Stop wasting your marketing dollars and convert your sales leads with a strong conversion funnel. Whether you’re breaking even each month, or your funnel is leaking money, Ewa Wysocka, CEO at Tribe47, shares how to identify issues with your conversion funnel, and how to fix those issues.
Ewa explains the five stages of a conversion funnel, and why measuring ALL of your marketing platforms assures you are optimizing your ROI. She also identifies the most common mistakes she sees when performing an audit of a business’s funnel and the first steps a business should take to fix a faulty funnel.
Listen to this episode:
- What are the signs of a broken conversion funnel
- Three situations that businesses face when identifying conversion funnel problems
- Why tweaking your products pricing can fix your conversion funnel
- Where to start when your conversion funnel is broken
- How a business can evaluate their conversion funnel on their own
- The five unique aspects of a conversion funnel
- Why it is so difficult to measure sales conversions
- The most important aspect to look at when auditing your funnel
- The most common mistakes are when analyzing conversion funnels
- What marketers should be learning today to prepare them for the future
- Ewa’s top three marketing resource recommendations
- Robert Cialdini – Influence – The Psychology of Persuasion
- Robert Cialdini – Pre-Suasion
- Seth Godin
- Dan Ariely – Predictably Irrational
- Conversion XL
- Traffic & Conversion Summit
- Digital Marketer
- Tribe 47
- Google Analytics
- Google Data Studio
- Funnels Flows – Mine Mapping Systems
- Lucidchart – Mine Mapping Software
- Everyone Hates Marketers – Episode #19 Seth Godin
Louis: Bonjour, bonjour, and welcome to another episode of everyonehatesmarketers.com, no-fluff, actionable marketing podcasts for marketers, founders and tech people who are just sick of shady, aggressive marketing.
I’m your host Louis Grenier. In today’s episode, you’ll learn how to build end to end conversion funnels, in particular in the online education industry, in the subscription industry and even for physical products.
My guest today is the founder at Tribe47, an end to end digital marketing agency delivering services at the early stage of the journey, and they specialize in end to end conversion funnels. We’ll talk about that in more detail in the next few minutes.
My guest is an online marketing expert with over 10 years of experience and she specializes, as you guessed it, in digital marketing.
She’s also the founder of the biggest Polish online community for Yoga lovers, PortalYogi, and also the initiative called traffic and conversion meetup, where she speaks and teaches about digital marketing. Ewa Wysocka, welcome aboard.
Ewa: Thank you so much for the invitation.
Louis: You’re very welcome.
Ewa: I’m excited to be here.
Louis: Yeah, me too. Let’s do this.
So conversion funnels, right, a term that has been thrown around forever by marketing experts, and I think very few really understand what it even means, or how to build one, so this is what we’ll discuss together today.
The first few questions I want to ask you are more around the problems that occur when you don’t have a proper funnel. Maybe let’s talk a bit about the importance of a conversion funnel in the first place.
Why is it important to have a conversion funnel, or an end to end conversion funnel in your business?
Ewa: You needed to acquire clients as just, and term conversion funnel, it’s nothing else than just the journey that you use to convert someone from just an online internet user into your customer.
You needed, but I also must say that every business has it, even if you don’t realize it, you have it. The fact that you have like your Facebook page or you know, your website with a phone number on it, or even a placement on Google means that you have a conversion funnel, it just might to be a little bit under developed and that’s it.
Now, to build it up means really building your digital marketing and tapping into different solutions and tactics that internet offers.
I think like, you ask the questions like what are the problems may be of having or not having a conversion funnel. I think the problem of not having a conversion funnel means you’re not generating customers through the internet if you don’t have it.
I would say if you’re a startup and you’re not doing anything, you probably don’t have a conversion funnel. I think the problems and what starts to be interesting is when you actually have something, and this something that you have is slightly broken, then it gets interesting. It’s like my favorite type of customers that I like to, I work with.
Obviously, at Tribe47, we work with customers who either don’t have anything yet or they have built something and the something is slightly broken.
The second case is my favorite, not my team’s favorite always because it’s usually a harder thing, because it often happens and I guess a lot of maybe listeners can relate to it. Once you’re starting out, you might not have so much knowledge, but I don’t know, you read an article or maybe you listened to a podcast, or you go through some online course and you put out whatever you heard, it’s a good solution.
You use platform that someone recommended to you, like, I don’t know, click funnels or mail chimp or something, whatever that you heard is good and maybe someone sold it to you in a good. You put it out, you put the site on it, you install some emails and maybe you go on Facebook and put some ad, and then after you put out everything, you start analyzing what it really brought you.
In many cases, it actually took a lot of time, you spent some little money and you still don’t see any results. Then the frustration starts, but the fun part is you already have your conversion funnel and we can start having some fun with it.
Louis: What are the signs a funnel is broken as you mentioned? You used the word broken quite a lot, what is a broken funnel?
Ewa: Basically the sign of a broken funnel means that, I invested x amount of money, for example, in online advertising or in the production of my marketing materials, or in the production of some blog article, or in a production of some video, and I put it out there and then what I get in return is less than I have invested.
