“Sales funnel” is more than just a buzzword—it’s equal parts art and science. It’s a useful tool that pulls readers and casual visitors in while nudging them closer to buying from you. A sales funnel is your #1 salesperson that doesn’t need breaks, sleep, vacations, or employee benefits.
When you nail it, it cranks out revenue like your favorite cafe cranks out lattes and scones. While most people will tell you time and time again how badly you need a sales funnel, they neglect to tell you how to build one.
After creating hundreds (if not thousands) of our own, we distilled what we know and learned along the way into six bite-sized steps to help you build yours.
Why Building a Sales Funnel Is Worth It
Aside from the time-saving benefits of creating a sales funnel, it also gives you a way to measure your success and predict the future. If you know that your funnel successfully converts 3% of the people who go through it, you have a ballpark estimate of how much you’re going to make based on the number of people who enter.
Plus, you can really hone in on the things that work, gain a deeper understanding of where leads drop out, get to the bottom of why, and continuously work to make it better.
From there, you can add upsells, cross-sells, and add-ons to add even more revenue to the stream already coming in on autopilot.
Rinse and repeat the process for continuous improvements on your post-sales revenue, too.
To sweeten the deal, successful funnels produce lifelong customers on the other side. You know they want what you have to offer and you can rest easy knowing you have a list full of people that want to hear from you and are eager to jump on your next offer.
The importance of a funnel goes far beyond the money, too. You get a new level of freedom to get more creative in other areas since you have a tried-and-true revenue stream you can count on.
The Investment Needed to Build a Sales Funnel
The great thing about a sales funnel is that they don’t have to cost a lot of money (or any money at all) if you learn how to set them up yourself using the tools you already have. If you don’t have appropriate software in place, you may have a bit of an initial time and monetary investment.
But it’ll be significantly cheaper than hiring someone to write the whole thing for you.
For software, you have a few options. You can use email marketing software if you want to build an email sales funnel, you can use an all-in-one funnel tool, like Kartra, or you can build out a funnel entirely on your website using static landing pages. Price varies drastically, depending on which option you choose.
Email marketing software and landing page builders are going to be the best budget-friendly route. Plus, you likely already have the tools you need.
Kartra ranges from $99 for one funnel and two membership sites, up to $499 per month for 10 exclusive domains, unlimited products, membership sites, and more.
Learning how to design a funnel isn’t complicated with software like Kartra, but it can take a great deal of time to master. If you don’t want to build the funnel yourself, you can hire someone to create a bespoke funnel for you. We’ve seen funnels custom-built for $300 and up, depending on the complexity. Keep in mind that this only includes setting up the technical side of the funnel. Strategizing and writing are entirely different beasts to conquer.
As such, you’ll need to take some time to strategize your funnel before you sit down and start building. And if you’re not familiar with copywriting, that’s another thing you’ll need to practice (or hire someone for).
A good copywriter will cost you anywhere from $500 to $1000 or more for a decent funnel.
The last thing you’ll need is a content strategy to surround your sales funnel. This includes social media posts, blog posts, email campaigns, and even SMS campaigns to get leads into your funnel.
Again, you can create all of this content on your own or hire someone to do it for you.
We’ll be honest with you—it’s a lot to learn. But, once you figure it out, it’s a priceless skill to have. The art of selling behind a keyboard and guiding readers down the page so fast they don’t realize they are clicking the buy now button is a lifelong skill with an infinite ROI.
Realizing all the background work—and the investment of money and time involved—you’re ready to attack building a sales funnel in six steps:
- Sign up for Kartra
- Build your landing and sales pages
- Present your audience with an offer
- Upsell on the backend with more value
- Include a downsell option
- Tweak until optimized
6 Steps to Building a Sales Funnel
Now that you have an overview of what goes into building a funnel—and why it’s the best thing to hit ecommerce since the invention of the air fryer—it’s time to dive into what you need to do to make the dream a reality.
#1 – Sign Up for Kartra
Kartra is our top recommendation for software to build your funnel. It makes running your ecommerce business effortless—they have it down to a science.
A big benefit of Kartra is its integration with webinar software, allowing you to use a more effective medium for meeting with your prospects and presenting your services to drive them through your funnel.
It’s extremely valuable in today’s new business world to have reliable video conferencing software. The rising need to meet and do sales presentations through video makes Kartra’s integrations with WebinarJam, Zoom, and other software a big draw.
On top of this, you are able to take payments, generate leads, and manage other important business elements on one platform. They are truly an all-in-one solution that removes the piecing together and hacks involved with running your online business so many other platforms still have problems with.
The pricing is straightforward. You have four main plans to choose from:
- Starter: $99/month
- Silver: $199/month
- Gold: $299/month
- Platinum: $499/month
After you follow the steps and create your account, follow us down to the next step where we build out your funnel.
#2 – Build Your Landing and Sales Pages
Now it’s time for you to build out your landing and sales pages.
Landing pages are how you gain the trust of your visitors and convert them to customers.
One type of landing page is for lead capturing. You can offer a free ebook or a 1-on-1 coaching call.Some very successful sites offer a free video training session. With Kartra, you can create training videos that are easily shareable with your new prospects.
Creating a lead capture page is quite simple. Here you select a captivating background image, add a lead capture form that integrates with your email autoresponder (all included with Kartra), and offer your freemium gift in exchange for an email address.
