You have likely heard the expression that owning your own product is the key to making real money online. That is true for a number of reasons. One of the key reasons why that is true is because, if you own the product, you can create a sales funnel that you control and you profit from at 100% (or whatever amount you choose in regards to your affiliates, etc.). If you don’t own the product, then you can’t control the sales funnel, and you don’t profit from any additional sales made through that funnel.
What Is Sales Funnel?
Sales funnels work by guiding online visitors through a series of stages, and helping them to take a specific action. For example, giving information, signing-up for an event, or making a purchase. When visitors take action, it is called a conversion. So, a sales funnel works to get you more conversions.–FuNNELKARMA
It is a known fact that virtually every Internet marketer makes most of his/her profits via the back-end of the sales funnel, NOT the front-end.
In fact, some marketers are willing to take a loss on the front-end of the funnel, just to get new customers onto his/her buying list and to help make profits for his/her affiliates so that they are willing to promote his/her future product offers.
The real money is made on the back-end of the sales funnel because that is where the higher-priced offers are normally made.
Add in that the creator of the funnel usually makes 50-100% of the sales of these upsell offers, and it’s no wonder why most Internet marketers make most of their revenues from one-time offers or OTOs.
Have Your Own Product
Therefore, if you want to make considerable money as an Internet marketer, you have to have your own product and you have to control the sales funnel.
If you don’t do that, you will likely never make considerable profits online, as affiliate marketing limits you to whatever the product owner and sales funnel creator decides.
You may be wondering how to go about creating your own sales funnel. Fortunately, this book will help you to know exactly what a sales funnel is, how to create one, and how to maximize its potential so you get the most profit possible from it.
Be In-charge of the Buying Process
As mentioned earlier, if you don’t control the sales funnel, you are at the mercy of the one who is in making profits online. This is why most Internet marketers say that you must sell your own digital products (and, essentially, control the sales funnel) to really profit online.
Thus, you need to control the sales funnel by creating your own digital product and setting up the funnel.
When creating a sales funnel, you really are creating two or more offers, since you need to be able to offer your prospect or customer another offer on top of the original or main offer. This is usually considered an upsell or one-time offer (commonly referred to as an OTO).
However, it is now quite common to have a sales funnel where you have far more than just two offers.
Sales Funnel Composition
You can have anywhere from three to ten or more offers in one funnel, composed of upsells (advanced or more enhanced versions of the main product) and downsells (advanced or more enhanced versions of the main product, but not as advanced or enhanced as the corresponding upsell).
There are really only two rules regarding sales funnels and corresponding upsells and downsells: The one-time offers (i.e. upsells and downsells) relate to the main product offer in some way so that you add more value to the main product offer, and the one-time offers are optional purchases and NOT necessary to enable the main product offer to fulfill the value it is supposed to as described in the product’s sales letter.
Thus, you can create a sales funnel composed of several different offers that will enable you to earn profits with each purchase.
Not every customer who buys the main offer will buy any of the upsells, but it’s likely some will, as it has been shown through research that people are more willing to buy cross-sells and upsells right after they have purchased a main offer.
The Buying Psychology
This is the same buying principle that leads a person to buy fries and a soft drink along with a hamburger (i.e. cross-sell) or to buy a more advanced version of a gardening tool to get more value from it (i.e. upsell).
This is especially true if you provide a “downsell” to the corresponding “upsell,” as it’s also been proven through research that if you present a similar offer to a previous offer for a lower price, many consumers will purchase it, thinking they are getting a great deal.
This is all the more reason why you need to take control of your sales funnel and start getting qualified traffic to it today.
The sooner you start doing this, the sooner you will start building up your online income, not only via more sales from your sales funnel, but also via the increased number of customers to your buyers’ list.
It All Starts At The Squeeze Page
The very start of your sales funnel needs to begin with the squeeze page. A squeeze page is just a Web page that offers the visitor something of value, such as a report on a specific topic of interest, in return for the person’s contact information (usually the person’s name and email address).
