Episode 11: What Is A Funnel?

Understanding a sequence of logic that converts

The problem with most websites is that they simply do not convert a visitor into a sale.

A website is just the brochure that provides information, there’s nothing persuasive about it. 

What does convert? The answer is a funnel – a series of steps.

In this episode, I explain what exactly a funnel is, and take a look at a couple of the most widely-used types of funnels.

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Welcome to episode number eleven of the Elite Entrepreneurs show, where we believe entrepreneurs become elite because of a certain mindset and the amount of time and energy they invest in education to learn how to thrive in the digital era.
It’s wonderful to spend time back with you, and today I want to talk to you about what is a funnel.

Now you may be really confused about the term, as I was, and the best way to explain to you what is a funnel and why you should care what a funnel is, I want to recap on something that I spoke about in episode number 10.
By the way, if you haven’t watched episode number 10, I suggest you go back or you go and listen to it.

When I just got started in digital, I was looking for an agency to help me because I was clueless. I didn’t know how this whole digital thing works. It scared the crap out of me. So I hired this company, they were Google PPC agency and these guys were talking to me about keywords and negative keywords and you know, all those kinds of fancy stuff and I was like, wow, that sounds pretty cool.
I gave them quite a lot of money and they ran this campaign and they sent all this traffic to my website. And I remember I was looking for more leads and more clients and here and there I’d get a lead and some of them are okay, some weren’t. But I certainly wasn’t getting this deluge of clients showing up.

I was very frustrated with them and I said, “Guys, what’s happening?” And they said, “No, look at all this. You know, we’re getting so many clicks and we just optimize. We excluded certain negative keywords and we did this and did that.”
And I said, “This is fantastic, but where’s more clients? That’s what I’m looking for.”
They kept on telling me, “Here’s the traffic”. And I said where is more clients? And they kept on saying to me, “Your website doesn’t convert.”
I said, “Well isn’t that your job? How is my website’s supposed to convert?”
They said that’s not what they specialize in.

So I did a bit of digging and I found that only 1.8% – 1.87% of all website traffic actually converts on a website. I realized that most people are missing the point.
You know the social media marketing guys, they say get likes, get tweets, because people will like you, at some point they’ll go to your website, at some point they’ll become paying clients. It doesn’t work like that.
The traffic guys that only buy traffic, they send people to your website like Google or even Facebook or LinkedIn. Even agencies that specialize in that, those people don’t convert. What’s the point? I mean, as a business owner, as an entrepreneur, what are you looking for? Are you looking for clicks, are you looking for licks, are you looking for likes? What are you looking for? You’re looking for more paying clients, aren’t you?

That’s what I was looking for and I discovered a website is really just the brochure that provides information.
There’s nothing persuasive about it. It’s not designed for conversion. That’s when I decided to take matters in my own hands and to figure out, well, if a website doesn’t convert, what does? And that’s all I came across the concept of a funnel.

Now I hated the term “funnel” because to me it implied something manipulative. You know like a bunch of cattle, where you put them in and you force them through a thing. You know, it’s sort of implied something very manipulative. I don’t know, I just really didn’t like the term and I’m still not fond of it, but it’s the most descriptive.

All a funnel is, is it describes a series of steps. Now I’m going to use dating as an analogy. You know, I’ve always tell a little bit of humor when I explain to people what funnels are.
Imagine walking into a bar, or not a bar, imagine walking into a coffee shop and you see, let’s say you’re a gentleman, and you see a beautiful young lady over there, and you walk up to her and say, “Hey, my name is John. I’m 37 years of age, I earn $150 000 a year. I drive this car, I’ve got a bachelor’s degree in commerce. I’ve got two children. My hobbies are flying and I like eating potatoes. Do you want to get married?”
That’s kind of like… that’s stupid, right? I mean that won’t work that well. Would you agree with me? There is no relationship, there’s no affinity.
Providing a brochure to someone isn’t going to make them fall in love with you, is not going to make them want to spend any time with you. It doesn’t work like that.

The question is, if that won’t work in personal relationships, why would it work in business relationships? It doesn’t work like that.
So I want you to see marketing as dating. Dating as the very first interaction: There’s this person that sees another person and they walk over and they have a little chat. There’s a very non-intimidating next step. In most cases. What is that? It’s, “Hey, you know, let’s exchange numbers. Let’s keep in touch.”
That’s not intimidating. That’s not going into marriage. That isn’t saying, “Let’s go on a dinner date.” No, it’s let’s exchange numbers. Let’s keep in touch or let’s add each other on Facebook. That’s a small little baby step.

The next step would be to say, now there’s a little bit of a conversation going on, there’s a little bit of communication going on on WhatsApp or Messenger, and now there’s a date. There’s a coffee, you know, “Let’s meet for coffee, I’m going to be in this area. Let’s get together for 20 minutes, for half an hour. Let’s meet for a little coffee.”
There’s a little bit more of a dialogue going on, there is a little bit of information exchange. Now, are we ready for the first date and the first date turns into a series of dates and then there is ultimately engagement and marriage and then divorce. I’m just kidding.

