Running a successful business is all about solving problems for people in a way that no one else can. Consider how Google arrived on the scene to blow once mighty search engines like Yahoo and Ask Jeeves out of the water.
The world’s favourite search engine’s instant and lasting popularity is solidly based on it giving people the information they needed in a way they wanted it. Other search engines clearly overlooked this at their peril; the rest is history.
Solving problems is what any successful business does well. Irrespective if you’re selling used cars at affordable prices or want to be the next Uber, you’re in the business of solving problems and when you do it right, you’re GUARANTEED TO HAVE A CONSISTENT SUPPLY OF PAYING CUSTOMERS.
So, the obvious question is: how do today’s businesses demonstrate their ability to solve problems for their customers? How do you break through the marketing clutter to have your value proposition stand out from the rest?
The short answer is through a sales funnel not only connects with your ideal customer at each stage within their buying journey but one nurtures through that journey until they are ready to spend their money on your product or service.
The obvious next question then would be, “How on earth do I do that?” Well, that requires the long answer, so keep reading and we’ll tell you exactly how that’s done.
Now before we get started, building a sales funnel ACTUALLY works is no easy feat and it isn’t done in 5 minutes, that means this guide is going require your full commitment and execution till the end for it to work.
Here is a breakdown of what we will be covering:
- Connecting with your ideal customer online
- Creating your value-based sales funnel
- Build your landing pages with LeadPages
- Automating your sales funnel with Drip
high qualityleads with Facebook Ads
This guide is designed to provide you with a comprehensive step-by-step framework that you can follow from start to finish and while you can apply individual parts to your existing strategy we recommend applying the full strategy for best results.
Still sounds like something you’re interested in? Let’s dive in then!
Understanding the Importance of a Sales Funnel Within My Business
If you’re new to the world of online marketing and business you may have never heard of the phrase “sales funnel” so let us start by answering some questions on what is a sales funnel and why is it crital to your business.
What Is a Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is the prime weapon in any business’ arsenal when it comes to generating a steady supply of paying customers. So what is it? Well, an official-sounding definition of a sales funnel would go something like this:
“A sales funnel is the buying process companies build to get their customers to buy from them.”
Why Is a Sales Funnel Important?
Sales funnels have always been important. The thing is that they’ve changed a helluva lot since the days of Excel sheets and cold calls. Today’s sales funnels are practically 100% digital because the internet came along and made it possible for any business to get online and advertise their goods and services.
That may sound like a bummer but it’ not because that means you can nail this digital thing if you know how to do it right and that’s exactly what you’re doing now, so let’s keep going.
But, Will a Sales Funnel Work For My Business?
Having worked for a variety of online businesses, and having owned marketing agencies in the past, I can tell you that a sales funnel can work wonders for any business provided it’s executed the right way.
With that said, this particular strategy I am sharing with you is tailored towards businesses within service-based industries that match the following conditions:
- You sell a tangible service that provides more value than it costs
- Your average lifetime value of a single customer is at least $500
- You can provide something of high value up-front for little to no cost
- You have a sales cycle of 10 to 60 days from awareness to conversion
- You must be willing to invest a small budget on paid ads or have a high amount of organic traffic already visiting your site.
If your business matches this criteria, great. If not, we recommend researching more on sales funnel specific to your industry first as the tools we use can be applied to any online business.
What tools will we be using?
There is no shortage of martech available today. This is both a blessing and a curse in that it gives you boatloads of choices to choose from but also creates a massive amount of confusion when it comes to making the right decision for your business.
It’s all good though; we’re going to be using tried and tested platforms we use on the daily here at Refunnel. These are tools we trust to help us build solid sales funnels for ourselves and our customers so you we’re pretty good at them and soon you will be too!
The goal is to get you going with the least amount of effort and see results in the shortest space of time. To do this, make sure you sign up and use the following tools to start building your very own sales funnel as soon as possible. We’ll discuss what these are about in detail in a later section.
- Answer the Public – Free
- Google Keyword Planner – Free
- LeadPages – Free for 14 days then $37 per month
Drip – Freefor 14 days then $49 per month up to 2,500 subscribers
- Facebook Ads – $300+ budget for Ad Spend per moth
While there are cheaper and even free options available on the market to some of the tools we recommended we have tried our fare share of them and find these to be the easiest to setup and work great together and if used correctly can easily generate a positive return on investment in no time.
We’re now going to share our step-by-step process we use to build profitable conversion optimised sales funnels that have proven to generate leads, prospects and customers for our clients and ourselves.
