Sales funnels are the open secret of businesses that bank the big bucks.
Without the support of rock-solid funnels, a business dies a slow, agonizing death. But with smart funnels, a company experiences steady growth. Every online enterprise benefits from profitable funnels: startups, small businesses, or eCommerce stores.
Today, I will show you 6 sales funnel examples to inspire your next campaign.
What Is A Sales Funnel?
A sales funnel is a step-by-step process potential customers go through on their way to becoming paying customers.
It’s a way of visualizing the customer journey.
Designed like a physical funnel, it’s wide at the top and narrow at the bottom. It starts with many prospective customers at the top of the funnel that get whittled down as you go down the funnel. Only a few people who started the journey end up making the buying decision at the bottom of the funnel.
Sales Funnel Stages
Typically, a sales funnel has four stages, as shown below.
It all begins with a clueless potential customer who knows nothing about your brand, product, or service. These prospects then hear about you and get to know who you are and what you do.
They may hear about you for the first time via a blog post, Google search, social media updates, a paid ad, or referrals when people in their circles mention your brand.
If the potential customer’s experience with your company is positive, they move on to the next stage—awareness.
At this stage, prospects have a growing interest in your brand. They engage more with your content to understand the problems you solve and how you solve them.
As the target customers get closer to making a purchasing decision, they dig deeper into your offers to see if they are a good fit for their needs.
At this point, they also research alternative solutions to yours so they make the right choice. As you engage with them, it’s crucial to show them how unique your brand is so they choose you over competitors.
If you’ve played your marketing and sales cards correctly, you will get new customers at this stage.
People will take out their credit cards and buy your product or service.
However, a solid funnel doesn’t stop the action stage. There is after-sales optimization. Smart brands use various techniques to keep existing customers and entice them to buy more, again and again.
Not only that.
You can turn your best customers into brand evangelists who rave about you everywhere you go.
6 Sales Funnel Examples To Inspire Your Sales Process
Now that you know how a sales funnel works, let’s go over 6 real-world examples of well-optimized sales funnels that bring in big bucks.
Boasting a jaw-dropping 207.64 million paid subscribers globally as of the first quarter of 2021, Netflix is the number one video streaming company in the world. According to Statista, the company grosses $25 billion U.S. dollars per year and continues its phenomenal year-on-year growth path.
A sleek sales pipeline.
Sales Funnel Steps
Because Netflix is an established, famous brand, they get a lot of search engine traffic. According to Ahrefs, they rank for 128k organic keywords and get 80+ million visitors per month.
Besides the massive search engine traffic they get, Netflix also runs paid ads to increase brand awareness and drive more traffic.
Bearing in mind that most people who land on the site already know exactly what the company does, Netflix keeps things simple. They cut straight to the chase by giving visitors two options:
The remaining potential customers who need a bit more info about the brand have a FAQ section. The portion does a great job of explaining all the basics to convince potential customers to give the service a go.
They reduce friction by only asking for people’s email address—nothing more. This persuades more prospects to sign up for the service.
Once a visitor hits ‘Get Started’ they take you to the three-step sign-up process. The process includes choosing the right plan for your needs.
The page is simple. This makes it easy for people to choose their preferred plan, finish signing up and become paying customers.
Once people sign up, it’s up to Netflix to keep them as customers by streaming entertaining movies and TV shows month after month.
Consulting.com is a thriving coaching and consulting company.
Forbes 30 Under 30 Entrepreneur Sam Ovens founded the enterprise from his dad’s garage in New Zealand. His crown jewel Consulting Accelerator course has produced 500 six-figure earners and 27 millionaires.
At the heart of Sam’s digital marketing success is a powerful $20 million webinar sales funnel engine.
Sales Funnel Steps
The gateway of Consulting.com’s million-dollar sales funnel is Facebook ads. Long-form FB ads to be specific. Most of the ads follow typical rags to riches themes. He shares how broke he was, failed in business several times, and finally made the big time when he launched Consulting.com.
Here’s an example of one of his ads.
As you can see, the ad generated a lot of engagement. He invites his target audience to attend a webinar to find out the secrets of his success.
Webinar Registration Landing Page
After clicking on the ad’s call-to-action, visitors arrive on the webinar invitation landing page. Only qualified leads who have read and clicked on the ad reach this stage. Here’s an example of one of his pages.
This is the hero shot of the page.
It teases visitors with how lucrative and sustainable the consulting business strategy is. Importantly, it includes a CTA for those who are ready to take the next step and don’t need to be convinced anymore.
The other half:
This benefit-driven landing page persuades many people to register for the webinar.
