I’ve talked about the importance of creating content and building an audience, but at some point, every business owner needs to use some type of funnel to convert all of that traffic into sales.
People often ask me what the “best” funnel is.
The truth is there is no “best” funnel for every business, but I can share my favorite:
It’s called the Free Plus Shipping Funnel.
(Before we go any further, I want to ask you to please excuse the overuse of the word “funnel” in this post. It appears quite a few times throughout this blog post and unfortunately, there aren’t many ways to reword it…)
So what exactly is a free plus shipping funnel?
It offers your website visitors a free physical item or product in exchange for their email address, shipping address, and payment method for the cost of the delivery of the item/product.
The landing page of your website is typically the entrance point of the funnel.
I want to emphasize how important it is that the item/product in the funnel is a physical copy. I always suggest using your book but it can also be something like a CD, a mug, or something else that appeals to your ideal audience.
At first glance, one might wonder why anyone would want to give away their book, for example, for free because they wouldn’t be making a profit from it.
This is only partly true.
When using the free plus shipping funnel, one often just breaks even on the initial offer. Let’s continue with the book example:
If you’re offering your book, which costs you $4 to print and $2 to ship, you should offer the book for free, plus $6 shipping.
This just covers your costs and that’s it.
So while you may not be making money off this transaction, the idea behind the free plus shipping funnel is that when a visitor clicks “buy” (to receive the free shipping offer), they’ll be taken to a checkout page and then to an upsell page.
Now we’re looking at an opportunity to make a lot more money than we would have if we sold the book at the regular price.
On that upsell page you can add any other offers you have in your business such as a 6-week course, a workbook to go along with the book, a one-off coaching call, etc.
Before the visitor checks out they have to give their email which also gives you an opportunity to market to them in the future.
The best part of this funnel is that it uses one of the world’s favorite words: FREE!
It also suggests to the visitor that there is a promise of something that will help them solve their problem.
I like this funnel so much because you’re placing a physical item or product into their hands. This tells them that your business has value and you are more than capable to deliver it.
It also keeps you in their mind when they receive the item/product which makes them that much more likely to respond to your future marketing emails.
Throughout this whole process, you’re also building their trust which really is invaluable. A visitor may not be ready to purchase one of your higher ticket offers when they first engage with the free plus shipping funnel, but when they are ready, you better believe that they’re going to choose to work with you (someone they’re familiar with) over your competition.
In my opinion, that alone is worth the $6 you have to spend to send them your book/product.
Another reason I love this funnel is that the only thing you’re really risking is the time it takes to mail out the physical products and even then the benefits outweigh the risks because the potential to upsell them makes it worth the effort.
Whether you’re looking to create your first funnel or you’re an experienced marketer looking for a way to level up what you’re already doing, the free plus shipping funnel might be the next best step.
If you do end up trying this funnel please share it with me! I’d love to hear about your experience.