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Sales Funnels In 2015

This post was most recently updated on July 29th, 2016

Sales Funnels in 2015I’ve been telling my clients to start their sales funnels in 2015.

More than a few of them, knowing nothing about sales funnels, have asked me to suggest ways to get their businesses on the right track for the new year.

The “Know-Nothings”

Some of my clients don’t have any business at all, really. 

I affectionately call them the “know-nothings” because they come to asking how to build an online business, but they know pretty much nothing about how to to create and leverage and sales funnel.

And that’s pretty much HOW to build an online business. 

They have a blog that they do some nice things with in terms of content… cool videos, awesome images and truly high quality content.

But, they haven’t learned the trick for turning all of this into a business.  Their blogs are really still in the “hobby” phase, and they’re getting ready to turn a new leaf by bringing it into the world of business and profits.

They simply don’t know how.

When I suggest that they need a sales funnel, I just get the “deer in the headlights” response. 

That’s okay.  I had exactly the same response a while back when I was given the same advice.

But you know what? 

It turned out to be maybe the single most important advice I ever got.

I had no idea what a sales funnel was, and it sounded very geeky and scary to me, so I really didn’t want to learn about it.  I was much happier hanging out on Facebook and “liking” warm, fuzzy pics of cute puppies and kitties… lol.

But where was that going to get me, if I was serious about creating a “profit-centered” online business and blog?

Answer:  Nowhere.  At least, not until I learned how to leverage those warm fuzzy photos.

So, it’s true.  At that point in time, I was one of the “know-nothings” as far as building a sales funnel was concerned.

Special: Even if you’re a total Newbie, Learn to Build Easy “Sales Funnels” Right Here!

The “Know-Somethings”

Now, other clients actually know what a sales funnel is, and maybe they’ve even created a sales funnel or two already.

The problem is that they haven’t achieved the results they anticipated, so they moved on to doing something else.

Yea, this was me, too.

I’d try it out for a while, put some big hours into creating sales pages, video, opt in offers and all the rest.  When it started looking like too much work for too little return, I bailed out.

So, when I tell these clients that they need to create some great sales funnels in 2015, to get their businesses moving in a better direction… they kind of wince and whine and tell me, basically this:

“I’ve dabbled in that whole sales funnel approach, but it just didn’t work.”



This is not the model for success online.

Here’s what works:


I then proceed to work out some very simple sales funnel designs with the “know-somethings” to make things simple, but extremely powerful.

You see, things don’t have to be complicated or expensive or elaborate to get your business cranking.

Alert: Register today for my upcoming “Sales Funnel Profits” webinar, and learn exactly how to make your blog or online business rock in 2015!

The “Know-It-Alls”

One of the problems that my “know-something” clients have, is that they’ve been following around behind some of the “know-it-alls.”

The “know-it-alls” are those folks who tell you they know “everything” about sales funnels, and if you just buy their system, software, ebook, training course or whatever… your success is assured. 

You just need to make a few clicks, push a few buttons and then head to the beach while the sales stream into your Paypal account.

The “know-it-alls” usually tell you these things because they get a nice affiliate commission when you buy into the push button system or software that they’re trying to sell you on.

So, what is the magical system or software that you’ll need to create a killer sales funnel in 2015?

Your Sales Funnels in 2015

Of course, there are none.

I’m not going to tell you that there aren’t some really good systems and softwares that will make your life easier, and save you some time and make your presentation nicer looking.

There are.

I’m not selling any.  I don’t affiliate any at this time.  And I’m not recommending any here, although I might recommend some on a case by case basis when I coach people.

My point is this.

If you’re like so many of my clients who are determined to make 2015 the year you will start building or increasing profits with your blog and online business… then I’m telling you to focus on building sales funnels.

Start with just one.

And here’s the simple version of how you do it.

Let’s use that fun niche called “dog training” as an example.

Here’s an example of what the funnel might look like.

On your dog training blog, offer a free ebook about dog training.

When somebody opts in to this free offer, redirect them immediately to a sales page for a  low cost dog training ebook.

If they don’t buy it, they’re still on your email list and you can continue to offer the ebook in your follow up emails.

If they do buy the ebook, thank them for their purchase and suggest they purchase the entire training course for, let’s say $397. 

Again, if they don’t buy it, they’re still on your email list and you can continue to offer the $397 training course in your follow up emails.

The sales “process” might end there.

But the funnel goes deeper.  Far deeper.

Once people have committed to following you, joining your email list, maybe even buying one of your products (yours or an affiliate product you’re promoting)… you simply need to keep offering them products and services in the dog training niche.

Maybe you offer your own coaching service, or a phone consultation, or a new course that just came out or is ready to be launched next month.

Don’t forget “accessory” items like special dog training collars, treats, whistles and all the rest.  You know, the stuff you can simple link to Amazon for.

You now have built a profit centered business that you only need to expand over time.

What about the high-cost sales funnel systems and software that the know-it-alls want you to buy?

Some are good, some not, some overpriced, some not… but you don’t NEED any of them to get started.

What you need is a way to create “funnel pages”… things like squeeze pages and sales pages.

All you need for that is a blog.  Just a plain old simple WordPress blog, or something similar.

I’d love to have you join me in my upcoming webinar, and I’ll show you in much greater detail how to make this all work. 

Your Blog Is A Sales Funnel

That’s all you need to get up and running with your sales funnels in 2015. 

I’d love to hear if you’ve got a sales funnel or two put together right now, or if it’s something you’ve got planned for 2015.

I’ll look for your comment below.

Let’s make things happen this year!


Donna Merrill
Donna is a well known blogger and creator of "Blogging Magic" - an intensive guide to blogging. "Blogging Magic" is for beginners who are trying to figure out how to bring their blogs to life with tons of visits, comments and social media interaction. It's even for advanced bloggers looking to reach new levels of authority and engagement with their audience.

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110 Responses to Sales Funnels In 2015

  1. Christina Ervin
    February 10, 2015 at 1:14 am #

    Great comments Donna. Most people think about a funnel and immediately find the overwhelm creeping up on them. I’ve personally found that a few surprises when I finally created a funnel:

    1. It does not have to be very advanced. Just focusing on having a simple free opt in offer, capturing the contact information, and communicating with customers is huge! Not to mention much more than most small businesses do. This is the a perfect start to creating your funnel, which brings me to my next point.

    2. You don’t have to create the entire funnel at once. This was a huge ah ha moment for me! The fact is, you are likely to be tweaking your funnel for a bit until you get a good amount of analytics to assess. Once you can review your numbers, you’ll be able to make tweaks to dial it in.

    3. I’m amazed at how many more leads I attract with a good funnel. It actually has helped me focus content planning and provided a natural purpose to posting.
    Christina Ervin recently posted..Using Social Media for Business – Prospect for SuccessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      February 10, 2015 at 1:48 am #

      Hi Christina,

      Thank you so much for your valuable comment! Very true, a sales funnel does not have to be done elaborate at first. A free opt in offer, then communication begins. And this is where we get to know people on that list, provide them with good information and pitch 10 to 20% of the time.

      Yes you don’t have to create it all at once…its all about tweaking and paying attention to analytics.

      You are on target getting more leads with a good funnel. And yes, good point, it does help to focus on content planning.


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Email Marketing Is Not Dead, BloggersMy Profile

  2. Ben
    February 7, 2015 at 11:01 pm #

    Hi Donna. I’ve heard the sales funnel over and over and not understood how I could make one out of what I’m doing. They’ve all said that I had to create a product, and I haven’t been interested in doing that (yet). You are the first person I have read to say that I could use an affiliate product to build my funnel. I need to take another look at this.

    Ben recently posted..How Light Affects SleepMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      February 8, 2015 at 2:24 pm #

      Hi Ben,

      Sales funnels are built in many ways. The most typical way is with affiliate products. You don’t need your own.

      Of course it is great if you want to brand yourself to build your own product, but most marketers out there are NOT doing this.

      Instead, it IS built for affiliate products. Please don’t give up and take another look at it. It is all about starting with a low end offer and builds up and down to a higher end.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Listbuilding For Bloggers | Why and HowMy Profile

  3. Donna Merrill
    January 29, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

    Welcome to my blog Andrea,

    I agree…sales funnels are needed in order to have a business online. If we are going to market anything, it must be done on a sales funnel. If not, we would be just out there pitching and loosing profits.

