If you’re new to marketing, you might’ve heard the term “Sales Funnel” tossed around a LOT. You’ve might’ve even heard people tell you why you need a sales funnel, or tell you why you don’t need a sales funnel…
But your first question is actually:
WHAT IS A SALES FUNNEL, DUDE?
Trust me, I’ve been there, and while it’s actually a really simple concept, it becomes less simple because sometimes sales funnels can look very different from one another based on an individual business’s goals.
However, the basic elements of a sales funnel are pretty consistent, and I’m going to share a sales funnel tutorial-ish thing to help you get a better idea of how to create a sales funnel of your own.
Alright, let’s get started!
What Is A Sales Funnel?
For a long time I was a bit confused on what a sale’s funnel was, and while I understood the premise, I struggled to understand it well enough to put into practice. I’m hoping this section will save you some of that confusion and overwhelm.
When you think of a marketing funnel, you need to think of an actual funnel. Envision how it’s super wide at the top, and then gets smaller and smaller until it reaches the bottom of the funnel.
It’s all about leading prospects on a journey from the start of your funnel to the end. What funnels accomplish is basically weeding out uninterested people until all you’re left with are piping hot leads that are ready to invest for your big offer.
The information I’m sharing with you today is very basic (but fundamental) because sales funnels can be as simple or as complex as you want them to be. I just want to give you the basic elements of a sales funnel so that you have a starting point. There are… TONS of incredible sales funnels out there, and I’ll link to some helpful videos at the end that I think will help you.
What Are The Components Of A Sales Funnel?
Sales funnels are very flexible, you just have to remember that a funnel is like a treasure hunt for prospects. Each new step into the funnel that they take brings them closer to the ultimate prize (your offer).
Here are the elements that most funnels have…
Exposure/Traffic/Visibility | AKA: How People Enter Your Funnel
The first step of your funnel is all about visibility. Many people do this using FB Ads, Blogs, YouTube videos, guest starring on someone else’s platform, etc.
The main goal is to draw the attention of your ideal customer, and compel them to move deeper into your funnel by following whatever link you’re sharing.
Lead Gen | AKA: Giving To Get
Lead Magnets (AKA Freebies) are any type of useful content you provide your new lead in exchange for their email address (some funnels are just about building leads). A Lead Magnet can be a plethora of things, but here are a few popular examples:
- A Checklist
- A Webinar Link
- An Invitation To A Private FB Group
- A Guidebook
As long as it’s relevant to your ideal audience, and provides them with something useful, that’s all that matters. Lead Magnets build trust in your budding relationship with cold leads.
They don’t need to be complicated, but they do need to be high-quality and valuable.
Nurture | AKA: Acknowledging Problems & Providing Solutions
Nurturing is really when the funnel starts playing hardball. Folks often focus their nurturing efforts using carefully crafted (automated) email sequences that guide the customer on a short but customized journey.
The journey involves: identifying the problems that they have, and how your offer (the point of your funnel) is the solution.
If you’ve done adequate research into your audience’s pain points and struggles, this will be easier. As always, preliminary research saves a lot of time and headaches later.
Tripwire [Optional] | AKA: Building Trust
While I only wanted to cover the basic steps in a funnel, I DID happen to learn about a technique called “Tripwires”, which I thought might be worth mentioning.
It’s not as bad as it sounds, and I honestly hate that they call it that.
Providing your “funneled” with a Tripwire is when you veer off of your funnel path (after your Lead Gen/Opt-In Lander, but prior to the Nurture step) in order to offer your customer something super valuable at a very low cost.
Tripwire (AKA a Loss Leader in grocery retail jargon): is something that you offer for cheap (less than the cost of the actual product’s worth) to build trust with your (now) warm leads. This will give them a chance to see the value in your paid-for products on their own, as well as help you make up ad cost!
Here’s a cute little infographic I made to demonstrate what your funnel (with a Tripwire included) might look like.
See, not so evil! 🙂
Offer | AKA: Making The Sale
The final(ish) step in a Sales Funnel is actually making your offer. This is where all of your hard work and dedication will pay off. You’ve invested time and heart into getting to know your customers, identifying their problems, providing them with valuable and relevant content, and nurturing them more intimately with emails…
So once they reach the last step in your funnel, you know these are smokin’ hot leads who trust you, have a relationship with you, and know that your offer will help them tackle their goals (relevant to your particular industry).
Your Sale’s Page will have all of the information your customers need to know about your product/service. It’ll provide them with features and benefits, testimonials (if you have them), and address customer concerns.
You can even help them identify who your product/service is for, and who it ISN’T for. This is your big chance- so your Sale’s Page copy should be carefully thought out.
Upsell | AKA: Bonus Offer
I guess you could say an Upsell is… sort’ve optional if you REALLY have nothing else to offer your customers, but it doesn’t hurt to include one if you have the option.
Upselling is much like the Tripwire technique, because instead of taking your customers immediately to the “Thanks for your Purchase” page after they start the checkout process, you instead redirect them to another page with a special offer you’ve created to compliment your main offer.
They can either accept or reject the offer, and will then continue their path to the “thanks for your Purchase” page.
How To Create A Sales Funnel For Beginners: My Basic Sales Funnel Recipe
If you’ve never created a sales funnel at all, and are still feeling a bit overwhelmed by all of the components, I don’t blame you. That’s why I’ve created this tiny little section with a super basic sales funnel outline you can follow to dip your toe in the water.
