‘Funnel Hacking’ is a term used in the process examining the online sales funnels used by your competitors and applying what you learn to your own sales funnels to make them more effective.
There is actually a definition of ‘Funnel Hacking’ as follows:
The process of strategically investigating the sales and marketing process of your competitors, which you can use to model and test within your own sales & marketing processes.
It is a term that has been coined extensively by Russell Brunson, CEO of Clickfunnels and many of the techniques in this article have come from his training courses.
For those of you that don’t know, Clickfunnels is a piece of software that you can use to build online sales processes known as sales funnels. If you want to learn more about sales funnels, take a look at my website, www.salesfunnelbuilding.com, which is packed full of useful information and resources.
Why Is Funnel Hacking Important?
When you are building your business online and trying to market and sell a product or service, or maybe build a list, you should always try to learn what people who are already successful in your niche, are doing. Being able to go deep into your competitor’s sales funnel and reverse-engineer what they’re up to, you can begin to test their strategies within your very own business. This is the essence of funnel hacking. In an online business, this can be anything from split testing their landing pages, email sequences and even retargeting ads.
Where to Start – Funnel Hacking Targets.
The first thing you need to do is understand who your competitors are. They may not be direct competitors, but they should be selling the same type of product or service as you are.
For example, you may sell online training courses. You may know of someone selling a membership site on the same subject. If that person has a sales funnel that is working well, this would be a good place to start.
Another example would be if you sold consulting services and your aim is to get people on the phone with your sales team. Again you need to look for people or companies that are generating consulting sales leads.
So start by making a list of your competitors, especially the ones that you know are having success online. Armed with that list, you can then go through the funnel hacking process with each of them.
Gather As Much Information as You Can
The first step you need to take is acquiring a screenshotting tool which will allow you to easily screenshot website pages, so you can start saving them to your computer. My tool of choice is called Awesome Screenshot which is a Google Chrome extension. If you have an iPad or iPhone, you can use the screenshot feature to snap images of a funnel.
Create a New Folder on your computer and set up a sub-folder for each competitor. This is where you will keep the information you have gathered on each competitor. Start by taking full-page screenshots of the pages that you visit and place them into the appropriate sub-folder.
With a little bit of effort, you should be able to find things like landing pages as well as the ads that your competitors use on Facebook or Google to drive traffic to those landing pages.
Tip: Your competitors and influencers in your industry will likely be advertising on Facebook or LinkedIn. Check the “Sponsored” links in your news feed. Take a screenshot of the ones that interest you the most. You may find some new competitors you didnt know about, who are doing something different. Then click the link and screenshot the steps their funnel takes you through. Don’t be afraid to sign up. That way, you also get to know what their follow up sequence looks like.
Learn What Is Making Their Sales Funnel Succesful
Some landing pages may we very short and to the point, others are more long form, with lots of sections. Work out if the most successful ones follow a particular layout. It is also worth noting where people put their forms. Do they have them in immediate view or do they use a popup? Maybe they just have a button that leads to a form (my favorite approach).
Here are some other things you can note down:
- What type of copywriting are they using in their headlines?
- What fonts do they use?
- Is it obvious what landing page or funnel software they use?
- What colors are they using where?
- Do they have videos used or just text?
- Are they listing benefits or features?
- Are prices mentioned for their products?
- Do they try to sell on their landing pages?
- What is the aim of their funnel? Are they list building or trying to sell a product or service?
Testing Your Competitor’s Funnels
Once you have gathered everything about your competitor’s funnels that is visible, you now need to take yourself through the funnels themselves.
In some cases, this may be as simple as clicking on a button, leaving your email address and picking up a copy of their lead magnet (usually a free ebook, list or cheat sheet).
This will show you what sort of giveaways they are using. You will also see if there is any form of upsell on their thank you page.
What you will also get is access to their email sequences. You are now on their email list, so you will see exactly what they send their new subscribers. Take a look at my article How to Engage with Your Email List to learn more about this topic.
If your competitor uses webinars to attract potential customers, register and attend these. You will learn their messaging and also where they are not so effective, so you can make improvements in your webinars. Some of your competition may have excellent sales funnels, but really boring webinars. This could be an opening for you to do a better job.
All this is really valuable information. In fact, you can use this information to help you build some very effective sales funnels for email list building. However, if you want to find out how your customers turn prospects into paying customers, you may need to pull out your credit card and purchase some of their stuff.
It is worth noting, that this may not be necessary if you are selling high ticket services or products that involve salespeople and nor would I recommend it. However, it is worth signing up for an entry-level product to see how your competitors upsell their high ticket items.
This will hopefully give you some useful information on the funnel hacking process. Try some of this out and start building up your funnel database. I also encourage you to check out some of the other resources on this site.
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