LESSON #48: The Marketing Funnel

By | September 1, 2009

In the past several lessons we’ve been talking about creating your product. It might be your first product, or it might be one of many products in your arsenal… either way, it’s important to look at how each product fits into your overall business strategy.

Today we’ll be looking at your marketing funnel, and an alternative viewpoint…

(Watch this video…)

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Main points:

  • Most newbies can’t see past their first product, and don’t have a grasp of how their product fits into their overall marketing strategy, let alone a well-defined marketing funnel… big mistake.

  • Types of Marketing Funnels…

    1) Evolution of a prospect to a customer. (awareness, consideration, preference, action… etc)
    Here is a diagram of this type of funnel:
    marketing funnel
    (Source: ResponseTap)

    2) Price-based funnel, with levels for each price range. (This is the kind we’re talking about)

  • It starts with your target market. You want to get prospects into your funnel.

  • The price ranges are totally relative to your business and what you’re selling.

  • In the online world, particularly for info-marketing, the top of the funnel usually starts with FREE.

  • “Moving the free line” is essentially taking products from a deeper level of your funnel, and giving them away for free in order to get more prospects into your funnel.

    – Freebies and loss-leaders should pay off in the long run.
    – The hard cost of giving away information is virtually zero.

  • There is no requirement for the number of levels contained within your funnel, but the mistake many marketers make is having too few levels.

  • Some ideas for each level…

    FREE Level:
    Free Membership sites
    Free Trial Memberships
    Free plus shipping*

    Low Price Level: ($1 – $100)
    Special Reports
    Audio Interviews
    Trial Membership Offers
    Trial Software
    Paid Membership Sites

    Medium Price Level: ($50 – $1,000)
    Video Collection
    Exclusive Membership sites
    Home Study Course

    Big Ticket Level: ($500 – $100,000)
    High-end services: copywriting, websites, etc.
    Home Study Course
    Live Seminar
    Anything requiring your personal time

  • The traditional view of the funnel would indicate that your first product should be at the top of the funnel, however that’s not always necessary, because…

  • Alternative viewpoint: “Outer Circle Marketing” (from Alex Mandossian’s Blog)

    – It’s basically a non-linear approach to the strategy. Instead of a funnel, we can picture it as an archery target. (See video for details)

    – It is prospect-focused rather than product-focused.

    – This methodology dictates that it is often best to start with a mid-range product. This way you can make more profit up front, and move from there to both higher and lower price points.

  • The “Bird’s Eye” funnel (see video for details)

    alternate marketing funnel
    -Prospects can enter at any level.
    -The natural direction of movement is down through the channel (like the Funnel theory), but they can also move up or jump around (like the OCM theory).

    Action steps:

    1) Draw an outline of your marketing funnel or target, and create some levels for it.

    2) Determine where your product fits into this structure.

    In the next lesson we’re going to look at how to find the best price for your product!

    As always, you are welcome to post your questions and comments below.

    Have a great day!

  • 88 thoughts on “LESSON #48: The Marketing Funnel

    1. Nick

      Hey Eric,

      Great video, it speaks to where my business is today. I currently have about 5,000 people on my “free” level with a % of those who have upgraded to my next level. What I don’t have is a good strategy to take the business to the next level.

      Can you recommend someone (business coach) who may be able to take a look at the business, and help me to create flush things out?

      Thanks for the great info!

    2. Gary Pettit

      I’ve diffently heard the term marketing funnel before but I’ve always been under the impression that a big part of the funnel also starts by having a list(or at least I’ve heard others say that) . Would I be wrong in thinking that? It does make sense to me though about using a funnel to describe multiple products to sell compared to just one. As usual another great lesson…I’m diffently learning a lot…thanks


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    3. Eric Post author

      If you could spend $5k+ on coaching, Rich Schefren is certainly a good one from what many of my friends have said.

      I do not offer this publicly, but since I do know a little about your business already, I might be able to help you in just a short session with you in the near future for a reasonable fee, or maybe I can find some more programming work to barter ๐Ÿ˜‰

    4. Luca Di Nicola

      Hey Eric,
      It’s funny that your topic today is marketing sales funnels. My first free product is about sales funnels. http://www.reachsuccessonline.com/salesfunnel/quickstartguide/

      I’m currently using level 1 and level 2. Still need to tweak them a little but wanted to get something out.

