Every business has a sales funnel.
It might not be a very effective sales funnel — especially if you don’t know what it is or how to optimize it — but you do have one.
In this article, we’re going to discuss what a sales funnel is, the difference between a marketing funnel and a sales funnel (these terms are often used interchangeably, but we think there’s an important difference), and then we’ll show you 6 examples of sales funnels that are converting like crazy.
Let’s dive right in.
What Is a Sales Funnel and Why Is It Important?
A sales funnel is the path a customer takes to purchase from your business, all the way from interested prospect to converted customer.
Every business has a sales funnel because every business (presumably) is trying to turn visitors into leads and leads into paying customers.
But naturally, an intentionally crafted sales funnel is about 100 times more effective than a sales funnel which is left to random chance.
Unfortunately, 68% of companies have not tried to measure or identify their sales funnel.
And lest you think that that’s an excuse to do the same, consider that…
In other words, optimizing your sales funnel is absolutely vital if you want to make more sales, convert more prospects, and build a more successful business (which, of course, you do).
But before showing you 6 examples of effective sales funnels… a quick distinction between the marketing funnel and the sales funnel.
The Difference Between a Sales Funnel and a Marketing Funnel
Most marketers use the terms “sales funnel” and “marketing funnel” interchangeably.
A quick Google search will try to convince you that those two funnels are the same — that they both lead from awareness to conversion (or thereabouts).
Here’s a “sales funnel” search in Google images…
And, here’s a “marketing funnel” search…
Yeah — pretty much the same thing
But there’s an important distinction to make between the sales funnel and the marketing funnel.
In our view, the marketing funnel is the entire journey from a person being aware of your business to that person becoming a committed customer. That is, the marketing funnel would include running paid ads, sending follow-up emails, search engine optimization, and everything in between.
The sales funnel, on the other hand, is the piece within the marketing funnel that deals with interest, consideration, and conversion.
The sales funnel would only include elements like the sales page, the order page, the upsell page, the “Thank You” page, and any other pages which directly influence the actual conversion event (which could be generating leads or making sales). For example…
The sales funnel represents the sales part of the prospect’s buying journey, but the marketing funnel represents the entire journey
Now that you understand the difference between the marketing funnel and the sales funnel, let’s turn our attention to 6 different types of sales funnels that convert like clockwork.
6 Different Types of Sales Funnels That Convert Like Clockwork (with Examples)
At ClickFunnels, we’ve darn-near perfected the science of the sales funnel, making it as simple and effective as possible. Just check out what Liz Benny has to say about using our service…
“I’ve been building out my new funnel inside of ClickFunnels, and after doing it, the idea of using anything else is daunting to me.
“I would have had to have membership software, landing pages, order forms and then still figure out how to tie them all together. I’ll never have to go through that again because of ClickFunnels!”
And we’ve created 6 different high-converting sales funnels. Here’s what they are, how they work, and when you should use them.
1. Squeeze Page Sales Funnel
The squeeze page sales funnel is for when you want to generate leads for your business.
This is where the line between marketing funnel and sales funnel blurs. But think of the squeeze page funnel as a sales funnel that sits near the top of the holistic marketing funnel and deals with the awareness and interest phases rather than consideration and conversion.
First, the prospect goes to the page on the left, which is there to collect their email address. Typically, you’ll get their email in exchange for a free gift as incentive — ebook, whitepaper, video series, etc.
Then, they go to your “Thank You” page.
Here’s what it might look like…
We’ve found that this is one of the most effective ways to generate leads —— by offering a free downloadable gift in return for your target market’s email address. And the more attractive your free gift, the more pertinent it is to your target market, the more people who are going to sign up.
Pro-Tip: We highly recommend testing out different lead magnets on your squeeze page to see what gives you the highest conversion rate.
2. Application Sales Funnel
While a squeeze page funnel is great for generating all kinds of leads, sometimes you’ll want to get more detailed information about those leads:
- Who are they?
- What do they do?
- How much money do they make?
Collecting information like that allows you to segment your email list and make the most relevant offer to each group of people (sending lower-ticket offers, for example, to people with lower budgets and bigger-ticket offers to more prestigious leads).
But I know what you’re thinking…
Since there are more steps involved, won’t this sales funnel decrease the conversion rate?
Ahh. But we thought of that!