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Earn More Affiliate CommissionsMy Profile

  4. Andrea Ansari
    January 29, 2015 at 5:54 am #

    Hey Donna, you have really interesting topics on your website, first time I visit and definitely not the last. One of the most important things in my marketing are sales funnels 2015. Because that’s where it converts or not…
    Andrea Ansari recently posted..CASE STUDY: How I Got 30% Of My Leads APPLY To Talk To Me! (You Can Too)My Profile

  5. Irish Carter
    January 26, 2015 at 9:32 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    How did I miss this post? I know one thing, I shouldn’t have read it at 9:30 at night. You have me so excited and giddy I don’t know if I am going to be able to sleep now. Reading your powerful and informative post has confirmed not only that I am on track with my goals but that some of my concerns I have been working on strategically taking action towards are right on!

    If I could piggy back off of what Marty said above regarding the guru’s who suck you in and then you find out it isn’t what you wanted. Urrrrrrrr. I too have been down that road. One for me was a very very big mover and shaker online. In my early days, she was someone I was so inspired from and then once I took her on as a mentor (yes, a mentor) I learned not only did she break confidentiality with me, but she began using much of my ideas and even my reputation to benefit herself. Quite the inpersonator she is! What a let down. I dumped her like a hot cake and it turned my stomach when I seen her preying online to others that I knew. However, I didn’t slam her, I knew that if I knew and learned what I learned so quickly about her then the others would too. Hence, why I believe so much in being genuine and not FAKE online. Be you! That is what I believe will keep customers coming back.

    I still have a lot of work to do when it comes to changing my sales funnel. I used to be the freelance chick and have recently given up many of my clients to turn towards working on my own business and products. I am very excited about that.

    Have a great week Donna. Stay warm in that storm, ok?

    Irish Carter recently posted..Girls and their exes – ending unhealthy relationshipsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 29, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

      Hi Irish,

      Thanks so much for sharing your experience with that “mentor” of yours. Well, you took the high road and learned from that experience. As long as we are ourselves, there will be people who will be attracted to us, and those who are not. Like anything in life, we have to be ourselves.

      This kind of mindset is so relaxing for me. I teach, coach and create products. Those who follow me great! Plus I rather have quality students than a large number that don’t want to stay into the market place…you know..those who jump around from one thing to another. It’s not for them. I always make that clear lol

      As a freelancer, you know the deal. Now having your own business and creating your own products will absolutely work. Just as long as that sales funnel is done properly.

      And..the funnel is not stagnant. It does change all the time. I’m loving it myself!

      Thanks again and yes, I’m staying warm. Survived the storm and getting ready for another, but it is so darn beautiful outside!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Earn More Affiliate CommissionsMy Profile

  6. Leanne Chesser
    January 25, 2015 at 2:23 pm #

    I love this, Donna, because you’ve included the essential basics of how to create a sale funnel. You’re right – – it just needs to be simple. I do have a sales funnel (a few). I don’t currently offer a low-priced product or service right away when people sign up, though.
    Leanne Chesser recently posted..7 Awesome Ways to Attract More of Your Perfect ClientsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 25, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

      Hi Leanne,

      There are many entry points to a sales funnel. Low to high and in the middle price points.

      I did a higher end at first, but found that it wasn’t working so well, so I tweaked and offered lower end products and then worked it on my emails. 🙂

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Earn More Affiliate CommissionsMy Profile

  7. Willena Flewelling
    January 24, 2015 at 11:27 pm #

    One of the things I like about your blog, Donna, is that I can learn a lot from you even if it’s too late to join the webinar! You offer a tremendous amount of value in your posts. I like your simple steps to creating a sales funnel.
    Willena Flewelling recently posted..Week 17 – Ease and Perfection are Gained by RepetitionMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 25, 2015 at 11:36 pm #

      Hi Willena,

      So happy to know that you learn when you visit me. Yes, I do try to simplify things because I see stuff out there that knocks me for a loop. And when it comes down to it, I find some that are too overwhelming.

      The webinar was intense and we covered every bit of the funnel,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Earn More Affiliate CommissionsMy Profile

  8. Sherman Smith January 24, 2015 at 2:23 am #

    Hey Donna,

    As soon as I got onto the internet marketing scenes, all the talk was about Sales Funnel. I thought it was a great idea and concept at the time but didn’t have the slightest clue of how to set one up or how crucial it was to have one. Especially if you wanted to automate your business a bit.

    Then all of a sudden I started doing PPC and Solo Ads, and this really gave me the clue as to how vital the sales funnels were. So I want to from a “know-nothings” category to a “know-it-all” category then to the person in the middle who knew about sales funnel, creating a couple, their importance, and was open to anything knew to learn. I’m still like this and it has been a lot more beneficial because I can keep making necessary improvements!

    Thanks Donna for the share! I hope you have a great weekend!
    Sherman Smith recently posted..Why Aren’t You Getting Email Subscribers?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 25, 2015 at 11:34 pm #

      Hi Serman,

      If we are investing in PPC ads and Solo ads, we do need a sales funnel in place. Otherwise it is hit and miss.. Oh boy did I do that in the past lol.

      Once the funnel is full and works properly it’ the only way to go. But one thing I realize is that it is always going to be tweaked.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Earn More Affiliate CommissionsMy Profile

  9. LeslieZ
    January 23, 2015 at 7:41 am #

    Hey Donna,

    Great Post!

    I remember I was online for several years before I ever knew what a sales funnel was. And for some reason, it took me several months to figure it out. Now it seems like a pretty straight forward concept but back then, I definitely was the “deer in the headlights”.

    Yes, a sales funnel is a must for creating a business online. I use a service that has several premade funnels that makes my life a little easier right now as I’m in the throws of a big project at the moment with Gavin.

    However, I do have one of my own funnels that I created too. You gotta build that list and provide things of value to buy.

    Speaking of value, once again you have over delivered in that department. Always a pleasure seeing you around. I’m sure I’ll see you back on Facebook soon 🙂

    LeslieZ recently posted..What a Bunch of Malarkey!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 23, 2015 at 11:25 am #

      Hi Leslie,

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I too was that “deer in the headlights” when I first heard about sales funnels a few years back.

      At the moment, I’m tweaking one of mine because I throwing in another product. Once you do one, then comes the tweaking part. Things we must analyze in order for conversion rates.

      So good to know you have done our own. Yes, that list of things to buy go hand in hand with a funnel. Upseels, Downseels, other products to promote to make life easier.

      Yes, we can build a sales funnel wisely, but it is in our communication with emails that supercharge them.

      It is so great getting to know you Lesly!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Link Dropping Pisses Me OffMy Profile

  10. victoria
    January 21, 2015 at 7:50 pm #

    Um. YES THANK YOU. I just recently purchased a short program for writing better sales pages and I must say that I am becoming one of those people who “dabble” with sales funnels. Very clever idea by the way.

    So, thank you so much for sharing this resource! It is obvious I have much to learn in this marketing world and I most definitively want to be one of those people who goes from “hobby blog” to “blog in business” in 2015. That’s one of my secret New Year’s resolutions (that is not as secret anymore since I am writing about it here).

    Thank you so much Donna!
    victoria recently posted..The Most Important Tool to Make Your Dreams Come TrueMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 22, 2015 at 1:26 pm #

      Hi Victoria,

      Good to know that you want to go from the hobby blog to a blog in business. If you are putting effort in writing a blog, you might as well monetize it!

      Writing sales pages is part of copy writing. It is a good start to learn how to get into that sales funnel.

      I know that term is all over the place, but it is quite simple if you don’t overload yourself with too much information. Focus and you will get there!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Link Dropping Pisses Me OffMy Profile

  11. Andrew
    January 21, 2015 at 9:14 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Great post.

    Interestingly enough, I’ve been in these categories here as well.

    Mainly for another business I’m involved in and not my blog.

    I was a deer in the headlights at one point in time and also I was a know-something type of person too. It was hard to put energy into something and it doesn’t work out or get the necessary results I expected.

    So yea, I moved on to something else … but that was the wrong approach and I know that now.

    As far as being a know-it-all, I thought I was that as well at one point, but I quickly fell back to reality when I was asked a question about something and I didn’t know the answer. Lol. So I learned my lesson to not be that type of person again. Anyway, sales funnels are important.

    And as I’m trying to figure out my monetization strategy for my blog in 2015, I’ll definitely have to think about it. My “issue” is figuring out what to start out as a sales funnel.

    Guess I have to put on my thinking cap.

    Thanks for this post.

    – Andrew

    • Donna Merrill
      January 21, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

      Hi Andrew,

      Thanks so much for you great share here. I myself was going around in circles until… I studied marketing and the best marketing practices to use. Yes, I hired a one to one coach, listened to many webinars and so on.

      Then they were all talking about a sales funnel. What the heck does it really mean? The more education I ran after the better I understood it. Then built one and applied it. So far so good.

      There will always be tweaks, it comes with it. But as long as I don’t give up, It works.

