9 ultimate sales funnel examples that convert like crazy
If you have any sales or marketing experience, you've probably come across the concept of a sales funnel. A sales funnel is a visual journey of a prospect's first contact point with a brand all the way until the point of purchase.
Sales funnels are made up of multiple stages, with each stage demonstrating where a prospect is at when they’re making a purchasing decision.
Most prospects start their journey at the awareness stage and work their way down the funnel until they either buy the product or service or decide it’s not for them, although it’s important to note that a prospects journey to making a purchase isn’t always linear.
Most prospects aren’t ready to buy straight away
Research suggests that 96% of all visitors to a website are not ready to make a purchase straight away, so it’s important for companies to have an effective process for capturing the attention of prospects who are interested in what they have to offer.
Surprisingly as many as 68% of companies have not identified or attempted to measure a sales funnel to see how well it’s performing, meaning companies aren’t making the most of the prospects they’re attracting.
If you’ve been left intrigued by these stats and you’re wondering what a successful sales funnel looks like, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll look at nine sales funnel examples that you can think about implementing to turn more of your prospects into customers.
Let’s get started.
Photo credit: CrazyEgg
Sendinblue is a SaaS company offering a cloud-based marketing communication software suite that contains tons of tools that can help you learn digital marketing and improve your company’s standing within your industry.
Photo credit: sendinblue
As soon as someone enters the Sendinblue website, they are met with a couple of different options to sign up for a free trial.
A user can click the 'Sign Up Free' button on the top right of the screen or click the 'Take a Free Test Drive.'
If the prospect isn't quite ready to sign up straight away, they can scroll down the page and read more information about what Sendinblue has to offer.
The Sendinblue homepage is laid out in the AIDA model. AIDA stands for Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
They grab the user's attention at the top of the page with the standout words 'Prepare for takeoff', before building interest with information about the different tools Sendinblue offers.
Underneath the product offerings, users can navigate through the customer testimonials page, which builds their desire for the product before again being offered the chance to take action by signing up for a free trial at the bottom of the page.
When a user clicks on one of three CTA's (Call to action), they are brought to a simple landing page where they can put in their contact details.
Once a user has signed up, Sendinblue can nurture the prospect through targeted email marketing and move the prospect down the funnel.
By taking up the free trial, the prospect also gets to try out the product for free and under no financial pressure; if they have a positive experience, they’re much more likely to end up becoming a paying customer.
Photo credit: Aura
Similar to Sendinblue’s homepage AI company Aura draws the user in with a bold headline. while putting one of the main benefits of their service right under the headline.
This hooks the reader and entices them to click on the ‘learn more’ button in case they need to know more before signing up for a free trial.
Companies offer free trials to allow users to try their service for free, usually for a limited time period. This gives users the chance to try out the software, get to know its features, and experience how the software can be the solution to the issue they’re trying to solve.
Free trials are a lead generation method aimed at hooking prospects with the aim of converting overtime to paying customers; while free trials may not make sense for all SaaS companies, they can be very powerful when used correctly.
Peter Cohen, the author of ’Practical Advice on SaaS Marketing,’ points out that a ‘’free trial without a well-constructed follow-up effort isn’t worth much’’. While free trials have their upsides, it’s important to note that they can still cost a company money in terms of any ongoing customer support required and any customer setup fees.
It’s important to note that the percentage of prospects who sign up for a free trial but don’t convert will be higher if a company doesn’t have a follow-up strategy in place. Those that still don’t convert after follow up can be added to a retargeting campaign for future contact.
3. Roman & Gaynor
Photo credit: Roman & Gaynor
The Free Consultation sales funnel is used in slightly different circumstances to the free trial funnel. Free trial funnels are commonplace in the SaaS industry, while ‘free consultations’ are used more for high-end services such as hiring a lawyer.
In the example above, Roman & Gaynor offer potential clients a free consultation to discuss their legal issues and to see whether they have a case.
This type of offering works well as it offers a potential client peace of mind and relevant information they'll need if they need to hire a lawyer without committing to an upfront spend.
If a prospect is interested in booking a free consultation, all they need to do is press the 'free consultation,' fill out the contact form, describe their case and book the consultation.
At the end of the consultation, providing the prospect has a legitimate case, the lawyer can ask them if they want to move forward and become a client. This kind of situation takes the pressure off the prospect, particularly if their income is tight or they're looking to save money.
Hollander’s law firm has a similar sales funnel with one small difference- he offers potential customers a live chat option as well. This is a great example of a ‘catch-all’ type of sales funnel that tries to convert every reader into a lead.
Every reader is different and what catches John’s eye is not going to catch Jane’s eye. This means you want to bring in leads from every possible source. A live chat, a CTA (like the one Hollander has for a free consultation), or even the number display he has on the top corner are all ways of converting readers- three different ways all on one page.
OptinMonster is the king of ‘catch-all’ sales funnels. The moment you land on the home page, you will see why. They have limited time deals, exit intent pop-ups (like the one below), lowered pricing, and great CTAs.
This is a great example of how you can include multiple different methods that will trigger urgency as part of your conversion technique.
4. SmartPassive Income
Photo credit: SPI
SmartPassive Income’s free webinar sales funnel gives them the chance to build a personal connection with their prospects. This is particularly beneficial as a lot of their marketing states that they’ll work alongside prospects when they want to start their own business or start earning passive income.
Webinars can feel more personal for the prospect, particularly if they’re looking to know more about the solution being offered.
