A sales funnel , the purchase funnel, or purchasing funnel is a consumer focused marketing model which illustrates the theoretical customer journey towards the purchase of a product or service. What does it take to build a functional, high-converting sales funnel from scratch? Most aspiring entrepreneurs envision a difficult, complex, convoluted process when they think of sales funnels. Admittedly, it can seem overwhelming when you’re new to the internet marketing scene. However, when you break the sales funnel down into small, actionable steps, the process becomes much easier and even more enjoyable. That’s why, in this article, I’m going to “dismantle” what is a sales funnel and the 3 simple, easy-to-follow steps to create one. Hopefully, this will help you create, launch, and optimize your sales funnels with relative ease.
But, before we jump to the core of the matter, let’s explain what a sales funnel is, for those who might not be familiar with the term.
What Is A Sales Funnel?
In today’s day and age, simply having a website won’t suffice. A single product page won’t convert as high as you’d hope. Chances are, you’ll struggle to close the sales and make a profit.
This is especially true if you’re engaging new prospects, or selling high-ticket products. Most of these people (more than 90%) won’t be prepared to make the purchase during their first contact with your business.
They typically need some convincing before they press that “buy” button. And that, itself, is a step-by-step process.
First, you need to create a landing page that promotes a free offer. The goal here is to get opt-ins by offering your audience valuable content in exchange for their contact information.
You need to ensure that you’re targeting the right people, however. It’s much easier to convert visitors into subscribers if they’re genuinely interested in what you have to offer.
The next step is engaging the traffic, through a series of well-written follow up emails. Finally, after you’ve delivered some more content, you can throw in a couple of promotional emails to pique their interest, get them to the sales page, and close the sale.
This entire process, and all the pages involved, are the sales funnel.
Let’s take a look at how you would go about building one from start to finish.
The Sales Funnel Stages
It’ll be easier for me to explain, and for you to understand, if we take a closer look at 1 segment of the all-encompassing sales funnel. We call this the “micro funnel” – a smaller, easily digestible chunk of the larger sales funnel.
Let’s use an opt-in funnel as an example, and dissect it. By itself, the opt-in funnel has 3 separate steps, or layers if you will:
- The Ad – Drives qualified traffic to your landing page
- The Landing Page – Promotes the Lead Magnet to your audience in exchange for their name and email address
- Thank You Page – Shows appreciation and helps build a relationship with your subscribers
What’s important here is that the copy of the ad and the landing page need to be aligned. They need to have the same marketing message, tone and vocabulary.
The reason is simple. Your audience expects to see the same thing advertised in the ad, on the landing page itself.
The landing page also needs to do a good job of promoting the free content. It should hint at the main benefit, but not reveal everything.
You should also list out the most important takeaways from your content as bullets in the landing page body.
The opt-in form should be simple and to the point. You don’t need to create a complex multi-step form. After all, at this point, all you need is their basic contact information.
Don’t hesitate to tell the audience exactly what they need in your call-to-action. Tell them to enter their name and email, and click the download button to access the lead magnet.
Round it out with a designed “Thank You” page, explaining they’ll receive the content shortly via email.
Importance Of Sales Funnel
Every micro funnel serves a specific purpose in the grand scheme of things.
For instance, the opt-in funnel converts visitors into prospects, by offering a free report in exchange for their emails.
Then, you can have a webinar funnel, where you send out emails to new subscribers asking them to join you on a free webinar.
The third micro funnel can aim to convert them from prospects into paying customers, by promoting one of your lower priced products.
You can then have a funnel for a coaching service, your main offer, cross-sells, upsells, and so on…
Together, they make up your sales funnels. However, if looked at separately, it’s much easier to execute them correctly.
You eliminate the confusion and the overwhelm, and know exactly what steps you need to take from start to finish.
Regardless of the type of micro funnel you’re creating, here are the 3 steps you’ll need to take.
How To Create A Sales Funnel
- Start With The Goal
Although it might seem counter-intuitive to start at the very end, it is the only right approach.
The thing is, before you start working on your funnel, you need to know exactly what you want to accomplish with it. The end goal has to be crystal clear, for you to be able to define steps that will get you there.
So, ask yourself these questions, in order:
What action do you want the prospect to take when they reach the end of the funnel?
How will you engage with them and encourage them to do that?
What kind of interaction do they need to have with your business, which will entice them to click the call-to-action at the end?
Now, the key here is to have a specific and measurable goal in mind.
You can’t simply say “My goal is to make more money.” That doesn’t give you any sense of direction, nor does it help you define the process that will enable you to reach it.
Instead, your goal should be something like “I want to get X amount of people to sign up for my webinar.” This way, you’ll know that you need to create the webinar, build a webinar registration page, and send out webinar invitation emails…
The path sort of reveals itself. Furthermore, you’ll be able to accurately determine the effectiveness of your funnel.