That means that your funnel is broken. It also might mean in some cases, which makes it even more exciting, that your product is not the market fit. This is where it gets even more exciting because once you’re a startup or your new out there, that might be also the case that there’s not just a matter of your marketing and it might be actually a matter of your product and your offering, and there just might be no need for it, or no one might be interested in that.
Louis: Right, because you can have a beautiful funnel that is well engineered with all the steps properly done, but if your initial offer, if your product is shit, if, you know, the funnel itself might not be broken, right?
Ewa: Exactly. What I usually, because we work a lot with companies in this very early stage of business, so what I always say, in the very beginning, go and do a type of guerrilla sale. Just go out there and try to sell your product.
Don’t build like some funnels, just go out there and show me that you can sell your product. I mean, hell sell it to your friends, but make sure that actually they pay you money for it, not just take it for free to make you feel good about it. Once you have some proof of concept and you’re confident that your product is sellable, then start building the funnel. Obviously a lot of people do it opposite way.
Ewa: This is also like, I would say, fine, maybe someone put some money on it, maybe it was not you, you got some investors go in and they put some cash just to test your idea, that’s also fine. I would say, if you have this investment and you’re ready to do something with that pile of cash, I would say find someone who knows how to do it and build for you a funnel that has a chance to convert.
Once this is built, then what I always recommend is to start measuring investment against the results. There are three cases that can happen, and I always say based on that, you can make a lot of decisions.
Ewa: Let’s say you’re not 100% sure about your product offering, but you got some money or you’re very hardworking and you invested into building a sensible funnel, which means you have some source of traffic, this traffic goes to your website or your landing page.
You have some leads that are generated through this and some of these needs you’re trying to convert into sales, and you have it built by someone who knows what they’re doing. You put some money on it, the traffic is going and we’re analyzing the results. There can be three cases really, three situations that can happen.
Ewa: Number one, the amount of money you spend is less than amount of money that you’ve got, so that’s the worst one. That means you actually put out more than you’re getting. At this point you should analyze really, okay, maybe I spend a lot of money on the website production.
Okay, let’s see, we don’t take this cost into consideration because it’s more of an investment, but we also spent some money on, I don’t know, production of some ads, we spent some money on Facebook just to generate traffic. This money, after adding it up, is still more than the money that you have gained through the whole campaign, so we’re in case number one. I spent money and I made less than I spent.
In this situation, if the funnel is kind of properly built, I would always say the problem is bigger than your marketing. The problem is elsewhere, and it can be in three places. Number one, it can be your product, so your market doesn’t really want your product.
This is a little bit hard to change, especially if you spend the last year on developing your product. I would say, be careful before you start touching the product because there are other things that you can do.
Second thing that you can try to do, try to really look into who you’re trying to market this product to, because if the situation is so bad that you spent more money than you’re making, maybe you’re just trying to offer your product to the wrong audience, that’s like the first golden rule of marketing, try to understand who you’re selling to, and a lot of people at this early stage make this mistake.
They actually have a product that they think they’re going to sell to the particular client, but it might end up that, okay, this is not the best match, but someone who I didn’t think about, might be more interested in this particular product than the client that I initially had in mind. Dig in and try to see if there might be a different type of audience.
For example, you thought this is a product for entrepreneurs, but actually it’s not for entrepreneurs, but for people in the corporate who are interested to switch from the corporate job to the entrepreneurship, and you didn’t think about it, you were targeting business owners, but you should actually target people who are inside of the corporation and just thinking about an entrepreneurial experience.
The third thing you can do, which is the easiest, and I always say, every good digital marketing consultants should give it to you as the first good advice in this situation where you’re spending much more money on your funnel then you’re making, it’s play with your price. I have multiple cases when just this little advice helped someone who was in the very early stage to start seeing some positive results.
We worked with one business who was producing an APP for seniors. It was an app that was helping senior people just to use mobile phone better because it was just an application that made interface simpler.
They started with this vision that they’re going to become a next WhatsApp, which obviously became a little bit unrealistic because to get million of customers paying $1 a month for using a service, it’s realistic if you have a mass product, but if you’re talking to the very limited audience, which is seniors who I have a trouble with using your phone, this might be unrealistic.
The only thing we did, we just change a subscription from $1 to 10 a month, which is still a realistic money, it’s not very high, it’s something affordable, but at the same time, it became evident that by just changing this price, the conversion stay the same, but the business started to make some progress in terms of just making return on the investment they were putting on their digital marketing, so play with the price first.
Louis: Right. Let me cut you there and summarize what you said so far, because it’s super interesting. The first scenario where you said that if your funnel is leaking money, not making money, it could be it’s the bad products, the wrong market or the wrong price.
Louis: I would say even for the wrong market, it seems like it’s the wrong positioning, right? It seems like you’re picking the wrong messaging towards maybe the wrong market or is it only the one market?
Ewa: Yeah. I would say wrong positioning is I think a little bit higher level. I would say it’s always, it’s like it’s combined, but to me, it starts with the persona, because persona will actually provoke you to change both messaging and, for example, the way you’re going to target and the places where you’re going to gather traffic.
