This is a complete guide to help you know how to build a sales funnel online from scratch for beginners
If you want to learn:
- How to create a sales funnel that converts SUPER well.
- Understand what a successful sales funnel has.
- Clearly about how much does it cost to build a sales funnel.
- As soon as your funnel is live, what would you do if it does not work well as you want?
- See examples of the world’s best sales funnels.
Thereby, you will add new strategies to your marketing campaigns, make them diverse, attract more potential customers, and get more sales for your online business.
Let get started!
Table of Contents
Step #1: Identify Your Target audience
This section will go through a method that will help you identify your target audience. Most businesses already define their dream customers.
However, I want to ensure that you will not try to sell your product or service to “anyone interested in my services.”
Although your product may be suitable for people of different ages, locations, gender, etc., you will want to focus on a specific audience, solve a specific problem, and have a message specific to that audience.
This is extremely important as it will help you:
- Know which content and message to build in the funnel
- Create an irresistible offer
- Understanding prospects means that you know what they want, so you can deliver the content they care about and build strong relationships through your email campaigns.
And that is the foundation for your funnel to be successful.
Use Psychographic instead of Demographic.
Many times when you hear people talking about niches, they’re talking something like:
- My niche has 50,000 search volume for this.
- Or my audience is males from 25-30 years old in the US.
You need to understand here; the volume of keywords means how many people are interested in the topic. They have different dreams, knowledge, finance, etc. So if you think they’re the same, then that is the biggest mistake.
Remember, people will buy from you. A keyword count doesn’t buy from you.
The second thing is about demographics.
It’s too broad. Based on your data, you can tell me how many people buy from you based on age, location, gender, Job, etc. But if you try and use demographics exclusively, you’re going to have a tough time selling anything to anyone.
It would be better if we were using psychographics.
Psychographics have more personal characteristics and refer to what’s going on inside of a person’s head:
- What is their specific problem?
- and Goals
How to define your niche and target audience?
If you are familiar with the Blue Ocean Strategy, you may know by creating your new niche or category; you quickly become the majority of the market.
There are three core desires /markets that people hope to get a certain result when they buy your product or service:
Follow the steps below to determine your niche and target audience.
Step 1: Which of these 3 core desires your audience is trying to receive when buying your product?
Step2: Inside each desire are multiple submarkets.
For example, your core desire is health, so you can list multiple submarkets such as:
- Gain muscle
- Lose weight
- Mental Health
From there, you should ask yourself, “what are the other submarkets that my product or service fits into?”
Step 3: What are all niches inside of the submarket? List them all and choose one
For example, If I have chosen “Lose weight” as my submarket, I list all the niches inside:
- Low carb diet
- Keto weight loss
- Fat burn supplement
- weight loss for women
- Workout at home
That core markets and submarkets become red oceans, so you need to go deeper to find the niche with lower competitors. In fact, it’s hard to find an actual Blue Ocean no matter what your business is; there are always competitors in existence.
Step 4: Identify your customers’ pain points, questions, roadblocks, and results they want.
Now you complete identifying your niche and understanding your target audience’s problems and voice. Based on it, we could create incredible offers and make the message (Hook and story)
Step #2: Hook – Story – Offer
This section goes through the content framework to close your website visitors to leads and becomes customers. It’s essential for your marketing campaign, even if it is:
- Marketing funnel
- Sales pipeline
- Email marketing
- Paid Ads
- Landing page content
- and more
If something isn’t working in your funnel, it’s always either the hook, story, or offer.
1. Create an Irresistible Offer (or Close)
There is no strategic advantage of being the second-lowest price leader in town, but there is a huge strategic advantage of being the most expensiveDan S. Kenedy
No matter what industry you are in, competitors always sell products at a lower price than you. If you try to fight on the price, you must be the cheapest seller in your market.
Unless you’re a company with a large budget or a trustworthy brand; otherwise, you will not be able to pay the cost of advertising. Significantly, the price of advertising for Facebook and Google has increased recently (not to mention that your business account has been limited for no reason)
Instead, we try to increase the perceived value of what is being sold. If you sell a book, you should list everything inside the offer and make it unique because no other book has that information.
Most of the time, when you try to sell something to customers, the problem is not that they have no money, but you haven’t increased the value to the point where they feel your offer is reasonable.
You still make money if you have a good offer, even horrible at selling and story. The goal of an offer is:
- Increase the perceived value of what is being sold.
- Make what you sold unique and only available within your special offer.
While the offer was good, it’s not enough to produce sales. You also need a good story that helps your prospects trust you enough to buy from you.
Creating a great story or sales message is not easy. I wish I could go deep into the sales script here. But, it will make the post too long.
It would be best to get the Expert Secrets book or Copywriting book (Both are free). Reading mastering that book helps you find and tell the stories you need and creates curious Hooks to get people’s attention.
