How To Find The Biggest Hole In Your Sales Funnel

Do you ever feel like you have 1000 things you could be doing in your marketing, but you don’t know which is the most important? You are working on improving your sales funnel but you’re not sure what impact it’s going to have until after you’ve done it. 

This post is about the system that can help you with figuring out where to focus next in your marketing.

To figure out how much money you could be making if your funnel was optimised, we’ve created a Free Funnel Revenue Calculator. The calculator can help you see how much you could be making, and this blog post will tell you how to know what hole to fix first.

Can you imagine how you will feel when you know for sure what you should be doing? What would bring you the most sales and revenue? Wouldn’t that be nice?

This post is going to show you how. Let’s start.

I’m sure you’ve seen this picture before.

Whenever you read an article about a sales funnel, it looks like this. Very nice and neat. You pour the traffic in the top and lovely money comes out of the bottom. It’s perfect! 

Except that in real life it doesn’t look like that at all! In my experience, from what I’ve seen over 10 years working with funnels, this is how it actually looks.

The average sales funnel is pissing out money left, right, everywhere, and not enough money is coming out of the bottom. You keep pouring traffic in but it doesn’t make enough money. 

I’m going to talk you through the exact system you can use  to identify the biggest hole in your funnel and stop losing money. 

How do I know this system is something that works?

This is the exact system that we use repeatedly with our client to help them.

These are two simple truths:

  • Your marketing funnel is a key driver of your business. 
  • If you have holes in your funnel, you are losing money.

I didn’t always hold all the secrets to fixing marketing funnels.

As an agency owner and entrepreneur, I found myself in a similar place to where you are likely today.  In my case, I had a webinar funnel set up that was getting me some money, but I knew it wasn’t making me as much as it could. 

I knew I was losing sales every week and it caused me headaches and so much frustration. I must have driven my team to their wits end as I was trying all sorts of things to fix it.

After too many experiments to count, I developed a process to allow me to find where the biggest hole in a funnel is. With that process under our belt, we can come in to evaluate the damage, identify the biggest leak and fix it. 

That’s what I want to share with you in this post. 

Yes, it’s going to be a long post. But I promise it is worthwhile.

Would you like to know what is the biggest hole in your sales funnel? What is losing you the most money?

You can do this through a 5 step process. It’s not complicated. In the end you are going to understand how it works and what to do.

Step 1 – Map out your sales funnel

You can do this with a pen and paper, on the back of the envelope or on a chalkboard. However, I like to use a tool called Funnelytics. You can do this there. It’s free to use, you don’t need the pro version to do this.

Let’s imagine that you’ve got a webinar funnel for selling an online course, but you’ve got the most basic version of the funnel. 

Here’s what that would look like:

You’ve got Facebook ads (and maybe email), driving people to the registration page. 

After people sign up for the webinar, they go to the thank you page which tells people how to attend the webinar. 

Then you’ve got the actual webinar watch page. If people turn up to it and finish watching, they go to a sales page. If they buy your offer, they will be redirected to a confirmation page. 

This is the most basic webinar funnel I can imagine. If you map it up in Funnelytics, it looks like this:

Let’s imagine that you’ve got this funnel in place. 

You look at the numbers, and you know it should be better, but you don’t have a clue where to focus. Then, you start your research, you go and read articles, books, listen to talks, go through other people’s funnels to see what they’ve got in place. 

You eventually find that ideal webinar funnel looks like this:

ideal webinar funnel map

Whoa! It’s got all these emails, ads, reminder emails, FB ads, retargeting, webinar replay, additional emails. It’s got upsells and downsells, order bumps and all these stuff. 

This is an enormous amount of work. 

If you’re thinking about doing all of this you will be like: Where do I start?  What do I do first? 


I get it. Your shock is normal. 

I’ve been doing funnels like this for people and it takes a few months to set everything up. 

I totally get it if you look at this and say: I can’t do all of this, it’s too much work!

So where do you start? What should you do first?

