Most ‘Funnels’ are just a combination of the same few core components, and we’ll look at each of them in detail shortly… for that to make sense though, it is important that you understand the role of each of these parts and how they fit together.
This is where you send your raw traffic. These can be Optin Pages / Squeeze Pages but it’s not necessary. The goal of these pages is to get your visitor to take one small action to begin the process. These pages will usually subscribe the visitor to your autoresponder and redirect them to a Thank You Page.
These are the gifts you provide as an incentive for your visitors to opt-in… or take any other action. They don’t know you yet so you offer something of value in exchange for their attention. These have been seriously overdone in recent years and are mostly ineffective, but there are some strategies that can still work.
Thank You Pages:
These are sometimes used as an intermediate step when you have visitors opting in to your list. Their purpose it to let he visitor know to complete the optin process… ie check their email and click the confirmation link. Most marketers also use these to ‘pre-sell’ their main offer.
Offer Pages :
Other people will send their new subscribers directly to an offer of some sort. While you wait for the confirmation email, please check out this great offer… This can be your own product or and affiliate offer. The idea is, the visitor just took action, so if you strike while they are in a compliant mood, they might just buy!
Usually when your new subscriber confirms their email, they are directed to a download page where you deliver the Lead Magnet. This is another good place to promote a back-end offer, complimentary offers, affiliate offers etc.
So at the most basic level, a simple opt-in funnel would be just a few steps…
Optin Page => Thank You Page => Download Page
People arrive on your Landing Page, you motivate them to opt-in and then send them to a Thank You Page. That tells them to check their email for a link to the Download Page… which delivers the gift you promised from them opting in.
Once those people are in your Autoresponder though, you can make additional offers… each of which is it’s own mini-funnel…
Autoresponder Email => Offer Page => Download Page
You send an email that teases about the offer. They click a link and visit the Offer Page. They buy and are directed to the Download Page for hands-free delivery.
Again, the download page can have additional links and offers, creating the potential for additional sales. Or more commonly, after the initial purchase, you can make additional offers…
Email => Main Offer => One Time Offer => Download Page
All that happens here is, after the purchase, instead of sending them to the Download Page, you make a second (or third or forth) offer. If they are complimentary that can significantly increase the value of your average sales.
Most online businesses end up building a series of connected sales funnels. You might have multiple Opt-in Funnels feeding leads into your autoresponder. Then you’ll have a different Sales funnel for every offer your autoresponder sends out. And those might all connect to additional back-end offers…
So as you start to connect a few of these pieces like that, you can create some very complex looking funnel flowcharts…
But all you need to do to make sense of it, is break them down into small bite-sized chunks based on each individual goal…
- Get A New Subscriber => Opt-in Funnel
- Send Affiliate Offers To Your List => Simple Offer Funnel
- Sell Your Own Stuff => Simple Offer Funnel
- Tripwire Offer To Promote A Big Ticket => Simple Offer Funnel + Simple Offer Funnel as OTO
- Add In A Continuity Program => Tripwire Funnel + Simple Offer Funnel as Second OTO
- Or any other combination you can think off!
The best part is, by using the Funnel as a visualisation tool, you can break any sales and conversion process down into a few smaller steps, and just put them together one by one.
There are two specific Funnel Types I want to cover in little more detail before we move on…
Reverse Opt-in Funnel
As the name suggests, you give the visitor the gift on the Landing Page, with no strings attached. Then you invite them to opt-in to your list… if they want. So you will get less opt-ins, BUT the visitor is making the choice to connect, so they are much more likely to read your emails..
This is basically what we do with Blog Subscribers / Mailpoet… (check the sidebar to the right!)
We offer great content and a lot of our visitors choose to opt-in for updates. We keep adding more great content regularly to stay connected, and any time we come across some super-relevant, high value offers, we pass them on.
This is just an Offer Funnel with a couple of products… the first being high-value and very low cost… so a lot of new subscribers tend to buy it without a whole lot of thought. It’s super-cheap, why not?!
Then at the next page they’re offered a more expensive item.
The theory is, the customer has just purchased so the credit card is already out and they’re more likely to do it again if you hit them up immediately. Even if they don’t buy now, you do have their email, so you can hit them up again later.
You can repeat this process over multiple levels, offering bigger, better and more expensive items at each level. Or you can move to a subscription/membership offer that will generate recurring income for your initial efforts.
The idea is that as the customer progresses through each level, they have more confidence in you and your offers, and feel like they already know and trust you to deliver a promised.
Most of my most effective funnels use a combo of the reverse opt-in and a tripwire offer, usually leading straight to one on my membership websites. The initial Lead Magnet and my Tripwire Product both have value in their own right, but they also add real value to the Membership Offer as well.
This is usually a win-win for everyone… whether they go right through the ‘funnel’ or not, everyone gets value from the process.
Unfortunately This Process Has Been Seriously Warped
Most new launches now use a version of this funnel that is totally screwed up.
The front end product will be presented as being worth many thousands of dollars, available today, but only if you act fast for a super low price…
So it’s easy to get on board… and that’s when the BS really starts…
I recently made a purchase that had 15 backend offers. That probably sounds great to you as a marketer, but consider it from the customer’s perspective…
I’ve bought the front end product, I feel good about my purchase and I’m eager to get started…
But instead I have to wade through all these other offers that promise even better results by addressing shortcomings in the original product.
So with each new offer I’m shown, I’m getting the message that the product I bought isn’t so good after all…
And if I really want it to work, I’d better buy this other stuff as well…
So by the time I actually get to my download, I’m really starting to think I’ve probably wasted my money.
The saddest part about these offers is that the vendors usually put way more thought into their Sales Funnel than they do the actual product…
It’s all about creating a package with as many separate parts as possible, so they can add as many extra offers as possible.
Even if most of them are total crap…
Or just a rehash of the equally piss-poor package they put out last month!
So Why The Rant?
I guess I just wanted a chance to say, resist the urge to chase Great Selling Products. You’ll do much better long-term if you focus on creating and Selling Great Products.
It’s easy to be tempted by the numbers associated with a big launch.
Realistically, very few marketers ever achieve those levels. These are the people with a track record of creating good products and great offers, who have the affiliate army ready to promote… because they know their stuff sells and stays sold.
The imitators might get one or two ‘wins’ if they’ve got a good gimmick and a great sales pitch, but affiliates have long memories. And as soon as the refunds and charge-backs start… because it was all offer and no substance… most affiliates will never touch that vendor again.
So if you’re making crap products just so you can set up big funnels, you’ll never be in the game long enough to have your own big launch. That takes multiple successful smaller launches where you prove yourself to both customers and affiliates.
If you’re dreaming of your first launch making you millions, it might be time to wake up… that sort of overnight success usually takes years of hard work!
Something to consider anyway!
OK, rant over… next we’ll take a look at the various components in a little more detail and how you can create these for yourself…
Here’s a few more examples of funnel layouts for anyone needing more information…
Conversion Funnel Flowcharts: This is a Pinterest board with a number of flowcharts and graphics from all across the web, so lots of examples from all kinds of businesses and industries.
ClickFunnels Share Funnels: Click funnels is one of the expensive hosted options I mentioned earlier… $97-$297 per month! I can’t justify that, but I can and do look over their shared funnels from time to time. Again there’s some good ‘industry’ specific examples that can be a refreshing change from the B.S. and hype you get in most IM funnels.