Lead Generation Sales Funnels: The Complete Guide

If you’re running an online business, then it’s likely that you already know the importance of generating leads. After all, without them how will your business grow? 

However, lead generation isn’t a simple task and there are many moving parts involved with getting people to willingly hand over their information. In this guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of creating effective lead generation sales funnels.


A lead generation funnel is an approach where your main goal is to generate leads – your potential customers. A lead is every person who subscribes to your email list. When people come to your website, the goal is to catch their attention and get them to leave you their email address and permission to email them. That is done by using different lead magnets. 


A lead magnet is something that will attract your customers. A free, useful gift that will make them say “Yes, I want this! It looks like something I could use”. It might be a free PDF file with some tips, a short course, or an option to attend a free webinar.

Every lead magnet serves one purpose – to motivate your audience to leave you their email address so you can start communicating with them.

lead magnet example
An example of a lead magnet done for one of our clients


Knowing your audience, their needs, and struggles will help you create the best lead magnet for your business. Lead magnet needs to have a high-perceived value as well as high-real value for your customers when you show it to them. It needs to be something that they want and that is useful for them.

For example, if you’re selling language lessons, your lead magnet should solve one problem that people who are learning languages face. If you’re selling services about funnel building, your lead magnet should be something about funnels that’s useful for them. For example, on our website, we use the revenue calculator which helps people calculate how much more money they would be making if they had a funnel in place.

lead magnet funnel revenue calculator

If you’re not 100% sure what to choose and you’re having a hard time deciding, you can always ask your customers. Run a survey and ask them what their biggest frustration and pain points are. 

Then, based on their answers, create a quick fix (eBook, checklist, calculator…) that will solve a part of their problem quickly – there’s your lead magnet! You may even be able to “splinter” it from one of your existing products. 


There are a lot of lead magnets you can pick through, depending on the business you are in. We are mostly working with course creators and people who sell online courses. Here is a list of lead magnets that are the best choice for this type of business:

1. Courses and training videos

2. PDF files with tips, ebooks, workbooks

3. Free trials

4. Templates for writing emails

6. Case studies

8. Checklists

9. Free webinars


1. Inline banner

It is a sign-up form that goes somewhere in your actual blog post, either at the beginning, middle or end.

lead magnet paintable

2. Sidebar

It is a sign-up form that goes in the sidebar of your blog posts.

lead magnet plan your federal retirement

3. Pop-ups

You can have a regular pop-up placed on your website – once someone opens your page, the lead magnet will appear on the screen showing the free offer you have for them.

a) Exit-intent pop-up

It is a lead magnet that will appear when a potential customer starts moving their cursor towards the exit button. They are very good at catching people’s attention and if designed well, they can work very well. The example below comes from our client’s website who specializes in teaching English.

lead magnet English language courses

b) Time-delayed pop-up

This pop-up is like the intent exit pop-up, but it appears after a potential customer spends a certain amount of time on the website.

c) Footer Banner

Lead magnets can also be placed in the website footer as banners, like the one we have used on our website. It is a good way to inform your potential customers about your offer without interrupting them while they’re reading through the website.


lead generation sales funnel map

First of all, you need traffic. 

The traffic can come from different sources such as Organic, through Facebook, podcasts, Google ads, YouTube etc. 

Once people come to your website, you attract them with your lead magnet and they leave you their email address. Once people become your leads, they start receiving the welcome email sequence. That’s where you thank them for opting in, give them a lot of free resources and then you start presenting your offers and give them general information about what you do and what you have for them.

The next step is to take them to your sales funnel. A sales funnel is everything that happens after your potential customers use the lead magnet on your website and subscribe to your email list. They can be taken to the sales page directly after signing up for your lead magnet or you can use the welcome email sequence to show your offer and provide them with links to the sales page.

We are mostly focusing on two possible sales funnels: the tripwire funnel and the webinar funnel. That is the next step in the lead gen funnel – to set up one of those two funnels that will follow your lead magnet.


A tripwire is a low-priced offer designed to turn a prospect into a customer. 

It is a good option to use if you have a lot of offers with different prices and you want to implement them all in your sales funnel. In a tripwire funnel, you can use order bumps, upsells, downsells to catch your customers’ attention.

Tripwire allows you to test different options, get customers to buy low-priced offers so that later you can show them your more expensive product.

