There are more than 1.98 billion websites in the world, according to data from Internet Live Stats. This shows how many people appreciate the role of websites, regardless of their functions or objectives. However, data also shows that only 17 percent of these websites are active, a paltry figure even if you account for the daily change in the number of active websites.
Experts have linked this apathy of active websites to their inability to consistently deliver on their owners’ objectives. This is especially true for websites designed to drive sales and has led to the volatile debate on whether outright sales funnels are better than a typical website.
At this moment, there is no conclusive resolution to this debate, with every side seemingly convinced they are right.
It is also true, however, that an increasing number of modern businesses tend to incorporate both aspects into one.
Sales funnels v. websites
In essence, the typical website is designed to provide users with a generalized experience that presents various useful information about a subject. This is contrary to the core purpose of a sales funnel.
Indeed, sales funnels are specifically targeted and focused digital paths that businesses use to send visitors through their actual selling process. Their only objective is to capture leads and drive conversions. Their design suits the purpose entirely, and always feature deals and other special offers instead of the numerous “distractions” you’ll find on a normal website.
According to Parisa Consulting, a sales funnel isn’t necessarily better than a website, especially where required to work alone. However, there are specific situations where a sales funnel performs better than your typical website.
Why sales funnels are better than websites
Below are reasons why sales funnels are better than ordinary websites.
1. Sales funnels are better suited to certain products
While you can use your website to sell just about anything online, research shows that using a sales funnel on certain products increases your results. This is especially so when selling digital products, including online courses.
A key difference between using an online course-focused sales funnel instead of a traditional website is that such websites work more as digital profiles rather than a sales pipeline. Websites hardly implore people to take the action you need them to take to the same extent as does a sales funnel.
As a result, using a sales funnel to sell your digital course translates into better sales performance than a traditional website.
2. Better ease of making a sale
A website is best suited to providing accurate information for your potential customers.
If you need to make a sale quickly, however, a sales funnel is the better alternative. According to Phil Laboon, the founder of LeadStacker, a plug-and-play sales funnel building solution, business owners who understand the anguish of a squandered transaction are less likely to choose a website over a sales funnel.
Furthermore, sales funnels allow you to cut down the selling process, effectively merging weeks of pitches, demonstrations, and conversation into one ready-to-sell interface.
Also lost is the opportunity to derive vital insights into how your potential consumers think or behave at each stage of their purchasing experience. Or what sections of your selling process require improvement to provide a more effective customer experience.
3. Systematic buying process
A sales funnel is designed with intrinsic customer journey stages, which are a goldmine of essential data. However, it is the ability to track customer progression along the funnel as they move towards completing a purchase that is the most useful.
Parisa Consulting argues that tracking would-be buyers from the awareness stage to consideration and conversion contributes to better performance at the loyalty stage. While websites can also foster customer loyalty, sales funnels report 25 percent higher customer loyalty compared to ordinary websites.
This can be very significant in any business. According to Salesmate, a sales experiences solution for sales teams and customers, businesses around the world have a 60-70 percent higher chance of selling to existing customers compared to just a 5-20 percent chance of selling to a new prospect.
By using articulate progression stages, a business is better placed to shepherd clients down the funnel until they make a sale.
4. Lower bounce rate than websites
In a world with close to two billion websites, it takes exceptional effort to retain website visitors for an extended period of time. Typical websites record a higher average bounce rate compared to a sales funnel. A bounce rate is, at the very least, a sign that you provided enough reasons for the user to stay on that first page but also click on a second page.
Given the higher focus on customer progression on a sales funnel, it is common for these platforms to record significantly lower bounce rates than a typical website.
However, experts have long argued against replacing your entire website with a sales funnel. While funnels show better performance in driving sales with higher conversions, the two platforms function powerfully together.
In fact, a combined approach is considered the best digital strategy for a customer-focused enterprise. This approach must entail the best elements from both instead of developing a “sales funnel website”, which is, essentially, just another sales funnel.
5. Ability to capture customer attention better
With a heavy reliance on landing pages with a flashy, attractive design, the typical sales funnel has the ability to hoard a customer’s attention for longer than normal websites.
There’s even a stark contrast between the content used to create both platforms, with sales funnels more accustomed to direct response copy with loads of multimedia content. These include a combination of videos, infographics, blogs and social media embeds among others, collectively working to ensure that users stay on the platform long enough to progress down the funnel.
According to ClickFunnels, one of the leading sales funnel creation tool, even the design of a traditional website provides a stonewall that disrupts your selling process. By contrast, everything on the sales funnel is designed to drive your web traffic down, whittling it down from mere traffic all the way to paying customers.
For most people in the $4.9 trillion global eCommerce trade, this single-minded approach to meeting a single objective is why sales funnels are better than ordinary websites.