Profits: A Video Interview with Zach Johnson of Funnel Dash

For most businesses, once they get online, it’s all about growing your list, because you can’t sell everybody the first time they meet you. Only a few people buy the first time they encounter your company.

So do you want more profits and sales? Is your funnel efficient? How do you improve it and get more profits?

Once you get into list building, and build funnels that drive those people toward a sale, you eventually get to ask the really important questions:

  • What’s the max you’re willing to spend to acquire an email address?
  • How fast can you grow your list?
  • How can you grow your list faster each and every month?
  • How can you do that with more confidence so you can invest in my marketing more aggressively and be confident in your ROI?

And you may have trouble answering those questions.

Zach and I discussed questions like this and his company Funnel Dash in this amazing interview that will change your life, make your stronger, melt away your belly fat, and get you lots more hot individuals of whichever gender you are attracted to (not really, but it will help you with funnels and analytics):

Brian Carter: Hey, everybody, Brian Carter here. How you doing, Brian Carter group, this is actually part of my podcast, which is called Brian Carter’s Brain. Which means you’ve entered a strange place. That’s right, Brian Carter’s brain. Today, I have with me, Zach Johnson of FunnelDash, and FunnelDash … Why did you name it FunnelDash? What’s the dash part?

Zach Johnson: Dashboard.

Brian Carter: Dashboard? Oh, dashboards. I get it. It’s a funnel dashboard. Do you, like, have a dashboard? That’s like the dumbest question I’m going to ask you the whole interview.

Zach Johnson: Way to start it off right, man. I love it.

Brian Carter: Yeah, man. Brian Carter’s Brain is a special place with special people inside of it. All right, so yeah, I’ve known Zach for a long time. I think we’ve interacted multiple times around various digital marketing topics, but I heard your stuff on Rick Mulready’s podcast, and I was intrigued. Because you were speaking my language, which was ROI …

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: … and talking about some key metrics, right? I want to get into some back story in a minute, but first, tell me, give me your pitch. Like, what are the key metrics that people who are doing online marketing don’t know, and why are they in really bad trouble because they don’t know them?

Zach Johnson: Yeah. I think the number 1 metric that I track, personally, when I’m scaling 6, 7 figure a month campaigns, is knowing the value, the lifetime value of a single email address on my email list. Facebook, AdWords, and any paid media manager is going to easily tell you what your cost is to acquire that email opt-in for your webinar, or for your video series, or for your lead magnet, but it’s actually pretty challenging to know how your marketing funnel is doing in terms of monetizing those email addresses, so when … It turned around for me, when I was running marketing at old … Not old, a software company called Leadpages, and before that another Inc. 500 software company called ONTRAPORT, and I had to figure out, what’s the max I’m willing to spend to acquire an email address? Because at the end of the day, it’s all about growing your list. How fast can you grow your list, how can I grow my list faster each and every month, and how can I do that with more confidence so I can invest in my marketing more aggressively and be confident in my ROI?

That’s my secret slash most important metric when you’re scaling big campaigns, is knowing that lifetime value of a single email opt-in, and I’ll share some stories with your people and you, today, Brian, on how a single email address can be worth upwards of $100 over …

Brian Carter: What?

Zach Johnson: … its one-time value. Yeah …

Brian Carter: What?

Zach Johnson: … to your business. Yeah.

Brian Carter: Yeah, well, I mean, so obviously, and for a beginner, you can’t sell everybody, when they first come to your site, so you need leads, right? A lot of people, they struggle even to get leads, right, and then, when you start getting leads, you’re really excited,

Zach Johnson: Yeah, exactly.

Brian Carter: You’re like, “Wow, I’m getting leads, yay!” Then the next step is what you’re talking about, “What are my leads worth,” and then go more granularly, right? Like what am I, so what are my leads worth revenue-wise, and then if you get that realistic figure, then maybe you get a fire under you to figure out how to make your leads worth more, right?

Zach Johnson: Hey, yeah. Right? Then it all comes back to the funnel, right?

Brian Carter: Yeah.

Zach Johnson: I mean, and some funnels, that my definition of, what is a great … What should a great marketing funnel do, and how do I know if I have a good marketing funnel, so I can go to a guy like Brian and he can ramp up my Facebook traffic. Right?

