- Example 1 – The Smart Funnel of CrazyEgg.com
- Example 2 – Groupon.com’s sales funnel
- Example 3 – Grasshopper.com
- Example 4 – Basecamp
- Example 5 – Mixergy.com’s freemium content sales funnel
- Example 6 – Planscope.io
- Example 7 – Saber Blast
- Example 8 – Harvest
- Example 9 – Perfect Audience
- Example 10 – Leadpages.net
- Example 11 – HelpScout.com
- Example 12 – RescueTime.com
Steps in Sales Funnel - This lays out for you point-by-point each page and each step the customer goes through on their way to making a purchase. In some cases, it also works to point out some of the follow-up steps and “if – then” scenarios. For instance, how does the funnel respond “intelligently” to get prospects who didn’t by to come back to the website?
Why It Works – In this section of each example I breakdown down for you why funnel works and what natural logic or emotional “hooks” it’s using to drive conversions.
What Makes It Unique – This section is self-explanatory.
Where it Could Be Better – Here I give my own professional opinion of what can be improved and why certain aspects might be causing a “leak” in the example’s sales funnel.
Example 1 – The “Smart” Funnel of CrazyEgg.comNeil Patel is one of my marketing heroes and CrazyEgg was his first successful SaaS business. Although Neil no longer directly manages that business since his focus is now on KISSMetrics, he is still involved with the company. The website has changed a lot over the years but surprisingly, the product hasn’t changed much as all. It remains simple, offering 4 core features for anyone who wants certain analytics data on their website that Google Analytics just isn’t able to provide. This is an important point because so many people focus on the product, when the product rarely accountable for more than 50% of its success — the other half of the equation is the marketing. And although I’m sure the Crazy Egg team has worked to improve the product (i.e. make it more stable) all of the changes I’ve been able to observe in the last five years have been on the marketing side. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ traffic from referrals, organic, blog, and ads ]
- Homepage (email and password required for next step)
- If you exit the funnel at this point (i.e. leave the site) Crazy Egg has set a cookie on your browser so when you come back to the website
- In addition, because you had to enter your email address to get to the pricing step, they will also send you a simple, automated sequence of follow-up emails that include: “can I help you” and an FAQ email
- Purchase formOn here the purchase form, if you have bypassed the required email and password form on the homepage your email address and password will be pre-filled.
Example 2 – Groupon.comGroupon used to be a more interesting website as far as design and general concept goes, but unfortunately, with the departure of it’s founder it has become more bland, less unique and is obviously just trying to maximize revenue in the interest of shareholders. Regardless, last time I checked it was still a public company with a multi-billion dollar market cap and up to a couple of years ago it was the fastest growing company in history. So let’s take a peak inside at their funnel and see what was can learn… Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ traffic coming in from ads, direct, referrals, affiliates, and more ]
- The homepage requires you to input your email address and location information in order to proceed to the “internal” homepage most relevant to your location.
- Internal homepageView offer details
- For example, Groupon in New York City.
- Purchase form
Example 3 – GrasshopperGrasshopper is one of those companies that have a simple product that just works (I’m a customer) AND they are amazing marketers. If you don’t believe me, take a peak at this video: But enough flattery. Let’s look at their website’s sales foundation and understand why customers buy from them… to the tune of $60 million+ annually. (Note: $60 MM is my low-end estimate. One of the founders did an interview on Mixergy.com four year ago and revealed at that time that they were doing $30 million annually) Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ traffic from PR, blog, and ads ]
- How It Works pagePricing Plan Page
- Sign-up form
- Unique color choices (somewhat retro)
- Original character design to help explain the product concept and how it’s used
- Brand name
- Social proof
- Simplicity of product
Example 4 – Basecamp.comIf you haven’t heard of Basecamp you might want to start paying closer attention to them. They’ve been on the scene for over a decade now and have set the trend for SaaS companies and other kinds of upstart web businesses. Recently, the founders made a gutsy move and decided to rename their business from 37signals to Basecamp since that is the main product they are known for. Here’s how they are leveraging their brand name and reputation via their seemingly simple sales funnel. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ traffic from a wide variety of sources: blog, PR, organic search ]
- 60-day free trial sign-up
- Thank you page (not so important, but worth noting)
“Last year alone, Basecamp helped over 285,000 companies finish more than 2,000,000 projects.”Also, the sign-up process is free, and only two steps. What Makes It Unique
- Fun and minimalist design
- Extremely low percieved risk
- Lots of transparency around how the product works (screenshots, detailed explanations)
- Tons of social proof from existing customers and people who sign-up daily that many other businesses simply cannot match.
