Matt Ackerson founded AutoGrow (Petovera Inc.) in 2010 as a conversion-focused web design agency. The company has since worked one-on-one with over 500 customers and clients to create their sales funnels. Matt is a graduate of Cornell University. He and AutoGrow have been featured in Techcrunch, Forbes, Inc, Venture Beat, Mashable, and Popular Science among others. He and the team write in-depth articles on digital marketing, sales funnel design, and also offer an advanced funnel training course here on AutoGrow.co
WordPress (either version) is a blog-focused content management system that accepts plug-ins and themes that extend its capabilities to what most of what the other products here offer, including commerce. In fact, WordPress.com uses plug-ins such as JetPack to provide many of its features. As a whole, WordPress (either .com or .org) is not as easy to use as the other options in this roundup, but if blogging and site transferability are of key importance and you don't mind digging into its weeds a bit, you should consider the platform—especially WordPress.org. Furthermore, the ability to use WordPress is a valuable skill, as some estimates say that WordPress powers 30 percent of the internet.
All of the web services listed here have you start by choosing from a selection of templates for your site. The better ones, such as Duda, Gator, Squarespace, and Wix, use templates that automatically reformat your site for viewing on mobile devices. They also offer specifically targeted templates based on your site's purpose, such as for promoting a bakery's sales, getting gigs for a musician, or keeping wedding guests informed.
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The first example to look at is the email delivery service MailChimp. MailChimp allows users to sign up and use their service for free. If you have a more extensive email list or require more features, then you would join their upgraded plan. They want to make their services seem as easy as possible in an effort to be accessible to both professionals and novices. In MailChimp’s funnel, they have traffic which they get a lot of via word of mouth. Next up is a homepage that draws you in with its slogan and its iconic monkey graphic. They place their buttons strategically around their page for ease of browsing. They next utilize their pricing page and emphasize their free option. They want to get you signed up for their services so you can show everyone how easy their platform is and help them grow.
WordPress is easy to setup, install, run, and manage. There are numerous themes, plugins, and other products built for WordPress, and You have no shortage for help (which you’ll often need) from tons of “learn all about it yourself” self-help content on the WordPress official site, communities, blogs, and more. It would take weeks to build websites like these from scratch without all these convenient extras mentioned above.
Moving to another website consists of transferring the website’s files and databases, configuring your site with the new host, and directing your domain’s DNS to the new host. Once you pick a new site host, they can usually help you out with this process. The cost will depend on the host you’re switching to, but it can range anywhere from $150-$400.
Note that these prices are held for 36 months once you start your hosting. After that, you’ll pay the normal pricing, which is considerably higher, depending on whether you choose 12, 24 or 36 months. Take note of the difference between Plus and Choice Plus packages — although they’re the same price, at the regular rate, they’re $10.99/mo and $14.99/mo respectively.
Shopify’s primary focus is ecommerce, so they are specifically geared toward building this kind of site for as little as $29 a month. There is also a ‘Lite’ plan available for only $9 a month, which allows users to add a Shopify buy button to an existing site (which can be on another platform). Importantly, the industry- standard encryption SSL certificate is included with all their sites.
With all these services, you build everything yourself, starting with a template you choose from a (hopefully) wide, well-categorized selection. Most use simple drag-and-drop interfaces that let you include items such as social share buttons, photo galleries, blogs, and media players. Some even let you restrict viewing with a password and let you have people join up as members of your site (see the table).
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).
One Product Sales Funnel - Sell Like a Pro