Ever wondered exactly how so many successful marketers are able to create incredibly profitable sales funnels that generate thousands of dollars with every launch?
The reality is, if you want to maximize your income so you can squeeze every possible dollar from your product launches, you absolutely need to master the art of creating high-converting sales funnels.
And here’s a fun fact: it’s easier than you may think.
A well-constructed sales funnel that’s based on proven techniques can take a simple product launch and retain the momentum weeks, even YEARS after the launch!
Overview of a Successful Funnel
A sales funnel moves leads through a sales process until they make a final purchase.
It introduces people to your brand who may not already be familiar with it and puts you in a position of connecting with your target audience.
It also amplifies a typical marketing strategy so that you’re able to maximize profits and build your tribe. And it extends the life of a product launch.
The key is to create a sales funnel that makes sense to your target audience. Don’t overlook the importance of this because not every niche or industry responds the same way to a sales funnel.
It’s not a one-size-fits-all approach!
To begin, you’ll want to spend some time analyzing successful sales funnel in your market. Pay close attention to the price points that you’re introduced to along the way.
One of the best places to check out successful sales funnels running right now would be on Clickbank.com.
Visit their site and browse the marketplace. There you will be able to research funnels in every niche known to mankind.
Things you’ll need to keep an eye out for:
What kind of up sells do they offer?
How do they move you from one offer to the next?
Take notes of everything you come across because this information will be helpful to you when you begin constructing your own funnel.
A sales funnel also helps to qualify traffic. It separates the action-takers from the tire-kickers. It works to create awareness of your brand, and to test out different price strategies to find the sweet spot.
In other words, it serves multiple purposes beyond the profitability of the offer itself.
Your sale funnel’s objective is to move traffic, and then convert that traffic along the way.
You’re inviting people into your funnel in order to connect with potential customers and provide them with various options so that you’re more likely to get the sale.
Even sales funnels that feature a single front-end product are designed to showcase other backend offers throughout the process.
The one thing that many people overlook is that your funnel doesn’t have to begin with a sale. In fact, you should look at the top of your funnel as the exploratory stage, where customers are first introduced to your brand and are looking for reasons to buy from you.
This means that your funnel may not begin on a sales page at all. It could start by funneling traffic into a mailing list in order to build your subscriber base and connect with your audience.
Your funnel may start with a blog that features high-quality content and later encourages readers to become part of a Facebook group, a masterclass, a newsletter or a free course.
It doesn’t matter where or how your funnel begins. The important thing to keep in mind is that the top of your funnel has one main goal: to raise awareness of your brand and to connect with potential customers.
Your funnel’s entry point (or top of the funnel) can be created in many ways, depending on your overall objective. So, to start, think about what you hope to accomplish.
Do you want to build a mailing list of people who are interested in your niche so that you can introduce them to new offers?
Are you looking to start selling right away by creating a traditional sales funnel that begins with a low-cost front end product?
Do you want to gather important information from prospects through lead magnets, free trials, or free products before introducing them to paid offers?
Identify the main objective of the top of your sales funnel first and then build your funnel around that.
One of the best books I have ever read and continue to go when I’m building sales funnels is the Funnel Hackers Cook Book.
I would encourage you to check it out especially if you are serious about incorporating funnels into your business.
The 3 Stages of a Successful Funnel
We’ve just discussed how the top (entry) of your funnel doesn’t always have to involve selling. In fact, for many this is the last place where they’d even consider doing a hard sale.
Typically, the top of your sales funnel is the introduction phase. As I’ve previously mentioned, it’s where you allow people to get to know your brand, test the waters, and make the decision as to whether you have something valuable to offer.
Here’s how to create the top of your funnel:
Set up a lead-capture page. This can be a responsive squeeze or landing page. The focus needs to be on capturing the lead via an opt-in form that adds the subscriber to your mailing list.
You’ll want to offer something of value in exchange for their email address. Think about the different type of products featured within your funnel and offer them a condensed version of a product, or something else that is relevant to your market.
Don’t overlook the importance of a lead magnet! If you want to maximize conversion rates, you’ll want to offer them something irresistible that instantly attracts attention.
Any online marketer can create amazing eBooks and Lead Magnets FAST! Click Here to Learn More! I use this constantly to create lead magnets to build by list!
The top of your funnel could be as simple as a basic blog that provides killer content on your niche, while directing people to another website where can subscribe to a mailing list, and download free content.
It depends on how you’ve decided to construct your funnel so that it maps out your marketing objectives.
Once you have your funnel’s entry set up, it’s time to move on to the constructing the middle of your sales funnel.
