If you run or manage a business, the goal of your website is to get visitors to convert.
In an ideal situation, a user stumbles upon your homepage, sees all your beautiful products, clicks a link, hands over their email address, and then buys something. Your company websites are a kind of digital shopfront, enticing passers-by to part with their cash.
Entrepreneurs often spend weeks obsessing over their sites, tweaking them to make sure that they appeal to their target audience. They hope that they can find that magic formula that will entice users to part with their money and convert.
The problem is that there isn’t usually just ONE single funnel that will cater to the needs of all your customers. Often you need to address different types of users, all with specific characteristics and pain points. Thus a single sales funnel doesn’t suffice.
Here’s where the idea of a “homepage funnel” comes in – a concept developed by serial entrepreneur Russell Brunson. The idea fundamentally changes the nature of your site, enabling you to earn more conversions, even if your business caters to radically different groups of people.
Understanding precisely what Brunson means by a homepage funnel, though, takes a bit of effort. Let’s unpack the concept in more detail.
What Is Homepage Funnel?
Website conversion funnels have been around for a long time. Entrepreneurs realized two decades ago that the best-performing pages were those that catered addressed the specific needs of users upfront – hence the emergence of landing pages.
Historically, though, these pages tended to focus on a single product. Entrepreneurs would set targeted ads relating to specific search terms and then forward them to landing pages they hoped would convert.
Firms still do this today. If you type in “small business accounting” into Google, you’ll immediately see an ad by Quickbooks, one of the biggest accounting software companies in the world. When you click the link, the company forwards you to its landing page.
Here’s what that looks like:
As you can see, it’s a page dedicated to selling a single product – accounting tools for businesses.
You’ll come across a similar concept when searching for personal trainers, legal professionals, and car mechanics. They all use dedicated landing pages to address specific needs. And they all employ a single sales funnel to move visitors towards conversions.
For companies like Quickbooks, this approach makes a lot of sense. Customers don’t go to the company’s website for anything other than accounting solutions. That’s all the firm sells.
Not all enterprises, though, are like this. While some entrepreneurs sell a single product addressing a unique need, many sell multiple products targeting a lot of different customers. And this is where they can run into trouble.
The Problem With The Traditional Homepage
In the 1990s, most companies had a homepage that told the customer who they were, how to contact them, and what products they sold. All the information appeared directly on the screen. The customer would then click a link, fill in a pop-up box, hand over their email, and, hopefully, buy some products.
The traditional homepage experience, however, did nothing to help funnel users towards a sale. Customers just arrived at the site, clicked on various menu headings and browsed products. It was very much a user-centric experience with little guidance from the site itself.
Smart entrepreneurs, though, soon realized that you could use your site to HELP people by addressing their needs upfront. So, for instance, you could dedicate a landing page designed to overcome their pain points and funnel them to products that might benefit them the most.
Most companies that sell multiple products never got around to deploying this strategy on their homepages. It just didn’t seem practical to use sales funnel tactics when selling lots of different products. It looked too complicated.
The Solution Is Homepage Funnels
The solution to the problem – as Brunson sees it – is to deploy homepage funnels. These pages help steer users towards specific products, based on their characteristics or preferences. Thus a homepage funnel is a collection of individual sales funnels, all addressing a different need.
Brunson’s idea fundamentally changes the nature of the homepage. In the past, the page was passive. It was a bit like a map that customers used to find their way around a site. With Brunson’s novel idea, though, it becomes more of a sorting mechanism, channeling people to specific existing sales funnels, based on their needs and preferences.
So what does this look like in practice? Here is a video in which Brunson explains the concept in detail.
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The traditional homepage funnel, as he points out, involves the following process:
- Present them with a homepage that displays all the usual information, such as products, contact information, services, special offers, and information about the company.
- Create a pop-up designed to capture critical information, such as names and email addresses.
- Take the customer to a “thank you” page after they fill in the details to confirm that you registered their information.
What Brunson is saying is that the website process should look more like this:
- Present the customer with all of your sales funnels for your products and services on your home page.
- Use smart layouts and wording to direct them to the specific funnels that are relevant to them.
- Get them to click the appropriate sales funnel for their need and take them to a specific page.
Can you see the fundamental difference here? You’re not assuming that the customer knows what they want, nor are you limiting yourself to a single funnel. Instead, your homepage is the “funnel of funnels,” directing people to the relevant parts of your website, whatever that happens to be.
