What is a sales funnel?

What is a sales funnel?

by on 25/02/2012

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The term “Sales Funnel” is bandied about a fair bit, and I am sure a lot of people don’t really know exactly what it is. The video below examines the basics of a sales funnel and how it is an essential process to understand if you want to maximise your income online.

Setting up a sales funnel is simple in essence, although it is tricky coordinating the various processes that you have to master. That can include video marketing, copywriting, mastering autoresponders and the best use of popovers.

Also, there are different ways to arrange your funnel things to make your sales higher.

But, having said that, it’s better if you get something up there than agonising over getting every last detail right. As long as you have the basics, that will work to get you started. You can always improve things later.

Also, it’s better to get 3 or 4 basic funnels up there and let the public tell you which ones they like. That way you are more likely to get a winner. Taking forever to complete one funnel and then launching it is too likely to produce a failure – and then you have wasted your time.

Internet marketing really is a numbers game – and sales funnels are no exception: spend your time getting your funnels out there and see which one the market like. Then you know you will be spending your time developing products which will definitely sell.

Following this it’s just a matter a maximising your income by tweaking every part of the sales funnel – your sales process.

Check out the video.

What is a sales funnel – MP3

(Click to play in a new window, or Right click to ‘Save Link As’ or ‘Download’)


What is a Sales Funnel?

Hi there. It’s Malc here.

What I want to look at today is the idea of the sales funnel and just how important that is to your marketing.

The term “sales funnel” is bandied around and I think that a lot of people think: ‘what is that exactly?’

It’s really a sales process, that is called a funnel because the idea of a funnel is you drop people in at the top and then at each level, which is where you get them to part with more and more money, the funnel narrows because some of the people won’t go through to the next level.

So your trick, your aim, is to get as many people through at each different stage of this funnel as possible.

Get them to commit

So the starting point for a funnel is you get people to commit to you in some way and in the past that was by getting them to buy some sort of cheap product. Then you tried to get them to buy more expensive products by sending them emails or doing an upsell on the download page for the cheap product, or whatever method you could come up with. And this was the idea.

Then a lot of marketers, but especially online, and especially in internet marketing, moved across to giving a free product to people because it was just realized it was so much easier to get people into your funnel by giving them a good quality free product.

Then suddenly, all over the internet you could lots of free products which previously had been sold.

Indeed, one thing you can do is create a product which you sell and then when you make a better product later on to replace it, you can give the old product away as a free product. Now a lot of marketers did that.

So you could end up sometimes with a 50, 60, 70 page book being the free product. In that case, it was often just the previous version from two or three years ago, which has now been updated.

Anyway, it doesn’t matter about that. You don’t need a 60 or 70 page book to give away as a free report. It’s really that the value of your free report is in the information it gives.

And if you can give some good quality supported information to a person in five or eight or ten pages, then that would make a good free report.

Quality is key

Your guide needs to be, when the person receives it and they read it, are they going to say, “Wow! This is good quality content.”

That’s what you want to aim for because once they’re into your funnel, you want to get them through to the next stage where they actually pay you for something.

So looking at the top of the funnel, here is the free report level. This is where you pour your prospects in the top of the funnel, so these prospects you may be getting because they visit your website and you tempt them to go for your free report.

You may be paying for that traffic or you may have a website somewhere else and you have a popover on that site and you snag people by offering them your free report, and they sign up to that.

Whatever way they come into your funnel. You can also list your free report on free ebook directories or you can give them away in ‘giveaways’.

I can look at these in more detail later. The basic idea is you get prospects into your funnel one way or another so that they get hold of your free report.

Now it’s a good idea to make that free report in such a way or to try to encourage the people who download to give that away to their friends, because then you’ve got your free report being spread even further afield.

It can then go what they call ‘viral’.

So people give it away to people, who give it away to other people.

Now in that free report, you can have links to a paid report, which typically is a cheapish product just so you can get people to spend some money, and 7 dollars having been widely used in the past is a good place to start, because various people have found that the 7 dollar level is the sort of level that a lot of people just won’t think twice about spending.

You’re liable to get more sales there.

So that’s your 7 dollar sale to a portion of the people who’ve got the free report.