Step 2 – Create the spreadsheet with all the steps of your sales funnel

On the left side of the spreadsheet (in rows) put all the steps of your current funnel. Write down: Email, Facebook Ad, Opt In Page, Thank you page… Then, write down in rows the steps you’re thinking about adding as well. For example: order bump, payment plan…

In the columns add: My stats (Numbers), Model and Benchmark

Step 3 – Track your numbers for each stage

Go to all the software you are using, get the analytics, and put the numbers there next to each step that you wrote down. 

Reminder: use our Free Funnel Revenue Calculator to see what is your funnel’s potential.

Step 4 – Compare the numbers to benchmarks

Now find what is your number for each step and compare it with the benchmarks. Mark all the numbers where you see a big difference between your result and benchmark. This way you are marking areas where you have a big room for improvement. 

There may be many steps which are a long way from the benchmarks. That’s why you need to do step 5 to decide which will make the biggest difference. Then, you will know what is your biggest hole and what you need to improve. 

Step 5 – Test changing them to see what increases revenue the most 

If your numbers are much lower than benchmarks, it is relatively easy to get them higher. If by testing them you realize that it can increase your revenue the most, it is an important part to work on and change.

Let’s practice

I’ll take you through an example:

First I put up on the left side all the steps regardless of whether I have that in my funnel or not. Then, for the steps I have in my funnel, I add the numbers. Also in one of the columns I add the benchmark data I’ve previously researched and found. 

Have in mind that this data is different for different industries so make sure you find the one that is the most relevant for you and your business. 

In this example, I see that my conversion rate is 40%. The benchmark says that conversion rate usually is from 30 – 50% so that’s good. I don’t have to do anything with that part of the funnel. I could probably move it to 50% but it’s going to be hard, so let’s not worry about that right now. 

My cost per lead is $5, the benchmark says it’s $5 – $10 so this is fine as well. 

Conversion for the main product with upfront payment is 0.3%. The benchmark says it’s 1% – so this is the part that I’m going to highlight. There’s lots of room for improvement here. 

You get the point – we keep going to check other numbers and highlight all the numbers that are way off from the benchmark. 

  • We did Step 1 – we mapped out our current funnel
  • We did Step 2 – we created the spreadsheet and inserted all sales funnel steps in there
  • We did Step 3 – we took the analytics from our funnel and put the numbers in the sheet
  • We did Step 4 – we compared our numbers with benchmark numbers we previously researched and inserted in the sheet as well

Now, we are moving to the next step:

  • Step 5 – let’s test our numbers and see what changes. What if we can increase the number of people who made an upfront payment? 

Model A

We can see now that if we increase the number of people who make the upfront payment,  ROAS would be $2.99. This is good! 

Model B

What would happen if we could increase the number of people who use the payment plan?

ROAS here would be $2.7. It’s also a big deal.

Model C

What if we put the order bump?

In this case, ROAS would be  $1.7. 

This isn’t a very big deal. So now that we have all this data, we can conclude that we should focus on A or B. A will give us a bit better results, so let’s focus on that first. 

We’ve gone through mapping out the funnel, creating the spreadsheet, entering our results, entering benchmarks, and creating different model scenarios. Now we know which change in our funnel will bring us the most money. We finally know what ONE thing we need to change.

That feels good, doesn’t it?

You might find these challenging: 

  • Dealing with your fear of numbers – If you hate math and hate numbers, then you might feel a bit uncomfortable doing this. But you can do this even if you suck at math. Just use this template.
  • Finding out the benchmark data – You have to do research. Ask Google, check with your friends what results they are getting, find relevant people to compare your results with. The numbers I used for benchmarking are ballpark, but please do the homework and research the exact number for your industry. 
  • Comparing your numbers to the benchmarks – you have to go through the process. There are no shortcuts.

If you do all of this, you will be able to see immediately what part of your sales funnel you need to fix.

When you fix that ONE part of your funnel, it will reflect in your revenue. If you pay attention to the numbers, there will be no guesswork about what you need to focus on.  The numbers will tell you.

We can say at last – Mystery solved! You have found the biggest hole in your sales funnel.

Free Sales Funnel Revenue Calculator

When we realised people are not aware of how much money they could be making because they are not aware of benchmark data, we created a free funnel revenue calculator

You input your current monthly revenue, email list size, and how many website visitors you get per month. Based on the average data for online course creators, the calculator predicts how much money you could be earning if your funnel is optimised. 