In this way, it is very different from a “hero funnel” – a page that attempts to a personality (such as a personal trainer or motivational speaker). You’re creating multiple funnels and aggregating them in a single place, allowing you to benefit from the power of the sales funnel as a conversion device without your website losing focus or cohesion.
Why Use Homepage Funnels?
According to Brunson, the whole point of using a homepage funnel is to turn “traffic you don’t control” into traffic you own. In his book, DotComSecrets, he describes three types of visitors to your site.
The first he calls “traffic you don’t control.” These are people arriving through channels that are not inside your marketing sphere of influence. Good examples include things like blog links, referrals, and other people’s YouTube channels. You don’t know when this type of traffic is going to arrive, and you don’t pay for it.
The second category is “traffic you control.
The concept here is slightly different. Here, you pay a third-party you know has a lot of traffic – like Facebook and Google – to direct some of those people toward you. Thus, you must use your marketing budget to control the flow of people online, encouraging them to visit your site and buy your products.
The final category Brunson calls “traffic you own.” The concept here is different again. Here you’re not paying for traffic, but you control the content that people see. Good examples of this include your regular readers, email list, and subscribers. You control the messages you send to these users, and you don’t have to pay a third-party.
The whole point of homepage funnels, therefore, is to convert ALL the traffic you don’t control into traffic you own. Why? Because when you own traffic, you don’t have to pay for marketing. All your advertising is FREE – something that can have enormously positive knock-on effects at your company.
Also, you should note that creating a powerful homepage funnel isn’t the preserve of professional website developers. It is something that your business can do too. Once you have it in place, you can boost your conversion rates and supercharge your firm’s online presence.
How To Create A Top Converting Homepage Funnel
So how do you create a compelling homepage funnel that converts?
Getting started with homepage funnels requires a little knowledge. Importantly it is NOT the same as creating a regular sales funnel or a landing page. Remember, a homepage funnel is an aggregation of all the funnels you own. Your main priority is to direct, not sell.
Create A Homepage Schematic
The first thing you need to do when creating a homepage funnel is to build a schematic that shows which specific sales funnels you will link to, and where they will take people.
The most common way to do this is to create a series of categories on your home page, dedicated to selling particular products.
Take a look at how the voucher company Groupon does this:
And here’s how Amazon does it:
As you can see, the websites come in various sections, all catering to somewhat different product categories.
Amazon is probably the most interesting example. It has a banner catering to specific customers interested in consumer electronics, a section for its music streaming service, and another banner to entice people to buy everyday essentials.
This example from UK-based life insurance company Aviva is another excellent example of a homepage funnel in action.
Notice how the company attempts to segment its life insurance homepage into multiple different categories, depending on the needs of the customer. Right at the top, there’s a tab that distinguishes between “personal” for individual customers, and “business” for company executives. Underneath there’s a call to action, as well as a range of other products from the company, including insurance, investments, retirements, and health.
By now, you should be getting the general idea of what a homepage funnel looks like in practice. All the above examples do it to SOME degree.
You can probably do a better job. Remember, not all companies know about Brunson’s ideas.
Let’s say, for instance, that you’re a personal trainer and you offer clients training and diet advice. It seems like you’re selling just one thing – personal training services. But from a client’s perspective, you’re solving many different problems. Some clients want to be skinny and tone up while others want to pack on fifty pounds of muscle.
Check out Roman Fitness Systems, a personal training company that understands the value of homepage funnels:
It funnels customers to two separate sales funnels: one for clients who want to look beautiful and another for those looking to build muscle. Notice how smart this strategy is. It gives people the power to choose the direction that their training takes AND helps them avoid something that they might not want – such as packing on loads of muscle. It immediately puts customers at ease and directs them to the services that will help them the most – precisely what you want to achieve when you construct a sales funnel.
Entrepreneurs, therefore, need to put themselves in the same frame of mind as Roman Fitness Systems. Think about what you do from the perspective of the customer. Consider the issues that they might want to solve. Then, create specific buttons for each of those on your homepage that takes them to the relevant single-product sales funnel.
Use A Funnel Catcher
Brunson calls what Roman Fitness does in the above example a “funnel catcher.” The idea here is to present website visitors with multiple buttons that cater to their immediate needs.
Brunson practices what he preaches, and has a few examples of these on his site for his actual business. If you head to his homepage, you’ll see a bunch of funnel catches in action.
