How to Build a Simple Sales Funnel – Birds on the Blog

How to Build a Simple Sales Funnel

I’ve written posts on how to start email marketing in your business and how a simple lead magnet can help to grow your email contact list. These steps are all part of the sales funnel process, a strategy used to turn prospects into eventual paying customers.

A sales funnel (sometimes referred to as a marketing funnel) is a series of prompts that encourage individuals to take action towards a final buying decision.

You can create a simple sales funnel using a lead magnet by following these steps:

  1. Identify your ideal client’s problem or pain point
  2. Use the solution to produce a lead magnet that’s easy to digest and provides a quick win
  3. The content needs to be appropriate for your audience, therefore relevant for your services or products
  4. Wherever your potential clients hang out, promote your freebie with a link to an opt-in form or sign-up page
  5. Individuals accessing this link provide their email address on the form to receive the download in exchange
  6. As a result, your contact list and audience will grow
  7. Keep in touch with these contacts with a welcome email sequence which can be automated
  8. Then send regular emails and updates packed with useful information about you and your business
  9. You will begin to create a good relationship with the contacts on your mailing list which will help them to ‘know, like and trust’ you
  10. This may result in sales, perhaps low in value at first, but with a higher value upsell later.

When planning your sales funnel, think about following the well-known AIDA model: Awareness, Interest, Desire & Action:

  • Awareness – of you, your brand, product and services etc, or Attraction to these
  • Interest – in you and your brand etc and an opportunity to increase engagement
  • Desire – generated from a deeper interest in your services/products & the solution/s they provide
  • Action – the decision to purchase, or not, so reinforcement of your offer may be required.

A few further steps could be added:

  • Retention – keeping an audience interested and committed to you
  • Repetition – with consistent action, new customers will progress through the funnel
  • Returning – loyal clients will return to purchase again
  • Referral – satisfied customers will also recommend your products/services & refer others

The best customers are repeat customers so ensure your sales funnel strategy takes advantage of these warm leads.

Consider what higher value products or services you can offer customers as they move through your funnel. For example:

Bring prospects into your sales funnel with a freebie lead magnet (ebook, report or guide)

Communicate with your contacts so they begin to know, like and trust you (via consistent email marketing)

Sell a low-price service or product to your audience (power hour, short course or book)

Maintain contact with the customers who have bought from you by continuing to provide good content which will demonstrate your expertise (by email marketing, links to blogs or videos)

Upsell a higher-cost product/service to these leads (group coaching, signature course or membership group)

Continue to provide useful information and content to these special customers (as a group or segment in your email marketing application)

Promote your premium ticket item to this smaller group of committed fans (121 coaching, mastermind or retreat)

All the while keeping in touch with your wider audience with a goal of moving them through your sales funnel too.

What applications do you need to set-up a sales funnel which begins with a free lead magnet?

This will depend upon what you already have in place in your business & how the applications (can) integrate – website, email marketing platform, landing pages, online storage, CRM etc.

 Basically, you need:

– a place for people to enter their contact details (name & email address)

– somewhere to keep this information in compliance with data protection

– an alert so you know when a sign-up has been made (this can be automated)

– the lead magnet download link to be sent to the person signing-up (which can also be automatic)

Website Page

Create a form or landing page directly on your website, but the entered information needs to be captured & stored somewhere & the backend of your website is not the most convenient place.

Email Marketing Platform

Is a much better option for saving the name & email addresses of your contacts. You can then send out news and updates in compliance with GDPR. Connect your website sign-up form to your email marketing provider via the provider’s integration or plugin. Alternatively, create an embedded or pop-up form within the email marketing platform & link to your website. Some providers even have dedicated landing page builders with a specific URL.

Landing Page Creator

There are very few free options and these will usually come at a cost, but these apps do generally have great templates and analytics. This option is also a good solution if you don’t have a website.

Lead Magnet

Needs to be stored somewhere online to enable a link to be created to access the download. This could be in Dropbox, Google Drive or similar, or within the media library/files on your website. Some email marketing applications enable attachments to be sent, but not the best option as this could be interpreted as spam by some inboxes.

CRMs & other All-in-One Solutions

A comprehensive CRM (Customer Relationship Management) could enable all the steps to be undertaken within one application, but this may be too complex and costly for most entrepreneurs with small lists and limited budgets.

If this is your first attempt at setting up a sales funnel, then keep it as simple and cost-effective (or even cost-free) as possible. Save your PDF freebie in a free Dropbox or Google Drive account; create a landing page in the free version of Mailerlite (or similar) and use this platform to automate email sequences and keep in touch with your growing audience.

Meanwhile, consider the high-value products or services that you ultimately want to sell and work backwards. Think about the steps and smaller sales which are required to get your ideal customer to agree to that final purchase, tweaking and adapting your offers where required.

Alternatively, why not implement an upside-down sales funnel? This article by Mailerlite, my favourite email marketing platform, explains more:

Nancy Benn VA:

About the Author Nancy Benn

As a versatile Virtual Assistant with more than a decade of experience, I help overwhelmed business owners achieve more by assisting with those essential, but time-suck admin tasks that don't directly generate any income or bring in new sales. By providing flexible admin support, I assist and encourage entrepreneurs to focus on doing what they love in their business and what will generate new revenue by identifying tasks that can be delegated and outsourced. Operating virtually, I can work online from anywhere with good Wifi! Initially based on the Notts/Derbys border, since Autumn 2017 I’ve provided seamless assistance and support to entrepreneurs from 12 different homes in Portugal and Spain. After travelling for two years, hubby Rob and I now live next to the Med amongst the orange groves in Valencia, sharing our lives with two dogs and a parrot.