Again, we find ourselves in this little predicament. Your boss wants you to find a way to increase the number of leads you are getting from your content marketing efforts. You know that sales funnels are a valid option for moving potential customers along the stages of the buyer’s journey.
However, you have a problem. The theory is great, but it won’t build these funnels for you.
You can either stay stuck staring at an empty screen, hoping and praying that a sales funnel magically appears, or you can get to work and read this guide about funnel hacking. Let’s go!
- 1 What do You mean Funnel Hacking?
- 2 Marketing Funnels And Your Business—They Matter!
- 3 Top Of Funnel Marketing: Getting Attention and Building Awareness
- 4 Building Desire and Cultivating Interest Middle Funnel
- 5 Finally, Bottom of the Funnel Means Action!
- 6 Why Bother With Funnel Hacking?
- 7 Funnel Analysis For Online Business
- 8 Funnel Hacking Vs Growth Hacking—There’s A Difference!
- 9 Funnel Hacking And Email Marketing Oh My!
- 10 How to Build Your Own Sales Funnel
- 11 Constructing Your Funnel Best Funnel Hacking Tools & Software
- 12 The End Of Our Funnel Hacking Voyage
What do You mean Funnel Hacking?
Funnel hacking is the strategic process of finding, analyzing, and implementing aspects of your competitor’s sales funnel in your marketing efforts.
Funnels, by their nature, are designed to move potential customers along the buyer’s journey to get them to purchase your product or service.
Often, the funnel is initiated with a “special offer” which includes lead magnets, eBooks, free PDF how-to guides, blueprints, etc. A user is instructed to provide their email address in exchange for the free offer and thus enters the funnel.
Marketing Funnels And Your Business—They Matter!
Marketing funnels are divided into there sections.
- Top Of Funnel
- Middle of Funnel
- Bottom of funnel
Top of funnel
This is where your target audience lives. Top of funnel marketing can take the form of paid ads, content marketing and social media outreach. This is the entry point to your sales process and turning prospects into paying customers.
Middle of Funnel
The middle of your sales funnel represents a point where your potential customers are more engaged and receptive to your value proposition. These are the people who show interest in what you are offering.
Bottom of Funnel
This is the conversion point. The bottom of a sales funnel is where your new and existing customers hang out and are most receptive to your offers.
Top Of Funnel Marketing: Getting Attention and Building Awareness
This is the first step of the funnel. Your job in this stage is to catch the eye of your potential customers with content or paid media. Your top-of-funnel content should serve to qualify or screen leads and prospects.
Your messaging needs to attract high-quality leads while rebuffing poor-quality candidates.
At this juncture, you should be trying to narrow down the people in your audience who are ready to buy. Getting prospects interested in your initial offers or lead magnets is a high priority.
Building Desire and Cultivating Interest Middle Funnel
This is where you introduce your front-end offer. Use landing pages designed to collect email addresses in exchange for a FREE bit of value or lead magnet.
Establishing desire can be done in many ways. One of the most popular and effective is storytelling. Show your prospect how you can help them solve their problem with your solution by telling a story.
Storytelling is a natural form of selling that does not come across as selling if done well. Use the power of narrative to address objections and communicate the benefits they will receive upon purchase.
Finally, Bottom of the Funnel Means Action!
The moment of truth is here. The bottom of the funnel is where your prospect decides to purchase or return to the outer reaches of the internet. Reinforcing the value of your offer is critical. Also, consider showing the user how their situation will NOT improve if they don’t make the purchase.
A little FOMO never hurt when pushing users down the sales funnel!
Why Bother With Funnel Hacking?
We all know that reverse engineering success is one of the fastest ways to obtain favorable outcomes for yourself and your business. Funnel hacking is no different.
Diving deep into what your competition is doing and testing what works for them in your funnel, you save time and ultimately reach success much quicker.
The depth review you give a funnel will positively impact how much time it takes to optimize your own sales process. Take advantage of hacking funnels and find out what works without spending a ton of time reinventing the wheel.
You won’t see success right away. However, you will gain a deep understanding of your niche and the competitive landscape.
Implementing a strategy of discovering what works and testing it for yourself will drive more customers to your business.
Those who choose not to learn are doomed to wonder aimlessly, bouncing from one shiny object to the next, never really experiencing success.
Funnel Analysis For Online Business
To understand the funnel hacking process, dive right into a sales funnel and see where it takes us!
If we are talking about funnels, let’s start with yourfirstfunnel.com! Your competitors are not hard to find. Most of the time, you can find them just scrolling your way down Facebook or Instagram. That’s how I found this one!
