Funnel 101 – Beginner’s Guide

Whether you are aware of it or not, if you’ve purchased something in your life, you were in a funnel.

Here, I’m going to explain the basics of a funnel, the different types of funnels and I will help you decide if you need a funnel for you affiliate marketing business (or any other type of online business)marketing funnel

*May contain affiliate links. Clicking on the affiliate links will most likely result in the same price you would pay elsewhere or you may get a special offer using those links.

What is a Funnel?

A funnel is the steps a customer makes to accomplish the task you want him to do. As simple as that.

For example, if you are walking on the street and you see a nice boutique with a nice display in its window. That’s the first step of the funnel, the boutique got your attention. You decide to enter the boutique.

Then, you walk around and you take a look at all the products. You keep some in your arms because you’ve decided to buy them.

When you are done looking at all the products, you go at the cash register to pay for the items you wanted to buy.

The salesperson asks you if you would be interested in certain discounted products on the counter and you pick on to add to the other items you decided to buy.

You exit the boutique and you are happy with the purchase you’ve made.

Simple. Now, all you need to do is create steps for your online customers.

What is the Purpose of a Funnel?

It’s to monetize your business and to give the customer a good buying experience. It can also be a way to capture people’s email and grow your business from your list.

So the main purpose of the funnel is to make money.

To make money, you need customers. You need people who will visit your page and buy your offers.

The other main purpose of a funnel is to grab someone’s attention so they enter in your funnel to increase your chance of having a sale. A sale is money in your pocket, or a least, it starts paying for the ads.

Go ahead, grab people’s attention and monetize your business!

What is in a Funnel?

In a funnel, if the goal is to make someone buy a product, well, you need a product to sell.

In a basic funnel, there is an ad. The ad will be shown on social media platforms, on other websites, ect. That’s the first step of the funnel.

If someone likes your ad and wants to know more, he’s going to click the ad.

The person lands on a sales page where the benefits or the products will be explained with a short video or with written words. There should be a buy button somewhere on that page.

Once the person is still interested in buying the product, there will be a page where that person enters all the information needed to complete the order.

On that page, there could be a checkbox where you can put a Bump offert. it would be something related to the main product and it doesn’t need to have a sales page.

Then, what happens is you can add offers in your funnel. There are upsells when a customer says yes I want more. That product is usually a little more expensive than the main product they bought.

If they say no, there can be another page with a product that costs less than the upsell, this is a downsell product.

So you can vary the length of your funnel depending on the amount of offers you have that are relevant to your customers. It also depends on how much money you want to earn with your funnel.

Then, there is the thank you page where the customer leaves.

So the key elements of the funnel are: a product, an ad, a landing page, a sales page, a page to get personal information, a thank you page, a bump offert, an upsell and a downsell.

Do all funnels have these elements: No. They don’t have to. Keep reading to discover why.

Are There Different Types of Funnel?

Yes, absolutely. There are different goals you can achieve or different tasks you can ask people to do in your funnel.

There can be more steps with different products you want to offer to your customers. It can have multiple offers where the people choose if they want to buy the product or not.

It can be a simple funnel where you want to get an email address. Then you decide if you want to be promoting or selling something in the same funnel.

Let’s go to McDonald’s. You want a quarter pound with cheese. So you ask for that and then the cashier asks you: Would you like to have a combo with that? Or would you like some fries with that or would you like something to drink with that?

That is an upsell. You came in for a burger and now you are offered other foods you may enjoy to complete your meal.

If you say yes, or even if you say no, the cashier might ask you: would you like an apple pie with that? I think the apple pie costs less than getting a combo, so that would be considered the downsell.

You could build a funnel to sell something, to give away something, to make people register for a webinar, to see if the people in your funnel qualify for a super high ticket product you sell or promote or to simply get people’s email addresses.

For each purpose, you build a different type of funnel.

Your funnel will then differ in length, in information provided on the page and in the information you will collect from the visitors.

There are 5 main types of funnels:

1- The free gift funnel, to capture people’s email.opt-in funnel

2- The book funnel, where you sell an ebook under 15$

3- The VSL (Video Sales Letter) funnel: to sell something using a video instead of writing a sales page.

4- The webinar funnel: to get people to register to a funnel and watch a webinar.

5- The lead qualifier funnel, to get qualified prospects to book a call with you so you can have a discussion on your super high ticket offer.

Facebook ad funnel

These are the most common ones. Of course there are other ones, but these are the ones you will bump into your Facebook feed.

Each funnel has a different way of promoting and selling the action you want people to take but the end result will always be to make money, even if you are “just” getting people’s emails.

Here comes another great question:

Do I Need a Funnel?

Maybe. It really depends on what you are doing online. But as a business, you want to have a funnel to at least get people’s email addresses.

You may be interested in reading my article on email marketing.

The short answer is yes. The long answer is maybe not right now. So if you are building a website and creating articles for your website every week, it will take at least 8 months before you start getting good, consistent traffic to your website.

Ok if you already have many followers or you already have a business, you may get good traffic in a few months.

It can also be the case if you have a very specific niche with a lot of search volume but no good answers.

So as you are just getting started, if you are opting for the free, organic traffic with blogging, you may not need a funnel as soon as you get started. Still, it doesn’t stop you from building a funnel to start building your email list and put that funnel on your business and personal Facebook page (or on linkedIn, or YouTube, wherever you can get traffic in your niche).

Keep in mind that to grow your business and start earning more money, you will want to at least build an email list. For that, you need a funnel.

Do you have to? No. You can still earn money only from your blog, the affiliate products on your website and the money you earn from the ads.

Think about it, isn’t your website a funnel? Aren’t you providing people with valuable information through your articles so they can make decisions and maybe buy by clicking your affiliate links?

Funnels can be everywhere.

If you are going to start with ads, well you don’t even have to ask the question because as soon as you get started, you will need a funnel.

I invite you to read my article on Copywriting

All you will have to do is decide what kind of funnel you need depending on what you have to offer and what you want as an end result.

As an affiliate, most products you will promote will have a funnel ready for you. You don’t have to use it all. You can modify it if you think it would work better with your audience.

Your job will be to prepare people to buy the product. You want them to click and go to the sales page. So you have to prepare them and put them into buyers’ mode.

Now, you understand why you need training.

In Conclusion

A funnel is a series of steps that people take to reach a precise goal.

There are different kinds of funnel you can use to achieve those goals.

You want to keep in mind what kind of audience is getting in your funnel. Are they people from your email list, which would be a warm audience because they already know you or are they people who clicked on an ad and know nothing about you?

That will help you build the best funnel to achieve the best results.

If you really want to grow your business, you will start making good use of funnels.

What kind of funnel will you use?

Let’s Get Started!


4 thoughts on “Funnel 101 – Beginner’s Guide”

  1. Well written Cynthia!

    I enjoyed reading the article as a refresher even though I know the basics about funnels.

    You explain things very clearly.

    I am looking forward to an article that goes deeper into each funnel!

    • Hi Dhiren!
      Thank you for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed my article.
      I wanted to make things clear and simple so everyone can understand funnels.

      Best wishes,

  2. Merci Infiniment pour votre magnifique article.
    J’ai beaucoup appris sur les Tunnels de vente.
    J’apprécie votre simplicité.
    Continuez votre bon travail.
    J’ai hâte de pouvoir lire vos prochains articles.

    • Bonjour Sylvie!
      Merci pour votre commentaire. Je suis contente d’avoir pu vous aider à mieux comprendre les tunnels de vente.
      La simplicité est la clé du succès 😉



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