Think of the best salesman you have ever known……
Only this one works for free……
They never complain…..
And they work 24 hours a day…..
That is what a sales funnel can do for your business.
This all in one guide provides an in-depth dive into how to create a sales funnel….
And save you thousands.
You may be saying “Mike, what is a funnel?”
Well, great question. Let’s take a look at the “high level” of what a funnel is. Then dive into the “low level” of how a funnel works.
Then I will share some inexpensive tools you can use to build your own funnels quickly and easily. At the same time, you will save thousands of dollars off the price of those flashy funnel tools on the market.
What is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is a series of steps you create to guide your audience toward an offer and buying decision.
Your traffic source (SEO, PPC, etc.) will drive your visitors to the “top of the funnel”. As your target audience moves through the funnel some will drop out. But if your offer truly is “undeniable” (which it needs to be). Whether you have great copy or not, a high number of them will convert and turn into paying customers.
Sales Funnel Explained: The Stages
There are four basic steps to creating your funnel.
- Build your landing page
- Front-end offer (“lead magnet”)
- Upsell offer (“one time offer” or OTO)
- Thank you page
This flowchart is the steps your user will move through as they go through your funnel.
The first step in building your funnel is to create your landing page. The landing page is where you will “funnel” all of your visitors with your traffic source of choice. This landing page will hold your sales copy and needs to instantly grab the attention of your audience and not let it go.
The squeeze page above is very basic, making great use of whitespace. Many SEO studies recommend a simple landing page that does not pull your visitor’s attention in too many directions. Simplifying your landing page can help draw your user’s attention to your offer.
This landing page makes use of video and although the snippet is cut short it has a much longer sales copy. Some SEO gurus preach the need to have a long landing page that is able to communicate every sales angle.
Victor O. Schwartz a “Godfather” of marketing in his book How To Write A Good Advertisement recommends a longer copy because of the ability to communicate every potential benefit. (Side note, you need to read How To Write A Good Advertisement by Victor O. Schwartz it is a legendary book on writing effective copy.)
No matter which landing page design you choose the performance of your offer will depend on how “undeniable” it is. If an offer truly benefits and appeals to an audience it will perform well.
Front End Offer
As we have covered to this point if your offer inspires and is truly “undeniable” your visitors will give you their information in exchange for the value you are providing them. The single most important factor in your offers conversion rate is if your audience feels it will give them value.
I want to repeat that one more time. The only way your audience is going to click and give you their information. Is if they feel your “lead magnet” provides them value.
A lead magnet that is aligned with an audience’s largest pain points or problems typically converts very well.
If you do not know what your “undeniable” offer is yet. Read Russell Brunson’s Expert Secrets. It can help you create your “undeniable” offer that will have your audience saying “Yes please here is my information. Thank you.”
Visualizing your perfect customer and listening to their pain points is a tactic that can help you create an offer that attracts and converts your visitors. Many marketing professionals offer techniques around visualization.
The thought process with visualization techniques is they help you better understand your buyer persona or “perfect” customer. By envisioning them, listening to them, and repeating this process you will gain more insight into your ideal customer.
Make it as simple as possible for your user’s to take advantage of your offer. Minimize the number of form fields. It is important that you go through the landing page offer yourself. Doing this can help improve the process for your customers and improve your conversion rates.
The front end offer is your lead magnet. This is what is going to get your users to click on your ad. An offer has to align with the needs of the market. Continually trying to improve your offer and landing page flow will lead to long-term success online.
An upsell offer is a one time offer or “OTO” that will create a sense of urgency. This could look like a highly discounted mastermind group, a product, or whatever appeals to your audience.
“People buy on emotion, then justify with logic.”Anonymous
If your upsell offer appeals to the emotional needs of your customer they will click your offer and give you their information.
Using social media networks such as Quora can help you generate ideas based on your audience’s problems and pain points.