We have covered this topic in more detail in this blog post, read it if you need any more information.


A webinar funnel is a tool used to automatically convert leads into buyers. 

In a webinar funnel, you start with a webinar promotion or indoctrination sequence. It’s a set of emails letting your audience know about the webinar, what it will cover, why it’s beneficial for them, and giving them all the information they need to know. 

Use the emails to remind people about the webinar date and time. Make sure they get a link to the webinar registration page and then the link for watching the webinar.

The point of the webinar is to show your knowledge, expertise, give them useful tips and build trust. At the end of the webinar, you close with information about the offer you have for them and direct them to the sales page

Read more about the webinar funnel in this blog post 


The more subscribers you have, the bigger your profit can be. Usually, businesses have anywhere from 0.4% to 1% opt-in rate and that is considered normal. A 2% opt-in rate would be considered good, everything over 3% very good, and if you can get 5% that is just excellent.

Let’s look at some examples from my clients so that show you how an optimized lead magnet can influence your business.


Going from a 3.5% opt-in rate to 9.3%

This client has started with an exceptionally high opt-in rate because it was already above 3%. This can look like an amazing deal for some people, but we knew it can get a lot better. And it did. After just a few months of work, we managed to improve the opt-in rate up to 9.3%!


In this client’s case the opt-in rate was below 2% so it was as good as in the previous example. After applying all the changes, the opt-in rate grew to 3.37% which is very good considering lower numbers at the very beginning.

How do you check what your opt-in rate is? 

Take the number of your email subscribers, divide it by the number of your website visitors and multiply the result by 100.

For example, if you have 200 subscribers and 10,000 visitors coming to your website, your opt-in rate is 2% which is good!

I hope this will give you an overview of why lead magnets are important and how they can improve your business in just a few steps. 

We can’t help but be excited about the possibilities of what is to come.

We’ve made it our goal to work with as many course creators as possible and bring them more leads without spending a single dollar on ads. This will no doubt provide a better experience for those who are looking for your courses, in turn making you more money. 

If you feel like you could use professional help optimizing your lead generation & funnels, get in touch.


Sales Funnel: What Kinds are there?

WTF is a funnel?

A sales funnel is all the steps that lead someone from hearing about you for the first time to becoming a lead, getting interested in your products or services and buying. Then buying again and again.

What kinds of funnels are there?

There’s five funnels that I use on a regular basis and I’m going to talk you through them and how to know which one you should use. These funnels are:

  • Tripwire funnel for selling info products
  • Webinar funnel for setting appointments for services sales
  • Webinar funnel for selling online courses
  • Sales funnel for services
  • Free trial funnel for SaaS businesses

There’s a whole lot of other funnels out there (e.g. Ask Funnel, FBA review funnel, FB messenger, Free + Shipping) and there’s tons of variations of all these funnels, but these are the ones I find to be the most common.

How they work and when you should use them

Tripwire funnel for selling info products

Tripwire is one of the simplest funnels, but it’s unbelievably underused. Anybody selling an info product should have a tripwire funnel set up.

You’re selling an info product and you have a lot of traffic coming to your website. You have lead magnets available and people are signing up for them. What you probably don’t have in place is a tripwire funnel.

So, after somebody originally signs up for the lead magnet, you’re probably just thanking them for signing up. And that’s it. 

This is a huge missed opportunity, because this is a magic moment in people’s minds.

Just after they’ve signed up for a lead magnet, they’re at this stage where they’ve had a problem in their lives and have been motivated enough to go and search the Google. They’ve gone through different listings, and then they’ve found your website. Excellent work!

Now that they’ve come to your website, they had a look around and decided that they trust you and your content.  But they wanted their problem solved more, so when they saw a lead magnet available (a cheat sheet, a video course, etc.), they decided to sign up for it. 

Now some percentage of those people (usually between 1-5%) actually want their problem solved more thoroughly right now and are willing to pay money to get that solved immediately. And out of those people, some of them will still buy later if you just follow up by email, but definitely not all of them because you lost their attention – you know how many emails we all get nowadays. 

So that’s why you should make something available for sale at that stage.

Now some of those people who bought the tripwire actually want something that solves their problem more thoroughly. And you can offer those guys your premium option as an upsell straight after someone’s hit checkout.

