To better understand the concept of a sales funnel and just how you can implement it in your own business, let's look at the following image from Shutterstock. On the left side of the image, you see a magnet. That magnet is attracting customers, which happens a number of ways. From blogging to social media to paid ads and everything in between, how the visitors arrive to your website has some impact on the success of your funnel. 
Just like issuing a dare, offering a challenge motivates people to step up and do things they might not do otherwise; like pour a bucket of ice water over their head. The challenge can include some sort of giveaway or reward for showing up logging in or commenting on posts for a certain number of days or some other type of challenge, but should certainly require an email address to enter.

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One of the core concepts in the digital marketing industry is the sales funnel. While odd sounding at first, this single core concept can take a business from virtually non-existent and unknown to multi-million-dollar marketing machine with mass saturation, seemingly overnight. In fact, there are skilled practitioners who have built a career around implementing this single concept in business.  

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The effort you put into building your email list is one of the best investments you can make online. Having access to the inboxes of targeted prospects means you can continue to build and nurture relationships over time, and become a trusted source of valuable industry knowledge. Then, when it’s time for your prospects to buy, you’ll be the first one who comes to mind.
Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.

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Do you have an older list that you suspect has mostly decayed? Create an engaging opt-in message and send it to your old list encouraging contacts who wish to re-opt-in -- promising to remove all contacts who don't respond. Though it might seem counterintuitive to remove folks from your email lists in order to grow them, emailing only engaged contacts could improve your deliverability and increase the odds of your email getting shared with those outside your current contacts database.

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However, what Brunson cleverly conceived with ClickFunnels is to create a SaaS that can integrate with the world's most popular platforms and virtually anyone can quietly launch a funnel in hours as opposed to weeks of hefty coding and programming. As a fervent user of ClickFunnels myself, I can tell you that the system is impressive beyond measure.

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If you haven’t yet started building an email list (but know you need to), this article is for you. You may have heard that a strong email list is one of the most valuable assets you can have, but when you’re starting from scratch, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. This is partly because many business owners have a hard time envisioning the long-term payoff for the hard work they need to do now.

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Why? Because we looked at the percentages and we know that those percentages are correct. So the funnel does work. You just aren’t making money because why? Because the cost per click for advertising is too high. So you have one of two choices. You can either try to get the cost per click down on the ad or you can try to raise the conversion rate somewhere on your funnel. But based on the math that we just did, this is a very, very high converting funnel based on the benchmarks, right?

How do you create a marketing funnel


You gain the prospects interest through an email sequence. You begin to relate stories to them that tie into who you are and how you've arrived to this point in your life. Brunson, in his book, Expert Secrets, calls this the Attractive Character. Are you the reluctant hero whose journey happened almost by mistake, but you feel like you owe it to yourself and the world to convey something of great value?
Every ESP will give you tools to create an opt-in form for your site. Generally speaking, the less information you ask for (at this initial stage, at least), the better. The more information you ask for, the less likely your prospect is to complete the process. You’ll obviously need to ask for an email address, and I also highly recommended that you ask for a first name so you can personalize your emails. However, asking for any information beyond these two fields can decrease conversion rates significantly without adding much valuable data.

How do I create a marketing funnel


Let’s say you get 5,000 people to see your squeeze page, to see your free offer. Okay? 5,000 people. If we’re going with a 30 percent opt in rate, okay? Because it’s between 20 and 30, let’s just be optimistic. Thirty percent of people opt in. How many people are actually going to get to that second box? 1,500, right? So 1,500 people are actually going to see your offer for that $27 product. Now we said one to five percent will buy.

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If you’re serious about growing your business, building a healthy email list should be one of your top priorities. When it comes down to it, your list is one of the only online assets that you have 100% control over. Having a solid social media presence is absolutely essential (here’s why), but you’ll always be at the mercy of new and changing algorithms (think Facebook’s Edgerank). And achieving high search engine rankings is great too, but again, you’re at the mercy of changing algorithms and updates.

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Do you have an older list that you suspect has mostly decayed? Create an engaging opt-in message and send it to your old list encouraging contacts who wish to re-opt-in -- promising to remove all contacts who don't respond. Though it might seem counterintuitive to remove folks from your email lists in order to grow them, emailing only engaged contacts could improve your deliverability and increase the odds of your email getting shared with those outside your current contacts database.

