You’ve seen hundreds of ads on social media and search engines (yes, I mean YouTube too) – or have you already placed your own ad?
But you are still not profitable enough? Are your sales stagnating and are you spending more and more money on your ads?
I know that feeling of doing something wrong and not knowing what.
Until I figured out what my real problem was…
I built a website instead of a funnel.
After my first funnel was finished, I earned 90,235 euros in the first month.
In this article I would like to show you what a funnel is and how you can generate hundreds or even thousands of leads and sales – regardless of your business. You learn everything in just 7 simple steps. Ready? Then let’s get started now!
What is a funnel?
A funnel essentially has two goals:
- Generate leads (contacts).
- generate sales
Funnel means “sales funnel”. A funnel is a method of converting interested visitors into contacts and then into customers. The conversion is called “convert” in technical jargon. The picture below can explain it better to you.
In practice it is like this: At the beginning of the sales funnel there are interested visitors who somehow come across you, your offer or your company on the Internet.
For example, only interested visitors register on your landing page or buy a product. This is where the wheat is separated from the chaff.
At the end of the funnel or the sales process is the paying customer. You convinced him!
So this funnel works more like a sieve, leaving only the gold nuggets.
In addition to the term funnel, you may have also heard the terms conversion funnel, webinar funnel or marketing funnel.
There are different types of funnels. The sales funnel is about having a sale, i.e. a sale or distribution of a product, at the end. The other funnels aim for different results. There are the following funnel types:
- Marketing funnels
This is the general term for all types of funnels, as each funnel ultimately serves marketing purposes.
- Sales funnels
Sales funnel is the generic term for all types of funnels that have a sale as their goal.
- Opt-in funnel
An opt-in funnel is the simplest type of funnel, and you’ve probably entered many opt-in funnels yourself. The funnel consists only of a landing page with an opt-in form. If the visitor enters his e-mail address here, he will then receive e-mails from you.
- Webinar funnel
The webinar funnel is about selling a product through a webinar. This is particularly useful if the product requires explanation and is expensive. The visitor first registers on a landing page with their email address and then receives an invitation to a webinar.
The product will then be presented live in the webinar and can be purchased. There are usually also recordings of the webinars, so that even interested parties who missed them can still become buyers afterwards.
- book funnel
The book funnel offers a free book on the landing page. If you want it, you just have to pay shipping and logistics costs. Of course, the buyer also enters his email address here. In this way, he can also be offered other, higher-priced products as the funnel progresses.
- Conversion funnels
Conversion funnel is again a generic term for all funnels that have a conversion as their goal. This means that a specific goal is achieved, for example a purchase or an entry for a newsletter.
- Survey funnel
“Survey” means “survey” in German. In the survey funnel, interested parties who have entered their email address are then asked one or more questions. They can then be divided into different interest groups, who in turn receive different (specifically tailored) content via email.
I will go into all of these types of funnels in more detail later in the blog in individual articles. Today it’s all about understanding the basic principle.
This probably all sounds very theoretical to you, so I’ll show you how I did it in practice.
How does a funnel work?
A funnel is based on the AIDA model. This is an acronym (also abbreviation) for the words:
- Desire (need)
These 4 individual steps are the customer journey, i.e. the “customer journey” in your sales process.
That’s how it works:
The goal in this phase is to get the attention of your target audience. In online marketing, this is all about sending them to your landing page.
This can be done via paid advertisements via Google, YouTube or social networks. But just as well unpaid via your YouTube video or blog post.
From your advertisements (ads), blog posts or YouTube videos, some of these people reach your landing page within your customer journey.
And your landing page – with, for example, a newsletter registration – hits the mark: it generates interest in your product.
This curiosity triggers (through your landing page) some visitors to want or need what you have to offer. Arouse this desire with information and by presenting your offer as a solution to the problem.
Your customer will recognize that you offer him added value with your offer. And with that the desire to buy it grows.
Some of the prospects have gone through the customer journey and become your customers. They are convinced and buy your item or service. This is the final stage in the AIDA model.
This is of course a simple representation. Typically, they first sign up with you via email, build a bond with you, and then buy the product.
You have to convince potential customers if you want to sell. Therefore, know your target group or your customers.
This is the first thing you need to do to create a successful sales funnel.
I’ll tell you more about this later in this article. You will find out which phases your funnel must have and how it is structured.
