What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel is the path that turns potential leads into customers. A lead enters the funnel when they learn about your brand and exits when they buy something.

The most important part is to know how to properly craft the funnel; it starts with determining the main elements required for each stage of the funnel, from the awareness stage, to the consideration stage, all the way to the conversion stage. Each of these elements should be compelling enough to get your lead’s attention and engage them throughout the funnel.

Why is a funnel important for your business?

To get more customers to buy from your brand, you need to know how your sales funnel works.
Once you know what leads are interested in, you can change your marketing to be more effective, convincing, and profitable.

In the same way, mapping your sales funnel lets you see sudden changes in your leads so you can make changes to your strategy to keep your business running well. After all, your sales funnel affects how leads and prospects think about your brand.

What are the different parts of the funnel?

Source: https://boomerangsocial.co.uk/

A sales funnel is made up three different parts:

  1. Top: Known as Awareness Stage – This part of the funnel is designed to grab a potential customer’s attention by generating awareness of a product and how it might solve a problem or benefit the potential client.
    An example of this would be a targeted Facebook advert leading to a landing page.
  2. Middle: Known as Consideration Stage – The middle of the funnel is designed to move the potential customer closer to purchasing the product. This can be done using additional information on the landing page outlining the product’s features and benefits, testimonials, a demo or perhaps a short video explaining more about the product.
  3. Bottom: Known as Conversion Stage – The final stage of the funnel is the bottom. Here, the company is seeking to encourage the user to sign up for a full version of the product and make a sale. This is often done using email campaigns, discounts or personal calls with sales representatives.

10 Top Sales Funnels Examples to Get Inspired by

Here are 10 interesting examples of sales funnels that’ll inspire your business in the time ahead.

  1. Twillory
  2. Grin
  3. Oribi
  4. Vendr
  5. Helpscout
  6. Taradel
  7. Dubb
  8. Klaviyo
  9. Sprig
  10. Chargebee

Top: Twillory is attracting users by posting simple yet effective ads on Facebook incorporating a photo with a minimal ad copy. They used multiple retargeted ads, all of which were designed in the same minimalist format.

Middle: Twillory encouraged interest using a landing page that included a series of discount offers designed to encourage potential clients to purchase the product. They also included “refer a friend’ promotions” and asked prospective clients for their telephone number in order to receive further offers.

Bottom: Twillory deployed a series of abandoned cart and cross-selling emails in order to encourage the potential customer to complete their purchase. These included humorous subject lines and light-hearted content.

Top: Grin uses sponsored adverts on Facebook in which they offer to help potential customers increase their ROI using influencer marketing.

Middle: Upon clicking on the advert, users are taken to a basic landing page (with no navigation). The page lists the basic selling points of the product, along with customer testimonials and a list of companies using the product. There is also a contact form through which users can request a demo.

Bottom: After requesting a demo, users receive a series of emails inviting them to online events such as webinars about the software. However, the emails do not provide additional information or videos about the product. The emails are designed to encourage demo users to purchase the full version of the product through the sales team.

Top: Oribi uses humorous sponsored ads on Facebook to grab the attention of users. These ads are retargeted and also make use of specific UTM tracking features in order to improve analytics.

Middle: After clicking on the advert, users are taken to a wizard-style landing page which includes further information about the product (including pricing and features) along with a short video telling potential users about the product. From this page, users can sign up for an account.

Bottom: Upon signing up, users are then sent a series of short emails (with no design and using only basic HTML) designed to help users get set up with the product and reach out in order to schedule an onboarding call. They also offer a 30% off discount to users wishing to sign up via email. These methods are designed to encourage user sign-ups

Top: Vendr uses Facebooking advertising to grab the attention of potential clients. They target early-stage startups and use a combination of text and images to describe a potential real-life problem that they can solve.

Middle: Once a user clicks on the advert, they are taken to a basic landing page that offers users a SaaS savings analysis after filling out a form. Further down the page, there are testimonials, an outline of the product’s features, and an outline of how it can save the user money.

Bottom: Upon signing up, the user is taken to a calendar page in order to schedule a call for further information. The team also sent out a series of emails in an effort to schedule a call and also provided a link to a helpful one-pager containing more info about the product.

Top: HelpScout uses eye-catching Facebook adverts that incorporate both images and text to attract attention. The copy summarizes some of the benefits and potential savings that customers can make by using their product and offers a 15-day trial. The advert also contains a short, humorous video in order to attract attention. The company also utilized a retargeted advert on Facebook.

Middle: Upon clicking on the advert, users are taken to a landing page which includes a two-minute video and a form to sign up for a 15-day trial. The company is keen to point out that the trial does not require a credit card. The landing page also includes other vital information including product features and pricing.

