Sales Funnel vs Website: Which one will skyrocket your sales?

Wondering which would win the game of sales funnel vs website for your business? Which one would benefit you most or what in the world do those words even mean…..

Imagine having a virtual salesperson working around the clock, persuading visitors to become loyal customers. That’s exactly what a sales funnel and a website can do for your business!

Personally I love them even more than social media because the content you put on your website or in your sales funnel never dies. It continues to work for years to come, unlike a social media post that struggles to live after the first week.

sales funnel vs website intro image

In this article, I’ll demystify the difference between sales funnels and websites so you can make an informed decision about which approach suits your business best. Say goodbye to a passive online presence and say hello to an engaging customer journey that turns prospects into paying customers.

Also, I want to remind you that I know tech can be scary but it doesn’t have to be. It’s when you go into something with the mindset that it will be hard that you have already set that intention. So of course it’s going to be hard.

Go through this post with an open mind and a willingness to learn about sales funnels vs websites.

Definitions of Sales Funnel and Website

In the digital age, having an online presence is crucial for businesses to thrive. But its also important that you don’t build your business on someone else’s ground. ie social media. You don’t own those platforms.

To key pieces of building an online business to make sales are having a sales funnel a website or both. They may seem similar, but there are distinct differences between them. 

I’m going to chat about the difference between sales funnels and websites plus how they work in your business and how they will help you to both build sales and authority in your niche.

Definition of Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a series of steps that a potential customer goes through to make a purchase.

visual explanation of a sales funnel

Think of it as a journey that starts from the moment a person becomes aware of your brand, to the point where they become a loyal customer. A funnel is what we call the different stages of the sales process, such as product awareness, consideration, and ultimately, conversion.

The purpose of a sales funnel is to guide and nurture potential customers through one process, increasing the likelihood of them becoming paying customers. By strategically aligning your marketing with the stages of the sales funnel, you can effectively move potential customers through each step, leading to higher conversion rates and a successful business.

Important Note

The one thing you need to remember is that this typically will only happen through email marketing. and it’s only going to happen if they open most of your emails. No matter how good your content is you still can’t control human behavior and MAKE THEM open your emails. This is one thing that I think that gets overlooked in the teachings of online business is we assume all of our customers who go through our sales funnel are reading or watching every single piece and that’s just not going to happen.

This is why you need to repeat yourself often throughout your messaging whether it is an email or on social so that people hit each piece multiple times as well as the people who missed it the first time might have a chance to hear something again.

Definition of Website

A website, on the other hand, is an online platform that you own and it should be the home base for your audience and customers. It is a collection of web pages that provide information about your products or services and it should also have lots of helpful content for your audience to get their hands on. You want people to have a reason to go there.

desktop computer showing a website

A website typically includes important information about your business, such as contact details, product or service descriptions, and frequently asked questions. It also serves as a platform to showcase your brand’s personality and build trust with potential customers.

➡️A well-designed and user-friendly website can attract organic traffic from search engines, capture visitors’ email addresses for further marketing, and ultimately convert visitors into customers.

A traditional website is my favorite piece of marketing because it is the platform that you own and it is continually working for you 24/7. If you create content that is helpful for your potential customers and are strategic with SEO your content will get found in search and will last for years whereas your social media posts can die off within a few days.

If you are strategic about it you can get your website can start leading people into your marketing funnel and get your website visitors to see your sales pages if you are intentional with how you go about it.

Advantages of Using Both

When it comes to building a successful online business, having both a sales funnel and a website can lead to more sales but it’s important to know that these are two very different things. While these two elements work hand in hand to maximize your reach and effectiveness in converting potential customers. They take a lot of time to get established and even more effort to get a good website and or sales funnel converting. 

A website plays a crucial role in increasing brand visibility. The main reason this will help you is by creating blog posts (think of them as extra website pages if you do not want to be a “blogger”) that target key phrases that are commonly searched by your ideal customer. Use it as an online marketing asset that you own. And it gives you something else to rely on other than social media. 

With a well-designed and user-friendly website, you can showcase your brand’s personality and build trust with potential customers. 

Additionally, a website also functions as a lead generation tool, capturing valuable email addresses that can be used for future marketing efforts.

women planning her calendar for her business with a basket of chicken eggs and house plants next to her.

On the other hand, a sales funnel streamlines the buying process and improves conversion rates. It guides potential customers through a series of steps, strategically leading them toward making a purchase. By segmenting your target audience and tailoring your messages to their specific needs and preferences, a sales funnel helps to nurture leads and increase the likelihood of conversion.