7 steps to successful sales - instructions for creating a funnel
Preliminary considerations: 1. Know your target group! 2. Know your competitors! Top of the Funnel: 3. Gain attention and start the customer journey.
Middle of the funnel: 4. Generate leads: You’ve got them on the hook – don’t let them go!
Bottom of the funnel:
5. When prospects become customers
6. It’s getting into the hot phase
7. Success – after the sale is before the sale
1. Know your target group!
Grab a pen and paper and answer the following questions:
- How old is my target group?
- Where does my target group live?
- What gender is she?
- What is your marital status?
- What is your level of education?
- What does your everyday work look like? What’s your occupation? How much does she earn?
- What motivates/interests you?
- What does she like and what not?
- What values does she live by? How does she live in general?
- What is their buying behavior like?
- Where does she go in her free time? On the Internet – and where there?
How did you come across this offer? Here you can easily draw conclusions about your target group. Ask yourself: What convinced or impressed me about this article?
Because maybe you embody exactly your target group!
Also keep in mind whether you are going for B2C or B2B marketing. So address companies or end customers.
All of these questions may overwhelm you. But approach it consciously, because this phase of preparation is essential for creating a sales funnel.
Once you have answered all the questions, you know your target group, your future customers, their needs and where they go online. Next, you should analyze your competitors.
2. Know your competitors!
Since you have probably already dealt intensively with your product, you probably know your niche well. Take a look at your competitors to see whether and what you can learn from them for your company.
If they have successfully built their customer base through social media advertising, then that is also an option for your funnel. Check out their content and marketing strategies!
Search on Amazon, Digistore24 or simply do a Google search. Look at the first search results and especially the ads on the search results page for products that are similar to yours and analyze them.
You may see that competing marketers are doing B2B marketing, or you may end up on competitor social media channels through end customers.
Answer the questions:
- Where do your competitors address their target group? Which platform do you use?
- How is the target group addressed? With text, video or something completely different?
Look where their ads lead! Analyze their landing pages:
- What do you offer?
- What content do they present?
- Can you copy something?
Think about which marketing techniques and content suit you and your offer. If competing marketers can run their businesses successfully with this, then so can you.
At the end of this step, you should now know your competitors and their sales techniques as well as your target group. Are you ready? Perfect, then we can get started and address your potential customers.
3. Gain attention and start the customer journey
There is a large selection on the Internet and you have to consciously draw attention to your product. We are at the beginning of the funnel (Top of the Funnel, abbreviation ToFu) and at the beginning of your customer journey.
This is roughly comparable to a barker at the weekly market.
Of course, you don’t have to literally scream, but you definitely have to stand out from your competitors. This stage is also known as the awareness phase of the funnel. In German, this is the phase of awareness or notoriety.
In this phase of the sales funnel, sales must first get going: bang the drum – right there where your potential customers are .
I recommend that you first create marketing content on your own.
Present your offer and its function: Write blog posts on your website, postings on Instagram or Facebook or post videos on YouTube. You don’t even have to show your face: write a post and create graphics.
I would like to show you the most famous social media platforms with the number of their users in Germany, Austria and Switzerland:
- Facebook: 55.5 million users (as of 2022)
- YouTube: 29 million users (as of 2020)
- Instagram: 39.6 million users (as of 2022)
- Twitter: 4 million users (as of 2020)
You see: We live in a time in which you can reach thousands of people via the Internet with your company for free. Therefore: create your posting!
Note: You can also use social networks for sales in B2B marketing.
Later, other free content marketing strategies are possible, such as guest appearances on other blogs.
That means you write a blog article or do an interview about your offerings on someone else’s blog.
In this way you use the reach of the already established person or their blog for you.
I understand that this will be difficult for you at the beginning because you may not be very well connected yet.
Now that you’ve created content for social media or your blog, you can place ads on that content. It is important again that you pick up the target group with your marketing strategies.
Let’s say you sell shoelaces. Then your target group is most likely interested in topics related to shoes.
For example, it makes sense to advertise your shoelaces on websites where you can buy shoes. And not on a hat shop’s website.
Of course, not everyone who sees your advertising on the shoe sales website will be interested in your shoelaces, but this is where your sales funnel begins.
Your company, including your offer, gets the attention it deserves from some people.