Those who register trigger a welcome and reminder email series.
This email drip campaign culminates in the webinar itself. The webinar is super-long and packed with value. Towards the end, he makes the Consulting Accelerator offer.
Those who are ready, buy the course straight away. To get more sales, he remarkets to those who didn’t buy the training through a Facebook remarketing campaign.
He offers them a free trial so they sample the program. This boosts the conversion rate as more people take up the offer.
Here’s the entire sales funnel.
That’s how a $20 million webinar funnel looks like.
The next sales funnel example is Kajabi.
Kajabi is an all-in-one platform for knowledge entrepreneurs. It's a leading software company for anyone who wants to create, market, and sell an online course, membership site, or coaching program. In 2020, Kajabi grossed $60 million in revenue from 19k customers. This marked a 300% increase in their year-on-year revenue.
Their effective sales funnel plays a vital role in their phenomenal success.
Sales Funnel Steps
Kajabi gets most of their traffic organically. They are a popular brand so they get a lot of branded searches. People already know about the brand so they search for them directly.
Source: Funnel Teardowns
Plus, they dominate the SERPs for searches related to creating an education business. They supplement free traffic with paid traffic. These ads help them reach potential customers who don’t know about the company and the solutions they provide.
The next step in their marketing strategy is the home page. On arrival at the site, visitors get two offers.
This significantly lowers the barrier to entry.
This is a smart marketing funnel because it caters to both product-aware prospects and the unaware. Each group takes the path that fits their level of awareness. This ensures they don’t have a leaky sales funnel where some prospective customers fall off because their needs aren’t addressed.
Those who enjoy the free version sign up for the service. Because of the risk-free free trial, many people end up buying the service.
A big part of a SaaS funnel is retention. Kajabi has excellent onboarding videos to help new users grasp the ins and outs of the software fast. Another fun way they use to make users stay with them is through the Kajabi Hero reward program.
They reward users who hit certain revenue milestones with swag items like t-shirts and mugs. Swag items bring dual rewards. First, the program makes users become loyal and keep on subscribing. As a bonus, the reward program also increases brand awareness when people see cool branded items.
The next sales funnel example is Zoom.
Zoom, which was already growing steadily before Covid-19 hit, quadrupled its revenue during the pandemic. While this robust growth is slowing down because of the success of worldwide vaccination campaigns, the company continues to see massive revenue gains.
A freemium sales funnel that keeps the leads flooding in.
Sales Funnel Steps
Organic traffic is the backbone of the Zoom marketing funnel. Since they are a sought-after brand, prospects input their name into Google. According to Ahrefs, they drive a stunning 36+ million traffic per month. That’s enough to feed their funnel and then some.
They supplement search engine optimization traffic with paid ads.
Their homepage has one goal—to entice website visitors to sign up for the free plan. Before visitors can scroll down, they see a big and bold item on the main menu ‘Sign Up, It’s Free’
Notice how prominent the freemium menu item is. And it’s in a different color as well to make it stand out from the rest of the menu. People just can’t get enough free stuff. This offer takes advantage of that psychological bias.
Social proof drives conversions in a big way.
Zoom’s use of social proof to reinforce the free offer is brilliant.
First, they tell visitors they’ve sold over 1 million Zoom phone seats. This shows they are the undisputed leader in the business communications sector.
Next, they showcase the reviews they’ve received from respected review sites like G2 Crowd, Gartner Peer Insights, and TrustRadius.
Note the massive number of reviews: 649k, 1.8k, and 32k.
These impressive convince prospects that Zoom is the number 1 video conferencing software around. So they sign up in droves.
What makes their freemium offer appealing is that:
Because their freemium offer is superb, word-of-mouth marketing kicks in, getting their product into the hands of newer audiences.
After users sign up for the free basic version, the next step on the Zoom sales funnel is getting users to subscribe to the paid version. For a freemium funnel, the free-to-paid conversion rate is crucial because that’s where they make money.
The sign-up process is a simple 3-step one, unlike complex sales processes that kill conversions.
From the beginning, Zoom has been a customer-driven brand. They pull out all the stops to make their customers happy. No wonder their Net Promoter Score is an amazing industry-leading 90.
The software is intuitive and much easier to use than most of its competitors. Zoom offers premier support for those on the paid plans.
Satisfied customers stay. They stay subscribed and upgrade to higher plans. Recurring payments generate predictable and sustainable revenue for the company, thanks to a generous freemium plan that drives the sales funnel.
Forward is a one-of-a-kind AI-driven primary care health center.
The company focuses on long-term primary care membership. They provide 24/7 access to top-rated doctors, genetic testing, biometric monitoring, advanced diagnostics, and personalized care plans.
