If you have been on the internet for a while, I am sure you have seen a lot of sales funnels so far without even realizing it. You might have come across a blog and signed up to an email list or even bought products from others through this method.
By the end of this lecture, you will exactly know how to create a sales funnel from scratch and use it to capture leads and convert them into customers. What's more, I'll share with you my top sales funnel strategies.
Once you understand the whole process, you’ll see it’s the most effective way of making sales. If you are not using this model in your online business, you are letting big opportunities go to waste.
I will show you all the techniques other Internet marketers use to double or even triple their revenue. Now, let's get down to business.
What is a sales funnel?
To put it simply, a sales funnel is the process consisting of a series of offers that are presented to the prospect. In other words, it includes numerous
web pages, email series, free and paid offers and different marketing strategies.
It's the number one way of selling products on the internet and at the same time, building relationships with people.
If you've ever signed up for an email list before, that's usually a sales funnel.
Practically, a series of related products offered by the same brand or company is in most cases a sales funnel. When you eat a burger at a fast food restaurant, and the cashier asks:
Would you like fries with that?
When you say yes, you’ve just been upsold. So it’s also a sales funnel. This increases the amount of money you’ve spent at the restaurant. As a marketer, you can do the same thing to catch your prospects during the checkout by simply offering a relevant upsell.
As people go deeper and deeper into the funnel, your audience will be narrowed down and only the most interested people will stay till the end. All the while, you'll be building trust, engagement and prepare them for buying your products.
In fact, to be able to build a funnel for your business, you usually need to have a website/ sales funnel builder platform. I'm using Kartra and Builderall for that which are all in one marketing platforms. The first one is more expensive and more professional but the second one is also great, especially for first-time entrepreneurs.
At each stage of the funnel, your customers become more engaged and spend more money.
So the entry point for your prospects might be a simple blog post or advert, then they move on to a lead magnet, then a small product sale and an upsell offer, then finally a big sale. Consequently, each time your prospects click on the next link or follow you to the next step, they are becoming more and more likely to buy from you.
Indeed, the whole process works similarly when running an affiliate marketing business.
Why do you need sales funnels in your online business
Reach your prospects anytime
Let's say you try to sell to people right away on your website. The only thing you’re offering is your product and at the same time, this is the only way that your visitors can engage with you.
Due to lack of value and trust, they will say "no thanks" and leave without giving you any contact information. There is a high chance you won't see them again. Even If they buy your product with a low conversion rate, you miss out on a lot of upsells.
Now let's look at the sales funnel technique. People visit your site where they get some valuable information right away. The information is interesting and useful.
Additionally, if they want to know the best tips about the subject in a format of an ebook or a video, all they have to do is to enter their emails to receive it. Since you offer something valuable for free, most people will give you their details.
Thus, it allows you to contact them in the future. You send them emails on an automated basis with engaging and interesting content that invites them to a free webinar or gives them valued information in other formats.
If they like what you've presented them with then they usually become loyal customers.
This is how you build trust with people. From that point on, it's very likely you'll be able to sell them your products not only once but anytime in the coming future.
In case you want to choose a great funnel builder, check out my guide - Best Sales Funnel Builders
Increased revenue from multiple related products
A sales funnel allows you to immediately offer your prospects another related product after they bought the core offer.
Once people bought a product they're interested in, don't you think some of those would be interested in another related product at a similar or even a higher price? You are right, they usually are open to similar offers after undergoing high levels of customer experiences.
Then again whoever buys the second product, they will often buy an even more advanced one at a higher price. Of course, many of them won't be interested but a small proportion expresses interest towards your big-ticket item.
If you don't have a sales funnel, you will miss out on a lot of potential sales.
Increased conversion rate with highly targeted customers
As previously mentioned, by giving away free useful content, you will be able to build trust and position yourself as an authority in your niche.
First, this is how you attract people who are unfamiliar with your business.
Then, you continually educate them until they're ready to make a purchase. You'll notice the number of people will decrease in each phase of your funnel and only the targeted prospects will stay till the very end.