By utilizing both a website and a sales funnel, you can create a comprehensive digital strategy that covers brand visibility, lead generation, and conversion optimization. Your website will attract organic traffic from search engines and capture visitors’ email addresses, while your sales funnel will guide them through the buying process, ultimately improving your conversion rates. With this approach, you can effectively reach and convert your target customers, leading to a successful and profitable online business. Remember that you can build sales funnel pages on your website. You don’t need expensive tech to set up sales funnels.

It does take a lot of time to get website traffic from SEO so when you have sales funnels set up you can still lead people to your sales pages from other platforms like email marketing, Pinterest, and social media. It makes for a dual business model that works together. 

Benefits of Having a Website

A website helps you build authority and serves as a valuable lead-generation tool by capturing email addresses that can be used for future marketing efforts. With a website, you can expand your reach to a broader audience, improve your search engine optimization, and drive organic traffic to your online business. Overall, having a website the foundational element of my online business and I personally think it could be the same for yours as well. 

Even when I still used a free website doing so helped other people see me as an authority and trusted me more to purchase from me. I heard from several people who chose to buy from my rabbitry in the early days over others because they could go to my website and learn more about me. I would link to the home page in my Craigslist posts.

a computer mouse next to a keyboard and a small succulent

Gives Brand Visibility That Lasts

Your website acts as the face of your business in the online world. It is a platform where you can clearly communicate who you are, what you offer, and what sets you apart from your competitors. 

By having a website, you enable potential customers to discover your brand and understand what you stand for.

A website is a powerful tool to establish credibility and trust. A professionally designed website with a strong brand identity creates a positive impression on visitors, making them more likely to engage with your business. It allows you to showcase your expertise and build a reputation as a trusted authority in your industry.

On top of that, having a website increases your reach and allows you to target a broader audience through SEO. With search engine optimization, your website can attract organic traffic from search engines, bringing you potential customers who are actively searching for what you offer. The best part is it lasts a long time. You can have blog posts that drive traffic to your site for years. 

a women strokeing a chicken chick on the yead while it is sitting on her notebook on her desk.

Creates Opportunities to Generate Leads

Having a website creates opportunities to generate valuable leads for your business. With the right strategies and techniques, your website can become a powerful lead-generation tool.

One way your website can capture visitor information and convert them into leads is through contact forms. These forms allow potential customers to reach out to you directly with their inquiries or requests. By displaying contact forms prominently on your website, you make it easy for visitors to take the first step toward becoming a lead.

Another effective way to capture visitor information is through lead magnets. These are valuable resources or incentives that you offer in exchange for an email address or other contact information. Lead magnets can be in the form of ebooks, whitepapers, checklists, or even exclusive discounts. By offering something of value, you entice visitors to provide their contact information and become potential leads.

You need to have opt-in forms for lead generation on your website. This is how you will be able to collect those email addresses. These forms allow visitors to subscribe to your email list, providing you with a direct communication channel to nurture and convert them into leads.

a planner with a cellphone and a watch laying on top of it.

Establishes Credibility and Trustworthiness

Having a well-designed website is crucial for any business to establish credibility and trustworthiness with potential customers. Like I said before this was huge in the early days of my rabbitry business. Both in the sense that they could read more about me but they could also read the blog posts they I had created and see that I knew what I was talking about. 

A professional website design with consistent branding shows that you are serious about your business and that you pay attention to the details. It conveys professionalism and instills confidence in the minds of potential customers.

Customer testimonials are another powerful element that can build trust on your website. When visitors see positive feedback and reviews from satisfied customers any time you can provide them, it gives them reassurance that your business can deliver what it promises. Testimonials provide social proof, showcasing the positive experiences of others and helping to establish trustworthiness.

Benefit of Having a Sales Funnel

A sales funnel is a series of steps that guide potential customers through the sales process, from the awareness stage to making a purchase. Unlike traditional websites, which often focus on providing information and gaining visibility, sales funnels are specifically designed to attract and convert leads. 

desktop computer with a candle to the left and a notebook laying closed in front

A Sales Funnel Teaches People That You Don’t Work For Free

A sales funnel is a series of steps that guides potential customers through the sales process, from the initial awareness stage to making a purchase.

One of the key advantages of a sales funnel is the ability to tailor communication to each individual customer. Depending on how advanced of a software you want to invest in. 

By creating personalized and targeted content, businesses can speak directly to the needs and interests of their potential customers. This personalized approach not only helps to build trust and credibility but also increases the chances of conversion.