It’s important to remember that building a high-converting sales funnel continuous refinement so you won’t see results overnight but we can guarantee using this strategy will set you miles ahead of your competition.
Hot to Build Your Sales Funnel
Below is our exact 5 step process we use building high converting sales funnels for us and our clients, we’ve also included additional resources and guides if you wish to lean more about a particular stage.
Step 1 – Connecting With Your Ideal Customer Online
One of the most important elements that will determine whether or not you’re successful in marketing your business is your ability to connect with your ideal customer.
Pitching to an audience with no requirement for your product or service is arguably the worst marketing investment you can make and that’s why a targeted sales funnel is so critical to securing high value leads for your business.
And how do you do that..?
To capture the attention of your ideal buyer(s) you need to dig deep and uncover their pain points in a very relatable way. Think about how your service solves the problems your ideal buyer(s) are facing within their business or personal life and you’re on track to building a super-targeted sales funnel that’s guaranteed to get you great leads.
This applies to any service-based business model. In fact, the bigger the problem, the more likely they are able to pay for what you are offering!
To capture the largest possible audience you need to be thinking about the entire buyer’s journey. Make sure you know these stages because they’re important. They’re usually broken down into the following sequential categories:
The most successful brands are those that are able to market to their ideal customer at every stage. This lets them capture the largest market share.
Let’s look at each of these stages in more detail and determine how you can do the same for your business. For now, we’re going to be just focusing on the awareness stage of your funnel and I’ll show you how to market to the remaining stages in the next part of this guide.
The awareness stage is the moment your precious customer discovers your brand or service for the first time. It’s that first “Hello” and also the second your sales funnel gets all revved up. That first meeting is almost guaranteed to happen online these days because 90% of people today look for a product or service by using, you guessed it… Google.
You’re probably well aware of the fact that Google is basically built around keywords and that way people use them to find stuff. So that means we’ve got to have a quick chat about keywords.
A word about keywords
Let’s start by listing 10 to 15 keywords that relate to your service and the solution it provides. Try to be specific but also avoid using short keywords as they are harder to rank for. I know that’s a tough ask but try to think about the things that makes your business unique.
You could use your location as a differentiator when thinking about keywords, for example. Amending a highly contested keyword to your local town name can give your search rankings a real differentiator.
Another thing, you want to think about words that relate not just to the service you provide but also the solution that you’re offering and the results your customer will see from it.
Using Answer the Public for Initial Keyword Research
Okay, so for the first step to nailing keywords we’re going to be using a free tool called Answer the Public This online tool gives you a really cool visual mind map of the most common phrases people use when looking for stuff on Google….okay, okay… Bing and Yahoo also.
Each keyword is broken down into specific categories including questions, prepositions and comparisons and shows related keywords and search phrases people use most commonly when using a specific keyword. It’s really cool and the old guy on the website looks like a lekker dude.
For this quick
Pretty near right?
Feel free to use as many of the results you get because we’ll be using this when creating your lead magnets. More about that later.
Now that we have our keywords, search phrases and questions mapped out, it’s time to determine which are the most popular in terms of search volume on a monthly basis. We do this to figure out which keywords you’re most likely to get traction on.
To do this we’ll be using Google Ads Keyword Tool and while we won’t be looking to advertise on the Google Ads platform yet, it’s clear that Google is the undisputed king of search engines.
You’ll need a Google Ads
I’ll be waiting here when you’ve set it up.
To open the Google Ads Keyword Planner tool navigate to Tools and then Keyword Planner.
For now, we’ll be using the get search volue and forecases feature on the
Once you are ready start by entering all of the keywords you came up with earlier.
And there you have it, a detailed month on month breakdown of the most popular keywords and search phrases that your audience is using to find your service or brand.
As you can see, to even stand a chance of bidding on the top keywords you would need to invest a small fortune to even stand a chance of ranking on the first page of Google but thankfully we’re here to show you how to attract high-quality clients without the high price tag. Sounds good?
Now you want to focus on specific keywords but make sure they have a reasonable amount of search volume otherwise you may not generate the results you were expecting. Make sure you complete this activity for all of the keywords before proceeding to the next step.
Step 2 – Creating a Value-Based Sales Funnel
Now that we know exactly what keywords, search phrases and questions our target audience is searching for we want to use this as collateral for creating our super targeted sales funnel.
First up, we’ll be creating a high-value lead magnet which will create interest in your overall service offering while helping your customer solve a problem in his or her business. The real kicker is that they’ll get this awesome piece of content from you for free and it will give them tons of value while they’re at it!
