3 Weird Funnel/Sales Mistakes

By Jamie McSloy / April 15, 2018
3 weird sales funnel mistakes featured image

3 Weird Funnel/Sales Mistakes

You don’t want to make these weird funnel mistakes.

Yesterday, I took the day off. So when I logged back in this morning, I had a ton of emails trying to sell me stuff.

Such is life when you sign up for mailing lists just to see what’s going on.

Anyway, three of them stood out to me because they were weird. Generally, if a customer thinks that something weird is going on, they’ll neglect to hit the buy button.

Let’s get into it.

Overselling A Low Ticket Item

This is bizarre and may be part of some master plan that hasn’t come to fruition yet.

But I’ve been on a list for a while now, and it’s in the [redacted] niche.

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It’s a niche where people will spend thousands if not tens of thousands. It’s a big ticket item niche geared towards getting middle class people into the upper echelons of wealth.

Anyway, the business owner has been building up this new release for a long time. I’m talking multiple emails, a free webinar and then a long sales page for this item.

Anyway, yesterday was launch day.

And it turns out the product is a book on Amazon.

And not even an expensive book… it’s at a 75% sale for the first week of release.

It costs £2.30.

Now, like I said above, this might be a part of some bigger strategy that I’m simply not sure about, but at the moment I’m stamping it with WEIRD because I don’t know why you’d set up a funnel and have multiple emails and the big sales pitches for an item that costs less than a meal on the McDonald’s saver menu.

Especially in a market where people will pay $1000+ for a consultation.

One Day Flash Sale

I know that this is a common technique in various markets, but it’s a stupid one.

People love flash sales because I guess if you’re sat around doing nothing but waiting for social media notifications to trickle in, you probably love the idea that someone gives you a free discount for doing nothing.

Here’s the problem.

There’s a product that I’ve been eyeing up for a totally not business related endeavour. As it’s a hobby purchase, I’ve waited for a while because it’s a high ticket item and I know that it’s been on sale before.

So I’m not going to buy at the regular price but I will buy at a discount. That’s good and fine.

And they offered a discount yesterday.

Now… they didn’t promote this at all. I can understand having a one-day sale, and if they had have sent an email the day before saying, “We’re going to have a sale tomorrow” then I would have logged in and bought.

But they didn’t.

If it were just me, then I’d think, “Jamie… don’t be sour because you missed the boat.”

But it turns out that the company only released the flash sale to their Facebook page, and because Facebook hates companies that don’t pay them, about 1% of their audience actually saw the ad. More didn’t see it at all and some only saw it today, when the sale had expired.

If you are going to run a sale, you need to let people know otherwise there is no point.

Over Hyping A Sale

Here’s another one that’s almost the opposite of above.

I’m looking at another high-ticket item to buy for my parents. Now, I’d probably have bought this at full price a few weeks back – and that is a lesson itself – but when I went on the company’s site to order it, they had a big banner that said, “Don’t miss out on the April sale!”

So I put my email address in and have had a number of emails since hyping up their big discount sale thing.

Yesterday, the email came to say that the sale was now live.

So this morning I eagerly clicked through… to find that “the big sale” that this company has been promoting is a £15 discount.

On a £200 product.

Now, sometimes, you have a premium product and you can’t discount it because the margins aren’t great.

But here’s the thing: When you say, “We’re going to be offering a huge discount” and then the discount isn’t huge, people are going to feel cheated. Even though they haven’t lost anything, they’ll have a loss in terms of the expectation versus reality.

And in the online business world, the reality is that companies often offer massive discounts. 20%, 30%, etc.

So when you have a banner that says “BIG DISCOUNT” on your site, people are going to expect those big discounts.

And when you have a funnel built around this… people are expecting a big change.

So then a less-than-ten percent discount seems pretty lousy.

So… don’t do this either. If you’re going to offer a discount as part of a campaign then it needs to be a figure that’ll actually change people’s mind.

For instance, I’m ready to spend £200 on a product… I’m not going to be swayed by £5 here or there. So you haven’t gained a customer based on that figure. You’ll probably lose more by having people wait for a discount and then decide the discount isn’t enough than you would by just saying “the price is the price.”

So, another mistake.

Discounting, Funnels, Schedules… They’re All Processes Not Just Boxes To Tick

The problem all three of these examples have in common is that they just tick a box.

  • Offer a discount
  • Do a flash sale
  • Write a pre-sales funnel

These tick the box and are all good things to try… but you have to look at these as tools in a wider business context.

It doesn’t make any sense to discount a product heavily if it goes below your bottom line. It doesn’t make sense to have a sale and not tell anyone and it doesn’t make any sense to spend time and effort hyping people up for something they would have bought anyway.

Your business is an ecosystem and you have to think about the strategies, tactics and tools you deploy as part of a holistic whole.