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How To Build A Sales Funnel Online In 6 Steps

how to build a sales funnel
Funnel Secrets is reader-supported. If you buy products through our affiliate links, we may earn a commission (at no extra cost).

A sales funnel describes the route of your prospects to become paying customers. The customer journey has different stages, from the first contact to the exclusive deal.

Your sales funnel’s main objective is to shift clients from one stage to another efficiently. It must be first-rate if you want to create a profitable sales strategy.

However, how to build a sales funnel and make the most of this tool? This guide includes step-by-step instructions to accomplish your goal. 

Keep reading to discover all the pro tips to foster your business’ development!

1. Funnel Hacking

what is funnel hacking

Funnel Hacking is strategically analyzing your competitors’ marketing and sales tactics to model and test them within your company’s marketing and sales strategies.

In other words, you’ll actively participate in the various phases of your competitors’ sales funnels before evaluating how they can develop your own.

Funnel hacking isn’t about copying. Instead, it aims to be intelligent and original to figure out which strategies are best for one specific situation. 

The one who created the term “funnel hacking” is Russell Brunson, a marketing guru, and co-founder of ClickFunnels. Bruson has a complete guide to this concept.

2. Create a Bait

jarvis free trial page
Create a free offer to attract your target audience – Image Source: Jasper

You should outline what you will offer your customers as they pass through your sales funnel. Your offers will go like this: Bait -> Front end -> Middle -> Back end.

Bait is a lead magnet given to the prospect for free or at a low cost. Although the bait works for a big, overall sales funnel, it’s necessary for every mini sales funnel in the sales process. Hence, it would be a low-risk offer to entice prospects. 

You must attract someone with an appealing offer before selling them one of your products and services. It could be a sample, free ebook, etc.

Using bait is a terrific method for obtaining more information about a potential customer, such as their email address, which paves the way to further advanced engagement. 

Additionally, with good bait, you can exclude prospective customers who reject your offer. These people don’t often intend your products.

3. Front-end Offer

The front-end offer is a low-risk and low-price offer that benefits your potential customers. It helps them gain trust in your brand while enabling them to resolve small issues quickly.

The offer will give potential clients an overview of what to expect from working with you. It will aid your efforts to encourage new buyers further to join you.

The risks to your company are a little higher at this point. Those who view this sales-oriented content through your bait offer have already been pre-qualified. It indicates they should be interested in your products and services. 

It’s critical to maintain their interest and clearly convey the genuine worth of your offer. By optimizing your squeeze page, you may achieve this. 

A squeeze page includes four sections. To build an effective page, you need to work on all four.  


Your copy must effectively convey the value of your product and encourage your viewers to act immediately. Try these tips to write your squeeze page copy: 

  • Let the character of your brand shine.
  • Customize the message to your target audience.
  • Reduce the length of phrases and paragraphs while adding more depth.
  • Write no more than the sixth-grade reading level.
  • Use bullet points and numbered lists to make your ideas clearer. 
  • Every 200 to 300 words need an image or a sub-header. 

Images and Videos

The core of your squeeze page is textual content. But material may come in a wide range of forms, such as videos and images. The method you choose depends significantly on the value ladder level you’re aiming for.

You may use a backstory film to explain the idea behind your business. It’s also a good idea to interview past or existing customers. You can hear about their contentment with your products or services. 

The material should be brief and to the point to increase the likelihood that your new prospects will watch the full video. 

Social Proof

To support the planned content, add more social proof and tailor it to the value ladder you aim for.

Make sure the customer feedback you use for the proof is relevant to the case of the target audience and complements the promoted offer. 

Generalized social proof for your business may be beneficial in attracting new customers. Nevertheless, if you want to gain higher sales lower down the funnel, you’ll need to use particular stories from satisfied customers. 


Call-to-Action (CTA) tells your audience what they need to do to get the deal. Whatever you’re selling, the CTA must be very clear on the squeeze page. 

Your CTA must stand out from all other elements of the landing page so prospective users can proceed to the next step whenever they’re ready.

You can put the CTA in the middle, top, or bottom of the page. Choose the right position where your viewers can easily interact with it.

4. Middle Offer

A middle offer is a more effective and comprehensive solution that aids clients in solving a more complex situation. Additionally, it better equips consumers for your most costly products or services.

A downsell is a promotion that costs less than the front-end offer, whereas an upsell costs more. It’s a critical component of the sales funnel.