We’ll keep the accounting business example going and pretend to attract small business clients to our fake accounting business. Just don’t tell anyone it’s fake, okay. We could get into real shit.
This is where those keywords and phrases you got off Ask The Public are going to be very useful. A lead magnet isn’t a lead magnet if it doesn’t answer a pressing question your customer has. So for our fake accounting business a good example would look something like:
- 5 ways to …
- How to …
- Improving my business cash flow by …
Here’s an example we’ll be using for this guide:
While the guide we’ll be providing is a digital version, we’ve created a 3D mockup to grab the attention of the visitor.
As you can see by the titles choices, this lead magnet is going to blow the socks off any buyer persona looking for ways to improve their in-house accounting.
Now, think about your actual business for a second and how you would use keywords to create really useful lead magnets that will make leads perceive your business as a real problem solver.
Here’s a quick lead magnet checklist to be sure you nail it:
- Slap it behind a landing page (more about landing page later)
- Keep it short, VERY informative and make readers feel they got real value from it
- Make it about a very specific problem that your customers have and share their pain
- Think about something that makes the content evergreen
- Get a designer for branding and visual communications
Now that you have created a high value asset which your potential customer (lead) has downloaded they are aware of your brands existence and how your services can potentially help them but for the moment, all you have done is establish authority and trust within your brand now it’s time to start nurturing them into a qualified prospect so that you know which leads stand the best chance of becoming a new customer.
To do this, we will need to create a more high value asset that relates directly to your service offering, its entirely up to you whether you choose to provide this for free or for a small monetary value (no more than $50 to $100), however, its best to ensure your funnel works before doing this as it creates resistance when people are required to pay for a company they have only just meet so you may also want to consider offering it at no charge to begin while still indicating the value of what you’re offering.
For this part, we’ll use another real-life example by providing them with a
Other examples that work well include:
- Free trials
- Free demos
- Free consultations
- Buyers guides
Now is where you go more in-depth about your brand and service offering, how it can solve problems they face within their business most importantly how much value it creates. You should still include upfront value before asking for the sale by answering some of the most common questions they may have about your service
Once you have answered these questions it’s time to establish direct social proof in your brand and service. This can be done through use of existing case studies, testimonials and reviews so that your potential customer now has real life examples of your brands results.
This is the stage where you are asking the lead to genuinely consider choosing your brand and services for their business or themselves so be sure to cover everything you feel is relevant and be sure not to skimp on details or the design as this is where it matters most.
Once this is done it’s now time to move into the next stage of your sales funnel and the most critical one of them all, the conversion.
Converting Your Prospect
You’ve now done most of the ground work that’s required in finding and connecting with your ideal customer as well as establishing trust and authority within your brand through your high-value lead magnets and now it’s time to convert your prospect into a customer.
Depending upon your sales process, you will need to determine how your conversion and onboarding process is managed. You should aim to remove as much friction from the process as possible this includes trying to:
- Using a web based contract and invoicing platform
- Being easily contactable throughout the process
- Supporting online payment platforms via credit card
Don’t over complicate the process by asking for too much information but ensure you get what you require to avoid having to ask the customer later.
And there you have it, you have successfully created all of the required assets for building your value-based sales funnel and mapped out each of the required steps for turning your sales process into an automated customer generating machine.
Step 3 – Building Your Landing Pages with LeadPages
Now we know what are the problems and solutions y
If you’re new to this whole online marketing thing, you’re probably wondering what the difference is between a landing page and a traditional website is?
Well, a landing page is like a traditional web page, but, with all navigation and external links removed, allowing for your visitor to only take one specific action. Your landing page should capture your audience attention easily, provide them with a clear call to action and present little to no resistance when it comes time for them to enter their details.
On average, landing pages convert 20-40% more than a traditional website. Can you imagine what 40% more leads would do for your business?
Let’s find out.
Setting Up LeadPages
To set up your Leadpages account, we’ll be using the standard plan which is free for the first 14 days then $37 per month and includes everything you’ll need to get started.
While there are discounts available for Annual and 2-Year tier pricing, we are trying to keep your investment to a minimum while starting out. You can always upgrade during or after your free trial period has finished.
Designing Your landing Pages
For this guide, we will be creating a total of 3 landing pages:
- A Lead Magnet Landing Page
A IntroductoryLanding Page
- A Primary Offering Landing Page
Depending upon how adventurous you are, you can start by selecting one of the Leadpages pre-built templates and customise it to match your brand and style or build your very own landing page from scratch using their powerful drag & drop page builder.
If you are new to design, start with one of Leadpages pre-built templates as they have been created with conversion rates in mind by Leadpages own design time. For this particular guide, we’ll be using one of their templates build specifically for lead magnets.