Brian Carter: That’s right.

Zach Johnson: Like, “Yeah, that’s right. That’s right.”

Brian Carter: “That’s right, send them to me. Send them to me.”

Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah, and so a great marketing funnel is one that generates the highest lifetime values in the shortest amount of time.

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: One that monetizes efficiently and effectively in terms of both on a click, a lead, and a customer basis, and the … Go ahead. You seem to have a question there.

Brian Carter: Do you look at a, do you look at everything as a funnel? For people, like everybody’s talking about funnels now, right?

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: For people who don’t like, they’re like, “Well, is a funnel that thing Russell Brunson’s talking about? What’s a funnel?” I’m serious, is everything a funnel to you?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, I would say, really, there’s kind of two parts to marketing. There’s lead gen and building your email list; and then there’s closing, last click attribution, like closing deals, doing promotions and getting people to buy. If you kind of just simplify marketing in those kind of two buckets, the first bucket is all about how many marketing funnels can you put people into, and … Not all funnels are created equal, and not all traffic sources are created equal, and not all leads are created equal, and so …

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: … part of my inspiration for creating a tool like FunnelDash was so that someone like yourself or someone like myself who’s building on a funnel, or scaling an ad campaign, could come in and say, “This funnel with this traffic source is generating you the best customer.” That could be a webinar funnel, that could be a video series, that could be a survey funnel. You don’t have to take any guru’s word for it. You can basically take a data-driven approach, and you can know what’s best for your business.

Brian Carter: Right, and I need to do this, and I’m not procrastinating, really. I sort of am procrastinating, it’s only because I’ve been so freaking busy, but for example, like, I know I’m getting leads from my lead quizzes quiz for $1.82 …

Zach Johnson: Nice.

Brian Carter: … versus a webinar replay that’s recorded for maybe $6 versus my new webinars that are live, maybe 4 or $5, but I need FunnelDash to tell me how much, what’s the ROI on each of those, because maybe I shouldn’t be as excited about lead quizzes …

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: … and I am. Right?

Zach Johnson: You can go on LinkedIn, man, and you can pay $40 for an email I helped in, if you want. If you’re doing great. Some funnels, you’ll be stoked with that, because maybe 1 out of every 3 of those leads is closing.

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: FunnelDash works in a unique way, in that it connects our JavaScript to all your website traffic, with your CRM, and your merchant processing, and your Facebook ad spend, so we’re pulling down on your ad spend, tying into a click. Then, instead of really reporting based off of an inaccurate pixel being fired, which is very frustrating, and JavaScript can sometimes lead to 30 to 50% inaccuracies in your data, we always were reporting off of, “What does Infusionsoft say? What does ONTRAPORT say? What does HubSpot say? What does ActiveCampaign say in terms of my leads? Because those are ones that I can actually email, and what does Stripe say, or what does my ONTRAPORT payment say in terms of revenue, because that’s the stuff that got charged, and that’s the stuff that going into my back account.” That creates, for incredible, accurate, what we call “closed loop” analytics and great reporting.

Brian Carter: Okay. Yeah, because we’ll see, so if we’re … Yeah, when you get those disparities between, like, you’re looking, I’m looking at stuff with a client sometimes and they’re like, “Well, Facebook says you sent 500 people, but ClickFunnel says there’s only 150 people that came to the page.” We’re getting lost in these midstream metrics when we should be concerned about what was the spend, how many people, and then what was the revenue, right?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, and also, reporting a lot of that stuff off of a Facebook pixel … A Facebook pixel could, Facebook will tell you that they made a sale. They’re greedy, man. They’ll just say, they have this view through pixel thing, right, where if they view your ad, but you don’t know … No one ever clicks on it, and then later, you have a custom audience uploaded, they see your ad, and you send an email, and they close, Facebook’s still going to take credit for that sale and that pixel being fired, because they saw your ad.

Brian Carter: The view-through versus the other, the regular conversion pixel?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, the regular … Yeah, basically click-through, right?

Brian Carter: Yeah. Yeah.

Zach Johnson: I personally don’t want to give Mark Zuckerberg that money. I’m like, “No, you didn’t deserve that sale. You didn’t close that sale. I closed that sale.”

