It is imperative for your product to have a sales funnel if you are to attain maximum profitability from your product. Having just one product, even a successful one, is not going to allow you to make a sustainable income or a sustainable business online.
Additionally, most prospects need to be contacted an average of seven times before they will purchase your product. If you do not have a sales funnel for those prospects to enter into, you will earn little to no profit from them.
Having a sales funnel is key to earning the most profit from your digital products. First, you need to have a squeeze page that offers a free report on a topic of interest or some problem or issue that entices the prospect to give up his/her name and email address. This will allow them to enter your funnel.
You then communicate with them via email, both to provide the free report they were promised, plus follow up with additional information about the issue or problem and what your expertise is. You also provide a link to your main product offer and imply in most of your messages that your product is the solution to that problem brought up in the free report.
In a few of the messages, you can directly market your product and explain exactly why it will be of benefit to them.
After the prospect is convinced of the value of your product, he/she will use one of the links to head to the sales page and purchase it. Once he/she has done that, that person will be presented with an upsell offer that is designed to provide more value to the original offer.
It is an optional, one-time offer that the customer must purchase at that time in order to benefit from it. The scarcity factor will make it more enticing for the prospect to buy it.
If he/she buys the upsell offer, he/she may be presented with one or more of them. If he/she doesn’t buy the upsell offer, he/she will be presented with a down sell offer that is either the same or similar to the upsell offer but at a lower price.
This is to encourage the customer to purchase this offer to add value to the main offer he/she purchased.
Having multiple offers makes it more likely the customer will purchase, as it’s been shown that people are more willing to buy multiple related offers after he/she has purchased the first one. A perfect example is buying fries and a soft drink with a burger.
By employing this marketing tactic into your sales funnel, you will provide more value to the customer and make more profit from him/her.
5 Steps To Building Your First Sales Funnel
It may seem overwhelming to build your first sales funnel since you have never built one before. Fortunately, the process is not that difficult and can be learned relatively quickly. We present a five-step process below that will help you build your first sales funnel.
First, you need to create an effective squeeze page. This squeeze page must include a free report on some topic of interest to the squeeze page visitor so that he/she is convinced to provide his/her name and email address in order to receive that free report.
This needs to be connected to your autoresponder so that the prospect’s name and email address is added to it so you can email him/her after receiving it.
Second, once you have that prospect’s name and email address, you need to send out a welcome email to that prospect, include the download link to the free report that the prospect was promised for submitting his/her contact information, inform him/her about who you are, and let him/her know what information he/she can expect to receive your email messages.
Third, over the course of at least seven email messages over a period of two weeks or so, you will present more information on the topic/issue/problem related to your free report to show the prospect that you are a respected expert in this field and can be trusted.
By providing mostly information and including a link to your main product offer, you can build the relationship with your prospect and get him/her to trust you and your recommendations.
Fourth, when the prospect is comfortable enough with you and your recommendations, he/she will click the main product link and go to your main product’s sales letter. If the sales letter is convincing enough of the benefits your product will provide to him/her, he/she will order your main product.
Fifth, you will present one or more upsells and optionally one or more corresponding down sells. The first upsell will be presented as soon as the prospect has bought your main product offer. The upsell is designed to provide more value to the main offer for the customer, while it is designed to provide you with more profit.
The corresponding down sell is the same upsell offer or a slightly different offer at a lower price. The first upsell and corresponding down sell can be followed by more upsells and down sells, each presented after the purchase or denial of a previous upsell or down sell. All upsells and down sells are designed to provide extra value to the customer and extra profit to you.
When the customer has gone through your entire sales funnel, he/she will receive an email(s) with access instructions for the product(s) he/she has purchased, while you will have added a new buyer to your buyer’s list.
Your funnel pages must be effective in order to create the profits you expect from your products. If your funnel pages are not converting your prospects into buyers or your buyers into repeat buyers (i.e. OTO buyers), you will not make nearly as much profit as you could.
Thus, there are tips provided below to help you create higher-converting funnel pages so you can gain more profits from the products and sales funnels you create.
Be sure to use headlines and sub-headlines in your sales letters. Most people don’t read sales letters word-for-word; they don’t have the time or the desire to go through every sales letter they encounter word-for-word.
