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Even if you already have one, studying the best sales funnel examples can help you optimize your marketing strategy and grow your business even faster.
And if you’re just starting to build your funnel, why not learn from businesses who’ve already paved the way?
To help you with this, we’ll review our 10 favorite, high-converting sales funnels and explain how they work and why they’re so effective.
But before we get to these all-star examples, let’s start with a quick definition…
Also called the buyer’s journey or sales pipeline, a sales funnel is a marketing term that describes the 4 stages prospects pass through on the way to becoming a customer.
Each stage corresponds with actions prospects and marketers must take to move to the next stage.
These stages are:
Now that we’re clear on the basics of sales funnels, let’s take a look at a few of our favorite examples.
This is not a qualitative ranking of sales funnels. They are listed in alphabetical order.
Basecamp is a project management tool that helps remote teams organize and execute their work.
They move prospects through their B2B sales funnel using organic search, educational content, guides, case studies, newsletters, and free trials.
Awareness: Basecamp shares blog content and books that help prospects solve pain points and achieve goals related to managing remote teams.
Interest Decision: Basecamp shares guides that teach prospects how to manage remote teams and complete projects effectively (often using their software). They also share case studies and testimonials from their clients to build authority and show that they’re the best project management solution.
Action: Basecamp’s free trial attempts to convert free users into paid users by helping them experience the value of their tool. They also build trust by providing newsletters and educational content packed with valuable tips and tactics. Combined, these strategies motivate prospects to buy.
Basecamp’s sales funnel is effective because it provides value at each stage of the prospect’s journey.
Luring prospects in with educational content allows Basecamp to demonstrate how its tool resolves the prospects’ pain points and achieves their goals.
Its free trial reduces friction and makes converting easy for a prospect. Then, it helps prospects get as much value from their tool as possible so they convert to a paid plan.
ConvertKit is a tool that helps bloggers and creators create landing pages, sign-up forms, and emails.
They move prospects through their sales funnel using affiliate marketing, educational blog posts, video content, webinars, case studies, and free trials.
Awareness: ConvertKit creates educational blog content and digital marketing webinars that teach prospects how to build and convert an audience. As part of their marketing campaign, they also offer a generous affiliate program to every existing customer, which magnifies the number of people promoting their software.
Interest: ConvertKit’s webinars and video training teach prospects everything they need to know to build an audience while encouraging them to apply what they’ve learned.
Decision: ConvertKit uses case studies and testimonials to prove that they’re the best email marketing platform. They also offer a limited freemium version of their tool, making it easy for prospects to try it before they buy.
Action: ConvertKit’s free trial nurtures prospects by demonstrating the value of their tool. Likewise, ConvertKit’s educational content showcases its features, power, and versatility. By testing out a free trial and consuming content, prospects become more comfortable with the tool, and more likely to buy.
ConvertKit’s sales funnel is effective because it:
Daily Stoic is a website that teaches people how to use Stoicism to thrive in the modern world. They sell books, courses, a community membership package, and accessories that help prospects learn and apply Stoic principles.
Through social media, blog posts, videos, podcasts, and newsletters they move prospects through their buying process.
Awareness: Daily Stoic creates articles, videos, and podcasts that describe how to use Stoic principles to solve modern challenges. They then promote their content on Facebook and Instagram to bring prospects into their funnel.
Interest: Daily Stoic’s content teaches prospects the value of Stoicism and its teachings. They prompt prospects to sign up for their newsletter to receive daily Stoic lessons and stories.
Decision Action: Each newsletter focuses on a Stoic principle and shares stories that illustrate how the principle can help readers become stronger, happier, calmer, and more successful. The newsletter also promotes products that help prospects apply the principle to improve their lives.
Daily Stoic’s sales funnel is effective because it educates prospects on how Stoicism can improve their lives. As a result, interested prospects buy books, courses, memberships, and accessories to help them apply those lessons.
They also use their blog and social content to convert prospects into newsletter subscribers. In the newsletter, they share short stories about the importance of Stoic principles and how to apply them, which nurtures prospects to take action.
Groupon is a coupon database that helps shoppers and tourists save money on purchases and activities.