- Value is completely front-loaded for customers (2 month free trial is a long time!)
Example 5 – Mixergy.comYou might not think of Mixergy when you think of sales funnels. But in just a relatively short amount of time, Andrew Warner, the founder, spearheaded one of the earliest business models around charging for interview-based content on the web. If you’re not familiar, Mixergy is as a website where successful entrepreneurs teach and tell their startup stories for the benefit of others who are either in business or who are thinking of starting one. How Andrew and the Mixergy team continues to build their audience and customer-base is worth a closer look. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ traffic from email list, organic, social media, referrals ]
- Homepage (email address required)
- Content list (blog-roll page)
- Premium content page (shows that some content is restricted to members only)
- This is where each interview and course preview is listed.
- Pricing plan page
- Pop-up payment form
- As mentioned above, the transparency, authenticity of the founder, and social capital built-up over time makes Mixergy’s sales and marketing process stand out from all others.
- Also, it’s a blog and the business model is in selling unlimited access to a library of educational resources for a fixed monthly price.
Example 6 – Planscope.ioIf you’re a regular reader of this blog you know the name Brennan Dunn. Brennan is a personal friend of mine and some one I admire, especially for his thought process around marketing and servicing customers. His product, Planscope.io, helps freelancers and teams plan and track projects with their clients. It’s intuitive and the software is designed to help their bottom-line. Let’s take a look under the hood of Planscope’s sales funnel to understand how Brennan is converting customers. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ inbound traffic from email newsletter and blog ]
- Homepage (instant sign-up)
- Dashboard tour
- This is an internal set of pages that gives the user a personalized, guided tour of how the product actually works.
- 14 day free trial begins
- This occurs after the tour and the user types in his / her company name to kick it out.
Example 7 – Saber BlastSaber Blast, as you might know, is Petovera’s first product. Let’s take a look at how Saber Blast’s sales funnel is designed and why it’s converting customers. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ organic traffic and referrals from Petovera.com ]
- Homepage (with email sign-up required for next step)
- Pricing page
- Purchase form (no free trial)
Example 8 – HarvestI’ve been a customer of Harvest for many years now. My team and I use it for tracking time and for sending invoices to clients. Harvest’s funnel is relatively simple, but let’s see what we can learn that’s unique about the pages and steps in their sale funnel. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ integrations ]Homepage
- Harvest has a lot of integration partners around its software. This is helpful because it means it is almost “locked-in” as part of a larger ecosystem of products that work together to increase productivity for clients. Each product within that connected ecosystem makes the others more valuable, plus the send each other referral traffic.
- Free trial sign-up
- Free trial ends, offer / reminder to sign-up
Example 9 – Perfect AudienceI recently signed up for Perfect Audience and I am looking forward to using them in the very near future. Perfect Audience is a retargeting platform, meaning if a visitor arrives on your website or on a certain page and doesn’t convert, Perfect Audience will set a cookie on their browser and your ads will then “follow” that visitor around the internet. The hope is that this type of follow-up will convince someone who may never have come back to your site, to click-through and sign-up or buy. I am a fan of their design and branding and I would personally recommend them over their lead competitor Adroll (I had a pretty bad customer service experience there). Let’s see what we can learn from studying how their funnel is constructed… Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ retargeted banner ad ]Homepage
- If you’ve visited the website in the past, you’ll be retargeted and encouraged to come back to the website to complete your sign-up.
- Free Trial sign-up page
- [ "nudge" emails sent post-sign-up to help you get setup ]
Example 10 – Lead Pages.netI recently signed-up for Lead Pages for a new project I’m working on with one of our clients for developing landing pages that convert visitors. Lead Pages allows you to rapidly created landing pages (e.g. for webinars, ebooks, courses, other products). You can easily split test different landing page variables and they have a decent sized library of templates you can use right from the start. How is a company that “sells” the idea of more conversions, converting its visitors into buyers? Let’s examine their funnel. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ email list or blog page ]
- Features lots of social proof, engaging visuals, and videos show how key features work.
- Pricing page
- By default the pricing page shows annual pricing rather than month to month.
- Purchase page
- Dedicated page, no navigation, with a number of form fields to fill out and text to read.
