4 Phases To Sales Funnels That Convert: What Is A Sales Funnel and How To Build One
4 Phases To Sales Funnels That Convert: What Is A Sales Funnel and How To Build One
So there you are...building your online business like a busy bee. Hacking and fracking your way to a list building empire. Traffic mechanisms and cost per impressions running out your ears.
Hours of "laptop labor" trying to push the ball further down the field.
Then at the end of the month, you look up and realize that you didn't make enough money with your "business".
You created some revenue. However, you aren't able to ring the freedom bell any time soon.
Been there? Done that? I have and it makes me want to lay in the middle of a busy interstate.
You have a product or idea. Check. You know who needs to buy it. Check.
What the heck is going on then? Why isn't the money rolling in like raging tides?
That why we are entrepreneurs! We got in this for French Revolution stuff. We set up the barricades on the 9 to 5 world and said, just like our friend Gandalf, "YOU. SHALL. NOT. PASS!"
Nope. Leave your boss and corporate grind at the gates of hell where they belong. We're in this to create our own destiny.
Yet, here we are. Month after month it's like trying to sprint up a muddy hill with our profits.
What the hell do we do? How can we proceed toward our dreams of wall street yachts and Tai Lopez lambos?
In all seriousness, how to do we create the gross/net profit necessary to live the dream...
...how do we create predictable results to underwrite what WE want for our families?
You build a sales funnel you crazy animal. A high converting sales funnel that cranks out cash.
"What's a funnel?"...I get that all the time when people ask me what I do for a living. I tell them its a weird item you can find in the gas station and move on.
What the Heck is a Sales Funnel?
The above graphic is a simple way of looking at the four sales funnel phases I'll be covering.
Before I dive in here, it's important to know that everyone has a sales funnel. You may not call it that. That's part of the problem.
You see, a sales funnel a the journey...
- Human eyeball sees your "stuff" on Facebook, Twitter, email or website somewhere. We call this an impression.
- Impression turns into a click because they want to go a little deeper and discover what value you bring.
- They keep clicking.
- They buy something or they don't.
- They just experienced your sales funnel.
There are LOTS of funnels out there. Lots of different "structures".
I've got a pretty strong opinion on what your funnel structure should be, based on my experience.
I have my own 7-figure business. I've been in masterminds with many successful business owners who have sales funnels.
"Far and away, the simple funnels make the most money."
Here's the simple sales funnel structure you need to wake up with and go to sleep with...simple as A.B.C. :
Build The List
I'm going to fill in the gaps and get you closer to the pin...don't worry.
But, before you go running into the OK Corral with guns ablazin'...
...always remember that this sales funnel framework will be what you need to cling to.
Attract Traffic. Build The List. Convert Sales. Rinse. Repeat.
Know Thy Sales Funnel Purpose - How To Reverse Engineer Your Sales Funnel To Ensure Success
Before you start building, you need to know what your sales funnel should be about in the first place.
One of the worst feelings in the world is spending hours on a sales funnel only to find that it doesn't convert.
You can build a gorgeous sales funnel, but miss the mark on what the customer actually wants. This is what's called having a "marketing slot machine". I'll touch on this more in a moment.
Good news is that you can funnel hack your way to freedom and clarity. What's funnel hacking? I wrote a detailed post here sometime back. Russell Brunson also walks you through funnel hacking on his webinar here.
In short, you need to reverse engineer what is already working. Model the masters.
This doesn't mean to copy a competitor. Rather, you need not recreate the wheel.
But you do need to save yourself from yourself...
...what I mean is that often times we think we know what the customer wants.
We rarely do.
You need to survey people. Literally.
Get on the phone with them. Offer them free coaching calls. Whatever you gotta do.
In the last 6 months, my team and I have conducted 3000 phone calls. Those calls have allowed us to reverse engineer offers that now allow us to NOT leave money on the table.
Our sales funnels are FULL of relevant product offers.
By starting with the end in mind, you win. Start with the customer's "bleeding neck pain" and back your way all the way out.
That's where we start with TOF activity.
Sales Funnel Phase #1: Top of Funnel Activity
TOF includes Attracting traffic...or better explained as getting attention.
