What are Sales Funnels?

What are Sales Funnels?

Having an effective sales funnel that attracts and converts prospects into customers is the secret ingredient to having a successful online business.

So what exactly are sales funnels?

For the purpose of this post, I am going to divide sales funnels into two categories.  The first one being the process or journey a customer goes on before making a purchase and the other being a sales funnel of products.  The objective of both is to guide the customer through the sales process, building trust and providing value along the way.

The reason they are called sales funnels is that a larger group of people participate in the process at the beginning while fewer people participate at the end.  A funnel is, therefore, an appropriate representation of this process.

Sales Funnel Definition One

List Building Sales Funnel: Awareness, Relationship, Action

Awareness Phase

The first definition of a sales funnel refers to the process of establishing and building a relationship with potential customers.

This funnel begins with an awareness phase.  This is where you use your online presence to develop valuable content that is focused on providing solutions to the kind of problem/s your product or service provides solutions to.


Your target audience may not fully understand the nature of the problem they’re facing and it is your job to assist them by producing valuable content that defines this problem.

For example, I am selling digital education and personal development products that assist people to craft their own lifestyle by building a sustainable online business.  My product provides a solution to anyone who wants more from life and wants to take advantage of the incredible opportunities that exist in the booming online economy.

The kind of content you produce could be a blog or a YouTube video series.

For example, I am creating content on my blog. My focus is on providing valuable content that helps people lead a more fulfilling life.

You then have to promote your content so that it reaches your target audience.

There are many ways to do this but social media and bookmarking sites are two examples of how this is done.  The objective of promoting your content is to drive an audience to your website.

Your website forms part of your online real estate, it is something you own and control so you want to drive people to this space where your content is.  Once people have arrived at your site, you can ask them to opt-in to your email list so that you can continue to provide value to them through regular emails.

Relationship Phase

The next phase of the list building sales funnel is the relationship phase and it is during this phase that you concentrate on building a relationship with the members of your email list.

You do this by sending value-packed emails.

You may be thinking ‘what value could I possibly offer?’  Well a lot actually.  Your life experience is unique which means that you have unique knowledge, skills and perspective and this translates into value for your readers.

Another way to come up with ideas when you first start out is to adopt the the Learn, Do, Teach principle.

This is where you learn something, you then apply what you have learnt through doing then you teach others via the content you produce.  It’s a simple yet effective technique for producing valuable content, especially for beginners.

The more content you create the better you will become at creating it. The more knowledge you will have to share. Which means that over time you will have a lot of value to provide.

It is during this phase that you make your list aware of your products and/or services and how they provide a solution to their problem.

Action Phase

The final phase is the action phase.  This is where you make an offer for them to purchase your product or service.

During the previous two phases, you provided value and demonstrated that you understand their problem and have a solution to it.  During this phase, you offer the product or service which provides a solution to their problem.

The action phase may include the option of a free trial and doesn’t necessarily have to be an outright purchase.  You can offer either your own products & services or affiliate products & services.

During each phase of this process, people will leave the sales funnel, leaving you with a smaller group of people at the end of the funnel than there was at the beginning of the funnel.  This is a positive thing, for it means that you are left with people who are truly interested in the product or services you have to offer.

Sales Funnel Definition Two

Product Sales Funnel: From Low Ticket to High Ticket Products

The second definition of a sales funnel is the product sales funnel.

This is similar to the first definition in that it still involves building and maintaining a relationship with your list, the difference is that these people are now your customers.

The main characteristic of this sales funnel is that it consists of products, with each product increasing in price as the funnel progresses.  The funnel begins with low ticket items at the top and ends with the high ticket items at the bottom.

Again the focus here is on providing value.

The first purchase is a small investment.  The objective is to provide prospects with the opportunity to experience what it is that you have to offer.  If they like it, they have the opportunity to upgrade or purchase a more expensive item or service that provides them with more value and a bigger solution to their problem.  The higher ticket items provide the most value and the biggest solutions to people’s problems.

Product sales funnels that sell high-quality products are a proven and effective way to build a profitable online business.  Rather than investing time and resources into an endless search for new customers, sales funnels allow you to maintain a relationship with existing customers by providing more advanced solutions to the problems they want to find solutions for.

We are all more likely to invest larger sums of money with a company, product or service that we know works, is trustworthy and reliable.

It is for this reason that sales funnels work!

Most importantly it’s about valuing the customers that you already have by keeping in touch with them and continuing to provide them with value.

Automated Business Systems

Don’t be alarmed by the time that is involved in order to provide this kind of value because it’s all automated!  With automated email responders, you can automate the whole process.

There is, of course, a considerable investment of time in the beginning when setting up your automated system. However, your time commitments will reduce the more advanced your system becomes.

With the right business systems in place, over time you will experience more and more time freedom and have more time to spend doing the things that you want to be doing rather than working.  But most importantly you will have more time to spend with those you love.  What better way to spend your days! 😉

Thanks for taking the time to read this post, if you found it helpful and enjoyed reading it please share it! 🙂

Quote of the day and food for thought 


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