Another source you can get great insight for your upsell is by joining Facebook groups. In these groups, you can ask your customers questions such as “What is your biggest problem with?” Your users will help you create your upsell offer.
Answer the public is another knowledge management system that is a helpful resource in gaining insight into a target market and can help an entrepreneur develop their “undeniable” offer.
Thank You Page
Once your user has moved through the funnel your work has just begun.
The most valuable asset any digital marketer or online business owns is their e-mail list. The e-mail list is generated from customers converting through your sales funnel.
How you nurture and build the relationship after your users have converted is how you establish yourself as a thought leader in the industry and grow your brand.
When your visitor gives you their e-mail address you have built a level of trust with that customer. Do not to violate the trust by spamming their inbox with affiliate offers or constant sales pitches.
Remember once again mindset is so important here. You have to give before you gain the right to ask your audience for something.
Sales Funnel Strategy
Before you even get started building your funnel you need to do the proper research and planning. Doing this prior to building your funnel will help you create a solid strategy and plan. This can be the difference between if an offer is successful or if an offer dies a fiery death. There are 5 important steps in conducting your research and planning before you launch your funnel.
- Who is the audience?
- Who is your “perfect” customer?
- What is your traffic plan?
- What is your plan to provide value?
- How can you simplify your journey?
Who Is The Audience?
Knowing your customers is much more than knowing your target demographics. Understanding on a much deeper level who your customer is will help you create offers that speak to them.
Where does your audience hang out? Are there large Facebook groups in your market? Do they hang out on Q & A sites like Quora? Or even a Reddit community? Knowing where your audience is can provide a ton of insight about your “perfect” customer.
What problems do they have? If you are a yoga instructor over time you would learn a lot about your target market. What poses do they have the most problems with? Do they not breathe properly? And so on. These are all examples of potential customer’s pain points. Knowing this is so powerful for an entrepreneur.
Audience research will build the foundation for great sales copy and a successful offer.
Who Is Your “Perfect” Customer?
Once you have performed your audience research you will have a strong understanding of just who your target market is. The next step is to create your “perfect” customer or buyer persona.
The Simple Writing System by John Carlton is one of the best courses on writing copy out there. It will help you understand not only the technical side of writing copy but more importantly it will help you understand the emotional journey a customer takes. There is one simple tactic from John Carlton’s SWS course that will let you into the mind of your “perfect” customer.
This course uses what is called a visualization technique. Kinda like if you were public speaking and worried about stage fright you would use a visualization technique to picture everyone in their underwear to eliminate your stress.
Except with the root goal of this visualization technique being to learn more about your customers and how you can provide them value.
Imagine you are sitting at your hairstylist reading your emails or reading a magazine.
The stylist is getting ready for their next customer. Sweeping up from their last cut, polishing their tools, etc.
All of a sudden a gentleman walks in sits down in the stylist’s chair and sighs.
They say to the stylist something like, “Hey, Bob. I’ll have the regular. I’m having the worst day today.”
Bob the stylist stops and asks, “What’s wrong, Jim?”
And Jim says…
This is where the insight is. Imagine what Jim says next describes the exact problem or need that what you offer fixes.
So, what does Jim say?
Write down what your “perfect” customer Jim says in this scenario.
Through this process, you can learn why your customers will buy your product, what influences their buying decision, how they will use your product, and much more.
Doing this visualization technique over and over again will help you understand your customers on an even deeper level.
What Is Your Traffic Plan?
An entrepreneur can have the best offer in the world. But without a plan for getting the offer in front of people, they will be dead in the water.
There are many sources you can use to generate traffic whether it is through organic or paid channels. Each lead generation strategy will drive users to a landing page. Where do your customers hang out? Are your customers on Facebook? Are they on a knowledge-sharing system like Quora? A business should advertise where their ideal customers are spending their time.