      Sales funnels are best built backwards….ultimate goal, upsells and down sells, all accompanied by split testing and also fantastic emails for each different opt in.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Link Dropping Pisses Me OffMy Profile

  12. Llyane January 20, 2015 at 7:46 pm #

    Very simple and succinct, thanks for making this sound so easy 🙂
    Llyane recently posted..French tongue twisters (part 6)My Profile

  13. Lea Bullen
    January 19, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I remember when I first heard about sales funnels too. The term itself sounds like it’s something opposite of what you’d want to do. It was foreign and uninteresting to me initially.

    That was a good and easily understandable sales funnel on dog training. You can get the process from that illustration.

    Sales funnels make sense for turning a blog into a business. You’re getting to people right when they’ve expressed interest. Really something to consider and implement! Not dabble 🙂

    Hope you’re enjoying the New Year!

    Lea Bullen recently posted..The Surefire Method to Achieve Your GoalsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 21, 2015 at 4:45 pm #

      Hi Lea,

      You said it all when you wrote “Rally something to consider and implement…not dabble!

      When I first learned how to market via a sales funnel, I felt like I was sucked into something like the “Twilight Zone” What? How? What the heck? But as anything else, taking it step by step on the learning curve it became more friendly to me.

      When building a Sales Funnel, the light bulb shined above my head. Aha…so that’s how I keep people into my opt-in.

      As soon as someone opts in, there is a commitment, then the “double commitment” Yes, give me access …. Upselling and downselling Yes, no, Whatever they choose, they are segmented on your list and now you know exactly how to engage with them on email.

      It’s a constant flow and not static. I’m loving it now!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Link Dropping Pisses Me OffMy Profile

  14. Zach
    January 19, 2015 at 6:25 pm #

    Sales funnels are an interesting take on converting leads to profits. We’ve always taken the approach that the more leads you can get, and the more leads you can convert to clients, the better off you’ll be. In a way, we’re taking the sales funnel approach without knowing about it.

    Thanks for the information.
    Zach recently posted..U.S. Supreme Court to Resolve Same-Sex Marriage IssueMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 21, 2015 at 4:06 pm #

      Hi Zach,

      That may be true in a sense Zach, but a sales funnel goes deeper it doesn’t stop and converting leads into clients. There is so much to it….It is getting an opt in and leading them deeper into the funnel to eventually expose them to a high ticket product. In short, that is what its about.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Link Dropping Pisses Me OffMy Profile

  15. Siphosith
    January 19, 2015 at 10:38 am #

    This is an important topic for online marketing. You have clearly shown how it works . You make it look so easy but until you get it , not easy. I am in the process to learn how to create one and use it correctly. Great share Donna!
    Siphosith recently posted..4 Tips to Monetize Your Email ListMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 19, 2015 at 11:45 am #

      Hi Siphosith,

      Yes, a sales funnel can look so easy to do, but once you start building one … oh boy there is a lot to learn and apply

      Good to know you are in the process of creating one!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  16. Erik Emanuelli
    January 19, 2015 at 5:16 am #

    Hi Donna,
    what an interesting post.

    Most people tend to forget how to convert blog readers into their loyal base of fans (and then eventually into customers or buyers).
    An effective sales funnel is a surefire way to make money with your blog.

    Thanks for the share,
    and I hope you had a great beginning of this year! 🙂
    Erik Emanuelli recently posted..What You Need to Make Your Blog Mobile-FriendlyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 19, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      Hi Erik,

      In order to make money from your blog, one needs to have an effective sales funnel in place.

      I made this mistake a while back and didn’t have one. So I wanted to shout out to my readers how important a blog goes hand in hand with a sales funnel.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  17. Shelley Alexander January 18, 2015 at 11:26 pm #

    Donna, I’m going to have to attend your webinar! I do have some sales funnels in place and working for me but I know that it’s important for me to keep creating more and stepping it up every year in order to continue to grow my business. I look forward to learning from you on the webinar!
    Shelley Alexander recently posted..Fermented Purple Cabbage and Apple SauerkrautMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 19, 2015 at 11:44 am #

      Hi Shelley,

      What great news. It will be so much fun connecting with you! Our webinar is as simple as we can make it for everyone to understand how those up-sells and down-sells work well.

      Looking forward to seeing you and if you can’t make it, it will be recorded for your convenience.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  18. David Merrill 101
    January 18, 2015 at 8:58 pm #

    This is a great introduction to the whole concept of sales funnels, Donna.

    I think people often build parts of sales funnels, even if they don’t call them that. But they don’t build them deep, and they don’t work at them consistently to make them grow their business.

    It’s one thing to get people into your sales funnel with a free offer, but then to give them a steady stream of value and offers to keep them there, and to move them always to a different level of involvement is quite another matter.

    I think that”s where so many well intentioned sales campaigns fall apart.

    Thanks for the enticing intro to the webinar, too 🙂
    David Merrill 101 recently posted..Blogging To Make MoneyMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 10:15 pm #

      Hey David,

      Indeed, if a sales funnel is not built deep and worked consistently it doesn’t work well.

      We need to give people that steady stream of value and offers to keep them there.

      Totally agree!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  19. sonia
    January 18, 2015 at 5:38 pm #

    Hi Donna!

    Fantastic article with great tips that I will be revisiting for sure. I actually have that particular niche blog for dog training but I have not created a sales funnel for it!
    I have been sitting on it, adding articles, have it connected to a facebook page but I don’t have a mailing list.
    Thank you so much for waking me up to the potential of what I have 🙂
    sonia recently posted..The Perfect GiftMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 11:11 pm #

      Hi Sonia,

      What a great niche: Dog Training! No worries about having a mailing list. That can take a long time Rather you can advertize on a trusted person’s list for a fee. Or do some advertising on Facebook.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  20. Yorinda Wanner January 18, 2015 at 5:16 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    I love the way you give recomendations for the three groups of people.

    Removing our individual blocks of thinking is another important area, so we can attract what we want.

    This is a great resource you are providing and I will share it so it can benefit more people!

    Yorinda Wanner recently posted..Understanding ourselves through Hand AnalysisMy Profile

  21. Lillian De Jesus
    January 18, 2015 at 11:55 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Thanks so much for this post because this is exactly what I want to have happen in 2015 for my business. I’m getting some courses in place and have auto responders set-up. First, I am looking to build my list a bit more before I get my funnel in place.

    2015 is looking great so far. PLUS when I need help with my sales funnel, I know where to go. 😉

    Take care,
    Lillian De Jesus recently posted..Female Entrepreneur ROCKS Graphic Design Capabilities – My Interview with Melanie Perkins, Canva CEO/CoFounderMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 1:41 pm #

      Hi Lillian,

      Great to know that you are doing this in 2015! One thing to mention is don’t worry too much about building your list.

      Sales funnels are a part of doing that. If someone clicks and doesn’t opt in, you can “track” them with a pixel, and be seen on Facebook. Sometimes it takes 3 to 7 times for a person to opt in.

      There are many ways to market your business. You can always use someone’s list to kick off a solo ad campaign and so much more………

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  22. Julieanne van Zyl January 18, 2015 at 3:39 am #

    Hi Donna, you explained the funnel very well, in easy to understand language! I have a few sales funnels in place – some have done very well. I’m not sure how any business succeeds unless they have some kind of funnel in place. Some businesses have one, but they don’t know they have it or what its called.
    Julieanne van Zyl recently posted..Billy Joel and MeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

      Hi Julieanne,

      I’m glad you liked the way I have explained it because I wanted to get the message through in easy to understand language.

      I know you are the savvy marketer when it comes to sales funnels. And so true, without one in place, I don’t know how business can succeed.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  23. Sue Bride
    January 18, 2015 at 12:40 am #

    I subscribed to a landing page creator with my autoresponder service. The pages were impressive but unless you can get eyes on those pages they are wasted. Paying out for software or training on how to set up funnel web pages needs to come after you learn how to build a list and promote the funnel.

    I stopped my subscription and later found some great WordPress plugins and themes that create good looking capture/landing/splash pages for a one off payment rather than ongoing monthly fees.

    I’m still learning how to drive the traffic to them. As you say, it’s an ongoing process of learning.
    Sue Bride recently posted..Planning Ahead For SuccessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 1:34 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      I do feel like a sales funnel has to be built first before we use a nifty autoresponder landing page creator. Working backwards is a good thing to do sometimes.

      Yes there are great WordPress plugins and themes that create a good capture/landing page for a one time payment.

      Our landing page is most important to get people’s attention. It all depends on how we want to market to drive traffic to them.

      I had a nice campaign going on with Facebook Ads. I built 3 target audiences and compared to see which one worked best. Ran with the best one and my ROI was pretty darn good.

