So you’ve been reading all the marketing blogs

…watched a bunch of videos on YouTube

…typed “how to get more leads” into Google

And, you’ve noticed this phrase –

‘Marketing Funnel’

…keeps coming up!

So, what’s a marketing funnel?

A marketing funnel is a series of steps – for taking a prospect and turning them into a repeat customer.

But first, to understand marketing funnels, your first need to know about ‘traffic remperature’


What is ‘Traffic temperature’?

The #1 reason your marketing conversion is not working – you’re trying to sell the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Tony Robbins said once – If you do the right thing, at the wrong time -You get PAIN.

With your marketing, it’s no different.

You can have the best offer in the world.

But, if you offer it at the wrong time,

To the wrong audience.

Guess what –

…They won’t become a lead.

….They won’t contact you.

…..And they won’t buy.

Your traffic temperature is crucial. So you know what to offer and when.

So what the heck is traffic temperature?

Let me explain…

Traffic temperature it a measurement based on how engaged your prospect is – at a given time.

I break traffic temperature into three categories –

Cold Traffic – people who have never heard of you.

Warm traffic – people who have heard of you but yet to engage with you.

Hot traffic – people who have heard of you and have interacted with you.

So, let’s look at each category,



This is where most of your marketing will FAIL. Because you’re trying to sell your product, to someone who’s never heard of you.

And, sure as heck – don’t trust you yet.

“But how else am I supposed to sell my product”? I hear you wondering


You start building a relationship with your prospects.

The normal way. The old school way. Like you see in the movies.

The “boy meets girl” romantic comedy way…

See, the internet has given you excellent access to people far and wide.

But, it’s also allowed you to ignore the natural process of building a relationship.

With the anonymity of a keyboard – it’s now OK for you to ignore the basic rules of human interaction…(like in the real world)

Which has led you to adopt the bad marketing habit of – asking for too much too soon!

TRY THIS –walk up to a stranger in the street and ask them to buy your product.

…No introduction

…No qualifying them

…Then ask for them to hand over CASH for your product

I bet if you ask 100 people you’ll get 100 say NO.

Unfortunately, this is the logic you think works on the internet.

But, the person seeing your AD…

…didn’t say they’re interested.

…weren’t searching for your product.

In fact,

…They were busy with another conversation when you interrupted them.

But, somehow you think they’ll drop what they’re doing – and buy your product?

Can you understand how CRAZY this marketing logic is?

But, if you can’t ask for their business – how do you make sales?

Great question!

You do it like this:

You open a line of dialogue with your cold prospects.

To do this in marketing –

You introduce yourself and make a good first impression.

The two best ways for you to do this, are…

  1.  You GIVE them something of value and ask for nothing in return.
  2.  You HELP them solve a problem and ask for no thanks.

For example, you could send them to a blog post that solves a particular problem. Or offer your prospect a free tool that helps them solve a problem. And not ask for anything in return.

See, with the power of pixels and the ability to re-market to your site visitors.

You can introduce yourself to your cold audience – win their trust. And warm them up without being too pushy too early.



OK, so once you have made some form of contact with your cold traffic. You can now consider them WARM traffic.

Can you ask for their business now? Sometimes, yes. But often – not yet.

Your warm audience knows who you are. They know what you can do for them. But you still haven’t earned enough of their trust for them to buy your product.

At this stage of the process, your goal is to get your warm audience to engage with you further.

The three most common ways I do this is with…

1) A trade of value for details

2) A trade of value for time

3) A trade of value for money

So pixelling is great. It lets you re-market to your warm traffic. But it doesn’t allow you to talk ‘one on one’ with an individual prospect.

To be able to communicate ‘one on one’. You need your warm prospects to give you more information…

The #1 way – is to trade something your prospect see as valuable. In exchange for some of their details. For example – you could trade a free e-book, or free report in exchange for their email, phone number or address.

In the case of #2 trading time for something of value. Your goal here is to get them to commit their time in exchange for something FREE that has a lot of value.  You could get your prospect to attend your seminar or webinar. Or, you could offer a free consultation or strategy call etc.

With #3 you get your prospect to commit to a small “low dollar” sale in exchange for something of value. This method is ‘tripwire selling’. The idea is if you can get someone to buy from you once, even at a nominal figure of less than $10. They’re more likely to buy from you again.

If you achieve either goal. And your prospects do engage with you further – they’re now HOT traffic.



Now, you’ve introduced yourself.

…Your prospects have received value from you.

…..they know how you can help them.

…….and they’ve gone on the engage with you further.


…and only now!

Have you earned the right – to ask for their business!

It’s to your hot traffic you take your sales pitch.

