A former client of mine has an automated funnel running which makes him a 271% ROI on his ads. No sales calls, no extra work, the funnel is doing everything on it’s own.
Every month, for every $1 he puts in he gets $2.71 back out. And that’s making him $50,000 in profit every month. And he runs this business with one assistant. And his clients love him.
Nice work if you can get it.
But it wasn’t easy to get to this point.
James Svetec, Creator & Founder of BNB mastery has been upgrading and optimising his funnel over the years. Now his entire business model is based on an evergreen, automated sales funnel that’s selling his BNB Mastery course. That’s a program for helping people earn a full-time income by managing other people’s properties on Airbnb.
We all love learning from examples, so in this post I will tell you James’ story and the journey he took to get to the point where he’s at now.
Let me start with how we met James and what the first things were we worked on.
The Old Model: Webinar > Sales Call > Sale
James built a webinar funnel driving people to a sales call.
That funnel was doing fantastically well. He was using ads to drive people to the webinar sign up page. The webinar was about 45 minutes long. It had a pitch to book a call in the end.
To get people back in the funnel if they left at some point, he had email sequences in place for people who:
- registered but didn’t attend
- attended but haven’t reached the pitch and CTA
- attended, saw the CTA but haven’t booked the call
He was getting consistent leads, sales calls and sales. More people attending the webinar meant more sales calls which further required a bigger sales team.
He was making about $50,000 a month in profit at that time. He had around 200-300% ROI during good months.
So, where was the issue you may ask…
The Issues: Scalability and Low Margins
The sales team was two sales reps and himself. The business was growing, but he was very busy with the calls. When he wasn’t on the sales calls, he was investing time in developing his sales team. The better they are, the better results they can get. So one of his priorities was also organizing training and education for them, motivating them and doing regular planning. Having more people in the sales teams means more work and people management, bigger costs and smaller margin.
Salespeople are humans, so sometimes they have a good day, sometimes a bad day. They argue with potential clients, they have health or personal issues… These are all regular things you’re dealing with when working with people.
Building his business up to this point was a lot of work and it was stressful. It was bringing good revenue, but James wanted to grow further. He thought: “There must be a way to simplify that process and to scale while working less”.
Let’s summarise shortly:
- At that time, his program was priced at $2800.
- They were putting leads through a just in time automated webinar which lasted for about an hour and had a pitch to book a call at the end.
- He and two other people were in the sales team, doing calls with the leads.
The issue with that model was:
- Inability to scale because scaling means bigger sales team and that would mean higher costs
- He tried to increase the price of the course but that didn’t give good results
- He was too busy with sales calls and managing his team so he didn’t have time to track data and optimise his funnel
- Margin was low due to other costs (commission to sales people, training, consulting companies etc)
The New Model: Webinar > Sale
James realized that if he really wanted to scale further, he needed to start doing something differently.
So, he decided to try an automated evergreen sales funnel. That was the solution chosen to cut the sales calls and cost of the sales team. With this model he would be selling the product straight from the webinar.
It was the beginning of another journey. And not an easy one.
A funnel that leads to sales calls and one that sells are two different kinds of funnels.
When you sell on the call, you need to give people value on the webinar and to intrigue them enough to be interested to book the call. On the call, you talk to them, answer questions, build more trust, help them more and persuade them to buy. The goal of that webinar is for people to book the call. The goal of the call is to sell.
A webinar that directs people straight to the order page to buy is different because it has to be much more persuasive. It must include all the steps that sales reps are doing on the call. You must be able to build trust and persuade people during the webinar as you won’t have the chance to talk to them. You must give even more value. You must address their objections.
It’s not an easy task.
That’s why James put even more time into building this automated funnel.
What did he change?
- The webinar itself, which was previously one hour long, now is two and a half hours meaning he is giving more value and establishing more trust
- He lowered the price of the course from $2800 to $2000 while adding more value for course students
- He added additional email sequences in every point where customers could churn (I give detailed info about the funnel later on in the post)
- He added a 14-day email sequence which is handling different objections people may have before deciding to buy the product
- He created different sales pages to handle objections
So, was this enough to get the new funnel template to work?
When James started the ads to the new funnel, he set aside a $5000 budget to try to get it to work. The days were passing by and money was running out, but the number of the sales made was 0. When he had only $1000 more left to spend on ads, the panic and fear started coming in.
“What if this doesn’t start working after all? This is not as easy as I thought it would be.”
It is then that he started further analysing the entire funnel in detail and making even more changes fast to see if he can make it work. There was no more time (nor money) to lose.
There was a lot on the line. It was not only money, but also time, knowledge, years of experience and even self-confidence that were put to the test. Were his hopes and dreams to fully automate his business going to vanish just like that?
He knew other people were doing it, so why couldn’t he?
Many things in business and marketing are done by trial and error, but when you don’t have much money and time available, it’s getting very stressful, very fast.