We’ve recently updated and improved the calculator based on more accurate benchmark data. So, even if you have used it before, I suggest you use it again and find out how much you could be earning if you fix your funnel holes. It’s completely FREE. Calculate how much you could be earning.


What Is A Tripwire Funnel And How To Use It In A Sales Funnel Strategy

A tripwire funnel is a popular type of sales funnels for one good reason – it works.

It’s a valuable tool in your overall marketing strategy to attract and convert website visitors into buyers.

But, even though tripwires have been around for decades, many people are still confused about how to use them.

The idea behind a tripwire is simple: make an irresistible low-cost offer to gain a new customer. 

Once people have bought an inexpensive item from you, they are more likely to purchase something else.  

That’s the real value of a tripwire funnel. 

Using this method gives you the best opportunity to upsell your new buyer once they are in your sales funnel.

If you’re interested in turning more lookers into buyers, then read on.

We’ll explain what a tripwire is, and how to use a tripwire funnel to boost your leads and generate more sales.

Table Of Contents:

  1. What Is A Tripwire?
  2. Why Use A Tripwire Funnel?
  3. How To Create A Tripwire Offer
  4. How To Use A Tripwire Funnel
  5. How To Test And Measure Your Tripwire Funnel 

What Is A Tripwire? 

Although the word conjures up images of someone getting caught in a trap, the definition is far from sinister!

A tripwire is a compelling, low-priced offer that’s designed solely to turn a prospect into a customer. They’re usually priced at between $5.00 – $30.00, but the majority are less than $20.00.

The price point you choose depends on how your tripwire offer fits in with your higher-priced products. 

It’s important to remember that a tripwire funnel is not the first step in your sales process.

To capture new email subscribers, you must begin with a lead magnet. This is usually a free resource like an ebook, a template bundle or a mini training course delivered via email.

When you have built an email list from your lead magnet signups, you’ll add a tripwire offer to your sales funnel to start generating revenue.

Keep in mind that the goal of a tripwire is not to make money, but to turn leads into first-time customers. 

Why Use A Tripwire Funnel 

Your tripwire funnel gives you 5 main benefits:

  1. It offsets marketing and advertising costs

When you’re promoting your business online, it costs money to generate traffic.

The costs of creating, marketing and advertising can add up quickly. A well-defined tripwire offer will help to offset those costs. 

  1. It fills your email list with buyers.

When someone purchases from you for the first time, they begin to develop their relationship with you via your email communications, social media pages, and your website resources.

This means that they are more emotionally connected to what you offer next – whether that is paid or free content. In other words, they are more likely to buy from you again.

  1. It allows you to test different offers.

Tripwire funnels allow you to test what your market is looking for. 

When you offer a selection of inexpensive products, you will see which topics interest your buyers the most, and customise your follow up communications with them.

This means that you target only those prospects who seek a specific solution to their problems.

  1. It creates audience loyalty.

When you get your tripwire offer right, people are thrilled that you gave away so much value. You’ll create happy and loyal followers when you consistently provide them with high-quality material at a no-pain price point.

  1. It encourages micro-commitments.

Micro-commitments are easier for people to accept because they’re allowed to make smaller decisions over time. Your prospect signs up for your mailing list, buys a small product, then buys a bigger one.

A tripwire offer is the best example of a small commitment which leads your customer to comfortably complete a larger commitment in the future.

How To Create A Tripwire Offer 

The key to a successful tripwire is to create an inexpensive, but irresistible, deal.

A deal so good that someone knows in a split-second that it’s something they must have.

But, first, you need to create your offer.

This is easier than you think because there are multiple ways for you to create tripwire products from content you have created already, e.g. your online course.

What are the main components of a tripwire?

  1. It’s inexpensive

While the price is usually relative to the cost of your main offer, most tripwire offers are under $20.00.

Numbers containing a “7” seem to prevail, so we often see tripwires promoted at $17.00 or $27.00.

  1. Very high quality

You can’t compromise on quality just because you’re selling something cheaply.