A big part of having a successful funnel is understanding your target audience and their specific pain points. A sales funnel allows you to provide valuable content and information based on your ideal customer’s actions. Then offer different products that meet their needs as a result of their actions.

Streamlines the Buying Process

A sales funnel is like a helpful guide that streamlines the buying process for potential customers. It takes them through a series of steps, from initial problem awareness to making a purchase.

Instead of trying to appeal to a broad audience, the sales funnel focuses on a specific target audience. This makes the buying process more efficient because it eliminates unnecessary distractions and ensures that the right people are receiving the right information at the right time.

The sales funnel has different stages, each designed to move potential customers closer to a purchase. It starts with creating awareness about your product AND the problem they have that your product fixes. Then moves on to generating interest in fixing that problem and creating desire for the result that your product creates, and finally ends with the call-to-action that encourages them to make a purchase.

end table with a notebook and pen on top

Identifies Qualified Leads Quickly and Easily

A sales funnel is not just about moving potential customers through different stages. It also helps businesses identify qualified leads quickly and easily. 

Lead scoring is a method of assigning points to potential customers based on their interactions and behaviors. This allows businesses to prioritize and focus on the most qualified leads. For example, a lead who visits your website, signs up for your email list, and clicks on a specific product page might be assigned a higher score compared to someone who just casually browses. Keep in mind you need to have software to make this happen and most of the more advanced ones are not free. 

​But if you have the budget and are ready to start being very targeted with your audience to make lots of sales then it’s worth the investment. 

Lead qualification techniques further refine the process by determining if a lead meets specific criteria, such as budget, need, or timeline. This ensures that businesses are spending their resources on leads who are more likely to convert into customers.

By using lead scoring and qualification techniques, the sales funnel helps businesses identify qualified leads from the sea of potential customers. This allows them to focus their efforts on those who are most likely to make a purchase, saving time and resources in the process.

If a software that has this type of capabilities built-in is not in the budget there are ways you can segment your email list into different groups in order to get a better idea of what they are interested in and how “warm” they are and close to purchasing.

business notebook with a pen next to a cup of coffee

Increases Lead Generation Through Email Marketing Sequences

One of the main pieces of a funnel is using an email tool to send customers information, helpful content, and offers. Unless you are doing something like a webinar funnel where the lead will click on different things and be made an offer right then and there you will need an email service provider to send them the information needed to lead them through the funnel.

Capturing email addresses is a crucial step in the sales process, as it allows you to nurture potential customers over time. By obtaining their email address, you have the opportunity to stay in touch, deliver valuable content, and build a relationship with them.

Email marketing sequences are a series of automated emails that are strategically designed to guide potential customers through the sales funnel. These sequences are tailored to address the unique pain points, needs, and interests of your target audience.

Through these sequences, you can provide information, showcase your product or service, and offer exclusive promotions or discounts. By nurturing your leads with relevant and personalized content, you increase the chances of converting them into paying customers.

Email marketing sequences are a powerful tool for building relationships and trust with your audience. By delivering valuable content consistently, you position yourself as a trusted authority in your industry. 

You Don’t Need Fancy Tools To Create A Sales Funnel

Creating a sales funnel doesn’t have to be complicated or require fancy tools. In fact, simplicity is often key to an effective sales funnel. By focusing on the fundamentals, you can create a successful sales funnel that helps you convert potential customers into paying ones.

The first step is to understand your target audience and their needs. 

  • Who are you trying to reach? 
  • What problems or desires do they have that your product or service can solve? 

Once you have a clear understanding of your ideal customer, you can craft your sales funnel to address their specific pain points.

Next, map out the customer journey. What are the steps a potential customer takes from becoming aware of your business to making a purchase? This can include stages like problem awareness and solution awareness. 

Identify the topics that your customer needs to hear and know in order to make a purchase. Then figure out how you can send them what they need in order to guide them through the funnel.

At each touchpoint, provide valuable content that educates, informs, or inspires. This can be in the form of blog posts, videos, or even simple emails. The goal is to build trust and credibility with your audience, positioning yourself as a solution to their problem.

Make sure to include clear calls to action that guide your audience to take the next step in the buying process. This could be signing up for a free trial, scheduling a call, or making a purchase. Make it easy for your potential customers to take action by providing simple, intuitive pathways.

Tools To Create A Sales Funnel On Your Site

A sales funnel can be something as simple as a one-step click where you make an offer on a sales page and the customer clicks a button to make a purchase. OR it can be extremely complicated with dozens of emails and actions for your potential customers to be nurtured and eventually make a sale. Just keep in mind the longer your sales funnel the fewer number of people will make it to the end and possibly not buy your product or take the action you want them to take.   

