Sales funnels are hard to design because we have so many options. We can choose other ad networks, create multiple landing pages, and target different customers.
Trying to test every variable gets overwhelming. We suggest starting with big questions and running simple tests to isolate key variables.
In Why Driving Paid Traffic To a Squeeze Page Is Like Setting Your Money on Fire Justin Brook provides a good example. Here is our perspective and what you can learn from it.
Should you drive traffic to a squeeze page or sales page?
Marketers create “squeeze” pages to capture email addresses – sort of a landing page whose only CTA is “gimme your email address”. Justin argues for sending paid traffic directly to a product sales page instead and uses some simple math to drive home his point.
The title implies “squeeze pages are a waste of money” but if you read through his comments he clarifies his position a bit:
It’s not an article about squeeze pages don’t work. The point was that for a lot of products it’s financially more efficient to go straight sale.
In other words … it depends. The post generated good comments from marketers convinced squeeze pages are the optimal. What if you do retargeting? How about selling services? What if your product is complex?
Every marketer confronts these questions when designing sales funnels. Here are some general guidelines for answering them yourself.
Why the confusion? Because sales funnels are friggin’ complex
Everyone looks for simple rules and guidelines when designing ad campaigns. We take courses, read books, and try to follow best practices (for instance, you can learn content marketing basics in our interview with CopyHacker’s Joanna Weibe). This is a great starting point because a successful campaign for a similar product will probably work for you.
But real ad campaigns are never as simple as textbooks imply because because everything is always changing.
We add new products.
Ad prices change.
We go after new markets.
We test other ad networks.
And on. And on. And on.
Every simple sales funnel turns into a complex mess after a few months. There are so many details it is tempting to give up and just look for the simple answer like “squeeze pages are/are not good.”
But you can usually answer these questions yourself with a few simple tests.
How to run simple tests to test any part of your sales funnel
Will a squeeze page cost you money or lead to higher conversions? Rather than debate the issue, run a simple test.
Setup and run the test
Test # 1 – with squeeze page
- Create a squeeze page and spend $1K driving ads too it.
- Put the leads into your marketing automation or send them emails pitching your solution.
Test # 2 – without a squeeze page
- Run a $1K ad campaign to your sales page and see how many clicks convert.
Run the test for a few weeks. You can finish when you stop getting engagement from the leads you generated in Test #1.
Don’t make it complex by adding variables (e.g. retargeting campaigns).
Interpret the results
After a few weeks you will have one of 2 types of results:
Result 1 – a conclusive test
Justin’s post provides an example of conclusive results. The campaign with a squeeze page made $300 while the campaign without it made $950 – a 316% difference.
If your test results are this conclusive you’re done. No amount of tweaking your squeeze page or workflow will result in a 316% improvement. Get rid of the squeeze page and start optimizing something else.
Result 2 – an inconclusive test
Let’s face it – most of the time our tests are not this conclusive. Maybe the squeeze page performs 10% better.
Guess what? You’re still done because “having a squeeze page” isn’t a critical variable for you. You should test a bigger question in different part of your funnel.
Bottom line: try to answer big questions with simple tests
Guidelines and best practices can help you avoid the most obvious mistakes. You can’t sell an $40 product by making cold calls. You won’t get customers to buy a Lamborghini through a self-service landing page.
But your product, business, and customers are unique. What works for a similar product may not work for you.
When you’re building or refactoring your sales funnel start by asking big questions. Then run simple tests to check them. It is the only way to get the right answers for you.
Also published on Medium.