By the end of this section, you’ll understand sales funnels. It’s a term you’ve probably heard all over the place. If you’re not already familiar with what they are, we’re going to enlighten you.
The steps we’ll go through so you can understand how to design highly-converting sales funnels are:
- Knowing their five step structure.
- Knowing why each step helps you and how to leverage them.
- Understanding which parts of the funnel you can automate, and how to set it up.
Everyone with access to your marketing campaign is a prospective customer. So how you make that transition from casual browser to long-term consumer? Securing a purchase is a lengthy process that sometimes requires a lot of persuasion, motivation and incentivization. In some cases, getting an individual to part way with their money takes months of effort, especially if you haven’t got a plan.
However, there is a tried-and-tested model that makes this process a lot easier. This is a sales funnel. It describes a series of steps you can take to bring a customer closer to buying your course.
When it comes to creating your sales funnel, most of the legwork happens at the beginning. This involves creating automated email campaigns, designing landing pages and editing engaging videos.
Once this is all done, you can let the funnel do its magic. It won’t be exactly a case of kicking your feet back and letting the sales roll in, as you will still need to patch test and improve the funnel as you go. That being said, the funnel does have a certain level of autonomy. This means it can function with very little external input.
Its importance should not be underestimated. It is the final affront for guaranteeing your company’s success.
So, this step is the real nitty gritty of the whole process. It’s the creation of all the landing pages and emails that your customer will interact with. It’s also the implementation of the automations that will make it all run properly: deliver your products, collect your leads, and nurture your prospects up until the point of conversion.
The whole thing is quite a process, and starting from scratch, can overwhelm and paralyse us before we get started. It’s best to be organized and have an idea of what you’re going to put on your pages, what the content will look and read like, and how the pages should be structured for best conversions results before you dive into it. That’s what this section is for, guiding and organizing you to succeed.
The section will help you, step by step, to understand how to write effective copy and give you your own high performing page templates to work from to take out all the guesswork of page and funnel design.
Please remember, if you get stuck, make sure you let us know at EMAIL ADDRESS.
The Five Step Sales Funnel
Conversion-Centric Funnel Design
The idea behind the five step funnel is that it allows us to stack offers one on top of the other. By adding an order bump, an upsell and a downsell to our funnel, it allows us to increase the value of a client by increasing the amount they can spend between clicking the CTA and landing on the thank you page.
It’s important to note that every offer you make between the sales page and the thank you page must in some way render the initial purchase more complete.
This is where unbundling comes in handy again. Separate the bonuses from your minimum viable offer. They’ll all serve the same desires, needs, aspirations, fears, and frustrations that were hit upon in the sales page, allowing you to stack value through multiple offers in one continuous sales conversation.
Your customer can select the right value tier for their needs which means you can serve more people’s varying needs more effectively. The result is greater MRR.
This way we keep the customer singularly focused on their journey through the funnel and their frame of mind never changes, presenting them with multiple offers while they are still in this state is a great way to capitalize on each time a customer clicks to take action on your initial offer.
Here are the five steps
- Sales page
- Order form (with order bump)
- Offer wall / Thank you page
Five Step Sales Funnel – Walkthrough
Let’s walk through the different steps within the ‘five-step funnel’ and how to design them correctly.
You’ll recall that we have covered sales pages in the previous chapter. The sole purpose of a sales page is to convert casual readers into customers, by convincing them to buy your course.
The sales page itself has a very common structure, consisting of a headline, sub-headline (optional), a list of your course’s features/disadvantages/advantages, as well as any bonuses, offers, conversion stories and calls to action. It’s a very simple of way of sending your online traffic all the way down to the funnel in order to secure a sale.
What a good sales page looks like:
- Includes multiple viewing formats, such as videos, image carousels and interactive widgets.
- Has multiple calls to action in the form of ‘Click Me’ and ‘Buy Now’ buttons.
- An irresistible offer the customer can’t turn down.
- A testimonial wall filled with real customer reviews.
- Empathetic and emotive language.
- An FAQ to address any concerns the reader might have.
- Headline/Subheading addresses the need that your info-product solves.
- Breaks important points up using bullets.