Brian Carter: “You showed up at the sales meeting but didn’t say anything, somebody else made the sale … ”

Zach Johnson: Yeah. That’s great. Exactly.

Brian Carter: … and that’s kind of like, “You were sitting there at the table. You didn’t do anything.”

Zach Johnson: Right.

Brian Carter: Okay.

Zach Johnson: Right, right.

Brian Carter: Yeah. Well, so, okay, so I got another question about FunnelDash, because we have a, I did get a client over to you that’s one of our clients who has some … Like, he’s got a lot of weight loss supplement products, and I’m like, “Okay, your stuff’s really complicated. We need to … ” One of those things that FunnelDash does is, I think, is going to help them sort of simplify. The big picture, right …

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: … but is it just that … One of the things I’m seeing already that is helping them and us do is make sure that we’re tracking everything. Right?

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: Because if you aren’t tracking everything, FunnelDash can’t work, right? You know what I’m saying? Like if you don’t have your UTM … If you don’t have your UTM parameters in it, it can’t, FunnelDash can’t work, right?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, so how it tracks stuff is, once you put the JavaScript on your landing pages, and on your Google tag managers, you have to have UTM parameters … Which, if you ever go to a website, and you click on a Facebook ad, and then it’ll have this long string of URLs, you can, that’s … Those are UTM parameters, and those are identifiers to tell our JavaScript, and Google Analytics, and all your tracking scripts: Where did the click come from? What was the audience that they clicked on, and what was the creative that they clicked on, and what’s the funnel that they’re going to? We actually can hook your people up with a free Chrome extension, if they go to, you can get a UTM builder Chrome extension for free on us to help …

Brian Carter: Cool.

Zach Johnson: … you create UTM links on the fly, and then, when they go in and submit the email address, we’ll be logging all that data, so inside of FunnelDash, you’ll know, “What was the first click that they clicked on before, when they entered into my world, and what is that click worth, and where did it come from, and what was the audience, and how valuable is that to me as a business today, a month from now, 90 days from now?” We had a client that we were doing this pre-FunnelDash, right, where they had never really done any Facebook ads, and they really kind of had a bunch of sales pages, but no marketing funnel, and … Hey, you’re going to build a webinar funnel, you’re going to do live webinars every week. They engaged FunnelDash.

At the time, we were just doing funnel management services with this data-driven approach, and we were doing it all manually in spreadsheets, and the work was taking us forever, and we built their … Have the funnel, even $1,000, just with … Every single month with this funnel, it’s … Just yet, and so we said, “Hey, we’ve been tracking all this stuff, and … ” It’s a complete no-brainer, and we, when we broke it down to them, in that kind of simple way, it kind of took the scariness out of scaling an ad campaign past maybe 5 grand a month or 10 grand a month, and ramping it up to 30 to 50 grand a month. Then, a year later, they kind of find out that an email address is worth even more, it’s worth, like $101 …

Brian Carter: Wow.

Zach Johnson: … and so, then they’re like, “Yeah, let’s keep spending money on Facebook,” right? Like, “Yeah, it’s working for you.”

Brian Carter: Nice. Now, was any of that … We are going to go into your backstory, did you already … What was that, or did you already do it?

Zach Johnson: No, I mean, you know, I … Yeah, buddy.

Brian Carter: All right. Well, no, I mean, like, so yeah, so why FunnelDash, and where did it all come from?

Zach Johnson: I mean, It came …

Brian Carter: Was that, did you already answer that one?

Zach Johnson: It was … I mean, a little bit.

Brian Carter: Yeah.

Zach Johnson: It was, yeah, a little bit.

Brian Carter: A little bit.

Zach Johnson: We can dive into it more, though, I can talk about it all day.

Brian Carter: No, we’re not going to do that. Give me the 2-minute version. Well, when did you know, like, “Okay, no, I want to start a company based on this?”

