$430,000 Case Study: how to Make a Great Sales Funnel
In this article, I will be going over the high level strategy behind the Abundance book re-launch campaign we did with Peter Diamandis in 2013. As of the date of posting, this campaign grew our list by over 46,000 people, sold over 18,350 books and resulted in over $430,000 in sales.
I’ll share with you the strategy behind the pages in our sales funnel, the time delays on email marketing, as well as some of the problems we ran into and what we would do differently with our next launch. If you are looking for the nitty-gritty details of the launch, read on!
Before I go any further, I would like to mention that this campaign was largely modeled after Brendon Burchard’s launch model used for his book The Charge described further in his conference, 10XPublishing.
PRODUCTS AND MESSAGING
First of all, we need to address products and messaging. When you design your own campaign make sure all of the products and messaging are alligned with each other. This is one of the most important things to note before moving on. If your products don’t make sense or they are out of line, your sales and conversions will be poor. Every product you sell must help people implement faster and easier whatever you have sold and taught them previously. This is EXTREMELY important. This doesn’t mean that you can’t have different sales funnels with entirely different products but as you build out one sales funnel/campaign, make sure your products and messaging are aligned.
For example, if we sold a $200 video course on implementing exponential technologies in your business and later on offered our list a $5,000 opportunity to buy into a coaching program where they would work in a team or one-on-one with a coach to develop and implement exponential technologies in their business… this would be a good sequence of products. A coaching program is much more hands on and would probably be more effective than someone following a video course on their own. Some people are willing to write a check to have their hand held or to have you do the work for them entirely. Are you following? Order is extremely important and you cannot just throw random products you have to sell into a campaign.
Brendon Burchard calls this building an Integrated Product Suite and gives the example of Apple. First you buy an iPod or iPhone, next you get an iPad, next you get a MacBook Pro, etc. Having one product does not preclude you from getting another, they all tie in together and once you have one, you want them all.
SALES FUNNEL PRODUCTS
OK, let’s get you familiarized with the 4 products we sold:
1. Abundance - Given away for free + SH ($6.95US, $24 International)
2. Exponential Thinking (ET) - (2 monthly payments of $97 +SH) A 6-CD audio course (physically mailed and digital copies) discussing:
- 8 exponential technologies that are creating the next billion-dollar companies
- How to use incentive competitions to drive breakthroughs
- How to get the smartest people in the world to work for you for free
- How to turn your boldest dreams into reality
- How to create an abundance of innovation in your life and company
3. Exponential & Abundance Thinking (EAT) (3 monthly payments of $332) – A 10-DVD recording of a conference (physically mailed and digital copies) with presenters Peter Diamandis and Ray Kurzweil going deeper into the topics of Exponential and Abundance Thinking. EAT is also packaged with a workbook to accompany the DVD’s and a copy of How To Create A Mind.
4. Singularity University Executive Program (SUE) - ($12,000).
Next, take a look at the flow chart below of the high-level strategy. This diagram shows you sequencing of our pages as well as where our email marketing ties into each page.
SALES FUNNEL MIND MAP
Alright, let’s dive into the page-by-page sequencing and strategy behind our campaign that pulled in over $430,000 in less than 90 days.
PAGE 1 - FREE BOOK/TRAINING VIDEO OPT-IN PAGE
The front end of our campaign began by giving away a hard cover copy of Abundance for just shipping and handling. On this page, the main goal was to sell people on our offer and get them to opt-in. Once we got their email, we were able to build a relationship with them and market to them regardless of whether they bought the book or not.
Additionally, just for opting-in, we gave them three free training videos that went deeper into topics covered in the book. We also gifted a digital book to a deserving, underprivileged student for every purchased book.
- This doesn’t have to be a hardcover book, it could be anything; an eBook, free videos, a quiz. Just make sure you are providing something of enough value for people to give you their email address. But remember, whatever you give out on the front end must be in line with your follow on products!
- If you decide to set up your campaign with an opt-in page and then an order page and market to those who did not purchase, make sure you give them something valuable just for opting in regardless of them purchasing. This will help build value with them. You don’t want people marking your emails as spam and possibly getting your campaign locked down because of spam rates being too high. This is EXTREMELY important!
- Provide lots of social proof!
PAGE 2 - BOOK ORDER PAGE
On this page, we sold the value of the book again and took credit card information to collect payment for shipping. Adding this email sequence ended up driving a significant amount of sales for us beyond those who just purchased the first time they visited the page.
Depending on whether or not people bought on this page, we put them into our “Email Opt-In AR Until Book Order” email sequence. We kept this to 3 emails and spaced them apart. Providing value up front will help create a relationship and will keep you from getting marked as spam. If they do buy, use your marketing automation software to remove them from this email sequence.
- Limit the number of emails you mail from “Email Opt-In AR Until Book Order” and space them out to reduce the chance of being marked as spam.
- Be careful here not to overlap your “Email Opt-In AR Until Book Order” emails with your value emails. (These were our training videos which are not meant to pitch anything!)
- Often times if you are doing a launch, promoting a conference, or your offer is time sensitive, we recommend creating scarcity by scheduling 1 or 2 emails as you near the close of your offer telling people this is their last chance.
