Why your marketing funnels suck (and how to fix them)

In this blog post, I want to talk about five reasons why your marketing funnels aren’t converting and why they’re not generating the results that you’re expecting.

If you’re looking to start building better marketing funnels, maybe for your customers or for your own business, stick around because I’m going to talk about five reasons that I find most marketing funnels suck and don’t convert.

The big problem you might be finding with your marketing funnels is that there aren’t enough conversions. You’re either not generating any conversions or the percentages are so low and you’re thinking, “Why aren’t I generating the sales and the leads that I’m expecting?”

I think the internet has a habit of making people think that most funnels work all the time. With the rise of Facebook ads and people talking about these bullshit Two Comma Club things, you might be thinking, “I don’t understand how these morons can make millions of dollars with their marketing funnels, but I can’t seem to get mine to convert even over a basic product.”

Just quickly before we go on, I’ve actually got a free action plan available just for funnel builders here:

But in the meantime, let’s talk about five reasons why your marketing funnels aren’t converting.

1. Your initial optin is too complex

Number one is probably that your opt-in is too complex. I see this all the time. People over-complicate the initial lead opt-in.

If you’ve got a lead magnet or some kind of free training or giveaway, they make the landing page way too complicated, way too complex. They try to give too much away on the landing page and then in the actual product itself.

The actual lead magnet, the template, the report, whatever, they give away way too much.

The rule of thumb is that you need to be able to solve something within 15 minutes for someone. I understand that our natural inclination to help as much as possible means that you might create a book or a series of trainings or a course, or some kind of giveaway that helps people with their entire business.

But the reality is that something hyper-specific like teaching someone how to write the perfect blog post headline, or subject line or 15 social media posts, templates, and examples, that actually might be a better opt-in because it’s so hyper-specific.

A lot of people make the mistake of thinking if they make it really broad, then they’ll capture a large part of the market.

But in actual fact, the way that our brains work is we’ll look an opt-in like that and think, “There seems to be a lot of work there. I really want to solve a problem now and scratch that itch now so I’m not going to opt in.”

Make sure that your opt in page is hyper stripped back really specific and you’ve got one call to action.

Don’t listen to any of the designers, or the people telling you you need to have a certain page flow on the screen.

Now I’ve got my highest converting page, this converted about 60% because it’s so specific and it’s so directed towards the one action I want someone to take and this kind of leads me into point number two, which is where people favor, design over simplicity.

What a lot of people do on their pages is they have these beautiful pages with stunning images and sweeping graphics, and the parallax and all this kind of stuff. When in actual fact, your page really should be boiled down to two components, a headline, and a call to action.

The rule of thumb is that within the page, you put out on the internet, whether it’s a sales page, conversion page an upsell page, an opt-in page, a squeeze page, whatever it is, you need to look at it, halve it. Halve the amount of copy, halve the number of images, halve all of it and then halve it, again.

This is of course, very difficult for people to do. And the reason it’s difficult is because typically they’ve designed the page without a clear, specific focus in mind. I know that this particular page is designed to just generate leads from people who want a marketing funnel proposal template.

If I created something, that’s like an entire sales process that I give away for free and talks about how to write the proposal on how to close people on how to open up a pitch and write the perfect pitch deck and come up with your brand colors and everything. It’s very difficult for me to halve the amount of copy and then halve it again, which we know increases conversion, rates because there’s no clear focus.

Instead you need to think about specifically, what is the one action you want someone to take on a page? I have personally seen what happens when a business favors design over conversions.

Where we spent tens of thousands of dollars on a brand new website and conversions plummeted because the designer was so convinced that their work was so beautiful that people would want to buy.

2. Favouring “design” over simplicity

When we compared it to my old sales letter, which is basically a blog post, a few bullet points, and then a button at the end, that blog post and basic sales letter converted something like 10 times better than their overly complex page.

Don’t favor design over simplicity.

Make sure you have the minimum amount required on the page to get the conversion and that’s for sales pages, opt-in pages, any kind of page you’ve got on the internet.

3. Not rewarding motivated buyers

The third mistake I see people making with their funnels is not rewarding Motivated Buyers. R-M-B. Reward motivated buyers.

If you give an opt-in to someone and they say, “Yeah, I’d like to download that template, those blog post ideas, whatever.”

You immediately need to say to them, “Hey, if you liked that you might like this.”