Zach Johnson: Oh, man. Well, it was right when I left Leadpages, and, you know, we had explosive growth when I was managing the marketing there, and the first thing I did was, I created dashboards for everybody on the marketing team. I figured out, “How much is a lead worth from affiliate traffic, from organic blog traffic, and Facebook ads? When I know how much those are worth, I’m going to take surefire bets and invest the marketing dollars here and here, and try to ramp up lead gen here, so that I don’t fail. I can’t afford to fail,” right? Like, a month goes by, you don’t hit your revenue goals, you’re like, “Peace,” you know? I asked Clay what the, kind of the most valuable thing was that I did at Leadpages, during my time there, one of the things is like, dashboards? It’s like, “Oh, my gosh,” it’s like, “It’s such a pain. Go build a dashboard company.”

I knew at the time that I wanted to do it, but I felt like it was a little bit early, and this, kind of, whole data-driven approach, and people geeking out and mastering their marketing metrics wasn’t really super hot a couple years ago like it is now. I sat on it a little bit, and I kind of built out the services side of the business, and we started doing funnel management, I said, “I really want to validate this idea. I’m going to go work with 6-figure business owners, 7, 8-figure business owners, build, optimize, and scale their marketing funnels, and I’m going to try every tool out under the sun to try to get these reports and data that I need,” and I couldn’t do it, so I was like, “I got to start. I got to build this myself.”

Brian Carter: Nice.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, so that was … I guess.

Brian Carter: That’s great, that’s like, I think it’s what … Hooked? In “Hooked,” have you read Hooked?

Zach Johnson: No, no. It sounds like a name …

Brian Carter: It’s a good book. I don’t recommend a lot of nonfiction books, and I’m not, you know, I’m not a big … I’m not a big business book reader, I’m really not, but when I read a few, and I love them, and that’s one of them, and one of the things he said was, “The best way to build an app is to solve one of your own problems,” you know?

Zach Johnson: Yeah, totally.

Brian Carter: To make sure that it’s really something somebody would use. That sounds like what you did there.

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: That’s a good one. What else? Tell me some other awesome …

Zach Johnson: Tell you some other, some awesome stuff?

Brian Carter: Other awesome case study stories, yeah.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, well, let’s see here. You know, even just for this other client that … They were savvy guys, but before working with us, they didn’t even have a marketing funnel, and they didn’t know what they were going to sell, they wanted to launch a … The thing really came down to, “How do we build the marketing funnel as quickly as possible, and how do we invest in Facebook ads as quick as possible?” I was, like, within 30 days, we had the funnel built, and we were scaling traffic, and we knew exactly how much an email address is worth. Many people are stuck in this, like, funnel-building purgatory, or spreadsheet hell, where they’re building funnels for 6 months, or 12 months. I’ve made this mistake myself, but, hey: Get the funnel live, get feedback, figure out the numbers, and then iterate and improve from there. You’ll be light years ahead, you know, 30, 60, 90 days into it, profitably spending money, and iterating and tweaking off that …

Brian Carter: Nice.

Zach Johnson: … off that funnel.

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: Now, this guy spends between 30 and 50K a month on Facebook, and they’re on their third or fourth funnel with us …

Brian Carter: Nice.

Zach Johnson: … and so it’s, for them, it was about speed of execution, and speed to their end objective, and goal ultimately, getting a [result 00:17:47]. That’s a great story. They were selling both an info product and coaching services in the world of, kind of, offline, teach people how to build and market to offline businesses.

Brian Carter: Nice. Are you learning anything, in general, from these guys? I mean, are you learning in general, or you got to have analytics, and just, you’re going to, every … It’s going to be different for everybody, or are you learning any lessons in general about business, from what you’re seeing?

Zach Johnson: I would say I’m learning that, you know, some different industries … I mean, I guess I’m learning that some different industries and … Need a month, maybe it’s a 6 months, 12 months, to go from a lead to a sale, right?

Brian Carter: Hmm. Yeah.

Zach Johnson: In B2C, you can go from, like, day 0, sale.

Brian Carter: Right.

Zach Johnson: That doesn’t necessarily mean that, you know … You can still, like, hold your, carry your marketing, your, basically, what we call your time to break even, and you can carry your marketing spend and go negative for 6 months, if you have a continuity offer. The more I get into these, the more attractive B2C offers look, in terms of, like, just B2C , speed to ROI, is something that I’m looking at.

Brian Carter: That makes sense.

