Not having a sales funnel for your online course is the equivalent of setting up a lemonade stand in the middle of the desert where no one will ever find it. Sure, it may be super hot outside. Sure, your lemonade may be delicious. But if you’re not giving people a clear path to follow and that leads to your lemonade stand, they will never find it. This “build it and (hope) they will come” approach rarely translates into sales and enrolments, at least in the real world.
Joomla is ideal if you’re looking to build a large-scale or complex site, without the need to do any excessive coding. The default platform has a slight edge on WordPress when it comes to group administration and development. For instance, there’s even a dedicated messenger function to enhance collaboration. If you are interested in setting up a Joomla website, check out our Joomla tutorial.
HelpScout starts their funnel with traffic. They have their blog and resource page that helps keep you clicking around their website. They make it very easy to see and easy to interact with and keep going on your journey around the site. The next step is the homepage. Their homepage is straightforward to understand. The design is quite clean and buttons to keep you moving around the site are quite prominent. When it comes to the last step of pricing and purchase, they never show a price menu; they just take you directly to a signup page. If you love the product and you’ve come this far, that is an aggressive but effective pricing strategy.
You can import your WordPress blog to Squarespace, which we like a lot. Nevertheless, we don’t recommend using Squarespace for blogging unless you don’t particularly care about SEO because page titles and meta descriptions can’t be adjusted for individual blog posts – which is very important for ranking with search engines. However, be aware that Squarespace is more difficult to use than Wix or Weebly due to its convoluted interface.
Hi Donny, I think there are some drag and drop user interfaces for WordPress, but I haven't used them myself so I have no idea if they're good. But as far as I know, most WordPress users I know don't use these interfaces - maybe that's an indication that people rather bite the bullet to learn how to code or hire someone who does, rather than using these interfaces? I can't be completely sure, though. Using a hosted service really isn't terrible at all. If you are running an ecommerce store (sounds like you are since you are selling products?), platforms like Shopify is excellent. They're very scalable, and tons of tools for you to use. They have dedicated support teams so you can always reach out for dedicated help and they manage all the technical back end matters for you. Of course, if you prefer to have 100% control over everything including hosting and security, then something like WordPress will allow you to do that. Jeremy
Hi Gina, Thanks for your comment and sharing your thoughts. Hiring an expert developer is always good, but it does have its challenges. Financial investment is just one of them. It's not a big problem if a company is well established already and is cash flowing to re-invest its profits into technology. But not all companies have that level of budget to commit, and not all companies are well established (yet). A lot of users are just starting out and just don't have that level of resource to get their websites off the ground. In such circumstance, I think our list above makes a lot of sense. No doubt, your comment is also valid, but I think that's more applicable for well established businesses. We have a full discussion of the cost of building a website that compares the cost of hiring a developer versus using a DIY website builder such as the ones I suggested above. I also wrote an article about the idea of hiring a designer / developer - when it's appropriate, and when it isn't appropriate. It's just my own view and what I would advise my friends and family if they were to ask me. Of course, every single person that's looking to build a website has different needs, motivations and resources. Thanks for adding to this discussion! Jeremy
It also includes hosting, themes as well as apps to help you get your site up and running. Although not as advanced as WordPress blogging platform, the blogging capabilities of BigCommerce is pretty great. It is easy to use and is secure as it is protected by multiple layers of security. Managing and running an efficient and successful online shop is easier and we can say that it is a pretty great alternative to WordPress in this niche!
Maybe just like you, at first we didn't have a darn clue about how to build a website, nevermind write half a line of code if our life depended on it! We wanted to build a website to start a side business, and felt overwhelmed, confused & scared about how to actually do it, which builder to use, and making wrong decisions. After years of trials & errors using different website builders, we're here to share our experiences with you.
ToFu: Top of Funnel sales funnels are for cold traffic. Cold traffic is like a blind date. The purpose is for you to get to know them by providing value so that your audience get to know like and trust you. If you succeed, the customer might just for over their email so that you can follow-up. A typical example is a landing page the provides a downloadable lead magnet in each for an email.
Although not so popular among the users, Craft CMS is an effective content management system. Some major examples of this are Netflix and Salesforce websites. It is a much more complex and developer friendly CMS platform that provides exclusive back-ends for your websites. Unlike WordPress, it does not provide front-end themes that you can use. Instead, you can use their templating system that is powered by Twig to design it yourself.
In addition to designing these high conversion sales funnel templates, we've also written several scripts that can be used for your automated email campaigns. These synergize perfectly with our funnel templates - if a customer goes through you funnel they will almost always enter their email address as part of an Opt-In, even if they don't go on to purchase immediately. When an automated email is sent out 24 hours later using one of these scripts, it converts 10-20% of those customers to buyers. Sign up below and we'll email them to you free.
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Now I don’t want to pretend as if there weren’t any cases where WordPress is the only real option – there definitely are. If, for example, you want to run a website with a searchable database for real estate offerings. It’s also a great choice if you need a complex member area. You can find some tips on WordPress solutions in our Beginner’s Guide to WordPress.
Magnolia CMS is a big one. It’s best suited for large scale enterprises, as not only is the functionality massive, but so is the price tag, which is revealed only after a consultation. However, if you need a large site or something that can handle a lot of functions and capabilities, this is a top choice. If you’re only looking for a simple WordPress replacement, though, this may be too much.
I am biased towards WordPress, just FYI. I train new bloggers and website owners (non-profits and small businesses, etc) in setting up WordPress.org with an SSL and I do it in an 8-hour class. My point being I recommend you setup: 1) WordPress.org NOT WordPress.com; 2) Go with 1and1.com “Unlimited” + SSL (costs about $62 for 12 months, includes: domain name, SSL Certificate + web hosting). This will get you a web hosting account with a domain name, SSL and 1-year of web hosting for the cost of a SSL Certificate (most are $60+). Why SSL? because your site will display https and you can process online payments using Stripe.com (Payment processor similar to PayPal, Authorize.net, etc). I have setup at least 6 of these accounts exactly like this for attendees and clients. This will work for you and it will not have any ads popping up unless you put them there. Any questions just reply.
Lastly, let them know that if they ever want to stop receiving emails from you, all they have to do unsubscribe from your email list. Email marketing only works when the people on your email list have given you permission to contact them. In fact, most email service providers require that you send all new subscribers a confirmation email (asking them to confirm they want to receive emails from you) before they will even send them your welcome email.
The retention stage: These are beyond-the-funnel customers. You’ll use email sequences, customer accounts, and loyalty programs to keep these customers back for add-ons, upsells, and cross-sells. The goal of stages one through four is to keep the customer moving deeper down the funnel toward becoming a customer. The goal of stage five is to keep the customer coming back.
How to Build a Dangerously Effective Sales Funnel