They move prospects through their funnel using a referral program, email marketing, interest-based searching, user rewards, and remarketing.
Awareness: Prospects are either searching for deals or referred to Groupon by a friend. Referrers earn $10 per referral. Groupon also offers 10% commissions to affiliates.
Interest: Prospects either search Groupon for deals on products/activities they want or sign-up for Groupon’s email program, where Groupon sends them deals tailored to their interests.
Decision: Groupon makes it easy for prospects to make a decision by allowing them to purchase their coupon in the app.
Action: Groupon then sends them all the info they need to access their purchase/savings. Later, Groupon sends the customer more offers they may be interested in, based on their purchase history. They also reward customers by sending them Groupon bucks, based on the amount they spend.
Groupon’s sales funnel is effective due to its simplicity, friction reduction methods, and rewards.
Prospects can easily find deals they like via search or tailored recommendations, and just as easily purchase those deals in the app. They also use tailored content and loyalty rewards to retain users.
Grow Convert is a content marketing agency that helps businesses turn their blogs into conversion-generating machines.
They use search marketing, long-form content, case studies, and a strong value proposition to move prospects through their sales funnel.
Awareness: GC creates two types of traffic boosting articles:
Interest: GC builds authority and demonstrates their value by sharing clients’ case studies in their articles.
Decision: GC helps prospects make a decision by offering a course that teaches their content marketing methods so prospects who can’t yet afford their service can implement their strategies.
Action: GC’s sales page walks prospects through each step of their service and the benefits it provides. And their value proposition — accountable content marketing that drives measurable leads — entices prospects to take action and inquire about GC’s services.
GC’s sales funnel is effective because their content drives targeted traffic, they have an effective value proposition, and they demonstrate credibility through case studies and client examples.
GC’s articles rank for pain-point-related keywords their prospects search for. Prospects then read articles that teach them how to resolve their pain points. And while reading, they see examples that demonstrate how GC implements each lesson and gets results for their clients.
Harvest is time-tracking software for businesses, consultants, and freelancers that allows users to perform time-logging, send invoices, and more.
They move prospects through their sales funnel using educational content, testimonials, webinars and live training sessions, user support, and a free trial.
Awareness: Harvest shares content on its website that helps prospects resolve issues related to time management and invoicing. This content attracts prospects and allows Harvest to introduce its tool as the solution to prospects’ problems.
Interest: Harvest moves prospects through the interest stage by sharing guides, templates, webinars, and live training sessions that help prospects resolve pain points with their tool.
Decision: Harvest helps prospects make a decision by sharing testimonials and case studies that establish social proof. They make converting easier by offering a 30-day free trial.
Action: The free trial enables prospects to experience the value of Harvest. Webinars, training sessions, and a robust user support database help prospects get the most value from Harvest and boost their chances of converting to paid plans.
Like other SaaS tools, Harvest relies on its free trial to do most of the heavy lifting. But the most effective aspect of Harvest’s sales funnel is its robust user support database, webinars, and live training sessions.
These marketing materials not only demonstrate how the tool resolves prospects’ time-management and invoicing pain points but also help prospects get the most value from their free trial so they’ll convert to paid plans.
Mailshake is a lead generation tool that helps marketers and businesses capture, qualify, and convert leads on autopilot.
Mailshake uses blog content, affiliate marketing, webinars, segmented product descriptions, and product demonstrations to move prospects through its sales funnel.
Awareness: Mailshake creates blog content that helps prospects solve problems related to lead generation. Prospects also discover Mailshake from one of their affiliates.
Interest: Mailshake hosts webinars teaching prospects how to improve their lead generation efforts. During these webinars, Mailshake promotes its platform, showing prospects how it can further enhance their lead gen results.
Decision: Mailshake’s website shares descriptions of their product that are tailored to their different user segments (sales, PR, link building). Each segment can learn about the Mailshake features that are specific to their needs and goals.
Action: Mailshake invites prospects to schedule a 1:1 demo where they give prospects a tour of their product that’s tailored to the prospect’s needs and helps them select the optimal user plan.
Mailshake’s sales funnel is effective because of its microtargeting.
The blog content and webinars are tailored to the unique needs and experiences of their different market segments.