Attracting traffic is your initial step to a high converting sales funnel. Actually, someone who does it well is Gary Vaynerchuck. He translates it as "attention arbitrage".
Here's a great youtube video he put out on Attention:
You need to disrupt your audience and snap them out of their zombie like brain patterns.
One of my favorite mediums right now is Facebook Advertising. I liken Facebook Ads to the dog that runs out into the interstate highway.
You either hit it...
...swerve around it...or stop and let it get into your car. Regardless, of the outcome, it got your attention.
And EVERYONE is on the Facebook highway.
There are dozens and dozens of attention mediums, like Facebook, where you can animate your Top of Funnel activity.
Some of the core traffic mediums used to disrupt and convert attention might include:
Search Engine Optimization
Email List Marketing
Facebook Messenger Bots
The list goes on and on...
NOTE: You CANNOT scale a profitable business without cold traffic advertising.
That is to say, the world of sales funnels is a pay to play world.
You need to identify the the three "R's" of your sales funnel and put money behind it:
The RIGHT Audience
The RIGHT Medium
The RIGHT Offer
Once you have those three, any of the above listed ad channels can suffice as your Medium. Then scale(volumize) by buying that media with paid ads.
This is how to grow beyond your warm circles of friends, family and peripheral audiences.
Paid "TOF" activity is what allows you to go deeper into your industry market and mine the gold from "them thar hills".
Why? Because the most important asset in your business is your distribution channels. These are what develop AFTER you've proven that you can get leads and customers.
Defining which mediums your audience lives in is half the battle. You have a marketing slot machine until you know what it takes to buy a customer.
PRO TIP: Most (not all) audiences can be targeted via Facebook Ads or Google Ads. Your sales funnel can almost always get fuel from one of these two advertising platforms.
Sales Funnel Phase #1.B - What Do I Show Them?
The RIGHT Audience
The RIGHT Medium
The RIGHT Offer
The sales funnel offer should begin with value you offer to your audience. This is something they will read, watch or consume.
You don't need to go for the sale at first. You need to build TRUST and AUTHORITY in the mind of your prospect.
Sales Funnel Magnets
Warm 'em up! Woo the reader with a blog post. Something that is all about THEM.
Don't try and get their info yet. Let them read something that you reverse engineered around the research that you did. If you did what I said to do above, you'll know EXACTLY what to write.
That content will be the whirlpool you trap them in. Muahahahahaahaha.
It's a tango that you need to dance and it needs to circle around them. It's helpful to them and moves them toward their goal.
ATTACK one of their many problems.
Go deep and be super helpful.
Don't hold back.
Pull the kimono open and let them see how the sausage is made.
Give them the clarity they are so desperate for.
The way you deliver your top of funnel content is up to your comfort level. It doesn't always have to be a blog post. It could be a Facebook Live broadcast...a Youtube Video post...an infographic...any "non-gated" (doesn't require optin) information you can give them will work.
What kind of posts should you offer?
The ones I use the most that get people super fired up are How To Posts, Lists, Case Studies and Success Stories.
After your top of funnel "read magnet" is in place, start thinking of the next layer of value you can deliver. This is where we start pulling people deeper into your sales funnel toward a lead magnet.
One thing to never forget is that your TOF magnets are related to overall reason your sales funnel exists. Congruency is a massive weapon to keep in mind.
Keep this in mind when creating your top of funnel assets.
Then, you'll be linking to your lead magnets inside your TOF material. This is where the magic begins. You'll start converting a percentage of your website traffic into actual leads.
Make sure you graffiti your blog post(or TOF magnet) with your lead magnet link. Your lead magnet could be any of the following:
A recording of a talk you gave
A replay of a workshop you hosted
The key is to provide bite-sized, easy to consume assets that help them cheat time.
Now its time to get TONS of eyeballs on your post.
Here are some ideas for that:
Email your list
Post it on your Facebook page and run an ad with it
Get influencers on social media to share it for you
Do a Facebook Live Broadcast
Guest blog on other popular blogs and get them to link to your post
Bottom line, get people to your TOF so they will click on your link and download your lead magnet.
Then, they are officially in your Sales Funnel.
A Word About Lead Magnets
Check this out about sales funnel lead magnets.
Lots of people are more protective of their email addresses these days.