Offer them your products and if they buy – up sell them further.

If they don’t buy, you can down sell or cross-sell to them.

How to build your marketing funnel:

So, why does your Business need a marketing funnel?

It’s simple – The “old school” way of marketing…does not work anymore.

The “old school” way of –

…you run an AD

…someone see’s your AD

…and then they buy what you’re selling

There are 2 BIG reasons this model doesn’t work anymore…

1) Your audience has checked out. Fact, the average person views over 6000 pieces of advertising per day. Your prospects are so good at ignoring your marketing – they don’t even have to try anymore.

2) The competition online is at an all-time high. The cost of buying cold traffic is too expensive now. You can’t just throw money at it and expect to get a positive ROI up front.

How do you get your marketing to stand out then?

Firstly, understand the consumer has the power today…(and that’s OK)

But, If you want their money, you’d better be able to answer, the only question they’re asking…


With the increase in smart-phones. With a swipe of a thumb- your prospects can compare your offer with your competitors. In a matter of seconds.

Sounds pretty bleak right?

Well, it’s not all bad news…

We now operate in an economy of VALUE – not dollars & cents.

To break your prospects pattern of automatic dismissal.

You need to offer something of HUGE value – for little to nothing in return.

Something “too good to pass on”.

To win the trust of a disconnected audience…

Sometimes, you’ll need to GIVE, GIVE, GIVE…&…Then…Receive!

(Sounds exhausting, right?)

This is why you need a marketing funnel.

Because you make the profit on the back end. Rather than trying to fight for a slice of the market up front.

OK, let me break this down for you.

…before I go into how to structure of your funnel.

..Let’s look at how the numbers work.

That’ll help clear up what I mean…

See, if you have to give on the front end – to get a foot in the door…

You’d better know you can make up for it – once you’re in the building.

A marketing funnel works because we know it cost less to re-market to warm traffic

Than it does to buy cold traffic.

With the ability to pixel your audience. You can remarket to them at a fraction of the initial cost.

Or, if you get their email, phone or address. You can communicate via these channels. With little expense.

Another reason it gets cheaper on the back end is,

As you move prospects through your funnel you’ll lose a few at each step.

Meaning the number of prospects you can market to, reduce at each step of the funnel.

This is fine. You only need one or two to go all the way through your funnel and your ROI should be good.

Understanding your customer lifetime value will help make this process less daunting. As you’ll know your maths works even if you’re not seeing an immediate profit up front.

Marketing funnel



Given your audience’s lack of interest in your marketing.

The first step in your funnel is to create an offer – your prospect can’t ignore it.

You’ll need to do this without asking for much in return…

In step #1 your goal should be to either pixel your prospect, so you can re-market them.

Or, get their email, number or, address in exchange for your offer.

I like to send my cold traffic to a blog post that solves a particular problem.

My goal is to give value, introduce my business and pixel them – so I can re-market to them again.

Things you could use as an initial offer are…

  1. Blog Posts
  2. Social Media Updates
  3. Content Videos
  4. Podcasts
  5. Lead Magnets
  6. Quiz/ Survey
  7. White Papers



Now you know – what they want or what problem they want to solve.

It’s time to try and hook them in. In step #2 you want your prospect to engage with you.

I like to use a free download or give away at this step.

I’m trying to build on the value given in step one and WOW my prospect further.

In step #2 I’ try to get details in exchange for something of value.

Things you could consider using here are…

  1. Free Downloads
  2. Content upgrades
  3. Lead Magnets
  4. Free trail
  5. White Papers



Now you’ve introduced your business and hooked your prospect.

They should begin to feel comfortable with you. This is where we trial close with a soft up-sell.

What do I mean by “soft up-sell”? In Step #3 I’m still not trying to break into a positive ROI – I’m trying to get my prospect to make a stronger commitment.

This can come in two forms, Time or Money.

If it’s time. I’ll try to get the prospect to commit some of their time for a webinar or free consultation…

If it’s money. I’ll sell something of value for a nominal fee (under $10). This method’s called “Trip Wire Selling”.

It works on the premise of – when someone buys from you once they’re more likely to buy from you again.

Some of the things you could use for a soft close are…

  1. Free or Paid Webinars
  2. Flash Sales/ Low Dollar Offers
  3. Product Demo
  4.  Book (Free or Paid)



OK, it’s now time to bank some profit.

If a prospect has made it through the first three steps…

You can now ask for their business.

From a profit and conversion point of view. You’ll need to get the balance right with this offer…

You need your offer to be high enough you’ll make a profit, but not so high – no one buys.

What could you offer, as a gateway sale to bigger sale in the future?.



