What is a Sales Funnel? 3 Funnels broken down from Neil Patel, Russel Brunson and more

A look at popular sales funnels in the market and from our clients and how you can implement them today

If you have spent any time online on anyone “PERSONAL BRAND Business” *cough alannafa.com *cough then you have probably come across a “funnel”. If you are curious about what they are and how you can implement it in your own business, this is for you. We are going to clarify what is a sales funnel by explaining it and looking at examples from clients and other top digital marketers in the space!

What are Sales Funnels?

You probably want visitors on your website to buy your $5,000 product. Maybe you are wondering why they haven’t done so yet? When someone does something you want them to do, it is known as a conversion. This visitor is changed from a viewer of the website, to engaging with the website with either a purchase, sign up or form fill.

A Sales Funnel is what is used to break down the purchase process into steps before they reach the desired outcome of conversion.

Let’s look at a high level from an Amazon purchase funnel. The visitor has a few steps to go through before they purchase the product. In general, it looks like this :

  • They visit the site on Amazon.com
  • They view the specific product
  • They add the product to their curt
  • They complete the cart purchase at checkout

The user may do additional things from the first site visit to purchase such as visit the Product Company’s website, the Contact Page, the Careers Page, but we do not count those in the funnels because they aren’t the designed to be specifically part of the funnel process. So which steps are included and why do we call it a funnel? This is simply because at the beginning of the process, there are a lot of people who take the first step, then drop out in the process. (The funnel narrows just as your conversion rates may in the funnel steps)

Of course, breaking things down simply doesn’t really help us launch and create our own funnel. So let’s take a look at EXISTING funnels from clients and digital marketers to get an understanding of what to do and why they do it. As Russel Brunson would refer to this #funnelhacking

The best way to learn what is a sales funnel? – EXAMPLES


Neil Patels Landing Page – Website Funnel Part 1

As of October 01,2018, Neil’s lead magnet and funnel is currently pushing a Webinar in which he teaches advanced SEO strategies.

He uses registration to the webinar AS the lead magnet so he can collect emails and later hit you with email marketing.  Email Marketing could be considered part of the LONG GAME Sales Funnel, in which for any other events or future products they could reach into their email marketing database and just inform you of the new product and gauge your interest.

Webinar Registration – First part of the “Website Webinar Funnel”


Looking at what would be the aim/end game of the Webinar – they are indoctrinating you to their brand, their virtues and explaining what their service is by TEACHING it on the webinar with the hopes that at the end of the webinar they can have some value proposition which would have you engage with their business and service.

Email Marketing – Confirmation as soon as I signed up

Also, you can see from signing up that the Webinar Signup also includes a “Cheat Sheet” which is probably what was used before as a lead magnet for his site. Also he tells you “over the next week I will be sharing a few marketing hacks with you”. Once was first a simple webinar registration has been enrollment to an email marketing FUNNEL, which is still technically a sales funnel, just all done through email.

Looks like the webinar registration comes with “free” email sequences

Lastly, I attended the webinar the day of writing this blog – and yup at the end of the webinar was a step in their funnel to “Schedule a call with the team”


This approach is a more typical Sales Funnel in which there is some lead magnet, and the rest of the steps are done through the Email follow up. There are other types of Funnels, especially ones that were made famous by ClickFunnels in which the pages lead to One Time Offers or Bump offers, but we have found these to overlook the main essense of what is a sales funnel…. the Value. In our opinion, sales are made in the Value step (Aka the teaching pieces) then in the marketing scracity tactics such as OTO or limited availlability. Though these do work, you just have to make sure that you actually make it scarce. Something that was done for 30days.com (Hint, its not available to purchase anymore)

What is a Sales Funnel? FUNNEL BREAKDOWN

  • Website/Blogs that lead to Lead Magnet – In this instance a Webinar
  • Value-driven Webinar informing users what he does how he does it and how they can do it too (Builds Authority and KTL factor by teaching)
  • Hook – Schedule a call with the team to see how we can help

You can technically include the Email Marketing emails I will get as part of the funnel so that people could look at the cheat sheet, or schedule a call directly from his main website under his consultation link — https://neilpatel.com/consulting/ . Every email/webinar/landing page/blog article all wants you to get to this scheduling process because they know the numbers and close rates on the scheduling call.

*Note – as Digital Marketing now starts being considered part of the funnel – you would consider all Social Media as the widest funnel – Easily digestible content that funnels people to the “actual funnel” which is the site. As of Oct 01, 2018 the expected outcome from the website conversions are to get Webinar Registrations which then lead to consultations.

The last 10 parts of the Webinar series invites you to schedule a call

Russel Brunson – 30Days.com Funnel

The full LONGGG Form funnel. Click to see the full image

This was a VERY Long sales copy that was written for 30days.com that focuses on the premise – “If I lost everything, how would I build it back up in 30 days”

The first “step” in the funnel has the traditional VSL (Video Sales Letter) that lets you know the premise of the site, then goes into long detail of Social Proof, Value Stacking and Soap Opera Sequences of why you want to sign up for FREE

*Something to note, is that with the limited availability of these products – he actually took it away and you cannot purchase this product anymore.

