How to Create Your Sales Funnel for Online Products and Services


Do you really know your fastest path to cash with your customers?  Have you mapped out the customer journey for each of the products and services you offer?

Probably not. At least most of the business owners I encounter haven’t. It seems confusing and difficult, but it isn’t.

Without a clearly defined sales funnel, you are most certainly losing money, especially if you transact business online.

A well-designed sales funnel is the fastest way to start generating revenue online.

In this post, I want to help you map out your customer journey and create an optimized sales funnel. When you complete this, you will have a clear map that highlights your fastest path to cash.

What is a sales funnel?

A sales funnel a systematic set of steps that you have created to lead a customer through from their first point of contact with your business to purchasing. The common graphic used to represent the sales funnel is a vertical sales funnel that is larger on the top and smaller on the bottom.

The top of the funnel is larger because the idea is that there are potentially a lot of prospects who will enter your funnel. Not all of them will become customers at the time they enter the funnel.

The goal of the funnel is to give your prospects access to content or an experience with your customer no matter where they are in the buying process.

As people move through the funnel, some will stay in the interest level of your funnel for a while. Others may pop out if what you are selling isn’t of interest to them.

As a prospect moves through the funnel, they are experiencing your company in different ways. They go from unaware of who you are and what you provide to becoming aware and interested, then interested to decisive and the decisive to purchase. That is the most simple way to look at your funnel.

People enter your funnel at varying times of interest.

Not everyone who comes into your funnel is ready to buy, some are just looking or need more information. That is why the funnel is so effective.  It helps you meet people where they are in their buying process.

Awareness > Interest > Engagement > Purchase.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful if everyone who was aware became a customer?

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I want to outline a simple funnel for you. Remember, a funnel is a series of steps/experiences with your brand that you want to lead a prospect through to get them to purchase.

One of the easiest funnels to create is your lead generating opt-in funnel.

[Do you need help with this? Learn more about the Entrepreneur Business Accelerator where I will help you create your sales funnel.]

I’m going to lay it out in the sequence for you then I will unpack it.

  • Website or social media opt-in for your lead magnet >
  • Welcome Email >
  • Follow up email sequence that leads to a low-cost offer >  
  • If the offer is purchase, send the lead through a new customer nurture sequence >
  • If the offer is not purchased, continue to nurture the prospect with a prospect nurture sequence >
  • If the prospect does not purchase the offer after a reasonable period of time and they have not opted out of your list, move them to your standard nurture campaign.

Step One:

A sales funnel starts when your prospect voluntarily provides an email address or phone number.  For the purposes of our article today, we are going to focus on online marketing, so an email address is GOLD.

To get a prospect to opt-in to your funnel, the first step is to give them something for free that they want or need that has so much value that they would have paid for it.

This lead magnet should provide immediate value and be easy to consume or implement.

Another really important aspect of your lead magnet is that it should be directly tied to your core offer for the sales funnel.  If you are a coach and your specialty is sales, your lead magnet should be about getting more sales or how to set up a sales conversation.  You wouldn’t create a lead magnet that didn’t have anything to do with sales if that is your core business.

Step Two:

You have their email address, now what?

This will trigger a series of automation’s in your CRM.

[We love Active Campaign for this function.]

These automated emails will move the prospect through an experience — not an immediate sales conversation.

Your email sequence could look something like this:

  • Opt-in confirmation – immediately
  • Welcome & thank you + delivery of the lead magnet — 15-minute delay
  • Featured benefit reminder of the lead magnet + reminder link — 24-36 hours
  • Featured benefit #2 reminder + low-cost offer — 24 hours after prior email

Now, this is where you split your funnel.

If the prospect becomes a customer and purchases your low-cost offer, they will then go into your new customer nurture funnel. This funnel will reinforce the benefits and experiences they are getting from the low-cost offer.

If the prospect does not purchase, they will continue in this funnel:

Step Three:

Picking up where we left off above, after the first low-cost offer email —

  • Featured benefit #3 reminder + low-cost offer reminder with time limiter (for only 48 hours or something like that) — 24 hours after prior email
  • Assuming they don’t purchase, send a re-pitch of the low-cost offer with limiter — 24 hours after the last email
  • Assuming they don’t purchase again, send a re-pitch of the low-cost offer with limiter, last chance email– 12 hours after the last email
  • If they don’t purchase in this sequence, then move them into your standard marketing campaign with your regular nurture and sales email.

The goal of the funnel is to get the prospect to take action.  If after a series of well-crafted emails and valuable information, they still don’t buy, the prospect is clearly not ready or you have not made a compelling offer.

If they haven’t opted out of your list by this point, you can continue to build the relationship over time and they may re-engage with the sales funnel on a future offer.

The goal of your sales funnel is to create intentional touchpoints that meet your prospects where they are in the buying cycle.

Here’s a recap of what you need to create your sales funnel:

  1. A high-value, well-crafted lead magnet that is related to your core offer.
  2. A CRM that can trigger automated sequences for your email nurture. We love Active Campaign.
  3. An email sequence to welcome + deliver the lead magnet and offer a low-cost offer.
  4. An email sequence to nurture the lead if they buy.
  5. An email sequence to nurture the lead if the don’t buy.

The process is simple. The hard part is dialing in your lead magnet offer and crafting the email sequences to move the prospect along the funnel.

My best advice is to map it out first, then tackle one piece of the funnel at a time. Start with the low-cost offer.

A way to come up with your low-cost offer is to think about what your prospects ask you about before they become a customer.  If you find that there are common questions about how to’s then you have a great start to your low-cost offer.Once you have clarity on the lead magnet, you want to craft your low-cost offer.

Once you have clarity on the low-cost offer, you can take a piece of the offer or create an overview that can be used as a lead magnet.

With those two core pieces out of the way, it will be easier to write the email sequences and set up the funnel.

Don’t let all the steps trip you up.  You can do this!  If you need help, just reach out to me. 

Do you need help creating your lead magnet and sales funnel but you are not sure where to start, email me and I’ll help you find your fastest path to cash with a killer sales funnel during a free discovery call.  I will help you identify your next steps + outline your initial strategy to create and deliver your lead magnet so that you can get more customers.   

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Lisa Bollow | Business Strategist

I help clarify the journey of being an entrepreneur for over-achieving, passionate, creative business owners.  I want to remove the overwhelm of building a business with simple, step-by-step programs, systems and support.