- Search engine optimization (SEO)
- Google Ads
- Facebook Ads
- Pinterest Ads
- Guest post
- Influencer marketing
This by no means is an all extensive list. This list does provide a great starting point though for entrepreneurs to create an effective plan for generating traffic.
A best practice is to focus on one lead generation strategy at a time. Once you are happy with your conversion and click-through rates on one lead generation source, then it is time to start looking at adding another traffic source.
How Will You Provide Value?
The article has already discussed adding value to your audience.
“As soon as you open your mind to doing things differently, the doors of opportunity practically fly off their hinges.”Jay Abraham
A mindset shift is necessary when growing your reach online. It is natural for an individual to instinctively think “how can I make money online?” This mindset will nine times out of ten lead to failure.
Instead, an individual needs to think “how can I provide value to my audience?” This is the mindset that will lead to long term success and continued growth. Miles Beckler shares some great videos and blog posts on the power of mindset.
No matter how a business decides to communicate with their customers. Whether it is through email campaigns, blog posts, social media. Giving to your audience is how your message can spread like wildfire.
How Can You Simplify Your Journey?
Walking through the customer journey is a powerful technique that will help you improve your customer experience. Doing this can help eliminate unnecessary steps for customers to give you their email, buy from you, or perform whatever action you want them too.
An entrepreneur’s goal is to make the buying process as simple as possible for their customers. Any hurdles will have serious implications on a businesses conversion rates and the performance of a business.
All you need to create high converting landing pages are three tools. These three tools combined together can make you the most powerful marketer on the planet.
These tools also cost less than $400 per year. A fraction of what those fancy funnel builders cost.
I am an affiliate for all of the products I recommend but it is because I use them, believe in them, and know that they are some of the best tools for launching effective landing pages and businesses.
A2 Hosting provides lightning-fast web hosting for cheap. Website speed is one of the top factors for ranking in Google’s 200 ranking factors. A2 Hosting automatically integrates WordPress content management system into your site providing a free and easy platform for building your website.
A2 Hosting also protects you from malicious attacks and scammers attempting to hack into your website. Hosting on WordPress can leave you and your site vulnerable. A2 Hosting uses Recaptcha systems and other safety protocols to protect you.
Thrive Theme Builder
Thrive Themes is so powerful. With its click and drop elements and thrive themes templates it makes it beyond simple to create a great looking landing page fast. This tool is packed full of so many features and is so easy to use. Even the least technology-savvy people will be able to create great-looking websites and landing pages.
Aweber is an email marketing and autoresponder tool. This is the final tool you will need to have all the resources to grow your audience, increase your reach, and have a successful online business.
Getting your customers to take advantage of your offer is just the beginning. How you nurture and grow the relationships after that will be through email marketing efforts.
59% of marketers say e-mail is how they generate the majority of their revenue. Aweber is a simple and easy to use tool that empowers business owners to connect with their customers through email.
The only way a business can grow the type of relationship necessary to build a following is with an email marketing tool.
Aweber is an easy to use click and drop tool that can create email autoresponder campaigns quickly, track custom user actions, create multi-directional email campaigns, and more.
These three tools are all you need to create a great looking funnel and start growing your audience. While saving thousands of dollars every year off the price of those funnel builders. These three tools give you all the weapons you need to earn 7 figures a year.
This post is a comprehensive guide for how to create a sales funnel and save a ton of money. We have covered a lot to this point and I hope you have gained something of value from this journey we shared.
Let’s look back really quick at what this guide covered:
- What is a sales funnel? We discussed the high level and low level of what a sales funnel is and how it can benefit your business.
- This article examined basic funnel flow including landing page examples and the “lead magnet” and upsell offer.
- We dove deep into sales funnel strategy and creating a solid plan.
- We reviewed three funnel tools that can be combined to create some of the most powerful funnels out there.
So, what do you think about the process of building a funnel? Simpler than you thought? Share or drop a comment and tell me what tips you have on how to build a successful sales funnel.