The idea behind the squeeze page is to entice the visitor to willingly give up his/her name and email address so that you can follow up with him/her later with other relevant and useful information so that you can build a relationship with him/her and show that you are an expert in this industry or niche.
Once the person feels comfortable with you and feels you know this industry or niche well, he/she will be more likely to purchase the offers you recommend to him/her. These offers should consist of your own products, as well as affiliate offers that you endorse.
Of course, as mentioned before, the greatest online profits come from products you own, so you really want your subscribers to become comfortable with you so that they will purchase the offers in your sales funnel.
This is where the bulk of your profits will come from and, if you build the relationship properly and don’t abuse their trust or time, it’s certainly possible that they will purchase from you repeatedly whenever you offer a product offer of relevance to them. This is how you can build your online income over time.
Therefore, you need a product that you can offer to your squeeze page visitor for free in order for him/her to be willing to give up his/her contact information. You can either create this product on your own, use outsourcers to create it, and/or use private label rights (PLR) products to create it.
The main point is that the information must be valuable to the subscriber and the squeeze page must indicate exactly what the prospect will be getting when he/she submits his/her contact information.
Therefore, if you plan to provide a mini-report or mini-ebook on how to get more qualified traffic to your website, your squeeze page must indicate this, and your autoresponder needs to send the link to download that report or send an email with the attached file as soon as the subscriber has sent his/her contact information (known as single opt-in) or after he/she has confirmed that he/she wants the report (known as double opt-in).
If the information sounds valuable to the subscriber, he/she will be willing to give up his/her contact information.
If it doesn’t, he/she likely won’t, so the free gift must be something that the subscriber wants to find out about so that he/she will give up his/her contact information.
Note that the information you provide in this free report should be useful to the person, but it should NOT include everything about the topic in question.
If you include all of the information in that free report, they’ll have no reason to buy any of your related offers, which is exactly the ultimate goal you have in mind for them.
Thus, the free report needs to be useful and valuable to where it gives them some insight into the problem or issue they are having, but also indicate or imply that you have more valuable information for them to consider acquiring by visiting your main product’s sales page, the link of which should be at the end of your free report so that they can find out more about it and purchase it.
Present a Directly-Related PAID Product Deal
After the subscriber has input his/her contact information into your squeeze page, he/she should be taken to a Web page that states that the free report he/she signed up for is on its way to his/her inbox.
This is the beginning of your relationship with this subscriber; you need to use good email marketing practices in order to build the relationship further and convince the prospect that you are a respected and knowledgeable person in your industry and that the prospect can trust you, the information you provide, and the offers you present.
Research has shown that it takes at least seven contacts with a prospect before he/she is willing to buy a paid offer. This means that you need to make contact with that person at least seven times before you can reasonably expect the person to push the “buy” button on your offer.
Now, some prospects will be willing to purchase before seven contacts are made, some will only be willing to do it after more than seven contacts are made, and some will not be willing to buy period. It varies depending upon the person, his/her way of thinking, and his/her situation.
Still, with virtually all sales that you make, good email marketing practices and building the relationship are key to making those sales.
Expecting a prospect to just become a lifelong customer overnight or after one to two emails is very unlikely.
Therefore, you need to provide more valuable information in your follow-up emails after he/she has downloaded your free report.
You need to follow up with him/her to ensure he/she has gotten the report, provide additional information on the problem or issue, and gently hint that the main product offer in your sales funnel is the key to solving the problem or issue in question.
Offer advice and help
You also should let your email subscriber know that you are available to answer any questions he/she might have about the issue or problem, as this will encourage him/her to reach out to you for advice and help. By offering advice and help for free, this will further strengthen the idea that you are an expert in your field and that your paid main product offer will be even more helpful and useful to the prospect than the free report he/she downloaded was.
Over time through good email marketing follow-up, some of your prospects will be ready to purchase your main product offer. This is why it is vital that you put a link to your main product offer in each email you send.
