How to Create an Online Sales Funnel

One of our members in the Business Academy asked what exactly goes into a sales funnel, and this week we are sharing the answer with you! A funnel is KEY for any online business to become more passive and scale. In this episode, I walk you through the different components of a sales funnel, a case study of how we set these up for clients, and a behind-the-scenes look into one of our best performing funnels!

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How I went from a side hustle and unfulfilling jobs to finding my passion, 5-figure months, and full-time world travel.

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Bringing leads into our businesses seamlessly and automatically is a KEY way to boost success and give yourself back time to focus on other tasks. I break down the online sales funnel that I use and teach my clients, so that you can create your own funnel too!

Prefer to read? Here’s the blog version…

This week, we are leaving Indonesia and flying all the way across the world to Mexico. Our journey is insane. We are first going on a domestic flight from this little island we’re on in Indonesia to this international airport called Madan. And then we are flying from Madan to Singapore. We have a 12 hour layover in Singapore, and then we fly 12 hours from Singapore to Istanbul, Turkey. We then have around another 12 or 13 hour layover in Istanbul, and then we have a 15 hour flight to Mexico City. We’re gonna spend a few nights in Mexico City, which I’m really excited about.

And then we have another domestic flight from Mexico City to the airport, Zihuatanejo, which is on the Pacific coast of Mexico. And then we have our last one hour transfer to our destination, to our next destination, La Saladita. We booked a beautiful two-story house right on the beach. I swear I’m just getting so spoiled with living right in front of the ocean. It’s so good for my mental health, it’s so good for my business as that’s what I draw a lot of inspiration from. And of course, the surf is world class. So really blessed, really grateful to be able to do this. But you guys all know that this was not by accident. The business I have built and the businesses that I help my clients build all have the same underlying value of freedom.

Introducing, Online Sales Funnels!

And in today’s episode, I’m going to be teaching you how to create an online sales funnel for your business. This episode was inspired by one of our dear members in the Wonderlover Business Academy. She asked to see the actual steps to creating online marketing campaigns, lead magnets, opt-ins, email sequences. Basically, she said, seeing your sales funnel inaction would be super helpful. So today I’m going to share what exactly a sales funnel is and why you need one for your online business. I’m going to share the different components of a funnel, some case studies of different funnels I’ve helped my clients build as well as an inside look into one of my own funnels at the Wanderlover.

What is an Online Sales Funnel?

So if you are listening to this and you’re like, what exactly is a sales funnel? What is this term I keep hearing in the online space? A sales funnel is basically the process of bringing people around the world who are unaware of your business, bringing them through different steps in order to become a customer or client of your business. So each stage of the funnel, it takes the potential buyer or client one step closer to making a purchase and hitting checkout and hitting signup. In the online marketing space, we call all potential clients and customers leads.

And there are three categories of leads. We have cold leads who are people who have no idea what you do and what your business is. We have warm leads who have interacted with your business, maybe they’ve downloaded some of your freebies, which we will get to later. And then we have hot leads. So those are your thousand raving fans who know you, who love you, who trust you, who have bought from you. And our sales funnel is bringing people from being a cold lead to a hot lead. And what’s really cool about this is that you can optimize and automate this whole process.

We can set up the systems, we can set up the funnels. And this is why I am recording this episode because it honestly gives you so much more freedom if you have the intention to set this up for yourself. You don’t have to be manually DMing people to invite them to connect with you. You don’t have to be going to conferences and going in Facebook groups and doing a lot of push marketing and outreach. There is a way to automate this whole thing, and that is why we want sales funnels in our businesses. If you don’t have this system in place, you’re basically running on a hamster wheel trying to get new leads very manually.

But if you have a sales funnel in place on the back end, even when you’re traveling around the world and spending days and days on the go with maybe no time to really check in on your leads, you know that you’re still growing your business and growing your audience base, turning those cold leads into warm leads and some warm leads into hot leads.

Your First Sales Funnel

So before I get into the different components of a funnel, I do wanna preface this by saying there is a big difference between making a funnel and making a funnel that actually converts online visitors into lifelong customers and clients.

There is a difference between just setting up all the steps with no intention and really no soul or personality behind it, versus continuing to optimize this process until it works for you. It’s very rare that the first funnel you set up will be profitable or successful. And so the biggest thing is to look at the numbers, look at the data, and constantly be asking yourself, what part of this can I improve? Don’t give up after the first one. Usually, like I said, again, it’s not gonna be successful, but you’re going to learn so much about this process and it’s important for you to take emotions out of it.