Thus, use headlines and sub-headlines to help point out the important points, features, and benefits your prospect will gain from ordering your product and OTOs.
Another key is to focus on the benefits your product will deliver to the customer. The customer doesn’t really care how the product will deliver the benefits to him/her; he/she just wants to know what is in it for him/her- how does his/her life get better by purchasing your product?
While you can include features in your sales letter, be sure to highlight and focus on the benefits the person will get from ordering your product. Specifically, you should really focus on the benefits that will eliminate or alleviate the person’s problem or pain- this will make it more likely he/she will order your product.
On upsell and down sell pages, be sure to put text down under the order button when they are ready to pass on an upsell or down sell offer that reminds them of the benefits they will be passing up on by rejecting the upsell or down sell.
Human psychology tells us that people do not like pain and they do not like missing out on things. Thus, by reminding people of what they will be missing out on by passing up your upsell or down sell offer, you will make it harder for them to hit the “no thanks” link, potentially leading some of them to hit the “order now” button instead.
Thus, you have learned that using headlines and sub-headlines in a sales letter will enable people to scan your sales letter and learn the important points without having to read it word-for-word. You also learned that you should focus on the benefits of your product that the person will get by ordering your product.
Finally, you learned that by reminding people of what they will be missing out on when bypassing upsell or down sell offers, it will be more difficult for them to pass on it and may even convince some of them to order the upsell or down sell instead.
Different Types Of Sales Funnel Techniques
There’s more than one way of creating successful and profitable sales funnels. Ther are several methods, in fact, that can help you to make profit from your product offers. You will learn about some of these different methods below.
The most basic type of sales funnel is that you use a squeeze page to capture the name of the prospect’s name and email address in return for a quality free report on a topic of interest to the prospect.
You then send email messages with more information on the topic of interest and make brief mentions of your main product offer, implying that this product will help them solve or alleviate the problem they are having (and a key reason why they downloaded the free report in the first place).
You include a link to your main product’s sales page in your email messages.
Over time, the prospect will learn to trust you and your recommendations; as a result, they will check out your main product’s sales page.
Provided the sales letter “sells” the main product to the prospect, he/she will become a customer, which can lead to him/her being added to a buyer’s email list, letting you know that this person has bought from you before.
Now, you can add more to your basic sales funnel, specifically upsells and downsells, also known as one-time offers or OTOs. After a person has paid for your main offer, the person will be shown an upsell offer, an offer that enhances the value of the main offer, whether that is an upgraded version of the main offer or a complementary offer to boost the value of the main offer.
The person only has that one chance to purchase it at that special price – hence why it’s called a “one-time offer.”
If the person chooses to decline the offer, he/she may be presented with a downsell offer, an offer that is either exactly the upsell offer he/she just rejected at a lower price or a similar offer to the upsell offer, but with one or more missing components from the upsell offer, at a lower price.
If the person chooses to buy this offer, he/she will gain access to it and may be taken to another upsell offer. If he/she chooses to decline the downsell offer, he/she may still be taken to another upsell offer.
Thus, to earn maximum profit from your product offers, you should use a squeeze page to get the person’s name and email address, follow up with email messages to get him/her to visit the main product’s sales page, and present him/her with upsells and downsells to enhance the value of the main offer for him/her, while increasing your profits.
This is the main sales funnel strategy for most Internet marketers, and if done properly, can be highly effective and highly profitable.
Once you have your first digital product under your belt (or maybe your first few) and enjoyed the first profits from the original launch of what you’ve created, it’s time to think about a long-term income strategy. You want to continue to produce and sell more and more digital products, and the best way to do that is to create a funnel.
The basic idea of a product funnel is to draw people in with a free or low-cost product and then continually upsell them to more and more expensive and involved products that go into more detail about what they need to know, become more complex, and give them more and more hands-on, advanced training. You don’t just want to see one little eBook about the basics. Instead, you want to be able to sell this same customer multiple products in a variety of formats and price ranges.
The hardest part of marketing digital products is finding your customers. Once you’ve made that first sale with someone and you’ve gained their trust, it becomes much easier to sell them other products. That’s why product funnels are so important. Marketing to people who know and love what you do is much easier and a lot more fun than going out there and trying to convert cold leads.