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So they’ve already put their credit card information for the $27 workshop. Now all they have to do to say yes to that order bump, that $37 order bump is just check a little box and now they’ve said yes. So it’s actually a lot easier to get money from an order bump. So put 40 percent. Now that’s a little high. I would say, if you’re just starting out or you don’t have a good order bump, probably it’s closer to 20 to 30 percent. So if you want to be conservative you can be conservative. So put 20 to 40 percent right there next to the order bump, okay? And then the last box, your OTO box where you have a $77 offer, you can say safely say 3% to 10% of people will buy the OTO, again, still higher than the initial offer.

The effort you put into building your email list is one of the best investments you can make online. Having access to the inboxes of targeted prospects means you can continue to build and nurture relationships over time, and become a trusted source of valuable industry knowledge. Then, when it’s time for your prospects to buy, you’ll be the first one who comes to mind.

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Offline events like trade shows are highly anticipated growth opportunities for professionals in your industry. Demo your latest product at an appropriate conference and collect signups in-person. Once you're back at the office, import these signups into your contact database. Be sure to send these contacts a welcome email that confirms their opt-in to your list. (See #8 in this blog post for tips on sending welcome emails.)

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Of course, implementing this isn't easy. You need to first develop your stories, then decide on how you're going to convey those stories and at what drip-rate. For example, your first email or two might go out on the day they first signup, then one email per day might go out afterwards. How much of that will be story-based and how much will be pitches?
So they’ve already put their credit card information for the $27 workshop. Now all they have to do to say yes to that order bump, that $37 order bump is just check a little box and now they’ve said yes. So it’s actually a lot easier to get money from an order bump. So put 40 percent. Now that’s a little high. I would say, if you’re just starting out or you don’t have a good order bump, probably it’s closer to 20 to 30 percent. So if you want to be conservative you can be conservative. So put 20 to 40 percent right there next to the order bump, okay? And then the last box, your OTO box where you have a $77 offer, you can say safely say 3% to 10% of people will buy the OTO, again, still higher than the initial offer.

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For example, if you’re selling an eBook, you could offer a free chapter in exchange for their email address. Submitting their email is a low barrier to entry, and they’ll receive a lot of value in return. From there, you can use their email to push them deeper into the sales funnel, especially since they have already shown interest in your product.  
Sponsor a video contest in which customers create a one-minute video about why they like your business, products or services. Ask them to send the videos to you and post them to your Facebook page. Invite visitors to vote on which video should win a cash or merchandise prize. Include an email opt-in on your Facebook page. Be sure to follow Facebook’s rules regarding contests.

But let’s say that you want at least 100 people to purchase from your sales funnel. You can work backwards to see how many people you need at each point along the funnel. If you want 100 sales, you would need 250 people to end up on your landing page (100 divided by 0.40). In order to get 250 people on your landing, your social media ad needs to target 1,250 consumers (250 divided by 0.20).

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Offer a reward for customers who buy something from you and show that they checked in at your business on Foursquare using their mobile device. When they do this, they’re telling everyone in their network that they’ve done business with you. Each month, reward the person who gave you the greatest exposure by offering a discount, and asking for their email address.

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Then you have a thank you page. This shows your appreciation for your customer, while also encouraging a deeper relationship with your business. For example, someone gave you their email on the Leadbox™ in exchange for a free eBook. You can now have a page that thanks them for signing up, gives them the eBook, and encourages them to purchase the associated workbook that enhances their eBook purchase. Watch Hubspot’s tutorial to create a thank you page that nurtures leads.

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However, getting to this stage is no simple feat. It takes an enormous amount of work and effort plus tracking. By implementing sales funnel software, such as the platform built by Brunson, you can definitely cut down the headache, but there's still lots of work to be done. Copy needs to be written, tracking pixels need to be installed and email sequences need to be created. But that's what it takes to succeed.

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Your website's landing page is the first impression potential customers will instantly have of your business. Therefore, take time to make sure that it looks great. A good landing page will also encourage visitors to sign up for some sort of list, or subscribe to the website. This gives you that all-important contact information, which becomes your first line of communication.

