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What Is A Sales Funnel? The Sales Funnel Explained In Three Simple Steps

Sales funnels. I’m not sure there is a blogging monetisation method that is more effective than a sales funnel, yet so few bloggers have one.

It’s time to fix this by de-mystifying the sales funnel! A blog sales funnel is so powerful and absolutely essential if you want to sell your products. An online sales funnel helps educate your audience, shows them why you are an authority in your area and shows them why your product rocks. They can also work well with affiliate offers as well.

Sales funnels can sound scary but they really aren’t, it’s just about following a process. In this tutorial, you’ll get the sales funnel explained and will learn how to build one in just three simple steps.

Let’s get started!

Get started now with the FREE sales funnel download – the Simple Sales Funnel Success Checklist! Get it here.

What Is A Sales Funnel? The Sales Funnel Explained In Three Simple Steps

You will learn...

  1. What is a sales funnel?
  2. The first step – using lead magnets
  3. The second step – adding a sales sequence
  4. The third step – creating a sales page
  5. Next steps

1. What is a sales funnel?

It would be great if everyone who visited our blog wanted to buy our products, but unfortunately this isn’t the reality.

There are many reasons for this – the audience may know little about you, your brand, your product… they may not even know they have a need for your product.

This is why advertising your product to a cold audience is rarely effective.

And this is why a sales funnel model comes in. People rarely buy a product the first time they see it.

The sales funnel stages work to educate your readers about you and your product and slowly warm them up, building trust, interest and working to funnel out people who aren’t interested in your product, leaving you with people who are.

A typical sales funnel process works by getting visitors from your site to sign up to your email list via a lead magnet.

You then send a series of emails creating interest and engagement though a sales sequence with the aim of getting them to a great sales page which answers all their questions, with the best sales funnel leaving subscribers begging to buy our product!

And the best part about a digital marketing sales funnel is that it can be set up to be automated, bringing you sales day after day.

This is why there’s no substitute to building a sales funnel – they’re just so powerful! 

 

There are many types of sales funnels and there’s no one sales funnel definition as they can be simple or very complex depending on what you are selling, but they all share the goal of getting people to buy.

When it comes to selling products, it’s better to have any sales funnel strategy in place than nothing, so I encourage you to get started no matter what your product may be.

Your sales funnel can grow along the way.

Learning how to build a sales funnel really isn’t hard.

This is how to create a sales funnel system in just 3 steps!

2. The first step – using lead magnets

At the top of the sales funnel, we have our free offer. This first step in the sales funnel design involves giving away something free so that people will subscribe to our email list.

This is known as a lead magnet, and it enables us to capture email addresses and get people into our sales funnel.

Note that there are GDPR regulations that must be followed for collecting email addresses in the EU.

The lead magnet should be something that’s easy to use/consume by our audience while providing value (and ideally leaves them wanting more!).

The lead magnet should also be relevant to the product you sell.

Some examples include a free chapter from an eBook, a checklist or short PDF copy of a post.

For more expensive products which require additional interest and engagement, you could even do a webinar or video challenge series.

You want this lead magnet easy to find so add subscriber boxes everywhere – in text, under posts and in popups.

You’ll also want a page specifically where people can sign up for this lead magnet, known as a landing page. The sales funnel landing page can be simple, but it needs to have a compelling headline and call to action (e.g. click here to subscribe) at a minimum.

You can find an example here.

3. The second step – adding a sales sequence

The next step is where our email marketing and sales funnel combine. The key to a high converting sales funnel is writing and setting up an effective sales funnel email sequence.

This is basically just a series of emails we send our subscribers after they have signed up for our lead magnet.

It begins with the lead magnet itself, and then a series of 5 – 15 emails sent over a period of 3 – 17 days.

This is quite varied as every product is different and requires a different level of consideration. Factors that can influence the length of your email marketing sales funnel include:

  • The price of your product. The cheaper the product, the less time someone will need to consider purchasing it.
  • Whether you are selling all the time or over a certain period where the cart opens and closes on specific dates. Specific launch periods generally require a longer email sales funnel.