Of course, it’s combined, but I would say think persona, this will make it easier and will make basically the methodology simpler because once you’re going to change the persona, that’s going to actually force you to change the messaging as well.
Louis: Got you.
Ewa: You will need to change it to anyways.
Louis: And so to talk about, for example, about pricing as well, it might be a bit for people listening, but as you said, it’s not because you increase your price 10 fold that your conversion rate will decrease 10 fold, right.
Ewa: No. Very often it doesn’t happen.
Louis: Yeah, which is in the psychology of people, which is, people trust others when they charge more, like no one would trust a cheap expert or a cheap consultant, right, and there’s this aspect of it’s not because you increase your price that people are less likely to buy, sometimes it’s the opposite.
They see the price is higher, therefore they have more trust in the product, therefore they’re more willing to pay, and so the example you mentioned, the one to 10 is a classic example. You said that the conversion rate didn’t budge.
Ewa: No, it didn’t. It didn’t change because the difference between, for example, paying $1 and $10 amount for someone, it’s really nothing. It’s still quite a low price point, but from the perspective of the business, it makes a big change, because now I have some money, I can spend or actually marketing and promoting the product and reaching out to people who might be interested.
Very often businesses don’t think about it, they think about, oh, I have this exciting idea about bringing this new product to the market, but you also have to think about the fact that part of your job is also to reach people with the message about your product, right. Because the fact that are going to produce something great, doesn’t really make this product reach the right people. That’s a part of the job and you have to leave the space and the money to make it happen, and that’s often actually the more expensive part than what you invested in the product so far, so just take it into consideration.
Louis: Let’s dive into this scenario because I suspect that you mentioned the two other scenario, the funnel, I suspect another scenario is you’re making as much as you’re invested, and the other one is you’re making more. I feel like the most interesting is the first one, which is okay, you’re leaking money, you’re not making enough.
Let’s deep dive together into like, taking the example of a company coming to you and saying this exact thing, “Listen, we are well losing money with our marketing, our funnel is all over the place, we don’t know where to begin. Can you help?” What is the process you use to go from, our funnel is broken, we’re fucked to wow, marketing is really working great for us using the end to end conversion funnel. What is the first step? Where do you start to help this company?
Ewa: They just started with, as a part of my, it’s part of my, let’s say kickoff process, so first thing I do, I try to calculate. I start with the numbers, so I try to understand, first of all, how much money was spent so far on marketing?
What’s the product, how much was made, what’s the proportion? But I’m also diving into the fundamentals of marketing, which are important for me. These fundamentals is, of course, the persona, who is really that person that you’re trying to help?
The second one is the market, so how does the market look like? What are the competitors? How many similar products out there are marketing to the same audience? What are their price points? What are their messaging? The third one, it’s what you mentioned that before is this unique selling proposition, so like positioning, how are you positioning your product to that market?
Once I understand these three and I see like okay, kind of makes sense, then I look into the funnel. I try to see if there are some no obvious mistakes, meaning obvious mistake, I mean for example, your website doesn’t work on mobile at all, okay. If something like that is there, and I see it sometimes, okay, well let’s first fix it, continue doing what you were doing and see if it’s still the same bad.
Or other situation can be like some other very broken obvious thing, like someone who had this situation, like we digged into the Facebook advertising that was rolled, and then we noticed that there’s like 30,000 monthly being spent by a person who has one month experience in Facebook advertising, so I’m like, okay.
This thing has to be corrected before we make any conclusions, because clearly that someone is more playing versus really setting up things because they had zero clue about how it should be done.
I’m trying to correct the obvious mistakes on the process that was executed so far. I’m looking into persona, unique selling proposition in the market, and I’m calculating the proportion between the money spent and the money gained. Once this is done, then I’m really trying to put this company into one of these three brackets that you said.
First one is like the funnel, which is totally leaking money, and then if there’s no obvious mistakes in the digital marketing approach, then I play with the price or with the persona or I try to play with the product if this is any possible, or I move to this two other scenarios. My most common one that I’m helping is this second scenario where someone that’s actually breaking even on their digital marketing activities.
And that’s very often really the case of companies at the early stage, and that’s actually good, so I want to kind of reach out to everyone who’s listening and doing something online, and if you guys actually are making back your investment, I would say it’s good. If you’re starting out, you’re new in the market, your brand is still quite unknown and you are actually breaking even, that’s a good sign.
That means that there’s a lot of things that can be done and if you’re going to start expanding your digital marketing wisdom, or maybe, I don’t know, you started working with someone who is more experienced or maybe you hire or partner with someone, there’s a lot of potential to improve on that situation.
That’s usually where, when our company comes in, that’s usually the case, because the final scenario where you’re making significantly more than your spending, and your digital marketing is quite a profitable, then the optimization should be done on the elements.
That’s when you are optimizing the ads, that when you’re optimizing your website, changing the bottoms of your … Colors of your bottoms, or optimizing particular emails in your sequence, or exchanging video with the image in particular campaign. But this is when you’re doing more like the cosmetics, just to see improvements that are on different levels.