Your tripwire offer may be the first interaction many people have with your products. If you fail to impress them right from the start, then why would they buy a more expensive product from you?

  1. Simple to use or implement 

It shouldn’t take another product to explain how to use the first one. Whatever you offer, it must be easy to obtain and implement so that your buyer is clear on what they need to do.

  1. Related to your core offer

What happens if you’re building a mailing list that doesn’t care about your core offer?

You’ll be stuck with customers who won’t buy your flagship course or premium products. It’s easier to make this mistake than you think.

  1. Promises a quick win

Ensure that your tripwire offer allows people to achieve what you promise within a short space of time. For example, if you tell your customers: “Create Your First T-Shirt Graphic in 7 days,” then that must be an attainable goal.

Ideas For Your Tripwire Offer

A Single Course Module 

For example, you might sell an online course that includes written materials, video lessons, and a private Facebook group for members to network and interact with other learners. You could segment off one module from that course and offer it at a low price as a tripwire product.

Bonus Material From Your Online Course

How many digital offers have you seen that include bonus materials?

We’re guessing it’s quite a few.

To incentivize conversions, you might offer one or two bonuses from your primary course. It could include a couple of short videos, several checklists, and a few articles.

A Mini-Course Via Video

This is a relatively simple way to provide a ton of value to your leads. Once your visitor has opted in to your list, send them a welcome email and tell them what to expect over the next 5 or 7 days. 

During that period, you send them a daily email including a short video training on the topic they requested.

Another alternative is to provide a mini-course as an educational email series.

Template Bundles and Checklists

These days, we’re all looking for ways to streamline our processes and reduce the time it takes to complete certain tasks.

This is why downloads of templates and checklists are so popular.

A Low-Cost Trial

A low-cost trial is useful when your main offer is a monthly subscription or membership. The cost of your subscription may vary, but a typical range is between $30 – $75.00 per month.

You might promote your tripwire as low as $1.00 for a 7 or 30-day trial membership. At the end of that period – and if they don’t cancel – your customer gets billed the regular monthly fee. 

Each of the above offers is hard to refuse. 

That’s because they require little effort and cost on the part of your prospect, and they provide excellent value.

More importantly, these tripwire offers show your customers that you deliver what you promise. 

Now, we’ll cover how to use a tripwire funnel.

How To Use A Tripwire Funnel 

Step One: Your Lead Magnet Opt-in

This is the start of your tripwire funnel and it’s exactly what it says – a magnet to generate leads. 

Before you begin actively marketing to a prospect, you’ll need to build a list of email subscribers.

A lead magnet is a free resource that you offer in exchange for someone’s email address.

People discover your lead magnet:

  • Organically – through a search that leads to your website or a particular blog post that offers your lead magnet
  • On social media – from a Facebook ad or Google advertising.

Most businesses promote their lead magnets and free offers via paid advertising because it’s the fastest way to start promoting their paid products.

Once a visitor has signed up, they’re often sent directly to a “thank you” page.

Don’t do that!


Because you’re missing a great opportunity to sell something to a person who’s already shown an interest in your content.

That’s where step two comes in.

Step Two: Your Tripwire Offer

There’s nothing wrong with sending your new subscriber to a thank you page after they’ve opted in, but thousands of businesses ignore the chance to sell something here.

Present your tripwire offer immediately after someone subscribes to your list. You already have their attention, so make the most of it.

Step 3: Your Bump Offer

It’s always a good idea to include a bump offer in your tripwire funnel.

A bump offer is an extra purchase that is shown to your customer at checkout.

For example, someone decides to purchase your video course for $17.00 (the tripwire) and they get the chance to buy the worksheets that go with the videos for an additional $5.95. 

The worksheets are your bump offer. There’s even better news for you because, if your buyer purchases those worksheets, you’ve just increased the sale value by a massive 35%.

Step 4: Your Upsell Offer

When someone clicks to complete a purchase with the bump offer, you then send them to a new sales page that showcases your upsell.

An upsell is an incredible deal you’re offering on a larger purchase. 

A sense of urgency is often conveyed to your buyer at this stage of your funnel, so that’s why you often see a timer on these pages. 

