What Is A Sales Funnel In Online Marketing?


Have you ever said the following about your Online Marketing:

  • “I get leads, but they DON’T translate into sales”
  • “People DON’T do anything after clicking my ads”
  • “I have a successful Fan Page, but I DON’T make any SALES from it”
  • “I have an amazing idea, but I DON’T know how to sell it online”

If you’ve said any of the above, you are not alone.  One of the biggest factors that contribute to a Lead converting to a Sale is your Sales Funnel.

The purpose of this article is to educate you on what a sales funnel is, give you with tips on how to make it profitable, provide you with helpful sales funnel tools, and help you decide what types of ‘ethical bribes’ to give away to help your prospect opt in to your funnel!

What Is A Sales Funnel?


Before building a Sales Funnel, it’s important to understand what it is and why it’s important.  Only then will you be able to put together a profitable sales funnel.

When you are marketing online, you are using ‘interruption’ marketing, meaning that as people scroll through their favorite social networks, your message is interrupting their purpose for being on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, etc…

You see, people go online to be social, not advertised to.  Therefore, the purpose of your Sales Funnel is to entice them into joining your conversation & building a relationship by…

  • Offering very compelling content and information that provides a solution to a problem, which will…
  • Allow you to establish yourself as an authority figure, which will…
  • Have them decide to buy your product or service should they decide to take action on overcoming their problem!

There are  4 components of a profitable Sales Funnel:

  1. Landing Page – prospect read your interesting story online (your ad) and compels them to visit your web site, where they will provide their contact information in exchange for a…
  2. Lead Magnet – instant access to a checklist, ebook, Video Sales Letter, ability to register for a webinar, or any other ‘bribe’ to entice them into providing you with their contact information, which leads to them landing on a…
  3. Thank You Page – which ‘Thanks’ the customer and confirms that they will receive their product via the…
  4. Auto Responder– which will Welcome them to your company and lead to further automated emails that will provide more value and move the prospect towards making a positive buying decision.

Helpful Tools To Create Your Sales Funnel

The sales funnel itself sounds complicated because there are many moving parts.  Having the right automated tool to organize and perform the desired actions will make your online marketing & sales process extremely profitable!

Here are some things to look for when trying to build out your funnel…

  • Simple to use
  • Low tech
  • Cloud based (no installation)
  • Commonly used (will interface with other tools)
  • Inexpensive or even FREE!

Based on our experiences, below is a chart of some of the different ‘beginner’ tools that are lower tech, lower cost, and easier to learn & implement:


Over our 5 years of running an Ad Agency, we’ve used some of the tools listed above.  Here are some helpful links for you to click on to learn more:

Tips On Creating Cool Lead Magnets For Your Sales Funnel

As stated earlier, a Lead Magnet is an ‘ethical bribe’ to entice your potential customer to exchange their contact information for instant access to an item that has high perceived value.  This Lead Magnet is the gateway to getting into your Sales Funnel.

All businesses thrive by solving problems.  Therefore, the number one thing that your Lead Magnet should do is solve a problem.

Notice, I said ‘a’ problem, not ‘every‘ problem or ‘all‘ problems.

Keep it short, sweet, simple, and on target.

The top Lead Magnet mistake that many newbie online marketers make the item too comprehensive or too complicated.  For example, someone may want to make a webinar a Lead Magnet, or an ebook.  The problem with these items is that it takes your customer too long to digest the information.    Many customers will not move forward thru your sales funnel and make a buying decision until they’ve finished the free product.  This can be one of the reasons why you generate leads but no sales.

Your ultimate goal of the lead magnet is to provide a quick solution to a specific problem facing your potential customer so they may progress through the sales funnel with minimal hurdles or restraints.

Here are a few examples of Lead Magnets ideas that will generate leads while moving your prospect through the sales funnel…

  • Cheat Sheets – cheat sheets are short & simple 1 page ultra specific problem solving visual documents.  These checklists, blueprints, or mind maps provide succinct, valuable content that can be digested quickly.
  • Digital Handouts – handouts are useful if you are hosting a webinar or live event.  These digital handouts can be used to add ancillary value to a product or service being offered. For example, if you’re offering your product via webinar, then offering a webinar handout, outline, or guide, in which viewers summarizes key points while allowing attendees to take notes, can be a very valuable addition.  Plus, this resource will also have a positive effect on getting people to show up to your event!
  • Free Report – don’t get carried away with these.  Keep them focused on ONE thing.  For example, “1 Surefire Headline Technique That Has Generated Me $x of Revenue”.  Be precise, answer their question, give examples and have a Call To Action.  Keep it to 3-5 pages only.  You want your prospect to be able to see the quality of your work in a quick manner.
  • Video Training – for those creative types who hate writing… video yourself giving the lesson.  Same rules apply.  Keep it specific to one topic and don’t have the video go more than 5 minutes.
  • Survey / Quiz – surveys and quizzes are simple ways to get opt ins as people love to take them and it’s perfectly natural to ask for contact information so you may email them results.

If you enjoyed “What Is A Sales Funnel In Online Marketing?”, then you’ll like other articles about online marketing available at http://blog.socialmediaadgenius.com.

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Nick Bridges

Nick is an Award Winning web designer, is also the Creative Director for the Agency, assisting in areas like funnel creation, copywriting, Landing Page development, and more. Nick also oversees all of the technical components of the creation and implementation of Social Media Ad Genius.

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About The Author

Nick Bridges

Nick is an Award Winning web designer, is also the Creative Director for the Agency, assisting in areas like funnel creation, copywriting, Landing Page development, and more. Nick also oversees all of the technical components of the creation and implementation of Social Media Ad Genius.

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