People don’t just randomly buy whatever they see or like.
There’s a process we all go through before we swipe our credit card or click the “order now” button.
Sometimes it takes days, weeks, or months for us to make these decisions. Other times it’s the exact opposite. We make up our minds almost in an instant.
There are many reasons why this happens, but the bottom line is – this decision-making process exists, and as a smart entrepreneur or marketer, you need to understand how it works.
Only this way can you meet your audience at different stages of their decision-making process with the right offer and marketing message.
And a sales funnel template can help you map out the most probable path your audience will go through before turning into paying customers.
Author’s note: If you’re looking for a solution that’ll help you automatically build your sales funnel from scratch and help you increase sales, check out the GetResponse Conversion Funnel here.
Table Of Contents
Now, what is a sales funnel template?
By now, you’ve probably figured out the definition yourself:
A sales funnel template is a design of a consumer’s journey to becoming a customer and what happens after they do.
Think of it as a whiteboard where you completely map out, in drawing, your potential customer’s journey — from when they’re thinking about something they need to the point where they eventually find your business.
Your customer journey through effective sales funnel stages could look something like this:
- First, your prospect identifies a need – “I need a pair of shoes”
- They go onto Instagram to search for inspiration
- They type their search term in the search bar
- After browsing through different shoes and designs, they find something interesting
- Eventually, they find something promising and visit the vendor’s website
- They add their new favorite product to the shopping cart and check out
And sometimes, the customer journey is a lot more complex than what we’ve shown in this illustration, but this is basically how it works.
So, what your sales funnel template does, is it helps your business show up at every step of the customer’s journey leading up to when they finally make a purchase (more on this in the “seven steps” section below).
Now that we’ve cleared the air on what exactly a sales funnel template is, let’s look at a seven-step sales funnel template you can use for your business.
And what type of business is this template for?
It doesn’t matter if you’re selling digital products like ebooks or online courses. Or you’re a professional doing online consulting and coaching. Heck, even if you’re selling a service that’s delivered offline, like self-defense classes.
This sales funnel template will help you generate more leads and sales for your business.
You may also like: Beginner’s Guide to Marketing Funnels
The 7-step sales funnel template
Regardless of the nature of your business, consumers would often go through these seven (or similar) steps before they become paying customers:
The image you see above is the exact sales funnel template you need.
In fact, if it’s the only sales funnel you’re working with, it can single-handedly take your business to whatever level of growth you want it.
But of course, you first need to know how it works.
So, we’ll explain each funnel stage we identified in the above illustration.
Step 1. Generate targeted traffic
Generally, the more traffic you get, the more sales you get.
But you probably know this already: it’s not that simple. Because it’s possible you generate thousands of visitors to your site or online store but never convert any of them into customers.
But that’s bad traffic, and you don’t need it; it never converts to sales.
Instead, here’s what you need: targeted traffic. Targeted traffic is site visitors who are most likely interested in your product or service and would be interested in buying it.
To get these types of visitors, you need to know where your target customers frequent every day — like the online communities and groups they belong to, search engines they use (and keywords they search with), and influencers they follow.
Then you’ll go to those places and give them a good reason to visit your site; “giving them a good reason to visit” means you’ll need to provide them with a free valuable resource (e.g., ebook, case study, webinar) they can get on your site.
You can call this a lead magnet. An incentive your target audience is ready to trade their email address for.
Once they land on your site, their buyer’s journey begins, and your sales funnel is already in motion. And this is where step two comes in.
Step 2. Send traffic to a SPECIFIC high-converting landing page
You may already be aware of what a landing page is, but if you’re not sure: it’s a page that you specifically designed to convert visitors into leads or customers.
It is a part of a marketing strategy that focuses on customers’ interest to identify a qualified lead for high-ticket products, collect prospects’ email addresses and help you with email marketing.
But one major mistake that ruins sales at this point is sending your visitors to a generic web page, like your homepage or some other “non-landing page.”
Your homepage (or any other non-landing page) is simply not designed to send visitors to the next stage of their buying journey.
So what would happen is they’ll land on the page and keep looking around — because a non-landing page is not focused on a SPECIFIC TOPIC. It often links to several other pages like your product/service page, about page, blog page, contact us page, etc., as shown below:
And there’s nothing wrong with having a homepage; it’s just not designed to help you convert as many visitors as a specific landing page into leads.
A landing page, on the other hand, focuses on a single topic, and its goal is to speak to your visitors and persuade them to accept a SPECIFIC OFFER; so it looks something like this:
When you send visitors to a landing page like this, they know what it’s for, and the page helps their minds to focus on thinking about one thing only: your offer.
The only two options they have here are to either a) sign up for your offer and give you their email address, or b) exit your squeeze page.
And this is exactly what you want to do in your lead generation strategy.
(By the way, this is only a landing page example, your landing page can be longer if it needs to be so you can effectively persuade your visitors to convert. Here you’ll find some great landing page examples that’ll explain this better)
Step 3. Convert visitors into subscribers & leads
Now, it’s one thing to send visitors to a landing page…
It’s another thing entirely to convert those visitors into subscribers and leads.
When people get on your page, they’re immediately thinking…
- “Is this offer worth my time?”
- “Should I sign up because I really need this stuff?”
- “Or should I just leave?”
They’ll do one of these, and you can influence (and speed up) their decision by what you have on the squeeze page – especially your headline, body copy, and calls to action (CTAs).