      There are other ways too that I personally use. This very week we are kicking off a solo ad campaign with a “trusted” person. (crossing fingers lol)

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  24. Joy Healey
    January 17, 2015 at 8:39 pm #

    Hi Donna

    That’s a well-explained post about sales funnels.

    I’ve made a start certainly, but far from perfected the second part.

    I had a bad 2014 and it’s spilled over into 2015 with just too much on my plate. Also this EU VAT thing has knocked my plans for six.

    So a lot of things need to unravel for me over the next few weeks to get back on course – but I’m a stubborn so-and-so, ploughing through it all, and will bounce back!

    And here’s where to come when I’m ready!

    Enjoy the rest of your weekend, Joy
    Joy Healey recently posted..James McAllister InterviewMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 1:25 pm #

      Hi Joy,

      Oh that EU VAT thing! It was starting to make me crazy too. As sellers to the EU we have to pay a fee and I was trying to understand it all, but decided to stay on course and not worry about it at all.

      I pay to play so it cannot be that bad (I hope lol)

      As long as you made a start and keep up that stubborn nature, you will bounce back. Sometimes we have a plan and a scheduled date to roll things out. Then life happens….we get detained. It’s what I call the do or die moment. This is where people give up. And that is so not you.

      I’m sure taking things step by step you will be on course once again!

      Wishing you a blessed new year,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  25. Ilka
    January 17, 2015 at 3:03 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This sounds all very interesting! I am using my blog for fun and as an extension of my freelance writer page/business. I was asked to be an affiliate but haven’t done it yet. I did transfer my site from .com to self-hosting. Guess that’s a first step. I also put an opt in but did not finish my free (teaser) E-book. Is there also a land of ‘know-a little something but does-nothing’? Well I am interested but am I ready as well?

    See you, Ilka
    Ilka recently posted..Which Nobel Prize would you prefer?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 1:21 pm #

      Hi Ilka,

      That sure is a good first step! Good to know you are putting in an optin with your free )teaser) E-book. Sounds like a good start.

      If you have that optin, it is the first step to a funnel. After that, you build upon it with a free E-book then paid products/services at different price points.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  26. Carol Amato
    January 17, 2015 at 9:05 am #

    Hi, Donna,

    Excellent article. I’ve made a lot of mistakes with my sales funnel and didn’t have the good balance of offering value for free and offering value for money. Simply put.

    Because I couldn’t stand getting blasted with daily promotional emails, like some marketers sent, I went the opposite direction, but to an extreme!

    Yes, to answer your question, I do have a sales funnel, and am putting a very high priority on it now with the aide of ActiveCampaign to personalize and automate email sequences, etc. in order to give my subscribers the most personal and relevant communication from me that’s possible based on their personal and individual interest.

    Super stoked about optimizing my sales funnel to be the best that it can be. I do feel good about the content I put out, but have been lacking in this optimization of my sales funnel, and that’s the focus for the first part of this new year.

    Glad you did an article on it, because it needs to be discussed!

    Sharing with friends….

    Have a great weekend.
    Carol Amato recently posted..Why I Switched From AWeber to ActiveCampaignMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 1:14 pm #

      Hi Carol,

      Having done a sales funnel yourself, you know what it takes. The best is segmenting your subscribers. Personalizing automated emails are a must! We have to give good information to them based on their interest.

      This is where people get stuck sometimes and screw things up. Glad you mentioned that one!

      I don’t think we are ever satisfied with our funnels; we tweak and tweak, but as long as we have it set up and put it out there, it is the only way to test what and what doesn’t work.

      I spent the entire weekend tweaking some intro videos I just replaced.

      For those who have already built a funnel, the worst possible thing they could do is to not put it out there. The only true way we can measure our conversion rates is to do so.

      It is, as anything else we do, a work in progress all the time.

      Wishing you all the best!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  27. Nate Leung
    January 16, 2015 at 11:30 pm #

    Hello Donna,

    What a great post on sales funnels. Yes, I totally understand what you mean when you try to share the idea of “sales” funnels. Like huh? Sales funnels, more than anything else are tools anyone should add to their business. It doesn’t matter what the niche, product or service is. Anyone can benefit from them. I’ve been sales funnels for clients outside of my niche, and with a little bit of understanding of how to put the pieces together, it’s really not that difficult. I believe the idea of something ‘new’ is what scares people. Sales funnels are nothing more than putting together a process. As long as you drive traffic to the capture page, have tools such as an autoresponder communicate with your prospect and take them all the way through the process. With all being said, I wouldn’t say a sales funnel should replace how you do business but an important piece that any business should add to their arsenal.
    Nate Leung recently posted..Virtual Entrepreneur: Live Free With the Business of Your DreamsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

      Hi Nate,

      At first it is a bit frightening to build a sales funnel. But just like anything else, if we go through a step by step process of building one with upsells and down sells, they work well. Of course we have to know how to do it effectively for our open rates and conversions.

      This is why those follow up emails aimed at those who just clicked, and those who have opted in are so important.

      Once one gets the idea, puts it together, then we are ready to roll! I’m having a blast with them.


      PS love the book you wrote. Just gave it out as a gift 🙂
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  28. Leslie Denning
    January 16, 2015 at 6:38 pm #

    Hi Donna. Love this post on sales funnels. I use WordPress to use mine. I’m going to be doing a lot more with sales funnels in 2015, as well as doing webinars. I’ve been busting my brain to learn my webinar software, and that is Numero Uno until I get it right. A friend has been my patient guinea pig so that I don’t end up looking like a big silly when I schedule one later this month.

    Thanks for the tips on sales funnels.

    All the best,
    Leslie Denning recently posted..5 Reasons Why Blogging is a Great Internet Marketing ToolMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 18, 2015 at 12:52 pm #

      Hi Leslie,

      Gosh that webinar software can have you busting your brains. If you ever need David or I to call on…don’t hesitate. David does all that technical work….I see him pulling his hair out sometimes he hehe

      Just make sure you have a good way of recording the webinars so they won’t get lost! We had our fair share of ups and downs with them. And Youtube is getting on my nerves!!!! They recently have taken my “Private” videos and blasted them out. Grrrrr

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  29. Ryan Biddulph
    January 15, 2015 at 10:23 pm #

    LOL on each person…and trust me Donna I’ve been all of them! Ha!

    I figure that humbling yourself and admitting that you can always learn is a great way to set up a successful sales funnel. Also, being willing to freaking stick with a funnel works nicely too. Wow I’ve bailed on so many proven strategies until I woke up, saw my impatience and then stuck with what worked and saw it through until I reaped freeing rewards/ aka inspired results.

    Donna, awesome message. Thanks for sharing!

    Ryan Biddulph recently posted..5 Tips for Riding the Entrepreneurial Roller Coaster (in 7,000 Words)My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 16, 2015 at 11:09 am #

      Hey Ryan.

      I’ve been all of them too Ryan!

      So true, as we build a sales funnel, we have to know that it is a constant learning curve. It doesn’t always work out the first time. We need to know that there will be tweaking along the way and not get all frustrated about it.

      I watch you grow all along the way my friend. Now that you have empowered yourself you are taking your business to new levels. It all starts from within. And I’ve seen how steadfast you stuck to growth, thereby it reflects your business.


      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  30. Kumar Gauraw
    January 15, 2015 at 5:19 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Happy New Year to you!

    Well, I have a lot of things to catch up having gone for almost a quarter from blogging. I have had my moments of reflection and contemplation about things. But, I am more excited about this year than ever before for any other year!

    Sales funnel is absolutely critical and what I realized is, it is easier said than done 🙂

    I have seen David and you building your sales funnel and how you kept on keeping on. Persistence is the key and I am so glad to see how you put it all together moving one step at a time. Marvelous job!

    Thank you for sharing your knowledge with others on the webinar and giving away some tips that others can pick up from you and get better and building their sales funnel. You are awesome!

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted..Using Mandrill For Better Control Of WordPress Email DeliveryMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 16, 2015 at 11:21 am #

      Hi Kumar,

      Happy New year!

      Good to know that you had set aside time for reflection and contemplation about things. We all need to set time for that!

      As for sales funnels, it is critical and yes, it is easier said than done. This is why David and I needed to create a webinar for others to learn the how to’s and what exactly is a sales funnel.

      We found that many of our clients had vague ideas about it or were afraid to step into it. Because it is a necessary part of any marketing plan, we decided to address this issue.

      We have done it ourselves, tweaked, skinned our knees but got back up and perfected it.

      Not an easy task, but it is one thing bloggers and marketers need to know.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  31. Donna Merrill
    January 15, 2015 at 3:11 pm #

    Hi Barbara,

    It has been so busy for you between work, the holidays and the new baby. And let us not forget the snow which has an effect on everything.