Take a look at this example of a funnel catcher on his site:
Here you can see that Brunson is offering what is essentially three different services. At the top, you have his annual conference where entrepreneurs get together to listen to his words of wisdom. Under that, you have a personal consultancy product for business executives who want to expand the value of their firms beyond $10 million. And then finally, you have the option to hire Russel for 1:1 consultancies or speaking engagements.
In all three examples, Brunson is selling his core skills – to coach people to create better businesses. But he is serving very different needs. A company executive who wants 1:1 consulting probably won’t benefit a great by going to a large event.
Provide A Small Offer, Then The Main Offer
When building your homepage funnel, start with “small offers” first. The idea here is to avoid bombarding the customer or scare them away with the full price of the product upfront. Instead, you want to show them what you offer and get them hooked first, before performing the switch.
A lot of subscription services, for instance, will offer customers a free trial or an introductory rate. The purpose of this is to show them the benefits that the product brings, with less financial risk. The hope is that the customer realizes that they can’t live without the service and, after a couple of months, pays the full price.
You need to use this strategy on your homepage funnel too. Presenting price information is the old way of doing things. The best approach is to show how you solve problems to encourage customers to part with their cash.
Make The Homepage Interesting
As the above examples show, companies always try to make their homepages as attractive as possible. You’re not just presenting a wall of text and call-to-action buttons, hoping that users will click the one that is relevant to them. Instead, you’re creating short, snappy titles and cue words that immediately present users with a choice. Then all they need to do is click the relevant link, and they’re in a traditional sales funnel.
How To Get Started With Homepage Funnels
Building an effective homepage sales funnel from scratch is a challenging operation. You need to educate your marketing team and make sure that everyone is on the same page. It’s a process that could take weeks.
Brunson, however, provides a software tool called Clickfunnels that practically anyone can use to create homepage funnels – and any other type of sales funnel for that matter.
The way it works is simple. You grab the software from the Clickfunnels website and then use the drag-and-drop interface to turn your homepage from something static into a page that drives your conversions. Clickfunnels organizes everything you need onto a single dashboard, making it easy to do things like creating web pages, generate leads, sell products, design follow-up funnels, and organize your page schematics.
In this video, Nick Tsai uses Clickfunnel to create a funnel in under three minutes!
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Key Industry Terms
If you’re confused by all the terms in the sales conversion funnel marketplace, you’re not alone. There’s a lot of them. Here we explain some of the words you need to understand if you want your business to thrive.
- Bounce rate – The proportion of people who arrive on your page, do nothing, and then click “back” on their browser to search.
- Call-to-action – A button on your website with a corresponding phrase encouraging customers to do something. (i.e. “sign up to our email newsletter today”)
- Click-through rate – The proportion of people as a percentage of your total number of website visits who click a particular call-to-action.
- Core offer – marketers, usually use this term to refer to the main product that they want to sell before any upselling or down selling. The core offer of an SEO agency, for instance, might be link building. Upselling might involve creating higher quality content for sites with more “authority.”
- Downsell – You can’t always upsell to customers going through homepage funnels. Some just want bargains or don’t have the necessary income. Down selling, therefore, involves showing users lower-value products that they can afford to buy so that you don’t miss out on an opportunity to make a sale entirely.
- Lead magnet – Something that encourages customers to part with crucial information, such as their name, telephone number, or email address. Lead magnets include things like blogs, webinars, or e-books that require users to hand over information to access them.
- Opt-in – A term that marketers use to describe a situation in which a user voluntarily hands over pertinent information, such as their email address, usually in response to a lead magnet.
- ROAS – An acronym that stands for “return on ad spend.” It is the amount of money that a company can trace back to each dollar that it spends on advertising.
- Sales funnel – A series of steps that a customer needs to go through to complete a purchase. In today’s context, this term almost always refers to actions that a customer must take online.
- Tripwire – An irresistible and relatively low-cost “teaser” product that a customer clicks on to find out more about a product or service.
- Upsell – A marketing tactic in which you present users with options to choose higher-value products as they move through your sales funnel.
- Urgency – A strategy in which you tell a customer that there is a limited time left to take advantage of an offer or a limited supply of the goods that you want to sell.
- Value ladder – A series of products of increasing value that a customer sees as they move through the sales funnel. So, for instance, you might start with a “trial” or “introductory” offer and then present the customer with more and more value, encouraging them to spend more.
How To Measure Performance Of A Homepage Funnel
Measuring the performance of a homepage funnel isn’t easy, but it is possible if you’re rigorous in your approach.
Let’s take a look at what you need to do.