However, not everyone will buy the tripwire. Only 1-5% of people will. So you also want to offer the upsell to those people who didn’t get to see it because they didn’t get the tripwire. The easiest way to do this is by setting up an email sequence to promote the upsell.

And some people will drop out part way through the checkout process. So you’ll want to set up a cart abandonment email sequence.

And you can even have that FB retargeting at points where you don’t have their email address.

Then at every stage you want to set up some Facebook retargeting along with the emails to keep people on track.

That’s the basic idea of a tripwire funnel.

Webinar funnel for setting appointments for services sales

Ok – so another funnel that you might use is the free strategy call webinar funnel.

You’ve got a website with some traffic and you’ve got an email newsletter. Your emails point people to an optin. A while later, the webinar happens. At the end of the webinar, you hope that people become clients.

The first thing to add onto your funnel in this case is an option to book a call at the end of the presentation. They’ve just listened to the presentation and they are interested – so make it easy for them to book their free strategy call.

The next thing to do is to add some reminder emails in advance of the webinar so that your registrants are more likely to show up. Even then, only about half the people will turn up live. So you have to set up a replay for anyone who didn’t manage to attend live. This will increase attendance by another 10%.

And then set up more emails after the webinar to promote the free strategy call, and then before the call to remind them to show up.

Now you’ll get all booked up with calls – but not all of those people who book a call with you are going to be good prospects. You need to filter out the good ones, so you will add in an application form, so that they can only book a call if they meet the right criteria.

Lastly, set up Facebook retargeting at every stage to keep people on the right track. 

Here is the final version of the funnel:

Webinar funnel for selling online courses

If you’re selling online courses, this is the ideal sales funnel for you to set up. There’s quite a lot of steps in this funnel that most people don’t realise should be included, but they can make a really big difference. 

You have a webinar that you’re running. People get to your webinar optin page either through Facebook ads, blog posts, Facebook retargeting, your website and newsletter. There will, of course, be people who get to the optin page but don’t sign up. So you will be able to get them back on track with Facebook retargeting ads.

When someone signs up, they are going to be sent to the Thank you page and receive a confirmation email. You are going to be sending them pre-frame emails to make sure that as many people as possible show up on the webinar. At the same time, you would ideally have some Facebook authority ads shown to people who opted in, and the idea of these is pointing people to somewhere on the internet (not on your site) where you have been featured (a podcast, an interview, an article, etc). 

Ideally then, someone attends the webinar, and at the end of it they go to the sales page. But if they don’t go to the sales page, you will be sending them post-webinar email sequence and running some Facebook retargeting ads to point them to the sales page.

If they don’t attend the webinar, you will be throwing some Facebook retargeting ads and emails at them to get them to watch the replay. After they watch the replay, you are going to send them the post-webinar email sequence and show them retargeting ads to get them to the sales page.

If they go to the sales page but they don’t buy, you are going to want to show them a specific type of Facebook ads – testimonial ads. 

If they add to cart, but they don’t buy straight away, then you want to show them add to cart ads.

If someone goes to the sales page and they add to cart, and add in their credit card details, you should offer them something extra – an order bump. If they don’t buy the full-price offer, then you should offer them a reduced option one. You could even have a second, different order bump after that. At the end, they reach the order confirmation page.

After they’ve bought, you want to send them an email sequence with useful content that will occasionally point them to the sales page.

Free trial funnel for SaaS businesses

Another type of sales funnel is the SaaS free trial funnel. If you’re a SaaS business owner, this funnel could make quite a difference in terms of your conversion rates from free trials to customers.

So, naturally, you have a product and you have a website. You’re driving people to your website through guest blog posts, Google search and Facebook ads. You also have people sign up to your mailing list through a popup on your website.

Some people will go to your free trial page but won’t opt in. You will want to follow up with them with an email sequence that will eventually take them to the order page. You will also use Facebook retargeting ads to get them to the order page.

Some of these people will opt in for the free trial, but they won’t buy. You will again use Facebook retargeting to get them back on track and take them to the order page. If they reach the order page but don’t checkout – you know what’s next – more Facebook retargeting!

Free trial funnel for SaaS businesses

If you’re selling services, you should be able to implement this sales funnel to turn more of your leads into sales.

So, if you’re selling services, you most probably offer a 1-on-1 free strategy session to your prospects. Your prospects come to the page where they can book an appointment with you through various sources – email, website, blog, Facebook ads, etc. However, not all of your prospects would be good leads, so you need to filter them out. 

