Everyone’s talking about sales funnels — but are they doing more harm than good?
Sales funnels are the ‘new’ rave in marketing, but the truth is, they’ve been around for ages.
Why are so many people talking about them right now?
It doesn’t matter if you have an online business selling digital products, or an offline company selling a service. Having a high converting sales funnel will completely change your business.
New clients and customers don’t just flock to you and your business, even if you have a good product.
Instead, they have to be aware that your product solves a problem they currently have and then prove to them you can help.
In rare cases, a business has sensational copy and laser-focused targeting so some new leads buy as soon as they enter their sales funnel, but it’s important to remember things don’t always work out this way.
Instead, the majority of your customers will come months after a person has entered your sales funnel.
Having a simple sales funnel outline is the most critical step and the one I will show you how to do today.
After you acquire a new lead with your sales funnel, you’re able to build trust, deliver value, and nurture that relationship.
Crawl Before You Sprint
Your sales funnel is how you’re going to bring customers into your world and ascend them through your value ladder.
The problem most entrepreneurs have is trying to dive too deep down the marketing habit hole. As a result, they end up confused and eager to quit.
The goal of the simple sales funnel is to avoid burnout for both your business and your potential customers.
The term ‘value-ladder’ is popular amongst marketers but often misunderstood in business.
The concept is simple.
Include various products/services at different price points so you can ascend leads based on the value or level of service they’re looking for.
This doesn’t always mean more information.
The higher in the value-ladder you get, the more time and access becomes the most crucial factor.
In most cases having a done-for-you service or exclusive access to a coach or mentor is at the top of a value ladder.
Your value-ladder must have different tiers which start with a free offer and ascend in price as value increases.
Remember, ‘value’ is determined by what your customers believe to be most important to solving their problem.
Today I’m going to break down the simple sales funnel every business needs to have if they want to grow, scale, and be successful.
Breakdown of a Simple Sales Funnel
A simple sales funnel is an automatic and repeatable way to nurture leads into clients.
Although this article isn’t packed with ninja hacks most marketers rave about; these fundamentals will increase revenue for your business and your quality of life.
In this section, I’m going to explain each of the following steps involved in the simple sales funnel and how you can put it into place in your business:
1. Referral source
2. Lead capture (non intimidating free offer)
3. Thank you and a one-time irresistible offer
4. Upsells and downsells
5. Follow up**
A Referral Source
You can have the best funnel in the world, but if you’re not directing people to a good offer, there is no way you can get leads and make sales.
That’s why your referral source is one of the most important aspects of your sales funnel.
With Instagram, you’re now able to drive traffic to your sales funnel faster and easier than ever. Your referral source can be from Facebook ads, Google Adwords, speaking engagements, guest blog posts, podcast appearances, joint venture partnerships, and my personal favorite, Instagram.
You’ll be referring people to your lead capture page, which is the first page in your funnel.
Non Intimidating Lead Capture
The goal for this page is to offer something that is going to solve a significant problem the reader has.
Ideally, this will solve a burning problem they have. Your free offer should be related to the paid offer you’re going to be making on the thank you page or early on in your follow up.
For example: If Jack wants to start a blog, you’re not going to get him a ‘1-page cheat sheet to getting this blog up and running in less than 1 hour’ and then offer him a health and fitness coaching service.
It’s also essential for this page to have a congruent message from your referral source. An easy way to do this is to use the same or similar headline which you used in your referral.
I put together a high converting funnel you can use to drive leads to. All you have to do is go here to download it for free.
Thank You Page & One Time Offer
After someone raises their hand and says ‘Yes’ I want this non-intimidating free offer, they will go to the Thank You page.
The Thank You page gives them clear directions about what the next steps are and delivers the free offer to them.
This might be an exclusive training video they watch on this page, a document sent via email, or in some cases physical mail.
Either way, the Thank You page will tell them exactly what to do next. In this case, you are going to offer this new lead a one-time offer that is so irresistible they don’t want to say no.
Often, this is a HUGE discount on a core product or service of yours.
The key is to make your one-time offer valuable and include both urgency and scarcity, so the new leads want to take action on the spot.
Again, this offer should be an extension to the free offer they joined for.
In Jack’s case of the blog cheat-sheet, this may be a video course walking him through every step of the process so he can follow along.
Next, you’ll have upsells and downsells in your funnel.