Here’s how their funnel works.
Sales Funnel Steps
Forward is a liked brand. Since they’ve carved a niche for themselves they get the bulk of their traffic through branded searches. They control all the terms connected to their name.
Similar Web estimates their traffic at around 300k visits.
A key step of the Forward sales funnel is a quiz.
They use it to qualify visitors.
Visitors go through a series of health-related questions to determine their needs. Because the quiz is interactive and engaging, it has a high completion rate. People get tailored recommendations. Plus, the company gets vital info about the common health issues their target market faces.
A win-win scenario.
Limited Time Offer
Soon after completing the quiz, visitors get a limited-time offer.
In a series of emails, they dangle a juicy price slash before the potential customers, one email at a time.
Prospective members can join for only $99, instead of the regular $149 per month price. This translates to a generous (and tempting) 33% discount. With each passing email, the stronger the scarcity factor becomes as people see the clock ticking.
The last piece of Forward’s marketing funnel puzzle is the paid subscription.
Forward use a simple flat-fee monthly pricing.
Users love flat rates because they know exactly what they are going to pay.
No hidden fees. No surprises. No stress.
Once the limited offer price lapses, the regular pricing kicks in. Users pay the usual $149 per month fee thereafter. Because they require a 6 months minimum commitment, this guarantees them stable revenue inflows from each customer in that period.
All that’s left is for the doctors to work their magic month after month for the money to keep flowing.
Anyone who has been in digital marketing long enough knows Digital Marketer.
Ryan Deiss started the company to equip marketers and business owners with digital marketing skills. Digital Marketer is a formidable brand. The company generates $10+ million in Annual Recurring Revenue (ARR).
They have a simple, good sales funnel.
Let’s unpack it one step at a time.
Sales Funnel Steps
The purchase journey begins with lead magnets.
They market them by putting CTAs in their blog posts or infographics to tease readers to take up the offer. Also, they push them in lead generation ads. These ethical bribes are a smart way of generating leads and growing your list of email subscribers. Crucially, the company also gets people’s contact information for marketing automation and follow-up.
Examples of their lead magnets include:
Entry Point Offer
On seeing the super value provided by the free resources, people are more likely to buy from the company.
But Digital Marketer doesn’t sell their major program at this point of the sales funnel. Instead, they pile up more value to impress leads. They offer them a 14-day free trial to access the Digital Marketer Lab.
The pack the free trial with goodies:
They categorize people who register for the free access to Digital Marketer Lab into three groups.
Segmentation is a crucial step in the sales funnel.
First, it helps with precise messaging when following up through email marketing campaigns. Also, these three specific groups make it easy for them to market the right upsells to the right target audience.
The result? More conversions.
Next, those on the email list who opted into the free trial receive emails urging them to stay on and activate full paid membership. But it’s not all a hard sell. They continue sending valuable marketing tools and high-quality resources via email.
This two-pronged approach that combines hard and soft sell is powerful. On one hand, you provide value and ask for the sale on the other.
The Anatomy Of High-Converting Sales Funnels
Effective sales funnels have certain things in common. Here are some of them.
The starting point of any sales funnel is traffic. Without traffic, you won’t have website visitors. Without visitors, you won’t have leads and customers. The best sales funnels pay for traffic or attract it through smart content marketing and SEO.
Having visitors who click your website URL isn’t enough. You turn those visitors into qualified leads. Capture leads by giving them a free resource, such as a free consultation or free book. When capturing leads, it’s pivotal to segment them according to their needs. You will scratch their itch and sell better to them because you address their unique leads.
Once you generate leads, you don’t sell to them that very minute. Research shows most people don’t buy when on the first visit. They need up to 7 touch points before they buy from a company. Through lead nurturing, you continue to give them value and deepen your relationship with them until they are ready to purchase.
Landing pages are a key part of a successful inbound marketing strategy. A successful sales funnel has a dedicated landing page for each inbound traffic campaign. This ensures that the message is focused and resonates. Here’s a handy list of landing page builders.
Companies with a solid marketing funnel understand who they are selling to. They have buyer personas that represent their ideal customers. A buyer persona-informed sales funnel helps you craft clear marketing messages that hit home.
Sales Funnel Examples: The Final Word
I hope these sales funnel examples have inspired you.
While it’s great to glean from the best sales funnel case studies, remember your target audience is unique. So you should create a unique funnel with unique sales funnel stages.
What are you waiting for?
Build the next winning sales funnel that brings in bumper sales on auto-pilot.
Last Updated on November 30, 2021 by Hanson Cheng