      I’m building a list and have a low cost upsell as well. The free ebook I’m giving away has links to resources I use – with affiliate links of course. I even wrote a about funnels on my blog http://www.reachsuccessonline.com/3-steps-to-creating-your-online-sales-funnel-plan/

      I hope you don’t mind me adding the links here.

    5. Mark

      Hey Eric,
      I made my first ebook today, and I am so proud of myself. I thought it was more difficult than it actually was, but i kept remembering you telling us to “take action” and so I did.

      My question is, If i have 1 ebook and a relatively new website should I offer the ebook for free even though I have nothing really to sell the customer deeper “into the funnel”?

      For Great tasting Chicken Recipes visit:

    6. Nick

      Thanks, Eric – I’ll take you up on that offer :-> Expect an email later today.

    7. Eric Post author

      There are various strategies that would be worth testing…

      One strategy that I would probably try is to take a small part of the ebook and turn it into a free report to get the opt-in. Then upsell them on the full ebook… then add additional streams of monetization on the backend, which I will talk about later.

      So the key is you should give *something* away for free to help build your list and put prospects in your funnel. That can but wouldn’t have to be the ebook or a portion of it.

      Don’t be afraid to give something away just because it has the potential to make money. Those are the kind of freebies that will build reciprocity with your prospects. BUT… if you think the ebook will be a hot seller, I’d probably at least give it a shot as a paid product.

    8. Eric Post author

      when it comes to the type of business that I teach, your list is a part of everything; so yes ๐Ÿ™‚

      Essentially, when you get someone onto your list, they have entered your funnel. If it was a freebie opt-in, then they’re starting at the top of the funnel. If it’s a paid customer, then they’re entering the funnel a little further down.

    9. 3 Secret Money Making Methods

      Hi Eric,

      I just downloaded the 48 hour action Plan via Google ads. I’ve gone through it and it’s very comprehensive. I think affiliate marketing is easier to implement before one can develop their own product.
      On today’s lesson am glad to learn the funnel business model. will see how I can integrate and implement.


      – Mike

    10. Janet

      Hi Eric,
      Thanks for another great video. I also enjoyed reading your useful responses to the comments and questions.

      I think it is very important to choose the free stuff carefully to ensure that it attracts the right prospects (i.e. the ones you are targeting). My personal observation is many internet marketers give away freebies that are unrelated to the paid products in their marketing funnel.

    11. Avis Williams

      Hi Eric

      I am currently on the free and low price level..I have just started to build a list by giving away a free guide and also will be promoting products that I use and eventually my own products in the future.

      How many times should you email your list about promotions? I also want to find out what my subscribers on my list want which survey program do you recommend? Thank you Eric


    12. Dan

      As usual, another great video, showing the light at the end of the tfunnel, hihi. What a domain name: funnytunnelfunnel.fun – I’ll flip that for $ 10.000 only ;~))
      Seriously, your videos are really inspiring. Just wondering: you mentioned bandwidth, why not use HD Camtasia? I just uploaded two of my German Business IM videos in HD.mp4, 30 min. for 20MB, so what?
      Why mess around with all other Camtasia features? Any disadvantages here?
      Stuck in my thoughts up to my nose, das reimt sich sogar, ist das nicht wunderbar, whatever that means in english,
      Dan (in a mental crisis)

    13. Jalu

      Hi Eric,
      I couldn’t find a post for my question but thought others might benefit from it so I will ask here- if you prefer I do it somewhere else please let me know.
      I have been following your tutorials and I am in the process of setting up a blog and am attempting to create content for the blog as well as for article marketing. Where do you get your content? Do you outsource it? PLRs? Create it yourself? Any software programs you would recommend for article creation and/or spinning?

    14. Eric Post author

      I will be going into list building and email marketing in depth in later lessons. As far as how often to email them with promotions… I’d say about 50% as often as you email them with helpful content. As far as how frequent to email them: as frequent as you can, as long as the expectation is set properly. If they expect one email per week, then email them once a week. But if they are comfortable with one per day, then email them once a day.