    As we work together, and you get your ducks in a row, it will be applied to a sales funnel. Then the email sequence. But you have a good understand of that!

    Let’s rock!

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  32. Barbara Charles
    January 15, 2015 at 1:56 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    I am definitely a Know-Something. Knew enough to be dangerous but not effective. Wanted to stay away from them but now I understand that this is the way to be successful which is why I am working with you. (just need to find the time). 🙂 Now that the new baby is here, and the holidays are over, I expect I’ll be working on this now and we’re scheduled for next week.

    Looking forward to it.
    Talk soon.

    Barbara Charles recently posted..5 Ways to Keep Your Mind SharpMy Profile

  33. Mark
    January 15, 2015 at 1:43 pm #

    Thanks for leading the way as always Donna!

    I’m definitely in the “follow those that have already conquered the path you’ve chosen” category!
    Which basically means:

    I will follow the path of my coaches and mentors, such as yourself, since they’ve already proven they definitely know how to go from point A to point Z!

    And that’s why I’m here carefully studying your instructions!And will continue to do so!
    Mark recently posted..Seven Potentially Profitable Reasons Why WordPress Dot Org Totally Rocks!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 16, 2015 at 11:11 am #

      Hi Mark,

      Ahh..great way to grow your business by following others. I’ve done the same myself and still do. It is an ongoing learning curve when we choose to market. It’s not for the faint of heart, nor the ones that want to give up quickly.

      Rather, it is for those who want to stay in the game.

      Thanks Mark,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  34. Vivette
    January 15, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

    Well written post Donna.

    When it comes to sales funnel it sounds so complicated
    so I have never taken the time to learn much about it.

    So your post is very timely and I will be signing up for your webinar
    Vivette recently posted..Online Marketing Course…. Ivest, Learn, TeachMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 15, 2015 at 2:34 pm #

      Hi Vivette,

      Sales funnels are complicated. But once you learn how to set one up, you start engaging with those who have opted in. The trick is to have different price points of various congruent products in it.

      Then comes the emails. They MUST be giving value for those who opted in and then offer something else to them.

      Can’t explain it all here, but I look forward seeing you on the webinar. If you cannot make it, no worries…we record it and it will be sent to you.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  35. Mi Muba
    January 15, 2015 at 2:37 am #

    Hi Donna

    Moving from hobby blogging to money blogging the first milestone one has to cross is the creation of sales funnel and its proper execution.

    It’s a day dreaming if one thinks a unique visitor will come back on a blog after reading his high quality post. Such posts are already in gazillion in blogosphere and one can’t be a loyal visitor just on the basis of a few quality posts. So a tangible effort to convert each visitor into a loyal visitor is must and that is possible by building an email list.

    Many people just in laziness avoid diving into money blogging and declaring proudly they are blogging just for the money. If someone doesn’t make money with his blog despite its money earning potential it means he is making loss with blogging because he is losing the money which he could otherwise have earned without much difficulty.

    So the first step for serious bloggers is to declare that they are now trying to earn money with their blog and end their loss making tenure and start earning profit

    Thanks for sharing this very useful post.
    Mi Muba recently posted..How to create this unique product in 30 minutes only?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 15, 2015 at 11:13 am #

      Hi Mi Muba,

      Thank you for adding some good information to this post! So true, if one is moving from hobby blogging to money blogging it is a huge milestone. One needs to have their sales funnel in place.

      Yes, there are a gazillion great posts in the blogosphere, and to create a loyal visitor we must get them on our email list. There we can give them more content and advice and go on to give them our offer.

      Indeed, We must be monetizing our blogs in some way! Otherwise it is a loss of time and energy, which we could put elsewhere to earn money. Lets face it, if we are blogging, we are here to make money.

      We have to be honest and tell our readers, yes I’m here to make money and if you want to join me into my venture fine!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  36. Corina Ramos
    January 14, 2015 at 10:01 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    When I started reading about the “know-nothings” you were talking to me :). I know the niche and have a product out there but I need something to really push it.

    I had hard about the sales funnel several years ago but like you I was scared of that term so I just stayed away from it. Actually, I’m still kind of intimidated because my product is not a big one. The “dog training” scenario gave me some great ideas so thank you for sharing that with us here.

    I have thought about a landing page or a squeeze page but put it on the back burner. I going to have to revisit that.

    Thank you again for this information! Hope you’re having a great week!
    Corina Ramos recently posted..What You Should Know About Mom and Happiness #infographicMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 15, 2015 at 11:07 am #

      Hi Corina,

      I would say that your landing page/squeeze page is most important of all. I has to capture people’s attention of what you have to offer. If it is not working well, tweak tweak and tweak again. It is all part of the game.

      It doesn’t matter if your product is not a “big one” it could be a great way for a lead magnet. Then build other products into it. If you don’t have your own, it can be affiliate products.

      But it all comes down to working that list. So take that landing page off the back burner, revisit it and see what happens. 🙂

      To your best!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  37. Sylviane Nuccio
    January 14, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    You’ve not only explained how sales funnels work, but showed how important it is to have one.

    In my case, the sales funnel would work better for my coaching business, and very soon I will have an opt in for a new eBook that will be the entrance of my funnel (so to speak) for coaching services.

    But I’m like you used to be, sales funnel are scaring me and I guess that when the time comes I should learn about that from you guys.

    I guess I have to register in one of your tutorials one of these days when I have some time.

    Great share, Donna and have a great evening.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted..Five Misleading Beliefs That Hold You BackMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 15, 2015 at 10:41 am #

      Hi Sylviiane,

      Yes, it is important to have a sales funnel to keep those that opt into your product alive. I like the idea of you having a lead magnet of an ebook to start with as an entrance to your funnel. Good thinking…

      Then via email sequences, you can offer your coaching services which will help so many people. I know you are not a pushy person and sure that your email sequences will give value to those that are on your list.

      Once you engage there, and build that trust factor, I have no doubt that people will be signing up for your coaching.

      You know where to find me when you get the time!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  38. Neamat Tawadrous
    January 14, 2015 at 1:08 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Great post to start the new year and your advice is sound.

    It took me a long time to understand what a Sales funnel is until finally I learned about it and created my own funnel but as there are so many things that has changed in my business, I need to tweak my funnel as well which I have been putting off for a while now. Your post just encouraged me to start doing just that.

    Your coming webinar looks like something I can learn from, will there be a recording and if there is, do I still need to reserve my spot as I won’t be able to make it live to the webinar.

    Thanks Donna for a great advice at the beginning of the new year. Enjoy the rest of your week.

    Be Blessed,

    Neamat Tawadrous recently posted..The Power Of Purpose!!!My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 14, 2015 at 8:05 pm #

      Hi Neamat,

      As things change in our business, so does our sales funnels. It is not just a one step process. We even have to tweak many things as we go.

      Glad this post was encouraging to you. As for my webinar, yes, it will be recorded. I do one webinar a month and it is always recorded.

      No worries!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  39. Adrienne
    January 14, 2015 at 12:31 pm #

    Good morning Donna,

    As you very well know, I was in your same boat starting out. I had a great offer but nothing else.

    I knew all about sales funnels though, I had done one back in 2011. I actually started making money the very first month I put everything in place. But it was a product that quickly ran it’s course so I took everything down and went a different direction.

    Knowing full well I needed my own product, you know how much I drug my feet getting that out. You and David beat me and you even moved for goodness sakes. Talk about impressed though but I finally released it at the end of November.

    This year I intend to focus more on my consulting practice but throughout the year keep my ears open to what my audience wants next and the funnel will continue to grow.

    I love what you and David are teaching and I hope that you’ll have many more students this year who are eager to get started and raring to go.

    Love this post and will be sharing it as well so keep up the excellent work my friend and have a fabulous week.

    Adrienne recently posted..2015 Is Officially Here; Are You Ready To BlogMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 14, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

      Hi Adrienne,

      Last year was some run for both of us wasn’t it? It’s funny how once we roll out with our first products, so many other things happen.

      I’m sure as you are focusing on your consulting practice, you will keep your ears open to know exactly what your audience wants to know. Then that funnel will grow.

      Although David and I got our product out before you..there were two of us! You are only one girl. Plus David had things like sales funnels, squeeze pages and other marketing stuff all written before the product was finished.

      We had many things under our belt in order to build a funnel.

      Thanks so much!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  40. Nisha Pandey
    January 14, 2015 at 10:47 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Nice topic indeed! I am also not much familiar with the sales funnels. Thanks for introducing with us here. You are doing great with teaching us a lot about the online business needs.

    I would love to register for it soon for my “Sales Funnel Profits”.