The product descriptions on their website enable prospects in different market segments to understand how Mailshake can address their specific needs.
And their 1:1 demonstrations enable Mailshake salespeople to give tours of their tools, tailored to each individual prospect’s needs.
Mixergy is a membership e-learning company that provides courses and interviews that help entrepreneurs start and grow their businesses.
Mixergy uses social media sites, ads, influencer marketing, free content, and email marketing to move prospects through their sales funnel.
Awareness: Mixergy attracts prospects primarily using social media and paid ads. The nature of their product also allows them to tap into influencer marketing, as many of their interviews and courses feature famous entrepreneurs who have their own audiences.
Interest: To allow prospects to experience the benefits of its membership, Mixergy offers access to 9 free interviews in exchange for signing up to their email list.
Decision: Mixergy uses email marketing to nurture leads by sharing helpful and inspirational content. They also promote their courses and interviews so prospects can better understand what they offer.
Action: Mixergy includes Calls to Action (CTAs) in their emails, inviting customers to join their community. The CTAs open a landing page, describing the benefits and value of a Mixergy membership — access to 200+ courses and 1,700+ interviews.
Mixergy’s sales funnel is effective because it taps into the great powers of influencer and email marketing.
Mixergy attracts the audiences of the entrepreneurs who teach their courses (and do the interviews) because these audiences are already fans of the entrepreneurs and want more access to them. Many of these people are likely to convert because they see that their favorite entrepreneurs have courses in the community.
Mixergy also uses lead nurturing emails to educate prospects on the value of membership, which primes them for conversion.
Netflix is a paid subscription video streaming service with over 15,000 titles for viewers to enjoy.
It moves prospects through its sales funnel using word-of-mouth referrals, influencer marketing, and friction reduction.
Awareness: Because it was the first to market, Netflix’s name has become almost synonymous with streaming services. It also taps into a kind of influencer marketing — when prospects hear that Netflix streams movies and tv shows they like, they’re primed to join.
Interest Decision: The primary way Netflix nurtures prospects is through PR about the titles on their platform. When Netflix shows and movies are talked about in pop culture (as happens with hit shows like Stranger Things), its ideal customer is more likely to join so they can see what the buzz is about.
Action: Netflix makes converting easy by enabling members to cancel at any time with no hidden fees or long-term commitments. It also promotes the value of more expensive plans to get prospects to convert to higher membership tiers.
Netflix’s sales funnel is effective because it taps into multiple sources of virality.
Because it was first on the market, Netflix’s name has pervaded pop culture. It capitalizes on the buzz generated by the movies hosted on its service and the shows/movies it creates.
All of these work together to generate huge interest in its platform. And joining is easy and risk-free.
Rankings.io is an SEO agency that helps lawyers use search marketing to grow their practices.
It uses social media, blog content, case studies, newsletters, and a podcast to move prospects through its B2B sales pipeline.
Awareness: Rankings.io publishes guides, blog articles, and social media posts that teach prospects how SEO works and how to execute SEO tactics. It uses this content to attract prospects into its funnel and converts them to newsletter subscribers and podcast listeners.
Interest, Decision: To build authority and position itself as the go-to hub for law firm SEO, Rankings.io shares case studies in its newsletter that demonstrate how it’s used SEO tactics to help its clients grow their practices.
Hearing someone’s voice and seeing their face creates a stronger connection than just reading words they wrote. So Rankings.io shares images of the people behind its organization in its newsletter and speaks to prospects directly through its podcast.
Action: After building authority and familiarity with its content, Rankings.io invites prospects to schedule a consultation via its newsletter.
Service-based businesses must accomplish two goals:
Rankings.io’s sales funnel is particularly effective because the case studies in its newsletter accomplish goal one and the podcast accomplishes goal two.
Each newsletter includes a picture of their CEO, so prospects become familiar with him. And their podcast enables prospects to get to know him and other Rankings.io employees more intimately.
So which of these sales funnels do you think is most effective?
Perhaps the real question is: which of these funnels best suits your needs? And how can you adapt it to your business?
If you haven’t already, reread the sales funnels for each company, find one that you like, and get started building your own high-converting sales funnel.
Your business will be transformed.