With 72% of consumers preferring to watch a video over reading an article, it’s not uncommon for webinars to generate more leads than free downloadable resources like an ebook or a white paper. Keep in mind that you should always test for what works for your own audience. The best-performing lead generation assets in Close's free sales resource depository for example are ebooks.
ClickFunnels suggests that, on average, 20% to 40% of webinar attendees turn into qualified leads, while about 5% of attendees will purchase at the end. That’s a pretty good conversion rate. If we applied these stats to the SmartPassive Income example above, for every 50 attendees they attract to a webinar, 2 of them will become paying clients.
5. LFA capsule filters
Photo credit: LFA
LFA Capsule Filters offer a free ebook in exchange for a prospects email address. This offering is known as a lead magnet. Common lead magnets usually come in the form of a video, report, or eBook.
After entering their email address, the prospect has entered the company's sales funnel, and the company can then nurture the prospect down their sales funnel.
A lead magnet acts as an incentive for prospects to enter their details in order to receive a piece of content (e.g., an ebook, a report, a training guide, a video) that either educates them or solves a particular problem.
Lead magnets work well to increase the number of subscribers to an email list or blog and help transition prospects from the 'awareness' stage to the 'interest' stage of a sales funnel.
Photo credit: Netflix
A sales funnel we’ve all probably entered at one time, or another is Netflix’s.
Netflix attracts new customers by offering them 30 days of free service before payment kicks in. As you can see in the two above screenshots, Netflix places a large CTA button that clearly tells the prospect that they get 30 days of free service.
Netflix utilizes a 7-stage sales funnel model that has proved extremely successful in attracting millions of subscribers worldwide.
The seven-stage of Netflix’s funnel are:
- Sales funnel landing page
- Plan introduction page
- Plan pricing page
- Create account introduction page
- Create account sign-up page
- Payment method page
- Payment details page
The Sales Funnel guides the user step by step, all the way from entering their contact information to providing payment information at the end. Once the payment details are inputted, the user can enjoy 30 days of free service before their paid service begins.
When a user signs up for Netflix, their billing will auto-renew every month until they cancel. Interestingly a study by Fintech Startup Hiatus found that almost 62% of consumers have unintentionally paid for subscriptions because of an auto-renew feature.
This means that there are probably quite a few Netflix subscribers who have meant to cancel their subscription but haven’t.
Their headline draws the prospect in and gives a nice overview of what Close is about. While, their page layout makes it super easy for a prospect to enter their sales funnel.
All a prospect needs to do is input their email address, press ‘start your free trial’ and their service can begin. Once they do this, they’re now part of Close’s sales funnel. Leads are scored based on data points available to Close, and either go through the self-serve funnel, or if their lead score is high enough an Account Exec will reach out to consult them on how to get the most out of Close.
8. Annmarie Gianni skincare
Photo credit: Ann Maria
A slightly different sales funnel style that works particularly well for those businesses selling physical products is the product giveaway model.
In the example above, Annmarie Gianni offers a $25 free sample of her toxin-free home guide in exchange for a prospect's email address. If the prospect enjoys the free sample, they're much more likely to become a paying customer in the future.
The copy used above the CTA works well at grabbing a prospect's attention. Even better, if they want to know more information, they can watch the explainer video, which helps explain Annmarie's giveaway in more detail.
The effectiveness of using a brand using video in their marketing cannot be overstated. A 2020 report by explainer video company Wyzowl found that 89% of video marketers say video gives them a good ROI, while 80% of video marketers reported that video has directly helped increase sales.
Photo credit: Help Scout
The final sales funnel example we’re going to look at is that of HelpScout. HelpScout provides an all-in-one customer service platform to more than 11,000 businesses in 140 countries.
In this example, the user has the option to start a free 15-day trial of the platform or book a demo to see the platform in action. If a prospect signs up for a demo, they are now in HelpScout’s sales funnel.
From here, HelpScout has the opportunity to utilize an email marketing service to send the prospect information prior to their scheduled demo.
Their home page layout is clear and concise; there’s no messy background, a clear CTA, and lots of social proof, making it easy for a prospect to either start a free trial or book a demo.
The ‘book a demo’ sales funnel is normally used when a company wants to target customers that need personalized help or advice. Demos are usually necessary for software services that have a higher price point and can be a great opportunity for a sales rep to show off the features and benefits of the software.
Wrapping it up
As you can see, there are quite a few different models of sales funnel to utilize. Most of the examples focus on moving a prospect from the awareness stage to the interest stage.
Once a prospect has entered the sales funnel, companies can then engage in targeted follow-up campaigns to further move them down the funnel towards a conversion.
Putting effort into staying in contact with leads and moving them down a sales funnel is key for businesses who want to grow their business as much as possible.
Nurtured leads make 47% larger purchases than non-nurtured leads, so take the time to set up sales funnels for your business so you can carefully nurture your leads down your sales funnel towards a conversion.
While there is more to running a business than simply having a great sales funnel- engaging with your customers, using eCommerce marketing techniques to increase conversion rates, having a great product, targeting the right keywords and so on—a sales funnel is the part of the process that will get customers interested in everything else you have to offer.
Freya is the founder of the personal finance blog CollectingCents that teaches readers how to grow their passive income, save money, improve their credit score, and manage debt. She has been featured in publications like Business Insider, Fox Business, the Huffington Post, and GoBankingRates.