The Funnel Hacking Playbook: What Every Marketer Needs To Know To Build Sales Funnels That Convert
If you are an online marketer or entrepreneur in a specific niche, you need to know the vital skill of funnel hacking. If you are building sales funnels, landing pages, paid traffic, etc...you know that building a successful funnel is very difficult. I use Clickfunnels to build all of my sales funnels the following is no exception.
That's where funnel hacking comes in. I used the below playbook on a high ticket coaching funnel that I launched recently that earned me 5-figures in 4 weeks. I explain that funnel here if you are interested in "hacking" me:).
If you're reading this wondering what funnel hacking actually is, here's my definition to clear things up:
"The act of discovering each step of a competitors's sales funnel by experiencing if for yourself. Then, you deploy your own version of it for yourself since the competition has already proven the concept. This shortens the learning curve and accelerates your results."
Dotcom Secrets, my favorite set of funnel hacks, tricks and strategies for any marketer.
Why Funnel Hacking Is A MUST Skill For You To Acquire
When it comes to "fast" success with online business, it is not impossible if you learn to funnel hack. Another word for funnel hacking is reverse engineering.
Reverse engineering a competitor who is already generating revenue with a successful sales funnel is one of the fastest ways to grow your online business. In an online business, this can include anything from landing pages, email sequences, ad copy, split testing upsells, and much more.
STOP. BEFORE YOU READ THE REST OF THIS FUNNEL HACKING POST: You need to register for this training below. The best funnel hacker alive walks you through how he does it...I learned what I know from him. Click below and register.
One of the slowest, agonizing processes is testing your sales funnel blindly. It is common knowledge that split testing is one of the best ways to grow your business fast. When you don't funnel hack, when you don't reverse engineer, you are basically starting without a "control" variable to compare against. Funnel hacking relieves that. You immediately have a control to build off of instead of flying blind(and wasting tons of money and time testing from scratch).
(The Below Video Is My "Funnel Hacks" Summary From My House...Skip It If You'd Rather Read...)
Where You Should Start With Funnel Hacking
The Funnel Hacking Playbook will commence below. Many of my colleagues in the online marketing community may choose to start differently, so the below is simply a popular approach that I use.
"Funnel Hacks are the single greatest marketing tool available to all skill and experience levels."
Funnel Hacking Step #1: Create A List of Competitors In Your Niche
Break out Evernote, your moleskin or that good ole fashion sticky note and write down every competitor you can think of in your market. Think through the "top of mind" competitors and any that you think are marginal competitors.
This list is going to be your home base. These competitors have models that are working now that you can hack. Even if you think they aren't relevant, write them down any way.
Funnel Hacking Step #2: Take Screenshots Every Step of The Way
Download a good screenshot software so you can "spy" every web page, or funnel step, your competitors have. I prefer Skitch by Evernote.
Capture images of everything, no matter how normal it seems.
Here are some common things you want to make sure you screenshot and save into an organized folder:
- Ad Creatives
- Landing Pages (Front End of Funnel)
- Landing Pages (Back End of Funnel)
- Display Ads
Now that you’ve taken the screenshots of every web page you can get in front of, it's time to assess what you've been capturing.
You are going to create now a "Funnel Playbook". This is a bucket of notes that you will refer to over and over again. This is your encyclopedia from this point on. You will build layers and layers of funnel genius into your Playbook.
I use Evernote exclusively for my Funnel Playbook.
This is where you'll put all your notes, screenshots and personal evaluations for your funnel hacking strategy.
Now, in your Funnel Playbook, you'll want to ask some consistent questions as you hack your way through funnel genius.
Here are some that will help you get rolling:
- Do you see consistent headline structures used in their copywriting?
- What color schemes are being used?
- Where are the buttons and calls to action located? Above the fold or below?
- Are they leveraging video or just long form sales copy?
- Are they heavy on benefits or features?
- Do they have success stories?
- Do they have any exit intent pop ups?
- Do they use a fixed header section on their pages?
- What kind of lead capture forms do they have in place?
- Do they have one or two step optins?
- Do they reveal pricing for products or service?
- The list can keep going...
I recommend having several competitor funnels/websites open at one time as you take notes in your playbook. This will quickly give you x-ray vision into what the trends and consistencies are.
You should take special note of every trend you discover and record it in your Funnel Hacking Playbook.
Funnel Hacking Step #3: See The "Deep Web" With X-Ray Vision(or just a couple of free tools)
Now, the image above is a little scarier than it may seem. I simply place this here to illustrate that what you are seeing is actually the smaller fraction of the competitor's actual funnel.
You also need to be able to see the invisible activity, such as where they are driving traffic from and what they are doing to convert the traffic.
Knowing what happens in these stages will help you be profitable, faster.
One tool to help you see with "X-Ray Vision" is Ghostery. This is a fantastic Google Chrome addon that will show you activity from the deep web, or invisible web on every page of your competitor's funnel.
Ghostery will detect trackers, web bugs, pixels and beacons placed on the web by Facebook, Google and the other internet powers that be.
While this tool was created to stay hidden from trackers, it's a great tool to highlight for online marketers looking to see what competitors are deploying in terms of traffic and conversion tactics.