Get out a piece of paper and start planning out your own product funnel. Start with a lead magnet and a low-cost intro product. From there, come up with a list of other products you want to create going forward. A fully fleshed out product funnel isn’t something you’ll have in place overnight. It’s a work in progress and something you’ll continue to build and expand over the coming months and years.
As you work more closely with your target audience and get to know them better, you’ll be able to fine-tune this funnel and create the products they want and need. You don’t even have to stop there.
Once your basic digital product funnel is in place, circle back and look at it from a different angle. What other lead magnets and introductory products can you create that will feed more people into your product funnel. With each one of those you create, you’ll be able to increase subscribers, customers, and of course sales across the board. Since the rest of the funnel will be in place at this point, you’re multiplying your income potential each time you add another piece to the puzzle. That gives you the leverage you need to build a thriving business that will continue to grow.
Basic Components Of A Solid Sales Funnel
You need to have a solid sales funnel in order to earn the most profits from your digital product. If your sales funnel is not solid, your profit potential will be much lower and the hard work you put into your product will not be as profitable as it could be.
There are basic components of a solid sales funnel in order to maximize its effectiveness; we will discuss them below.
The first component is a good squeeze page. A squeeze page is a Web page that offers a valuable report, ebook, software program, etc. for free in return for the requester’s contact information (usually name and email address).
The person gets the free gift, while you get his/her contact information to follow up with him/her.
Through good email marketing practices, you show that you are a trusted expert in your field. Over time, the prospect will come to trust you and your recommendations.
In your emails, you provide a link to your main product’s sales page. At some point in time, it’s likely the prospect will click onto it.
Thus, the prospect is now at your main product’s sales page. Provided your sales letter is convincing enough of the product’s value and usefulness to the prospect, that prospect will order it and become a customer.
Then, the customer will be shown one or more upsells or one-time offers (commonly referred to as OTOs). This is a product enhancement of the main offer that provides more value or it’s a related offer that will help to provide more value to the main offer.
If the customer orders it, he/she will gain access to it as well. Either the customer will gain access to the two offers he/she purchased or will be taken to another upsell offer that again increases the value of the original offer.
There can be a number of upsells in a quality sales funnel, all of which are to provide increased value to the buyer while providing increased profits for the seller.
Now, if the prospect decides to reject an upsell, he/she may be presented with a down sell, which is an offer either identical or very similar to the upsell he/she just rejected, but often with one or more components of the corresponding upsell missing and offered at a lower price.
The idea of the down sell is to encourage the customer not to walk away without increasing the value of his/her original purchase, so the down sell is offered as a compromise to the rejected upsell offer.
Therefore, a quality sales funnel will have a squeeze page, quality email marketing messages convincing the prospect to visit the main product sales page, the main product offer sales page, and a combination of one or more upsells and down sells to add value to the main product for the buyer and add profits to the seller.
This is how Internet marketers make the most profit from their own digital products.
What Are Digital Products
If you have an online business, a website, or a blog, you’ve probably heard of digital products. Chances are that you’ve consumed quite a few of them already and you may even be thinking about adding them as a new revenue stream to your business.
Before you can start to think about creating digital products, it’s important that you understand what exactly they are.
Digital products are information products that can be downloaded online. This could be an eBook, a video course, a webinar, an audio recording, or even a handful of printable checklists or a workbook.
Digital products come in a variety of different formats from pdfs to mp3s. What product format you choose depends on what you’re comfortable creating, what works well to convey the information you’re sharing, what you’re teaching, and of course what your target audience prefers.
Before you consider what you may want to create, browse around and see what type of digital products are available in your niche. Buy a few and review them.
Take note of the kind of information covered, how the material is organized and shared, what the product looks like, how it is delivered etc. Take note of price points too. All this research will come in handy when you are ready to develop your own digital products.
Another interesting aspect of digital products is that it’s easy to set up an affiliate program and pay a high commission on it. While the affiliate commission on physical products is often 10% or less than the purchase price, with digital products, commissions of 50% or higher are the norm. This is important for two reasons.
First and foremost, this makes it easy and profitable for you to sell digital products to your visitors and subscribers. It’s a nice way to test the water, see how digital products are received, and create a passive stream of income at the same time.
