For an online business owner, a sales funnel is probably the most important marketing tool you have. And yet many entrepreneurs – both new and established – have no clear understanding of what a funnel is or how it works. 

As you can imagine, failing to fully understand this critical part of your business means fewer sales, lower profits, and ultimately, an unstable business. 

What in the world is a funnel anyway?

A Simple Sales Funnel

At its most basic, a sales funnel consists of free content, which typically requires nothing of your readers. Many sales funnels begin with blog posts, YouTube videos, Facebook content, and other information readers can access at no cost. This is the “top” of your funnel. 

Next, you’ll have an attractive offer that requires a very small “payment” of sorts – typically an email address. You’ve seen this type of offer on websites all over the internet, and probably even signed up for some. This is the free ebook or guide, video series, checklist, workbook, or other valuable content that is available in exchange for “opting in” to an email list. 

Once on your mailing list, you’ll then present your readers with a series of low-cost offers. Perhaps you have a low-priced ebook or a trial membership. 

Customers who purchase your low-priced product move further down the funnel, and are presented with more, higher-priced products. As they continue to buy, they move closer and closer to your top-end offers, which make up the bottom of your funnel. 

How Your Funnel Works

If you imagine your funnel as looking like, well, a funnel, it’s easy to see that your free content—at the top—is consumed by the largest number of readers. Below that, your extreme low-cost item (available only for the cost of an email address) attracts a smaller subset of the true freebie seekers. Next, your low-priced products bring in yet a smaller group. 

Finally, as you near the tip of the funnel, only the most loyal of fans and customers will purchase your highest priced offers. 

Your job, as the business owner, is to ensure that your funnel leads buyers naturally from the top, free offers all the way to the bottom. The more buyers you can keep in your funnel, the more money you will make. 

Most new—and even established—business owners can easily envision the top of the funnel, but if you truly want your business to grow, you must master the entire process, and that starts with understanding what a funnel really is and how it works. 

If you prefer to watch as I explain a funnel in simple terms you can do so below:

If you have comments or questions regarding sales funnels that I have been discussing here and on my YouTube channel don’t hesitate to ask!

You can also find me on FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn.

    10 replies to "What in The World is a Funnel Anyway?"

    • Kristi Woods

      Hey Alyssa, good to “see” you again after Spark and Which Wich. 😉 I’m going to pin this puppy and come back and watch the video. I confess that the sales funnel is not my strength. I think it’s a learning and understanding need. I appreciate you listing this. Take care!

      • Alyssa Avant

        Thanks for stopping by, it was great to spend time with you at Spark!

    • bethany

      this helps me as I begin to understand how sharing resources can work – thank you, Alyssa!

      • Alyssa Avant

        Thank you Bethany!

    • Christine

      You make it simple and clear. Thanks! Now, to put it into action…

      • Alyssa Avant

        So glad that it was helpful Christine! Thanks for stopping by!

    • Erin Gram

      Very helpful information and you explained it so well. I had no idea prior to reading this post! I love the overview and breakdown. Thank you!!

      • Alyssa Avant

        Thanks Erin be sure to check back for more posts in this series.

    • […] What in the World is a Funnel Anyway? […]

    • […] the past few weeks, I have been sharing about the importance of sales funnels and how to create them.  Though it may seem like I am doing things in reverse order I would now […]

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