During this stage, you need to work with upsells and downsells. Upsell offers frequently come in the following forms:

  • Discounts for bulk purchases 
  • Modified or customized versions of the original items
  • Offers to reduce the cost of extending the subscription’s length
  • Supplementary items (cross-sells)

On the other hand, downsells can be: 

  • Payment plans for costly upsells
  • Cheaper versions of upsells
  • Discounted or limited trial periods of upsells 

 5. Back-end Offer

Back-end offers are your most significant, intensive, and expensive products or services that clients may repeatedly use to address a recurrent problem in their life.

No one can be sure that your customers will climb up the value ladder once they’ve taken advantage of everything you offer them at their current stage. 

Customers frequently choose to stay with what they are familiar with instead of taking a risk by moving to your next level of service.

You have to persuade them that upgrading to the highest tier of your value ladder will be really advantageous for them.

Keep your customers interested in your brand rather than aggressively promoting your more valuable products. It might imply:

  • Delivering tailored material in their favored format so they may make the most of the existing service or product they enjoy.
  • Providing top-notch client support.
  • Continuously address the extra value your higher-tiered solution delivers, relevant to the value each particular customer is searching for.
  • Introducing a community where your customers can interact with each other.

5. Map It Out On The Value Ladder

Based on the value ladder, we have set everything in the previous steps, from the bait to back end offer.

A value ladder model is a roadmap for how you want to assist your clients strategically as they progress with you.

You lay out all of your available services and products in descending order of quality and cost.

The value ladder vs sales funnel
The value ladder

The value ladder includes ascending levels of services or products that advance across price ranges and rise in value at each step.

Now it’s time to outline the offers you intend to place along your value ladder. 

It can be a list of the products you already provide as well as those you hope to give in the future.

6. Determine the Goal and Type of Sales Funnels in Each Stage

The sales funnel stages will impact consumers’ behavior. Once you understand the content framework and materials required for your sales funnel, this time create your sales processes. You will learn different types of sales funnel and how to use them to build your customer journey in this section.

The funnel’s top, middle, and bottom have different goals, meaning you should build different funnels and use different marketing strategies.

1. Top of the funnel: Lead generation

value ladder and sales funnel

Lead Funnel is the first stage in your customer journey or step one on the value ladder.

Our goal is to attract potential customers at the top of the funnel and collect their contact information using freebies that we call a lead magnet.

The most popular framework we have seen was called a “Pop-up” ad.

When the customer visits your blog post, a pop-up will appear in front of the window and tell you to download or get something for free (report, video training, new guide, coupon, etc.).

Many websites build a huge email list by using pop-up ads.

Let’s see the funnel framework below.

How to build a sales funnel pop-up ads

Even though pop-ups are helpful for marketers, the market complained, and web browsers built pop-up blockers into their software. So people easily stop these types of ads.

This is the reason why Lead Funnel is a solution. Instead of using pop-ups, we turn pop-ups into a page (a squeeze page) where people can give us an email address if they want to see more information and move to the next.

lead magnet funnel

There are so many types of funnels that help you generate an email list. After analyzing a ton of sales funnel, there are 3 that helped us get more leads at the top of the funnel are:

If you want to learn more about it, click here to visit our knowledge center.

2. Middle of the Funnel: Get Customers

The next stage is to dig into your prospects’ pain points and turn them into valuable assets. You can utilize social media, websites, or even email content in order for them to go deeper in their sales process with you!

The goal is to convert prospects to customers; you start to sell a product or service.

I suggest you need to make a low-ticket offer first because it converts really well. There are two types you should be concerned about:

They’re critical to break even on ads and require new customers and starting to get profitable. The marketing funnel may have more or fewer steps, but they look like this in common.

Tripwire funnel map

* Download the share funnel here for FREE

3. Bottom of the funnel

Keep moving the marketing funnel; the price goes up. Make sure we make a great piece of content to sell a high-priced product. There are two types most marketers use:

Take a look at the sales funnel stage below to understand how it works.

webinar sales funnel template

When your product price is between $400 – $1000, the best solution is to use a longer-form presentation to explain. People will go through awareness, interest, and be ready to buy.

You must break false beliefs and introduce a new opportunity before your customers see the order form.

Creating a great presentation requires a lot of work and time spent. Luckily, you can get the Perfect Webinar scripts from Russell Brunson (co-founder of Clickfunnels) for $7 only.

And it helps you save time and avoid more effort.

The second way is the Application funnel.

application funnel

When your product is over $1000, it could be hard to convince customers to buy it online. We are changing the selling environment from online to offline, which means sales and marketing work together.

In the first step, we try to throw out the better hooks to get their attention. The goal is to make potential customers fill the application form (get leads).

For example, Neil Patel – SEO service.

Neil Patel application funnel

Next step, your sales team calls to close them on the phone and meet at the coffee shop or your office. If you want to increase the conversion rate, having a sales pipeline is a good idea.