Tool #2 is another Google Chrome Addon called Built With. This tool is a fave of mine because it lets you see what any website is built with, as in the platform.
Once you have these tools installed, you can start asking some key spy questions:
- Are they retargeting their prospects?
- Are they using Adwords, Facebook or other ad platforms?
- Are they using conversion tracking software like ClickFunnels?
- Which extensions, plugins or third party apps are they using to gain customers?
You get the drift. Pile all of this data into your Funnel Hacking Playbook so you can use it in your funnel strategy.
Funnel Hacking Step #4: Buy Your Competitor's Product
Yep! Crazy I know. I can hear you now, "You heretic!", "You fraud!"...
Listen, tools are great, but they can't do everything for you. You need to travel through the competitor funnel and buy their product. This will show you everything. Don't forget to screenshot and track every step of the way. You are buying data in this step. You can't lose, so don't feel like you are wasting money. Having visibility through 100% of their funnel is invaluable.
You are going to dissect their sales funnel so that you have a clear understanding of their funnel anatomy.
Take all of the upsells, downsells, cross sells, etc.
Funnel Hacking Step #5: Re-Construct An Ironclad Sales Funnel
After you go through these four steps, your Funnel Hacking Playbook should be bustling with excellent intelligence on the competition.
Now, it's time for you to take the look/feel, positioning, traffic strategies and conversion tactics and build your sales funnel to compete in the market or niche of your choice.
"What do I build my funnel in?", you may ask...
If you're an action taker and you know exactly who you are going to funnel hack, you really need to start a ClickFunnels account now.
Front End Funnel Hacking
Only start hacking 2-3 funnels at once as long as they are similar.
Remember, if you are funnel hacking home pages or landing pages, you don't have to be EXACTLY the same from a graphic design perspective. ClickFunnels offers great tutorials for building and designing landing pages with their special Page Editor.
This is when your Funnel Hacking Playbook, chalked full of screenshots, will come in handy.
There are other elements to keep in mind when re-constructing a funnel:
- Adding Tracking Codes
- Videos/Video Sales Letters
- Custom Graphics/Images
If you need extra talent or need to outsource for some of these elements, be sure to access the ClickFunnels Facebook Group or The Dotcom Secrets Facebook Group. There are tons of ninjas and peers in these communities with specialties that you can barter and leverage with.
Funnel Hacking The Upsells and Downsells
You've built your homepage and/or landing pages for the new funnel you're hacking, now its time to go deeper and build out any upsells and downsells which are offered by your competitors.
These offers may be made immediately after an action is taken on their website like filling in a form, taking a survey, watching a VSL or clicking a button.
Funnel Hacking The Back End of The Funnel
Here you'll find the most challenging part of the process for funnel hacking.
The back end is not only where the majority of the profit is generated, but it’s also very difficult to uncover exactly what’s going on.
Every business will have a different back end product to ascend their clients from their front end offers into a more premium product (Russell Brunson's book, Dotcom Secrets, goes deeper on this. You can get a free copy here).
So the question is, how do you take notes and realize what’s happening with the back end? What actions do you need to take to be able to get the inside scoop.
Smart marketers have follow up email sequences to push leads closer to backend conversions. This is where you start taking notes again and watch intimately what the competitor does in the inbox.
This will give you the navigational signals necessary to find your way through an excellent backend funnel hack.
I suggest you create an email swipe file where you can save and replicate emails your competitors send.
There are several types of funnels out there. Below, I'm going to provide a graphic with 6 sales funnels and their definitions.
Whether you are funnel hacking a sales funnel, a webinar funnel, a high ticket funnel, a fish bowl funnel, etc...be sure to go as deep into the funnel as you possibly can.
Also, remember that funnel hacking is not copying your competitor's content. You are replicating the structure and customer pathway. You are replicating traffic strategies and conversion techniques. You ARE NOT ripping off their product, logo, brand, etc and claiming it as your own.
That's bozo work.
Disclaimer: I am an affiliate of Click Funnels and will get paid a commission if you choose to start an account by using one of my links in this post...at no additional cost to you. Plus, if you do use my links I will share with you ALL of my Bonus trainings and tools(see below). This includes 23 sales funnels plus tons of advanced traffic training. Clickfunnels has what are called "Share Links" that you can literally click on and import/clone my funnels into your ClickFunnles account. Sound crazy? Try me. Simply email me once you've started an account at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'll deliver.
My Clickfunnels Bonuses Include:
- My Clickfunnels Basic training course
- 23 Pre-Built Sales Funnels that you can import directly into your Clickfunnels account.
- How To Rank Youtube Video Fast - Mini Course
- Access to a 100 Day Social Media/Affiliate Marketing Bootcamp
- Unlimited email support so I can help you with your sales funnel that you build with Clickfunnels
- Training on how to set up custom domains for free inside your Clickfunnels Account
- My roadmap to email marketing course
- My funnel hacking playbook so you can mimic what other successful online entrepreneurs do with their sales funnels
- 1 Free Copy of Russell Brunson's book, DotCom Secrets
- Free Training Video On How To Increase Sales By 150% with ClickFunnels