I ran ads for my Launch System, which is a step-by-step guide to generating passive income through the Internet. I integrated sensational hooks (eye-catching statements) into these, for example: “Affiliate marketing is dead”.
This controversial statement naturally attracted attention. So exactly what you should do at this point in the funnel.
I then placed ads worth 62,000 euros on Facebook and 46,500 euros on Google and YouTube.
With this I have reached 17 million impressions (number of views). Imagine this: my ad was seen 17 million times!
For every 1 euro spent on advertising, I earned 4.62 euros:
- 17 million impressions
- 142,800 visitors (0.84% of impressions)
- 39,984 leads
- 15,993 participants
- 2,558 customers
- 2,558 customers x 399 euros = 1,021,031.42 euros through advertising
I know these are incredibly large amounts and numbers for you at the moment, but you can break it down to your budget and your company.
I also started small and started with 100 euros. But always remember that you have to stand out somehow so that people become aware of your offer.
4. Generate leads: You've got them on the hook - don't let them go!
A certain number of potential prospects are now actually in your sales funnel, they are now interacting with your content and are in the conversion phase of the sales funnel.
For a YouTube video or ad, this means they click on the link or ad and land on your landing page.
That’s a big step. These so-called leads signal your initial interest in your offer.
With my launch system, 142,800 people visited my landing page. That’s about twice as full as Bayern Munich’s Allianz Arena!
Of course that wasn’t all. In this phase of the sales funnel we are now in the middle of the funnel (MoFu). Next up: collect leads!
So design your landing page to ask for contact information. This is only possible if your potential customers trust you. So build trust by presenting your offer and selling it convincingly. It is also important that your landing page should only have one goal, otherwise the entry rate will be low.
Put yourself back in the shoes of your target group: What problems do they have? How can your offer solve this problem? Sell this solution to the problem and present it with a so-called “lead magnet”.
A lead magnet is something that keeps your users on your site, “attracting” them like a magnet.
The attraction of the lead magnet in marketing
The term lead magnet comes from online marketing. You can think of it as a small “information morsel”. You give this to your website visitors, more precisely, it is a kind of exchange between you. You offer them added value or further information and receive their contact details in return. This is usually their email address and name.
Therefore, you should offer an opt-in option on your website. This way you stay in touch with your visitors and you can reach them again at any time.
You provide information or added value for your potential customers. This can be an e-book, a webinar, a voucher or a course.
Think about what might help your target audience and offer it in exchange for their email address.
For example, you can say on your landing page:
“Download my free e-book: Learn 21 ways to increase your sales by 300%. Just sign up with your email and get it now!”
How do you collect email addresses?
Additional lead magnets could include free checklists and white papers to help you.
I offered a free webinar back then. There are no borders.
The only important thing is:
The hurdle to getting your bite should be low. More precisely: free.
Entering an email address isn’t a big problem for most people if they’re really interested. So if they have the feeling that your offer will help them.
At this point in the sales funnel, some people who did not register were lost again. As a first result, however, you have a list of email contacts who have shown you interest in your offer and are perfect for sales.
Back then, 39,984 people registered for the launch system on my landing page. In the next step of the sales funnel, you contact them directly.
You see, only some of the 142,800 visitors to my landing page registered, that’s normal because something might have come up. The conversion rate here is at least 28% – that’s a very good value!
However, you can address the others again with remarketing, so that they may also register. With remarketing, you can use ads to retarget people who have dropped out.
5. When prospects become customers
Now let’s get your email contacts craving.
Your prospects have become so-called qualified leads when they subscribe to your mailing list. So they have qualified for you to apply sales and marketing measures “adapted to them”.
Now you have to keep them in line. This is also called the consideration phase, i.e. the phase of deliberation or deliberation.
You can maintain contact with them, for example, with (automated) emails or a newsletter campaign.
Offer your customers well-prepared information. Know their problems and their needs. Show them that your offer really is the perfect solution.
Maybe even offer them another “bite.” Something similar to before, something free like a white paper.
Maybe a low-price offer or free trial weeks for a digital product might be an option to start with.
At this point in the sales funnel, I offered a free webinar. For this webinar, out of 39,984 people on the email list, 15,993 actually attended.
6. It's getting hot
Some of your leads have already taken the next step. They have accepted your further offer and, for example, used your free trial weeks.