Fitting enough for me, Yourfirstfunnel.com is on a subdomain of Click Funnels, a funnel-building software founded by Rustle Brunson, an online marketer, and entrepreneur. We’re not here for him. We want the funnel info that can help us get paid.
The Power Of A Good Title
After clicking on the ad, you are brought to a bold landing page.
A headline that reads:
“It turns out THE ONE THING that 100% Of The People Who Had Success All Had This in Common: They ALL Actually Built A Funnel.”
While this might seem obvious to some—you’re telling me that people who build a funnel had some success, as opposed to those who didn’t? No shit! However apparent this might seem; it does play to the psychology of a reader in some subtle ways.
- It puts the burden for success on the user
- Calling out those who haven’t even tried yet makes it seem like the effort is all that is required
- You can build a funnel if you put in the effort
- Give it a shot. Everyone who had success did. Look where they are now.
Notice the colors used in specific locations. If someone were to skim the headline, the message, they would most likely take away is:
“THE ONE THING They ALL Actually Built A Funnel”
The rest of the headline might as well be filler. This almost communicates the same message as the entire headline but in fewer words. Something to consider for your funnels.
Closing out the heading we have a picture of Rustle to add a personal touch and a call to action that lets users signup right away if they are so inclined.
Next, as we make our way down the landing page, we have a video.
It’s packed with social proof–I mean customer testimonials. Click Funnels is a well-established company and don’t have any issue getting tons of people to gush over their product. If you are new or don’t have many sales yet, consider giving out incentives in exchange for reviews.
You can offer a free trial or product in exchange for a review that you can put on your landing page.
The video kicks off with a few stories of business owners who used funnels to take their brands to new heights. After sharing a few success stories, he turns to handle common objections.
- Will this even work for me?
- Where do I even start?
- How much will it cost?
These are the primary focus areas for the rest of the video. Rustle covers a few common reasons some don’t succeed with their funnel endeavors and addresses the most common sticking point—just getting started!
I’m not going to break down the entire video. You can follow the link if you want to watch it. However, I want you to get a feel for the kind of stuff you should be looking for on your funnel hacking journey.
- Who is the product targeting?
- What target audience is your competition targeting?
These are all elements you need to pay attention to while hacking funnels.
The video is over 13 minutes long. I won’t put it here; I’m not trying to get sued. But here’s a link to the landing page if you want to check it out!
Key points from the video:
- Use video in your sales funnels
- Add social proof
- Keep calls to action simple
- Address objections in video
- Use stories of successful clients and customers to demonstrate your value
- Watch for tone and messaging
- Who is the target audience?
The First Offer: Everything You Need Today
While funnels have worked for selling everything from baking classes to dog training courses, none are effective if you fail to employ the right messaging and copy.
The big green button that reads:
“YES! I’m Ready To Build My First Funnel Now!”
The green button is out front and center. See how they phrase the statement? The trick used here is that anything less than a click equals no, interrupting the congruency of the video and the sales page. It’s small, but it works.
Making it seem like anything less than a click equals you are not open to success is a wise move.
The subhead of:
“Please give me A FREE 30 Day Trial To ClickFunnels & The $8,745 Gift Now!”
They make an offer you cannot refuse. A “cannot refuse offer.” is an underutilized marketing tactic. It functions by taking all the risk out of the equation for the user. And then adds some extra value to the risk-free offer.
How can you remove the risk to your clients in your sales process? Try things like:
- Free Trials
- Money-back guarantees
To make your users feel assured in their purchasing decision.
The Promise and A Maybe
Marketing decisions are based on data. A successful funnel is no different. Funnel hacking is a great way to ensure that you find elements that work and are not starting from ground zero.
You will notice in the image above the promise made by Rustle and ClickFunnels.
“You Will Get EVERYTHING You NEED to Build and Launch Your First Funnel—For FREE!”
Is followed by:
“All You Have To Do Is Say MAYBE”
They aren’t even asking for a yes. Or so the framing goes. Once again, the messaging removes objections and all small psychological protests to make a purchase.
You have to test messaging, colors, and CTAs for your own products and services. Funnel hacking is not ripping off someone else’s funnel. No. It’s adopting elements you know are working and testing them in your own funnels.
Funnel Hacker The Opt-In Form
Notice the simplicity of this opt-in form. There is only one field for an email address, no navigation options, and a bold green button to reinforce your decision.
The title affirms your answer and reinforces the idea that you are ready to build your first funnel.
Paid advertising often leans on this simplicity to get users to take the desired action. Solid lesson to implement in your funnels and sales pages if you want higher conversion rates.
