Funnel Flossing: Is Your Pipeline Leaking Sales?

A silver funnel sits on a wooden table.

Create a funnel and forget it?

Not if you want to make sales.

To convert clients, you must test and retest everything.

Here’s why.

A head shot of writer Mike Warkentin and the column name "Pressing It Out."

A member of the Gym Owners United group on Facebook recently detailed a sales pipeline that included a company hired to reach out to leads within 15 minutes. Also in the plan: lead nurturing. This gym owner was clearly investing time and effort into growing his business.

Despite these features, the poster said his “schedule rate” had actually dropped in 2022—people just weren’t booking. He asked for feedback and advice—which group members are always happy to provide.

I poked around his website and discovered a few things that could be addressed right away to increase conversions.

1. The site didn’t clearly explain how training would benefit the visitor. It mentioned “accountability” and “community” instead of “weight loss,” “improved fitness,” “more strength” or something similar.

2. The site assumed I knew something about the training method. But I didn’t and would be forced to try to learn how it could help me before I decided to pay for a three-class trial (not a strong offer) or sign up for a six-week challenge (a better offer).

3. The landing page listed a lot of features instead of problems that could be solved. For example, the training plan had helped “hundreds of people”—but the site didn’t say what it had helped them do. Visitors had to make the connection for themselves, and marketers will tell you they often won’t do it.

4. When I clicked on the first “challenge” button, I didn’t get to a screen that captured my contact info and then moved me along the funnel. That was a missed opportunity to get a lead into a nurturing sequence. Instead, I was moved lower on the landing page to a module without another button. I had to look for my next click.

5. When I eventually found and clicked the “start” button, I got an error page. That’s a sure-thing, no-doubt funnel killer.

You can pull a lot of lessons from a short examination of a landing page—and the gym owner said he was going to make some adjustments based on the advice supplied by the members of Gym Owners United. I hope the owner makes more sales as a result.

Here’s the most important thing this landing-page review highlighted: Test your funnel upon setup, and then test it regularly after that.

This test requires no marketing skill, no money and very little time. You simply click into your own funnel and see what happens. Go through the steps with the eyes of a prospective client and note things that could be improved.

But you don’t even have to worry about fine tuning at this stage. Your first task is just making sure the funnel actually works. Don’t assume it’s functional. Ensure that it actually does what it’s supposed to do.

Test My Funnel

Here’s your short Test My Funnel checklist:

  • All links must work.
  • All offers must be current, not expired.
  • Client info must be captured for nurturing (as soon as possible), and nurturing procedures must start immediately.
  • Clients must be able to sign up easily (for a consultation, a program, to receive a lead magnet—whatever your conversion goal is).

Marketing can get complicated. But before you start fiddling with ad copy, tweaking images and hiring a marketing company to nurture your leads, test your funnel. Then put a monthly reminder on your calendar: “test funnel.”

Don’t “set it and forget it.”

Test it and retest it.

If the funnel works, optimize it. But that’s Step 2.

Step 1 is asking “does this thing even work?”


One more thing!

Did you know gym owners can earn $100,000 a year with no more than 150 clients? We wrote a guide showing you exactly how.