You can always see the exact number of people that have signed up and attended. Leveraging that data, you can tweak portions of your funnel and see exactly which of your marketing efforts are providing the best results.
- Engage Your Prospects
Next, think about how you will engage the prospects.
You’ll need to somehow spark their interest and get them excited for your webinar, product, or service.
This is where your landing page and lead magnet come into play. The trick is to deliver relevant, valuable, engaging content that your audience is genuinely interested in.
It helps to present both the offer and the content in a unique and interesting way. The idea is to create an irresistible offer that will both help the prospects, and motivate them to look into your paid solutions.
You’ll need to strike that perfect balance. You want the audience to be interested in learning more, but at the same time, satisfied with the value they received for free.
If you’re selling a comprehensive digital marketing course, you can offer a free guide that talks about a specific segment – lead generation, for example.
The key here is that providing their name and email for a valuable piece of content isn’t a huge commitment. However, it’s vital for you, as an entrepreneur.
Having access to their email essentially means you have your own on-demand source of qualified traffic. And, you can choose to send out additional content and promotional emails whenever you want.
These emails should help form a strong, trust-based relationship, and “push” the prospects further down your sales funnel.
Relevant content, complementary offers, and products with low entry cost are great for boosting engagement at this stage of the funnel.
The objective is to help them overcome the hurdle, and convert them from prospects into buying customers.
It will be much easier to sell your higher priced products to people who have already bought from you, than if you were trying to sell them to cold leads.
- Drive Qualified Traffic
The next question is – how will you get the people to your landing page in the first place?
There are various ways to generate traffic to your pages. Which one will work the best heavily depends on your business, niche, and the habits of your audience.
For instance, if you’re selling beauty products, you’ll likely find the most success on Instagram. However, if you’re offering B2B software solutions, LinkedIn might be your best bet.
That said, here are some of the most common traffic sources:
- Paid Google ads
- Social media
- Organic traffic (from Web search results)
- Your mailing list
- Online videos
- Solo Ads
Keep in mind that you don’t want just anyone on your landing page. You want qualified leads – people you know are genuinely interested in your business.
This is why targeting the right audience is crucial. Remember, you’re not after clicks on your ad; your goal is to get as many conversions as possible.
Hence, laser-targeting the exact segment of the market, that’s interested in your solutions, is the most efficient and most profitable approach.
This way, you’ll spend less money on advertising, and will have a higher chance of converting these people into loyal customers.
So, take the time to gather the data and learn the defining characteristics of your ideal customer. Create a customer avatar, and use it as a baseline when selecting targeting for your ads.
The Sales Funnel Template, Strategy And Benefits Explained
At this point, you should have a clearly defined goal, a strategy to engage your audience, and a reliable traffic source. So, now you simply need to flip the order around and string everything together.
In other words, you need to create and launch the ad, link it to your landing page, create the thank you page, and set up follow-up emails.
View all of these activities as separate tasks. That way, you won’t feel confused and overwhelmed, and you’ll have a decent micro funnel at the end.
Keep in mind; you’ll need to create a micro funnel for each separate goal and transition.
After that, all that’s left is to simply repeat the process, only this time using each micro funnel as one element of the final sales funnel.
Once you have the necessary micro funnels in place, it’s just a matter of stringing them together in the right order.
Depending on what micro funnel the prospect starts from, and where their buyer’s journey ends, there are multiple types of sales funnels:
- Opt-in to sale
- Opt-in to webinar sale
- Blog opt-in to sale
- Webinar to sale
- Video series to sale
- Consultation to sale
Conclusion On What Is A Sales Funnel
When creating your sales funnel, there are 2 things you must always keep in mind.
The first is your end goal, and the second is the product or service you’ll be offering.
For example, say you’re developing a software solution for other companies. You might offer a demo or a free trial in the opt-in micro funnel.
Further down the line, you can send out emails asking the prospects to upgrade to one of your paid plans. The goal, of course, is to get them to the final sale.
Hopefully, the steps I outlined in this article helped out clear some of the confusion regarding sales funnels. My aim was to help simplify the process and give you clear, actionable instructions you can follow to create your own sales funnel.
If you have any questions, or want to share your thoughts on the subject, feel free to let me know in the comments below!
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About The Author
Your Millionaire Mentor
Shaqir Hussyin is the founder and CEO of WealthAcademy.com & Funnels.com. Nicknamed the “Backpack Millionaire”, he’s invested $350,000 into his own education and training. Whilst traveling to 100+ countries, Shaqir has built over 10+ million dollar brands and attracted over 500,000+ subscribers.
His signature program is now available: Max Income System; 14 Simple Steps To Making Your First Income Online
Shaqir is also a highly sought-after speaker and direct response “Sales Funnels” global leader. Shaqir’s work has impacted over 100,000 businesses in 65 different countries. Connect with Shaqir onInstagram, YouTube , LinkedIn & FB Group...