    Thanks again. Have a wonderful day!
    Nisha Pandey recently posted..Interview with Young Talent Harsh Agrawal – Founder of ShoutMeLoudMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 14, 2015 at 7:55 pm #

      Hi Nisha,

      Sales funnels are a must if we want to sell just about anything on line. This is one thing I did not apply years ago.

      Once a sales funnel is in place, it is like sales on auto pilot, but we must always remember to make sure that we have to be constantly emailing those on our list.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  41. Enstine Muki
    January 14, 2015 at 2:00 am #

    Hey Donna,
    Having a sales funnel in place is money on auto-pilot

    Yaro Starak explains this as one of the ways to make real money with your blog even without high traffic. According to him, he removed direct advertising and focuses on building sales funnels, selling big ticket products and make huge sums of money.

    This is a wonderful business approach for 2015 and thanks for bringing it up to get your readers fueled.

    Mine should be up and running in 2 months from now

    Happy New Year friend
    Enstine Muki recently posted..30,000 BroadedNet Credits From Kharim TomlinsonMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 14, 2015 at 1:30 pm #

      Hi Enstine,

      You sure said it “having a sales funnel in place is money on auto-pilot”

      One doesn’t need high traffic on their blogs in order to have a sales funnel in place. There are many entry ways to a funnel. Our blogs are a small percentage of opt in ratio. But a well thought out marketing plan is.

      The fun stuff I like about sales funnels is there can be many offers we can give from free to a $7 product and/or service, all the way up to our highest amount. It reaches many levels.

      Couple that with a good email sequence and oh boy does it work!

      Good to know that yours will be running 2 months from now.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  42. James McAllister
    January 14, 2015 at 12:11 am #

    Hi Donna!

    Funny coincidence that you published this post as I was writing my own on a similar subject.
    Admittedly, I was a “know-nothing” for the longest time. I had a blog, I had traffic, but there was no business back-end to it all. My email newsletter was used for nothing more than advertising my newest posts.

    Eventually I woke up and finally realized what was necessary to make real money from the site, but it turns out the market I was in wasn’t a good one for promoting products, nor coaching, nor a membership site, all of which I had wanted to implement at the time. Unfortunately the site never really had potential in the first place and I stopped working on it. It still makes Amazon sales and Adsense revenue every month but it has definitely hit a plateau and isn’t going to go anywhere higher than it is now.

    Every time I start a new site these days I prioritize the business back-end over the actual blog, because my blogs only act as a tool to get people onto my email list and into my sales funnel. In my opinion, that’s the best way to build a consistent income. Especially when you segment your list based on purchases / actions and promote products at increasingly higher prices. Not sure how this is done with Aweber but GetResponse makes this really easy, which I am really thankful for.

    I spent a lot of time this past weekend setting up my autoresponder sequence and a small sales funnel for a niche site I started a few months ago. I’m promoting a lot of services on that site and have some outsourcees lined up so I’m excited for that.

    It’s funny that people are saying that squeeze pages are dead and are only use in the internet marketing / make money online markets, my squeeze page on my niche site is working very well for me so far.

    Now I’ve just got a bit of tweaking to do to maximize conversions!

    Hope the webinar goes well. Thanks Donna!

    – James
    James McAllister recently posted..Your Blog Is NOT A BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 14, 2015 at 1:20 pm #

      Hi James,

      I just read your latest blog before I replied. It is fantastic! I love your title too “Your Blog is NOT A Business” because it is only part of it. We cannot think we can slap up a blog and there we go. No way…we need an opt in form followed by a good sales funnel.

      Yes, we can get opt ins from our blogs, but in the scheme of things, how many people are we talking about? A small percentage. What we do need is to compliment our blogs with a good marketing strategy.

      It all comes down to the sales funnel. Part of which is the email sequence. And that is where we really can engage with people.

      When it comes to squeeze pages, they are still alive and kicking! Although many say they are dead, I find it is one of the most important parts of our marketing.

      God to know all that you are doing. And good luck with the tweaking. I love that part … tweaking and analytics.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  43. ikechi
    January 13, 2015 at 10:58 pm #

    Hi Donna

    You advised me to have a Sales Funnel and now you wrote about it. I am definitely one of the Know-nothings. I have read about sales funnel from Yaro’s blog.

    All I can say is I am registering for the webinar right now. Thanks for sharing an awesome post.

    • Donna Merrill
      January 14, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

      Hi Ikechi,

      Sales Funnels are a must in marketing. We need some kind of opt-in on our blogs, and a marketing plan to go with it.

      A sales funnel when in place will enhance your business. As long as you build it correctly and leave room for tweaking…you will be all set up.

      Thank you for your interest and registering for this webinar. It will be recorded if you cannot make it and will be in your email the minute we convert it.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  44. Glenn Shepherd
    January 13, 2015 at 3:06 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    This is excellent advice. The concept of sales funnels is something I learned along with pretty much everything that I’m putting into practice now. For years I’d bought into and tried many things but they were all useless or poorly explained/supported.

    For anyone who’s serious about making money online then they need to build a BUSINESS. A business requires structure, planning and hard, diligent work. A core element of this is using sales funnels.

    Currently, I don’t have any funnels that are 100% me, as what I’m doing incorporates a bigger opportunity through which I have products that I can promote. However, the principle is still the same and I can honestly say from the perspective of someone starting from zero and failure and going on to get subscribers and make big-ticket sales, that the funnel concept works, plain and simple. For people to say they’ve tried it and it doesn’t work, well then there was something wrong with their funnel somewhere along the way.

    The sales funnel concept is sound, is a proven business model and is one that should be learned and implemented ASAP. Your breakdown, example and advice on the subject here is excellent and I just hope that those who need to do so pay attention to it and apply it.

    For me, my next step is to have a funnel that’s entirely me. I’m currently working on getting this in place and I aim for 2015 to be the year where my results kick into high gear! 🙂

    Glenn Shepherd recently posted..Do You Need Knowledge to Be an Authority?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 14, 2015 at 12:34 pm #

      Hi Glen,

      Thanks for sharing your view on Sales Funnels. It enhanced this post so well. It sure is needed if we are going to sell anything. For me, it is the only way to do so.

      In the past, I did some affiliate products, but it was a very slow process. Once we build our sales funnel, that’s where we can really engage with people. This is how we get that know/like/trust factor for those who have opted into it.

      For any naysayers about sales funnels, they probably needed to tweak it. Or maybe their emails were just pushing sales. One has to carefully select those follow up emails to each and every person that opts in.

      Then there is that good old re-targeting pixel….I won’t get into that right now, but it sure works well.

      Good to know that you are going to build one that is entirely YOU! I know that it will be successful.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  45. Donna Merrill
    January 13, 2015 at 11:33 am #

    Hi Brittany,
    Sales funnels are a funny thing. We are always tweaking them. It all starts with our lead magnet and there are many ways to approach that funnel.

    Yep..tweaking is the key. Of course one has to be working on it to be able to use them in a beneficial way.

    I know from our lovely conversation we had, you are not in that space right now. Gosh you have your hands full. But you know very well what you are doing and keep those blinders on because you have a great blog, awesome followers, and you have set up something that fits in your life right now.

    It was fun chatting with you and I wish you all the best

    Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  46. Brittany Bullen
    January 12, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

    Hey Donna,

    I think maybe there could be a separate category for me called the “Know a Littles”. I know a bit about setting up sales funnels and I have one or two currently operating but not bringing in conversions, probably because there are tweaks I need to make that I just haven’t gotten around to.

    Like we talked about the other day, I’m fine with growing slow because I feel confident that my business will grow eventually. I’m in no rush and it’s nice to learn from a few clients before things get out of hand (which hopefully someday they will, but in a good way!)

    You’re absolutely right, though, that blogs are so easily converted into pieces of a sales funnel if we go at them the right way. My problem is, I just love creating things so much and not all that I create is right for the same audience as my business. Still a bit stuck on that one too =) Oh well! Having fun in the meantime!

    It was so fun to chat with you. Enjoy your week!
    Brittany Bullen recently posted..No Care Packages Needed: 10 Commandments of Visiting New MomsMy Profile

  47. Deborah A. Ten Brink
    January 12, 2015 at 5:43 pm #

    Hello Donna!

    So glad you are doing this webinar. It is very timely for me as I’m getting that plan completed. I see the funnel, but not with all the bells and whistles… yet!

    I really enjoy your blog and the stories you share. It makes it so interesting and educational at the same time. I can’t wait to see it all in action in 2015!

    Thanks for all the value you give,

    Deborah A. Ten Brink recently posted..Your Mission Statement. How To Capture The Essence Of Your BusinessMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 14, 2015 at 12:24 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      I’m so glad this is timely for you. This means that you have been working on that strategy lol.

