What's a Sales Funnel and Is One Right for Your Launch?

Let’s just dig right into it: What’s a sales funnel? They sound overwhelming, but basically “sales funnel” is just a fancy term for your customer journey, condensed down to a few purchases.

Think about it this way. Have you ever been to IKEA? It feels like a maze when you’re in the store, but you dutifully follow the light-up arrows that wind you through every section of the store. The whole store showcases everything they have to offer, so by the time you get to pay, your cart is full of stuff you didn’t even know you needed! 

That’s what a sales funnel is — a guide that leads your customers through complimentary offers so they have what they need to accomplish their goals by the time they hit that checkout page. But is a sales funnel launch right for your new product? Keep reading to find out.

What types of sales funnels are there? 

There are SO MANY different types of sales funnels out there, it’s hard to just boil them down to a few. But here are the most common that you’ve probably seen:

The opt-in funnel

Let’s say you’re building a brand new business. You’ve got zero clients, a teeeeeny tiny email list, but some seriously fantastic digital offers and evergreen products.

You may use a sales funnel that offers your prospective customers a ‘freebie’ to get their name and information to build your email list. Then, once you have their information, you send informative emails with helpful tips that highlight your offers. The goal is to get these customers to keep reading your information and start trusting you enough to buy from you.

The order bump funnel

Let’s say you want to sell a digital product at a low cost, but you also have an item you could add on for a lower cost. That’s called an order bump: a promotion for a lower-priced product to add to a customer’s cart. This can increase the overall cart value and also sell more of your product — and all it requires is an additional page added to the sales sequence. 

Some people even add an additional step: The one time offer (or OTO). This can be a more expensive offer you’re providing at a steep discount, such as access to your high-end course for 50% off. The idea here is that you can build trust by solving their problems and giving them what they likely wanted in the first place — higher-level help.

The webinar

Hosting a webinar or even providing an evergreen one is a common kickstarter to a sales funnel. You can host the webinar and then, at the end of the webinar, pitch your new offer (course, membership, products, etc.). You could follow that up with an email sequence to purchase the offer for those who didn’t buy on the spot, and even create some retargeting ads and emails for those who have checked out your sales page. 

Now that you’ve got an idea of a few of the most basic types of sales funnels, let’s talk about which one (if any) is right for you.

No matter which type of sales funnel you decide to use or how you structure your path, make sure it fits your business style. Don’t be scammy or overly pushy or use language that doesn’t feel aligned with your sales style. Don’t record a webinar if you hate being on camera. Set up your sales funnel in the way that works best for you, even if that means it’s fully automated from the initial opt-in to the final sale.

So… is a sales funnel right for your launch? 

It’s time to decide if a sales funnel it’s the right choice for your business. Before you get to work building a complex funnel, take some time to evaluate where you are and where you want to go. These are a few of the signs that can help you if you need a sales funnel.

Signs a sales funnel is a good idea

  • Your business is newer or you don’t have a large email list or following
  • Your offer is easy to showcase on landing pages and emails
  • You know your offer is good, you have testimonials to prove it, and you’ve set a price that is IDEAL for your audience
  • You have the tech tools to set up automated emails, promotions, and order bumps (Or you have the foresight to hire someone to do it for you)

Signs you might need a different sales strategy

  • You have a small but loyal audience, and you want to cater to them exclusively
  • Your offer isn’t easy to showcase quickly but does great in sales calls or 1:1 conversation 
  • Your product is brand new and you don’t have any testimonials to back it up yet
  • You don’t have the tech skills to set up automations, and getting someone else to do it is too much for your budget 

You’ve considered B2B vs. B2C

I’ve got two more pieces of jargon to throw at you, but don’t panic. Is your business B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Customer)? Do you sell to other businesses — or to consumers?

B2B businesses operate differently than B2C businesses. For example, B2B businesses may be more open to sales funnels and technical terms because they are a business. They have the expertise and experience to understand the path because they use it, too!

B2C companies don’t work the same way. Their audience is regular people who may be overwhelmed by technical jargon, an onslaught of emails/offers, and order bumps. Inundating B2C customers (aka your everyday consumer) with automated sales funnel offers may be too much and they may just block your business, so you lose the potential purchase. 

Want to dig into sales funnels (and other launch strategies)?

I’m sure this has given you a lot to think about, so feel free to take a moment and jot down your thoughts. Is a sales funnel right for you? What kind of sales funnel? What would you need to do to make it a success for your business, offer, and audience? You’re one step closer to creating a sales strategy that works for your business — huzzah!

Of course, I know that sales funnels can be tricky and a little intimidating. But I’m here to hold your hand and help you figure out what’s best for YOUR BUSINESS. My launch training membership, Launch BFF, is coming this October. It’s going to be a treasure trove of juicy nuggets designed for YOUR needs — and you’re going to get insights on a new launch element for just $49 a month.

If you want to learn more about Launch BFF and get on the waitlist, click here. You know you wanna.

Hey! Check this out.
The Sales Funnel Kit