Secondly, setting up an affiliate program of your own is a great marketing strategy to help you make more sales of your digital products and grow your reach once you create them. Since there is not a lot of cost and overhead involved in digital products and it usually costs no more to sell one than to sell two hundred (aside from fees like those paid to PayPal for example), it’s possible to pay high commissions and still make a profit for yourself.
Why You Should Be Selling Digital Products
There are a lot of good reasons to get into the business of selling digital products. Today we’re going to look at the benefits of selling them both as an affiliate and as an information product creator.
Use it as motivation to get started selling digital products in your niche.
First and foremost, you should be selling digital products because that’s what your market expects. We live in the information age and have knowledge available at the press of a button. We want to be able to buy something and instantly access it.
Instead of ordering a physical book or DVD and waiting for it to arrive in the mail, we expect to be able to buy it, download it to our favorite digital device, and start consuming it right away.
From a seller’s point of view, digital products are a safe bet because there aren’t a lot of costs involved in developing the product. Your main investment will be the time it takes you to create a digital product.
Start small, test the waters by selling info-products as an affiliate, and get your feet wet. You can type up a short report in a few days, turn it into a pdf, and have it up for sale on your website without spending any money.
Of course, you have the option of hiring a writer, editor, graphic designer, etc., but it’s not necessary. It’s easy to create your first few digital products on a budget and outsource once you become profitable.
Another big reason why you should be creating your own digital products is that it’s a passive stream of income. You do the work of setting up the product once and then have something to sell going forward without any or much additional work.
You can focus on marketing or create the next product while this one continues to sell for months and years to come. Last but not least, you should consider creating digital products because it’s one of the most profitable ways to monetize your online business.
Your target audience wants to learn, wants to solve problems, and wants to be entertained. You spend a lot of time engaging them, getting them to read your blog, sign up for your newsletter or emails, and gaining their trust.
They are ready for more and happy to pay you for your time and efforts. Start creating a few different digital products and see for yourself just how profitable this business model can be.
Are you struggling to find time to handle your internet marketing? This is a common problem and one that a lot of people struggle with and unfortunately, there is really no ‘shortcut’ to being successful in this regard.
Sure, there are certain strategies you can follow to save time and get things done quicker, but there is no ‘silver bullet’ to guarantee you success. Success will always equal work – and frankly, that is as it should be.
The only thing you can do then is to ensure that you are as focused and productive as possible when you do set out to work. This means avoiding distractions and it means being able to stay in ‘flow’ for as long as possible.
How do you do that? Here are some ‘hacks’ that will help…
Put Music on Loop
Find an album you like that doesn’t have lyrics (so it won’t distract you) and then listen to it on loop. Why? Because of the fact that you keep listening to it, means that your brain will eventually become desensitized and thus start to ‘tune it out’. This works similarly to when your brain stops listening to the ticking of a clock. And by doing that, you can effectively simulate a kind of ‘sensory deprivation’ for your hearing which will keep you more focussed on what you’re doing and less distracted by outside sounds. Apparently, this is a trick that Matt Mullenweg of WordPress fame uses!
An alternative is to listen to white noise. Or for something a little more pleasant, try the website ‘rainy moods’ or ‘coffitivity’. Both of these create non-distracting ambient sounds that have been shown to boost productivity!
Have a Hot Mocha
Recent research shows that having a mocha first thing in the morning is actually more effective at boosting productivity than having a coffee alone. This is because the drink provides an ideal combination of caffeine and cocoa. Caffeine is a stimulant and will elevate the heart rate and increase focus while waking you up. Unfortunately, this can also have the unwanted effect of making you wired and potentially making you feel stressed.
Mocha counteracts this issue because the release of serotonin from the chocolate can ‘take the edge off’. What’s more, is that cocoa contains epicatechin which drives more oxygen to the brain via vasodilation and thereby actually boosts cognition even further!
A similar alternative that is also recommended by productivity gurus is caffeine + l-theanine and you can get this combination by drinking yerba mate green tea.
Leave Something Unfinished
Want to have a more productive day tomorrow and get started with your work right away? Then consider leaving something unfinished until tomorrow.
This might sound counterintuitive, but it’s a great way to ensure you start working quickly when the day begins. The reason for this is that the human brain hates unfinished business. Thus, if a task is left incomplete, then it is human nature to want to try and complete that task right away. This means that you can skip the usual procrastination and dive straight into your work head first!