Last updated: April 24, 2020
From: the laptop of Ryan Cruz
Location: Ontario, Canada
One of the most important skills that I've learned as a digital marketer was the ability to create highly converting sales funnels…
Skills that have helped drive results for me and my clients and deliver sales like the one below…
That's why today, I'll teach and show you how to create and launch sales funnels FAST!
The Self-hosted solution of building a sales funnel and the Sales Funnel as a Service Solution (which handles most of the tech stuff). Either way, here's my FREE Sales Funnel Checklist that I use whenever I launch or create a NEW sales funnel. It's Free!
But first, you might be wondering…
Why should you be interested in Sales Funnels?
If you're still JUST using your website as a MAJOR way of turning visitors into leads and customers, then you're probably losing a lot of money.
There's a reason that a lot of people are now searching for sales funnels.
Just look at this CURRENT trend on Sales funnel queries in Google Trends
It's obviously growing, while the trend for websites are declining.
And it's because when created and launched properly, sales funnels works.
What are marketing Sales Funnels?
A marketing sales funnel is designed to convert people from being a website visitor into a qualified lead, and then progress them to a customer in the least amount of marketing effort possible.
It's kinda like having your best “sales person” for your business attract, qualify, engage, and convert website visitors into leads then into new customers.
It's a systematic approach that involves several different types of landing pages namely optin pages, thank you pages, sales pages, upsell pages, downsell pages, webinar pages and more.
Traditional websites are now dead because most people don't even stick long enough on most websites, which is why most sites have high bounce rates.
A marketing sales funnel helps you become more efficient with your marketing campaigns because each step of the process in a sales funnel is usually designed to only ask the person to do only ONE thing.
And that helps with clarity and focus a LOT.
Something that is very important if you want more people converting on your websites.
You want people to STOP and PAY Attention before any sale or conversion happens.
3 Ingredients of Successful and Profitable Sales Funnels
Almost all of the funnels that I've seen to have succeeded have these 3 crucial and critical ingredients:
1. Irresistible Offers
2. System for Converting Leads Into Buyers
3. Source of Targeted Traffic
When these 3 ingredients are present, you'll usually find a sales funnel that is converting really well…
Let's talk about the first ingredient: Irresistible offers.
Check out the image below. I wrote a quick note on what makes an offer different from a product.
Most people are really selling a product and they are just differentiating it with price, color, etc.
One of the methods that I use to find irresistible offers is by using DATA and keyword research to figure out what people are looking for.
Watch the video below to understand how I do this process.
Keyword research for creating Irresistible offers based on data
Sales Funnel System
The next part of building a profitable sales funnel is that you need to actually have a SALES FUNNEL or the MACHINE that converts a person visiting your website to a person that will be buying your product.
There's 2 main ways on how to build a sales funnel.
- You use Self-hosted solutions with WordPress and Page builders like Optimize Press 3 or Thrive Architect
- Or you can use sales funnel software like Kartra or Clickfunnels to help build your sales funnels. No need to worry about the tech part of getting started because everything is provided and ready for use. You just need to start building a sales funnel and use it.
Source of Targeted Traffic
The next part is where a lot of people struggle. You can easily figure out what your irresistible offer will be and how you'll create your system (sales funnel), but without targeted traffic nothing will happen!
Fortunately, traffic generation is easy.
The missing piece with traffic generation is that you need to find out where your targeted customers and audience hangs out online.
It's also important to focus on one or two traffic channels first before going after other traffic sources.
So for example you are generating traffic from search engine optimization then I would recommend that you master that channel first before starting with other traffic sources like Facebook.
There's a book called Traffic Secrets which is kinda like a blueprint to targeted and traffic generation. The book is free and you just need to pay for the shipping and handling. Grab your Free Traffic Secrets Book here.
In the next part of this article, we'll dive deep into the details of building a sales funnel. Don't forget to grab your FREE sales funnel checklist here.
Understanding the Sales Funnels process
Most websites and marketing campaigns that fail are usually because of the lack of sales process in their marketing funnels.
They usually ask the new website visitor to immediately buy or purchase, which is kinda like asking a “stranger” you've just met to “marry you”.
It wouldn't work right?
Yet, a lot of entrepreneurs and small business owners do this on their website.
And here's what an effective sales funnel process might look like.
“A new visitor lands on your website, they liked the content that they've read on your site, and finally they are presented with a FREE offer (also known as a lead magnet).
They decide to enter their name and email, then clicked on the submit button.
