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Dear SaaS Startups...You don’t need a Landing page, you need a proper Funnel! Here’s why (and how)...

I see most founders worry about their Landing page, about how it looks and how it converts…

But focusing on the Landing page simply doesn’t get you any results!

That’s only scratching the surface of what you need to do to turn your visitors into customers.

In this article, I’ll show you why you need a funnel, what makes a high converting funnel and examples of the best funnels for SaaS startups (at the end).

You have the wrong expectations about a Landing page

Most startup founders expect to put a simple Landing page and magically convert a good chunk of their visitors…

No objections...no questions...100% low touch...plus some Magic…

Nope...This never happens!

Pretty pages don’t convert, sexy generic graphics work and using other websites as reference doesn’t work either!


Related article: Stop looking at Websites from Bigger Companies for Reference, it Doesn’t work!

If you don’t make this switch in your mindset you will look for the wrong metrics and expect the Landing page will do all the work.

This simply leads you to endless rounds of iterations without any significant increase in conversions.

The only thing that increases conversion

The CRO world is full of noise…

They give you tiny tweaks, color changes, “physiological” tactics and results that not replicable.

Here’s the only thing that truly converts visitors...answering objections.

An objection is simply a question (or a set of questions) that people need to get answered before they are ready to buy or even try your product.

If these questions go unanswered they won’t be ever be comfortable to convert.

How can you fix this?

It’s all about finding the right message to the right audience (more info in the article below).

Related article: How to identify the right message for your Landing page (this is the process I use for my clients).

Proper Funnel Vs Landing page

The big problem here is that you expect the Landing page to do all the work and answer all the objections.

This leads to 2 big problems.

#1: Not explaining the right things to people at different stages of the buying process.

#2: End up with a very vague message that converts no one (while trying to appeal to everyone).

The idea with the funnel is to divide the audience depending on how ready they are to buy so we can properly qualify and follow up with them until they convert.

Here are some of the advantages of proper funnels vs only focusing on Landing pages.

Funnels are easier to track

Image from Hotjar.com

You can track your own funnel using Google Analytics or Hotjar which is more user friendly and it is probably my favorite analytics tool, you can get a ton of features for free, more info here.

Here is when you notice where people are leaving and what you need to optimize.

Tracking how your Landing page converts without any reference to the other pages simply doesn’t mean anything.

Also, Landing pages can be deceiving as an increase in conversion might just mean pushing the problem to the next step of the funnel which still leads to not acquiring more customers (even though the “conversion” increased).

Funnels can “convert everyone”

With funnels you can plan paths for different user groups that might have different needs or that might have different questions.

You can’t answer all of those on a Landing page! You need a funnel to divide and qualify your visitors properly.

A proper funnel or “user path” can lead to 2-3x the leads alone. You will eventually turn a good chunk of these leads into customers.

The Anatomy of a good funnel for SaaS

A proper funnel for your SaaS Startup should...

Be prepared for cold traffic

Cold traffic is the hardest traffic to convert as they don’t know anything about your company and your product.

Even though is way harder to convert people from cold traffic it’s the only way to using your website to scale your company.

Where else can you replicate the same “pitch” thousands and thousands of times over?

Although you need a “pitch” that works in the first place ;)

Related article: Optimizing for traffic temperatures in SaaS Websites

Provide at least 2 alternatives

Unfortunately most people won’t be ready to convert right away so you will need a few alternative CTA’s that are less of a commitment than converting right away but still capture those leads until they are ready to buy later on.

Without these alternatives you will only be able to convert 3-5% of the amount of people you could be converting.

Related article: Why SaaS Startups are missing out on 70% of conversions (+ how to fix it)

Be simple to tweak and track

Try to make your funnels as simple as possible!

If the funnel you are creating is starting to get too overwhelming then you probably haven’t found the best/simplest message to use on your website.

It might still convert somewhat well but if it’s not simple you can forget about being able to track what things are working best so you can double down on them because it will be very hard to tell it apart.   