Note, though, that you should not “hard-sell” or aggressively promote your product in each follow-up email you send; rather, you should only “hard-sell” in one to two emails at most in a 7-part email follow-up sequence.
The other emails should just provide information on the problem or issue and some steps to help remedy the situation, along with a link to your main product offer at or near the end of the email.
Avoid Hard Selling
Most people are not fond of “hard selling” or aggressively marketing products; this is why you cannot afford to do this too often in your emails or you risk losing the subscriber entirely, as it’s likely he/she will unsubscribe using the link in the email.
If this happens, you will likely lose the opportunity to connect with that subscriber and make him/her a lifelong customer forever. Thus, you cannot hard-sell your main product offer; providing important information and helping to educate the prospect is key to convincing the prospect that your main product offer is worth purchasing.
Once the prospect has come to the realization that your main product offer is worth purchasing, he/she will click onto the link in one of your emails and purchase your offer.
The prospect has turned into a customer and entered your sales funnel; now is the time when your sales funnel begins to work its magic.
Time to Slip in an Upsell or Downsell Offer
Once the prospect has turned into a customer and purchased your main product offer, he/she has entered your sales funnel.
This means that you should be offering the customer an opportunity to “upgrade” his/her order. This is done through a value-enhancing upsell that is related to the main product offer he/she just ordered.
The upsell can be an enhanced version that offers more information if the main product offer was an ebook/audio course/video course or more features if the main product offer was a software program, etc.
The upsell can also be a related offer that provides additional value to the main product offer. For instance, perhaps your main product offer was a traffic generation course; your upsell could be an email marketing course designed to improve the conversion rates of the traffic you get to your site via the main product offer.
The key with any upsell is to provide additional value to the main product offer the customer just purchased.
The upsell should NOT be a mandatory purchase in order for the main product offer to provide the value it was promised to deliver; that would not only be unethical, but it will damage your reputation because many consumers will look upon that as a dirty marketing tactic because you weren’t forthcoming in what your main product offer needed in order to provide what you said it would.
Thus, never make the OTOs or upsells mandatory to purchase; the main product offer must provide the value it was intended to provide by itself.
All upsells and downsells must be optional, never mandatory.
If the relevant upsell is valuable and enticing enough to the customer (taking into account value and price), he/she will likely purchase it, thus increasing the amount of profit you gain from this customer.
Once he/she has purchased the upsell, he/she can be taken to the download page to access both the main product offer and the upsell or he/she can be taken to another valuable upsell offer related to the main product offer.
If the customer decides to decline the upsell offer, you can have the funnel take him/her to the download page for the main product offer, you can have the customer go to another upsell offer for him/her to consider, or you can have the customer go to a modified version of the upsell he/she just rejected, usually for a lower price.
This modified version of the upsell is normally referred to as a “downsell,” partly because the price is lower, and oftentimes, the downsell has one or more elements missing from it that were in the corresponding upsell.
Note that a downsell can be the exact same upsell for a lower price, although this is rarely the case.
The reason why the downsell is presented immediately after the upsell that was rejected is because, research shows that many consumers don’t want to miss out on an offer entirely, so if they get a second chance to pick up the same or similar offer for a lower price, they will often jump at the chance to do so.
This is why Internet marketers will often include corresponding downsells with their upsells, so they have a greater chance of earning conversions and more money from their sales funnels.
Most Internet marketers will present a series of upsells and downsells throughout their sales funnels, all related to the main product offer and enhancing its value in some way. Some buyers of the main product offer will not purchase any upsells or downsells, others will purchase one or more upsells, and others will purchase one or more downsells.
Having a combination of upsells and downsells in your sales funnels will increase the chances for conversions and additional profits, and as it has been said before, most Internet marketers make the bulk of their profits on the back-end of the funnel (i.e. upsells and downsells), not from the front-end of the funnel (i.e. main product offer).