- Implement icons for each individual feature/advantage for easy navigation.
This is probably the simplest section of the sales funnel, and consists of a webpage where the customer fills their details in to purchase a product. It will look something like the image below.
You can get lavish order form templates through Clickfunnels and other funnel software. If you are looking to build it from scratch, however, bear in mind the following things:
- Make the different sections clear and concise. You need the customer to understand which details they are inputting within each box.
- Include an address input element so each customer indirectly becomes a member of your email list. That way you can retarget people who have already taken an explicit interest in your course.
- Make sure the purchase button is a colorful hue in order to grab the consumer’s attention. The best colors to use are green/blue/orange.
- Don’t include too many input elements within the order form as this can frustrate consumers.
Once your customer has made a purchase, it’s now your job to make sure they purchase again. To do this, you need to upsell other info-products within your range. This can be a new course altogether, or ‘add-on content’ that boosts the experience of the purchased product.
The best way to do this is through an upsell page. Here’s some tips on how to create one from scratch.
- Make sure to upsell the correct content. If your customer is looking to purchase a course on affiliate marketing, you might want to upsell a related e-book you’ve written on the same subject. Hint: You may want to incorporate upsells on the order form, so the customer can buy multiple items at once.
- Offer three separate price levels. For example, in web hosting, product ranges are shown to the customer in threes. These tend to be called ‘Basic, Premium and Advanced’ or something to the same effect. This can help the consumer make an informed choice over which info-product is best for them.
- Try to vary the format of your upsells. While you can get customers to upgrade their course during the purchase process, you might want to focus on upselling after the purchase too i.e., giving them a limited time to purchase a bonus part of the course.
- Create a sense of urgency using a countdown timer.
- Accompany each upsold info-product with a helpful product image so the customer can see what they are buying. You might want to give a sneak peek of what they can expect from a certain part of the course.
The purpose of the upsell is to offer a higher-priced upgrade or addons to enhance the value your customer receives. If this doesn’t work, you can always opt for downsells. This involves offering a lower-priced alternative to the product the customer has already purchased.
Here’s how and when to offer a well-timed downsell:
- Downsell when the customer rejects the initial upsell. If they are taken to an upsell page and they click the ‘No Thanks’ button, offer a lower priced alternative.
- Downsells can also be implemented prior to an initial purchase. For example, if a customer is thinking of purchasing an online course, offer a free 7 day trial instead. The trial itself is a downsell.
- Downsells can also come in the form of a subscription plan or a payment bundle. Anything that involves a substantial discount is a downsell.
- Be sincere in the format of your downsells. Don’t be too pushy. If your consumer has already rejected the upsell, it probably won’t respond to similar marketing techniques used in the downsell.
Thank You Page
Simple. Effective. Sincere. Once the client has made a purchase, you need to assure them they have made the right decision. A simple ‘thank you for shopping with us’, will suffice. Don’t try to upsell/downsell on this page, your new purchase should do all the work for you.
Toolbox- Five Step Sales Funnel
Platform link: Clickfunnels
Template: Sales funnel version 1
Template: Sales funnel version 2
Your homepage funnel is where all you miscellaneous pages live that are not part of your sales funnels. This includes things like your About page, legal mentions, FAQs, and general info and access resources that your customers can use to avoid requiring the help of a real person.
Instead of having to create this whole funnel from scratch just use our Clickfunnels templates of two of our best performing funnels, so you can just use the pieces you created in the marketing plan. Just open these links in your browser after having logged into Clickfunnels.
Toolbox – Homepage funnel
Template: Motherfunnel version 1
Template: Motherfunnel version 2
Lead Generation Funnel
This is the funnel your prospects go down, before they become customers. Generally the idea is to drive paid traffic to a squeeze page that offers a free product which should be a type of sample or test product version of your full product. When its use is exhausted, your customer will likely be inclined to buy the full version.
Toolbox – Lead generation funnel
Template: Lead gen funnel version 1
In order for your customers to purchase your product form your order form, there needs to be a product embedded in the page. This “product” will connect all the transaction information to the payment processor and the email sending system, such as price, product name and description, payment methods, connected order bump products and more.
