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What is Sales Funnel Marketing?
Do you ever wonder how businesses go from “stranger” to “customer”? Well, there’s usually some kind of stepped process that marketers call the “sales funnel”.
The general idea of a sales funnel is to attract new leads and then build a relationship that eventually ends in a sale. The most simple funnel moves your lead through a series of events with the intention of becoming a loyal and valued customer.
Stages of a Sales Funnel
Marketers have mastered the art of making the sale and there are so many different variables, but the basics always remain the same.
- Awareness – This will be the stage at which someone has visited your website and can relate to your brand. It will comprise the largest amount of warm leads.
- Decision – At this stage, the “stranger” has decided that they would like to hear more from you and may opt-in to your newsletter or download an opt-in. Typically, 20% is a good conversion rate for this stage, which means for every 100 people who visit, 20 will sign up for something free (usually with some kind of added value)
- Interest – This group of people have tried out a few of your freebies, read your content and are following you. At this stage, they will seek out how else you can help them or what products or services you might offer.
- Action – These people have done their research and have decided that you are the one to help them with their pain points. This is usually only about 2% of the people that were in your interest group. That means out of the 20 that opted-in for a freebie or your newsletter, 0.4 people will buy from you. This is purely a numbers game. The more leads at the awareness level, the more you will have at the action level. Traffic will be key.
- Loyalty – These are your repeat customers. The ones who will rave and write testimonials for your products. These are YOUR CUSTOMERS, YOUR PEOPLE.
Everyone in the blogging world knows that to start making passive income, you need to start thinking about sales funnels after you’ve mastered the concept of email marketing.
Funnels also allow opportunities for tripwires or squeeze pages that are loaded with a low-cost offer that fits somewhere in between your Fabulous Freebie and your ultimate products or services.
An Example of a Working Sales Funnel Template
My best sales funnel consists of a simple way of collecting email subscribers through a freebie (Ultimate Blogging Toolkit for Beginners), offering a low-cost offer for a short period of time (Blogger’s Best Bundle), and then an email nurture sequence that ends in an offer to sign up for my blogging course (Simply Blogging).
When you are thinking of designing your own funnel, it might be easiest to work backward with the big picture in mind and fill in the gaps. When I first got started, this worked best for me.
How to Get Started as a Beginner Building Your First Passive Income Sales Funnel
Email marketing is such an important part of building your audience and nurturing relationships. But email marketing is just the endpoint. There’s a very critical step that so many bloggers are missing out on.
Most bloggers don’t take advantage of the opportunities between providing an amazing opt-in to your subscribers and getting them onto your email list. Creating a sales funnel within that offer can provide additional services or solutions to your readers that can benefit them. And you earn money doing it. YES!
These offers are often referred to as upsells or tripwires. If you’ve ever downloaded a freebie from a successful blogger, you’ve likely seen one. It goes something like this: You put your info into a form for the opt-in and click submit. Then a quick screen pops up to tell you that your freebie is on its way. BUT there’s another, limited time offer available as well.
This upsell is the magic that you are probably not taking advantage of.
How to Put The Pieces of a Sales Funnel Together
In theory, sales funnels are a simple concept. Even deciding how the funnel will play out can be easy, especially if you’ve already got some products in your arsenal. But then try to put the whole crazy thing with all it’s working parts in order!
This should be the definition of insanity.
Most people outsource this stage using software that is really great at handling all aspects of the funnel. From the landing pages, shopping carts and follow up emails, there is software to do it all in one. And after doing it the hard way, I can see why.
Here’s the thing. As a relatively new blogger, I bootstrap as many of my resources as I can. I save my income to focus on some of the work that I really need help with. So, I decided that I would try to tackle this on my own. For free. (Or as near free as I could do it)
GREAT NEWS: It can be done.
SHITTY NEWS: It may take a lot of time and you may shed a tear or drink a bottle of wine (or two). This may not be a solution for the light-hearted or un-tech savvy.Learn how to build your own passive income sales funnel for FREE. No expensive software needed! #blogtips #passiveincome #salesfunnels Click To Tweet
How to Create a Passive Income Funnel for FREE
To create this fully functioning, albeit duct-taped version, you will need to download a few plugins and have external software to make it all work.
- WooCommerce to host your tripwire product and provide the shopping cart so that people can purchase and access the product
- Elementor plugin (free version) to create three pages: You’ll need to create an opt-in page with your freebie, a tripwire/squeeze page for your low-cost offer, and a thank you page (cause that’s a nice addition). Now I will tell you that I got frustrated with my lack of creative skills and finally bought the entire landing page kit from BluChic which works beautifully with my theme to avoid having to create all the pages I needed for this step. And honestly, it was money well-spent.
- Mailerlite (or any other email service provider) to set up a signup form for the freebie that will direct the new leads to a URL success page which will be the Tripwire/Squeeze page with your low-cost, time-sensitive offer
- YITH plugin- So that you can redirect to your “Thank You” Elementor page instead of the generic WooCommerce thank you page
How to Manage the Sales Funnel Once You Have Collected the Subscriber
You will also want to set up a nurture email sequence to not only thank your new customer for signing up for your freebie but also to give another opportunity to buy if they didn’t purchase the low-cost offer immediately. After they have received the initial automation, I add all my subscribers to a master list to receive regular weekly newsletters.
Once you have the sequence all set up, it pretty much just works for itself. The only thing you need to do is drive traffic to your blog to sign up for that freebie offer and as traffic builds, you’ll start seeing those tripwire sales roll in. This is the crux of passive income.
Sales Funnel Tips
- Make sure that your offers are related and make sense. You wouldn’t offer a free cleaning checklist and then offer to sell an ebook on eating healthy.
- Your tripwire or squeeze page should be low-cost. Think something between $9 and $47 (depending on your audience and the offer)
- Use tripwire funnel sales to pay for additional marketing like Facebook ads
- You can create ads for your freebie and use a plugin like AdInserter to automatically insert them into your posts at specific places
- Don’t stress if it seems like it is taking too long for your funnel to work for you. It’s all about the numbers. Drive traffic to your blog, market your freebie and the rest will happen naturally
Sales funnels can take a little time to set up, but they are definitely worth the work. Any way that you can create another opportunity to help your readers and earn income is a win-win in my books.
Have you implemented your own passive income sales funnel? Did you do it on your own or do you use software? Let me know in the comments below!