If you are established and also want to build out your funnel, you would use Kartra’s drag-and-drop editor.
The first thing you can do is build out these landing pages to generate leads. You can choose from high converting sales page templates provided by the platform, add your copy, and within a few hours have yourself a functioning sales funnel.
One thing to remember is that normally in sales funnels there are mid-funnel strategies that also need to be established. Things like email campaigns, strategies for calling leads, and any other ideas you can come up with to warm them up. These areas need to be in place before your funnel is fully functional.
You’ll also need to build sales pages, another type of landing page with the goal of moving the visitor to your checkout page. Here, you’ll need slightly more advanced copy to be written to make sure that when a lead arrives, they’ll click “Buy Now”.
To summarize, you’ll need to build and write copy for landing pages to capture leads, email campaigns and sales call strategy for warming up those generated leads, and sales pages to get those warmed-up leads to purchase.
#3 – Present Your Audience With a Frontend Offer
Once you have designed your sales funnel and you are in the midst of creating your copy, you want to create an offer your visitors can’t refuse.
This could be bonus items that make them feel silly for not buying today. This could also be offering your services at a fraction of the price if they buy right now.
The main thing is you are offering them something to buy. And if your offer helps create more desire for your higher-priced backend offer that they’ll see later, you’re sitting on easy street.
The best thing about an irresistible offer is the scarcity that supports it. If you leave it up to the person to come back whenever they choose, most people won’t buy right away. So you need to work with your copywriter to create an offer that just says, “If you leave me on the table you will be up all night wishing you didn’t.”
Another thing about your offer is it must be clear. What is your prospect actually getting when they buy today? Any confusion or inconsistent information about the service or product will have your conversions tanking. The steps for creating an irresistible offer are as follows:
- Be clear about what they are getting
- Create an offer so compelling it screams value over price
- Create scarcity
- Create a call to action
Providing these five simple things will make your funnel smooth as silk.
#4 – Add More Value with a Backend Upsell
As we said earlier, your offers should complement each other.
For instance, if you are selling rain boots and you got someone to take advantage of a 15% off deal, on the backend you can offer a lifetime warranty on the boots or something that will include even more value for them if they pay for the upgrade today.
You want to make your offers linked, so your prospect feels like it’s a no-brainer to take the deal.
Most of the time your backend offer is more expensive, so it should be something of high value that makes them wonder why that wasn’t the first option. Or, something that raises the value of the package so much that it’s worth paying more than they initially planned when grabbing your discount or deal.
This is also where you can make your most money in the funnel. When people are in a buying mood, it’s smarter to ask, ask, ask. It’s not the time to be passive.
#5 – Include a Downsell Option
Now you might be thinking, “What? Why would I do that? I’m no failure!”
And you’re right. This is solely to offer people with budget constraints an opportunity to still get a deal.
It also shows them subconsciously you understand not everyone may have $2,000 for a coaching package right now.
And here is the thing—if they buy the downsell option, you might have a few that come back later on and pay full price for the upsell (since these options are one-time offers on first purchases).
Whatever your downsell option is, make it interesting and relatable to the primary offer and as irresistible as possible.
#6 – Tweak Until Optimized
Trust us, most businesses who build a sales funnel don’t hit a home run the first time. They look at key performance indicators like clicks and customer engagement with specific areas of the funnel.
In truth, it can take months to find the right formula and offer that works. And that is okay!
What’s important is that you test all the time. Use A/B testing with your content, offers, landing pages, and methods. Compare the two you test between: Did you make a little more money? Did you get more clicks or less clicks with the changes made?
Oftentimes you can add a few more calls to action or tweak the language in the call to action to increase conversions. The ways to test are all up to you and will help you iterate your way to a sales funnel that fits you like a glove. You’ve already come a long way from researching what the stages of a funnel are and looking for a template.
Another way to see if you’re fully optimized is to message customers personally for feedback, to see if they’re happy with the sales journey and their decision to purchase. You can get amazing feedback that helps you make adjustments that will skyrocket your funnel’s success by speaking with your customers.
One more option you have it to use software that tells you exactly what your visitors are doing and where they are clicking. We know a thing or two about this here—Crazy Egg is first and foremost a heat mapping tool you can apply to all your landing and sales pages.
That way, you can see where your leads and customers dwell when they visit your sites, where they click, and which sections they just ignore. That’s some valuable information that can inform the layout and copy of your future landing pages.
You’re ready to go and build your own sales funnel, but there are plenty of other, related steps to keep in mind.
First, if you don’t have a CRM in place (or the one you have isn’t making you happy), you should fill that void quickly. Many of the top options out there will integrate nicely with Kartra. If you’d like to know what the top CRMs on the market are and which ones fit best for a variety of needs, check out our list of the top CRMs.
Also, Kartra’s ability to leverage video conferencing and webinar software means you should shore up that part of your technology as well. We have another list here for finding the best video conferencing solution for you.
As you get more comfortable with building and improving your sales funnels, you’ll certainly find other compatible and complementary solutions that will enhance your strategies. Don’t stress now about having that all figured out, because sales funnels and their related strategy are meant to be continually worked on and improved upon.
If you follow this guide and keep working at it, you will be building high-converting funnels in your sleep.