WTF is a Funnel??

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WTF is a Funnel??

Funnels seem to be the ‘tactic du jour’ right now.

Everyone keeps saying…

‘how’s your funnel performing’

or if you’ve not got one...

‘you’ve got to set up a funnel’

Well first I’m gonna break down wtf a funnel is and then we’ll figure out if you need one (you may in fact be surprised you already have one).


So wtf is a funnel ?

I’m using ‘wtf’ because it can so confusing around what an actual funnel is, that you can end up banging your head against the wall of crawling back into your shell at the mere mention of it. 

But simply put, it’s the steps that your potential customers or clients take from the moment they first discover you to the moment they convert into a paying client.

And this sometimes happens by accident as they’ve taken a path through your world to end up as a customer, but the idea of a funnel is to intentionally lead them through a relevant step by step process to an offer.

Much like dropping breadcrumbs for Hansel and Gretel or going through the Crystal Maze as new doors open when a new challenge is complete.

It usually takes the form of an opt-in then an offer or up-sell, accompanied by emails to ‘sell’ them to the next stage. And that can just be phase 1 of the funnel.


What is the purpose of a funnel?

The purpose is to educate your potential customer on the benefits of owning or engaging with your products or services. Either through free or paid content dependent on their stage of awareness to their problem.

The opt-in is where your reader gives you their email address in exchange for something valuable that will help them solve one tiny piece of the puzzle. To learn more about how to set up an opt-in, see this series of blogs to help you understand the logistics of setting one up.

An up-sell is the next step in the funnel after they opt in where you may offer something relating to the original ‘problem’ the customer is trying to solve. This is usually at a low, no-brainer price, or it may even be an offer to consume more content or book a call with you for the next step. 

After that step, there can be other offers made in that moment, depending on what’s logically for your customer given their situation and the choices they make in the funnel so far. It may all depend on your customers awareness and how urgent the need is to fix the bigger problem.

However, also behind the scenes your email marketing is hard at work, on autopilot, delivering more value through a series of emails to take them through to the next stage of solving their problem.

This sequence is intended to give them more information taking them through the stages of awareness of their problem, educating them on new beliefs they need to want to solve their problem (using your solution), or educating them on the value of your products or services.


Related content:

How to create an opt-in

Four types of email sequences you should be using in your business

Five smart email sequences

So as an example of a simple funnel for a life coach is:

Opt-in= a sample chapter of the coach’s book about building confidence.

Up-sell= offer the book at a discounted price.

Second upsell= offer of a free consult, or a sales page for a program.

Emails= value based series educating about confidence, how to goal set and perhaps seizing the day. There could also be an offer to book a call to see how the coach could help that potential client move forward confidently in their life (with the possibility of ‘selling’ them a coaching package or a group program).

Now, depending on the system or platform you use to offer these various options on the front end you may also be able to offer a down sell that’s also relevant. This is a great option once someone has already handed over money for a small investment but maybe has said no to the bigger offer. If your system allows you can then show them another offer that’s relevant that could be another no-brainer ‘yes’ for them.

An example for this would be:

Opt-in= free report on the benefits of eating a vegan diet

Up-sell= offer a recipe book for $17

Second up-sell= offer to join a high-touch group program to get a handle on how to go vegan, stay energized and feel fit.

If that’s not taken, a down-sell= a subscription to get weekly meal plans and tips for vegan lifestyle 


Hopefully you see how a funnel is a simple step by step of trust building with your prospect and the psychology of offering the next logical step in the journey to transformation or ways to solve bigger problems.

As you can see - you’ve most likely got some kind of natural funnel in place already (if you’ve been in business for a while). The idea though is to make it intentional so it can be optimised for better results.

If you’d like to strategize your email sequence or you need a sequence written to coach your prospects through the decision to work with you or buy your products, then see how we can work together here.

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