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What is a Sales funnel and how do I create one?

If you want success, wealth, and freedom, the best path for you is an automated sales funnel. It’s a proven way to achieve finical freedom while freeing up your time

For an online business owner, a sales funnel is probably the most important marketing tool you have. And yet many entrepreneurs – both new and established – have no clear understanding of what a funnel is or how it works.

As you can imagine, failing to fully understand this critical part of your business means fewer sales, lower profits, and ultimately, an unstable business.

WHAT IS A MARKETING FUNNEL AND HOW DO I CREATE ONE?

At its most basic, a sales funnel consists of free content, which typically requires nothing of your readers. Many sales funnels begin with blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook content, and other information readers can access at no cost. This is the “top” of your funnel.

Next, you’ll have an attractive offer that requires a very small “payment” of sorts – typically an email address. You’ve seen this type of offer on websites all over the internet, and probably even signed up for some. This is the free eBook or guide, video series, checklist, workbook, or other valuable content that is available in exchange for “opting in” to an email list.

Once on your mailing list, you’ll then present your readers with a series of low-cost offers. Perhaps you have a low-priced eBook or a trial membership.

Customers who purchase your low-priced product move further down the funnel, and are presented with more, higher priced products. As they continue to buy, they move closer and closer to your top-end offers, which make up the bottom of your funnel.

HOW DOES MY FUNNEL WORK?

If you imagine your funnel as looking like, well, a funnel, it’s easy to see that your free content—at the top—is consumed by the largest number of readers. Below that, your extreme low-cost item (available only for the cost of an email address) attracts a smaller subset of the true freebie seekers. Next, your low-priced products bring in yet a smaller group.

Finally, as you near the tip of the funnel, only the loyalest of fans and customers will purchase your highest priced offers.

Your job, as the business owner, is to ensure that your funnel leads buyers naturally from the top, free offers all the way to the bottom. The more buyers you can keep in your funnel, the more money you will make.

Most new—and even established—business owners can easily envision the top of the funnel, but if you truly want your business to grow, you must master the entire process, and that starts with understanding what a funnel really is and how it works.

WHAT PAGES DO I NEED ON MY FUNNEL?

Confused about how exactly sales funnels work? You’re not alone. In fact, that’s the number one reason small business owners say they can’t get their funnels set up—they simply don’t know what to include where.

Here’s the easy answer: At the very least, your sales funnel needs three pages.

SALES PAGE

This one obviously comes first. You might call it a landing page, or in the case of a free opt-in, a squeeze page. It serves one purpose—to get the reader to take action. Whether that’s to buy a product or offer up their email address in exchange for a free gift, this is the gateway into your funnel. Everything that follows depends on this page, so you want to be sure you:

Include a clear call to action— “Buy Now” or “Click here to download this report for free”

Eliminate distractions—that means no links to other websites or even a navigation bar

Address the readers’ pain points and how your offer provides the solution

CONFIRMATION PAGE

Here’s where we ask the reader to confirm their intent. For a sales funnel, this confirmation page might actually be your checkout page. It’s where they enter their payment details. For a free offer, it’s simply the page your email management system directs them to next. It’s a holding page, if you will, while you wait for them to confirm their email address.

If you’re setting up a free funnel, this page has great power—and you don’t want to waste it!

Here is where you can offer an upset, remind people to follow you on social media, and give them a peak at your other products and services.

Remember, though, that they will only see this page once, so don’t put anything here that they will need to refer back to. That’s what the thank you page is for.

THANK YOU PAGE

This is where they actually collect their downloadable item, or get information about how your product will be delivered.

Like the confirmation page, this is valuable real estate, so you want to be sure you use it wisely. In addition to the downloadable item your customer just purchased (or opted in for) you also want to showcase your other offers—especially those at a slightly higher price point. Here’s why: the person looking at this page is a hot prospect. He or she is in a buying mood. You want to be sure to take advantage of that by putting your most relevant offers on this page. To encourage buying, consider including:

A limited time offer—scarcity sells, so if you can legitimately limit sales to a few hours/days or number of units, then this is the place to do so.

A “no brainer” coupon offer—an insider’s only deal can be a powerful motivator, especially if it’s a fantastic price.

Extra bonuses—give them access to additional products/services if they buy through your link on that page. These should be bonuses that aren’t advertised on the public sales page for that product. Again—insider’s deals are motivating!

Putting together a sales funnel isn’t complicated—or at least it doesn’t have to be. As your business grows and you have more products to offer, you can expand your funnel to include more upsells and down sells, but for now, this simple setup is really all you need.