So not all sales cycles go that long, but the principle remains the sameThere is a sequential logic to how relationship boom, the same as friendships. You know, you didn’t meet someone today and tomorrow you besties, like, “Oh my God, this person is the best person in the world”.
You might really like someone but you can’t consider them a best friend. Best friendships takes many, many years to build.
So when it comes to persuasion, the sequential logic, right? There’s step one, step two, step three, that mirrors how relationships are formed. And how commercial relationships are started as well.

And that’s all a funnel does. A funnel provides a series of steps that facilitate a relationship being formed.

I’m going to give you a few examples. The one type of funnel is called an opt-in funnel. This one is used in affiliate marketing extensively. It’s used in many different places. But I’m going to use affiliate marketing as an example.
The opt-in funnel, let me just say for argument’s sake, I’m an affiliate marketer. I want to make a living from selling other people’s products, that sort of affiliate marketing needs. I decide on a niche, I decided to deal with people that have insomnia.
An opt-in funnel has on page number one, a promise to say “the 11 best products and services that are scientifically proven to cure insomnia in less than a week. Put in an email address and we’ll give you the tutorial”.
The tutorial could be a video, it could be a PDF download, it could be a series of emails. That’s an opt-in. On the landing page, there’s an offer for free information. And on the thank you page, you either provide the information, you can download the ebook or you can watch the video or congratulations you have been subscribed to the email sequence. It’s a very simple two-step funnel and then you provide the information.

How do you end up making money? Well, you say, right, the first thing that people don’t realize that impacts sleep is room temperature. Science has proven that room temperature is best at 68 degrees Fahrenheit. I think it’s 21 degrees Celsius. But most people can’t afford air conditioner and air conditioners dry out your eyes. We found this product that is cost-effective. It can travel with you if you move. It’s anti-allergenic. It takes out all the pollen out of the air and click here to check it out.
Now the person clicks and they buy that product. The affiliate marketer earns a fee.

The next thing they could say is noise. A lot of people can’t sleep with noise. Some people can’t sleep without noise. The people that can’t sleep with noise, these are the basic earplugs that we found; and they send them to this earplug thing that uses titanium as opposed to other materials. It blocks out all noise, it’s comfortable, etc.
People that can’t sleep without noise – I don’t know if you know that some people can’t sleep without the noise of the fan – so you get a white noise machine. Here is a white noise machine. And then the list goes on, CBD drops, etc.
You get those leads from an opt-in funnel. It’s a very, very simple opt-in funnel. And many, many businesses just work on a very simple two-step opt-in funnel.

For folks who sell complicated information, right? Who sells concepts, who sells information that could only be bought after a lot of educations. They can place something like a webinar funnel or a video sales lever funnel works really well. Chances are you are watching this because you’ve gone to one of my webinar funnels, it just works really well.
So what is a webinar funnel? You say, “Hey, we’ve got an online training that happens at this particular date and time. Opt-in here, and it’s usually a presentation that lasts anywhere from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. You provide a huge amount of education and you make an offer, either for a product that they buy or to engage with your sales team.
That works very well for selling information.
For people looking for most leads for the sales team, you get what’s called a strategy call funnel. A strategy call funnel is really where you make a big promise, say, you know, “the best deal in time for HVAC. For heating and ventilation and air conditioning, click here, provide your name and surname. You show a little video that explains the product or the service or the category and it makes it enticing. And then people can click and they can book in a sales person’s calendar. A lot of software products are sold like this. If you go to a software product like HubSpot and they say, “talk to our team”, you can click on it and you can book a call with one of the team members, That is called a strategical funnel.

Then you got one called the free-plus-shipping funnel, and you might’ve seen this from Russell Brunson, where you actually want to give away a book for free because when people buy the book and the reader is actually going to buy something else.
So that is very, very simple, “Hey, you can get my book for free. Here’s why the book is awesome, what’s inside the book, this what other people say about the book. That’s really, really cool. I’m going to give you the book for free just pay for shipping”.
Then as people go through the order flow, you’ve got a little bit of a upsell or a bump, but the bottom line is people read the book and you build affinity with them for your business. So that is called free plus shipping funnel.

Then you get what’s called a $1 trial funnel, and that’s for auto-continuity products. If you sell a product where people pay for it every single month. You say, “Hey listen, try us out for a dollar. If you want to keep it, do nothing. We’ll start billing after the seven days, 30 days. And if you don’t want it anymore, just let us know and we’ll cancel.”

So a funnel just really provides a sequence of logic that converts.

Now how well does it work? Well, listen, I can tell you something. If a website only converts at 1.87%, funnels usually convert leads at a rate of about 20%. I’ve had funnels convert at 90%, 87% I think is our highest funnel that converted. But as an average, about 20% of visitors turn into a lead and the amount of leads it takes to get a paying client is entirely determined on the type of product that you sell.