Upsells And Downsells
Your upsells and downsells are offers that your new customer might be interested in based on what they already signed up for.
They could be limited-time bonuses on services, joint-venture products, affiliate offers, etc.
In some cases, these offers aren’t directly related to your lead magnet and first irresistible offer.
The Follow Up
The most important part of your funnel is the follow up.
Your follow up actually starts as soon as the lead enters their information for your lead magnet but it’s last because the support is ongoing.
There can be hundreds of reasons why a lead didn’t buy the first offer you made.
Most of the time it’s because they didn’t know, like, or trust you enough to make a buying decision right off the bat which is normal.
Keep in mind most of your revenue will come from providing value over time.
When you do this, you’ll overcome their objections. When they’re ready to buy, you will be the first and most logical solution because you’ve become their go-to expert.
Remember, this process starts as soon as your reader turns into a lead by getting your free offer and then continues from there.
When new subscribers enter your funnel by taking advantage of your free front end offers, an email autoresponder starts.
An effective email autoresponder indoctrinates your new subscribers. It tells the new lead about your company, what you’re about, and how you can help them solve their problems.
Common Sales Funnel Mistakes
Here’s how to avoid common mistakes entrepreneurs make when getting their sales funnels built.
Mistake #1. Irrelevant and Subpar Offers
You used to be able to slap up a landing page with an average offer, drive traffic to it, and get loads of leads and sales. But it doesn’t work like that anymore.
The marketplace is saturated. Entrepreneurship is booming, and the resources to build an online business are everywhere.
Customers are more sophisticated and are numb to generic marketing messages thanks to the thousands of marketing campaigns shoved in their face every day.
So how do you stand out?
Be relevant, helpful, and give people a specific offer that’s going to add value by solving a problem.
Mistake #2. Getting To Complicated
Don’t make this more complicated than it needs to be to start.
If you don’t have profitable sales funnel in place, avoid diving into complicated ninja-hacks and automation.
On a similar note, if you’re getting 10 visitors to your funnel a week you need to focus on getting more traffic.
The simple sales funnel is the perfect place to start because it can quickly help you scale your business.
Mistake #3. Improper testing
Do NOT test two entirely different funnels against each other.
While this might seem like a good idea, it’s ineffective because you have no idea what the tipping point was.
Instead, test something specific that is easy to measure. This can be something like your headline, price, offer, hook, button colors, the copy of your call to action buttons, etc.
When you change more than one variable at a time, you lose the ability to pinpoint what caused the increase or decrease in conversions.
Since you’re only testing things you think will have the most significant impact, you’re not to make uneducated guesses to your funnel for fun.
Mistake #4. Lack of Congruency
One of the biggest mistakes I see people make with their sales funnels is their message.
The emotions their copy gives off are not consistent or congruent.
Here’s an example I see too often.
Instagram ads, where marketers try to trick readers into clicking on the ad with a headline completely unrelated to the offer on the landing page.
This creates a disconnect when the reader clicks through, and they leave without signing up.
Not only is it unethical but it costs you sales and advertising costs.
Instead, qualify readers by making it clear who and what type of person this offer is for and who the offer is NOT for.
As you can see, having a simple sales funnel like the one I’ve outlined in this article is important to all businesses.
On top of that, it’s important to note that the money is in the follow-up, not the first offer.
That’s why so many marketers are happy to lose a few dollars on a free book funnel.
They give a book away free, and the customers just pay to ship because they know a certain percentage of new leads buy the upsells.
For example, let’s say you lose $5 on every free book you ship but convert 1/10 of new subscribers on your $49 product up-sell. You just made $44.
What if you had better copy, optimized your funnel, and converted 3/10 new subscribers at a higher average customer value?
Combine this with the ability to drive mass amounts of high qualified leads through Instagram, and you have a recipe for success.
Now it’s your turn.
First, go here to download a free funnel that I’ve put together for you.
Then, create an irresistible offer that solves a massive problem your customer has. Be sure to make your messages congruent and get your funnel up and running so you can test and optimize it.
Finally, use Instagram to drive loads of traffic faster and easier than ever and continue to provide value with the follow-up.
Note: I am an independent ClickFunnels Affiliate, not an employee. I receive referral payments from ClickFunnels. The opinions expressed here are my own and are not official statements of ClickFunnels or its parent company, Etison LLC.