Want to get more sales funnel ideas? Checkout 21 Types Of Funnels To Maximize Your Business Growth

7. Build Funnel Pages

A well-designed sales funnel page will guarantee that website visitors perform the desired response and join your sales funnel.

Understanding your audience and finding a method to grab their attention can help you convince them to view your offer, give it some thought, grasp it properly, and buy something or move forward.

Prospective customers must find your sales funnel page impressive. To achieve this goal, the page should have: 

An engaging title and subheading that appeal to your target audience quickly 

  • Details on the lead magnet, service, product, webinar, etc. 
  • A list of advantages or the reasons your audience should choose you 
  • Features about your offers
  • Frequently Asked Questions 
  • Information about the staff, company, or author of the course so you can build credibility

There are many tools to build your funnel pages, and each tool offers various features to assist you. This video will show you how to create amazing funnel pages on ClickFunnels:

YouTube video

8. Connect Bundles, Bumps, Upsells, and Downsells

When a potential customer has reached the point where you feel they are willing to make a purchase, make sure the offer you provide to them is very relevant to their particular situation.

To keep a client moving toward conversion when your offer isn’t what they’re searching for, you’ll need to have backup offers available.

It would be best to have a similar, lower-value solution to give a prospect if they don’t feel ready to buy your mid-tier or top-tier one. 

Instead of offering a basic downsell to every prospect who rejects your initial offer, customize such downsells to the prospect’s particular needs.

On the other hand, if a customer selects your first offer, you should make an upsell that is appropriate for their expectations.

If the second offer brings them the exact values they want from your business, they will be far more likely to take it.

9. Exit Intent Offers In Your Sales Funnel

Most visitors who browse your landing page will eventually leave without taking action. It’s common, but you shouldn’t accept it. 

Instead, take steps to keep visitors on your page and, hopefully, consider your offer again.

Every of your landing pages should have exit intent offerings. They can be overlays or pop-ups presented on the site to ensure your visitors really want to leave.  

Exit intent pop-ups offer instant and simple-to-understand value to your visitors to your website. You may encourage them to stay on your website for longer by creating a proper exit intent pop-up with these tips. 

  • The pop-up should have a bold and clear statement. Create a compelling headline and keep your content brief and simple to read.
  • Make sure that your CTA is easy to grasp. 
  • The exit-intent images you use should be relevant to your offer. Additionally, they must appeal to your audience. The best images are eye-catching but not so hectic that they take the viewer’s focus away from your offer.
  • Your pop-up should be straightforward to see, concise, and attractive on mobile screens. Moreover, it needs to blend in with your website’s style and tone.
  • You may enhance the placement and message of your pop-ups by doing A/B testing.

10. Create an Email Follow-up Campaign

After clients take action on your web pages, such as interacting with your services or products, you may use follow-up emails to ask them about or collect their feedback.

Following are some ideas on how to add context to follow-up emails and create flawless email writing and design:

  • When you work with cold emails, attach references and social evidence to create authority and connection.
  • Get to the point quickly. Don’t offer too much information since the reader can become overloaded.
  • To develop one-to-one communication, write emails with a warm tone and make it individual.
  • Instead of just asking people for their response via email, appreciate their time by giving informative materials like blog posts or ebooks. 
  • Write emails and design their layouts in a straightforward yet eye-catching style.

Nowadays, business owners choose to employ automated email to boost productivity. You may design a follow-up sequence that can send emails automatically in response to user behaviors.

As the name implies, a follow-up email sequence circles back and contacts your prospects after the first engagement. This method aims to nurture them toward conversion.

To put it another way, you compose a collection of emails in advance and schedule them to send at specific times. By doing so, you may check up with prospects instantly and at scale without having to press “Send repeatedly.”

11. Testing and Address Sales Funnel Problems

Sales funnels are dynamic. As your business expands, your sales funnel will change in size and shape. When your service and product lines broaden and as your clients’ demands evolve, you become more aware of their needs.

To ensure the effectiveness of your sales funnel, you should always check the following metrics: 

  • Leads generated
  • Lead conversion rate
  • Cost per lead
  • Customer lifetime value
  • Turnover rate

Once you’ve gathered this data, you can begin adjusting your sales funnel. For example, you should focus on your lead generation effort if you are not collecting enough leads.

Conducting A/B testing is another excellent technique to gauge your campaign’s performance. When doing an A/B test, just one difference exists between the two versions.

For example, while split testing the CTA, you won’t alter graphics, buttons, or anything else. Your goal is to identify the specific reason why performance has improved.

Sales Funnel Builder

Building a successful sales funnel is tricky. Luckily, you can choose a reliable funnel builder to help you achieve this goal. We recommend three options as follows. 

