Funnel Building: Creating Your 1st Epic Sales Funnel

Funnel building for fun and profit! I don’t know, it just sounded kind of catchy. What do you think? No?

In a previous post I wrote about what a sales funnel is and how it can help your business and I got a lot of questions asking for more detail on how to actually build one. Funnel building doesn’t have to be difficult, but it does take planning, some basic skills, and the right tools.

For the purpose of this post on funnel building, I’m going to assume you’ve done that planning and you have some of those skills and a tool or two at your disposal. If that’s not the case, then I’d recommend you open up this post in another browser window and start there before continuing. And now …

Funnel Building for Fun and Profit

There are a number of different types of funnels you could build: lead funnels, webinar funnels, sales funnels, referral funnels, re-engagement funnels, the list goes on. For this post, we’re going to talk about how to build a basic lead generation funnel, which is something every business should have running.

A basic lead funnel is going to require 4 things:

  1. A traffic source (often these are ads)
  2. A landing page
  3. A thank you page
  4. An email sequence

Those are the elements of a basic funnel. They can get much more complex with multiple upsells, A/B testing, retargeting ads, and other more advanced elements. For now, we’ll keep it simple.

sales funnels

Funnel Building: Traffic Sources

This is what brings traffic into your funnel. These could be ads (digital or offline), your website, events, online search, affiliate links, the list goes on. The most common, and for many businesses most effective traffic source are ads, specifically Facebook ads.

For most small businesses it’s probably wise to start with Facebook ads, but try other sources as well over time to find out what works. Creating effective digital ads is a book unto itself, so we’ll just cover some high-level basics here.

  • Write your ad copy to speak to your ideal client’s problem. What you write must motivate them to click the link in your ad
  • Make sure your ad copy matches the promise of your lead magnet so there are no surprises when they hit your landing page
  • Write from the perspective of your ideal client, not your company
  • Use as few words as you can and be sure some of those words match keywords that your ideal client is likely to use
  • Choose an image that grabs attention and supports your message
  • Use the platform’s (Facebook, Google Ads, etc.) targeting options to narrow your audience to as close to your ideal client as you can get

For more specifics on creating effective Facebook ads read the three-part series on Facebook ads for small business.

Funnel Building: The Landing Page

This is where people come, enticed by your ad or other traffic sources, and its job is to clearly present your lead magnet offer and get your visitor to opt-in.

Key elements:

  • A headline that matches the promise that sent them here
  • An image or video that helps reinforce the message of your offer
  • A form to capture lead information with a strong call to action (ask for as little as you can to increase your opt-in rate)
  • A summary of the benefits
  • Testimonials or other social proof
  • Analytics so you can monitor success. This could be Google Analytics if you build your landing pages on your website, or built-in analytics if you’re using a landing page tool.

When your prospect submits their information, the logic of the form should add your new lead to an automated email sequence and redirect them to your Thank You page.

Funnel Building: The Thank You page

Your Thank You page should actually be an upsell page. While you have your prospect’s attention, now is the time to nudge them to the next step in your customer journey. That could be to book a meeting, share what they just downloaded, sign up for a webinar, or even just consume more of your content.

Key elements:

  • A confirmation message reinforcing the great decision they just made by downloading your lead magnet (reinforce the value of the lead magnet)
  • A clear call to action to take the next step
  • Your value proposition for continuing on their journey now (could be a special offer, a higher-value offering, or a limited time offer)
  • Specific instructions on how to take that next step
  • A button or mechanism to get the lead magnet they came for (optional*)
  • And once again, analytics.

*You can provide access to the lead magnet on this page, but I prefer to let them know it’s coming via email and have them receive a link to download it in the first email in my sequence. That gets them used to receiving and opening my emails.

Funnel Building: The Email sequence

Once someone opts into the form on your landing page, you want to immediately put them into a nurturing email sequence. For this, you’ll need to be using an email marketing tool like ActiveCampaign, MailChimp, ConstantContact, etc. In whatever system you use, you are going to be setting up an automated campaign that will be sent to your new prospect over a period of time. The emails in that campaign are designed to nudge them towards the next step in the customer journey.

Tips for your email sequence:

  • Continue to add value related to their interests (you know that based on what they just chose to download)
  • Introduce your business, product, or service
  • Connect the value they saw in your lead magnet to the increased value they will realize by taking the next step
  • Share case studies or testimonials
  • Have a direct call to action in each email to take the next step

Next up … how to optimize that newly-built funnel to get better results.

If you’d like help setting up your sales funnel let’s talk. We’ve built funnels for all kinds of businesses and can save you a ton of time and frustration.