Immediately they get redirected to a thank you page with a special one time offer to purchase a low-ticket item.
This offer is designed to weed out freebie seekers with those who are seriously looking for a solution to their problem.
This new visitor then becomes a new customer after becoming just a new lead.
Once they've become a new lead or customer, they'll continuously receive updates and promotions as long as they are currently subscribed in the list.”
This is a very simple sales funnel that can be illustrated like this (I've used Funnelytics PRO to map out my sales funnel ideas like the one below)
Aside from graphically mapping out your sales funnel ideas, you can also use tools like Funnelytics PRO to forecast if your sales funnels are going to be profitable or not.
Watch the video below to find out how to do that.
Forecast The Profitability Of Your Funnels
Stages of the Sales Process
In order to create effective marketing sales funnels, it's fundamental that you understand the basic stages of the sales process.
This is the very first step of the sales process.
The goal at this stage is quite simple. It is to GET ATTENTION and get your prospects aware, not of solution yet, but make them aware of their problem.
The next stage is where your prospects says that they are now aware of their problems and is now getting interested in learning more about the next step.
Usually, at this stage, you get people to “engage” on your marketing campaign.
You either get them on your email list (for lead nurturing) or you get them share and engage in a high value content that you have published (read a blog post or watched a video).
The goal at this stage is pretty straightforward, you want them to “ENGAGE” on your brand and content. You want to provide high value here. If you've setup your tracking and analytics pixels properly, this is where your customers are added to your “Lead” event pixels.
This stage is where it starts to get existing. This is the stage where your “lead” is now actively searching for a “solution” to their problem.
They are almost ready to buy, and they will buy from YOU, if you'll be able to handle the “false objections” that they have on their head.
One of the ways to know if people are on this stage is if they are constantly opening your marketing emails and checking what you have to offer.
Another way to know if people are on this stage is if they are searching Google for terms like “best product for ___” or “top solutions for __”
These are highly targeted search terms and they are seriously considering a solution because they are comparing several solutions that are available to them.
At this stage, the customer is MOST certainly going to buy.
The only objection at this stage is WHY they should buy from you and not from your competitor.
I've found out that if you were able to handle all the objections of your customers in the previous stages, getting a conversion at this stage is much simpler.
Another way to improve your conversion rates at this stage is to use urgency or scarcity together with a value-added bonus.
Tell people that if they'll buy the product that you are promoting, they'll also get several bonuses that are not available anywhere else.
Types of Contents To Create at Different Stages
Our friends at Boston Interactive have created this infographic that tells you what types of content are perfect for each stage of the sales process.
At the end of each content, try to link to the next stage with the next content type. This will ensure a natural progression of a website visitor, to a lead and then to a conversion or sale.
Who popularized Sales Funnels?
The concept behind sales funnels have been around ever since people starts “selling to someone”.
But online sales funnels have just been mainstream mainly because of how it's been rebuilding and reshaping how marketers view, strategize, and implement marketing campaigns.
There's even a community of growing “sales funnel geeks” known as “Funnel Hackers” and I'm definitely one of them. ????
Who is Russell Brunson?
If there is ONE guy that's literally the leader and authority when it comes Sales Funnles, it's the creator and co-founder of Clickfunnels.
He's the real deal and to show how sales funnels can change your business, he's literally catapulted his company from $0 to $100 million in sales in less than 3 years without any venture capital funding or money from outside investors.
I strongly recommend that if you want to learn more about “sales funnels” and how it can change your business, start with these books:
I have all books, and I highly recommend that you start reading them.
I posted on my instagram profile how these books have changed my life and my career. ????
Download my Sales Funnel Checklist
The Top Sales Funnel Softwares (2020 update)
Here's where everything gets exciting as YOU start building sales funnels for your online business.
Remember, don't start building your sales funnels, without understanding the different levels of the sales process and without reading the Dotcomsecrets book at least.
Of course, if you want to see how everything works for coaches, consultants and experts, definitely read the Experts Secrets book as well!
#1 Kartra (Read my full review of Kartra)
The 1st sales funnel software that I've used and will recommend is Kartra by the Genesis Digital team.
It's a fairly new software (launched last April 2018) so the market adoption for this product is relatively new compared with Clickfunnels, but it's already making a name for themselves.
Specifically, it ties in almost everything that you need with Marketing automation, landing page software, sales funnel automation, etc.
It even has a NEW feature called Done-For-You solution where you can download in 1-click an entire Done-For-You sales funnel campaign.