Systeme.io – starts at $27/month

systeme sales funnel software

Systeme.io is an all-in-one marketing tool that helps you easily create a sales funnel. With the assistance of this tool, you can: 

  • Create and automate your sales funnel using a straightforward and comprehensive drag-and-drop editor 
  • Increase efficiency using tried-and-true templates
  • Integrate your membership website, payment processor, and email list
  • Send emails and offer immediate access to courses

ClickFunnels – Start at $97/month

sales funnel software clickfunnels

ClickFunnels offers a wide range of sales integrations, solutions, features, and training courses.

All of its features aim to maximize conversion rates and improve audience interaction. Benefits of using ClickFunnels to build your sales funnel include: 

  • All sales funnel layouts come with pre-made templates, both paid and unpaid, from which you can select to suit your needs.
  • You can design pages that look professional using the drag-and-drop page builder without knowing any code.
  • The one-click upsells and downsells tool in ClickFunnels will boost the average value of your sales.
  • Opt-in forms from ClickFunnels let you add people to your mailing list. Even autoresponders from a third party can work with the forms.

Thrive Suite – Start at $99/Quarter

thrive suite wordpress funnel builder

Thrive Membership is a set of WordPress-compatible technologies and plugins. These resources help you create a sales funnel and evaluate its effectiveness.

Here is a list of advantages this software offers you: 

  • You may create your sales funnel using templates from Thrives. Pre-built pages are available for many purposes, including sales, opt-in, landing, and webinars.
  • Your website can have pop-up forms, sticky forms, slider forms, in-line forms, and more.
  • You may design appealing homepages, landing pages, blog posts, sales pages, and more with the aid of Thrive Architect.
  • You can quickly add buttons, prices, videos, and other features to your websites.

What Next?

Sales funnels play a vital role in your sales performance. To make the best of them, you should master all the skills. If you don’t know where to start, try One Funnel Away Challenge

One Funnel Away Challenge, created by Russell Brunson, is a 30-day training program that walks you through the steps of creating and deploying a sales funnel. 

With years of experience in the field, Russell Brunson will give you everything you need to know about building high-converting funnels. You can also take your first step in the industry in the right way.


It takes time to build an effective sales funnel. Your task is never-ending because customer behavior always changes. Hence, you always need to work for improvement, optimization, and training.

As your target audience changes and as your company develops, you may want to create new funnels. However, it is worthwhile if you are serious about boosting sales and attracting committed clients.

Hopefully, you will find this article helpful. If you have any questions when following our guide, don’t hesitate to contact us. Don’t forget to share your experience with us and learn from the past. It’s how we develop. 

Thank you for reading!

Frequently Asked questions

1. How to build a sales funnel from scratch?

We make a sales funnel following 6 steps:

1. Define niche and customer avatar
2. Create offers around them, divide them into the values ​​ladder, and arrange the upsell / downsell properly
3. Pick the type of funnel
4. Create landing pages in the funnel
5. Set up an email campaign ( you may be added SMS, Facebook chatbot)
6. Testing & optimization

2. How much does it cost to build a sales funnel?

Depend on your knowledge and the tools you used so that the cost will be different. This is the reference price:

Landing page tools (pick one):

_ Systeme (start for free)
_ Clickfunnels – $97/month
_ Leadpages – $37/month
_ or Unbounce – $80/month

Email automation tools: 

_ Getresponse $15/month
_ Or Active campaign $15/month

Ebook, course, product mockup: start at $10 on Funnelrolodex and Fiverr

Sales Funnel Copywriting: 

_ Sales copy start at $125
_ Ebook writing > $300
_ Email > $200
_ Headline $90 (the price from Funnel Rolodex).

Another option is using Funnel Scripts (lifetime $797) or Jasper ($29/month) to do it yourself.

Payment Gateway: Samcart: $49/ month, or Stripe: 2.9% + 30¢ per successful card charge

3. How to create sales funnel for FREE?

You could use Systeme to start to create your sales funnel for free

4. What Makes good sales funnel?

There are so many variables in your funnel, but 3 essential things decide whether your funnel is doing well: Hook, Story, and Offer. Somehow, your funnel is not working effectively. You should take a look in:

_ What’s a hook on this page?
_ What could we do to make it better?
_ What’s about the story?
_ Does it build the perceived value of your offer?
_ What’re people think about the offer?
_ and How could we make it sexier?

Key logo funnel secrets


Key Nguyen

Key is the brainchild behind Funnelsecrets.us. You'll often find him analyzing conversion rates, tweaking landing pages, and exploring new marketing automation software. He loves to write about sales funnel building and is always tinkering with the latest conversion optimization techniques!

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