      As for survey programs, the one I most often use is Joel’s Instant Form Pro. That’s what I used for my twitter survey, and other surveys. I like how easy it is to set up, and how it enables me to export the data to Excel to sort it as I wish.

      I talk about some other survey programs in lesson 21: http://www.ericstips.com/tips/lesson21/

    15. Eric Post author

      Even though the bandwidth is so cheap, the download speed is still an issue. If we get to the point that the majority of internet users can easily stream HD video, then yes… might as well post everything in HD. But at this point, I am still concerned about the majority of users being able to stream my videos easily with no buffering.

      If you’re streaming via youtube, then yes… you should upload the highest quality video that they will accept.

    16. Eric Post author

      As far as the content on my blog; I create it myself.

      I do have a few articles and press releases posted, which were written by ghost writers. These were mostly written by Traffic Sage

      For other sites, I have outsourced articles to ghostwriters, mostly on RentaCoder. Another good site is Need-an-Article.

      I do use PLR material sometimes. A good source of PLR articles is Article Underground.

      A good article writing software is Instant Article Wizard and a good article spinner is Mass Article Control.

    17. John

      Hey Eric, Your video lesson series is great, great, great. It gives me so many ideas, I feel like my head will explode. I was wondering if you might touch upon adding a shopping cart, merchant account gateway, paypal link to our websites. Again Thanks, John

    18. BET

      I liked the looks of Instant Article Wizard and almost bought it until I went to the forum and opened a pornographic picture. Darn and I really need help getting articles out in a relatively short time. Thanks for lessons, Eric.

    19. Company Registration

      Yep too true, I have been so focused on some projects with IM that were so isolated and could not link to bigger picture funnels so abandoned to move onto more projects in sync with model.

    20. Registration

      great info once again. I have found myself trapped on free info and yet to convert to paying. Got to get the copywriting to go from stage 1 to 2

    21. Eric Post author

      I didn’t know they even had a forum until you mentioned it. It looks to me like they are battling a spam problem… as a forum owner myself I can sympathize, so I wouldn’t judge too harshly.

      My Push Button Marketer software does have an article writing macro, but it’s not as specialized as IAW… http://pushbuttonmarketer.com

    22. Angelina

      I thought there’s only the sales funnel theory available. Nicely surprised to learn from your lesson today that there is the OCM model. I read the post and it seems it takes a lot of confidence (plus experience of course) to really follow this model. I’m glad you also the “bird’s eye” funnel which can be the model for new marketers to follow.

      Thanks Eric for this great lesson!

    23. Rob

      WOW… first i have to say thank you, for all you have taught me so far…and still to come. I’m glad I found you first before i started to become an Afilliate Marketer. I currently have a blog http://www.totallyhowto.com, an Affiliate Marketplace http://www.thtmarketplace.com and a collection of MRR Material http://www.mrrforyou.com. As well as http://www.thtmarketingsolutions.com which will be the center of our company (with my Mom, My Aunt & I) There i plan to have our SEM business/hosting companie’s services/front be.

      Any suggestions by either Eric or anyone else after reviewing everything would be greatly appreciated.

      Also on my Blog i have a Welcome post that i want to keep there permanently, and have all my new posts after that go right below there. I am running wordpress so if anyone knows how to do that place reply or email me at robanderson@totallyhowto.com

      Thanks again Eric,


    24. Guy

      Hi Eric, thanks for yet another great lesson. Honestly I can’t thank you enough for these tips. You have really helped me take action and start to build up a successful online business. Thanks

    25. Guy

      Another excellent lesson Eric, thanks so much. Before I really started to learn about marketing and knew what was going on, I found myself falling into the sales funnel on many occasions! Never got to the big ticket $20,000 + items but certainly got to $500. Now I’m on the other side crafting my sales funnel. Thanks a lot Eric.

    26. Eric Post author

      I think the how-to blog is pretty cool… I like the layout, and I like all the pictures and color.

      however, I think it will struggle to gain niche readership because the categories are too broad, but hopefully you will be able to get search engine rankings by posting unique information.