Zach Johnson: I’ve always, I always love looking at other people’s marketing metrics, and we’re always going to be adding more and more dashboards, right? People look at different numbers all the time, and they’re optimizing different parts of their business, so with FunnelDash, the idea was to build a dashboard solution that would be pre-configured, right? You didn’t have to go in and be, like, “I need to tell you, dashboard tool, what I want to track,” and we wanted to kind of erase that and just say, “Hey, select from all our templates. The same way Infusionsoft brought you automation campaigns, or Digital Marketer brings you swipe email copy, ClickFunnels brings you template funnels, Leadpages brings you template landing pages.”

Brian Carter: Yeah.

Zach Johnson: We just want to bring …

Brian Carter: Brian Carter has template Facebook ads, you know, I mean …

Zach Johnson: There you go. We want to bring template dashboards.

Brian Carter: Yeah, nice.

Zach Johnson: We think that there can be a simple and easy way to have a dashboard in solution for marketers in the space, and we want to keep cranking away on that.

Brian Carter: Nice. Cool. What else did I not ask you about FunnelDash? Oh, you’ve got the Facebook part coming, there’s a Facebook ad component that’s coming soon …

Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah, we’re sort of integrating directly from Facebook and Google ads. That’ll coming live, online in the next week.

Brian Carter: Right. What does that add to what it’s currently doing, or how it’s doing it now?

Zach Johnson: … Well, from Facebook, as opposed to, kind of, manually pulling that cost data. It’ll also, you know, segment out all your cost data for each and every traffic source , or like, traffic target audience, or ad campaign, and ad creative; so you can really get granular on what your cost is for different segments, and what your R is on, ROI is on certain segments.

Brian Carter: Awesome. Awesome. Cool, all right. Anything else? Anything I’m missing?

Zach Johnson: No, man, that’s, this is it, this is the FunnelDash, man. I mean, I’d love to, people can get a download of FunnelDash if they just go to, and we’re , happy to kind of show them, give them an audit of their last, you know, 60, 90 days funnel metrics, and show them how FunnelDash is, can be, kind of, solving some of their blind spots …

Brian Carter: Yeah.

Zach Johnson: … and help them get set up with it. We also have a free score , a funnel scorecard tool that people can kind of type in, and get, you know, start playing around with some of their own funnel metrics. If they go to, I believe it’s, will take you there. That’s a fun little fancy tool, so you can figure out what an email opt-in is worth for you.

Brian Carter: Yeah. It uses hamsters, as I remember, too.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, yeah.

Brian Carter: It does, so cute.

Zach Johnson: Hamsters are nice, just running in little wheels.

Brian Carter: Yeah, and I recommend it, because, seriously, most clients that I work with, they’re like, they have Google Analytics, but it’s not fully set up, you know what I mean? Like, they’ll have, “Yeah, we have it,” that means they put the code on their site, but they may not have goals, or their Google Analytics goals are 3 years too old. I mean, you go to their goals report and nothing is tracking.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, that’s a problem.

Brian Carter: Almost nobody is using UTM parameters in their, the URLs they put in their Facebook posts, or in their Facebook ads, so …

Zach Johnson: Yeah, you’re not tracking.

Brian Carter: Yeah, so, if you …

Zach Johnson: You’re naked out there, you’re naked and it’s great  …

Brian Carter: You’re blind, yes, you’re like a homeless person. Your marketing is like a homeless person’s, so you need, if you go to FunnelDash, and you’re like, “Hey, I want this awesome dashboard,” you’re going to realize, “Oh, I haven’t done all this, now,” and you do all this, then you’ll have your 360 degree view of everything.

Zach Johnson: Yeah, we call it clarity control, man. It’s a beautiful thing.

Brian Carter: Clarity control, it sounds like something from the air force.

Zach Johnson: Yeah.

Brian Carter: Like, “Yes, we have clarity control.”

Zach Johnson: They invested in FunnelDash.

Brian Carter: Did they?

Zach Johnson: No.

Brian Carter: All right. Well, awesome. Thanks, Zach Johnson., correct?

Zach Johnson: You got it.

Brian Carter: Everybody go, check it out.

Zach Johnson: Thanks so much for having me, man. I appreciate it.

Brian Carter: Yeah, man. My pleasure.

Zach Johnson: It’s been awesome.

