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7 Marketing & Sales Funnel Leaks You Can Fix Today

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little weird. 

​​I love spreadsheets and numbers and comparing data sets. I especially love seeing how small changes in headlines or calls to action or even the color of a button can have a dramatic impact on conversions. 

But I recognize that not everyone is like me and that you’d probably rather clean the cat box with a spork than dig through the data to optimize your funnels. 

So I did it for you, and I’ve outlined the ​​​​7 issues I see most often with my clients’ funnels. Maybe your marketing is facing similar challenges. If so, you can fix all of these pretty quickly, now that you know what they are!​​

Of course, you’ll never have a completely leak-free funnel. You’ll never convert every blog reader into a VIP client (wouldn’t THAT be nice!) But you can patch the holes, minimize the leaks, and greatly improve your overall conversion rates—and your cash flow.

Leak #1: Poor Message to Market Match

No matter how amazing your new teriyaki beef jerky is, if you launch it at a PETA convention, it’s going to be a tough sell.

Knowing your ideal client is the single most important indicator of your business’ overall success, so of course, it plays a huge part in hitting your funnel sweet spot as well.

Reams have been written about how to identify your ideal client avatar, but here’s what you need to know:

  • Her pain points
  • The words she uses to describe those pain points
  • Why it’s so important to her to resolve them

When you get those three things nailed, it suddenly becomes a lot easier to create a message (or a training program or webinar or even a blog) that speaks directly to her.

Leak #2: Weak Calls to Action

If you’re emailing your list, and you want your reader to do something (like click a link or register for your new webinar) you can’t afford to be coy about it.

Don’t simply create an anchor-text link with your program’s title and hope she’s curious enough to click it. Maybe she’s on her phone and the link isn’t properly underlined. Maybe she’s scanning (aren’t we all?). Or maybe she’s just distracted (again, guilty!).

So make it obvious. Tell her exactly what to do (and why):

  • “Create your free account for instant access”
  • “Download the checklist to get started”
  • “Watch the video training to see how easy it is”

Leak #3: No Next Step on Thank You Pages

So your new fan has opted into your mailing list and is happily watching your awesome free video. Well done! But…now what?

Don’t just leave her hanging there with nothing else to do or learn. Give her the next best step, right now, while she’s fully engaged with you and your content.

Ideally, the next best step is a product or service at a slightly higher price point than the one she just downloaded. The next step from a free opt-in might be a $17 product, while the next step from a $47 product may be a $97 product. Other options (there are dozens) might be:

  • Book a free discovery call
  • Join your Facebook or LinkedIn group
  • Fill out a survey
  • Share the offer on social media
  • Watch a recorded webinar
  • Check out your most popular blog posts
  • Subscribe to your YouTube channel
  • Claim a coupon code

Pretty much anything goes here… except just letting her leave empty-handed.

Leak #4: Exit Signs. Exit Signs Everywhere!

Speaking of leaving empty-handed, here’s something every website owner needs to remember: Facebook does not need your traffic.

If you’re devoting valuable website real estate to social media icons, you’re inviting your visitors to leave the page and never return. One marketing company refers to those eye-catching icons as “candy-colored exit signs.”

Don’t invite your website visitors to leave so soon! Instead, move those social buttons to the bottom of the page, and use calls to action (see Leak #3) to strategically drive visitors to your social accounts when it aligns with your goals.

They don’t have to be social media icons either. Anything that takes your readers’ attention away from the goal (the opt-in or the buy button) is an exit sign. That goes for your website menu, related content, or even links out to other sites in your testimonials.

Leak #5: Not Enough Nurturing

It’s rare for couples to get married on a first date—or even after 3 or 4 dates.

And if every email you send to your list is a blatant sales pitch, you’re doing the online marketing equivalent of proposing to a virtual stranger.

Give your prospects a chance to get to know you before you pitch that high-priced product.Click To Tweet
  • Send informative, useful emails
  • Invite them to join your Facebook group
  • Send additional resources such as downloadable PDFs or video training
  • Introduce yourself with a “my story” email

Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t sell in those first few “getting to know you” interactions. You do want them to learn to expect sales messages. Not only that, but it’s your job as the expert to help your community make good buying decisions. Just make sure you’re adding value to the conversation, not just flooding their inbox with “buy now” buttons.

Leak #6: Poorly Targeted Follow-Ups

If you’ve ever clicked on an ad for a cute pair of sandals, only to land on a catalog page filled with winter boots, then you’ve experienced a poorly targeted follow up in person.

Your potential clients are moving through your funnel because you made a promise to them to provide the information they’re looking for, so don’t renege on that with a digital bait and switch.

Leak #7: Requiring Too Much Information Too Soon

That initial entry into your funnel is a leap of faith for your ideal client. She doesn’t know you very well. Maybe she’s read a couple of blog posts, or perhaps seen an ad on Facebook or YouTube. At most, she may know a few people who say good things about you. So don’t force her to give up too much personal info on that first encounter.

Sure, you may, at some point, need her phone number and her mailing address and the name of her first crush, but not today.

Today, all you need is an email (and a name, if you like to write polite emails).

Want to know what else you can do to increase your sales and plug those pesky leaks? Uncovering Hidden Cash: Simple Strategies to Boost Your Cash Flow and Improve Your Bottom Line is the answer. Inside you’ll find more than 100 ideas you can put to work today on your blog, in your emails, and even on Facebook.

Uncover the hidden cash in your online business, starting right now



  • Karon says:

    Thanks for the great tips!

  • Leak #3 is one where I’m sure a lot of us need more work (myself included), Cindy. I completed a new funnel today and am thrilled I got #3 right for once. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your tips.

    • Cindy says:

      That’s awesome Vatsala! Congrats!

  • Bo says:

    #3 is my nemesis also. I’m so focused on building my list that I sometimes forget the end game is a sale of some sort!
    Thanks for this list.

    • Cindy says:

      Yes! I totally get that. 🙂

  • Shay says:

    Thank you for this post. I can see I have some work to do!

    • Cindy says:

      We all have more we can do. 🙂

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