As I’ve said, sales funnels range vastly in complexity, and you’re only limited by your ambition and resources. So this funnel outline is just a very basic “step-by-step” to help you start building confidence when it comes to funnels.
Please Note: I’m excluding using platforms like YouTube just for those who really wanna have a very basic outline (as YouTube videos will involve the extra step of scriptwriting, filming, editing, etc).
Here’s a pic of that infographic one more time as a visual reference…
Step 1: Social Media Ads [Traffic]
Create a compelling and relevant ad/post for FB/Instagram (or YouTube if you want) as your main entry point into the funnel. If you’re offering something for FREE, don’t be afraid to make that clear. FREE is always worth mentioning.
(kinda like my OWN free All-In-One Blogging Template that you can download here)
Step 2: Opt-In [Lead Gen]
This is where your “Traffic Post” will lead anyone who clicks on it. Your Landing/Opt-In Page doesn’t have to be overly complex, it’s just the page talking a little about your Freebie (Lead Magnet), and how the user will benefit from it (you could even include some testimonials if you have them).
Once someone enters their email, you can either choose to redirect them immediately to a “Welcome” page that’ll let them know they’ll be receiving their Freebie in an email soon…
You insert a Tripwire offer, and THEN have the Tripwire redirect back to the next step in the funnel once the viewer has decided to opt-in (or out) of the tripwire offer.
Again, skip the Tripwire if it adds any overwhelm.
Step 3: Email Sequence [Nurture]
Email Sequences are a series of emails leading toward one specific goal. For a Basic Baby Sales Funnel, you don’t need more than two or three. Here is a 3 (technically 4-ish)-Part Email Sequence For Your Newly Opted-In Customers:
Email 1: “Welcome” Email
Here’s where their free download will be, and you’ll have the chance to welcome them and connect with them. Don’t be afraid to let your personality shine through.
Email 2: “Offer” Email
Here’s where you’ll link to your Sales Page. Keep it personal, make sure you take the time to identify the problems that your lead is facing, and how your offer can help solve them. This doesn’t have to be salesy or slimy. Be yourself and be authentic.
Email 3: “Thank You” Email
The email thanking someone for making their purchase. Provide all of the info they’ll need: login, links, receipts, etc.
Email 4: “Abandoned Cart” Email
You can create an Abandoned Cart Email in case someone visits your Sales Page but didn’t make a purchase. This should just be a friendly reminder- you could even offer a “bonus” or a coupon if you want.
Note About Email: Remember that all of this stuff is going to be automated for the most part, so you don’t have to worry about sending an email sequence every single time someone enters your funnel, once you set up your funnel, it’ll run automatically.
Second Note About Email: ALWAYS PROVIDE SUBSCRIBERS THE CHANCE TO OPT-OUT OF YOUR SALES SEQUENCE. I know it feels counter-intuitive, but remember that a sales funnel is all about targeting the people who are most likely to buy from you. If they opt-out, you most likely weren’t going to make a sale anyway. Don’t feel bad.
Step 4: Sales Page [Offer]
Here’s the big boy of it all. Your Sales Page is pretty self-explanatory. This is where you’ll make your pitch (as explained above)
Step 5: Bonus Offer Page [Upsell]
If you want to create a bonus offer/upsell opportunity, inject it here.
Thank You Page [The End]
This page will have copy thanking your customer for making their purchase, and it will inform them that they’ll be receiving an email with their receipt/necessary info shortly (or whatever happens next based on your business)
How To Create A Sales Funnel Tips
Here are my personal recommendations about how to make your first sales funnel easier and less stressful.
- Create A Folder In Google Drive/OneDrive (whatever you use) where you’ll store absolutely EVERYTHING pertaining to your funnel. Organization is KEY to succeeding in any project, but especially a sales funnel.
- Create a Word Document With Each Step of Your Sales Funnel Broken Down Into Sections. To help save you a little time…
- Choose An Email Marketing Provider to help with automation and building your funnel. Examples: MailChimp, ConvertKit, ClickFunnel, etc.
- Get Clear On Your Ideal Customer so that you can create copy and visuals that will catch their eye and show up when they’re browsing the internet.
- Create A Trello Board to help you keep track of everything you need to do as far as your sales funnel. You can create boards for every stage and cards for every component. Trello is a wonderful productivity app because it’s so visual and easy to use.
- Ask For Help from professionals. Listen, this stuff isn’t easy, so if you can afford to invest in professional help, then just do it. You’re running a business, and building a sales funnel will take time and energy. Don’t be afraid to unload some of the burden from your shoulders.
I hope that this guide has helped demystify sales funnels and made them feel far more achievable. You can absolutely create an amazing sales funnel, and it doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg.
Nor must it cost you your sanity either. Just take it one step at a time, and remember to put yourself in your customers shoes. As long as you stay authentic to yourself and offer an honest and valuable product… you’ve got nothing to worry about!
Feel free to use the form below to sign up for my email list, I love writing Nurture emails and I’ll share tips and stuff there if you’re interested! 🙂
Here are the links to videos I think will be helpful (like I mentioned an eternity ago, lol)
All of these videos are super helpful and easy to follow! So you’ll def enjoy them.
Lastly, here are some articles I’ve written that might be helpful if you’ve enjoyed this one!
Obviously, the best idea is to just make sure you’re subscribed so that you never miss a post!
I’m always sharing tip-filled blogs that help folks feel confident with marketing, and avoid unnecessary stress! Hope to have you as part of the KBK community.
Thanks for checking out my post, and I send you all of the most fabulous funnel vibes possible!