You gotta deliver true value rather than just giving them the honor of being on your newsletter.
This means you need to build on what they've read in your TOF...
...then take it up a notch.
You’ll want to deliver this all via email.
Want to know how I develop sales funnels with fantastic lead magnets in them?
See what I did there?
This is the funnel in action.
I did the research, I surveyed my audience and produced a lead magnet that I know will help them grow their business.
Then, I sprinkled it all over the top of funnel phase of my sales funnel.
Once they've opted in, they have triggered the rest of the sales funnel.
Now its time to start creating customers...
Sales Funnel Phase #2 - Middle of Funnel
"The first dollar is the hardest dollar to get, the second dollar is the easiest dollar to get."
Not sure who said that, but it's a damn good quote. It happens to pan out to truth more times than not.
That's why the middle of your sales funnel needs to have a low cost, value based offer that you can create customers with.
This offer needs to tie in with your TOF magnets too. This is how we create life long customers with sales funnels.
My middle of funnel offer is my Sales Funnel Madness course.
So far, I've been guiding you through how to structure a high converting sales funnel. The MOF is the halfway point that is super powerful.
You've had a chance to also download the emails I use to convert people in my most successful sales funnels.
If you decide, you'll move further into our sales funnels by opting into the MOF offer...
...Sales Funnel Madness.
This will present you with a one time offer discount of 70% off.
Notice the level of intense congruency this funnel holds. The only topic of business that my TOF and MOF activity have are about sales funnels.
This is the funnel within the funnel. Mind-bending?
Every step of the funnel is important. They each feed each other to keep the prospect moving in the direction you want. That is, to create a customer.
Remember: The first dollar is the hardest to get, the second dollar is the easiest.
So, let's make sure our top of funnel slides fast and sure directly into the introductory offer.
"But wait, why is congruency so important?"
Glad you asked.
If you haven't realized it yet, the human psychology is very distracted. I liken it to Harry Houdini looking for escape hatches.
If you don't have the sales funnel water tight, your traffic will delete the email, close the web browser or forget you altogether.
This will not increase your income. It will only stall out your confidence. That's NOT what you signed up for, so DO WHAT I SAY...CONGRUENCY.
PRO TIP: I use Hotjar.com to record my sales funnel visitors so I can see where they are acting like "Houdini" and disappearing...
MORE PRO TIPS:
Price your MOF offer under $50
Keep the offer 100% congruent with your top of funnel.
The value they receive in your MOF offer should be ten times what they received in your TOF.
Promote this offer on your Thank You page of your lead magnet too.
This is not the offer to get rich on. Rather, this is the offer you create customers with. This gets you to the "second dollar is the easiest to get" phase.
Here are some ideas for your MOF offer:
A tutorial/video course
A customized business plan
Lists of equipment necessary for certain systems
Graphics that are done-for-you
An audio course
Short group coaching calls
Bottom line: you need to drop massive value on the customer. Challenge the way they are doing things. The best way to do that is to show them how you do things successfully.
Now it's time to sell your MOF Offer. Wondering how you might go about that?
Offer it RIGHT after people opt in to your lead magnet. Where might this be?
Your "Thank You Page".
On your thank you page you should have a one time offer. Also known as your OTO.
This page is going to be the value driven one time offer.
Sales Funnel Phase #3: The One Time Offer
After someone opts in for your lead magnet, they will land on a new page. This is your confirmation or Thank You page, as mentioned above.
At the top of the page you should display a headline message that states "Congrats! You're (insert name of lead magnet) is on the way."
From there, proceed to give them another step or deeper level of free content while they wait.
Why do we do this?
We do this because we are still building trust and authority in their minds. The slip-n-slide from the top of the funnel to where we are now in the middle is still happening.
Further down the page, you present your one time offer. Remember, EVERYTHING needs to maintain strong congruency with the top of the funnel.
And to make this bad boy purr like a kitten you HAVE to involve urgency.
This happens through automation and evergreen tactics. Limited availability is one of the strongest sales funnel features.
FOMO (fear of missing out) is one of the strongest psychological forces known to man. By leveraging FOMO properly, you can increase conversion rates.
But don't forget to be adding value all the way. Relate with them.