You can do so by adding in an extra step before they can schedule a call with you, and that step would be application. So, only if they meet certain criteria, they will be taken to the call booking page to schedule that free session with you. If they don’t take the application survey, you can use Facebook retargeting to get them back on track. If they meet the criteria but don’t book a call with you, you can point them back to the application again with Facebook retargeting ads.

As soon as they book a call with you, they will be prompted to a survey page where you will want to learn more about them and their business. Anyone who completes the survey, will be shown some authority Facebook ads until the discovery call takes place.

Once they’ve booked a call, they will receive a welcome email and will be shown a summary video about the call where you want to explain to them what they can expect on the call and how to better prepare.

At the same time, you want to do some research about them – connect with them on LinkedIn, Facebook, Skype, and send them a couple of reminder emails to make sure they turn up for the discovery call with you.

Ideally, after the discovery call, they will sign up for your services and then you’ll have a chance to offer them an upsell. You will also want to ask them for referrals at this stage.

If they don’t buy, you want to follow up with them via email. If they are not a good fit for your services and company, maybe they know someone who is, so make sure to ask for referrals in this case as well.

There will be cases when someone books a call with you and then they don’t show up on the call. You want to follow up with them and give them an option to reschedule. Once that they do, send them a couple of reminder emails to make sure they turn up for the discovery call with you this time.

Hopefully that gives you an overview of what funnels are and which one you should use in your business in order to make more money from it.

If you need any help with planning, setting up or automating your sales funnel, just get in touch.

Get Weekly Funnel Building Tips&Tricks
Sign up and get weekly useful marketing content in your inbox. Let us help you grow your business 🙂
Marketing by
Email marketing Funnels

Email marketing funnels – why, what, what kinds and how to ask someone to write them

I talk to a lot of online business owners who aren’t using email marketing funnels. And they know it’s costing them a lot of money. They feel bad about it. But they still don’t do it. Does that sound like you? I totally understand. I’m going to try and give you a hand with that here.

You know using email marketing effectively gets amazing results.

You might have heard that the average return on investment for email marketing is 44x.

Let’s do some maths (math for my American friends).

If you have an email list and you’re currently not emailing them about any other offers, then let’s see how much money you could make.

15,000 x 1% buying x $50 average sale = $7,500

30,000 x 2% buying x $50 average sale = $30,000

50,000 x 4% buying x $200 average sale = $400,000 (probably you’re not going to get 4% – but it can happen)

So what’s stopping you from setting up your email marketing properly? Comments I hear include:

  • “I don’t know where to start” ❓
  • “That’s not my speciality” ?
  • “I don’t have time to do this” ⏱️

So instead you stick with what you know, whether that’s SEO, JVs, content creation or whatever. You don’t send enough emails to your existing list, and you lose all that lovely money.

I get that. It makes sense. There’s a real benefit to sticking to what you know. You don’t have time to learn email marketing. Your time is better spent elsewhere.

But . . . what if you knew just enough about email marketing to figure out the possible results, and to ask someone to do the work for you. Then you wouldn’t have to do it yourself, you wouldn’t have to learn it yourself, and you could still make all that money!

I’m going to try and help.

Email marketing strategy

This is a high-level email marketing strategy post. This will explain the top things you need to know in order to:

  • Figure out how much money email marketing could make you
  • Figure out what kind of email sequence(s) you need
  • Ask someone to write the right email marketing sequence for you.

I’m going to break down for you:

  • the four most important email sequences
  • the benefit of each email sequence
  • how to tell whether you need it or not
  • when to send it
  • what kind of content is in it
  • how many emails are in it

My goal is that all of this will mean that you know what to do to get email marketing working for you.

If you can give you an email marketing person a brief telling them:

  • this is the kind of email sequence I need
  • this is what it’s trying to achieve
  • here’s links to some of my existing content that should be in it

Then they’ll be able to put something great together for you.

This is going to save you a lot of pain and back and forth trying to figure out what it is that you need.

The four email marketing sequences most online business owners don’t use but should do

  • Segmentation
  • Engagement
  • Promotions
  • Upsell

There are other types of email sequences you can use.

But we’re not going to focus on those here – I want to make this as simple as we can – so we’re going to start with these.