At ClickFunnels, the application sales funnel also has an exit-intent pop-up which is basically just a simple squeeze page — that way, you’ll still collect email addresses from people who don’t have the time to fill out a more in-depth application.
You get additional information from particularly interested prospects and the necessary information (just the email address) from prospects with less time on their hands. It’s the best of both worlds.
First, you have a page with a video and a CTA driving the prospect to the application page.
If they try to leave, the exit-intent pop-up attempts to snag just their email address.
If they click through, they go to the application page where they can give you lots of valuable information, and then finally, the “Thank You” page.
Here’s what that might look like…
3. Tripwire Sales Funnel
The tripwire sales funnel is primarily for making sales (although it doubles as a lead-gen funnel since customers have to enter their info before completing their purchase).
The first step of the tripwire funnel is a landing page with a video or sales copy on the left and then a shipping form on the right.
Once the prospect enters their information, they’re taken to what we call the OTO page. And this is where the real magic of the tripwire funnel happens.
OTO stands for One Time Offer. On the One Time Offer Page, you offer an exclusive no-brainer upsell for the buyer to add to their purchase before checking out.
Finally, they go to your order confirmation page.
And here’s what that might look like…
The genius of the tripwire funnels, and the reason that it’s crazy effective for our members, lies in its chronology.
The prospect enters their shipping info and their payment info typically to get something for free (a free sample of your product, for example), which makes them more willing to take those two commonly abrasive steps.
Only after they enter that information do you pitch them your one time offer.
Now that the hard steps are out of the way, they’re more likely to add your upsell to their cart. Finally, the OTO page always comes before the “Thank You” page — if it were the other way around and the OTO page came after, then very few people would stick around for your upsell.
This sales funnel maximizes the amount of money you make per conversion and gets the prospect used to buying from you.
4. Video Sales Letter Funnel
Prefer video over sales copy?
Well, as it turns out, so do a lot of consumers. Here are a few stats which illustrate the power of video marketing…
- 54% of consumers want to see more video from the brands that they love.
- Videos are a consumer’s favorite type of content to see on social media.
- Video marketers get 66% more qualified leads than their video-less counterparts.
- The average person spends 88% more time on a website page which has video content.
- And 72% of people want to watch a video to learn about a product or service.
Which is exactly why, we’ve created a sales funnel meant just for video lovers. This sales funnels is exactly like the tripwire sales funnel we just discussed, but instead of using sales copy to sell and upsell your products, it uses video.
First you have the sales letter page where prospects can enter their buying information, then the OTO (One Time Offer) page, and finally the order confirmation page.
Here’s what that might look like…
5. Product Launch Sales Funnel
The tripwire sales funnel is perfect for selling your most popular products like hot-cakes.
But sometimes, when you’re releasing a new product, you’re going to want to have a little more build up — create a little anticipation — surrounding that product launch.
For that, we’ve created the product launch sales funnel. This funnel is intentionally crafted to build suspense and excitement around your upcoming product to maximize the number of people who purchase it on launch day.
It all starts with a squeeze page that introduces the product and encourages the prospect to enter their email address to stay updated on its progress.
Then, over the next few days or weeks, you send the lead to between three and five pages which provide additional information about the upcoming product and its progress — building suspense and attention.
Finally, on launch day, you send the prospect to the product launch order form.
Here’s an example…
6. Webinar Sales Funnel
Running webinars — that is, live or recorded educational videos — has become a household way to generate leads over the last few years.
And for good reason — 73% of B2B marketers claim that webinars are the best way to generate high quality leads. After all, if someone is willing to sit through a 45 minute presentation, then they are very likely willing to buy from you as well (time is more valuable than money!).
Our webinar sales funnel is crafted to get as many people signed up for your webinar as possible and, more importantly, to get those leads to actually attend your webinar.
First, you have the landing page where prospects can sign up to watch your webinar.
Then, you have between three and five indoctrination pages which are meant to indoctrinate the new lead with your brand messaging and story.
Last, there’s the webinar confirmation page or the webinar replay page (depending on if you’re doing the webinar live or recorded).
Here’s what this might look like…
Now you know what a sales funnel is… ready to try one for yourself?
If you’re trying to convert website visitors into leads or leads into paying customers, then you have a sales funnel. But an intentionally crafted sales funnel is far more powerful than one built off of guess-work and random chance.
At ClickFunnels, we build funnels that convert like crazy. And you can give us a try for free for 14 days. We think you’ll be impressed by the results.