He started digging deep into analytics and data one more time. He watched a training about high converting webinar presentation and had an assumption that his webinar was missing this small but crucial piece.
James realised he must show his audience that they are able to do what he’s teaching. If someone is new to this, it’s not enough just to “kill them with value”, but you must address the question “What’s stopping me from believing that this is possible?”
He needed to make them believe the results he was talking about were possible for them. It’s not enough just to tell them what to do and give them practical tools. He had to give them confidence as well.
It’s always very small tweaks that create a huge difference. People are usually not aware of this.
But, was this the right tweak to make?
The Result: Automated Sales
A couple days after making that change, there were still no sales and his $5,000 initial advertising budget was almost entirely depleted. On the final day of his budget, he decided he would leave ads to work until midnight that day and if no sales came in, he would turn them off and agree that he needed to go back to the drawing board. The test has failed. Ego bruised, self-confidence scattered, James would decide to stop investing money into something that doesn’t seem to work.
A few hours before the deadline for this test was to expire he had nothing to show up for. His thoughts were close to what you might expect yourself: “Time to call this a failure and to go back to managing the sales team”.
Then, a few minutes before midnight, the first sale came through.
Maybe this could work?
He watched the next day on tenterhooks.
1 day later there was another sale.
Then another one 2 days after that.
This was not only working – it was working well, and it was profitable. Yes!
But the job is only part way done. Now that he has more time because he’s not busy with sales calls or with managing his team, he’s able to track and optimise his funnel further. I will get to the point how that’s done further in the post.
Let’s now take a look at two funnels he had in place. Before and after.
You can see that this funnel is way more complex. It takes a lot of time to build all of this.
There are many email sequences that are making sure people get back on track if they fall off. There are pages he’s taking people to further build trust. There is a lot of useful content.
Emails are a very powerful tool and are extremely important when building funnels. If you don’t set up your email sequences right, you’re missing out on more sales.
Here are the email sequences he has in place:
- Registered but did not attend.
- Attended but didn’t get to the call to action. The goal is to get them to attend the webinar until the end.
- If they don’t sign up to attend again they start getting the objection handling email sequence (14 emails).
- If they attend and don’t purchase – they end up in the same 14 days email sequence (objection handling email series that’s trying to get them to purchase.)
- If they start buying but close the window – they are getting abandoned cart emails.
7 out of those 14 days, objection handling emails are directing people to the pages James created to build more trust and increase sales.
Each page includes some of the objections people might have before they decide to buy and each page has a CTA to buy the course. Here are a few examples of what is on those pages:
- Video testimonials of people who bought the course and had great results.
- Answer to questions such as: “What if my area isn’t good enough to do this? What if people don’t want to work with me?”
- All frequently asked questions listed and answered. That is the last one they point people to and it includes the deadline funnel (countdown timer) to add urgency.
- Each page include CTA to buy the course.
Here are two examples of objection handling pages:
The last few emails are the deadline funnel. They are sending emails with the countdown timer:
- 48 hours before cart closing
- 24 hours before cart closing
- 4 emails during the last day
The Importance of Looking at Data
So, what happens when you set up the funnel, make changes and it finally starts working?
You keep track of results and keep improving it. If you’re running ads, you should keep track of your data daily.
Most people I talk with don’t have the right tracking system in place. They don’t know what are the most important parts to track and they don’t know how to analyse it and what to do with it. If you don’t measure you can’t improve, so this is a crucial part of every funnel. Especially when you’re setting everything up – this data will show you what needs changing and how to earn more.
What is James tracking (and what you need to track):
- Ad Spend
- Partial leads (submitted email but didn’t select webinar time)
- Saw CTA
- Payment plan completion rate
- Average LTV (accounting for refunds and payment plans)
So, you must be wondering after all this hard work what are the results James got?
By the title you can see his funnel is working and he’s managed to get 271% ROI. But let’s take a look at other data for one of the months:
- CPM is $19.36
- CTR is 1.69%
- CPC – $1.14
- Webinar Attended – 30%
- Saw CTA – 46%
- CPA – $839
- ROI – 271%
Selling Courses on Autopilot is Hard – But It’s Possible
Automated funnels are an amazing way to sell your course or other product/service you may have. It is not easy to set it up, but it is worth it.
For James, these are the main benefits and results he got from his funnel:
- no need to manage, educate, work with a sales team
- no more sales call which means
- more time to focus on the funnel, track data, and optimise it further
- everything is working on autopilot – he just needs to come in and check the data and see what needs to be optimised
- he has time for his course students and he actually has more activities and benefits he’s offering them
- he’s got 271% average monthly ROI in revenue
- by optimising the funnel, the results can go up so it’s possible to scale even more
- he recently had the most profitable month without any sales calls
- it was stressful for sales reps before, now there’s no stress
This is possible for you as well if you set up automated funnels.
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