Successful entrepreneurs know something amateurs don’t:
Your sales funnel is everything.
A strategically planned and meticulously designed sales funnel can bring in boatloads of money – even for average products.
But the best product in the world is dead in the water with no sales funnel.
Below, I’m going to show you the sales funnel companies like Amazon and Mindvalley use to create hundreds of thousands of revenue per month.
And the same strategies and techniques are yours for the taking.
But before we get to the heart of it, let’s take a step back and examine: what exactly is a sales funnel?
A sales funnel is the structured process for leading a person from unaware passerby to happy customer.
It’s structured because it rarely ever happens by accident (more on this below), and it’s a process because sales don’t happen instantly.
“Hey, I’m Tom, buy my 2 Minute Abs Workout Video!”
Probably won’t work.
The purpose of a sales funnel is to get people to buy what you’re selling (whether that’s your writing, affiliate products, real estate – whatever), but selling, by its nature, takes time.
All massively successful sales funnels are broken down into 4 primary steps:
These 4 “A’s” of the sales funnel are ESSENTIAL for creating a process that converts passerby’s into loyal customers.
*note: these steps can be broken down into additional steps depending on the industry, but we’re talking broad strategy here.
Let’s get to it:
Before anything else happens, you need to get in front of your potential customer.
This is where things like advertising, content marketing, and direct selling come in; they’re all opportunities for you to get in front of your potential customer to show them you exist.
If people don’t know you exist, they can’t buy what you’re selling – simple as that.
In sales, awareness is half the battle.
Once you’ve gotten someone’s attention, you need to lead them into your store / stall / kiosk, or to your sales page.
Blasting an email list with spammy offers will get you in front of your potential customers (awareness), but how many people will click on the offer to find out more (attract)?
A successful sales funnel applies proven psychological techniques to get people to follow and take action. This includes sales copy that builds trust, rapport, and interest, as well as offers that tantalize and convert.
At this point, you have the customer in your store or on your sales page. We all want them to buy immediately. In reality, it’s not that easy.
That’s why step 3 is about getting your customer to start saying yes:
Yeah, the car salesmen is an archetype we all hate, but they’re good at what they do, right?
If you’re doing the same thing online, it means creating an offer (or a sales page) that gets the customer saying yes.
This could mean:
Once you’ve gotten in front of your customer, attracted her to your sales page, and gotten her to start saying yes, the final thing you need to do is actually close the sale.
A good sales funnel has the potential customer BEGGING to buy at this point.
So don’t be cruel, let them buy.
At this point, the more intuitive and simple the sales process, the better.
Amazon’s 1-click sales button: brilliant.
Whatever you do, don’t make your customer work for the purchase.
The following are 4 high-converting sales funnels that abide by the 4 “A’s” the sales funnel, but use slightly different techniques to convert random traffic into customers.
The best way to learn and succeed is by modeling others, so pick the funnel that’s right for you and put it to work:
Amazon doesn’t mess around.
They know what people want (another season of 24), and they have an offer you can’t refuse: free streaming of the first 8 seasons.
That’s over 1 week of nonstop Jack Bauer kicking ass and taking names.
When you click the link, Amazon keeps it simple again:
Just 11 words and a ‘get started’ button.
Plus, the couple looks so happy, right?
If you click the ‘get started’ button, you’re sent to the Amazon Prime video page with their whole catalogue of movies. The goal is to show off how much content they have so SOMETHING catches your eye and you’re driven to opt-in once you click play.
This works for Amazon because they have a massive list of movies. The best way to get someone to opt into their program is to show off their content.
If I see a movie I like, I’m more likely to sign up to Prime (versus if they had a page that blocks me from entering until I give up my email address and credit card info first…probably not going to happen).
Amazon’s instant access sales funnel can be used by content curation and delivery businesses (think: Netflix, Spotify, etc.), as well as software as a service companies (instant free trial access to get people using your product).
Below is one of Mindvalley’s advertisements:
Mindvalley is a self-improvement info product sales company. They produce instructional books and materials to help people improve themselves (in business, spirituality, health, etc.).
This is one of the reasons their sales funnel is so successful: they get straight to the heart of what their ideal client is looking for (3 Free Videos to Grow Your Business – I’m in!).
Here’s where their advertisement leads:
What’s interesting is that MindValley doesn’t put an opt-in at the top of the page.
A lot of people don’t recommend this, but MindValley is one of the leading companies in conversion tactics. So when they don’t include an opt-in button at the top of the page, they’ve done it on PURPOSE.
Because they want everyone who comes to this page to read through the whole sales pitch. That way, those who enter are truly committed. These people are READY to buy.
And guess what happens once you sign up?
An up-sell sales page!
Once you opt-in, you’re taken to a ‘Thank You’ page, which is really an up-sell sales page for a premium program.
They want you to login to access your free material so you can see all the other content you can have if you buy (notice how similar this is to Amazon, but they give access to some of their best content).
Click the button at the top to ‘Learn More About it’ and you’re sent to this massive sales page:
If you’re interested in what makes this an effective sales page, check out last week’s post where I analyzed WebinarJam’s sales page (many of the same techniques are used, but obviously geared toward a different demographics).
Mindvalley’s Up-sell Sales Funnel is really effective for their target demographic and can be used by anyone creating and selling anything from courses, to info products, to live training, to mastermind programs.
James Wedmore is an online marketer who sells online video training courses.
The best way for him to sell his training is to get people watching how high quality his training actually is. That means offering a small selection of videos for free.
James does this by funneling potential customers to a simple free video opt-in page:
A couple things to note:
At this point, James collects your email address and can follow up via email to sell you a premium video training course (the perfect up-sell to a free video training course).
No, not every business can do this, but any info product, marketing, or training company can use the same sales funnel effectively.
John Lee Dumas is the founder of the podcast Entrepreneur On Fire, who has made over $500,000 in the past year using the sales funnel techniques listed here (check out his income reports).
A sales funnel that includes live webinars to sell his products.
John does many of the same techniques as above (using social networks and other advertising sources to get traffic), but then he funnels that traffic to a webinar signup page.
According to John, he ends up with anywhere between a 5% and 10% conversion rate of people who sign up to his webinar. That means if 100 people sign up, it’s not unlikely for him to sell 5 to 10 products during his live webinar (sometimes more…John is good at what he does).
John Lee Dumas has perfected his sales funnels for EntrepreneurOnFire.com and leveraged the same funnel to make 5 figures from new courses like his new Webinar On Fire training program.
Look at how simple his opt-in page is:
Once you opt-in, John gets your email and will remind you about the webinar.
During the webinar, he teaches how to run a Webinar (very meta, but he also runs similar educational webinars for other topics), and sells his product at the end.
Simple, old school marketing that works.
What you’ll notice about all these sales funnels isn’t that they use the exact same, step-by-step process, but that they abide by the 4 “A’s” of the sales funnel, and they all use the same underlying strategy:
1 product. 1 pitch. 1 sales funnel.
Nothing fancy. Nothing mind-blowing. Nothing new.
But it works.
So if you’re trying to launch a new product, or increase sales of an existing product line, learn from the best that are making 6-figures from similar approaches and try it out for yourself.
And if you found this article helpful, share it with someone you know. They’ll be glad you did.