      The sales funnel can get a bit complicated, but if you have all your offers in a row and can engage with your opt-ins, it is pretty easy to get on cruise control with.

      Setting it up is one thing…and I’ll explain that all in the webinar.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  48. Don Purdum
    January 12, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    The beauty of your article is the realization that there is no one way to do it, but if you don’t do it like you said you have nothing more than a hobby that wants to become a business.

    I teach two separate concepts that are dependent on one another. I would love to share my thought with you. As a regular reader of my blog I know this will make sense to you in how this works in my mind.

    I first focus on a marketing funnel and I start with the premise of what do you need for sales numbers and reverse engineer it. This is looking at both at a macro and micro position (meaning generic numbers and target marketing metrics).

    Once I know what I need or want for my sales numbers, I back out to gain a clear picture of how many leads do I need, how many on average are converting and what is the final number that will be at an average price point to meet my sales goals.

    For those who don’t buy I want to move them back into my marketing funnel. Each month that means that marketing funnel ought to be growing between new people entering it and those who are cycling back in because they need more information, time or resources before they can move into my sales funnel.

    Now, once people move from the marketing to sales arena, I have my sales funnel which in my opinion is nothing more than my processes.

    Once they fill out a form from a marketing call to action the sales process kicks in.

    * Email follow-up and schedule a call
    * Send them a pre-call document to fill out and email back (I won’t talk with them if they don’t do this)
    * Call them
    * Close the deal or move them back to the marketing funnel

    The thing about sales and I learned to be good at it along time ago is that if your marketing is done well, sales will be easier. I didn’t say easy, I said easier. You will be talking to the right audience who needs your products or services because you identified and offered solutions to their problems.

    I love this whole conversation Donna!!!! I love the way you think. I wanted to share my idea with you because of my respect for you. It’s been a fun journey over the last 20 years learning the difference between marketing and sales, their difference and how they compliment one another. That’s why I choose to think about it in terms of a marketing and a sales funnel.

    I hope that makes sense?

    Great article and I hope you are having a Happy New Year!

    Go Patriots!!!!!!!

    ~ Don Purdum
    Don Purdum recently posted..Is a Lack of Passion Hurting Your Marketing, Sales and Business?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 12, 2015 at 9:07 pm #

      Hi Don,

      Thanks for sharing a glimpse into your interesting business model.

      I like how you have parallel funnels, one for marketing and one for sales. I do too, but I just call them something different… prospects and clients/customers.

      The main thing is to keep marketing to people in order to bring them on board as paying customers or clients. Even after they become customers, if they drop out of your sales funnel along the way, you need to continue build a relationship with them via your marketing funnel, what I call my prospect list.

      The important thing for bloggers and marketers to understand, and I think you point it out nicely in your comment, is that people are not objects. They don’t fall neatly into the Prospect or Client column. They move in and out of them.

      Knowing this, you need to keep your sales funnels fluid, too. You can’t just sell the same thing in the same way day in and day out. You need to mix it up and change things around, offer new things, drop some old ones, maybe repurpose some stuff… keep things interesting for your followers as they move back and forth between your marketing and sales funnels, as you refer to them.

      Again, Don, thanks for the interesting insights you bring to the table, here.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  49. Harleena Singh
    January 12, 2015 at 1:01 pm #

    Hi Donna,

    Wishing you a Happy New Year, as it’s the first post on your blog in this year 🙂

    I’ve had a little break and just been busy doing up my blog forum and the blog, and just resumed blogging as well. Good to be back into the the grind!

    Coming to your post – you’re absolutely right that a sales funnel is a basic necessity if you wish to earn from your blog. I too had been thinking of it but it seems I’ll have to delay my move for sometime, but I whole solely agree with whatever you mention in this post.

    I would consider myself in the “know-nothings” category as far as the sales funnel is concerned. Thanks for clearing up the picture of sales funnel, how to go about it, and how some people get deceived.

    Presently, I’m too tied up with my community, but I’ll surely be implementing your suggestions one day soon. Thanks for this post and I’m sure it will benefit many. Have a nice week ahead 🙂
    Harleena Singh recently posted..How To Be A Champion Of Your Life In 2015My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 12, 2015 at 1:42 pm #

      Welcome back Harleena!

      So glad you took some time off. We all needed that at the year end didn’t we? In your case, you are focused with your community. That and your blog keeps you busy.

      It’s fine to be a “no nothing” in this case because you are not focusing on a particular sales conversion, but have a huge role with your community and blog.

      Whenever you find it necessary to do the marketing part of your business, a sales funnel would have to be implemented.

      But right now, you sure have your hands full.

      Thanks for stopping by, I missed you!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  50. Sue Price
    January 12, 2015 at 12:35 am #

    Hi Donna,

    What a great detailed post.

    I certainly stayed at the know nothing phase for way too long. I understood the concept and the flow but was stuck on being terrified of anything that sounded techie.

    I have learned over the last year that even when I am promoting my main affiliate product I am better off with my own funnel to differentiate myself. That took me some time to get to that point though.

    You are running some great webinars here to help[ people. I am sure they are value packed.

    Thanks for the great information Donna.

    Sue Price recently posted..Network Marketing as an Option to RetiringMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 12, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

      Hi Sue,

      I too was in that know nothing phase for a long time in the past. David took the lead on this a few years ago. I know I’m a slow poke when it comes to techie things too, but it is actually quite simple and not so techie at all.

      As soon as I realized this, I jumped in and started getting coaching to set things up. I can do this all by myself now Sue!!! I know you of all people can understand that one lol.

      We practiced this all last year and now we are ready to roll out with this webinar to show people how important a sales funnel is if it is done correctly.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  51. Emi
    January 11, 2015 at 4:27 pm #

    Hi Donna,
    This is really good and valuable information,
    I was stuck for so long on getting to know what funnel even means,
    how to put one together what to say… it sure gets complicated.
    I am signing up for your webinar and looking forward to learn more from you 🙂

    Thank you,
    Have a fantastic day!

    Emi recently posted..Blog Post TemplateMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 12, 2015 at 1:00 pm #

      Hi Emi,

      When it comes to learn all about sales funnels, it can be very confusing. The only way to learn is by doing. We have done it…tweaked it.. and so on. Not an easy task and a quick way to loose money if you don’t have it set up properly.

      But once you do, and put it into action, Sales Funnels Work! We are trying to make it as user friendly as possible. Cut and dry…step by step so people can apply it and start working on it.

      That’s our goal and I am so happy you are signing up. Looking forward to see you there.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  52. Sarah Arrow
    January 11, 2015 at 4:01 pm #

    I love this post Donna, I know what you mean by know-nothings and know-it-alls. I have some very lovely clients, but over the years I’ve learned how to sift out the ones with no product to sell or no products to promote. They’re the hardest to work with, not because they’re not any good, but because if they don’t have a product they can’t make money, and I’m not in the business of making people famous… Well, not yet anyway 😉
    Sarah Arrow recently posted..Is a blog post really a story?My Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 12, 2015 at 12:56 pm #

      Hi Sarah,

      I’m sure you do! Indeed, some have to be sifted out indeed. And I do hear you loud and clear about not being in the business of making people famous 🙂

      Thanks for visiting!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  53. Erika Mohssen-Beyk
    January 11, 2015 at 1:33 pm #

    Hi Donna ,
    this post sounds as if you had written it for me ,
    at least the first part 🙂
    I am going to be at your webinar 🙂
    Thank you

    • Donna Merrill
      January 11, 2015 at 1:48 pm #

      Hi Erika,

      I’m so glad to know that this post sounds like it is written for you. Sales funnels are so important if you want to sell anything online!

      Not an easy task, but I’m glad you will be coming onto our webinar. We try to make things as simple and easy to understand as possible.

      Way back when I was learning sales funnels it was like learning some foreign language. So I like to take that into account, make it user friendly.

      I think I spend more time on my sales funnel than I do anywhere else online.

      Looking forward to seeing you and keep in touch,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  54. Deborah Tutnauer
    January 11, 2015 at 12:59 pm #

    Happy Sunday Donna!

    Great post and so timely!

    Back in 2008 when I began my internet marketing journey I started at a free 2 day live course in Denver. It was my very first introduction to the world of online sales and marketing and I left that course with my brain exploding!

    For months I put my young child and my husband to bed and stayed awake burning the midnight oil learning about the internet and how to create websites and of course SALES FUNNELS.

    In the interim – the internet twisted and turned. The prevailing winds went from niches, keyword, PPC and SEO to social media – content development and more. Behind it all, for me, the classic sales funnel got lost to be honest. Though I consistently grew my list through opt-ins, I got really sloppy with my funnel follow up and erred on the side of just connecting and “giving value”.