After You Let Them Collect Email
After submitting your email address, you are directed to a page to provide more information.
They are asking for a lot of info and its only step 1 of 3!! One thing I would like to point out is the guarantee below the form.
Design guarantees to address any concerns your buyer might have at this late stage of the funnel process. Again, making “an offer you can’t refuse” shows up in the form of refunded shipping fees keeping the gifts.
But there is another guarantee below this one. 30 Days of support is offered along with one for building and launching as many funnels as you want in one year.
The guarantee section is followed by lots of reviews that offer plenty of social proof for those who might still be on the fence.
Along with an FAQ section addressing any additional questions or considerations.
It doesn’t matter if its lead generation, guest blogging, news feeds or a social media agency. You need to spend a lot of space in your sales funnel addressing and overcoming objections.
At every stage of the process, ClickFunnels has some section dedicated to handling whatever hindrances a user might have to purchasing their product.
Something to consider.
That’s as far as this little funnel hacking experiment goes. If you took anything from this advertising example, I hope you discovered how detailed you must be when hacking funnels.
If a company uses a sales funnel successfully, you can rest assured that they have worked out every minute detail. Ignore the work they already put into the process at your peril. Use it to build your successful funnel.
Next, we will cover some additional aspects of funnel hacking and how it differs from growth hacking and other forms of growth marketing.
Funnel Hacking Vs Growth Hacking—There’s A Difference!
Growth hacking is a term that refers to rapid, data-driven experimentation to increase the speed of business growth. Growth hackers take a scientific approach to finding the most efficient methods to drive traffic, convert visitors into customers, and ultimately fuel bottom-line revenue.
Both Growth and funnel hackers use data and testing to determine the best ways to drive and convert traffic into income. However, growth hackers focus primarily on overall business growth, while funnel hackers’ main concern is revenue and profits.
Each marketer attempts to sell products and services. However, funnel hackers focus on converting users into paying customers, leaving the overall growth of the business to their counterparts.
This perspective makes it easy to understand the difference between growth and funnel hacks.
- Funnel hack—a business activity designed to improve conversions and overall revenue by implementing sales funnels and optimizing their output.
- Growth hack—a business activity focused on growing the entire business, not just increasing revenue.
Some may argue that one is more important than the other for overall business success. Both growth and funnel hacking serve a purpose in the modern business environment.
Don’t fool yourself into a chicken and egg problem with your marketing and sales. You need marketing and sales to run a successful enterprise.
Funnel Hacking And Email Marketing Oh My!
The goal of a funnel is part lead nurturing and part sales. The selling happens via email marketers justify spending money on paid ads to build an email list. Yes, email lists are valuable!
Most of the money in internet marketing is found somewhere between a traffic source and an email list. Once you get a user’s email, you can sell to them repeatedly. It is far cheaper than spending money to get new customers. Not to mention that people on your email list already know who you are and trust you. It’s a big deal.
Use email to guide customers through the user journey. One method for finding out what is working is to subscribe to your competitor’s email lists. Follow what they are doing, the tone of their messages, and what offers they promote. You will gain valuable insights by subscribing to a few newsletters from your competition.
How to Build Your Own Sales Funnel
We just went over how to review a sales funnel for valuable insights and tactics we can use in our own marketing funnels. Let’s zoom out a bit and take a higher-level view of what you need to be a successful funnel hacker.
Make A List of Your Competitors—Research Time!
Find the businesses that target the same audience and customer base that you do. If you have access to Ahrefs, you can use the “Competing Domain” section in Site Explorer.
First enter the URL of one of your competitors into Site Explore.
You can find this seed URL by Googling your primary keywords or via Facebook ads that are displayed to you.
After you enter a domain into site explorer, navigate to the competing domains tab under the “Organic Search” column on the left side of your screen.
Click through you will find a list of companies and businesses in the same industry as you. Some of these websites might represent your competitors. Do more research to find out!
This method for finding competition is paid but it’s the best bang for your buck when it comes to time spent trolling the internet.
Take Lots and Lots of Pictures!
Take pictures of their landing pages, their website’s home page, blog posts and anything else that can help you gain an understanding of how they communicate with their customers.
You are trying to get a feel for how they convey their value propositions to their customers.
Pay attention too:
- What type of messaging do they have?
- Do they use video?
- Any social proof on their landing pages?
- Where are the buttons? Above or below the fold?
- What color are the buttons?
These are just a few things to pay attention to while conducting your research. As you see more websites, you will get a feel for what is standard in your industry. Take note of the variance between websites and companies. It’s important to stay up to date with what your competition is doing.