The middle of your funnel is where you begin the process of carefully collecting valuable information. It may also be where you start to convert that traffic into customers through a series of lower-cost products and services.
This part of your funnel is incredibly important because it’s what helps you learn the most about your audience, such as what type of products and services they are most interested in.
It can provide you with the inside information needed to create in-demand products while making it easier to cross-sell or upsell to your customers with related products.
Your funnel’s middle segment is where you may also begin to soft sell. Keep in mind that the goal is to strengthen your relationship with your audience as you guide them to the final stage of your funnel: the bottom.
One of the easiest ways to create an impactful mid-funnel is by offering valuable tools and resources for free while combining those with paid offers.
For example, you could offer a free 5-day email course. Once they’ve “graduated”, you could then introduce them to more in-depth paid training that extends their knowledge on the topic or enhances the free material.
And finally, the bottom of your funnel. This is where you combine a balance of hard and soft sales.
Depending on how well you’ve worked at connecting to your audience throughout the top and middle sections of your funnel, you should have a strong tribe by the time they reach this step.
Quick & Easy Funnel Research
If you’re struggling to figure out what kind of sales funnel would work best for your business, here are a few ways to gather important intel so that you can make the best decision.
Social Media Channels
Spend time on social media, particularly paying close attention to existing sales funnels in your market. Watch for comments, feedback and suggestions from customers. Consider creating a poll or survey for your own following so that you can gain valuable feedback about what kind of products they’re most interested in.
You can also take things a step further by joining Facebook groups where you can interact with people in your market.
In fact, you could always create a group of your own which is a great way to get people into your funnel while building your tribe of loyal customers.
You can also join subreddit threads at https://www.reddit.com/subreddits/
Explore Influential Blogs
Find the top 10–15 blogs in your niche and follow the threads! What you’re looking for are blogs that allow clickable signatures so that you can begin to generate traffic to your funnel while also leaving comments that provide value and are relevant to each post.
Also, by spending time on authority blogs you’ll stay up to date on discussions, keep a close pulse on your market and come up with new content ideas for your own website.
And it’s always a good thing to position yourself in the line of sight of an influential leader in your market while also nurturing a relationship with their readers.
A very effective strategy of finding out what’s currently in-demand is by utilizing Google Trends. You can run searches based on popular keywords, identify common searches and use this information as the basis for your marketing campaigns.
The Anatomy of a Profitable Sales Funnel
To begin, let’s deconstruct a successful sales funnel so you can begin to create your own:
It starts with a front-end offer (referred to as a F.E offer or tripwire offer). Depending on what your goals are, your front end offer could be a loss leader, meaning that it’s priced extremely low in order to get more people into the funnel.
With a loss leader as your front-end product, you’re not looking to make the bulk of your profits from the initial offer, but rather through different upsell offers featured throughout the sales process.
If you’ve ever purchased a product through an online marketplace like Clickbank, chances are you’ve been introduced to a loss leader funnel. Perhaps you’ve purchased the front-end offer at a price of $10 only to be introduced to multiple offers through the backend, all priced at higher than the front end.
Perhaps the funnel looked something like this:
Initial offer: $17 for an Ebook and companion guides.
Upsell offer #1: $37 for a series of videos that serve as auxiliary components to the main Ebook.
Upsell offer #2: $97 for access to a membership site that provides additional information and new content every month.
Downsell offer #1: In the event someone didn’t purchase the first upsell of video guides, you could offer them a smaller collection of videos at a lower price.
This is how a basic sales funnel works and it can be as simple or as complicated and extensive as you wish.
In the example above, with a low cost front-end offer, you welcome people into your funnel by making it an easy decision to give your product a chance. Since there’s little risk on a customer’s part, they’re more likely to take advantage of the offer.
But what if a customer who purchases your low front-end offer never purchases any of your higher-priced backend offers?
It’s still a win!
Every customer that enters your funnel becomes part of your list. Sure, they may not be your ideal tribe member, meaning they may not go on to purchase regularly from you, but you’re still able to make that connection to test the waters.
A low-cost front end sales funnel simply eliminates the usual barriers between your product and a customer who doesn’t know your brand. It puts you in a position where you can demonstrate your commitment to producing high-quality products and potentially add a new member to your loyal tribe of buyers.
The objective of a low-cost front end sales funnel is simply:
Get traffic > Build your subscriber base > Convert that traffic into sales > Segment your lists so that you’re able to identify tribe members from those who aren’t likely to turn into loyal buyers.
One of the most important things you can do to tighten up your mid-funnel so you can maximize your profits is to consistently segment your leads.
For example, you are going to have subscribers who are customers and subscribers who are leads. With leads, you haven’t yet developed a relationship with them. They might be interested in your offers, but they have yet to act on it. Their relationship with you exists only through your email communication.