Here are the main tools you will need to create a funnel on your site. 

  • Content to attract your ideal customer.
  • A form and email service provider to collect email addresses. 
  • A checkout tool.
  • And a sales page.

There are a variety of tools available that can help you build and optimize your sales funnel, ensuring maximum conversion rates and a successful business. BUT if they are a funnel-building tool they often cost a lot of money each month. So that is not something I would encourage you to invest your money into at first until you know it converts well using free or low-cost tools.

Personally I find that having my sales pages on my own website and designed to look the same as my own WordPress site tends to convert the best.

Landing page builders are great and often help give you conversion rates so you don’t have to figure those out yourself but if you don’t have the budget for it you can do that for free simply by looking at your Google Analytics.

You might also see the letters CRM thrown around out there often which stands for customer relationship management (CRM) system. The biggest benefit of these is to help you manage clients that you will provide a service for. Not simply selling digital products that can be delivered automatically. Personally, until you are making lots of sales or you have a high-converting website I don’t think these are worth spending lots of money on at first.

Tools are great but need to be careful where your money goes at first. I wasted a lot of money on tools that I just wasn’t ready for simply because that was what I was “supposed” to do.

Email marketing tools

Email marketing tools are essential for creating and implementing a sales funnel on a website. These tools help businesses connect with potential customers and guide them through the various stages of the sales process.

Popular options include:

Flodesk is a newer kid on the block and does really well for the price. $38 no matter how many emails you have on your list. Which is unheard of for any other platform. – if you are going to sell lower-cost products and be sending your blog posts out to your email list as your main use for having and email list then Flodesk would be the platform I would recommend.

ConvertKit is designed specifically for bloggers and online business owners, providing automated email sequences, tagging and segmentation options, and customizable landing pages.

Mailchimp is a user-friendly platform that offers a range of features, including customizable email templates, automation workflows, and robust data analytics.

GetResponse is known for its advanced marketing automation features, including behavioral-based campaigns and automated funnels.

ActiveCampaign offers sophisticated automation features, including machine learning and predictive analytics, to help businesses optimize conversions. But they definitely are on the higher end of the price bracket. I would not recommend them unless the products you were selling were higher ticket and warranted than extra tools needed to make sales.

These email marketing tools are powerful resources for implementing an effective sales funnel on a website, ensuring businesses can reach their target audience, nurture leads, and ultimately increase conversion rates.

Webpage builders

When it comes to creating a sales funnel on your website, there are several powerful webpage builders available. These tools offer a range of features and functionalities that can help you streamline your sales process and convert potential customers into paying ones.

  • Elementor – An affordable free option for a sales page builder.
  • WordPress Theme – Personally I would use my own site for as long as I could until the lack of data gets to me. Having things look well branded on your site will always convert better.
  • Kadence – Similar to Elementor and as a free option.
  • Restored316 – They build website themes, sales pages, and funnel templates for WordPress sites using Kadnece. They have always been the best-converting theme pages for my business. Check out their funnel bundles here.
  • Canva – Great option if you don’t have a website.

Great Tools But a Higher Price tag

Leadpages is another webpage builder that provides a user-friendly experience. It offers a wide selection of customizable templates and makes it easy to create landing pages and sales funnels. Additionally, Leadpages integrates with popular email marketing tools, allowing you to capture leads and automate your email sequences.

One popular option is ClickFunnels, which is known for its easy-to-use interface and intuitive drag-and-drop editor. With ClickFunnels, you can create customized sales funnels with just a few clicks. It also offers seamless integrations with popular email marketing tools, such as Mailchimp and AWeber, making it easy to build an email list and nurture potential customers.

Which Should You Start With?

When I first started my backyard farm I started with a free website and upgraded after about 8 years. If I had known more about how websites worked and that the older and more established a website is the more Google trusts it I would have moved to a self-hosted website sooner. — But hindsight is 20/20

With that said you have to know what your goals are for your business. Do you enjoy your website enough to keep it updated and create content to help google find your website useful enough to recommend it to people who search for what you offer?

  • If you are building awareness and are not focused on selling digital products for your business then I would say you only need a website.
  • If you want to add other income streams into your backyard farm then you should learn how to optimize a funnel BUT only after you know your audience well and have started to build up some traffic and an audience. It takes time to optimize a funnel and if you don’t have traffic to test it on its pointless.

Start with what you can and know that it’s enough. DO NOT pay for expensive tools until you know you are ready to start making that money back.

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