Brian Carter: Awesome.

The 5 Sales Funnel Mistakes 99% of Businesses Are Making

If you sell online, or market for leads online, you definitely have a sales funnel. You may not know what your sales funnel is, but you have one.

The question is: how effective is your funnel?

When we map out a business’s funnels and assign numbers to them, they’re usually stunned by how many people drop out at each step.

In this example, we have only 5 steps and we start with 100,000 fans:

This funnel sucks

Only 5 sales? We lost 9,995 people in the process? Crap!

In digital marketing, the number of people lost at each funnel step is gigantic. It’s amazing to me that anyone sells anything online. And, in reality, many people fail.

Many much tears.

Unfortunately, many business people assume that online sales and lead gen is easy. In fact, it’s near-impossible.

Successful sales online (including inbound lead gen and offline sales) requires:

  1. Great planning,
  2. Lots of iteration (that’s the fancy word for trial and error), or
  3. Sheer luck.

The ones who succeed by sheer luck don’t learn anything. Usually they fail with their second business attempt and can’t figure out what happened.

Successful digital marketing requires:

  • An offering people want,
  • Marketing well planned and executed,
  • Testing,
  • Time, and
  • Money.

That’s the truth about selling online, and it’s not sexy. Unless you think executing wisely and achieving business profits is sexy. That would be like calling Gandalf sexy. Well I suppose there is someone out there who has… anyway-

To me digital marketing is not about sexiness or fun (though you can definitely have fun with the testing). It’s about finding and using a system that gets you results.

If you want to confront the cold hard facts and succeed, then you need to overcome the 5 most common mistakes that businesses make with their digital sales funnels.

Funnel Mistake #1: Too Many Steps

Every action people have to take requires a decision. At most decision points, more than 50% of your audience (usually more like 80-99%) opts out. That means they do things like:

  • Don’t click on your ad or link.
  • Don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar).
  • Don’t put something in a shopping cart.
  • Don’t check out.
  • Don’t finish paying.

So, let’s imagine you have only those 5 steps above, and 10,000 people see your ad. Here’s what happens if ONLY 50% (we’ll be generous and give you a best-case dream scenario) don’t go through with it:

  • 5,000 don’t click on your ad or link.
  • 2,500 don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar).
  • 1,250 Don’t put something in a shopping cart.
  • 625 Don’t check out.
  • 312 Don’t finish paying.
  • 156 buy

Let’s say you spent $5,000 on those clicks ($1 CPC). If you don’t profit at least $32 per sale ($5,000/156 sales), you lose money.

But let’s be more realistic with those numbers. Let’s say 100,000 see your ad…

  • At a 1% CTR, 99,000 don’t click on your ad or link. 1,000 do.
  • At 20% lead conversion rate, 800 don’t opt into your email list or your lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, webinar). 200 do. (We’ll save this number for later)
  • At a 1% sales rate, 792 people don’t buy. 8 people do buy.

So if you spent $1,000 on those clicks ($1 CPC), if you don’t profit at least $125 per sale ($1,000/4 sales), you lose money.

Pretty dire, right?

But we still have those 200 emails. Here’s what happens with them:

  • 20% of them open your email. That’s 40 people.
  • 10% click to the site. That’s 4 people.
  • 1% buy. Shoot, you only have 1/25th of a buyer! That’s smaller than Mini-Me.

One more demonstration:

  • Let’s say you manage to get 100,000 Facebook fans.
  • 10% of them see your Facebook post- that’s 10,000 people.
  • Many Facebook posts get 99.9% interaction, not website clicks. A post that does well with website clicks may get a 4% clickthrough rate. That’s 400 people.
  • 1% of these buy- that’s 4 people. 0.004% of fans convert per post.

So your 100,000 fan page got your 4 sales. Pretty lame, huh? This is why we stopped doing Facebook fan growth: too many extra steps and too many people lost in the process.

Relax. It’s not the end of the world. If 4 people buy per Facebook post per day x 365 days = 1,460 people buy per year.

But how did you get those 100,000? You may have to pay $10-50k to get 100,000 quality fans with Facebook ads. Because the low quality fans will never buy.