With customers, they’ve already purchased from you already, and have proven to be motivated, active buyers. Your relationship with these people is different from leads, because you’re able to establish a buying pattern and to demonstrate your ability to provide quality.
They know what your products are like, what your style is, how you’ve set up your sales funnel. They are the most valuable subscribers you have.
This is why it’s critical that you segment your lists.
You need to be able to communicate with the two groups separately, as with one you’re working on conditioning them to purchase from you, while with the other, you need to nurture a relationship to help get them to that stage in your funnel.
Nearly every autoresponder service provides the option to segment your list.
We personally use www.ClickFunnels.com to build our funnels because they provide everything you’ll ever need including split testing options but they go well beyond that.
With a ClickFunnels account, you can easily create dynamic lead pages, landing pages and even membership sites!
You should spend most your time testing your opt-in rates, so that you can maximize the number of subscribers while also being able to test a market’s overall demand.
Since it’s a lot easier to convince someone to subscribe to your newsletter than to purchase a product, you’ll be able to collect a lot more data based on visitor actions than even with your sales pages.
The more traffic you are able to send to your squeeze page, the more subscribers you’ll get, so you need to make list building a CONSISTENT part of your marketing campaign.
Split Testing Your Sales Funnel
You want to get into the habit of split-testing every aspect of your sales funnel.
Split testing is a way of testing specific elements on a sales page or within a sales funnel to improve conversion rates. The idea is to test one element at a time, and run a split testing campaign long enough for both pages to generate an equal number of visitors (or “hits”).
Here’s an example of a basic split-testing campaign:
You create two sales pages, with two different headlines. You call them SalesPage-1.html and SalesPage-2.html
You then direct people to both pages equally, so that both pages are receiving the same amount of traffic. You let it do its job for a reasonable amount of time (usually 7–10 days), or until each page has received a specific number of visitors.
The objective is to have a clear snapshot of which page is preforming best based on conversion rates, eliminate the “loser”, and continue tweaking and testing.
Once you’ve established which page is out-performing the other, you change another element of the “winning” page and comparatively test it against a different component (another area of your sales page, such as your bullet points, opt-in box, placement of graphics, etc.).
Here’s why split testing is so important to your sales funnel:
Let’s say that your sales funnel is currently converting only one sale out of every 100 visitors. And for this example, your product is priced at $20.00.
If only one visitor out of 100 purchase your product, your conversion rate would be 1%.
So you start split testing your sales funnel. Perhaps you change the front-end offer so that it’s priced slightly lower, and instantly your conversion rate increases by .25%.
Now you are generating 5 sales a day for every 400 visitors to your site. You would end up earning $100.00 per day instead of $80.00!
You continue to split test your sales funnel, this time changing the upsell offer so it’s priced slightly higher.
This increases your conversion rate yet again, this time by .75%. With just a few small changes you have boosted your conversion rate up by 1% and you now convert two visitors out of every 100 into a sale.
Your profit would have literally doubled!
Sometimes even the smallest changes in your sales funnel can cause a tremendous boost in revenue, and with very little work involved!
If you want to take the guesswork out of split testing, once again, take a look at ClickFunnels.com
This powerful software makes it easy to boost sales, increase opt-in and maximize your income with very little effort involved.
Creating a profitable sales funnel isn’t as difficult as you may have thought. The key is to plan every part of your funnel upfront so that you can lay the groundwork towards building a seamless system that moves traffic and converts leads into buyers.
Begin by deciding on what your front-end (top) will look like. What ideas do you have that would influence a visitor into entering your funnel? Do you want to take advantage of powerful lead magnets that will motivate visitors into subscribing to your mailing list?
Then, think about your mid funnel.
What kind of offers will you create that will help you further connect with your audience? How can you demonstrate your commitment to fulfilling your brand promise?
And finally, how can you continue to provide value while starting to inform your audience about your core offer?
Next, spend some time working on the bottom of your sales funnel. This is where you’ll make the most money. Consider different products, courses and services you could offer that will appeal to your audience based on the intel you’ve gathered during your mid funnel.
Work in cross-sells whenever possible so that you’re actively promoting relevant products that will appeal to your audience. Study successful sales funnels from your competitor’s and always be on the lookout for ways you can expand your own funnel.
And above all else, stay consistent! You should focus on consistently improving your funnel by adding additional content that nurtures a relationship with your customer base.
Don’t forget to re-engage leads who may have reached the end of your funnel but have failed to respond to your offers. A lot of the traffic that enters your funnel may not convert, but if you spend time reconnecting with that audience you’ll likely win them over.