How this membership program increased funnel conversions by 58% in 2 weeks – a case study

When you want more sales from an existing funnel, it’s time to optimize.

How can you modify the funnel to get more conversions?

For landing pages and sales pages, you’re looking to increase your current conversion rate (i.e. signups, registrations, actual sales). For emails, you’re looking to increase open rates and click-through rates.

It’s easier said than done. There are so many variables to consider inside a single funnel. How do you know what to change or test?

I start with a full funnel audit to analyze the funnel structure, the offer, the target customer, the lead magnet, and the copywriting according to current conversion data (i.e. where are the leaks?) and best practices (i.e. what we know works), so I can identify the best, most impactful opportunities to optimize the funnel for more conversions.

Kimberly Taylor, founder of takebackyourtemple.com, and her team hired me to audit her evergreen membership funnel. They were getting an OK conversion rate but wanted better.

Two weeks after the audit, they’ve already reported at 58% increase in the conversion rate and a 326.7% ROI!

Here’s how I helped Take Back Your Temple get there: 

“Our main source of revenue is our Membership program.
Our sales page currently converts at 3%. I believe we can do better!”

Step 1: Gather the data.

The first step is to gather all the data you need to do a funnel and copy analysis. Through a funnel questionnaire, I collect info like:

  • how the funnel works,
  • its current performance,
  • any pressing challenges,
  • the goal for optimization,
  • reasons certain decisions were made
  • details about the offer and the target customer

I base all results and recommendations on the data my clients provide and best practices (i.e. what we know works).

Step 2: Analyze the funnel structure.

When analyzing the funnel, I look for fit with best practices given the type of offer, the price point, and the target customer.

Since there wasn’t yet an official funnel map for TBYT, I mapped the existing funnel, identified key problematic areas, and then re-mapped an optimized funnel.

BIGGEST ISSUES:

During my analysis, I noticed the funnel had the right pieces (landing pages, emails, and sales page) but the flow of the funnel didn’t support the primary business goals: paid conversions into the TBYT membership program. 

The problem was:

There were no strong, direct calls to action linking back to the sales page anywhere in the funnel.

The biggest disconnect was inside the email sequence — an important bridge between the lead magnet and the sales page. The emails never asked for people to join the program. They were written newsletter-style with links to distraction-filled blog posts — not to the sales page. Also, the majority of the emails weren’t topically relevant or clearly connected to the program’s transformation in a strategic way.

I suggested a completely new email sequence:

 

  • Structure the email drip like a sales sequence.
  • Map the email topics to the transformation a prospect needs to go through to be ready to join the program.
  • For the first few mind-shifting emails that go to content, use a distraction-free landing page with a strong “join the program” CTA at the bottom of the page.
  • For the other emails, say everything you needed inside of the email and send people to the sales page — not a blog post.

Step 3: Optimize the offer.

When optimizing an offer, I look at pricing compared with competitors,
clarity of your “packaging”, and how you reduce risk.

    PRICING:

    The TBYT team was gearing up to raise the membership fee (5x) to reflect how transformational the program was for active, engaged members, but they only planned to offer 1 pricing tier: a monthly payment.

    I suggested adding 2 pricing tiers for more business stability and as a way to get people to commit to a journey of transformation: 

    • A straightforward monthly membership price.
    • An incentivized yearly membership fee where if they pay for the entire year, they get 2 months for free.

    PACKAGING:

    The TBYT program is a membership with multiple resources inside. The problem was that the entirety of what members get wasn’t clearly communicated anywhere in the funnel causing people to question whether or not this membership was right for them.

    I recommend to:

    • List out every single feature included in the program – all the courses, downloadable resources, audio resources, everything.
    • Clarify what type of support was included with their membership (i.e. peer support, group support, 1:1 coaching).
    • Clarify if this was indeed a weight loss program complete with tips for eating healthy and exercising or a program for emotional eating.

    Clearly defining what your program is and isn’t is as well as helping prospects understand how each piece helps them transform is key to signing up more of the right members.

    GUARANTEE:

    Reducing risk through a guarantee is a great way to make on-the-fence prospects feel comfortable enough to give something a try.

    Though the TBYT program had a money-back guarantee, it was virtually unknown to prospects because it wasn’t included anywhere inside the funnel.

    I suggested to:

     

    • Add the guarantee and its terms to the sales page with strong copy.
    • Incorporate the “cancel anytime straight from the dashboard” benefit into the guarantee, so that people felt comfortable knowing they wouldn’t be locked in.

    Step 4: Validate the target customer.

    When I look at your target customer profile, I’m looking for detail and specifics – questions like:

    • Do you understand who this person is?
    • What problems do they suffer from?
    • How does that affect their lives?
    • What emotions does this problem trigger?
    • What outcome do they desire?
    • What’s driving the desire for this outcome?
    • What solutions have they tried?
    • What have those failed attempts looked like?

