You can make a website that lets you sell products and services if you have the Ecommerce plan. You’ll have an online store that will allow you to add products and services, set up different types of payment methods, and even specific types of shipping. Your store will be integrated into your website as a page. You can add featured products for your visitors to scroll through, make quick purchases using PayPal and Apple Pay and promote your store/products through coupons. You can also use the same type of email marketing that is included in the Premium plan to send email communications to your subscribers and customers about sales on your website, coupon offers and online events. Establishing a strong online presence can boost your sales.
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.
While there’s no pressure to upgrade to a paid plan at any stage, we think it’s always worth checking out or trialling at some stage. It can be nerve-wracking to invest money in a new business, project or hobby, but there’s an element of ‘fake it till you make it’ here; with the added professionalism of a paid site, nobody needs to know that you’re not far more established.
I won’t get into too much detail here, because we do have an entire article on how to sell your course on live webinars (see link below). But the basic premise is to invite your email subscribers to a live webinar where you will share some of your best advice upfront before presenting your course. The great thing about hosting live webinars is they allow you to spend some time educating and interacting with your prospective students (which helps them get to know, like and trust you) before you invite them to sign up for your course.
Mint is a financial website that helps you bring all things money into one place. Their homepage is laid out easy enough to be an excellent start to their funnel. Buttons you need to understand their services are at the top of the page, and those help you learn more and lead you to click around the website. The homepage serves as another great conductor. The graphics get to the heart of what Mint does, and it keeps everything important right at eye level.
As an example, let’s consider Shopify – a premium eCommerce website builder. Over the years, Shopify has become quite a heavy and complicated e-store creator. Its focus on adding more technical capabilities has transformed the visual editor from something a beginner could use, to something that can intimidate a beginner. Today, nobody recommends Shopify as a relevant e-store builder for newbies.
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.
Groupon may not be as trendy as it once was, but it is still generating millions in sales each month. They get you with an email popup before you ever click on the page. If you bypass the popup, you get to the homepage. It’s laid out very clean and with buttons at the top that very clearly help you find other things you need on the site. The ads that populate are also helpful in getting you to click, therefore generating revenue for their company and closing the sale.
With more than 11 million sites built on IM Creator, it's a popular option for a few reasons: there's an easy point-and-click interface, an extensive range of templates and images, and unlimited web hosting and domain services. Plus, the platform is scalable, and you can have either single or multipage layouts. This builder is unique for its built-in ecommerce tools, and offers SEO and Google Analytics to fully optimize your site for search engines.
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Of these free website makers, we’ve ranked Wix, Weebly and SITE123, as the top three because of a few important factors. Wix has a very generous free plan, which is super easy to use – it combines creative freedom with tons of features. Weebly’s simple, stylish designs and handy tools make it ideal for small businesses. SITE123 is very beginner-friendly, with a focus on helping you get online.
All that being said, October’s gets pretty rough the closer you look. The community isn’t deep or broad enough to support a wide enough range of prebuilt plugins or themes, and to make that worse the October crew has set up a weird cloud-based “project” validation thing, in the interest of being security conscious I believe. Regardless of the intent, it makes it super-difficult for newbies to figure out how add, update, or edit any of the plugins on their site. And heaven help you if you decide to ‘detach’ your site from a project … ::sigh::
Fun fact: I once received a nasty email on Christmas morning from someone on my email list. They received an automated email from me that morning (they subscribed to my list a few days prior) and they didn’t realize that it was an automated email. They thought that I actually wrote and sent that email to them on Christmas morning, and they were livid. I did end up apologizing to them, and explaining that it was an automated email. But trust me, in most cases it’s best to just unsubscribe these people from your email list and get on with your day.
However, if you aren’t a blogger, you may struggle to customize your site to your liking. This is where WordPress.com falls – it starts to feel limiting when you try to create anything other than a blog with its templates. It was the platform our users were least likely to recommend after testing, and also came out last for ease of use with a score of just 3.2/5.
This seemingly simple sales funnel template uses the incredible power of so-called “micro-commitments” via interaction with a survey to drive users through your sales funnel. Inducing micro-commitments was pioneered by researchers such as Prof. Robert Cialdini (also known as “Godfather of Influence”), Regent’s Professor Emeritus of Psychology and Marketing at Arizona State University. This strategy addresses the axiom that a new customer will always have reservations about purchasing from a business the first time. Prof. Cialdin’'s work conclusively demonstrated that this major stumbling that can be overcome by getting them to first make small engagements with the business, for example participating in a survey, signing up for a free trial, or making an initial micro-payment of a few dollars to try out a service. Once these simple interactions have occurred, the customer is psychologically more disposed to further, more significant interactions with the business, such as a full purchase. (For a fascinating deep dive in the science behind this we thoroughly recommend his book, Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion).
Amongst most of the website builders, another name that comes to mind is Squarespace. The versatile builder for blogs, portfolio sites as well as online stores, has managed to rise in its popularity in the recent years. Despite the huge difference, this being a closed source software while WordPress is an open source; it certainly is a great alternative to WordPress Page builder. That’s right, for the casual users the overall functionality and the flexibility is the main aspect.
Squarespace Alternatives: Are WordPress Page Builders A Good Alternative?