Something to note in terms of the Lead magnet or free give was a set of interviews by top entrepreneurs on what they would do, along with PDF’s and video interviews explaining their process. Then, he said the links would expire and if you wanted to keep them you could *PAY. A very interesting take that is a book out of the car industry book. You let someone test drive a car, so they can see if they want it, let the car sell for itself.

Talk about AMAZING lead magnet. Literally 30+ interviews and PDFs over 7 pages long each…. This is where the market is heading.Free content is getting longer and longer because only DIGITAL ASSETS can scale to make up for the marketing. aka – the market is heading towards UNLIMITED SCALING Courses/Software/Videos

In this way, the interviews and PDF were given away 100% for free. However, if you wanted to have unlimited access to them, you can sign up but also get bonuses. You can check out the pictures of the upgrade page here:


What is a Sales Funnel? FUNNEL BREAKDOWN

  • Hook Page – Introduce the concept and what they will get
  • Video Series Pages – Give them what was introduced in the hook – 30 Days interviews with 2 comma club members and interviews
  • OTO (One Time Offer) – Say access to the interviews will disappear, threaten to take away unless they sign up AND they get added bonuses of:
    • Book printout (Which was the same thing the PDF’s are just printed out. Talk about repurposing!)
    • Unlimited Access (Again, no new work is done here, just taking it away with limited availability bias)
    • 2nd Part Interviews – The first part of the interviews were given away for free. The second part is behind a paywall. *This is big and something everyone can take away from these calls
    • Individual Teaching/coaching  -The main sell.

Notice that the main sell was the main selling point, while the value stacking of the 30 days product was already given away, just repuposed and stated in a way that offered value to the MAIN sell.


Jeff Miller (Is Marketing from coolbeansdigital)

In this example, we can see how he used his Personal Facebook Profile as a funnel that leads to his Facebook Group, his upsells and his Inner Circle Group. These particular sales funnel is more of a lifestyle branding, but the “Steps” in the funnel in the traditional sense can be replaced with content. Let’s take a deeper look

It is interesting to note that with the content he puts on his Personal Profile all for free (teaching, interviews) all somehow segway into his paid products and or group (Which also builds authority and leads to his products and or service)

The “Funnel” is content that positions himself as an authority but also helps the user with valuable information with posts that are videos that also explain the concept/idea.

From here we can see how it leverages a similar position that Neil Patel is approaching with Webinars, in which video is used to teach the audience on a subject. These videos do not even have a hook or sales proposition, but just inform the user, but the website is designed that if you want to support him, you could easily buy his products. This strategy is based on Gary Vaynerchuk’s “Thank You Economy” in which users rely on the goodwill and value they are putting out in the world, so when they are launching a product, reciprocal altruism will allow his fans/followers/supporters to purchase the product as they expect to get the same value as they did with the free content (Videos/ Group/ Explanations of strategies)

Jeff funnels into his Facebook Group from his main profile by showcasing/sampling what is inside his group

What is a Sales Funnel? FUNNEL BREAKDOWN

  • Facebook Profile – Goals: Establish authority, provide social proof of system, Lead users to Facebook Group
  • Facebook Group – Goals: Establish Authority, encourage tribe engagement and community
  • Website Goals: Allow users to go through the purchase decision

With this “funnel” the content or steps are through the Long Term game of continuous posting to establish credibility in the subject (Digital Marketing) and growing a business. It is also interesting as it follows insight that Russell Brunson wrote in his book, that you don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be ahead. By implementing this strategy of how to grow his business, he is also showing other Digital Marketers how to do it WHILE DOING IT.

These types of funnels (which I find most effective) are almost like an amoeba funnel in which there is no clear form or steps, you are simply just continually engaged with the content and product offerings and eventually with enough growth in KLT (Know – Like – Trust) you will purchase something that is offered.

He does implement the traditional “Funnel” with his website, that has a lead magnet of a Blue Print to capture leads on email. With this, he will engage in Email Marketing to build relationship and story with his brand and his business.

Lead magnet – Cheatsheet download –> Turns into email marketing


Shortcuts for Digital Marketing Agency’s to land clients. Here you can see how he sells what he has already done before for past clients – Onboarding Docs and Questions for screening clients. What is something you can do for your business that you can repurpose and sell?



What is a Sales Funnel? We hope you know by now!

So we hope that answers your questions on What is a Sales Funnel and how you can build off some examples to grow your business.  If you are going to go the amoeba funnel approach and utilize your personal pages (Facebook/LinkedIn/Instagram) you should consider going live to cut through the algorithms. Going Live on these platforms is the one sure fire way to have a notification come across your potential viewers screen and teach them on their subject. You can learn more about streaming with our OBS Series Here:





That should help clarify the question: What is a Sales Funnel? If you have any other questions or would like to see more examples, be sure to check out our Facebook Group where we break down more funnels and those specifically related to basketball brands (Since those are my clients)

Also P.S. Notice how I use the blog approach for my own funnel (I link you to my Facebook Group, and I use this platform as a Teaching Platform to establish authority in the space)


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