    It was great! It was fun! My emails have a really high open rate and I get many warm fuzzy replies.. But…

    I was missing the funnel and I wasn’t selling as I should in a way that monetized from the beginning and yet was perceived also by my readers and high value based. I knew I was missing the full build out of the funnel and yet I kept playing around the edges or getting distracted by all the the good things that were working with my business, clients, writing , coaching and speaking.

    And now – early 2015 and guess what I spent all last week doing??

    Outlining a full funnel complete with products, followups, and lots of arrows on the white board!! Into my funnel will finally be organized a plethora of programs, video courses and templates that I already have. And there are part that I must create from scratch as well.

    I’m really glad I came over this morning and saw this post Donna. The sales funnel is so very important and as I shared and you shared too, it’s easy to skirt around it and not take the bull by the horns and just get it done. Yet it’s the backbone of being online! I know so many will benefit from your webinar for direction and understanding. I’m going to go share about it right now!

    Enjoy your day Donna!

    PS..thermals on already today!! Heading out to stack firewood…AGAIN!
    Deborah Tutnauer recently posted..Can I Afford a Business CoachMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 11, 2015 at 6:12 pm #

      Hi Deborah,

      My gosh, you sound like me. I had a great opt-in with a free “stop procrastination now” digital free product. Key word here…free. I sent emails and everyone liked me. Woo Hoo But… I did not have a sales funnel in place. Plus..going back to Free everything was free! “Oh Donna is wonderful” Big deal!

      My husband has created numerous sales funnels for niche sites he had going. He did pretty well with them. But for me, I was just going in circles. But that was way back years ago.

      Once putting a sales funnel together to get those up-sells and down-sells and always giving great value, things turned around. Conversion rates started happening (woo hoo) ROI was doing nicely. So after much tweaking, I finally knew how it worked.

      But the most important thing is to always be engaging with people. Now there comes that “split” age groups, the newbies, the pros, each has to have different types of communication. But I digress….

      So good to know that you are outlining your sales funnel on your white board. That’s exactly the way I need to do it myself lol. A successful sales funnel starts at that white board. It has to be well planned out and I’m sure you will be going forward this year!

      You are so correct when you say that sales funnels are the backbone of being online.

      Enjoy your day too!


      PS yep thermals on today too!
      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  55. Marquita Herald
    January 11, 2015 at 12:42 pm #

    I was immediately drawn to this post Donna because at the moment I’m on a rant about sales funnels and I knew you would bring sanity and a high level of professionalism to this process.

    I have no doubt you will cover things like this in your workshop, but here’s what’s got me hot at the moment. I admit I rarely venture into sales funnels but recently I made an exception and signed up for 2 courses – but these weren’t by no-name newbies, both are prominent online professionals which makes it that much more frustrating.

    The first was for a 30 day challenge and even though the individual was upfront about there being articles associated with the challenge posted daily on their website for all the world to see, only those who signed up would receive “exclusive” content via email. Well we’re just about half way through the challenge and the only thing that I’ve received is the standard automated notice that there is a new post – no exclusive content whatsoever.

    The second had to do with book marketing and this individual is supposed to be an expert in that regard. The very first lesson in the course recommended marketing books on “Squidoo created and managed by marketing guru Seth Godin.” I was stunned – Squidoo was sold to Hub Pages last year and Seth hasn’t had anything to do with it for months. Obviously this is a course created some time ago that is being presented as new but has never been updated. And this is the advice I paid for?!

    Both of these experiences have provide me with valuable lessons on just what NOT to do to build a sales funnel or build relationships with customers. 🙁
    Marquita Herald recently posted..The Good, the Bad and the Stupid of Being Relentlessly PatientMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 11, 2015 at 1:32 pm #

      Oh dear Marquita,

      I feel your pain. I’ve been through that kind of experience myself. Sometimes the “gurus” in the industry let me down too.

      Gosh, that first experience must have been frustrating! I had a similar one myself a while ago. Also with an “expert guru” and half way through the project got caned! Obviously they weren’t making enough of money they put into their huge shout out to the world and just shut it all down. I did receive similar emails.

      This is why I like to learn from trusted people I meet on forums and other places. They may or may not be “gurus” but they sure keep their word. I can have access if I have a question and it had pumped up my knowledge.

      As for the second one…((scream)) as I pull the hair out of my head…. that is insane! This sometimes happens with the old evergreen webinars “gurus” use. Ya think they would toss it or update it.

      At least you have learned just what NOT to do when building a sales funnel. A sales funnel has to be good customer relationships.

      What one must NEVER do in a sales funnel is to constantly give out something to purchase. Sure, we build them so that there are upsells and downsells, but 80 percent of the time we have to give them good valuable content. And I must say..at an affordable price.

      I once paid $500 to a “coach” that disappeared from the planted. Oh there were promises but never kept. Of course he disappeared…many people went after this guy..oh but I digress…

      These lessons we learn inspire us to be accountable when releasing a product.

      So sorry you had to go through all that…but I think we all have run into experiences like that along our journey.

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

    • Dr. Erica Goodstone
      January 13, 2015 at 12:35 am #


      I feel how frustrated you are. I wish there was a way to evaluate these courses in advance, to check out their credibility and their sincerity – and their customer service. Problem is, they often have good sales talk and an immediate deadline with some bonus that is appealing.

      In December I purchased several software programs and courses, about creating webinars and sales funnels. The courses were great and the customer service was quick and easy. But then there was one where it took about a week for them to respond to my request about using American Express instead of Mastercard to pay for it. And then their response was not about my request, obviously a response to someone else. I had difficulty figuring out how to upload the software but they took 5 days off during the holidays, about a week after setting up the program I had paid for. And then I heard the “guru” promoting the same course and then a much more expensive coaching program. And then, what really got to me, was when this “guru” told his prospective new clients who were about to pay a very high fee that he, the guru, was actually losing money by taking the time to give these trainings. When I heard that, I immediately requested a refund and told them I want nothing to do with their company.

      Donna, You and David are teaching something so important. I wish I had met someone like you a few years ago. You could have saved me a lot of struggle and anguish over the past few years. But I guess that is part of the learning curve.


      Dr. Erica
      Dr. Erica Goodstone recently posted..Be More Productive – It Will Change Your LifeMy Profile

      • Donna Merrill
        January 16, 2015 at 1:44 pm #

        Hi Erica,

        Thank you for responding to Marquita. Oh boy what a story you have shared! I thank you for that because I have run into problems during the journey of mine that had the same false promises.

        This is why David and I set things up on our VIP group whereby we can have a session with a person that opts in to get to know them and what they want to accomplish. Then be available!

        One has to be ready with a well thought out timeline to be devoted to a product that we sell. I find many “gurus” in the field do not have a team support system. Although I have found some who do have it.

        Sorry for your bad experience,

        Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  56. Chery Schmidt
    January 11, 2015 at 11:59 am #

    Hello Donna, What great advice my friend! I do understand how powerful putting a sales funnels in place in 2015 can be and do need to stand up and get to work so to say.

    I did tell you I was going to get to this last year and did get an opt in form up, but that is about all I did OPPS!

    You and David are doing a fantastic job here with all of this training, perhaps this may be the kick in the pants I need to getter done HUH?

    Thanks for sharing.. Chery :))
    Chery Schmidt recently posted..Work Your Online Business From The Comfort Of Your HomeMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 11, 2015 at 12:32 pm #

      Hi Chery,

      No worries…I had an opt-in form in the past with nothing to monetize. All I did was continue to give content. Yes, I learned the hard way, but no worries for me. Once I got a kick in the pants, and started using a sales funnel wisely, it turned everything around.

      So maybe yes, it is a kick in your pants to get your sales funnel together girl!

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

  57. Monna Ellithorpe
    January 11, 2015 at 11:43 am #

    Hi Donna,

    Wonderful post with great information. Sometimes I still feel like the “newbie” you spoke of out here trying to put it all together. Then I come across people like you and David and I realize I’m not so much in the dark as I thought.

    I still have much to learn (I believe everyone does) and I look forward to working together in 2015.
    Monna Ellithorpe recently posted..32 Authors With 49 CommentsMy Profile

    • Donna Merrill
      January 11, 2015 at 12:29 pm #

      Hi Monna,

      We all have to be learning each and every day..it is just part of our business model. I’m glad David and I are working with you. And as you know, this webinar is free to you because you are in our VIP Club. We are making it as simple as possible to learn.

      We are so excited to teach this one because so many of our clients have been puzzled about this. I know that once you set up a good sales funnel, your books are going to rock and everything else you have on board.

      Looking forward to chatting with you,

      Donna Merrill recently posted..Look Back To Move ForwardMy Profile

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