You need to make sure these three landing page elements convey strong reasons why they need to sign up for your offer.
We’ll use this landing page example below from Nia Shanks to show you what a strong headline, body copy, and CTA look like. Let’s start with her headline:
Nia opens the landing page with a title that reads, “The only fitness guru I still see in my inbox.”
This is a type of headline that immediately grabs attention because it’s a testimonial from a current subscriber of Nia’s newsletter.
Whoever lands on the page wants to see whether they should join Nia’s newsletter or not. So a testimonial from a current subscriber in the title of her newsletter landing page goes a long way in convincing visitors to sign up.
Now, let’s look at the body of her newsletter page:
Her copy’s body starts with a problem that many fitness enthusiasts currently face: most health and fitness newsletters are terrible.
Then she promises that her newsletter is different from the norm, including a testimonial to back up her claim. And then, she added another testimonial just before the signup form.
To repeat this success, start by learning about landing page copywriting here. And if you need a more general tutorial, follow this 7-step process to creating a high-converting landing page.
Editor’s note: All of this wouldn’t have worked if the offer presented on the landing page wasn’t good. Even if you manage to get your target audience to your page, it won’t matter if you’ve got nothing of value to offer them. So, how do you ensure your lead magnet is aligned with your audience’s needs? This article, 7 Lead Generation Landing Page Examples [+ Optimization Tips] will help you make the right choice.
Step 4. Make your leads and subscribers true fans
Can you really “make” people true fans?
Yep. And there are many ways to do it.
For example, the team at Ahrefs created the Blogging for Business course, and they had so many fans tweeting about it:
Here’s how they did it.
To make your leads or subscribers true fans, you need to deliver on the promise you made to convince them to become leads.
So, for example, if you promised them a marketing ROI calculator and they signed up for it, make sure the calculator works so well that they want to tell everyone they know about it.
Or if you promised them a course on business blogging (like Ahrefs), you need to make sure that they get so much value from it that they’ll be rushing to share it with their friends and connections,
If you deliver on your promise to subscribers this way, chances are they’ll begin to trust you and become raving fans.
Next, you need to take them from fans to customers.
Pro tip: The thank-you page that your leads see after they’ve signed up can be a great place to start building that true loyalty. Use it strategically to reinforce the positive emotions you’ve already managed to build and delight them even more. As a matter of fact, a great thank you page can even lead to conversion right away!
Step 5. Get fans to become customers
Your end goal with any sales funnel template is to make money.
After you’ve drawn visitors to your site and converted them into subscribers/fans, you need to convert them into customers.
But how? Closing any sale is an art on its own.
A simple strategy you can use to sell is to create a sales page.
It’s a page that’ll be squarely focused on convincing your subscribers to buy what you’re selling.
You need four main elements on your sales page:
- Who you’re selling to
- What you’re selling
- Testimonials from your past or current customers
- Your “Buy now” button or CTA
Here’s an example of a good sales page from AdEspresso — with the four elements above in action:
The sales page headline reads, “Pinpoint Your Ideal Client”
So it’s clearly targeted at people who want to learn how to find clients for their business.
Next, they shared the benefits their students get from their course:
The next part they included is also important — a testimonial from their current customer:
And then there’s their “start your free trial now” call-to-action button.
With these four elements, you can easily convert subscribers (and even visitors who aren’t subscribers) into customers.
Step 6. Bring them back if they abandon their cart
If your business is like most, people start to have doubts when it’s time to draw out their wallets.
Several questions and thoughts start to race through their minds:
- “I hope I’m right about this service.”
- “If I make the wrong decision, it’ll cost me a lot!”
- “Wait a minute, shouldn’t I be checking other alternatives to this product?”
You have one goal: to reassure them.
You need to reassure potential customers who abandon your services or checkout page that your business is worth their money.
There are two ways to do it – retarget your audience using paid ads or emails (assuming you followed step 2 of this sales funnel template and collected the email addresses of your visitors).
Their emails give you the opportunity to know where they are in their buying journey, so when they’re on your checkout or service page but leave without buying, you can follow up with them, persuading them to make a purchase decision.
Here’s how that works
Ideally, the tool you use to collect emails should also provide a way to track your subscribers’ (fans’) interaction with your emails and website.
The tool should show you when certain subscribers are going from one page to the other on your site and which pages they’re going to.
So when they go to your services, product, or checkout page, the tool alerts you about it. The GetResponse Conversion Funnel is a tool you can use here; it’s a sales funnel software that lets you track your subscribers so you can follow them up if they abandon your product/checkout pages and reassure them that you’re worth doing business with.
Step 7. Close the sale!
This one is self-explanatory. Your end goal with any sales funnel template is to make money.
So now that you have the template, it’s all yours! Use it and increase your sales.
But how? Closing any sale is an art on its own.
You need to know how to create a high-converting sales page and write persuasively and convince your subscriber and cart abandoners that your business is absolutely worth their money.
You can learn more about this from the following video.
Building a sales funnel (and using this sales funnel template) is easily one of the smartest decisions you’ll make in your business.
One major benefit it provides you is it helps you lead your sales process with empathy — because in building the sales funnel, you have to put yourself in the shoes of your potential customers and lead them to make a purchase decision.
And that’s essentially what we’ve provided for you in this guide — a sales funnel example or template to help you attract customers, build relationships with them, and then convert them into customers.
If you’re feeling inspired, try the ultimate sales funnel software machine – GetResponse!