There's a book funnel and a launch done-for-you campaigns inside.
I've written a very detailed review of Kartra here and it is definitely a serious contender for Clickfunnels.
#2 Clickfunnels (Read my full review of Clickfunnels)
When it comes to creating building sales funnels, perhaps the most popular right now is Clickfunnels.
Sure, they don't have the latest features and “done for you” integration available with other software like Kartra, but it's because they are bells and whistles that are “good to have” but not required.
What's powerful behind using Clickfunnels is because it's a company built by Russell Brunson from $0 to $100 million in less than 3 years, it's a tool that actually got results for him and for hundreds of two-comma club and two-comma X winners.
The community behind Clickfunnels called “Funnel Hackers” is also unmatched. When you join Clickfunnels, you instantly become a part of the “Funnel Hacking” group who is bonded by mission and vision.
And the annual Funnel Hacking Live is touted to be one of the most anticipated events in the internet marketing world since 2015.
The training inside Clickfunnels is also unmatched.
Check out my full and detailed review of Clickfunnels and don't forget to check out my Clickfunnels bonuses too!
#3 WordPress-Plugin Based Solutions
I used to build my entire sales funnels with landing page builders or WordPress-based drag and drop builders.
It kinda works, but it's more like a band-aid solution for those who are looking to build sales funnels for their online business on a budget.
Although I would now argue that the amount of money I've saved equates to more work for me and that's not an exactly good use of my time.
Yes, doing this solution would help you build your sales funnel, but it will definitely take more hours. So if you value your time more (which you should), you should use dedicated sales funnel software like Clickfunnels or Kartra instead of using this “band-aid” approach.
Nevertheless, if you still want to setup your funnels this way, here's what you need.
WordPress Landing Page Builder
Obviously, you'll need a landing page software that is a WordPress based plugin. I prefer WordPress as it's the most popular CMS or blog platform in the world. WordPress is FREE, very easy to use and if you ever got stuck with some technical issues, there's literally tons of “experts” out there!
But the default WordPress editor (even the Gutenberg editor) is NOT ENOUGH to build high quality landing pages and sales funnels.
You need at LEAST ONE of the PREMIUM WordPress page builders out there.
I use and recommend Thrive Architect by Thrive Themes.
This is the easiest solution that I've found and is very much similar to how Elementor PRO works. Elementor PRO is another option that you want to check.
Lastly, there's Optimize Press 2, which I've used a lot before, but now I mostly use Thrive Architect to build almost all of my posts and pages in WordPress.
Tracking and Sales funnel Analytics
One of the downsides for using WordPress based landing page builders is their tracking and analytics options. The landing pages you'll built aren't really connected, so tracking the conversion rates from each step us not possible without manually doing it. Even with Google Analytics, it's not really a sales funnel tracking tool.
Fortunately, there's a solution out there that was created by Mikael Dia's team called Funnelytics PRO. You might have heard about it, but it's NOW an important tool in my Sales Funnel arsenal.
Email marketing automation Solutions
email marketing is still one of the best channels for conversions because people who subscribed to your email list are most likely “warm” leads.
Yet, most people treat their email subscriber the same, regardless whether they're a beginner or advanced.
Email Marketing automation avoids sending irrelevant messages but “segmenting” your emails subscribers based on “where they are”. It helps you identify the warm leads vs the cold leads and send them different types of messages.
Why are Sales Funnels Important for your Online Business?
Imagine that you have a local business with sales people on your team. Some of your sales people will perform well, while some won't deliver results or produce poor results.
If you were this business owner, you'll probably wish that you have more of the “best sales person” to market your products and services.
A sales funnel is KINDA like that. But unlike your “best sales person”, it doesn't demand a salary raise, it doesn't get tired, and it doesn't stop working.
As long as it's LIVE and working, your sales funnel can produce sales and income for your online business 24 hours and 7 days a week.
Imagine how much would that impact your online business, if you are generating sales on autopilot with your sales funnels.
The Benefits and Pros of Sales Funnels
The obvious benefits of sales is how it can positively impact your bottom line. One of the goals of some online business is to get Venture Capital funding so that they could have the funds to invest in growing their business.
But this can be virtually ELIMINATED if you have a positive cash flow with your sales funnels wherein, basically for every $1 you make, you'll get $2 or more.
That's the main benefit of having a sales funnel for your business.
If your goal is to generate leads, then a sales funnel can help you achieve that as well. You don't create a sales funnel with an order form as the conversion step, you setup a lead form or a calendar invite as the main conversion.