This allows you to figure out who is interested in a particular topic – before you send your emails to everyone.

The point of one of these is to figure out who’s interested in a specific topic, so we can communicate with just them about that topic, and not bother everyone else.

You need it if …

What you’re going to be promoting is only relevant to a specific segment of your list. For example – let’s say that you sell courses for teaching people about learning English grammar. You have teachers and students buying from you. You’ve now got a new high priced course specifically for teachers.

You could promote it to your whole email list – but the downside is that you’ll be promoting it to students who aren’t teachers themselves. Those people will become less engaged because you’re promoting a paid course to them that they’re not interested in. That will reduce your trust with those people who weren’t interested. The conversation in their head is “why the fuck are you telling me about this shit I’m not interested in” (though they might swear less than me, so it could be nicer than that.)

When to send it

When you need to learn who is interested in this topic (e.g. teaching English) you send this out manually.

What is in it

A segmentation email can take a few forms – but a very simple one is useful free content about the topic (in this case teaching English).

You promote an article (or a few articles) about teaching English to your email list – and then you tag those people who click on the links as being interested in teaching English.

Another option is a survey.

Number of emails

1-3 emails


Main point is engagement and nurturing to get people thinking about the specific problem your course solves, and therefore more ready to buy. This creates good will and trust. Which will lead to more sales. According to studies companies using email to nurture leads generate 50% more sales-ready leads at 33% lower cost.

You need it if …

You’re going to be promoting something and you need to get them thinking about the problem this solves and the fact that they need a solution. Or if you need to engage them more with you in terms of trust around this topic. This is the build up to your promotion. It will increase the conversion rate of your promotional emails when they go out.

When to send it

This should go out automatically to everyone who clicked on the segmentation email. It will go out over 2-3 days (depending if you have 2 or 3 emails).

What is in it

Useful content that talks about the problem that your offer solves. Everything in this should set up the sale.

Things you can talk about here include

  • talking about the problem itself
  • a few key secrets showing them that it’s possible to solve this problem
  • case studies
  • the journey you went through to solve it and how you didn’t know it would be possible – until you discovered this course or whatever you’re promoting
  • the benefits of solving this problem.
Number of emails



This is where you make money! Everything else was the build up to this point.

You need it if …

You have something to sell!

When to send it

This should go out automatically after the engagement sequence.

What is in it

Details of your offer and a link to your sales page.

You’ve already found who’s interested in this topic. You’ve provided value to them about this topic. But the information you’ve provided is only solving one little bit of the overall problem. You’ve got them thinking about the problem that your bigger course solves.

Number of emails



Get them to buy a more expensive version.

You need it if …

You have something more expensive than what they just bought (which you 100% should have).

When to send it

This should go out automatically to everyone who buys the initial product.

What is in it

Promotion of the more expensive version, with details of the benefits (this could be personal coaching sessions, templates to go with the training, etc.)

Number of emails


What does this look like?

Here’s a couple of versions of how this might look.

Or a simpler version might be like this.

How do you plan all this in?

The Promotional Calendar.

The Promotional Calendar is to help us plan out what promotions are going out when throughout the year.

This doesn’t have to look complicated. Most people I know who are really good at this use a spreadsheet or just do it in their calendar.

An example of last year’s promotional calendar from a company I run

How to write all of this


Seriously dude. Don’t write anything from scratch. Don’t do that.

And anything that needs writing – don’t write it yourself.

Two things:

  1. Reuse existing content
  2. Get someone else to do it

Get someone to start with your own copy that’s working, and copy some from competitors too.

Most campaigns should be based on previous campaigns that worked. And once you run a successful promotion you can then repeat that promotion year after year with minimal tweaking. The first time you do this will be the hardest, and then each subsequent year will be easier and easier.

For example – if you already ran a Black Friday promotion, then you can use some of that content to plan your Easter and Christmas promotions.


I hope that helps. Hopefully that gives you an overview of the minimum you need to know about email marketing in order to make a bunch more money from it.

If you need any more help with planning or writing your emails just get in touch. Or if you need help with automating the sequences so the right emails go to the right people at the right time – then get in touch too.

Please ask any questions you have about email marketing below, or mention what’s stopping you right now and I’ll do my best to help here.

I don’t know it all, but I do have a good grasp on most. If I don’t know the answer I’ll say so.