Tools, Tools And More Tools—What tools Are they Using?
To get results, marketers use different tools to help them be as profitable as possible. It’s important that you know what technologies and tools your competition uses to get its customers.
Remember, reverse engineering success? It’s not just about landing pages and messaging. Tools play a huge role as well.
There is one Chrome extension that I recommend that will tell you the technology stack of your competitors and it’s FREE!!
Wappalyzer is a chrome extension that reveals the technologies used on any website.
You can get the Chrome extension here.
Using Unbounce again, we see that they are using WordPress as their content management system. Google tag manager to track website activity, Hotjar for screen recording and session playback, and many other technologies.
Finding the tools of your competition is one way to fast-track your development time and get your sales funnels up and running ASAP!
Another tool you should consider using is the Facebook Pixel Helper.
This Chrome extension allows you to see if your competitors have a Facebook Pixel installed on their websites.
This extension also allows you to see what events are triggered as well. You can use the data this tool provides to see what kind of Facebook advertisements they are running. Some questions these tools can answer for you include:
- If they are using retargeting
- What ad platforms do they utilize
- The source of their traffic—paid vs organic
These are important questions to answer before starting your own campaigns. Knowing what works for others is key to your own success.
Constructing Your Funnel Best Funnel Hacking Tools & Software
Click Funnels. What else to say? They are widely considered the industry standard in building sales funnels that sell like crazy. Their ultra-intuitive funnel building software ensures everyone can build a sales funnel. Don’t have any experience writing complicated code? Not to worry! Click Funnel’s Drag-in-Drop interface makes funnel hacking and building simple.
Not only is their software World-class, but the training they offer CANNOT be matched by anyone else in the industry. Click Funnels ensures that ALL users of their software understand how it works, and what can be done with their program.
If you are new to online marketing, or don’t know the first thing about code, Click Funnels is the right option for you.
The shier amount of training materials is staggering. You will find answers to questions you didn’t even know you should ask.
I highly recommend Click Funnels For anyone getting started in their funnel building and hacking journey. However, if you just want to dive right in, no handholding required, here are some other tools that are just for you!
I highly recommend Click Funnels For anyone getting started in their funnel-building and hacking journey. However, if you want to dive right in, no hand-holding is required–Here are some other tools that are just for you!
Cloud Funnels is your no-code alternative to Click Funnels. It supports any PHP-based hosting just like WordPress and is ideal for creating sales pages, landing pages, and membership sites.
Cloud Funnels Pro also includes a built-in auto responder for all your email marketing needs. The best part is—it is only $99! That’s right, one payment, no recurring fee.
Make great email sequences with their built-in auto responder. You don’t need more expensive software. Don’t let all that funnel hacking go to waist, stay in touch with your email list.
Also, Cloud Funnels Pro makes it possible for you to utilize a monthly subscription style business with no additional software. Have fun pushing your premium product! Moth subscriptions are great for recuring revenue!
It doesn’t matter the types of funnels you want to create. Cloud Funnels Pro is your one stop solution for better marketing and sales.
It comes with extensive training and live 24/6 chat support. Not to mention over 30 + premade landing pages, and funnel templates to get you started.
Check out this exclusive deal on AppSumo!
Import each page into your own software from a web-based funnel builder on your own hosting, or import any HTML or bootstrap template online. There are thousands of free templates to choose from.
You can easily create the highest quality pages without paying a designer or paying high monthly fees for web-based software. Own your data. Create unlimited websites and funnel pages.
Easily edit your pages with the built-in drag-and-drop editor. It includes autoresponders via SMS and email.
It includes a powerful customer relationship manager. It includes a shopping cart that integrates with any popular merchant account. Get access today!
Writing high-quality copy is essential for any funnel hacker. But creating great copy takes a ton of time. Take some of the effort out of writing copy that sells with LeadScripts!
Leadscripts is an AI-powered content writing toolkit. Write ads, emails, funnel copy, and landing page copy that is sure to convert.
- Use high-quality copy frameworks that are customizable to your standards and requirements
- Alternative to Clickfunnel’s Funnel Scripts
Write all the content you will ever need with Leadscripts!
Get lifetime access to Leadscripts Now! Only on AppSumo!
The End Of Our Funnel Hacking Voyage
Thanks for reading this guide on how to hack sales funnels. I hope you found this information valuable and that you can apply some of the practices to your own business. If you found this article helpful, consider looking into one of the products.
Some of the links are affiliate links. I will make a small commission if you purchase one of the tools. All revenue helps support what I do and aids you get the best strategies and tactics in digital marketing.
Thanks again! Good luck out there–happy hacking!