Simple Sales Funnels

A simple definition of a sales funnel is a series of defined steps that direct qualified prospects through the sales process, whilst filtering the less-qualified prospects along the way. At the top of the funnel a mixture of “RAW” leads are entered into your funnel (This could be through SEO, Print Ads, Direct Mail, PPC, Facebook ads etc.)

Some of these leads will be already quite highly qualified (think of someone doing a search online and clicking your Google PPC ad for the search term “best price for Cannon E2 Camera” – this is someone who is already in the interested area and is looking to compare pricing. i.e. they already know what they want, now they are searching to find the best deal. Or, at the other extreme think of someone is just browsing online and sees a display ad and thinks it sounds quite interesting so clicks on the ad to find out more.)

Dependant how you generate leads into your funnel they will need different levels of nurturing to successfully move them through to the next step.

In this article let’s look a very basic scenario. I’ll cover more advanced funnels in later articles.

At the top of our funnel (the wide bit) our prospects (website visitors) enter the funnel and our process begins leading them through the funnel where they become more and more qualified and hopefully ready to buy (the narrow bit).

Any successful sales funnel follows the AIDA principles


Attention – this is how we attract prospects into our sales funnel (SEO, articles, PR, PPC etc.)

Interest – This is the prequalifying step. We can share articles and information about the topic to create increased interest. Once we have done this the process becomes more of an emotional decision for the prospect which leads nicely into the 3rd step

Desire – this is where your prospect desires your goods or services rather than just wants them. It’s a highly emotional state. People buy much more quickly and easily once they desire something.

Action – This is the final piece of the puzzle. This is where hopefully the prospect becomes a paying customer.

The sole purpose of any sales funnel is to move people along to become customers.

Traditional Inefficient Sales Funnel

inefficient sales funnel

We drive traffic to a sales page. Generally 95%+ of traffic leaves the page without buying. We have no opportunity to build interest and desire or create rapport with the prospect. This is a very inefficient way to run your business.

Simple Email Sales Funnel

With this sales funnel we have the advantage of capturing the prospects details as they register for a free piece of RELEVANT information (PDF, Whitepaper, VIDEO, Cheat sheet, Blueprints etc.) and then being able to contact them multiple times via email both offering more useful content for them to consume. We can also make offers to them of our products and services too. The better and more relevant the content the more interest and desire we will create and our job to finally sell will become so much easier.

simple email funnel

The beauty of this strategy is that the whole process can be automated once your prospect has given you their contact details your auto-responder can do all the heavy lifting for you. With a great squeeze page you could convert 25-50% of the traffic to opt in.

Moving the Free Line

One of the most useful things I learnt in the last few years is to give your PROSPECTS (not just customers) some of your best stuff completely FREE. Eban Pagan (one of my favourite IM Gurus) invented the phrase “moving the free line” which is a fantastic term which basically says – don’t be afraid to give away some of your best content free. The rationale behind this is simple. Your prospected is going to be “WOWED” by your free stuff they are going to be thinking “If this is the free stuff then the paid stuff must be fantastic!”
It can be a difficult one sometimes to get our head around – but trust me and try it. You’ll be amazed the results it gets.