In other words, a sales funnel allows you to filter out the non-buyers and create an environment filled with highly targeted customers where you can clearly focus your marketing efforts. This way, you will know who to offer your big ticket items to and how to maximize your profit most efficiently.
Improve the process by analyzing each stage
Keeping a close eye on each marketing phase (sales funnel stages) and analyzing the results allows you to pinpoint issues where you have room for improvement.
Using this knowledge, you can either make adjustments to the various steps of your plan or learn where you need to focus more of your efforts to in order to improve your results. If necessary, you can change your strategy or concentrate on a particular part of your plan to see what works best. Consequently, you will be able to determine how many sales you can expect to make.
Now, you know how important it is to optimize your sales funnel.
Different types of leads within a sales funnel
Your lead can be anyone who subscribed to your list, signed up or purchased your product.
A cold lead is a person who has never heard of you before, just seen your ad and landed on your site.
A warm lead is someone who already knows you or has shown some kind of interest in your product.
A qualified lead is a person who has already spent quite a lot of time on your site and has shown true interest in buying your product.
Qualified leads are the best types of leads, and they are closest to becoming paying customers. If you want to be successful in your business, your job is to convert cold leads into warm leads and qualified leads.
The key to nurture your leads effortlessly
So how can you make that transition happen?
Let’s see some examples of the mindset and strategies you should follow:
Key elements of a sales funnel
Now let's take a look at the key elements that sales funnels can include:
It's worth noting that these elements could vary depending on your business and your preference. You might not have so many products or a mailing list, yet it can still work for you. Though an upsell or a downsell is not essential, it can be useful in some cases. Or you might have an upsell without a downsell.
What's important, is that you have a series of escalating steps, increasing engagement and building trust with each step. (stages of the sales funnel)
An entry point is an external website that leads your visitors to a lead magnet which is usually a free offer. An opt-in form to a lead magnet is usually placed on a separate opt-in page (squeeze) or a blog.
So now you can start capturing as many targeted leads as possible at the first stage of your plan with your irresistible lead magnet. After they signed up for your email list to get the lead magnet, a low-priced product will be offered to them. If they buy that, a related upsell will be offered as the next step.
In case they leave your funnel, you can still send them follow-up emails regarding your offer and retarget them automatically with ads depending on where they left your funnel. Since you have their contact information, you will be able to offer them any related products in the future.
To give you an example, your free product might be a 40-50 page ebook about digital marketing, your low-priced offer might be a $7 digital marketing course, your first upsell might be the same course with a lot of add-ons valued at $40-$50 and your big ticket offer could be a personal coaching program valued at $997.
How to promote your funnel (entry points)
There are a lot of different ways of promoting a sales funnel.
An entry point is a place on any external website where your visitors can enter your funnel. It's usually an opt-in page (or so-called squeeze page) you should promote.
We'll take a look at a number of techniques that increase these entry points. The more entry points you use, the more the likely it is that people will be attracted to your offer.
Let’s see some of these:
How to create a blog sales funnel
The most obvious place that a lot of businesses use is a blog. It’s a great place to demonstrate your expertise and provide value for free.
Your blog should include quality posts related to your niche. The more useful and unique the information you offer here is, the more people are going to trust you and buy what you have to offer.
So what are your options to promote a lead magnet on a blog? Where can you place them?
How to create a video sales funnel
As many others,
, Youtube is an excellent place to generate leads for your business.
Create some videos you know people will search for and offer some real value. Place a link to your opt-in page in the descriptions of your videos so that people can sign up and grab the freebie.
Videos are one of the best ways to engage with people and grab their attention.
In case you want to publish videos on Youtube, I recommend you using TubeBuddy. I'm also using it. It's a great research and video SEO tool.
You can read my TubeBuddy review here.
How to build a social media sales funnel
Sharing your content on social media sites is one of the most popular ways to drive traffic to your pages.
Don’t forget to add value to the posts instead of just sharing the links.
In my opinion, sharing high-quality blog posts are much more effective than posting direct links to your lead magnets. Instead, add relevant lead magnets to your blog articles.