You’ll also need to ensure your email marketing service removes people from this sequence once they purchase. This should be easy to set up within your email marketing service.

For a simple product under $100, like an eBook, you may send 5 emails over 5 days. For a product over $1000, you would consider the high end of the ranges above, like 15 emails over 17 days. The more money people are spending, the longer they will need to consider purchasing.

What should you include in your emails?

No matter how many emails you are sending, they will need to cover the same content to increase interest in your brand and product, reduce doubt and leave subscribers excited.

An example to follow for a 7 day, 7 email sequence would be:

  1. Introduce your product and what you are offering
  2. Highlight the benefits of your product
  3. Tell a story about yourself, how you became an authority in your area which relates to where your audience is now. Show you understand them
  4. Show social proof/success stories from people who have used your product
  5. Reduce any uncertainty your subscribers could have about purchasing
  6. Introduce a bonus/discount/urgency – some reason for people to buy now
  7. Give a final push to purchase

An important thing to focus on when writing these emails is that the subject is used to get them to read the email, and the body is used to get them clicking to the sales page.

For shorter or longer email sequences, you should still cover all the above points.

4. The third step – creating a sales page

A sales page is the most important of the sales funnel pages.

It’s more than a page where you list your product for sale – it needs to compel your subscribers to take action! It’s the most important of the sales funnel step to get right.

You can have the best sales funnels up until now, but without an awesome sales page you won’t get the sales funnel conversion rate you’re after.

But before anything, it is absolutely crucial you understand your audience, the problems they face and the benefits your product offers them.

Research is the most important part of writing a sales page because if at any point the reader thinks you don’t understand them or their problems, you’ve lost them.

To write a great sales page, you need to imagine every visitor is coming with a problem (the reason your product exists!).

 

A sales page works by highlighting the major problems your audience faces and demonstrating how your product is the solution!

It’s simply not enough to only say what your product offers. Think about it, people don’t buy gym memberships, they buy the results – a gym body.

People aren’t buying my eBook on making money; they’re buying a profitable blog.

Every feature of your product should be matched with the benefit it has for your audience.

Every headline should be used to encourage someone to read the section underneath.

The sales page writing itself isn’t hard once you understand your audience and the benefits of your product. All you need to do is follow a strategy.

Want our strategy? Click here to download the Sales Page Blueprint and get our process for writing an awesome sales page that sells!

5. Next steps

Once your sales funnel is up and running, you’ll start getting some results and data to track. This is precisely why it’s so important to just get started, because without data you won’t know where to make improvements!

And, as with most things in blogging, the secret to success with sales funnels is by implementing one, tracking results and trying to adapt and improve it so it’s perfect for your audience.

What sales funnel statistics should you aim for?

The perfect sales funnel percentages would be:

  • Over 40% sign up rate on landing pages
  • Open rate of over 50% at the start of your sales funnel and over 25% by the end
  • Click through rate of over 15% in emails
  • A conversion rate on the sales page of 5-20% (if product is under $500)

Conversion rates below this mean some sales funnel optimization is needed.

It can be simple to see where the problems are. For example, if you’re getting lots of people onto your sales page but selling very little, perhaps the page itself needs updating.

If your emails are getting good open rates but poor click through rates, it’s the content of the emails themselves that need changing – and it could be as simple as updating the positioning of links or adding more.

You should also be continually working at growing your subscribers.

Create more lead magnets and consider adding additional parts to your sales funnel such as a webinar or video series.

The sales funnel analysis can take some time, but once you’ve smoothed it out, there’s another world of marketing to explore, including Facebook Ads, up-sells, down-sells, cross-sells, etc. There’s always a way to improve your sales funnel.

Just get started!

Ready to start? Download the FREE Simple Sales Funnel Success Checklist and learn what you need to do at each stage of your funnel!

Still coming up with the perfect product to sell your audience? Read our tutorial here to help you get started.

About the Author

Sharon Gourlay is passionate about working online and helping others to follow in her footsteps. She left Australia with her young family at the end of 2014 determined to grow an online business. She succeeded and now supports her family of 5 to live their dream lifestyle.

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