Creating Your Lead Magnet Landing Page
This landing page will be used to attract first-time visitors into your funnel and encourage them to enter their email address in exchange for receiving the free lead magnet that you created earlier.
You may want to ask for their first name as well so that you can personalise the next stages of your marketing funnel but it’s entirely up to you.
Don’t focus on making it 100% perfect as there is always room for improvement based upon data you will collect later on.
Here is is how your final landing page should look:
Creating Your Introductory Offer Landing Page
Next, we’ll be creating your introductory landing page which will be promoted to those who have completed your lead magnet landing page. This landing page will be promoted within your drip email marketing campaign and via your Facebook Ads retargeting campaign.
For this particular landing page, you may want to request more than their first name and email address so that you can begin building a profile on their business to ensure that they are the right fit for your service, however, in most cases they will use their business email address and you will be able to conduct research from there.
For this landing page, we’ll be using another one of their pre-designed templates, however, choosing from the consultation templates.
Here’s an example of how your end page should look:
Creating Your Primary Offering Page
Depending upon how long you have been in business and when you launched your website you may also want to consider creating a primary offering page to either replace your existing website if it is dated to ensure your branding remains consistent or act as your temporary website while you’re building your main website.
This page should include the following:
- An overview of your brand
- An overview of your key team members
- An overview of services you provide
- Any relevant testimonials
- Links to your lead magnet and introductory offer
All of this can fit within page and Leadpages also has “Minisite” templates to support this:
We recommend using the Consultation Mini-Site template if you are a service-based business. Remember, your website should provide maximum value upfront and talk about the outcomes your ideal customer gets when working with you so be sure to keep your messaging consistent.
Pro-Tip: Creating Your Thank You Pages
You may want to consider creating a thank you page which visitors are redirected to after completing each landing page, there are a number of benefits of doing this including being able to accurately track the source of your new leads and provide an instant upsell path.
Publishing Your Landing Pages
So we’ve now outlined all of the landing pages required for building your high converting sales funnel, however, before you can launch your new funnel we need to publish your landing pages to your preferred domain and automate your sales funnel with Drip.
Step 4 – Automated Your Sales Funnel with Drip
Chances are, if you own or are just starting a business you know that email is one of the highest converting forms of marketing out there. However, building individual campaigns, knowing what email to send and when can be a challenge even for the most experienced of marketers.
Not anymore, say hello drip email automation!
With drip email automation you can create an automated email workflow that nurtures leads through the buyer’s journey based upon each subscribers individual actions, while allowing you to test and refine each stage of your funnel until it’s a well-oiled machine.
Setting up Drip
Your first step to creating your automated email workflow is
Upon signing up you will first be asked to enter some basic details including your domain URL as well as a username and password. Next, you will need to complete a quick questionnaire regarding your business and how you will be using Drip.
Finally, you will need to enter your credit card details, however, you will only be charged once you have been a customer for 2 weeks.
Build your first automated workflow
For this step, we’ll be using a 6-part automated workflow. While drip campaigns can vary in terms of when and how often emails are sent, this campaign will be delivered across 10 days after the visitor completes your lead magnet landing page form.
Depending upon how long your buyers journey is from visitor to subscriber to buyer you may want to adjust this to match your business.
Your email nurturing workflow will consist of the following sequences that will be drip emailed to your subscriber at the times you choose:
Email 1 – Thank You
Delivery – Instant
Thank the subscriber for taking the time to complete the lead magnet form and provide a short yet personal introduction of who you are. If you are providing a content based offer, it may be a good idea to include the link in the email for easy reference, otherwise, if your product is delivered via manual fulfillment, include detailed instructions on how they will receive their lead magnet. You may even want to include an open question with the aim of starting a conversation with a subscriber such as ‘’What are you looking to get out of …?’’
Email 2 – The Value Adder
Delivery – Day 3
It’s time to build on your previous offer and provide more value that makes a beneficial impact on their business. This can be an add on relevant to the first email or something within the similar context that will help them without investing a large amount of time.
Email 3 – Engagement
Delivery – Day 5
Now is the moment where you can engage the subscriber with an introductory offer. Remember, you are now asking your subscriber to make a monetary investment so your introductory offer has to WOW them in order for them to hand over their money.
For this step, you will need to include a link to your Introductory Offer Landing Page.
Email 4 – Social Proof
Delivery – Day 7
If your subscriber has yet to take action, it’s time to use social proof to get them across the line, this can be in the form of case studies, testimonials or success stories. Remember, you need to provide them with as much proof as possible that their investment is going to be worthwhile.