- Add a PayPal option on your order forms in addition to your order form; we had a lot of people request this.
PAGE 3 – UPSELL PAGE
Once people buy your book (or any product), you have a pre-qualified buyer who may be ready to buy more. On page 3, we offered our product, ET for 2 monthly payments of $97 as a 1-click upsell. We tested selling this as an exclusive digital product at both price points of 2 x $97 and 2 x $69 but our original physical + digital ET product at 2 x $97 had the most profitability for us.
During the campaign, some people confused our audio program (ET) with our free training videos. This resulted in some refunds and lower conversions than we could have had. This is a perfect example of why making sure your sequencing and products are correct is so important. If we re-created this campaign, I would replace ET with a similarly priced webinar, a recording of a live conference, or something else along those lines.
If they order ET, we put them into the “ET AR” email sequence.
- If you use a 1-click upsell, BE EXTREMELY CLEAR that this is a 1-click upsell and there will not be a checkout page.
- If you have multiple payments on your upsell, BE EXTREMELY CLEAR how their card will be debited each month, how many times, when it will be debited, etc.
- The goal here is to get the right people buying your upsell. The right people know exactly what they are getting and how your offer will work. This will help you reduce refunds and the hassle of customer support and fulfillment issues in addition to making everyone happier!
- Test your pricing with your conversions.
- If you have the resources, test your 1-click upsell vs. a shopping cart experience. In my opinion the 1-click upsell, while still effective, is going out of date because the typical user experience is moving towards a check-out process.
- Make sure your products will not be confused with one another. You will have a lot of people going through your funnel and will be surprised what people will do. You need to make your sales funnel as brain-dead simple as possible.
PAGE 4-5 THANK YOU PAGES
Depending on whether or not people took our ET upsell, we sent them to either Page 4 or Page 5. The thank you pages give you an opportunity to do a couple different things:
- Let people know their payment went through.
- Tell them what to expect next i.e. you will receive your product in the mail in 2 weeks, someone will be contacting you regarding your interest in the conference, etc.
- Reinforce their buying decision to reduce any buyer’s remorse.
- Provide contact information if they have any questions.
- Connect with them on social media.
PAGE 6-8 TRAINING VIDEOS
After people opted in, we immediately put them into an email sequence to receive 3 free training videos, regardless of whether they ordered. The purpose of these 3 training videos was to provide a TON of value before we sold them on our $1,000 product. The videos were a huge favorite and people left tons of comments on them.
Like I mentioned earlier, providing something for their email regardless of purchase is extremely important. We got our out going emails locked up for a day during our campaign because our spam rate was about .015%. Even though we told people originally they would get the free training videos IF they ordered the book, it all comes down to whether people hit the spam button on you or not based on how much value you have provided them. Infusionsoft demanded we give them something to reduce the spam rate so we gave them the videos regardless of purchasing the book.
- It doesn't matter if people opted into your campaign or not. If they click spam, you get in trouble. Make sure you provide tons of value and your emails are timed correctly so your subscribers don't feel like they are getting bombarded with emails and choose to hit spam. (They will do it even if you have an unsubscribe button).
PAGE 9 - EAT PAGE
On this page, we finally pitch our 3rd product, EAT. At this point, your audience should be expecting to receive the training videos in their email. We tested a few different variations of this page. We tried a timed order form, timed button taking them to a page similar to PAGE 2 for EAT, and a page with the order form always on. Results will vary per campaign but generally the timed button or order form will outperform a page that shows everything. The reasoning is that with a timed delay, your audience is not distracted and they focus on your video copy about why they should buy your product.
If they choose to buy, we take them out of the email sequence “Email Opt-In AR” so they stop receiving emails to buy EAT and put them into the “EAT AR” email sequence.
- Try to sell this product around the $1,000 price point.
- We saw a big jump in sales for this product after we did a Google Hangout and promoted this product. Lesson learned was the more interaction you can have with your group the better. Check out Gary Vaynerchuk if you are looking for ideas on how you can interact more with your community.
- Being the Google Hangout was so effective, we would definitely recommend testing the webinar as the second, upsell product and using the webinar as a platform to sell your third product.
PAGE 10 SUE OPT-IN
SUE was our final product and we used it as an upsell for PAGE 9. Being the price was so high; we let people opt-in to be contacted by a sales person to discuss joining SUE. If you noticed, we continued to mail people to this page a couple more times. If they opted in, they would stop receiving the “SUE AR Until Upsell Taken” emails.
- Products offered here should continue to follow our messaging and sequencing guidelines but could include: one-on-one coaching programs, high-level mastermind groups, high-end conferences, etc.
PAGE 11-12 – THANK YOU PAGES
These Thank You pages follow the exact same guideline as pages 4-5. Just make sure you change the copy based on if they take the upsell or not.
AND…. THAT’S A WRAP!
That’s the basic overview of our entire Abundance sales funnel. Remember, this model can be used for a lot of different applications… while we used this campaign to re-launch Abundance; a book is just a product and you can substitute any of these products as long as you follow our directions above about sequencing.
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