    The TBYT team had provided me with a detailed description of the ideal member, so I concluded they did have a solid understanding of who they were targeting.

    That said, I encourage my clients to continuously collect voice-of-customer data and always validate the things you believe about your ideal customer with real-world experiences.

    Continuously collect voice-of-customer data a validate the things you believe about your best prospect with real-world experiences. – Paige Poutiainen

    Step 5: Analyze the lead magnet (i.e. funnel trigger).

    Your lead magnet determines whether or not you’re bringing the right prospects into your funnel and onto your list.

    A poorly aligned lead magnet leads to a list of bad-fit prospects — subscribers who are unlikely to buy from you.

    A strategic lead magnet is strongly aligned with what you’re selling and to whom you’re targeting.

    My analysis was that the current lead magnet (Bible Secrets to Overcome Emotional Eating) was a good match for the funnel:

    • “Bible secrets” speaks directly to Christian women, the target for this funnel. 
    • “Overcome emotional eating” speaks directly to the transformation the program delivers.

    That said, there was plenty of room to optimize both the lead magnet opt-in page and the download page copy- and design-wise.

    Step 6: Analyze the copywriting.

    When reviewing copy, I’m looking at both the copy strategy, the foundational messages, and the words and phrases themselves. I ask things like:

    • Does your copy follow the rule of one?
    • Does your copy follow a proven persuasion framework?
    • Does the copy reflect the voice of the customer?
    • Is the copy clear and specific?
    • Does it tell a story of transformation?
    • Do you use benefits? Strong headlines? Proof to support your claims?

    (That’s not an exhaustive list, but it covers some of the major aspects of a copy review.)

    The 3 biggest issues throughout the funnel were:

    1. It was missing the voice of the customer, so it didn’t connect emotionally or in an authentic way.
    2. It wasn’t based on proven persuasion frameworks, so it lacked a compelling structure. 
    3. There was too much focus on the features without connecting to benefits and outcomes.

    I gave the TBYT team a slew of comments, suggestions, and copy ideas to guide her through optimizing the funnel copy, including:

     

    • How to be more specific and clear
    • How to write more powerful headlines
    • How to restructure the sales page to tell a more powerful story
    • How to get to the core of what you really want to say
    • How to layer in voice-of-customer language to create an emotional connection
    • … and more.

    Step 7: Analyze the page design.

    When I analyze the landing page and sales page design, I’m not looking to critique your visual brand. Instead, I’m looking at:

    • Does this look polished enough so that visitors trust you?
    • Is it on-brand and consistent so that visitors know they’re on the right path?
    • Do you use images that support the copy messages and connect emotionally?
    • Can we improve formatting to improve readability?

    I gave the team many suggestions on how to improve the overall conversion experience on the TBYT sales page and landing pages, including:

     

    • How to format headlines
    • How to swap current images with more emotional ones
    • How to remove distractions to keep people on the funnel path
    • How to use certain types of imagery to ramp up the “proof” factor
    • How to create stronger visual calls to action
    • How to format headlines and pricing boxes
    • .. and more.

    Step 8: Map out the optimization action plan.

    When moving forward with optimizing, it’s important to focus on the changes likely to have the biggest impact on your business goal.

    For the TBYT team, this was sales page conversions.

    “Our goal is to have a minimum of 10 members enroll per day.”

    Considering the funnel had no major leaks (i.e. 0% people moving forward) at any stage, I recommended they start optimizing closest to the buy decision — the sales page — then move backward incrementally:

     

    1. Optimize the sales page first because it’s closest to the sale.
    2. Optimize the email sequence next to get more opens and click-throughs to the now higher-converting sales page.
    3. Optimize the lead magnet opt-in page and download page to get more people into the now higher-converting funnel.

    “Wow, Paige, you have blown me away with the thoroughness of your review. I watched the review video again with my husband last night, who is my business partner. We both saw the problems you described so clearly. It was like, ”Wow, I should have had a V-8!’… I believe that we had a 58% increase in our conversion rate and your copywriting changes played a big part in that.”

    Kimberly Taylor

    Coach, Founder, Take Back Your Temple

    The result: a 58% lift in conversions + a 326.7% ROI in 2 weeks

    Two weeks after receiving the recommendations and making changes to the funnel, the TBYT team had already added 82 new members to the program, generating over $4900 in revenue.

    That’s a 326.7% ROI in 2 weeks.

    Because this is an evergreen funnel and they’ve only begun to scratch the surface of the recommended changes, I know the ROI is going to explode over the next few months.

    Aren’t you ready for more subscribers, signups, and sales?

    Let The Impact Copywriter audit your funnel:

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