How to promote your funnel via forums, groups and comment sections
When promoting your funnel in forums or groups, make sure you've become actively involved, providing helpful information to the community. See what questions people ask and what problems they're trying to solve, then respond accordingly. Also make sure you're following the rules of that particular community.
Every post you make can have a link in your signature to your funnel or blog generating traffic for you anytime. Show your expertise, don't be afraid to be controversial at times.
Most popular places are:
Some offline marketing ideas you should follow
These can include putting a link to your lead magnet on different types of offline content:
How to create an email sales funnel
If you have a previously built email list, sending your audience the link to your new lead magnet can also be a good strategy to offer different products.
Though messenger bots could be a viable replacement for emails in some cases, they can still have high level of conversion and open-rate if relationships are established with the right prospects.
Build a solo ads funnel
Similarly to your email list, solo ads usually mean sending emails to third-party email lists and buying clicks. Be careful when choosing a vendor.
How to build a Facebook ad funnel
Running paid ad campaigns are the fastest way to reach the largest possible audience in the shortest possible time. The most popular ad platforms currently are Facebook and Google Adwords.
Naturally, it costs money to get results and there's a big chance you'll lose money if you aren't smart about your strategy. However, paid campaigns are also very attractive because of their measurability and for being highly sophisticated regarding targeting.
To achieve the best results, always promote the entry points of your funnel which might be blog posts or separate opt-in pages.
Harness the power of word of mouth in your marketing
Another critically important entry point is word-of-mouth. This means generating a buzz about your products on different social sites and forums.
How to build an opt-in page (squeeze page)
How does it work
An opt-in or squeeze page is the first landing page of your sales funnel for capturing leads. The only purpose of this page is to turn website visitors into subscribers by giving away an irresistible free offer.
Basically, on the front-end of your sales funnel you advertise a free offer to people in exchange for their email addresses. This free offer will be your lead magnet which you place on a so-called opt-in page or squeeze page.
That's how they get into your list and as a result, you will be able to send them emails anytime later on.
After signing up, your leads will usually be redirected to a thank you page which is generally the first sales landing page and presents a low priced offer.
Connect an autoresponder
As I mentioned earlier, when people hand you out their email addresses, they will be added to an email list database and you will be able to send them other related offers that they might be interested in.
First, you need to create an email list in your autoresponder (email marketing program) and connect it to the email marketing form on your opt-in page.
Tools like OptinMonster make it easy to create forms and add visitors to your mailing lists.
Your autoresponder is the tool which helps you create your emails beforehand and automate the whole sending process.
You will be able to see who subscribed, unsubscribed, how your leads engaged, how many people opened your emails and how many of them clicked on your links in the emails.
An advanced autoresponder also allows you to identify and segment your subscribers based on different behaviors.
Regarding email marketing tools, you might want to check out my guide: the best autoresponders for affiliate marketing.
Why do you need a lead magnet
A lead magnet is a freebie that entices people to opt-in your mailing list.
Once your prospects signed up, you can either send them the freebie in an email directly or make it instantly available on the thank you page where you redirect them to.
Remember, like any other product your lead magnet should solve a problem they have or provide them with the information they've been desperately searching for.
The key to increasing your subscriber opt-in rate is to make the lead magnet an irresistible and appealing offer.
Start thinking about what you can give to people in exchange for their emails. There are literally hundreds of potential lead magnets you could give away depending on what type of business you’re in.
Here are some options you may want to choose from:
The lead magnet you post or advertise is not limited to an opt-in page. It can be anything that's valuable and contains a call to action so that visitors can take the next step and get into your funnel.
Depending on where you want to use your lead magnets, you have to create each of them a bit differently. Obviously, their appearance won’t be the same, it will depend largely on where they are placed; on an individual page, on a blog or on a popup.
Should you place them on a blog, the best technique is to use specific lead magnets to each blog page.
As you might already know, after directing your prospects to a thank you page, presenting them a low-price offer is an excellent way to convert them into paying customers.
Let’s see how that works.
How to create a front-end offer
The first thing you should try to sell to your leads is the front-end offer which is a low-priced product.