If this product is not in place then there is nothing for your customers to actually buy, just a sales page to read, a form to fill out but nothing after. The point is to embed the transactional information in your order form so that it can all be transferred when the user clicks “submit” and the product can be sent to your client and their money can be sent to your account.
Toolbox: Digital products
Platform link: Stripe
If you don’t have a payment processor for credit cards, we suggest starting with stripe, setting up an account is quick and painless
Video: – Clickfunnels 5 Step 4 products
Great – you know much more about sales funnels than you did this morning. Are you ready to find out how to make the process automatic so you can free up some time?
Automation involves creating email sequences that fire when certain events occur such as a purchase, or an opt-in. Why do we need it?
The purpose of automation in marketing is to ensure everything runs smoothly. When done manually, things can get a little tricky. Spinning too many plates is not sustainable in the long run, and will often lead to poor results. Automation takes some of that weight off your shoulders so you can invest your time in more important things. Its less of a luxury, more of a necessity.
- Reduces staffing costs. This saves you money that would normally be invested in freelancers and online designers.
- Gives you free time to invest in more important parts of your business, such as creating more courses.
- Studies have shown that companies which use automated sales funnels log higher revenue than companies that do everything manually.
- Very flexible and transparent. If you aren’t getting the results you would like by doing something manually, it’s very hard to troubleshoot and create a solution. When everything is automated, the problems become far more apparent. Automation also allows you to do A/B testing easily, so you can upgrade your funnel over time.
- It requires a lot less effort. Doing the same thing over and over again can be monotonous and draining. By cutting the repetitive parts, you have more energy to let your creativity flow.
To automate, we create different email lists to automatically sort different customers that perform different actions in the funnel.
The jargon surrounding email automation can sometimes be confusing so let us explain plainly what the components of an automation are.
Automations are made up of lists, events, tags, email sequences (follow-up funnel), and workflow conditions. Keep in mind that some systems may define an “automation” as a workflow condition whereas others define it as the whole series of automated operations from the starting event all the way to the last part of the automation series. A system like Clickfunnels uses the former, and a system with a visual representation model like ActiveCampaign uses the latter.
Lists are broad categories of customers
Tags are ways to organize customers more precisely between and within lists.
Events are the triggers of automations, when an event /action takes place an automation begins. An event can be when a customer is added to a list, removed from one, or when a tag is added, etc… The limitations of what can be considered an event depends on the email automation software you’re using.
Email sequences (follow-up funnel) are the series of emails that fire over the course of an automation.
Workflow conditions describe operations that the automation will execute. They operate on simple logic gates that do certain things either absolutely, or based on some condition or another.
They allow you to say when you want the next step in the automation to occur and based on what conditions. Even how to proceed if the conditions are not met.
Another way to think of these are as being the operations and the rest of the automation components are the variables in a big logical equation.
What else can we automate in a sales funnel?
- Sign up forms
- Email autoresponders
- Scheduling software
- Social media platform posters
- Social media interaction software
- Customized funnels and popups
Segmenting your lists into useful categories is the most fundamental part of automation. You want customers who interact differently with your content and offerings to be treated differently based on the actions they take.
Segmentation of lists is what permits clients to have their orders fulfilled, for nurturing sequences to be automated broadcast to reach the desired targets without spamming those who would not be interested in your promotions and offers, either because they already bought the product or are for some other reason no longer an appropriate audience for it. The three most important actions to track are the following :
- Lead gen-optin
- Abandon cart
These are the three ways people will end up on your lists. A lead-gen opt-in means someone has given you their email in exchange for the free component of the product.
Purchase means they left their email when purchasing the product.
Abandon cart means they put their email in the checkout but abandoned the checkout page before completing the purchase, these are people who were clearly interested enough to put in their email but were stopped at the last minute for whatever reason.
Toolbox – Email lists
Template: Necessary email lists for automation
Create the following lists to properly segment your lists and broadcast automated emails to them:
- Master Contact list
- Lead gen (Name of your free product) Opt-in list
- (Name of your main product) buyers list
- (Name of your main product) order bump buyers list
- (Name of your main product) Upsell buyers list
- (Name of your main product) Downsell buyers list
- (Name of your main product) abandon list
NOTE : There should only be one master contact list. There can be multiple lead gen lists of every different lead gen product you offer. And every new main product you create must have It’s own set of buyers, orderbumb, upsell, downsell, and abandon lists.