Matter of fact, I've developed a single page cheatsheet inside this funnel that shows you how to structure your OTO sales page.
Bottom line: To get the sale, you have to get serious about your sales funnel game.
If you're curious, at this point, how to go about doing all this sales funnel building without going crazy...
I've made it lego blocks simple for you inside my Sales Funnel Mastermind Course.
I layout all the "secrets" and identify all the blind spots, so that you don't have to be the crash test dummy.
Nope, you follow my course recipe and you'll be proficient in Sales Funnel ninja tricks.
You get a sales funnel coach without paying 4-figures for the consulting fee.
Pretty cool little opportunity, right?
I think so too.
"But wait...what they don't buy my one time offer?"
Glad you asked. This is absolutely normal.
That's where marketing automation via email comes in. 80% of all sales happens between the 5th and the 12th touch.
True story. Look it up.
Basically, just because they didn't buy it right then and there doesn't mean they won't. Remember, you are in the middle of the funnel still. You're still moving them toward trust and conversion.
And don't worry. You are NOT going to come across pushy, desperate of salesy if you keep making the offer via email.
The congruency, from the TOF till now, is why it will feel normal to your prospects.
If you have the solution, flaunt it, shake it...sell it! That's what a sales funnel is for!
Selling your product or service is an act of meritocracy. It's not a crime or immoral. It would be immoral NOT to sell your product to someone who needs to exchange their currency for your value. Otherwise, they may never reach their potential or solve their problem.
Plus, you can always include more resources and offers that may help them get even further toward their goals.
Now time for Phase #4.
Sales Funnel Phase #4: The Main Product Offer
This is the main show. This is what your TOF and MOF was created for.
Selling your main offer to your customer is your chance to increase:
- Gross Revenue
- Gross Profit
These two things must increase to grow any company or business.
Your sales funnel is the vehicle for your main product offer at the end of the day.
See my Sales Funnel Madness course for a full, step-by-step sales funnel blueprint so you can get your main product offer crankin'.
Your main product offer is your best in show. This is where you drop all the knowledge you can on a single product or service.
Give them your best offer.
What can/should you offer?
An online course
Tickets to your premium live event
A certification program
A monthly membership community (like we do with Screw U)
Group coaching programs
Monthly consulting sessions
A physical product
For me, it's high ticket coaching. Why? Because I enjoy the high gross profit on a singular sale. This provides tons of cash and "oxygen"
So I use the simple 4 phase sales funnel outline to create customers over and over again who pay me 4-figures per transaction.
You can too!
One great strategy is to create sub-topics around your main offer and use them as entry points into your TOF.
Then, reverse engineer sales funnels that lead to your main product offer.
Always start with your main offer in mind. Once you have one TOF entry point that works, repeat that with another sub-topic.
Lead magnets, read magnets, one time offer, main product offer.
Over and over.
Top of funnel, middle of funnel, one time offer, main product offer.
For example, let's say you have a woodworking training program. It teaches people how to create side money with their woodworking hobby.
Let's say it has 10 training modules that customers get over 10 weeks.
You could segment each module and use them as separate TOF entry points.
You could have lead magnets and one time offers built from "Module #2: How To Select The Correct Woodworking Tools".
Another could be how to plan out a woodworking project.
Another could be woodworking projects that sell.
And so on, and so on.
What’s more is anyone can do this!
So how do we go about actually selling the core offer?
There are various funnels that work great. One of the most popular ways is the webinar funnel.
Or you can sell over the phone.
Or you can sell at a live event.
I suggest live webinars. They sell like hotcakes. If you have the right webinar sales script, you can sell to many and have a crazy high conversion rate.
That means crush sales. I suggest Russell Brunson's Perfect Webinar Script. I have closed up to 65% of my webinar attendees using his blueprint.
If you do anything I say in this entire post, get his webinar script.
Or you could send emails.
To a sales page that breaks it all down for them.
Or you could invite them to get on a call with you.
Or you could follow them around Facebook with some heavy retargeting ads.
Test them all and go with what converts best for you!
Sales Funnel Conclusion
If you're still reading and you are completely fired up about creating a kick ass sales funnel, grab my 5 module course now. Sales Funnel Madness was created to show you exactly what to do every step of the way.
Go crush it!