How to Power Your Online Business with a Smart Sales Funnel

Chartered Marketing Institute

Most online businesses are only scratching the surface of their income potential. For new entrepreneurs, creating a product is a vital first step in building a successful enterprise. Unfortunately, many businesses don't go beyond this step, focusing all their attention on marketing this single product. Developing and selling a product or service is at the heart of a business, but there are many more steps to maximizing profit. An effective sales funnel is a more sophisticated method of generating leads and ensuring they become repeat buyers and valuable customers. There are a number of factors involved in a typical funnel, with the following elements being present in most endeavors.


The first stage involves convincing a prospect to subscribe. In most cases, your email list will be central to this strategy. You can, however, also promote a Facebook group, YouTube channel, or blog subscription. The aim is to develop a way of continuing the communication with subscribers over an extended period of time. Limited numbers of people will join a basic newsletter, so look to create a valuable free report, video series, or niche-specific gift to entice greater numbers to sign up.

Affordable Offer

After joining your list, the next goal is to encourage your new subscribers to buy from you. One method is to begin with a low-cost product, reducing the objections a lead may have to a costlier option. You could offer the product immediately, but it is often more effective to send some initial content emails to build a relationship. The affordable offer you create should be worth the price and leave most buyers with a positive feeling about your business.

Main Product

The next phase is to promote your main product. This offer might not be your most expensive, but it will usually be the core product in your business. Ideally, you will have longer to promote this product, creating an email series that develops interest before an offer is made. As with all offers you make, you can test emails and sales pages to optimize for the highest conversion rate. The constant flow of new visitors will give you enough traffic to make accurate decisions about the sales messages, pricing, and marketing hook.

Upsell and Cross-Sell

In almost all cases, promoting additional offers along with the main product will lead to increased revenue. As long as the offers are related to the main product and effectively priced, a percentage of buyers will take the extra products. An upsell involves recommending an upgrade or add-on, such as creating a premium package of your product. Cross-selling involves offering related products in the market, such as promoting a mouse to a laptop buyer.


Many businesses add all subscribers to a single list and send the same messages to everyone. This method does not create an optimal sales funnel, though, with different sets of subscribers requiring an alternative approach. For example, when a customer makes a purchase they can be moved to a list that recommends a more expensive product, while those who declined to purchase could be offered an alternative cheaper item. By segmenting your leads and buyers effectively, individuals receive content that feels like it has been tailored just for them.

There are many different ways you could organize a sales funnel, creating simple or complex systems depending on your requirements. A good sales funnel should, however, be used to run your business most effectively, benefiting your customers and your bottom line. Creating a product and promoting it is a big step for new entrepreneurs, but the barriers to entry in most online markets are fairly low. In order to really make your mark, crafting a sales funnel that offers various offers and opportunities depending on the actions taken will make the difference between an average business and one that is able to grow exponentially.

Disclosure: There are some affiliate links within this post and I may receive commissions for purchases made through links in this post, but these are all products I highly recommend.
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