But the second scenario where you’re kind of breaking even, but you don’t know really what to do to move further, that’s the most fun case. That’s when, what I usually do, I still dig into persona, I still dig into market and competitors, I still dig into unique selling proposition of that company.
Sometimes I help them to maybe improve on this unique selling proposition because maybe they are not exposing perfectly what’s different about their product, or maybe it’s not standing out enough against the competitors. But what we’re trying to do here as the first thing, I’m really sitting down and trying to draw in detail the funnel that they’re using right now.
Ewa: And you might be very surprised how difficult it is.
Louis: Let me stop you right here, because I think we’re starting at step two now, the mapping on the funnel, and I think it’s going to be quite fun to talk about that. Just to summarize what you said earlier on, and why I’m not diving into that many details. You mentioned the persona, you mentioned the pricing, you mentioned looking at the unique selling point and all of that.
We talked about that a few times in the podcast and from different guests, and so I don’t want to dive into a lot of details with you, because I feel like what you’re going to mention right now, for the mapping and the rest is really valuable and we haven’t talked about that before. For persona is an episode, for unique selling propositions, episode as well.
We consider for the next step that we have a solid buyer persona that real example, real people buying from you, not just based on the brainstorming for three hours in a room without talking to customers, we are assuming that you have a decent unique selling point, something that is attractive enough for people were assuming that your pricing is decent, but now we are looking at, okay, you’re only breaking even, let’s make it happen. Let’s nail this funnel, right?
Ewa: Yeah, exactly. That’s a very common. Sometimes of course you’re like maybe making a little ROI, but still, in your head, it’s like kind of breaking even, that’s not what I’m interested in. The next step is funnel mapping, and that’s what I always do in this case.
It’s very difficult what I feel and what I’m always encountering, there is a big rejection on the side of the other like of the client to put in paper all the activities that they’re doing right now, because they’re like, oh, I know, I know what I’m doing. I don’t want to look at it, it’s all clear, I have this and this. But then when you actually put it in place, and then there’s like a lot of systems you can use.
For example, like we’re using different mind mapping systems, For example, lucid chart is one of them, recently we started using system called funnel flows, something where you can actually visually place everything that you find online regarding the digital marketing activities of this particular business and connect them to see actually how it flows.
This is when I’m always getting, hey, we don’t have to put it on paper, we know what’s going on. Then when I put it and I show it to them, then they usually are like, oh my God, I didn’t really realize that, because then you start seeing that God, I have like all, for example, I have all these things that I’m doing on YouTube, there’s so many videos there and the so many people watching, but there’s nowhere links from there to my website and they were not aware of it.
Or for example, I have these like landing pages, with all these lead magnets and I’m getting these leads and they’re falling into my email sequence, but then after three days I stop really sending them anything, and there’s already like 5,000 of them that I spent some money on, but I don’t do anything with it.
Then I look further and there’s like a homepage and it’s getting traffic, but it’s not connected to anything else in the whole project. You start seeing like these gaps and you start seeing that actually there’s a lot of pieces that were put up maybe by different people even in the process, and if you were a person who were supposed to find a journey through it, you would not be able, so how you expect that someone who doesn’t even know you will navigate through it, right?
It’s kind of like seeing the mess and now taking step back and thinking, okay, I have all these assets, how can I order them differently, or what are the missing pieces that are actually causing the situation to happen that I’m not able to convert people who, for example, see me.
Or sometimes what I’m seeing is that, oh my God, I’m converting my lead so great, but I’m doing nothing to increase the number of people who are exposed to my brand. Once you actually see it, then you start seeing these bottlenecks that are somewhere in the process, right.
Louis: How do you advise people to do it themselves? Let’s say they have a small team or they’re working on their own and they have the funnel that is like somewhat over the place, so you mentioned lucid chart or other mind mapping tools, but what elements should they look at? You mentioned Facebook, you mentioned YouTube, potentially you mentioned your lead magnet landing page. What are the typical learning elements to look into?
Ewa: Try to look into your funnel from the perspective of just steps of conversion. I like to draw the funnel in the horizontal way, because this gives a lot of opportunity to stick in elements. I don’t like the vertical way of drawing it, especially if you want to place all the elements you have and start seeing it clearly. One good advice, draw it horizontally, it will be much easier.
And now, first break like your mind map into sections. First Section should be audiences, how are you really and where are you finding people that could be interested in your product, right. What are your sources of traffic? This would be the first layer.
Then the second one would be, how are you speaking and what’s the first thing that you’re using to grab the attention of people in these different sources? What are your attention grabbers? For different traffic sources, there might be different.
For Adwords that might be just ads, but for people on social media, probably the first interaction would be some social media posts or videos, or blog posts, or maybe you realize that actually you don’t have anything to build this first impression on people, for example, on the social media channels, yet you still consider it your traffic source.
Then the third layer would be what are you doing to really demo your product or your service to those people who already stepped into the funnel? Usually, this is the part where you generate leads, and what is there, do you have landing pages where these leads come into? If there’re landing pages, what happens after they sign up?