You’re giving your buyer an incentive to act now, and playing into the psychological effect of FOMO (fear of missing out).

One thing to keep in mind is that the upsells must be relevant to the core product you want them to purchase, otherwise people will drop out of your funnel quickly. 

Step 5: A Second Upsell Offer

You might choose to include an additional upsell in your sales funnel. 

This would follow the one-click upsell above – after your buyer added that to their cart.

Of course, they wouldn’t see your second upsell if they refused the first one.

Step 6: A Downsell Offer

A downsell offer is used when a prospect has declined your upsell offer.

It is always a less expensive option, and we suggest using downsells sparingly.

That’s because you don’t want to give the impression that, if someone waits long enough, they will always see a better deal from you.

Downsell offers target buyers who said “no” by encouraging them to try your higher-priced offer at a low-entry cost.

You might offer a limited-time trial or a payment plan which allows your customer to complete their purchase in several installments.

These offers work well for membership and subscription-based programs. Downsells are usually delivered via an email drip campaign, shortly after your initial tripwire funnel campaign ends.

Step 7: Thank-You Pages

The “Thank-You” page always comes at the end of your tripwire funnel, e.g., after your upsell offers were declined or accepted. 

It is the last page in your tripwire funnel because if it were the other way around, then very few people would stay to view your upsell.

Your thank-you page confirms that an order is complete and that your customer’s product is on its way or available to download. 

Step 8: Facebook Ads and Retargeting Ads

Facebook Ads:

When you place ads on Facebook or drive traffic using any other method, you direct all the traffic to the first page of your tripwire funnel – the lead magnet opt-in page.

It’s possible to run ad campaigns specifically for lead generation and to create a target audience for your ads.

Ideally, you already have a clear customer persona. This enables you to make your audience as specific as possible and direct your advertising towards those prospects most likely to buy from you.

Retargeting Ad Strategy: 

Visitors who’ve been active on your site within the past 30 days are probably still interested in your offers and products.

Retargeting is your chance to convert some of those viewers into buyers. You do this by showing them ads for specific content that brings them back to your website, or to your opt-in forms and tripwire offers.

Step 9: Email Sequences

Every marketer knows that email provides the best ROI, so communicate regularly with your subscribers.

Your aim is to direct them back to your website – and offers – and encourage them to spend more money with you.

An email drip campaign is used throughout the sales funnel for:

  • Promoting your tripwire to your opt-in leads
  • Engagement with those people who bought your tripwire
  • Marketing your core offer to those who purchased your tripwire

In the end, your tripwire sales funnel will probably look something like this:

The right combination of the above pieces in your tripwire funnel can dramatically increase the number of leads and sales you receive. 

How To Test And Measure Your Tripwire Funnel 

It’s great that your tripwire funnel is in place, but you can’t set it and forget it.

To analyse the results you’re getting from your funnel, it’s necessary to track a few metrics.

Some of the data to measure includes:

  • Opt-in conversion rate
  • Tripwire conversion rate
  • Upsell rate
  • Cost per customer acquisition
  • Average cart value

Another way to judge the effectiveness of your tripwire funnel is to A/B test for different elements. A few simple changes will enable you to find out which components work best. 

Consider adjusting some of these details:

  • Page layout design and form placement 
  • The copy language, as well as text sizes, colors, and styles
  • The price of your tripwire product
  • The price of your upsell offer
  • The tripwire that you’re offering
  • The down-sell product that you offer
  • The copy and style of your email sequences

Your tripwire funnel is both a lead generation and a sales machine, so spend time testing different options to create a funnel that meets your targets.


The tripwire funnel we’ve outlined maximizes the amount of money you make per conversion and gets the prospect used to buying from you.

It’s up to you whether you decide on a basic funnel with a few pages or a more complex one with several extra pages. 

To create and optimize a high tripwire funnel takes time. It’s hard work.

It requires a combination of professional copy, funnel and page design, and strategy. But, it’s a proven and successful model in today’s competitive market.

We don’t doubt that using a tripwire funnel is a fast track to generating leads and sales because that’s exactly what we do for our clients.

If you’d like us to help you do the same, then contact us today.