Measure The Performance Of Your Call-To-Action Buttons
A homepage funnel is essentially a list of calls-to-action (CTAs). Most of the above examples feature a picture and a button laid out one next to the other.
You don’t usually know in advance, however, which design or choice of words will perform best. In all likelihood, you won’t settle on the right formula the first time around. Usually, it takes a bit of tinkering.
The best way to assess the performance of your homepage buttons is to conduct A/B testing on them. Here you create different versions of your CTAs and then use tracking tools to see which perform the best.
Once you collect the data, you’ll often find that some CTAs perform better than others. Over time, tinkering and tweaking these can help you find the optimal setup that delivers the highest returns.
Differences between your existing CTA and your new one might be as low as 1 percent. But even tiny changes like these are still worth implementing. If your overall CTA rate is 5 percent and then a shift in the text accompanying the button pushes it to 6 percent, that’s a 20 percent increase in sales!
Measure Where People Are Coming From And Going To
Remember how we talked about the three different types of traffic visiting your website – traffic you control, the traffic you don’t control, and traffic you own? Well, it turns out that it is essential when analyzing the performance of your homepage funnel. People arriving from third-party blogs, for instance, might have completely different needs than, say, people coming from your email list.
The level of education that people have about what you do will differ markedly, so you want to check that your homepage funnels people through to the right areas.
When it comes to traffic you don’t control, you want to make sure that they are all going in the direction of your “educational” or “instructional” content. Here you tell users about what you do and how it might value them, even if they’re just passing by.
By contrast, you want traffic you own to head to different funnels on your site – usually your product pages. Here you’re assuming that the people on your site already know what you offer and are comfortable in their understanding of your product. Thus, the goal isn’t to level out the learning curve but delivers relevant pages.
Google Analytics and other tracking software allow you to see where users come from and go to on your site. You can put visitors into different categories based on their point of origin and then test different CTAs to see how each subset reacts. Remember, the objective of a homepage funnel is to be a master page that you use to direct different types of customers to pages based on their needs. Knowing where they came from is an essential clue for where they might want to go.
Examples Of How Different Businesses Might Use Homepage Funnels
Everything that we discussed so far was quite abstract. What you want to know is how to use homepage funnels for your particular company best. Let’s take a look at how companies in different sectors might take advantage of the concept.
Professional Service Companies
If you run a professional service company, you’re probably in the best position of any type of firm to use a homepage funnel. In this case, you can leverage your existing customers to provide “social proof” that you offer incredible services in the form of a video. You can then provide links underneath that forwards users to various product pages and services.
What if you run a mom-and-pop shop? Here you can still use homepage funnels to your advantage. The best approach is to tell the story of why your shop is so unique and then filter people to your top ten selling products, offering to ship them online if you have the capability.
Online Craft Retailers
Online crafter retailers can use their homepage funnels to talk about how their products are bespoke and explain how they make them with a quick video.
Underneath the video, you could link to a variety of wares at different price brackets, depending on the customer’s budget. If you offer a bespoke service for made-to-measure crafts, you could provide a button for this too.
Recruitment agencies can find it challenging to sell their services online because of the number of stakeholders involved in any given transaction. Homepage funnels, however, can help.
Take a look at how HireLevel smartly breaks its main homepage into two sections: one for people looking for work, and another for employers wanting to hire.
Recruitment agencies must also deal with the fact that individual stakeholders might want different services. In this example, you can see how HireRight has one call to action for businesses looking for a recruitment partner, and another for those looking for HR admin support services.
Network marketers also stand to benefit substantially from creating homepage funnels. The best tactic here is to tell the story of how people further down the chain managed to benefit considerably from making sales of their own and how they are now earning high commissions. You could then include links to distributors at the bottom of the page where people interested in joining the network could find out more information.
Homepage funnels are a game-changing device that could help practically any entrepreneur increase sales. It’s not just about adding another sales funnel – it’s about connecting all your funnels in a way that makes intuitive sense for customers. Ultimately, you want to create a homepage that is helpful and makes it completely obvious what a particular user should do next.
Russel Brunson’s new homepage funnel concept completely rewrites the definition of a homepage. We’ve moved way beyond the format of the 1990s and 2000s, where a homepage was just an outline of all the options on a site. The homepage funnel approach immediately identifies needs and then directs prospective customers to where they should go to satisfy them. It’s a big improvement to the user experience.
Is your company in need of help? MV3 Marketing Agency has numerous Marketing experts ready to assist you. Contact MV3 Marketing to jump-start your business.