What will be the pages where they land after they sign up on your lead pages after they put in their email address? Or maybe you have some other way, maybe you’re using messenger to really make this interaction and put it in place there. Use screenshots of pages, ads, and place them inside of this map.
Then after this kind of demo part, then another layer of the funnel where the funnel is already getting a little bit slimmer, what are you doing to convert those leads into sales? What are your sales tactics that you’re using? Are you using emails to close sales? Maybe you’re using ads, put them there.
Try to understand and make some connections between how are these leads getting the message about the fact that they should buy the product. Or maybe you’re not generating leads and there’s nothing to demo your product, or maybe you’re using a video, put it there.
Then in the end of your funnel, what is your solution of maximizing your sales? Someone already got their sales message, what are you proactively doing to maximize these sales? Do you have some promotions? Do you have some scarcity play? Do you have some bonuses? Do you reach out to people through email to build a relationship to maximize sales even if they didn’t buy with the of the first attempt.
Basically you’ve got the audiences, you’ve got your attention grabbers and brand builders, you’ve got some lead generators or otherwise demo of your product. Then you have your sales message, and then you have the sales maximizers. If you divide your funnel into these steps, then try to put into each layer all the things that you’re doing, and then start making connection between these pieces and see how it flows.
Louis: Thanks so much for giving this overview. I took note as well to be able to repeat it because listeners like when we repeat the concept that you mentioned, but you already did, but just for the sake of it’s for my own understanding as well, from left to right, there is some sort of way, I mean, it’s a podcast, it’s difficult to describe it, l’s close our eyes and visualize it all together.
From the left you have sources of traffic, then you have one step to the right attention grabbers, one step to the right demo side of things, one step to the right the conversion , and one step to the right the sales maximizers, so that’s five steps.
Ewa: Mm-hmm. Sometimes you can divide it into eight steps, but I would say for simplicity and to this podcast, I would say these are the five that would make it easy for people maybe, but what I’m always recommending, like take screenshots of the actual things that you do and put them into this funnel format.
So you should see this like lying triangle with different elements in it, divided into these five steps and then start making connections. That way you’re going to start opening up your mind into how your actual conversion journey looks like. Then the fun part comes to the end. So the most fun part-
Louis: Let’s play a little bit of a suspense here, so you were about to say it but I’m not going to say it. You take screenshots, you put it, and then you say you draw connection, so you literally just grab a line and connect a box to another, which basically means when I see this person and I go on to receive this email, like connection, like this.
Ewa: Yes, exactly.
Louis: Okay. Now we have the full map of the funnel horizontally from left to right, I suspect a lot of team members have pitched in, because maybe some people are specializing in Facebook ads and others in whatever, so a lot of people come in, but from the perspective of the user, you could probably cover 80% of it relatively fast because it’s like.
One thing before you dive into the next step, are you using tools at all to do this I suspect like it’s probably a good place to start to see the ecosystem where people are coming from, right?
Ewa: Yes, of course, but that’s where the complex part starts because most people don’t really measure like the conversions are flowing between all these parts. And it’s because of most of the funnels and also the funnels we Build across multiple platforms, so if we’re measuring, for example, a funnel that is purely on Adwords, then it’s very easy to go in your analytics and start seeing really how the things flow.
But if you’re mixing and matching different platforms, different channels, different sources, sometimes you also have some platform that is totally untrackable, there’s some platforms that I will not mention their names but because it would be.
For example, I don’t really like click funnels because of one of these reasons, it’s very difficult to plug it into some analytic mechanism. But what I’m saying right now is that most people don’t track it, so this is going to be your final step, that you will have to start tracking it across multiple platforms.
You will probably have to reset your analytics a little bit, maybe both, some nice dashboard in Google data studio that what I usually recommend to start tracking it. But right now at this stage you probably don’t have it, so your job is to just put it out in a visual way and now you have to start digging in and trying to understand what are the conversions between these elements.
What I’m usually trying to see is, to see first, the big picture conversion, so how people are flowing through these five stages, regardless of the tactics of the platforms that they come from, and then I start looking into the weak links, yeah. So some things that are inside will be like not converting at all, or not even converting proportionally to this general big picture view.
That means that’s maybe something which I should skip or forget about. Finally, as you’re very, very last step of this funnel redesign, you should start tracking the whole journey. But it will not happen at that moment when you’re drawing it, and if you haven’t done it before, you will not be able to do it in reverse. You will be able to set it up as the new process., right?
Ewa: That’s why in the beginning, it’s a little bit tricky and you’re going to have to start using a little bit of your knowledge, maybe somethings you don’t know, somehow you’re going to have to begin, ask people, get a little bit of conversion from Facebook, a little bit from Google, but just to at least get the big picture view, how do people flow through this conversion process and what are my leak points?
Very often you will immediately see that there is like one weak element of this entire funnel. Very often it’s on the lead generation for example, or sometimes it’s that you just don’t have one element, like you’re not doing anything to warm up people before you start inviting them to sign up for something.
