The 4-Step Process for Building and Monetizing Your Sales Funnel

If you run an online business, you're going to need a sales funnel.

At the top of the sales funnel, you have people who have never heard of you or your brand before, and at the bottom, you have loyal customers who continue to buy from you.

And in between? In between there are a series of stages that push people from being an unknown subscriber to a buyer, which we'll dig into in this post.

Sales Funnel Diagram

Here's the template we're going to be talking about in this post that looks at Tony Robbin's sales funnel.

Sales funnels are very cool. Not only do they tap into human psychology to encourage more sales, but they can be put on autopilot so you can turn subscribers in to customers while you sleep.

The thing is, 73% of leads aren't ready to be sold to when they first find you. Either they don't know they have a problem they need solving, or they simply don't trust you enough to purchase.

This is why you have to guide them through a series of steps to warm them up. Each of the sales funnel stages has a different goal, ranging from:

  • Attracting and capturing leads who don't know who you are
  • Selling leads a product for the first time
  • Building value with those new customers
  • Upselling customers into more expensive and profitable products

But how do you make sure you're moving people along through the funnel?

Step 1: Start With a Lead Magnet

Lead magnets are a freebie you offer your target audience in exchange for their email address. The aim of this stage is to get the right kind of people onto your email list in order to move them swiftly through the funnel.

95% of people won't buy something on their first visit to your site, and you don't want them to forget about you, hence why you need to grab their email address to stay in touch.

But why a lead magnet?

Sites with a sign-up form and no lead magnet might see a 1% conversion rate (sounds measly, right?), whereas those with a freebie can boost that conversion rate to around 7%.

Lead magnets don't have to be complicated. In fact, the simpler the better. Ideally, you want your freebie to be instantly actionable so your audience is engaged from the get-go. Here are some successful lead magnet ideas:

1. A quiz - quizzes are interactive and highly engaging as people can get instant results, whether that's finding out what type of computer they should buy or how fast will their home sell and for how much. People love getting quick results. In fact, Venture Harbour found that 84.3% of users who started their quiz entered their details to get results.

Fitness Quiz

Fit Father used a quiz to build their email list by over 15,000 people.

2. A free downloadable - this could be an e-book around a single topic in your industry, a template that helps your subscribers carry out a task quicker, or a checklist.

Lead Magnet Example

HubSpot attracts subscribers with a free guide to internet marketing.

3. A video series or training - connecting with people in the internet age is vital. A video series or a training (live or recorded) lets people see the face behind the business while also learning something important about your industry.

Lead Magnet Example

Timothy Sykes draws subscribers in with 7 free video lessons.

Step 2: Create a Tripwire

Tripwires are low-cost irresistible products that act as a taster for your core offering (which we'll go into in a moment).

People are more likely to buy from you if they've bought from you before, and making a small investment to try out your product is much less risky for users than diving straight in and spending on your core product before they really know who you are and how you can help them.

Tripwires fall into the $15-$299 range, and can include things like:

  • A short audio course
  • An e-book that's longer than your lead magnet
  • Access to a video training series
  • A live workshop you're hosting

The best time to offer your tripwire is right after someone grabs your lead magnet (on the thank you page).

At this moment, they're invested in what you have to offer and are engaged with you as a brand. You can also create several different tripwires that relate to a specific lead magnet, and, if you hook people with a quiz, you can even create a unique paid offering for each of the results that people can get.

Tripwire Example

Digital Marketer offer a $7 tripwire offering.

Step 3: Core Product

Once your subscribers have experienced your tripwire product and you've built trust with them, it's time to hit them with your core product.

This should be your main offering and it sits at a higher price point than your tripwire. Your subscribers have got a taste for what you offer with your tripwire and lead magnet, but now it's time to get them to invest in something more.

At this stage in your sales funnel, you're weeding out the people who won't buy from you.

With each step of the process, you're getting a smaller and smaller group of people moving forward, hence why the system is called a sales funnel.

Your core product is a bigger investment or recurring subscription, and it should be what your business becomes known for. It might be:

  • A national conference focused on your industry
  • An in-depth, interactive course with live modules and workshops
  • One-on-one services
Tony Robbins Sales Funnel

Tony Robbins' Unleash the Power Within conference is his core product.

So how do you even begin to put together your core product?

  1. Find out what your target customers need - use forums like Quora to find out what people in your industry need the most help with.
  2. Use this to fuel the format of your core product - for example, if your customers need help automating their marketing, you might choose to offer an online course or a done for you service.
  3. Make sure your core product solves one key problem, whether that's saving time, providing a new skill, or educating on a new trend.

Step 4: Profit Multiplier

Once you've narrowed down your customer pool with your core product, you can start pitching them with your profit multiplier - a.k.a. your high end product that makes it easier or faster to get their desired results.

Once your customers have got this far in your sales funnel, they're invested in your business and more likely to continue to buy higher-priced products from you - hence why a profit multiplier is so important.

Let's look at the Abundance book launch case study as an example.

There were four key stages and products of the sales funnel:

  1. The Abundance book was given away as a freebie
  2. Audio course Exponential Thinking was sold for 2 monthly payments of $97
  3. A 10-DVD recording of a conference was sold for 3 monthly payments of $332
  4. The Singularity University Executive Program was sold for $12,000

As you can see, the prices increase at each stage of the funnel, until they reach the profit multiplier (the executive program) at the end.

The results? The entire campaign grew Peter Diamandis' list by over 46,000 people, sold more than 18,350 books, and brought in $430,000 in sales.

Sales Funnel Case Study

The sales funnel mind map for the campaign.

Small Optimizations to Dramatically Increase Leads and Sales

Finding the right mix of free and paid products takes a bit of experimentation and tweaking, but there are some small optimizations you can do to increase your leads and sales.

First of all, take a look at this conversion spreadsheet.

Conversion Optimization Calculator

It shows that simple, small tweaks to your sales funnel will improve conversion rates but, as you improve multiple things, your results increase exponentially.

For example, after a small quiz improvement, there is a 5% increase in conversion rate and a 42% increase in ROI, while increasing the sales conversions by just 1% in combination with the improved quiz results increases the ROI by almost 170%.

Here are some small tweaks you can make to boost your conversions:

  • Decreasing Cost Per Click in your ads
    • Testing a more attention-grabbing image
    • Experimenting with short copy and long copy
    • Testing different targeting
    • Testing different platforms (Google, Facebook, Instagram, etc)
    • Testing Mobile vs Desktop
  • Quiz Conversion Rate
    • Testing the type of quiz (personality, IQ, what's your number 1 problem, etc.)
    • Testing quiz headlines
    • Reducing number of quiz questions
  • Close Rate
    • Add urgency to buy
    • Test pricing
    • Add risk reversal (free trial, money back guarantee, results in advance, etc.)

For more ideas, check out this guide.

Once you've found a system that works for you and your business, you can create a solid funnel that gets you subscribers and customers on autopilot.

It's a constant case of tweaking, experimenting, and playing around with your results to find out what kind of free and paid content your audiences actively needs.

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