HOW CAN I AUOTMATE MY FUNNEL?

The web pages that make up your sales or opt-in funnel are only the beginning. To truly encourage sales, you need to stay in contact with your readers. The easiest way to do that is through your email manager, by sending periodic emails with various related offers.

Let’s take a look at a typical follow-up sequence for a free opt-in series. In this case, your reader has attended a free webinar that promoted a high-ticket training program. In the days that follow, you’ll want to stay in contact with an autoresponder sequence that automatically sends email at specific intervals.

Email 1: This is going to be the first email that goes out after they confirm. It should give the reader access to your free webinar, so that can be a link to the replay, or that instructions to join you for the live event. You will likely also want to include a couple of reminder emails if they event is live.

Email 2: This is the replay email for a live event, or the first follow-up if the original was a replay. In this email, it’s a good idea to offer few bullet points of what they learned, encouragement to watch the replay (if you can legitimately say it’s only available for the next XX days, even better), plus an offer to purchase the training program.

Email 3: A few days later, you’ll want to follow-up again. This time, consider including a case study of someone who used your training program. When combined with a great offer, reading about the results someone else achieved can be a powerful motivator.

Email 4: Use this follow-up message to remind readers that the replay is going away (if it is), and also to answer any objections. For example, you might list some FAQs or even questions you’ve received about your refund policy, who the program is for, or payment options. Remind them about the offer.

Email 5: This is your final reminder that the offer is going away soon. At this point, you may want to encourage the reader to email you with questions (if you have the systems in place to manage a lot of email, that is).

Email 6 and beyond: If your reader reaches this point without buying, then it may be that your product is just not right for her. From this point forward, you should continue to stay in contact by offering great information, case studies, tips and other interesting content, but also to offer other products that might be of interest.

One important thing to remember about this email sequence: if your reader buys your program at any point, you must remove her from this sequence. It will make no sense for her to get email #5 with that final offer reminder if she purchased your program after email #3. Most autoresponder services, such as AWeber, have automation built in that allows you to move subscribers from one list to another based on their actions, so be sure to set that up as you’re building your funnel emails.

This kind of hand’s off approach to email marketing is what will help you build a true passive sales funnel, so look for opportunities to use this system as you build your business.

WHAT ARE THE BEST TOOLS FOR BUILDING MY FUNNEL?

Ready to start building out your sales funnels? There are just a few things you need before you can get started. Here are some of the most popular options when it comes to putting together both free and paid funnels:

ClickFunnels— ClickFunnels is my go-to funnel builder that I use on JaySalton.com, it’s one of the most popular funnel builders and the easiest to use with their drag and drop builder. ClickFunnels gives You everything you need to market, sell, and deliver your products and services online, without having to hire or rely on a tech team!

Lead Pages—when it comes to building opt-in pages, LeadPages.net is one of the most powerful tools you have at your disposal. They’ve tracked and tested a variety of page styles to determine which ones convert best, and they make it easy for you to build similar pages for your funnel.

It does come with a monthly fee, though, so before investing, you’ll want to be sure you can recoup your investment.

Instabuilder—similar to LeadPages, but without the monthly investment. Instabuilder is a plugin for WordPress that allows you to create your own funnels. It includes several funnel templates and a drag-and-drop page builder that makes it easy to get just the look you want.

AWeber—Probably the easiest email manager on the market today, AWeber is the choice for many small business owners, not only because it’s simple to use, but because it’s also economical. Starting at less than $20 per month for up to 500 subscribers, AWeber offers both autoresponders and broadcast emails, list automation, and segmenting, so you can send emails exactly when—and to whom—you want.

AW Pro Tools—an add-on to AWeber, AW Pro Tools gives you added control over your list management by automatically removing unsubscribes, moving subscribers from one list to another based on the link they click, and other useful automations.

Ontraport—Another email manager, Ontraport offers shopping cart functionality as well, so you can create powerful funnels that are fully integrated with your sales process. The benefit here is that you don’t have to try to synch your cart with your email system, since it’s completely self-contained.

Infusionsoft—Probably the top tool for any business model, Infusionsoft is an all-in-one solution for customer management, funnel setup, mailing list, and even membership sites. It’s priced at the high end, but if you can (and will) use all its power, then Infusionsoft is well worth the investment.

You can see that you have a lot of options when it comes to building out your sales funnels, but what are the must-have items? At the most basic level, you must have:

An easy all in one solution like click funnels or a more advanced setup: WordPress for your website, an Autoresponder such as Aweber or Infusionsoft and PayPal for selling your products and services.