That’s a clear missing thing, so okay, we have to just build it up and that should be improving the results of the whole journey. So yeah, I don’t know if that answers your question.
Louis: It does. Let me dive in a bit more into this step. One thing I forgot to say from the start is that digital marketing is not a perfect world, and you mentioned it.
Ewa: Oh no.
Louis: You’ll never going to have perfect data, we need to make peace with that, right? You’ll never be able to map 100% of your funnel 100% of the time. Only, for example, direct traffic coming from Google, Google Analytics that is for example, direct, it’s almost impossible to know where they’re coming from.
You will have black area, you’ll have gray areas, so let’s make a peace with that. But as you said, you will be able to get the bigger picture and the bulk of it, you start to have a good understanding of it.
Next step, once you draw the connection and have the funnel in front of you is as you said, to connect and to understand what are the conversions between each step. Let’s say to take a basic example, you have Facebook ads running, that bringing you to a landing page, that bring you to five-day email sequence.
You will actually look at how many people came from these Facebook ads, how many people on average go to this landing page and convert, and then how many people end up at the last, received the last email of the five day sequence, how many people are actually towards the end, something like that, right.
You’ll look at the volume I suppose, so how many people going through this flow, but also the conversion rate, how many people are actually converting through each step.
Ewa: Yes, exactly. But I just give you an example maybe from today, because today I was kind of sitting down with one founder and trying to understand what’s happening. She came to me with this funnel, she’s like, yeah I have to start doing organic traffic and this is going to help me to improve my business, I don’t know how to do it.
She’s already set on something, but you know, we drove the funnel exactly the way we just spoke about it right now, again, the big picture, we didn’t dive into every particular ad. We just looked at the big picture and try to understand what’s happening, and what are the conversions between steps.
Immediately once we draw it, we realize that she’s so fixated right now on the idea that she has to start generating organic traffic, building SEO, like she’s working on some articles, blah, blah, blah, but then once we draw it, we were like, whoa, actually, she has quite a lot of traffic coming to her website right now, and there is actually pretty good conversion on the sales closure, but definitely a weak link that we can see immediately right now on the big picture is that her sign up for the lead magnet are quite low, and she’s not doing anything right now to bring these people back in the site.
We’re like, whoa, easy peasy, there’s just some things that can be done without being fixated on the organic traffic, without yet going into growing your traffic to the site. But the simple things that could be done is to add some remarketing, so to maybe get back some of these people who are leaking from the funnel, offer some other type of lead magnet to those people who are already coming in.
Basically, it just helps you to kind of prioritize what are the most important things. That doesn’t mean that she will not need to focus on organic traffic at some point. Maybe that’s not the first thing that she should do because she has other low hanging fruits that could be fixed.
In the early stage of the business, when you have limited time and limited resources, that’s very important to do something that will immediately bring your results, versus working very hard for something that might actually pay off next year when you’re going to be out of money and out of time already.
Louis: What you described is the typical example of the fear of missing out, and the Shiny Object Syndrome that happens in marketing, and you described that at the start as well. You start listening and hearing this new metal that everyone is raving about and then you just focus on it so much, you need to do it because everyone else is doing it and you forget the big picture, you forget the actual traffic coming to your actual website, you forget all elements you currently have and try to do something new.
Thanks for talking through that example. Now, how does one, especially as you mentioned as well, that someone doesn’t have a lot of resources and doesn’t know where to start, how do you pick the thing that is the most important to look at right now? You mentioned when there’s a gap, for example, a is missing, but how do you pick the biggest opportunity? What do you look at to say this is it?
Ewa: I would say it’s a bit of magic, as always, but no, I mean, as I’m saying, I cannot say that there is the perfect formula that I can say, hey, you use this. What I can only say is like, once you draw it, you should start looking for some benchmarks and to see where really the conversions are troubling.
Once I look into it, like I can tell, okay, if someone is closing sales from the call on the 20%, that’s probably good and I will not be touching it. If someone has a signup of about 20 to 25% under lead pages or anything above, I will not be touching it. But if someone is for example, not doing anything to warm up the traffic, but they constantly struggle to scale their audiences, then I clear they see it as well, this is the missing link and we should put it, we should put something there.
It’s a mix of experience and unfortunately, you need to have some experience to basically point out the right place to work on. The other thing is just to look for industry benchmarks so you can start seeing like, okay, this is probably, that looks already bad, so that’s a place where I should start from.
But there’s no like a perfect formula and I would be very dishonest towards people are listening if I say like, always in this case you should focus on this. A mix of experience and comparing to benchmarks, that’s how I’ll say.
Louis: That makes sense, totally. I would say though, that’s usually like when you do funnel analysis, a good place to start is where you have the biggest drop from one step to another, sometimes.
But as you said, sometimes it might not be the step to look at because there might be another step above it that is more problematic because you’re not even fitting the funnel in the first place.
Ewa: But you know, if you actually are able to draw it yourself, then I would say it might be a good investment to look for someone who is more experienced than you to have a look, look for help.