Really look at your funnel objectively and ask yourself, what is working? What isn’t? What can I improve about myself, about my brand? And ultimately create a movement, A movement that is greater than yourself. A movement that helps many, many other people solve problems in their lives that make their lives easier. If you can think big like that, you will have a successful funnel because it is more than yourself. It’s more than just setting up these different pieces. There is a mission behind it.

How To Create An Online Sales Funnel

1. Create An Opt-In

With that being said, the first component of creating your own sales funnel is to create what we call an opt-in. An opt-in is also known as a freebie. It can be a pdf download, it can be some templates, it can be a free webinar, a free masterclass, a free consultation. It’s basically something you give your audience for free in exchange for their email. The freebie should be targeted to your ideal client or customer, and it should relate to whatever it is you are selling after they sign up to become a lead. The process of creating these opt-ins looks like first creating the freebie offer. So deciding what exactly your ideal client or customer needs help with. Think how you can offer some quick, easy transformation. It doesn’t have to be a giant ebook, it doesn’t have to be overdone. It can be really simple, but really effective. So first, creating that.

2. Create a form

Number two, we want to then create a form. Raise your hand if you’ve ever given your email to someone else on their landing page where they’re like, give me your first name and your email and receive this freebie in exchange, right? That area where you input your name and your email, that is called a form, and you usually create it with your email list manager at the Wander Lover. We use Active Campaign, and I highly recommend it in the Wander Lover Business Academy. I teach you how to set it up and integrate it with your website. But we’re gonna want to create the second piece, which is a form to then collect the emails.

3. Create A Landing Page

And last but not least, we want to then create a landing page, so a URL that directs people to sign up. When you are promoting this in the future, we’re gonna send everyone that landing page link, which is gonna have a little blurb about what it is that the freebie offers about you and your services, as well as the form embedded on the page. And then we’re going to set up the automation that’s going to automatically send whoever signs up through the form, they’re gonna send them an automatic email with the link to download.

4. Create A Tripwire (Optional but recommended)

Once you have your landing page set up with the form embedded, we have the option to add in a trip wire. So a trip wire is an irresistible low priced offer. It’s usually under $20, think around seven to $17, and it capitalizes on the momentum of new subscribers for your business. So when they say yes to you, when they say, yes, I need this freebie offer, they are usually seven times more likely to continue saying yes. From there. When you have your freebie up on your website, people who fill out the form obviously have interest in what you have to offer. So you’ve done the work in getting them to sign up. So on the success page, after they submit the form, we offer a tripwire related to the freebie offer.

The Funnel In Summary

So the whole process, up until now, it looks something like one, you give something valuable for free. Two, your new subscribers see the value, and in exchange for this free content, they give you their email address. Three, once they’ve subscribed and already said yes once to you, you lead them to the sale of a lower priced item under $20. And it’s even more effective if you add in a sense of urgency, such as the offer is only available right now or for the next 24 hours. And lastly, if you want, you can even lead the buyer to a higher priced item. You want to make sure that your trip wire is informational, passive, and actionable.

So things like PDFs, eBooks, workbooks, templates, databases, they work really well. You don’t really want anything tied to your time. And depending on your niche, certain items may work better than others. So this is why we want to be intentional, and we also want to test it out. You want them to think if they got so much information for such a small amount of money, imagine what they could get if they invested more.

How To Convert Warm Leads Into Hot Leads

After we have all this built out, we’re gonna go into our client relationship manager. So active campaign, and we’re now gonna start building out the automation to take people from warm leads to hot leads. So from people who are interested, they’re getting a taste of what you have to offer. We’re going to start sending them automated emails day after day to then convert them into hot leads, convert them into clients, and convert them into customers. We do this through a welcome nurture sequence. I give templates in our paid course, the Wonderlover Business Academy. If this is your first time setting up an automation, we wanna keep it really simple and we want to invite them at the end to book a call with you. That’s usually the call to action. We want to direct traffic to first.

1. Set Up An Automated Email Sequence

And so our email sequence, the first email is going to be triggered as soon as someone submits the form, and it’s going to be an email with the link to download whatever it is that you’re offering.

The second email, which we’re going to schedule after one day. So after one day that they download, we’re gonna send them another email introducing you, who you are, what your story is, who you help, and what they can expect from your emails going forward. We’re gonna wait another day, and then we’re gonna send another email talking about your products and services, testimonials of people who have worked with you, who have raving things to say about you. We’re gonna wait another day.