Keep in mind, your lead magnet and paid product must be closely related to each other.This usually means that the paid product or service you have to offer should cover the subject in more detail. Basically, you're using the freebie to lead your audience to the next stage in the sales funnel, drawing them closer to becoming a paid customer.
Additionally, when presenting your freebie and paid offer, you should position yourself as an expert in that particular subject, even if you are only a few steps ahead of your target audience.
Let’s illustrate this with some examples:
Research your target market
Before you decide on what kind of product to sell as your front-end and how to present it, you should always research your target market. This will help you obtain additional information that will further enhance the suitability of your product on offer.
First, you need to know what kind of market you are going to cover and then understand the customer's buying behavior in that niche. This research is also essential because the customers’ mindset is different in every niche and you need to tailor your offer to those differences.
Make sure to invest enough time to conduct this research because this will definitely help in your sales. Identify the market and choose a viable front-end product with high demand in a format no one else is selling.
If your targeting is precise, your product is going to make massive sales.
Try to choose an evergreen product
Of course, this step is not a must but if you can find an evergreen product, that's certainly a huge advantage.
An evergreen product is something that will still attract more and more people even after years. Evergreen products have a long life in the market and they will always be in demand.
A good example for this is a personal development mini-course. People will always strive to overcome their problems and improve their lives and themselves.
Your product should solve a problem
You might have heard this from me several times that your product should solve an immediate or urgent problem.
Think about why people would want to buy your product and what benefits it can offer.
Make your offer irresistible
Without an irresistible front-end, no matter how valuable your upsell or backend is, your audience is not going to see it.
Therefore, you should do everything to make sure your audience grabs it. Having the irresistible front-end offer is the key element of a successful online business.
The best way to make your front-end unique and more valuable is to offer bonuses with it as well. Think about it.
Which offer would you choose? The one with bonuses or another one without?
To illustrate this, let's say the following:
You just created a stress management course as your front-end product which is incidentally an evergreen topic. In addition to the video format, you also include its audio version so that your customers could listen to it in their car. To further increase its value, you also attach an action plan template and a meditation music package.
When your prospects meet your offer for the first time, they will be so impressed due to its high value that they instantly open their wallets.
In addition to the bonuses, ask yourself the following:
How can I enhance this product and make it irresistible?
Let’s look at some more examples of bonuses:
This is what makes you different from other marketers who only offer the product itself. It's a great way to maximize your profit by just putting a little more effort into it.
Make your front-end offer a tripwire
As a matter of fact, building an email list is quite easy. However, It's not so easy to get people to buy something, especially in the beginning.
When immediately trying to sell people a high-priced product, there is a tiny chance it might be successful, most of the time, however, you just scare them off.
That's why convincing people to make that initial purchase first makes an efficient start.
This is called a tripwire offer.
It's basically a very low-cost item that requires little commitment and helps you get people into your funnel first.
Obviously, it needs to be interesting and irresistible enough both in price and in quality.
Surprisingly, it doesn't matter much if you don't get profit from your tripwire. The only purpose of this handy tool is to get people to make the first purchase, which is a micro-commitment. In other words, it only serves as the opening of the buying loop. The basic idea behind this is that you're giving your prospects the chance to buy from you without too much risk.
They need to see that they can buy from you and trust you. The real money doesn't come from this first product, it comes mostly from the upsell and backend offers.
Once they made their first purchase, they can be offered a product at a higher price because you earned their trust.
This way, you are making incremental increases in price, and thus people will gradually increase the value that they're spending with you. People who've already bought from you once are much more likely to buy again.
Implementing this technique will allow you to sell high value products, maybe even a $4,000 product.
Another great way to increase conversion rates is to present the tripwire as a limited time or exclusive offer.
To summarise, a tripwire offer is an excellent way to get people to open their wallets. Additionally, it has some more advantages. Let’s find out.
Even if people don't buy your high-priced product at first, they're much more likely to buy your low-cost offer which might cover advertising costs for you.
Since the tripwire gets people into the funnel with micro-commitments, it also increases the conversion rate of high-priced products.