They have shown you that you could really hit the nail on the head with your product. They are so-called qualified leads in your sales funnel.
Since they are still in your funnel, you can assume that you caught them at their problem and they are convinced so far. In this phase you can now move on to selling the high-priced item, which is what your sales funnel is really aimed at.
Continue to maintain customer contact: At this point, my team and I call customers or offer them another webinar. This can also be done via social networks or a newsletter. Take care of your customer loyalty!
At this point, it’s about really solving your problem completely and offering more depth to your offer. The points before were just the approach to the solution, now you want to achieve a good conversion rate.
So we are now in selling mode. At that point in the sales funnel, I offered my product, the Launch System.
7. Success - after the sale is before the sale
You made it through the previous 6 stages of the funnel:
You have sold your product. Congratulations! You have reached the end of the sales process.
Now you’re probably thinking: What’s next? I have reached my goal and sold my offer.
At this point in sales you could stop now. But I advise you not to do this. Because now things are getting exciting!
A one-time customer is good, but you want to keep them loyal to you. Why? Because repeat buyers are the most profitable. For first-time customers, you have to pay a lot of advertising and work to get them to buy.
Existing customers are ideally already convinced of your company and the purchased item. You don’t have to re-enlist them for distribution. Of course, that assumes they were happy with the buying process.
So how do you get customers to make more purchases from your business again?
There are 3 methods in online marketing that help you to retain customers permanently and increase your sales and conversion rates:
- follow ups
A. Follow ups
They are a typical marketing technique that you may have come across yourself.
This includes continuing to stay in touch with your customers. Send them an email thanking them for purchasing your product. Additionally, offer them helpful and interesting content, for example about your company. Build a bond with them.
Another method is to get feedback: After webinars, my team and I always ask customers how they found it. This is done via email. We then call those who gave bad reviews.
Even if this is unpleasant, these customers help us to continually improve ourselves, our offerings and our company and to increase our sales.
Encourage people to rate your product on specific platforms. This way you also generate social proof.
Also react to bad ratings and never delete them! Try to be helpful and solve the problem.
I am still available for inquiries via email or social networks. Be available.
Offer your customers more, for example more items that might also interest them. We all know from Amazon: “Customers who bought X also bought Y”.
Of course, this includes thinking about what “consequential problem” or need might arise after the purchase and whether you can cover this with your sales chain. If so, offer so-called “upsell products”.
Do you sell shoelaces? How about a shoe deodorant as a follow-up offer? Do you understand what I mean?
After selling my launch system, I then offered Launch Blueprint and Launch Traffic as upsell products.
With these 3 products I achieved sales of almost 1.4 million euros.
You see, it is important to stay present in the minds of customers and offer additional products. You want to offer customers a holistic and positive customer experience from start to finish. This marketing strategy is also called inbound marketing.
Whether in the B2B or B2C area: Never stop improving your funnel!
You now know that to prepare your funnel you need to determine your target group, including whether they come from the B2C or B2B sector. You also know that you have to analyze how your competitors structure their sales.
You know the phases of a funnel: From the AIDA model to advertisements with eye-catching titles, lead magnets and email lists to sales. And finally the upsell.
That all sounds like a lot of work. That’s it too. But there are extra tools for that, for example my software EZFunnels.
You answer questions about how your funnel process should look like – and the system creates the right sales funnel for you. If your sales funnel is just getting started, you will earn money along the way. Thanks to the automated sales process.
The connection of EZFunnels to platforms such as Mailchimp, which offer automated email marketing, makes your work easier. For example, you can set automatic replies to newsletter registrations and much more.
Here you can test EZFunnels for 7 days for 7 euros and have immediate access to all templates: Try EZFunnels now for 7 days for 7 euros .
Now you have to decide where and how to reach the right target group for your product. What added value can you offer? How do you maintain your relationship with her and how do you make your product attractive to her?
Once your funnel is set, you can adjust it at any time. You can rotate anywhere in the funnel and see how leads are converting. You then look at the conversion rates at the individual stages of the funnel.
This allows you to make it even more effective and increase your sales.
I’ve been doing funnel marketing with my business for over 8 years and it’s getting better every year. Precisely because the need is constantly growing in the age of digitization.
Start building your online sales process today and driving your marketing efforts to automatically generate more leads and sales!