Bottom: After signing up for an account, users are then sent a series of emails offering tutorials and offering to help with setup and onboarding. Some of the tutorial emails include videos embedded directly into emails. After the end of the free trial, customers are encouraged to sign up for the full version of the service by email.

Top: Taradel generated user attention using a two-minute targeted YouTube advert. One peculiar feature about this advert is that the URL advertised does not contain Taradel in the title (which some users may find off-putting).

Middle: After clicking on the video advert, users are taken to a basic landing page which outlines the key features using text and images. The page also includes social proof in the form of a client list and testimonials and Frequently Asked Questions. The page also includes a bot which allows potential customers to ask questions or provide their email details. The page has CTA buttons urging people to sign up. Upon clicking on the CTA button, users are taken to the main homepage to sign up.

Bottom: After signing up, users are then sent three emails over the space of a week designed to encourage them to start using the product, and giving the user further information

Top: Dubb initially tries to grab the attention of potential customers using a Facebook advert. The advert includes a short amount of text along with an eye-catching headline and a short video telling potential customers about the product.

Middle: Upon clicking through, users are taken to a basic landing page which includes a ‘no credit card’ sign-up option and a trial of the product. Also present on the page is a video explaining more about the product, and a series of social proof examples along with a number of CTA sign-up buttons and a chatbot.

Bottom: Upon signing up, the company then sent out 17 emails over the space of 20 days. These emails provided information about the product and also encouraged the user to sign up for a full account once the trial period has finished.

Top: Klaviyo attempts to grab users’ attention using a Facebook advert that offers to show them a consumer insights report. The advert utilizes imagery coupled with a catchy headline in order to draw users in. The report is offered as a downloadable PDF.

Middle: After clicking on the advert, users are taken to a basic landing page that includes further information about the downloadable report and also requires users to provide basic contact information such as their name and email address in order to download it. The landing page also includes some information about the product, brand user logos as social proof and the opportunity to download a demo version of the product.

Bottom: After downloading the report, users are sent around four emails over the space of a week which provide them with further information about the product in an effort to get them to download a demo version and ultimately sign up for the product. The emails include text, images, branding and other eye-catching attributes.

Top: The company first attempts to attract the user’s attention using a small sponsored Facebook ad in the right-hand corner of the screen. The advert contains only a small picture and a basic headline.

Middle: Upon clicking on the advert, users are then taken to the main Sprig website rather than to a landing page. The page includes information about the product, mainly in text form and a series of CTA buttons to encourage users to sign up.

Bottom: Once the customer has signed up, they receive a series of emails. These emails mainly focus on information about the product and encourage the user to engage with it by providing hints and tips.

Top: Chargebee uses a Facebook ad to attract attention with a colorful animated graphic, a punchy text and an eye-catching headline.

Middle: Once a user clicks on the advert, they are taken to a basic landing page with no navigation. The page includes a CTA button in order to “schedule a demo”’ and a chat option in order to speak with a company’s representative. The page also includes further information about the product, a helpful video (which is split up into chapters) and some social proof elements. All of the buttons lead the user to a sign up page from which they can schedule a demo of the product.

Bottom: After signing up, the company then sent multiple emails encouraging the user to book a call slot to speak about a demo. The first email was a generalized reminder email, while the second took a more personal approach and included some additional information about the product.

To wrap up

There’s no rule of thumb when building your marketing funnel. What applies for one business or situation doesn’t necessarily apply for another. Finding your ideal funnel is about identifying your target audience, branding and goals.

When creating your funnel, make sure you follow these practices:

  1. Your ad visuals should be compelling with a clear call-to-action.
  2. Your ad text should focus on the main benefits (don’t sound pushy or salesy).
  3. Your landing page should have a simple design, attractive visuals, a clear call to action button, and content focused around a single goal (To find out landing page examples from well-known brands, this blog post is helpful).
  4. Your landing page should mirror your ad and shouldn’t in any way deceive or disappoint your leads.
  5. Your emails should be verified for SPF, DKIM and DMARC policy.
  6. Your emails should be personalized and use either HTML plain text or a system-generated template design depending on circumstances.
  7. Use attention-grabbing subject lines with suitable pre-headers to boost your email open rate. To get inspired by subject line ideas you may use for your email campaigns, view this tool.
  8. Use retargeting ads to push people back to your landing page and take action.
  9. Send different types of automated messages such as web push notifications and SMS messages when necessary (Remember not everyone is active on emails).
  10. If you’re using thank you pages, it’s advisable to include several call-to-action requests for instance (check your blog page, book a demo and sign up for a free account for instance).
  11. Add UTM parameters to your URLs used in your ads in order to track the source of your traffic and conversions.

About the author

Conor Sheils is journalist turned startup entrepreneur with a love for all things tech, politics, and travel.