I recommend ClickFunnels if you’re just starting out but if your familiar with WordPress and the technical stuff you could do a more advanced setup.

If you not sure where to get starting leave a comment below an I’ll point you in the right direction. I’d love to hear what your business goals are too.

RELATED QUESTIONS ABOUT SALES FUNNEL

For a business owner with a solid funnel in place, it’s easy to take a look at the number of subscribers at each level of the funnel and predict pretty accurately what the sales are going to be from day to day or week to week.

If you’ve got a funnel in place, though, and your numbers aren’t looking great, chances are you have a leak somewhere. Your funnel has a hole (or two or three) where subscribers are falling through. There are four common causes for funnel leaks, and once you spot them, they’re pretty easy to fix.

MY FUNNEL IS NOT GETTING ENOUGH TRAFFIC?

Not enough traffic. The very heart of your sales funnel is the traffic you bring in. Without visitors to your blog or opt-in pages, you’ll have no subscribers. Without subscribers, you’ll have no (or very few) sales. Without sales, you’ll have no business. Yet this is where a lot of people struggle. How can you get more eyes on your content and more subscribers into your funnel?

How to fix it: Traffic generation is an entire industry of its own, but here are some tips: Use good SEO to encourage search engines to rank your content well. Be present and active in the places where your ideal reader hangs out, whether that’s on social media, in niche forums, or at live events. Use paid ads to drive targeted traffic to highly relevant pages. Recruit JV partners and affiliates to promote your offers. Buy solo ads in related email newsletters.

WHAT DO I NEED ONCE PEOPLE SUBSCRIBE?

No follow-up. This is a leaky funnel mistake that a lot of new entrepreneurs make. They spend a lot of time and energy setting up a great squeeze page and driving traffic to it, then they deliver the goods to their subscribers, and then…nothing. No follow-up emails. No offers to buy more. No related services or products. Nothing.

How to fix it: Before you spend time building that opt-in page or offer, be sure you have a back-end to promote, or those subscribers you so carefully collected will end up costing you money instead of earning it back.

HOW DO I SEND PEOPLE TO SEE MY FUNNEL?

No call-to-action. This happens most typically at the top of the funnel. Your blog posts, social media content, podcasts, YouTube videos—everything you offer for free—must have some kind of call-to-action, or it’s all just wasted energy. Your call-to-action can be as simple as “Subscribe to my YouTube channel” or “Follow me on Facebook for more tips,” but it must be there.

How to fix it: Every time you write a blog post or an email, as yourself, “What do I want my readers to do when they’re done reading/listening/watching this?” That becomes your call to action.

WHAT DO I SELL WITH MY FUNNEL?

No product offers. When you’re just starting out, this can be a problem. You know you need to be building a mailing list, but with nothing to offer them, what’s the point? The truth is, there are lots of ways to make money in your funnel even if you don’t have a product to sell.

How to fix it: Promote affiliate offers. No matter what industry you’re in, there are a variety of tools and products your readers need. Find those tools, sign up for the affiliate programs, and recommend them to your readers. Not only will your readers thank you for pointing them in the right direction, but you’ll earn a little cash, too.

Got a leaky funnel? With a few tweaks and some attention paid to your follow-up sequences, chances are you can fix those holes and increase your profits in no time.

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Marketing

About Jay

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Helping people turn their passion into a thriving business is something that is near and dear to my heart. My name is Jay and I suppose you could call me a seasoned internet marketer. I love everything about making money online (well, almost) and I have been ingrained in the internet marketing industry since 2008 when I got my start online.

I am not your typical internet marketer, they are just annoying and you can head to any “get-rich-quick” site online if you want to read that. Instead, I am going to share with you exactly how I got started with the marketing world and what my blueprint to success looked like online. If people promise instant riches with no effort they don’t have your best interest at heart; they are trying to make a quick dollar from you.

It takes many years of hard work to be an overnight success no matter what industry you’re in, online or offline. While it can take years to build a successful business, it’s much easier if you have a blueprint of what works and does not work. Real success is about long term games with long term people and that’s why I built this blog to help as many people as possible.

 

A Little Back Story

Growing up I was always a big dreamer… I had my first business at age 9 selling oranges on the side of the road. I would get excited about picking the fruit from my very own money tree. I made big signs and had a goofy over sized hat to draw in crowds. I had a knack for ways of bringing people to my little shop in front of my house.

Moving forward 12 years later I discovered it was possible to make money online. I bought my first domain name JaySalton.com in 2008. I knew very little about how to build an online business when I got started but I knew it was possible.