“Segment” Your Signups

Now it’s then good if you can get those people who bought from you onto a second list, onto a separate list at your autoresponder service, Aweber, GetResponse, whatever you are using. (Or simply “tag” them if using Ontraport – a much easier to use, but also pricier, emailing service. ) This is also called “segmenting” your list.

Then you can separate the people who bought nothing from those who bought something.

In your marketing sometimes that a valuable thing to do, to be able to differentiate the two.

So you’ve got your free report, which is going out there which links into the sales page that you’ve created for your cheap report.

And you’re hoping the people who get your free report are going to come and buy your cheap report. Also, when you offer your free report, it’s a good idea that when you send people to the download page for the free report, you at that point upsell them on the paid for report.

So that’s an alternative to when they say yes, I’ll have the free report, you could email that to them.

But why do that when you can send them a download link to what is in effect a sales page? And encourage them to come to your site where you got the download link but at the top of where that download link is, at the top of the page, you’ll be trying to sell them on your paid for product first.

So that’s the plan so far. So now we’ve gone from the free level and we converted as many people as possible onto your paid for level, which might be 7 dollars.

Rinse and Repeat

Then you just repeat the process.

Once this is working, you’re getting a good number of people to your free report, you’re getting a reasonable number to convert to your cheap report, and it’s probably not worth progressing beyond that really, until you have got a good conversion rate there.

If you’re not converting many to your cheap report, you’d best start spending your time improving the conversion from free report to cheap report rather than creating your moderately priced, $47 or $67 product.

So it’s just a question of what order you do things in. And sure enough, if you can produce several free reports and distribute them by the same means, and you don’t have to do that yourself.


You can use the services of Fiverr for example, or SEOClerks – a sllightly upmarket version of Fiverr.

You can get an enormous amount of stuff done at Fiverr for $5, or at SEOClerks for little more.

And you can get them to help you create your free reports for distribution.

So you can make several free reports, get them out there and then see which ones are the most popular.

And the ones that are most popular, then you start creating your products for, or the most popular one, and do that one first.

So don’t do a whole load of work before you even see if your free report is going to be popular. Put a few ideas out there and let the market tell you what they like and then work on that.

I think that’s about it really.

That’s It!

That is the sales funnel process. If you start some sales funnels going, or just start one to begin with.

But if you’re managing to sell a few $7 products, then you’re ahead of the game. You’re ahead of a lot of people because you’re on a passive income here.

As long as the traffic keeps coming to your free product, then you’re selling some of your cheap products and then the idea is just to ramp the whole thing up. And whichever funnel is beginning to shape up and look good, that’s the one you want to make some more products for.

So you can make your cheap report first and then cut it down to make a good quality free report.

Now Add Value

That’s a good way to do it. Say you do your cheap product, which only needs to be maybe fifty pages or so and then produce maybe a good quality ten page free report from that.

You do two in one that way. If that is the report that’s been successful, then think about what you can do to add value to make it worth $47 or $67.

One easy way to do that is to create a few videos to go along with it and then you can have your videos, you can have a transcript, you can make an mp3 from the video.

All that is easy. Once you’ve got one video you can make several different products out of it. You can make iPod version. These things are all easy and quick to do.

Then because of all the added ways you’re giving the person this better product and obviously you made the ebook longer, then you’re going to make it seem more worth it to them or worth more money.

They’re going to pay you more for it.

So that’s a bit of a summary of sales funnels. I hope you get a better idea of it. It’s a crucial thing to understand. It’s been used by marketers for many years. It’s a very successful way to maximize your income.

The dollar figures I’ve given are not written in stone: it’s the principle which is important:

Cheap (or free) –> Upsell to moderately priced product –> Upsell to more expensive product

And when you’ve got eventually, not next week but in a year’s time, then you’ve got two, or three or four funnels going, it’s going to be very easy to see which one has got the potential for more development.

Focus on What’s Working – Spend Your Time There

Spend your time on that and before you know it you’ve got an extra $200, $300, $400, $500 extra a month.

And then you start to look at how you can maybe partner with other people to get them to bring customers into your funnel, share the profits with them and you can quickly potentially boost your earnings nicely.

So I hope that’s clarified about funnels, and I will be talking to you more about them. I’ll give you more teaching about them, writing more about them, and hope you enjoyed it all. Take care now!

What is a sales funnel – More detail. This post talks about different types of sales funnel – from simple to more complex.

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