You drive traffic to your lead generation sales funnel (using PPC or Facebook Ads), and then you close the leads that came in via the phone or personal meeting.
There are obviously more benefits to having a sales funnel than the disadvantages.
Let's now look at some of the cons of having sales funnels.
The Disadvantages and Cons of Sales Funnels
Before we continue, I want you to know that I absolutely believe that SALES FUNNELS are the key to succeed in today's online marketplace.
So these maybe disadvantages, but they are really just ROADBLOCKS that needs to be addressed if you want to get your online business to succeed.
So the first disadvantage is there's time, skills and money requirements involved. And it's usually something that a lot of people are unfamiliar with.
There's a lot of new terms and glossaries to be understood. It can be overwhelming to a lot of people which is why I've made it my mission to make understanding sales funnels much more simpler.
The other disadvantage that I can think of about sales funnels is that there's TOO MANY OPTIONS.
What type of sales funnel should you create? How many upsells and downsells should you put inside your sales funnel? Overcomplicating things is not going to help you out and will be the quickest path to failure because of INFORMATION OVERLOAD.
How can you create your first sales funnel that actually makes money
If you want to create a sales funnel that can actually make you money, you'll need to have most or all of these elements.
1. You need to have a product or service to sell – If you don't have anything to sell, you can try selling other people's products, although this is NOT a complete funnel.
2. You need to build out your sales funnel steps. – You need to be able to collect leads, hopefully through a lead magnet that offers something for FREE. Then you need to create a tripwire page and an offer page where you sell your product or service. After your sales page, you'll want to create the upsell and downsell steps.
3. Last but not the least is to have a traffic source – I prefer to use Facebook Ads and Google Ads to get things going quickly and my long term strategy for sales funnels is to drive traffic with organic methods like SEO.
Steps to Planning and Visualizing Your Sales Funnels
I used to map my sales funnel ideas using traditional PEN and PAPER. That still works well, but I prefer my NEW method of mapping the ideas out of my head using a sales mapping tool called “FUNNELYTICS”.
FUNNELYTICS is a drag and drop tool that allows you to add pages, traffic sources, and connect them together so that you can see the “BIG PICTURE” of how your entire strategy would work out.
10 Successful Sales Funnel Examples
These successful sales funnels are available once you sign up for the Funnelytics Vault account. I highly recommend that you learn and check out them out.
Frank Kern's Sales Funnel
Sam Oven's Sales Funnel
The Organifi Sales Funnel
Lady Boss Sales Funnel
Survival Life Sales Funnel
TravelHacking.org Sales Funnel
Wake Up Warrior Sales Funnel
Secret MLM by Stephen Larsen's Sales Funnel
Grant Cardone Sales Funnel
Nomadic Matt Sales Funnel
Highly Converting Sales Funnel Templates You Can Swipe and Copy Right Now
Now that you've seen some of the best converting sales funnels from the top marketers and gurus, would you like to get these highly converting sales funnel templates and import them into your Clickfunnels account?
You don't have to spend dozens of hours creating and building your own sales funnel templates. Simply click a button and a sales funnel template is going to be automatically imported into your Clickfunnels account.
What is the cost of building your sales funnel?
You might be wondering, so what's the total investment and cost for building your first sales funnel?
That depends, but you can really get started for FREE with WordPress drag and drop builders like Thrive Themes and Elementor PRO.
But I wouldn't go that route as the monthly investment cost for using a web-based sales funnel software is well worth it for the time and efficiency savings.
Start Creating Your First Sales Funnel
Once you have your sales funnel software accounts. It's now time to start building your sales funnel.
A lot of people just dive right in and start building their funnel away. But there are some requirements that you need to have before you can even publish a single landing page.
You need to have the following (minimum requirements):
1. You need to have a product or service to sell – If you don't have one, you can promote other people's products. It's called, affiliate marketing.
2. You need to have copy ready or the sales page content for your sales funnels. Fortunately, copywriting doesn't need to be expensive and hard with tools like “Funnel Scripts” which helps you create the copy that you need for all your marketing materials.
3. You need to setup your payment processors like Paypal or Stripe. If you don't have these accounts yet, it's very easy to get one. Clickfunnels has a full guide and walkthrough on how to setup this account.
4. You need to know where you are going to get your traffic sources from. Do you have a marketing plan on how you're going to promote your sales funnels?
Your sales funnel won't generate any sales if you don't have traffic going to it.
I hope this beginner article on how to build sales funnels will tremendously help you in your online journey.