Example 11 – HelpScout.comHelp Scout is a website I’ve heard more and more about over time. They provide customer support software for small businesses and startups. Their software is seamless in the way it looks like (from the customer’s perspective) a regular email coming from a member of the business’s support team, unlike ZenDesk which is, frankly, annoying (ever recieved those “notice that your request has been recieved” emails? Or, “are you satisfied, what your question answered?” It’s a good chance that’s ZenDesk). Let’s see how this recent upstart is successfully taking share from competitors and growing via it’s funnel. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ blog or resources page]
- These are subpages that help bring in traffic in the first place, from search engines and social media sharing. This is not a required step in the funnel, but I’m including it here because it’s likely that for many visitors, this is how they first arrive on HelpScout’s site.
- The homepage prominently features a personable picture of one of HelpScout’s customers and an associated testimonial. Below that there is a video explaining how HelpScout works and its primary benefits.
- [possible subpage, e.g. pricing page]
- Since there is no clear call to action button indicated on the homepage other than the video player, it can’t be said explicitly that there is no middle step prior to signing up.
- Free trial sign-up pop-up
- After you decide you’re ready to get try the service, you can click on the “Free 15 Day Trial” link and a pop-up will appear with a form requesting some basic information before you can get started. No credit card is required.
- Part of the way that Help Scout is acquiring organic, inbound traffic is by creating indepth resource ebooks and publishing them openly on their website (no payment or email address required). They are legitimate ebooks books because of their shear length and they appear to be publishing new resources every month.
- On it’s homepage, HelpScout is brazenly willing to mention what other sales funnels go out of their way to avoid: the competition. In fact, they have landing pages dedicated to explaining who HelpScout is ideal for, and they don’t trash-talk the competition. I find this incredibly unique and smart. Why? It makes sense since HelpScout, one of the newest players in the customer support software, has probably gotten this question many times. Namely, “how are you different from the big guys?” This is a tactic I’ll be using on the Saber Blast funnel soon since I face a similar question from potential customers on a regular basis.
Example 12 – RescueTime.comRescue Time is fantastic for quantitatively and visually understanding where your time goes everyday and how productive you were. In the age of the internet, with distractions everywhere, this type of software is a must. The most basic version is free and then there’s a premium version with more features and benefits. They’ve been around for quite a bit of time, so let’s see what is it about their funnel that’s made them a must have app in the productivity space. Steps in Sales Funnel
- [ traffic from blog, referrals, organic, affiliates ]
- Their homepage is straight forward and simple. Note the high contrast between the green call-to-action button and the dark background. Also notice the headline and how clearly and simply it explains the primary benefit to signing up.
- Premium vs. free plan summary page
- Paid plan is emphasized, makes the free plan look barely sufficient by comparison. Notice how the paid plan is “popping out” in the design.
- Free trial sign-up form
- Minimum fields and required info. Not asking your users to write you their biography is key.
- Instant upgrade
- After signing-up you are informed that your account has been instantly upgraded to the premium version even if you haven’t signed-up for it. But of course it’s on a trial basis. (Note: they may have stopped doing this recently or are AB testing it since when I created a new account it did not occur).
- Downgrade (unless paying)
- 14 days after sign-up, you’re offered the chance to keep all of your premium plan features by paying a one time or small monthly fee. If you don’t your account is downgraded to a basis plan and the benefits of the premium plan go away.
- One step leads into another, everything is connected, nothing in your sales process should be an “island.” you can also remember this lesson as “All roads lead to Rome… and all webpages lead to a purchase.
- Social proof – If you don’t have a spreadsheet to help you keep track of testimonials, awards, and other “positive stuff” that other people are saying about your brand, go ahead and set that up now. Every single sales funnel here emphasized their social proof in one way or another. Why? Because people are more likely to trust other “real” people rather than some lessor known brand.
- Simplicity – Most of these funnels are only 2-3 steps before a customers get to the point where they have made a purchase or are actively benefiting from using the product on a free trial basis.
- Free – A majority of the examples here, like CrazyEgg, offer free trials on their products. Some require a credit card, others do not. People like free trials because often it’s hard to tell if a product suits your needs until you get your hands on it.
- Email list – Many of the sales funnel examples here focus on increasing email list opt-ins. Why? Because email is the highest converting marketing channel and it’s an easy, inexpensive way to follow-up with would-be customers.
- Retargeting – Several of the examples here use retargeting because it’s a relevant, cost-effective way to draw visitors back to your website until they convert.
- “Smart” funnel tactics – Check out CrazyEgg and Saber Blast. Examples of “smart” tactics include: a sales funnel that “remembers” where you left-off and automated email follow-up.