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In a recent conversation I had with Perry Belcher, co-founder of Native Commerce Media, he told me that you also need to train your prospects to click on links. For example, you could have them click on a link of what interests them or link them to a blog post or eventually to a product or service that you're selling, but you need to train them to build a habit of clicking on those links from the very beginning.
Tip: Align the timing of your pop-up form with the average amount of time a visitor spends on your website. Set the form to appear immediately (or with a 5-second delay) if people aren’t inclined to spend much time on your site. If visitors have a tendency to browse, consider a 20-second delay or a scroll-based trigger when someone reaches the middle or bottom of your page.

Why? Because we looked at the percentages and we know that those percentages are correct. So the funnel does work. You just aren’t making money because why? Because the cost per click for advertising is too high. So you have one of two choices. You can either try to get the cost per click down on the ad or you can try to raise the conversion rate somewhere on your funnel. But based on the math that we just did, this is a very, very high converting funnel based on the benchmarks, right?
Why? Because we looked at the percentages and we know that those percentages are correct. So the funnel does work. You just aren’t making money because why? Because the cost per click for advertising is too high. So you have one of two choices. You can either try to get the cost per click down on the ad or you can try to raise the conversion rate somewhere on your funnel. But based on the math that we just did, this is a very, very high converting funnel based on the benchmarks, right?

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If you're wondering what a sales funnel is, simply imagine a real-world funnel. At the top of that funnel, some substance is poured in, which filters down towards one finite destination. In sales, something similar occurs. At the top, lots of visitors arrive who may enter your funnel. However, unlike the real-world funnel, not all who enter the sales funnel will reemerge out from the other end.  

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After all, this is what happens nearly 100% of the time. No matter how many times I prepare and warn my mastermind clients about the feeling of dropping $1000 in 72 hours on ads, all my reassuring words of advice and logic fly right out the window once the ads have been live for 24 hours. I’ve come to expect it, and know that it’s just part of the process.
Once the prospect is in the proverbial funnel, you've peaked their awareness. That's the first stage of the funnel. However, getting a prospect aware of you is no simple feat. Depending upon how they've arrived to your website (organically or through a paid ad), those customers might view your funnel differently and your opt-in rates will vary significantly. 

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Much of this is steeped in buyer psychology. The best marketers in the world know that there is a psychological process that must occur for prospects to whip out those credit cards and turn into buyers or even hyper-active buyers. One such person whose perfected this process is Russell Brunson, an "underground entrepreneur" who founded a company called ClickFunnels, a sales funnel SaaS business that empowers marketers from around the world to build marketing automation without all the hassle.  

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The final stage of the sales funnel is the action that you're intending them to perform. In most cases this is the purchase. Again, how well you move them through the various stages is going to set you up with a specific conversion for this action. For example, if 100 people click on your offer and 10 people enter your sales funnel but only purchase people purchase, then you have a 2 percent conversion. 

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Think about that the next time you're building out a sales funnel. This complex and intricate concept in business can literally take you from a complete unknown to a global powerhouse quickly through the art of scaling out a highly-converting offer. Don't try to take shortcuts or implement hacks, and put in the time if you're looking to eventually reap the benefits and results.

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Principle of commitment & consistency -- When people commit to something, they're far more likely to purchase from you. That's why getting them to agree to something like a free + shipping offer or by agreeing with something you've said in some way. This is a powerful principle in sales and if you pay attention to some of the best marketers in the world, you'll notice that they work fervently to get your commitment to something, even if it's very small in the beginning. 

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As a software engineer myself, I can tell you that building funnels from an application standpoint takes massive amounts of work. There's a great deal of coding and integration that's required here. From email systems to landing page implementations to credit card processing APIs, and everything in between, so many platforms need to "talk," that it takes the bar too high for the average marketer. 
But let’s say that you want at least 100 people to purchase from your sales funnel. You can work backwards to see how many people you need at each point along the funnel. If you want 100 sales, you would need 250 people to end up on your landing page (100 divided by 0.40). In order to get 250 people on your landing, your social media ad needs to target 1,250 consumers (250 divided by 0.20).

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Hey everyone, hope you’re doing awesome. Today, I want to take you through a little bit of a math problem. Nobody run away screaming from the room. I know math isn’t always our favorite subject, but I just came back from my Digital Insiders Mastermind and one of the biggest aha moments that everybody had, happened after I showed them this particular math. So if you are listening to this podcast and you’re at the gym or you’re driving, I would listen to it a second time with a pad and a paper and a pen because I want to show you how math can make you feel awesome.

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