The hook is available everywhere; it’s maybe an image on social media newsfeed, email title, a headline on landing pages, video features image on Youtube, etc.
Hook does not provide any value, but it grabs people’s attention to make them stop and read the story. Then you have a chance to show an offer and convince them to take action.
Every sale messages we throw out into the market have dozens of hooks.
- Before-after pictures
- Video on landing pages
- Product images
- Meme on social media
- Funny images
- The list goes on
No matter what it is, keep throwing out until you find the ones that grab prospect attention. That effectively hooks customers.
Step 3: Pick a Types Of Sales Funnel
The sales funnel stages will impact consumers’ behavior. Once you understand the content framework and materials required for your sales funnel, this time to create your sales processes. You will learn different types of the sales funnel and how to use it to build your customer journey in this section.
The top, middle, and bottom of the funnel have different goals, which means you should build different funnels and use different marketing strategies.
1. Top of the funnel: Lead generation
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 see the funnel framework below.
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-up into a page (a squeeze page) where people could give us an email address if they want to see more information and move to the next.
There are so many types of funnel, 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 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:
- Tripwire Funnel
- Free & shipping (or Book Funnel)
They’re critical to break even on ads and require new customers and start to get profitable. The marketing funnel may have more or fewer steps, but they look like this in common.
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 used:
- Webinar funnel
- Application Funnel (include a sales team to help you close).
Take a look at the sales funnel stage below to understand how it works.
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.
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.
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.
Step 4: Funnel Building – How To Build an Online Sales Funnel
It’s time to learn how to create a sales funnel, get it up, and live. I will share the guide, provide many excellent landing page examples, and explain WHY it works.
1. Define The Goal and Pick The Sales Funnel
1.1 Choose your funnel based on product or service price.
- Free: Lead funnel
- $1 – $100: Buyer funnel
- $100 – $1000: Webinar funnel
- $1000 +: Application funnel
1.2 Where is the funnel in your value ladder?
Based on your value ladder, you can find the best sales funnel for your product.
In fact, you never know whether your sales funnel works before testing. So we should create the sales funnel fast, make it live, and spend 1-2 weeks testing. If it fails, optimize or try a new funnel type until you win.
2. Funnel Mapping
Once you picked the type of funnel. It easily to map your sales funnel on the whiteboard. You could learn the framework of any sales funnel in the knowledge center or Funnel hacked from competitors.
However, depending on your offers and the solution that your funnel solves, the steps may be more or less.
Here are some questions you should ask yourself.
- How many landing pages I will add to my funnel?
- What is the hook on each page?
- The story
- The Offer
Draw each funnel page to visually the sales process and what you need to create first.
Pro Tip: If you don’t know which type of funnels works for your business model (real estate, gym owners, local business, etc) so you can attend the Brick & Mortar summit to look at successful sales funnels from top entrepreneurs for free.
3. Create Your Sales Funnel In Clickfunnels
Clickfunnels is the best sales funnel software I have used to build my entire sales funnel. Despite I am still using WordPress for my blog and landing page. However, Clickfunnels allows me to create sales funnel faster, more accessible, and more features without technical skill or design experience.
Pro tip: If you have a low budget and can’t afford the Clickfunnels price, you could use Systeme.io instead. Systeme is the best solution for people who looking for how to build a sales funnel for free.
There are two ways to create a sales funnel in Clickfunnels.
3.1 Use Clickfunnel Template Design
3.1.1 Clickfunnels Classic Editor
In the Clickfunnels dashboard, click on the “Build a New Funnel” button to start the process
Based on your goal, the sales funnel stages may be different. The tool suggests three easy paths to build sales funnel.
- Collect emails
- Sell product
- and host webinar
Wait for a few minutes; you will drive inside the funnel customize page, where you can edit your sales funnel quickly. On the left-hand side are steps of the funnel. You can add a new step or delete it depending on the funnel map that you draw above.
On the right-hand side is the landing page template design that you can choose to create each page in the funnel immediately.
Watch the video below to understand the process of creating a sales funnel.
3.1.2 The Cookbook Builder
The Funnel Cookbook is the second way to get more templates for your sales funnel.
Step 1: Open the Cookbook builder
Step 2: Select the type of funnel, goal, and template suggestion.
Step 3: Pick your template and start editing.
Watch the video below to learn how to use the Funnel Cookbook.
2. Build your sales funnel from scratch (blank page)
For some reason, you want to create your sales funnel from blank or customize it as you wish. Make sure you understand three essential things on a landing page.
- Section: The basic containers for your header, body areas, and footer of your pages. Each section can have its background image or color.
- Row & Column: The next step is to create rows and columns on your page. Each section has multiple rows; each row has multiple columns. Make sure you are providing a structure that is responsive and mobile-friendly.