The ideal price for the front-end offer might be between $1 and $30. Of course, testing is highly recommended, tweaking the price is always possible after that.
There are many different types of tripwire offers both for physical and digital products:
If your leads buy your offer, they will be redirected to the second sales page and offered another product at a higher price. This is called an upsell.
Example of the free + shipping model:
Example of $5 trial:
And an example of a one-time fee service:
How to create an upsell offer
An upsell is an additional but related product at a higher price, and it is usually positioned right after the front-end offer. You need to have a high converting upsell because this is your main source of revenue.
Immediately offering it is an effective strategy, once the buyers completed their purchase.
Of course, it's not mandatory, so presenting it a few days or weeks later in a mail is also an option.
How should you price your upsell?
Its price must be much higher than your previous product. The ideal price of it should be minimum two or three times of the front-end product.
When the price is higher, people would certainly expect higher value from it. So, remember to ensure the value of this product is equal to or higher than the price they've paid.
Make it an enhanced version of your front-end product
So, how can you make your customers feel excited about it?
The key is to make your upsell closely related to your front-end or an upgraded version of it. It should solve the same problem either faster or more efficiently, or both.
Make it clear that the first product is as complete as it is. However, if the buyers are really serious and want to have a more in-depth solution, then they must buy the upgraded version of the front-end.
Some marketers often make the mistake of attempting to sell an unrelated product and they are surprised when they find out that their customers are not interested in buying it.
An upsell offer example:
Places to introduce an upsell
Now let’s see some places where you can present or introduce your upsell:
As you can see, even if you don't have an upsell right now, there are a ton of places where they can be introduced anytime to maximize your profit. Think about related upsells and how you could integrate them into all the different parts of your sales funnel.
One click upsell example of the previous free + shipping model:
Present it as a one-time offer
One technique that lots of marketers use is to present the upsell to the buyers as a one-time offer product. It means if they don’t grab it immediately, the product won’t be offered again.
This way a sense of urgency is created, which can boost your sales to a great extent.
Increase the value with bonuses
Try to include a bunch of bonuses in the upsell to enhance its value further. This is also a great idea because bonuses can help justify the higher price.
Example based on the previous product sales page:
Your customers will feel like they’re getting a real deal. Furthermore, this way you can also differentiate yourself from the competitors.
As a result, this complete offer might prompt your buyers a little more to click on the buy button. I’ve already shown you previously what kind of bonuses you can add to your front-end product. The same applies to the upsells, as well.
If you do it right, the value you offer will be increased by a great amount and the chances of closing a sale will be much higher.
How to offer a downsell
Keep in mind that not all of your customers will be interested in your upsell when they go through your funnel. They might think the upsell is not worth the money or they don’t need bonuses. Whatever their objection is, you should be able to handle it.
For that reason, place a button on your upsell page so that customers can decline your offer instead of closing your page.
When they do that, you can present a downsell offer by leading them to another page. That sales page is similar to the previous one but it's shorter and with a different headline.
The price should still be higher than the front-end but lower than the upsell. If it’s implemented well, it can increase your revenue by giving a special promotion to the customers. Now let me show you two strategies to create a downsell.
Offer the upsell with fewer features
The downsell might be a cheaper alternative, a less featured version of your upsell item but still providing much value and a product closely connected to your main article. This way, you can still profit from the people who don't want your upsell or just simply can't afford it.
It’s important to note that a downsell should be a quality product, otherwise your customers might get upset.
Remove the bonuses from the upsell
Another method is to remove the bonuses from your upsell and drop the price.
This is because, for some people, the lower price is more important than the bonuses. Or, they might not like bonuses at all.
This way, you are giving out a special promotion for them to grab the upsell with a lower price. Again, you can’t offer the same upsell with a lower price because you want to be fair to those who bought the real upsell. That’s why it’s essential to offer it without the bonuses.
Present it on an exit-intent popup
OptinMonster also allows you to create different kinds of popups including exit-intent.
Offering a downsell at that time might do wonders and often increases conversions by 10-20%.