List Segmentation Walkthrough
As with any marketing practice, specification is key. Everybody is different; and will find different marketing techniques engaging. The same applies to emails. You can’t expect to maximize your results using one single email. Instead, you need to tailor them depending on the type of client you are dealing with.
Breaking up your email list into groups with common interests is known as email segmentation. Let’s take a look at how you can do this.
Step One: Work out the basic differentiating factors for your email list. We would advise you keep them broad, so you don’t end up with too many groups. Write down what makes each of your customers different from the other. What are some common interests they share?
- The response with your emails. Who is opening every email you send, and who’s completely ignoring them?
- What product are you promoting to them? This only applies if you are promoting more than one product.
- What types of emails do they engage best with? Exciting? Eye-grabbing? Professional? Informal?
- How much are they spending on your services?
- What are their demographics? Where do they live? How old are they? What is their gender and age?
- Are they a new buyer or a frequent buyer?
Step Two: Of all the different factors you can think of, pick either one or two to make your final groupings. Choosing too many can make things complicated. You will know you have segmented correctly if each grouping requires a completely different type of email.
As with the image above, its best to start out with around 4 different groupings, although you can opt for more once you’re comfortable with automation processes.
Notice how each grouping results in a completely different tone of email? For example, group one will be addressing their low engagement, whilst keeping uplifting and inspirational, as this is the tone they engage best with. The same applies for group two, but the tone is far more formal and eloquent. If you notice the emails you are writing to each group look very similar, you might want to think about segmenting again.
Step Three: Decide the email chains you are going to write for each group. As we mentioned before, each chain should be noticeably different from each other. For example, emails to one grouping might have a formal tone and are sent at 9AM BST, as this includes elderly customers from Great Britain, whilst another email might be upbeat and sent at 11AM PT, tailoring to the young American consumers in your list.
Recommendation: If you are struggling to segment your list, we would recommend grouping your list by how far they are down the sales funnel. Some customers will just have signed up to your email list, whilst others will be frequent buyers of your info-products (if you’ve produced more than one course). As such, the emails they want to see from you will be vastly different, so you should segment accordingly.
Automate Lead Generation
One of the most important automated sequences to implement to continue growing your contact list and is the lead gen nurture sequence. This sequence is a series of emails sent periodically after the client has exchanged their email address for the lead generating free product.
If this sequence is automated, it means you can save time reaching out to your leads because the Email sequence will nurture your client’s interest in the product by offering even more interesting information than what was offered in the free component. It is essentially reminding them that they are interested, why they’re interested, and that they got so much value from taking action last time that they should consider taking further action.
We can even go as far as to offer them the initial incentive of a coupon code to give them a substantial discount.
Toolbox – Lead gen Nurture sequence
Template: Lead gen nurture emails version 1
Template: Lead gen nurture emails version 2
The Whole Automation
It is useful to have an understanding of how the whole automation works for your entire marketing funnel. That way you know what the flow of traffic looks like through that funnel. If you understand the whole automation you’ll have a better idea of where you are sending traffic and where that traffic is going to allow you to tailor your customer experience.
Toolbox – Automation diagrams
Automations can definitely be confusing, and it’s easy to go off automating all kinds of this that aren’t quite necessary for the foundations of your business. In fact, to ensure we generate leads and the monthly recurring revenue we need, we only need something as simple as the following :
Diagrams : Clickfunnels automation
- Why you need a sales funnel.
- The five step structure of a sales funnel – we looked at each step in detail and how to leverage them all.
- Home page funnels and lead generation funnels
- How automating parts of your sales funnel can free up time for you to spend on growing your business even more.
- Which parts of the funnel you can automate:
- Sign up forms
- Email autoresponders
- Scheduling software
- Social media platform posters
- Social media interaction software
- Customized funnels and popups
- How to set up automation
Congratulations on completing this section!
You’ve now completed 2 of 5 chapters, and you’ve come a long way on your journey to success.