- Elements: Each row has multiple elements. It’s the basic blocks on the page (Headline, text, image, opt-in form, call to action button, countdown times, progress bar, and more)
Clickfunnels gives you 40+ different elements that you can quickly add to your pages to help your conversion rate better (customers make a purchase, leave an email address, produce a piece of content that convinces them ready to buy, etc.)
Pro tip: Download the Funnel Hackers Cookbook to get 22 sales funnel recipes for your business for free.
4. Create a One-Click Upsell page to boost your sales
One-Click Upsells or One Time Offer Page (OTO) is essential to help you increase sales and get more profitable after your customers make a purchase.
Using our One-Click upsell page, you can immediately upgrade a new customer’s order without having them return to their original information and retype everything in.
According to Samcart, the one-click upsell helps X1000 better result. Watch the video below to learn how to set up the one-click upsell.
Sticky One-Click Upsell
Step 5: Create the Email Marketing Campaign
Now, I am going to share with you how to create a basic email campaign include:
- Create high conversion rates for your follow-up email content.
- Automation triggers
- Integrate email marketing tool with the sales funnel software
- and more
Let’s dive right in!
1. Email Follow Up
When someone joins the list, we take them through a process where we send multiple emails to tell a story, each email hooks subscribers to read the next email.
The goal is to build a relationship then convince them to buy your product or service.
You can have up to 50 days long in the beginning (emailing four or five times a week) and eventually be six months to a year long.
However, if you’re a sales funnel beginner, I highly recommend not writing more than 10 emails. Because you don’t know whether your sales funnels work or not, so writing more emails will waste your time and effort.
The goal here is to create sales funnel fast as soon as possible to figure out the right offer and hook.
2. How to create an email marketing campaign?
You could use Active Campaign or Getresponse to create the email follow-up series and broadcast.
This section is not meant to be a full tutorial on how to use Active Campaign, as you can find step-by-step tutorials inside the software to help you create email automation.
Rather, I’d like to give you a “quick start” of the process. Watch the video below to learn how to set up new welcome email automation.
After completing your follow-up email campaign, we integrate Active Campaign with the sales funnel software. This means people will be added to the list and receive emails automated.
Step 6: Sales Funnel Optimization
After creating a sales funnel, this time to make it live, optimize your sales and marketing efforts. Your funnel may help your business generate leads and acquire customers. The bad news is that most of the funnel doesn’t work the first time. You must test your funnel in the real world to be sure.
In this section, you will learn how to optimize and fix your funnel.
1. A/B Testing
A lot of time, when you are faced with a landing page decision, you try to decide what content is better to use, such as:
A good way to do it is to create two or three different variations, then compare them side by side to see how customers react to them and use that data to decide.
Inside Clickfunnels, we easily split each landing page in a funnel and set how many percent of traffic visit each version.
A/B testing is a tool, but it’s not a religion. The main problem that I can see with A/b testing is that many factors can impact a test like that. Set up a proper examination and know your test has reached a statistical significance, meaning there have been enough people who have gone through both A and B for the result to be meaningful.
The result is sometimes misleading. It’s just a random coincidence that one test has performed better than the control. Split testing is good, but they have their own flaws.
A simple tip I learned from Alex Mehr – CEO & Co-Founder of Mentorbox, is using A/B – B/B testing to trust the data that I have got.
2. A/A – B/B Testing
Instead of creating two landing page variations, we create four versions of the landing page (two for test A and two for test B with the same design but two variations)
Then we will run traffic to it or test it. The results of two buckets of similar designs will be different most of the time. That means they’re the same thing, but they’re showing different results. We wait until
- Bucket one A equals bucket two A.
- Bucket one B equals bucket two B.
Now, you can trust these experiments because the same design resulted in the same conversion rate. Then you can compare A and B, which would eliminate a lot of misinformation that split testing can cause.
I know many people use split testing a lot to make decisions these days. But in my experience, split testing is not done right, or believing in split testing outcomes that are actually not right, and just a fluke is worse than not knowing even.
I hope you enjoyed my new sales funnel guide and understand the process of how to build a sales funnel online from scratch. Once you understand the process, you can invest in marketing activities that attract more prospective customers, convert them into leads, and become the buying customer.
Depending on a company’s sales model, there will be various sales funnel stages, and there is no perfect sales funnel. Keep providing valuable content, generate interest and pay careful attention to each stage of the sales funnel. Try to optimize it over time until you win.
Now, I want to hear from you.
Which technical you like from this guide? Do you have any questions or roadblocks when you create your sales funnel?
Either way, let me know by leaving a comment below. I will add it to the sales funnel Q&A section below.
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):
Email automation tools:
Sales Funnel Copywriting:
_ Sales copy start at $125
_ Ebook writing > $300
_ Email > $200
_ Headline $90 (the price from Funnel Rolodex).
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?