Even if you’re like just a total startup founder, you have no money, there’s so many communities out there of mentors, of people who can help. If you actually have a drone and you go to someone who knows, it will take the person 15 minutes to basically tell you what to focus on. The problem that I’m usually getting is like, for two years I was a mentor at the Google campus startup community, so there’s a lot of startups here who are at different stages, usually the early stage.
The biggest chunk of work is to really draw what’s happening there, for me to understand what they’re doing. So if you actually take the job of drawing it up and putting it together, and then you come to someone and ask for advice, most of the people will very easily point to the right place to get started. But do the job of really understanding what you’re doing right now, and I would say 90% of people don’t take the time to even understand what the hell they have built until that moment.
Louis: Once you understand, once you are the doctor Frankenstein who’ve created this monster and you’re able to draw it out, it feels like you’re already taking, you are going further than most people, and it seems as well that people are bright enough, people listening, I know you’re bright enough to look at your funnel and see where the gaps are.
It doesn’t necessarily require rocket science most of the time to know that, especially based on what you just said, based on the five basic steps you mentioned, if you have nothing in one of the steps, this is probably one thing to look at.
But as you said, talking to experts, talking to people to know more with this drawing, which is like Frankenstein, only this monster created by Dr. Frankenstein, it’s probably a good idea to show it around and I think this is the right advice, because it’s difficult obviously … One size does not fit all and it’s difficult to give advice to everyone to follow, and there’s plenty of resources online about this as well I suspect.
I wanted to ask you a bit more with this. You mentioned a few things that happened that you see people doing, so maybe missing a step, not doing retargeting properly, which is about showing out the people who visited your website already or sign up. What other the typical mistakes do you see after you look at a funnel drawn out in front of you?
Ewa: Well, the most common that I see, but also it might be connected to the specificity of businesses that come to me would it be the lack of this kind of awareness building steps. I see still a lot of people stuck in this kind of way of marketing that, okay, I have my lead pages, and I just need to collect leads, leads, right.
And I’m just putting ads on Facebook, I’m putting ads on Adwords, and people should sign up, they should sign up, right. This is very often not working. This is an old way that worked couple of years back, but right now, on Facebook for example, if people don’t know you, sorry, they will not leave their email address, they just will not. They don’t care about you enough, they don’t really understand the offering, and they don’t like to give their email addresses.
If you actually want to do it, you will have to build some traction before. That’s the most common mistake I see, that people don’t put so much attention on it, they just try to come up with different ads, lead magnets, copywriting, whatever.
They’re fixating on needs, but they forget that in the early stage of business building the brand, building awareness, getting the message out of there is unfortunately more important because people who actually seen you before, those are the people who might become your leads and customers.
Everyone talks about it, I just came from this conference that happens every year in United States, it’s called Traffic and Conversion Summit, it’s one of the biggest digital marketing conferences in the world, and a lot of people who already good in this, they speak there, everyone speaks about it. Everyone speaks about importance of branding and importance of content sharing as the first step of the conversion, especially if you’re new in the business.
Everyone is on Facebook, if you’re a new business, it will be easier for you to get customers on Facebook than on Adwords, unless you’re doing something that really everyone searches for, but from my experience, most of the startups do products that no one searches for, and no one really understands yet what this product does, so your chance to explain it will be on social media. No one is leaving email addresses on social media that easy.
No one’s leaving their money so easily just because they saw an ad on social media. You will have to be building this brand and this audience, and you will have to do it through good content in the form of videos, in the form of articles, in the form of creative, engaging content. And that’s usually what I see, but this stage is missing and people put their focus elsewhere.
Louis: That’s a great answer. Thanks so much for diving into that. You need to give before receiving, right. You need to really give an abundance of confidence, you need to share what you know, you need to just give away stuff for free. You need to do podcast, interviews, YouTube channel.
Louis: Just share, share, and share, and then people will start trusting you and then they’re more likely to check out what you do, and then they’re going to be more likely to sign up and follow the rest of the steps in the funnel.
Ewa: Exactly. It’s that easy, and everyone kind of knows it, but then once they start building their marketing, they almost like forget it, assume this one piece.
Louis: Yeah, they want and they forget about building trust like you mentioned, and building awareness and being a brand takes time, you can’t really just turn it on and just have a flood of leads coming up, unless you are like one of those case studies that you see once every 10 years, where like they grew like this, but it’s just-
Ewa: Of course, miracles happen and you might be one of them, but there’s like a 99% chance that you will not, so it’s better to just do the proper marketing here and think about what works.
Louis: Thanks so much, Ewa, for going through this step by step with me. We won’t have more time to go through the next step, which I think is rebuilding the funnel. We won’t even have time to do that, we only talked about auditing it, but I think that’s probably the most important thing to come across today.
As you mentioned many, many people are not doing it, so if you’re listening to this right now, and starting to audit your funnel and mapping it out and drawing it out, you already are many, many steps ahead of many, most businesses online, because they are not taking the time to do so.
Do that and why not you sharing this funnel with Ewa and myself, if you want to send us emails, I’ll share, Ewa if she wants to will share her email towards the end of the episode and you can ask for advice, or you can send you to me as well, I can take a look if you want. This interview is not over Ewa, there’s a few questions left for you.
