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Welcome to the Ultimate Sales Funnel Guide... We're going to break down the parts of a sales funnel for you so that you can build one for your following product or service...

Did you know we actively engage in parts of a sales funnel every time we buy a product? Even before we believe?

It doesn't matter whether we are in a brick-and-mortar business or browsing an online store; we, as consumers, have already entered their funnel.

These days, every online marketer and business owner talks about online sales funnels. Search Google News or read any sales or marketing blog, and you'll see that sales funnels and sales psychology are making the news.

Why is that?

Because competition has grown to be so intense and digital business best practices are so commonplace, companies NEED to have an automated sales process to acquire new customers. The fact that we're exposed to thousands of advertising messages daily reinforces that.

So, from a business perspective, how do you stand out?

The answer: Developing an effective, automated sales funnel.

sales funnel components

Parts Of A Sales Funnel

This sales funnel guide will explain parts of a sales funnel in plain English. Our goal is to help you not only understand their value -- you probably know already that your business can't survive without a funnel -- but the integral components of a sales funnel.

Let's say you were about to hire a Sales Funnel Expert to build your online sales process. (Notice, I didn't say designer!)

A designer or developer is going to start and stop at your website. The truth is a website is required. It's mandatory. But it's the least important part of the entire sales funnel conversation.

The parts of a sales funnel, or purchase funnel as put in Wikipedia, as you'll see, are a complete system that starts with web pages, including email marketing, multi-media content, order forms, call scheduling, and more... All built custom for you and your business!

The parts of a sales funnel should automate your sales and reinforce your existing processes, not make you reinvent how you and your team work.

A Basic Funnel Breakdown

A primary funnel (and this is our approach to building successful sales funnel development) is comprised of three stages:

  • Your Offer – What you're selling.
  • Your Follow-up – Your communication with your lead once they're in your sales process.
  • Your Traffic – The people coming to your website or landing page.

You get sales when you combine all three – traffic, your offer, and a follow-up process!

These three parts of a sales funnel are the minimum you'd expect to see in an effective funnel. Let's break them down so you know exactly what comes with each.

1. Your Offer

How to find targeted leads

You cannot expect to have sales if you have nothing to sell. It should go without saying, but some small business owners don't realize they get no deals because they have no offers. In these cases, their bottom line won't reflect increased web visitors.

For your sales funnel to work, you need to have a clear, well-defined, branded product (or productized service) to sell.

Video Sales Page

At a minimum, you need one of the most elementary parts of a sales funnel: a page where the potential customer can click the "Add To Cart" button. This would be your "sales page". Also, thanks to our short attention spans, this page should have at least one Sales Video. Many more people would rather watch than read.

Typically, for offers under $100, a sales video is about all you need to sell.

Downsell / Upsell Pages

To maximize your average customer value, you'll also want to create downsells and upsells, another way to say complimentary products. These are products of a lower or higher price than the initial offer. They will be shown to customers of the initial offer accordingly.

So, if a sales page visitor doesn't buy, they might be presented with the down-sell through an exit pop. On the other hand, if they believe, they will see an upsell on the next page before they get access to the product.

Live or Automated Webinars

If your offer is more than a few hundred bucks or is complex, you'll want to sell it through a webinar. The webinar must be scripted, recorded, edited, and set up to play throughout the day.

We've had the best luck with starting webinars every 15 minutes in most markets. Sometimes, though, they test better when they're set to start every night at, say, 9:00 PM or deliver immediately after registration. Each niche is a little different.


Now, what could your offer be? It could be anything from a physical product to a digital service. A pair of shoes, coaching, consulting, an eBook, a DVD, a downloadable training course, a monthly service, or yearly access to a cloud app.

If you create it and there are buyers for it - it's your offer!

Lead magnet

Before the offer, it's best practice to show people a free offer (called a "lead magnet"). Most website visitors won't be familiar with your brand. This is why they won't buy right away. But still, you don't want them to leave empty-handed.

So, instead of driving traffic to a sales page, you'd want an opt-in page where people give up their email to download a freebie. You can add them to your mailing list and contact them again.

(We always split-test a few things when running traffic for our funnel clients. Usually, we promote a lead magnet and a webinar side-by-side to see where our leads are the cheapest!)

Offer checklist

When planning the parts of a sales funnel, this is a list of items or tools you would expect to have to be able to sell your offer:

  1. Product or Service
  2. Lead Magnet (recommended but optional)
  3. Opt-in Page
  4. Email Marketing Service
  5. Thank you page for people who opt-in
  6. Welcome Email
  7. Download Page
  8. Sales Page
  9. Thank You Page (for buyers)
  10. Upsell Page + Thank You Page (optional)
  11. Downsell Page + Thank You Page (optional)

The above list of elements is part of a sales funnel and may vary depending on your offer.