For this step, you will need to include a link to your Introductory Offer Landing Page.
Email 5 – Win Back
Delivery – Day 10
It’s your final roll of the dice. They’ve made it this far and still haven’t taken you up on your offer BUT they still want you in their inbox. This is where you are going to have to prove to your subscriber that what you’re pedaling is going to benefit them long term.
For this step, you will need to include a link to your Introductory Landing Page.
Email 6 – Qualified Prospect
Delivery – Instant
You’ve done it, they are now a converted lead! Be sure to congratulate them on taking the next step and provide them with an overview of what to expect. Ensure your follow-up is efficient and professional so that you can be on-hand to help them through the next steps and get them from a converted lead to a loyal customer.
Bonus: We have created a template you can install directly into your Drip account using the following link, however, we recommend creating the workflow yourself if you have time as it will allow you to get a better understanding of the platform.
Connecting Drip with Your Leadpages account
All that’s left now is for your to connect Drip with your Leadpages landing pages so that new leads are automatically pushed through to Drip as soon as they complete a form within your landing page.
Step 5 – Attracting High Quality Leads with Facebook Ads
This is the moment where you start to get your brand name out there and working to attract leads, prospects and ultimately, customers!
With over 2 billion users and growing, Facebook is now becoming one of the most powerful and while it was traditionally seen as a social media network the ability to advertise on the platform no matter what your industry has evolved over the years and if done right it can pay dividends.
You may be thinking, Isn’t Facebook a social media platform?
The answer is yes, however, most people have adapted to seeing paid ads on Facebook and for now, you won’t be selling anything for the moment. You’ll be providing high value lead magnet in exchange for an email address and we’ll be creating a campaign with the objective of getting landing page views so you will only pay when someone clicks on your ad.
Let’s find out what it can do for your business to boost your sales!
Creating Your Ideal Customer Profile
For this stage we will be using the Facebook Ads platform to attract traffic to your new landing page with the objective of converting them. You will need to know exactly who your target audience is and how to find them, so for this you will need to create your ideal buyer profile which will allow you to identify who your ideal customer profile is including
You may have more than one so feel free to complete as many as you want, however, for this part we will begin with targeting just one profile to ensure your data remains accurate.
Calculating your Facebook Ad ROI
It’s now time to calculate how much you are going to have to spend to acquire a customer using Facebook Ads, this is a critical step so we need to use accurate data to ensure that you get the best possible results from your ad spend.
First we’ll need to determine your historical monthly website metrics:
- Website Visitors
- Website Leads
- New Customers
- Total Revenue
This will help us to identify the following:
- Cost per visitor
- Cost per lead
- Cost per customer
- Average revenue per customer
To do this, you can review your existing data in Google Analytics if it has been correctly configured otherwise if you are a new business or you cannot obtain this information here are some industry averages that you can base your campaign off.
Visitorto lead – 10% to 40%
- Lead to Prospect – 5% to 10%
- Prospect to Customer – 10% to 20%
Remember, these are both high and low averages and if you’re new to marketing it may take some time to reach these metrics so only invest what you can afford to ensure you don’t overspend.
Depending upon your location we recommend starting with a budget of $10 to $20 a day to get your offer out there and start collecting data.
Setting Up Your Facebook Ads Account
To best setup and manage your Facebook Ads you will need a Facebook Business account which can be created using your existing Facebook account or a new one related to your business.
Once this is all
Step 2 – Creating Your Ads
Navigate to Ads Manager and click the Create button, a new window will appear asking you to select your campaign objective for which we will be chosing Conversions.
Next, we’ll be defining your audience based upon ideal ideal customer profile you created earlier. We recommend using the create multiple new ad sets feature as you will be able to see how you ad performs baseed upon different audiences.
You will also need to configure your Facebook Pixel so that you can accurately track the return on ad spend and see which ads perform best.
Finally, it’s time to create your ad.
Try to keep your ad copy short and engaging as the objective is to get them to your site as easily as possible and then let your landing page do the rest.
Pro Tip: Don’t be afraid to test as many ideas as you can until you’ve determined what gets your leads clicking and converting – no idea is too crazy!
Now hit Confirm and voila! You’ve now launched your first Facebook Ads campaign. All that’s left to do is to review, test and improve your campaigns to get the maximum ROI possible.
Conclusion and Next Steps
And there you have it, a high-level breakdown of how we build a profitable customer generating sales funnel for
Now, the only question that remains is how you use it to build your very own customer generating sales funnel for your service based business?