Now, what is the right kind of funnel for your business? If you own your own business, what is the right kind of funnel for you? The thing is I can’t tell you. There’s something like 22 different funnels and there’s a guy that’s become a specialist, his name is Russell Brunson. He’s been studying funnels and he built a company called ClickFunnels that has been studying all of this and they actually created this thing called “funnel cookbook”. A funnel cookbook is a book, a wonderful book. It’s thick, there’s a digital version as well, but it’s actually quite a thick book that provides diagrams and schematics on how different funnels work.
I believe it’s one of the best resources that I’ve ever come across. And the cool thing is you can get the book for free. I’ve got a hyperlink for you because it’s quite a long URL they’ve got. But you can just go to www.eliteinc.com/cookbook and you can get the book for free.

I just want to give you a cautionary note. The book itself is free. It’s a big book, so there’s quite a big shipping fee, I think it’s like 19 bucks or something like that. It is well worth it. I’ve got the cookbook, I’ve got it on my desk and whenever I’m trying to figure out what funnel I should build, I consult the cookbook.
It’s a collector’s item. It really is a kind of thing that you keep on your desk, it’s beautiful, it’s very well constructed. It’s an absolute bargain at $19.95.

For those of you guys that are in countries where your postal system does not work that well. Like South Africa for example, if you order it, it will arrive, it sometimes takes a little bit of time. So as you go to the order flow, I do recommend that you also get the digital version of the book provided that it’s available.
I think it is available in the order flow. I think it may even be included in the hard copy of the book. So at least get your hands on the digital version of the book so long while you’re waiting for the physical copies.
Go to www.eliteinc.com/cookbook.

Now, I believe every single business needs a funnel. And there’s a very simple reason why: Every single business needs more clients.
In episode number 10, I explained to you guys what traffic I would run and how to think about your traffic, but your traffic can only convert if there’s a funnel where it can convert.

Every single business needs a funnel. Even someone that sells business to business, even someone that’s looking for wholesale, even someone that has a property development business. Every single business has the same thing in common. They have something that provides value, aka the product or service that they sell, and they had prospective clients that they want to sell to.
And there’s a gap between them and this prospective client. There’s some version of dating that needs to take place for them to buy the product.
Whether the dating corollary is someone buying this watch, which I referenced in the previous episode, there’s a series of steps, a series of things I need to understand about this product before I buy it. If I want to buy in a property investments development, there’s a series of things I need to understand. And there’s a natural way for me to convert to go from click to customer.
If I’m selling services, there’s a certain process that I need to as a buyer go through to buy the product. And that’s what a funnel does, right?

So funnels sound complicated. They sound like some black magic. It really isn’t. It’s just a term for designing conversion logic. What happens? What’s the best most likely step one, what’s the most obvious, most likely step number two? What’s the best step number three for your business. Generally, it can be done in two or three steps, and that’s the cool thing about it. So I highly recommend you guys go to eliteinc.com/cookbook.

By the way, I would buy everything that they try to sell you in that course.
Russell Brunson is brilliant at it and you can see how he does upsells and cross-sells. For my money, I would buy absolutely everything that they sell in there, and there’s a very simple reason why I would personally do that: The reason is because, if I look at what it costs to get people to my website, the amount of money that I spend on traffic, the slightest lift in conversion that I can have is money well spent because it makes all of my traffic cheaper. It gets more clients for my company and I believe that it’s the absolute cornerstone of most people, whether you want to do it yourself, whether you want to provide service to someone else, you have to become an absolute master, a genius-level master at funnels. So check it out: www.eliteinc.com/cookbook.

Full disclosure, it is an affiliate link in there, so we do earn a tiny commision. That’s not why I’m recommending it to you guys. I would never recommend something that I don’t personally use. Is just something that I believe can add a huge amount of daily leads.
What I want you to do is go to our blog, go to www.eliteinc.com/11 and I want you to tell us if you are using a website, if you have a website or not, and if so, what are your results? Are you tracking the traffic that’s going there, are you tracking the conversion? Some people’s websites do really well for them and I’d love to know if you are one of those people because I’d love to know what it is that you’re doing on a website because you may have some kind of a version of a funnel in there.

If you’re not getting great results, please also let us know. If you don’t even know what numbers you’re getting, that’s also cool. Join the conversation. You know, the quicker you participate in the conversation and you get to network and learn from peers online, the easier it is going to be for you to get going.

Tell us if you’re using a funnel and if so what your results are. Go to www.eliteinc.com/11, scroll down, get to the comments box and participate in the conversation.

In closing, I want you to comment on our blog. We’d love to hear from you. You can go to www.eliteinc.com/11.
If you want to funnel cookbook, you can go to www.eliteinc.com/cookbook.

If you like watching the show on YouTube, please remember to subscribe. If you like listening on your favourite podcast channel, remember to subscribe. Give us a review if you like it. And then those of you guys who want to take the next step, who are looking for some help and guidance from our team, then simply go to www.eliteinc.com/11 and we can see if we can help you, if we have a solution that we can help you.

I want to sign off by saying I appreciate your time. Thank you very much. Thanks for tuning in. Congratulations for taking yet another step to becoming an elite entrepreneur. I’ll see you all in episode number 12.