It’s time to sell, sell, sell…

Any prospect whose still in your funnel at this point. Is a red hot buyer…

It’s time to offer your upsells. Your larger ticket items. Where you make the most profit.

If they don’t buy. Offer a down sell – IE payment plans.

Then offer a cross-sell of other products that are comparable or related

This is the profit part of your funnel – It’s time to maximise ROI.

It’s here you can adopt the old adage – Keep Selling, until they either Buy or Die!!

At this stage, you should see you ROI swing from a negative to a positive position.


Your marketing funnel may take a different shape. Depending on your product or service.

But, the fact remains – without a marketing funnel.

You’ll find it hard to get a positive ROI from your AD spend.

Once you’ve built your first funnel…

…you’ll then need to test each step and optimise them for conversions.

Are you using a first contact marketing funnel?

Most business owners I talk to are too concerned with “not offending” their prospects…
…and it cost’s them thousands of dollars, as it usually leads to weak sales and marketing practices.

But if you’re not prepared to ask someone to buy your product or service, how will you make any money?

And this leads me to one of the most significant missed opportunity in EVERY business…

The First Contact Marketing Funnel.

…what’s a First contact marketing funnel?

It’s the online sales funnel you trigger when a prospect first contacts you.

Regardless of how they first make contact!

In other words, your up-sell.

See, your prospect has given you their details; name, phone, email etc. Take this as a vote of confidence. So, instead of sending them to a generic “Thank-You” page.

You’ve earned the right to ask if they would like to take it a step further…

“Strike while the Irons Hot”

Take the opportunity to drive the relationship forward. When they’re most excited and receptive to you?

…right after they make the first contact.

After all, if they choose to say NO to your offer, you’ll still have their details. And you’ll follow them up as you would’ve anyway.

The BIG Benefits of a First Contact Marketing Funnel are:

Improved conversion rate
You’ll convert more visitors into sales, making a higher ROI on your marketing.

Recover your AD spend:
If you’re running paid traffic, then you can make your AD spend back immediately. Giving you the ability to reinvest into more traffic.

Separate buyers from browsers:
Your goal in business is to get more ‘buyers’, not prospects. List building is great. But lists don’t pay you money – buyers do! By separating the buyers from the browsers. You can focus more time, money and attention on the people who are happy to pay you.

Progress your prospect:
If you don’t have a product or service, you can offer at the point of contact. You can still advance the sale by providing more value such as a webinar, free download or free video series etc.
Or ask them to take the next step in the sales process, i.e., complete a project overview, job quote or order summary.

It STOPS them searching
If your prospect opts in and then takes you up on your offer, it stops them searching. They no longer will be looking around at your competition.

TIP: always follow up with an email and offer your upsell. Unlike every other email you send – a confirmation email has a 90% open rate.
So, it’s an excellent opportunity for you to ask them for further commitment.

So, why don’t you do this?

Because you assume new prospects won’t respond!

…or the BIG one, you’ll “offend them”…

…and scare them from wanting to do business with you!

But what you’ll discover is a lot of your prospects are in fact hot traffic. People who are ready to jump in and take action.

What it all boils down to is…

If you offended a prospect by asking for their business,

Are they a prospect you want?

I mean, wouldn’t you prefer customers who make fast decisions and are happy to pay you?

You work hard and put a lot of time, energy and money into acquiring a new prospect. Don’t let them go before asking them for their business. Do it immediately with you First contact marketing Funnel. We live in a world where attention is fleeting. Don’t assume your prospect will still be interested a day (or even an hour) after the first contact. Strike while the irons hot…and you’ll close more deals,…(and make more money).
What are some offers you have used as an upsell in your first contact marketing funnel?

Marcus Jovanovich
Marcus Jovanovich

Marcus Jovanovich is a Marketing Coach and expert when it comes to online conversion and lead generation. Having run several successful traditional ‘bricks & mortar’ and e-Commerce businesses over the past 15 years, Marcus is now a sought after marketing coach and mentor for those wanting to grow their businesses by focus targeting all aspects of business marketing.

    2 replies to "Marketing Funnels"

    • Hi Marcus, Great article – I’m definitely going to try this! Is the idea just to get any kind of commitment from them? My offer is a big ticket item so I need to build some trust before they do the big sale. Jess

      • Marcus Jovanovich

        Hey Jess,
        If you don’t have a logical gateway product, in the form of a smaller purchase which leads them into your big-ticket sale. Use the first contact funnel to advance your standing in your prospects mind. Offer a free mini video series or webinar to further educate your prospects. Ensure the education you offer has massive value for your prospects and solves their problem. This will help you stand out from your competition and at the same time built trust with you and your brand. Good Luck! Marcus.

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