      If the contributors for the various categories (garden, cuisine, music, tech) are going to be dilligent posters, I would recommend doing seperate how-to sites for each.

      For example http://askdavetaylor.com/ is focused on tech stuff. http://askthebuilder.com/ is focused on home improvement.

      Those are VERY profitable websites.

      If you do stick with the multi-themed how-to site, I would remove the “weblogs” from the blog URL and just have wordpress on the root of the domain.

    27. huojingji

      Eric this is a great overview of the breakdown of having a marketing funnel. Really appreciate the advice and information.

    28. Esteve

      Hi Eric it’s a great post. I’d like to ask you a question, that may be is very very basic, but I wonder for so long. Why all big marketers are pricing their products ending with 97? For instance: 97, 197, 997, etc.

      At our site, http://www.neumaticos4x4.net we are very close to start selling our own product and we have serious doubts about going with the *97 pricing.

      Thanks for all.

    29. denise

      Hi Eric

      The link to your mass article control does not seem to be working. Thought you might want to know

      Best Wishes


    30. Grandpa Bill

      Re: YouTube and HD:
      I’ve got a 3 mb Commercial DSL line and I ‘can’t’
      watch an HD video on YouTube without it constantly
      buffering the video every few seconds.
      The only work-a-round I’ve found is to start
      the video — then pause it to let the video
      load up.. then restart it. (Some times that
      doesn’t help either.)

    31. Kristina Lim

      In WP 2.7 and newer, you can make a post “sticky” (stays at the top) by clicking “Edit” on the “Visibility” option and checking the box to make it stick. If you want to remove the date, you have to change some php code (do a google search for removing the date from a sticky post). For older WP versions, maybe there’s a sticky plugin?

    32. Rob

      Thanks a lot, both my business partners and I have set a goal to officially launch and register our company as an INC in January. The Three main services or incomes we will depend on are SEM/Hosting & Marketing under our corp. once we get rolling and we spend more time on things and have a professional business front website, I will send you a link and you can check out our progress and maybe give a few more pointers. Luckily between the combination of myself and my business partners outsourcing at the beginning might not ever be needed based on our diverse skill sets and is why i choose those two people wisely.

      In our business plan we have from now till January to fiddle and tweak things and learn as much as possible, I remember back from lesson 1 till now that you have mentioned numerous products, websites with a valuable service etc etc, do you have a huge list somewhere we could have like an extensive resource list?

      Thanks again and i will continue to watch your videos and stay active on your site to better myself and my business.


    33. Cyberhabit

      First, your lessons are AWESOME!
      I wish I could’ve met you earlier to learn from you. I too have just created and launched an ebook which i sell for USD10 at http://www.vniaga.com/. Actually i’m not too sure if the price is reasonable or i mean if it is too expensive or cheap or whatsoever.

      By the way, I would also like to invite you to the NEW GLOBAL INTERNET MARKETER COMMUNITY SITE AT VNIAGA.COM.
      Vniaga.com is founded and currently working on promoting e-commerce within the local market in Malaysia and hopefully beyond it. Hope we can benefit from a wider margin of audience as we’re working together in Vniaga.com soon.

      So, see you there and have a great day!

    34. Gloria

      Hi Eric, impressive article. Many of the topics you touch in here are in my head for so long, and now are much more clear.


    35. Sharon

      Hi Eric,
      I have flirted with the idea of starting a crafters website but I am not sure of how to go about it..
      I need help and not sure where to turn for the information to goes with my ideas.

    36. Claudia

      Hi Eric, attracting people with some free stuff to give away seems to be a good way to get a list started. Without a list an email campaign is not easy…This first “collection” stage is really tough, I think… Also, I am still struggling to uncover a good info subject….I have been using some of the mini sites recently to see if I could get something going…but not one sale yet…

    37. Micah

      Hello Esteve,

      There is a lot of psychology that comes into play, which is why it’s a good idea to test various price points. You may find that you sell many more copies of your product when it is priced at $97, as opposed to $99 or $100!

    38. Eric Post author

      Can you be more specific about what information you need currently? Have you followed all the lessons so far?


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