Amazon’s entire business model is built on the idea of rewarding motivated buyers. If someone’s interested in fixing that problem within 15 minutes, they might be interested in fixing a problem that’s a bigger problem within an hour or a couple of days.

This is typically done with your one-time offers, your one-click upsells your order, bumps and upsells, and that kind of thing.

But typically I see people collect the lead and then go, “We’ll nurture them for a little bit and have the conversation and then talk to them.”

For all you know, this person might be thinking clearly that’s a decent opt-in, “So, I like that. And yeah, I’d actually like to solve this right now.”

One of the biggest reasons I see marketing funnels fall down is that people aren’t rewarding, motivated buyers and offering them the next product. Yes, 97%, 98%, 99% of people might not take you up on it. But that 1% that does, could be the difference between a so-so business and a very profitable and scalable business.

The biggest sin, in my opinion, is not offering a thank you page with a video sales letter immediately after the opt-in so go ahead and start doing that and rewarding people who are motivated to buy.

4. The offer is too weak or complex

The fourth thing I see is that your offer is too complex or too weak.

Long and short you can only ever sell what people want. A lot of businesses think, “My product is so good that it’s going to sell itself.”

The reality is that doesn’t exist. What you should be able to tell me, and tell the world, is the absolute core kernel and fundamental part of the truth that your product is.

What is the problem that your product solves?

All too often, people talk about how great the product is or the features or the clever things it does. The awards it’s won. All those kinds of things, but unless you can specifically identify exactly the problem that you are solving, your product is not going to sell.

As beautiful as your sales pages and as clever as the marketing copy might be, your customers aren’t going to read 90% of it.

In the headline of every single page, you make a sale at, you basically have to make the sale within those two lines.

If you can’t sum it up in a title, it won’t sell. That’s a really good rule of thumb. My marketing funnel Gameplan, huge course that’s $1,500 or two grand or whatever it is that teaches you how to sell a marketing funnel for 25 grand.

It used to be that when we were really new to this, we were like, “You’ll help set up a marketing funnel agency and scale the business and create assets and focuses and products and processes and you’ll define a niche.”

We had to strip all of that back to say, ultimately, this course here teaches you how to sell a marketing funnel for $25,000.

Every single time we’ve worked with a customer who is not generating the sales they need for their core offer, it’s because their core offer is too weak or too complex.

Unless you can sum it up in a title, the rest of the copy doesn’t matter. The copy should be there to back up the title and back up the sales claim, not to explain the sales claim.

The rule of thumb is, “Would someone read that and have an epiphany that this is the product for them, and then prove it to themselves by reading the copy?”, as opposed to reading the title and thinking that the copy is needed to explain the title.

5. You’re focusing on the wrong metric

The fifth reason that your marketing funnels suck and aren’t converting is because you’re probably focusing on the wrong metric.

When I first started the business, I knew that generating leads and building a big email list was going to be our number one problem. I was convinced that if I had an email list of tens of thousands of people, then I would become a multi-millionaire overnight.

I was constantly generating leads and finding new ways to build out our email list and what I found is that I was also constantly complaining about the fact that we never seem to make any sales.

All of our funnels were focused on lead generation. Everything was optimized for lead generation and when I started talking to my business manager and my colleagues I said, “Where’s our system and process broken?”

They were like, “It’s right in front of you, Mike. You are so focused on leads that you’re not looking anywhere else towards the sales acquisition parts of the process.”

Simply because I wasn’t interested in measuring sales, that’s why I wasn’t generating sales. I made the classic age-old assumption that if I generate enough leads, I would magically generate sales. The reality is we didn’t generate sales because I was focused on the wrong metric.

Within about two weeks of understanding that my problem is not lead generation, my problem is sales acquisition, we immediately started measuring different parts of the process. As soon as we started measuring sales, we started generating more sales like overnight.

I was always chasing more leads because that’s what we were measuring. That’s what I was focused on. I should have been focused on another metric.

When you say that your marketing funnels suck, what part of the process sucks, and is your funnel set up to generate a metric that you’re not interested in or is it set up to generate a metric that you are interested in?

Then you have to ask the question, what is the metric we should be interested in?

Remember, I have a bespoke report and assessment telling you the action plan that you need to focus on for your marketing funnel business that you can get above.

Mike Killen

Mike is the world's #1 sales coach for marketing funnel builders. He helps funnel builders sell marketing funnels to their customers. He is the author of From Single To Scale; How single-person, small and micro-businesses can scale their business to profit. You can find him on Twitter @mike_killen.