So, you’d have to be profiting $7 to $34 per sale to break even on that fan cost after a year. And that means you’d have to be able to wait a year to make that $10-50k back.

This is assuming:

  • You don’t run any ads to promote posts (which many people do), and
  • You reach 10% of your fans (which many pages don’t).

The Facebook post visibility problem is just too expensive. A “Facebook Fan-Reliant Strategy” reduces your sales funnel’s effectiveness by 90%.

That’s why we switched to three funnels with fewer steps:

  1. Facebook ad -> Squeeze page to get email -> email -> click -> sale
  2. The shortest one: Facebook ad -> Sales page -> Sale [only 3 steps!]
  3. Retargeting audiences from #1 and #2 -> email or sale

Now, we’ve seen profits up to 2,200% from Facebook ad campaigns. To get that high, you have to create 100 ads a month. That’s how you find the ads that work incredibly well.

The upshot: Reduce the number of steps in your funnel.

Funnel Mistake #2: Not Getting Enough People Into Your Funnel

Advertising helps, and it’s critical for new sites. But only so many ads will be profitable. It will bring you a limited volume of sales.

You’re going to need more affordable traffic.

That means you need SEO or unpaid social media. And that means you have to create awesome content like this blog post. You have to create something that helps your prospect and you don’t get paid for it. But it brings in tons of people, some of whom opt into your emails and some of which buy.

But the most common mistake with content marketing is to create content that gets lots of buzz. You get tons of shares and comments and you slap each other on the back. But this often doesn’t move your prospects toward the sale. Check out this article to learn how to create content that gets shares and retweets and website clicks and sells.

The upshot: Create content that brings in traffic and sales.

Funnel Mistake #3: Keeping It Too Private

Because of how many people we lose at each funnel step, we need to do whatever we can to get shares at every step. For example:

  • Create ads that are tweets and Facebook posts that deserve shares/retweets and website clicks.
  • Create landing pages that deserve shares and retweets.
    • For example, a free lead magnet (ebook, whitepaper, video series, webinar) that’s so cool that people have to share it.
    • You can put Facebook commenting at the bottom of their free content so that excited people can comment. Those comments get shared via their Facebook account as well. Here’s how you add it. And Leadpages has some squeeze page templates that have it built in. I use Leadpages and Clickfunnels (aff link) both for creating opt-in and sales pages. They’re both great.
  • Create thank you pages that empower people to share or tweet about it- especially after email opt-ins- but also for sales.

The upshot: Learn what kind of content the research shows people share and don’t share here (free whitepaper I wrote for Marketo).

Funnel Mistake #4: Only One Idea Per Funnel Segment

In the olden days of marketing, people created one campaign and ran it for months and months. If it tanked- they were screwed. 

Then a few brilliant folks like Claude C. Hopkins started using coupons to track what worked and didn’t. Direct mail was born. This evolved over the decades- and with digital marketing it has become standard to at least split-test your ideas. If you aren’t familiar with split-testing, you’re way behind. Google it.

  • Get a platform like LeadPages or Clickfunnels that empowers you to easily test 2 or 3 opt-in pages.
  • Create 2 or 3 sales pages, too.
  • Combine that with your ad testing and you will cut your cost per lead or sale by 50-80%.

You can’t afford not to do this, because many people who don’t just go out of business. It’s hard to make the math of profits work without this kind of testing.

And it’s how some marketers enter old niches and quickly dominate them. Some companies get put out of business. The most vulnerable businesses are the ones that have been around long enough to get cocky and think they don’t need to keep up with the times.

Don’t be lazy here or you’ll regret it.

The upshot: Split-test wherever possible.

Funnel Mistake #5: Being So Inbound That You Don’t Close The Sale

I get it. It’s cool to just market. To just do inbound. You aren’t pushy and you don’t get rejected.

Except you do. Someone else gets the customer.

Stop being afraid of selling. Get more of them to convert to the next step.

Figure out what objections or fears are keeping people from buying. Tell them about the other things that will happen if they don’t work with you that they should be more afraid of.

The upshot: Figure out what it takes to move them to the next step. Close the sale. Coffee is for closers.


In conclusion, my English teachers in school told me to write conclusions.

Fix all the mistakes above. You may go out of business if you don’t. You’ll reap massive profits if you do.