For example, if your product is a webinar, you'll need a Webinar Registration Page. If your product is a consulting session, you'll need a Call Scheduling Form.

To review your sales funnel, watch this video to determine the next steps!

2. Follow-up

The reason why sales funnels have gained in popularity is that they can work for you on autopilot.

Parts of a sales funnel are the exact replacement for a sales process in a brick-and-mortar business, plus they can be fully or semi-automated. Funnels are a nearly set-and-forget solution to attract, nurture and convert customers.

Automated Email Sequences

Let's assume someone enters your funnel by filling out a form. Right after that, you need to have an automated lead nurturing process in place.

So, when people subscribe to your email list, an automated email sequence is triggered. Whether Monday morning or Sunday at midnight, computerized workflows will take over and do the heavy lifting for your marketing on autopilot.

Follow-Up Sales Funnel Guide Checklist

To create Email Automation, you will need:

  1. Email marketing service with automation (and optional website tracking features)
  2. Emails (copy, images)
  3. Automated email sequences are set up to serve different goals or segments

In the sales funnels we deploy for clients, we usually write and schedule between 20 and 25 emails before we go live!

This way, every marketing automation contingency is accounted for. If someone registers for the webinar OR doesn't register for the webinar OR buys OR doesn't buy... We have already automated a response specifically for actions that could be taken.

Endless Automation

You might be wondering where the follow-up stage ends. Well, you can stop following up when a prospect becomes a customer. But then why not have them become a repeat buyer? Email automation can be an infinite process you can set up once and have it work for your business 24/7.

Most parts of a sales funnel have a pre-defined marketing term already done... 30 or 45 days is standard for our clients. So, when someone gets into their funnel, all of the marketing is handled for at least 30 days.

Then, after 30 days, they either get added to the next funnel (Funnel Stacking) or weekly broadcast emails and newsletters take over.

That way, there's always continuity in your marketing messages. And if your prospects and customers jump down another rabbit hole for your next offer - that's awesome!

Setting up the CRM and marketing automation can be tricky. Still, it is doable and 100% worth the effort, as it will put you closer to finally achieving your goals of generating a monthly passive income.

3. Traffic

Ecommerce Store Traffic

Sometimes, when you approach a web developer or choose to work with a "Funnel Page Building Software," you won't have a plan for getting traffic. Sometimes, this is on purpose. Web developers are paid media experts. And 'funnel software' does integrate with Facebook or Google Ads.

As far as we're concerned - this is a little bit like selling someone an electric car but not including an extension cord to plug it into the outlet in your garage. You can't hope to have an automated sales process without people there to buy your stuff.

In reality, you wouldn't expect to sell without having a way of getting the right people to see your offer.

Organic vs. Paid Media/Ads

Unless your website already has enough organic traffic (from Google search results), you need a traffic method to attract people interested in your offer.

That is why we are advocates of traffic as a significant part of a sales funnel, AND it's also why we start every sales funnel conversation with traffic! Then, once the funnel is built, you've already got ads ready to go live to promote your landing pages. And, if you have assets like an email list or a social media following, we account for those in the rollout phase!

Traffic  Checklist

As explained above, this is what you need at this stage, the Traffic Stage:

  1. Customer Avatar
  2. Traffic Source
  3. Traffic Budget
  4. Advertising Copy and Creative
  5. Other Promo Copy and Images

Some examples of the most popular Traffic Sources are Facebook Ads, Google AdWords, LinkedIn posts, Quora, guest posts, podcasts, YouTube videos, etc... We can run and manage these traffic sources for you, too!

Parts of a Sales Funnel: Putting It All Together

In short, all of the above elements are essential for a sales funnel. They won't all be needed for every horn, but they should get you a good overview of the things you'll need to have in place before launching.

In the past five years, we've built and launched over 400 sales funnels in almost every niche. The absolute most popular types of sales funnels we've deployed are:

We'd love to learn more about your business and determine which sales funnel will work best for you!

Plus, our team will manage the whole process (even the product or lead magnet creation) and deliver a complete done-for-you sales funnel customized to your needs -- but still proven to convert because of the tested funnel parts (e.g., opt-in page) that we plugin and optimize.

Our experts can work from square one to create an offer, design and build all pages, write high-converting copy, and set up automated email sequences. We create, test, and deliver sales funnels that operate like clockwork 24/7 without you having to do the work.

If you'd like to learn how to create and launch a digital product for your business, complete with an upsell funnel that helps you sell it, check out the Launchpad Accelerator at DWY!  Click here to learn more...