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.  
I think what Brian and the testers are missing is that 15k is neither big enough to be impressive nor small enough to be inviting. It’s not a number that works effectively as social proof, and while I can’t test it out myself, I believe, based on evidence for social proof around the web, that DIYthemes would have had much better success with a combined number in the 50k+ range as mentioned above.

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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.
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.  
I think what Brian and the testers are missing is that 15k is neither big enough to be impressive nor small enough to be inviting. It’s not a number that works effectively as social proof, and while I can’t test it out myself, I believe, based on evidence for social proof around the web, that DIYthemes would have had much better success with a combined number in the 50k+ range as mentioned above. 

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Of course, if you're going the paid ad route, you could also use Facebook and Google re-targeting to keep that awareness and interest level high. For example, if you've ever noticed after leaving a particular website, that you begin to see their ad everywhere, there's a particular reason for that. Especially if they've already entered your sales funnel, this is a very powerful way to get them to act.

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Getting someone to call in and give out their email to sign up for your email list is much less likely to happen than… well, just about anything else. Consequently, if you are making use of a podcast or television interview as a means of promoting your business, be sure to provide a means for potential customers to opt-in to your email list via text messaging.

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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?

What are email funnels


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.

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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?

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If you utilize various services and apps for checkout, you are often allowed to add an opt-in checkbox at final checkout. Often times, you have already requested the customer’s email address in order to send them a receipt, but it is important that you also ask them to opt-in rather than just assume that you have the green light to send them email.

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Now, the first page in the funnel is going to be the squeeze page. That’s going to be the page where you give away something for free. So in that first box, just write “FREE” and then the box right next to it, put one box to the right. That’s going to be the offer. That’s the thing that you sell after they opt-in right? You give them something for free and then you’re like, ah, awesome. Okay, here is a $27 course. So in that second box, write $27. Now a lot of people who work with me, or if you know Russell and you’re in the funnel world, you know that when you get somebody to say yes to something like a workshop or a course for $27, you’re leaving money on the table.

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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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The next step is to present potential customers with the opportunity to buy a product or procure your service. "When constructing your main front-end products and associated upsell offers, you should be engineering them with the additional mindset of . . . how will this help create more desire for the next [backend] offer [you're] going to present them with," explains Todd Brown of MarketingFunnelAutomation.com.
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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The second thing that you want to do is you want to collect all the brand assets. You want to have an agreed upon. What fonts are we going to use, what colors are we going to use, what logos do we need for what products, you know, basically get all the brand assets together because you’re going to need them for the pages, the order forms, the ads, everything.

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People like more choices, so consider creating subscription levels that let people sign up to receive content that’s relevant to them. For example, if you sell widgets and tax advice, provide three options on your opt-in form that allow users to sign up to receive info about widgets, info about tax advice or both. Further customize by allowing them to designate how frequently they’d like to hear from you — weekly, monthly or only when something really special is going on. People may be more likely to sign up for your email list if they have some control over the content they’ll receive.
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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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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The next step is to present potential customers with the opportunity to buy a product or procure your service. "When constructing your main front-end products and associated upsell offers, you should be engineering them with the additional mindset of . . . how will this help create more desire for the next [backend] offer [you're] going to present them with," explains Todd Brown of MarketingFunnelAutomation.com.

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There are tons of websites and publishers out there that cater to your audience -- and larger portions of it. Guest blogging for these websites helps you expand your contact list to this audience. When creating content as a guest blogger for another website, include a call-to-action, as well as a link in you author byline, for readers to subscribe to your site's blog or email newsletter.

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Your best bet will be to give away something that’s valuable to your target market; for instance, a high-value digital asset on a niche topic. You can give away products (we’ve all seen contests where the prize is a free iPad or gift certificates), however this strategy often leads to entrants who are more interested in the money than in what you have to offer.

Now, here’s where we do the math. You want to figure out if your funnel is going to be profitable, you need to understand what is “normal.” And I put normal in quotes because for every industry it’s a little bit different. And eventually ,you’re going to have benchmarks for yourself. You’re going to know what your normal is and then you can compare yourself against yourself. But when you’re just getting started, you might not have any stats. So I’m going to give them to you. So in the first box, I’m going to tell you that it’s pretty normal to have somewhere between a 20% to 30% optin rate.

What shape is a funnel


Your blog provides a great way to build a personal relationship with customers and prospects — and to gather their email addresses. Consistently end blogs with a call to action that encourages readers to sign up for your email messages. Require blog visitors to provide an email list in order to leave comments, and set it up so that they have to actively opt out if they don’t want their email address included on your mailing list.

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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.


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.
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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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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However, the best part about this, and the most powerful route that entrepreneurs take to scale their businesses, is that if you know that sending 100 people to your site costs you $200, for example, but you get two people to convert at $300 each, then you have a $600 return on $200 invested (300 percent). When you know that, that's when the entire game changes and you can infinitely scale your offers.
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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In marketing automation, Ryan Deiss, co-founder of Digital Marketer, often describes the sales funnel as a multi-step, multi-modality process that moves prospective browsers into buyers. It's multi-stepped because lots must occur between the time that a prospect is aware enough to enter your funnel, to the time when they take action and successfully complete a purchase. 

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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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Now, here’s where we do the math. You want to figure out if your funnel is going to be profitable, you need to understand what is “normal.” And I put normal in quotes because for every industry it’s a little bit different. And eventually ,you’re going to have benchmarks for yourself. You’re going to know what your normal is and then you can compare yourself against yourself. But when you’re just getting started, you might not have any stats. So I’m going to give them to you. So in the first box, I’m going to tell you that it’s pretty normal to have somewhere between a 20% to 30% optin rate.
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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