You can apply this technique on both the front-end and upsell offer by removing the bonuses and presenting it with a message like this:
Wait! Special offer before you go!
Of course, this was just an example.
Another good incentive is to offer a discount coupon immediately on this exit intent popup.
Your price was perhaps too high on the page but with these techniques, you might be able to convince your prospects to buy your product.
Let me illustrate this. When trying to leave the site, the following pop-up shows up:
How to offer a high-ticket product
Now, let's see how we can go even further and get the most out of our sales funnel. It can be best achieved with a high-ticket offer or so-called back-end offer.
A high-ticket deal is usually presented to the customers a few days or weeks after the purchase. Thus, it’s not an immediate connection with your sales funnel but it still is a part of it.
Keep in mind no rule says you can't integrate this offer directly into the end of your funnel.
High price - high trust
Due to the high price tag, establishing trust with your customers is very advantageous beforehand because they would need serious consideration.
In the meanwhile, they will have time to evaluate the products they’ve purchased from you. If they are happy with it, then it will make the sale of your high-ticket offer easier. This is one of the reasons it’s so crucial to create and sell only high-quality products.
By the time you’re offering a very expensive product, they should already have faith and trust in you.
Some marketers say you shouldn't offer a tripwire on the front-end but offer a high-ticket deal immediately instead, such as a $2000 product.
In my opinion, this strategy might still work but when we see our total income, the effectiveness and conversion of this strategy is lower than using a tripwire, especially if your name or brand is not well-known in the internet marketing world yet. Imagine if you were a customer, would you gladly invest a huge amount of money in a product by someone you've never heard of?
With a big ticket offer, you can make the most money, though less customers will choose this option and purchase this deal. Of course, it is priced much higher than any other products and sent via emails or retargeting ad campaigns.
Back-end product ideas
Now I'll show you some ideas for products you can sell as high-ticket offers:
As you might have noticed now, a big ticket offer is usually about teaching something new. It can be very profitable and rewarding but you need to actually be an expert in something before you can teach someone.
Apart from this, helping someone build his business, develop his websites and funnels, maintain his SEO are also great examples of premium services.
See? Finally, you mastered all the steps on how to build a sales funnel for your business and what products to offer to your audience.
One more thing: Link tracking is also an essential strategy when it comes to using sales funnels but it's another topic. ClickMagick is one of the most popular link tracking software.
However, in case you want to learn the alternatives, check out my guide: Best Link Tracking Software
Make your big ticket item available on your main website
Some of the prospects who didn't get into your funnel will probably be interested in your premium services. They might not know anything about your front-end and upsell offer but they are still ready to take your most expensive product. That's why making your big ticket deal available on a page of your main website is so advantageous.
Apart from this, when promoting it, it's still better to start with a front-end on your funnel.
Follow-up emails are also part of the sales funnel and are sent to the customer after a purchase is made.
The most common type of email is the “thank you” email which is the expression of gratitude to the customers for purchasing your product but it usually also includes contact information should any problems arise from using your product.
Example of a thank you email:
Additionally, you might send other types of emails such as how to use your product, best tips and features and so on. However, instead of broadcasting them all at once, send each of them at a few days intervals.
Sending promotional emails occasionally about your other products can also be a good strategy but be careful, don't do it excessively otherwise your buyers might unsubscribe from your email list.
To learn about some other necessary tools, study my article: The 61 Best Tools For Digital Marketing
How to create a sales funnel: conclusion
By now, you should have all the information you need to start creating your own sales funnel. Plan everything carefully and think about how you’re going to fill it with offers.
You may also have a pretty good idea of how many products you want to produce, as well as what strategies to implement to sell them.
We’ve looked at a lot of high concept ideas, the mindset and the strategies to get maximum exposure and profits.
Remember, the key is to spend time and build trust with your prospects and then turn them into loyal customers. Good luck! I’ll see you next time.
Would you share your best funnel with us? Or still have questions on how to build a high converting one? Let me know in the comments below and I'll be happy to help.
Furthermore, should you want to talk to me in private just connect with me on Facebook.