Resource: A great (free) tool to design those funnels

Funnelytics, this is the tool I use to plan the funnels for my clients before I even begin to design the pages.

It’s very simple to use and has most of the features you will ever need.

And guess what? You can use it for free!

Examples of good funnels for SaaS Startups

Here are few examples of good funnels for SaaS startups.

This is not a complete list but here we have the most important/useful ones (in no particular order)

High touch/Demo focused funnel

High touch/demo driven funnel for SaaS startups

My favorite, the most predictable and the brings the most revenue.

This is one of the hardest to get right especially if you don’t have the money for ad spend but it also brings the biggest reward.

For high touch and/or high ticket SaaS you should focus on the results your product could bring and explain briefly how your product can get there.

The reason your Landing page should focus on results is because if you are selling a more expensive or complex product the commitment to convert is even higher so you need to make a great impression. If your product can’t generate great results you shouldn’t be charging these prices anyways.

Here’s an example from Copilotai.co.

In this case they use a Webinar as a lead magnet but the main goal is to get you on a call with them so they can sell you. This is extremely effective and even enables you to figure out your customer acquisition cost to see if you can really scale this up with paid ads (next funnel).

If done right it will create enough curiosity to schedule demos that you know your sales team (or yourself) can convert into customers or even leads that you can use drip email campaigns that will eventually turn into demo calls.

Another great use for this funnel is to get demo calls almost as customer interviews so you can get as much feedback on your product as possible.

In this case, because you probably don’t have results to show you can focus on the biggest benefits your product brings.

For example...if you say “You could reduce X mistakes by 50%” (or something similar) then that person could have a rough idea of what the ROI could be for your product although it’s not as effective as the results driven approach.

The Paid traffic funnel

Paid traffic funnel for SaaS Startups

This funnel could be similar to the one above but you could use more retargeted ads and get more cold traffic in general.

If you are using paid traffic you have the ability to get a laser focused target that will most likely be interested in your product.

A common mistake is to drive this paid traffic to the Landing page which should not be the case!

You will be bringing a hyper focused audience into a generic page which doesn’t make much sense.

People will only convert if they feel that solution is tailored for them, so you will need to make a custom page for that audience.

Does that sound like a lot of work? Well it’s really not!

With the right skills you could create great dynamic templates that would be hyper focused and easy to replicate without people noticing that’s the case.

Here’s an example from a client of mine (Bitrefill).

In this case, I’ve designed a template so they could target different combinations of vouchers, cryptocurrencies and audiences all generated automatically!

Example for Hotels.com + Ethereum
Examples for Nintendo + Bitcoin

Same page but different message and target audience.

This way they were able to use social media + SEO to bring exactly the right people into the exact offer they wanted.

The result? Conversion rates that are nothing short of amazing (can’t reveal the exact number in this case) :)

The Content Marketing funnel

Content Marketing Funnel for SaaS Startups

This is a basic one but has a lot of tweaks that can make or break it (I’ll probably an article on this alone).

Basically in this case, your landing page would be a blog post which means you will have to convert a good chunk of your visitors into checking out your service (homepage) or sign up for your lead magnets.

Otherwise you might write great content and get a good amount of traffic but you won’t convert anyone :(

For example, if you look at my blog I also have several CTA’s and convert a huge amount of people into seeing what services I offer (on my Homepage). If I didn’t, I wouldn’t get any sign ups for my free courses (aka leads) and inbound calls for potential projects.

Want a proper funnel that turns visitors into customers?

There’s a lot that could go wrong when building systems like these (without proper experience) but once you get them running they can generate a lot of leads and revenue for your startup.

Would you like to discuss how this would work for your business?

Let’s chat about your current problems and what we can do to generate more revenue from your website.

‍Schedule Free Strategy Session here


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About Pedro Cortés

I like to consider myself a Marketer that learned Design.
I fell in love with Marketing, Psychology and Design so I'm merging all of them  to help SaaS Startups convert more visitors into customers to make their website a predictable source of revenue.

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