The customer journey is essential to your sales process, but not every journey looks the same. The sales funnel that works for some businesses may not work for others. So you got a targeted consumer mailing list, how do you know which sales funnel is the best fit for you?

Merely knowing your target market and their demographics is not enough. You must understand the marketing and sales funnels that drive the customer journey in order to map out the road from a lead to a sale.

Understanding the Marketing Funnel

The top of your sales funnel is traditionally the bottom of your sales funnel, so to build a better sales funnel you must perfect your marketing funnel.  A traditional marketing funnel looks like:






Once you’ve built awareness and interest in your product or service, it is important to nurture those leads into sales. There are several ways to do this.

The Traditional Sales Funnel

This is the most popular of sales funnels because it works. It is easy to automate the early stages of this process and it works great for online marketing.

The funnel relies heavily on offering up of free products or information in hopes it will lead to the purchase of the core product and maybe even upsells.


Low Cost

Core Product

Upsell 1

Upsell 2

For example, say you are a health coach with a new Healthy Eating System series of products. You might offer those on your targeted consumer mailing list the first 2 chapters of your healthy eating guide for free (Freebie), sell the book (low cost), offer tickets to a healthy eating seminar (core product), and use the seminar to sell your healthy eating system (upsell 1) or private coaching (upsell 2).

Get creative on what you can offer for free. Webinars, ebooks and other products costs little to produce but can convert at high rates.

The traditional sales funnel usually works with low to mid-range cost products. For higher-end items and services, where it is more difficult to offer freebies, traditional methods are harder to use and navigate.

The Reverse Funnel

Sometimes starting from the top down is a better way to sell your product, especially if you have less leads to work with. The downside is it is harder to automate  because typically, as the more expensive a product is, the more work it takes to sell.

Highest Cost Product

Mid Range Product

Low Cost Product


The key is to offer your highest value product first. With something at every price point, you can ensure your customer is engaged no matter what their price point is. This also sets the psychological bar high. Everyone wants the top of the line model, but may be willing to compromise with a mid-range product. However, the customer may have been perfectly fine walking away with the low-cost product if shown that first. If someone is not ready to buy then and there, offer them a brochure or some piece of information they can walk away with as an incentive to come back

The Ecosystem

While not technically a “funnel”, this is a great and sustainable model if it fits your business. This funnel is when you use one product or service to feed into another. Brands with many interconnecting products or services, like Apple benefit well from this model.  The idea of the ecosystem is to have several different offerings that will interest the same person, and have updates for each one that can be released throughout the year for continual engagement and sales.

The benefits of understanding your funnel is that you are able to find where your sales process is failing, and when customers are dropping off. Then, you can tweak your strategies to compensate. For example, if you are using the wrong targeted mailing list or your pitch is lacking, you should be able to find out using these funnels.”