Louis: Based on all this stuff we mentioned before, what do you think marketers should learn today that will help them in the next 10 years, 20 years, 50 years?
Ewa: I read this question because you put it in your email. I like this question because I love educating marketers, that’s actually what I’m doing and Tribe47 right now. I don’t see necessarily run projects so much, I’m just focusing most of my work on growing skills of the team.
I’m playing a little bit with creating something I call the digital marketer skill matrix, so I created this, it has like 11 skill categories that I believe marketers should grow in order to build strategies and be able to effectively execute them. I believe in these marketers who are full stack, means they know a little bit of everything, so they are able to combine elements. My top skill category that I always put it there, it’s marketing psychology.
If I would say, there is just one thing you should study right now, I would say study this because this is the base of everything and doesn’t matter of how tactics going to change, technology will change, everything change.
Well the human mind most likely will not change so much. The way we behave, we react, the way we make decisions, these are old school truth and they didn’t really shift since the beginning of marketing, the traditional marketing even, so I would say that that’s one thing that every marketer should dive in. It’s of course difficult to learn it.
I would say that’s a little bit of experience, a little bit of reading, a little bit of observation, a little bit of like sitting quietly and thinking about some things that you actually observed, but I would say marketing psychology would be anyways, the top of the game always valid.
Louis: Yeah, and we didn’t talk about this before, but I said the exact same thing, which is great to hear that from an expert like you, which is, people won’t change and they haven’t changed in the last 10,000 years at least. It’s much easier to focus on things that won’t change, instead of overly focusing on those new platforms and these Facebook updates, and whatever else, because that will always change and it’s impossible to keep up.
What is possible though is to understand people better than anyone else in your industry. And that’s actually, even though difficult as you said, it’s not impossible and that will absolutely give you a competitive advantage over the others. I mean, no question, because the others won’t have the patience to do it. Thanks for mentioning that.
What are the top three resources you’d recommend listeners today? Could be anything, from a book to a podcast to anything.
Ewa: I have a couple of resources that I would use for myself and for our team at Tribe47, so first one, of course books. Now when it comes to psychology, I would say books are great, and one of the authors that I always recommend, and I know you also know him and like him, is Seth Godin, and I would say you guys should read all of his books because they give a very good perspective on the psychology that is related to marketing, especially digital marketing.
Then the other author would be of course, Cialdini and his book called Influence is of course like the Bible and basics of the human behavior, but his recent book called Pre-suasion, I would say it’s even more relevant to those strategies that we spoke about, about warming up audiences. What happens before you actually start selling. There is also a book called Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely, another classic about psychology that is used in digital marketing.
Once you start digging these books, you will start to getting lots of other recommendations related to psychology. And then when it comes to more technical knowledge, I have two resources. I really do recommend Conversion XL, it’s a company that provides a lot of courses on more digital marketing tactics from optimization through website building, QX, analytics, traffic generation.
I would truly recommend, these are very well done courses. Then I quite like digital marketer, some of their podcasts, I like their conferences as well. I always learn something. These would be my recommendations.
Louis: Thanks so much, I can see you did your homework, which is great. I second everything you said. Yeah, Seth Godin is a friend of mine, I’m only joking.
Ewa: That’s cool.
Louis: Because people think yeah, he’s a good guy and he was a fun interview, and yes, I would put him as the one at the top marketer of all times because he this ability to clarify and simplify a lot of things, although sometimes it’s a bit too simple and not practical enough, but it depends.
Ewa: Yeah. On its own, it will not teach you to do digital marketing, but if you combine it with experience and practice, then you will start actually seeing some connections between what you’re doing and what he’s saying, and that that just gives this layer of psychology and understanding.
Ewa: So not on its own but still, yeah.
Louis: Ewa, you’ve been great. Thanks so much for going through all of these details with me. I think listeners took a lot away from this interview. Where can they connect with you if they want to?
Ewa: Obviously, through our Facebook Tribe47, you guys can email me at email@example.com. If you have your funnel mapped, send it to me, I might be able to actually give you some tips on it. If you manage to map it, I’m going to be happy to give you some tips.
Just don’t write to me with a question, hey can you look at my website and let me know how I can fix it? This one I’m not taking, but if he gave me a map, I will give you some tips.
Louis: Yeah, don’t do that, as Ewa is going to email me and then I’m going to email you, and it’s not going to be pretty. Ewa is E-W-A, not E-V-A, so it’s firstname.lastname@example.org, right.
Ewa: Mm-hmm, yup.
Louis: All right. That’s it then, thanks so much Ewa.
Ewa: Thank you, bye bye.
I’m a no-fluff marketer living in Dublin, Ireland (but yeah, I’m French).
I believe you can treat people the way you’d like to be treated and still generate results without using sleazy, aggressive, hack-y marketing. This is why I’ve started Everyone Hates Marketers – a no-fluff, actionable marketing podcast – as a side project in April 2017.
I’m also the Content Lead at Hotjar – a powerful way to analyse people’s behaviour on your website or app and understand how you can improve their experience.