Seeing Others Succeeding Got Me Motivated

I saw a world of endless possibilities, so to speak. I knew if others were successful at making money online, I could be successful at it too. I just had to get a grasp of the concept of internet marketing and how it worked. I also needed to work out how to get traffic too.

My First 30 Days Online

My first 30 days online were a real eye-opener. Back in 2008 when I started out, I didn’t have access to easy to use website builder like SiteRubix, where you can create amazing looking websites with ease.

It took me a month of Sundays pulling my hair out learning how to code, literally. It ended up looking like the worst website on earth (haha). I was proud of it at the time because of the amount of effort that went into it, but looking back my first website looks like it fell from the ugly tree and hit every stick on the way down.

So my first 30 days online, I built a website… something that you will be able to do in a few minutes today.

The 3 Month Mark

The 3-month mark, I made my first sale online. I was really excited when I got that first sale, the reason being is that I didn’t understand things like search engine optimisation, I started within the paid ads with a budget of less than $5 per day.

Before I started my ads though, I needed to find an affiliate program, basically a business who would pay me a commission for the sales I sent them. To show my old age (currently 35), when I started, Facebook was not the most popular advertising social network, Myspace was. I made a few more sales but not fully grasping the best way to do it.

The 6 Month Mark

This is when things really started to get really awesome. I discovered that once you have a “simple system” to increase your success it is just a matter repeating it to amplify your results. In other words, SCALING your business.

I saw others get free traffic from Google. If I could just get my website to show up in Google I did not have to risk money buying ads. I decided that for the next 3 years I would learn how to build websites and get them on the first page of Google.

Then in 2010 I launched my first web design company

The inception of my web design and SEO company took place.

This was a pet project and something that I wanted to do for a long time, I knew first hand that I help others get their business online, just as I did. I joined forces with Russell, who used to work as a marketer at Carlton & United Breweries. With his business and offline marketing skills and my online marketing skills, we started to help local businesses get online. I also continued blogging as a side gig.

In 2012 the most EXCITING thing HAPPENED with my blog

I was featured in the DotCom-Secrets-X magazine because I built a list of 300 subscribers and made $182 USD  in affiliate sales in a single day. Finally I managed to get my website in front enough people. DotCom Secrets X was Russell Brunson’s old affiliate marketing program before he went on to launch ClickFunnels, the number one funnel building marketing tool in the world.

$181.22 in a single day might not seem like much but because it’s a passive income stream it’s a big deal. You put in a lot of effort into your blog at first, building your traffic and audience but after that you earn passive income. You continue to be paid everyday even if you no longer putting in any more effort making new posts or content. The only work you do is a little bit of maintenance to make sure things run smoothly.

Like I said earlier it takes years of hard work to be an overnight success, but can be much sooner if you have a blueprint of what works.

The 12 Year Mark

Here I stand, 12 years on working online from home. Many businesses don’t make it past the first year, many more don’t make it past 5, and a very tiny percentage are thriving past 10. Why me? I think my best quality and the one you should instil in yourself to achieve success online is to PUSH through the struggle. Keep at it.

A very small amount of people out there are willing to keep going when times are tough. Why? Because GIVING UP the absolute easiest thing you can do to remove yourself from any struggle. Don’t quit, don’t give up, and you will be way ahead of 80% of people. Nature thrives the most when the conditions are harsh; this is how the natural world learns to evolve and improve. You too can be an overnight success but you just need to put in the hard work first. Your job or “Active Income” can stop at any moment and you lose your only source of income. The only way to build true wealth is “Passive Income Streams.” It does not matter if you work or not, the money will continue to come in. Passive income will set you free from the 9 to 5 grind.

My Mission With JaySalton.com

I want to help as many people as possible so they can work from home and turn their passion into a thriving business . There is a lot of confusion and misinformation when it comes to making money online. They bamboozle you with empty promises and big claims that pressure you into quick sales. I’m here to shine light onto what it really takes to make money online. I’ve been in the game for the past 12 years. Consider this blog as your very own blue print it documents what works and what does not work so you can avoid the pitfalls you may encounter.

Think of JaySalton.com as your blueprint for success.

I cover all the steps about building your own passive income blog, It does not matter what industry you are in online or offline, anyone can get free traffic from Google to build their own business.

Join the journey with me. Follow me. Ask me for help. Offer your own opinions.

Thanks for stopping by JaySalton.com and listening to my story. Your story can be just as incredible and exciting with a little hard work and dedication.

Let’s make online income magic happen

Jay Salton

JaySalton.com

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