And then the last email in this sequence is going to be inviting them to book a call with you. Of course, this is going to look kind of different for every person, depending on what your business is, what you’re currently trying to promote, and what kinds of freebies and calls to actions work best for you.

There are many modifications that can be made to this process, like some people don’t even start with a freebie and they start with a paid offer, low ticket, maybe from seven to $77, and they just send traffic to a landing page and then collect leads and then send them through an automation. Other people may not have a call to action to book a call. It could be to enroll in a a course, or it could be to check out your YouTube channel, whatever it is that you are trying to build out. We want to be intentional with the ultimate goal. If you want to discuss what funnel would work best with you, you can DM me and we can set up an hour to talk through your sales strategy after we have every one of these components built out.

2. Drive Traffic To Your Landing Page

Now we wanna start driving traffic. So this is the fun part because this is basically the marketing aspect of how you get more and more people to land on that landing page every single day. Think of it like an umbilical cord for your business. You wanna continue growing it so that you are getting new leads on autopilot into your business every single day without having to manually go out and find them. We have an aligned freebie setup, right? So think where do those people who need your help hangout? Are they in Facebook groups? Are they on Pinterest? Are they on YouTube? We are thinking about how to drive traffic organically and through paid marketing to that landing page so you can grow your email list.

I teach you how to do this through Facebook ads. We run campaigns to targeted audience members with really captivating creatives so that they download. And so you’re paying around two to $5 per lead, which I guarantee you’re gonna convert in the automation, in your nurture sequences and with your content later and later when you grow your email list. They’re on there for life or until they choose to unsubscribe. And so if they don’t immediately sign up with you or book a call, it’s okay because after more weekly newsletters, email blasts in the future, they are always going to convert once they see how your services can help them with their struggles.

So ways I want you to think about driving traffic, Facebook ads, Google ads, seo blog posts, podcasts, Pinterest, YouTube content on TikTok or Twitter. Remember, you have that link, right? So let’s distribute it in as many places as possible and continue creating content around your brand, your business, and your offers.

Client Sales Funnel Case Study

So next, let’s jump into a case study of a really simple sales funnel. I set up for my client. When she first came to me, she had a really manual, organic way of getting leads to sign up with her.

She is a social media manager, so she helps create schedule and post social media content on all platforms. And her problem was that it was all very slow and that people were referring her, but there was really no systematized and strategic way to get more leads. So her services for social media, she’s targeting businesses. They can be brick and mortar, or they can be online, but targeting small businesses who need help with their online social media presence. So the free we offer that, we decided to intentionally come up with five easy steps to become more consistent with your content.

Do you see how that clearly targets people who need help and who are struggling with their social media, right? Think about what the pain point of your ideal client or customer is, and then create a really easy actionable freebie to then go along with that. We then set up the automation. We set up ads to then drive traffic to get new people on her email list every single day, even while she’s traveling through Europe planning trips. Her business is growing. And after running this campaign for a few weeks, she now has hundreds and hundreds of new subscribers who then she was able to convert into new monthly retainer clients without really having to lift a finger because it’s all automated, right?

And on top of that, of course, she’s still growing organically, growing by word of mouth, but we have introduced this new passive system into her business that just lifts such a weight off of her shoulders.

The Wanderlover Sales Funnel

So in the last part of this episode, I want to give a bit of insight into one of the sales funnels we have at the Wander Lover that works really well. Our lead magnet is a free masterclass called How to Build a successful Online Business that enables you to Travel the world. And on the landing page, it is specific for new and aspiring coaches and creatives. We have this webinar. We have a 40 minute class where I am talking to the audience and they get to hear what my story is, what my services are, who I am, and it really establishes that trust factor.

After watching the webinar, I have a one time deal on it where they can sign up for the Wanderlover Business Academy with some bonuses, and if they choose to sign up during the webinar, they get those bonuses. But then if not, we send them email sequences afterwards to remind them, ‘Hey, if you’re still interested, you can still sign up here’. We then drive ad traffic on Facebook and Instagram to the masterclass signup page. I also include it in every single one of my podcast episodes. I have it up on my YouTube channel. I have it on my website, I include it in blog posts. And this sales funnel is really dependent on how many people sign up for that class, right?

And so I want as many people signed up, not just posting it on Instagram once, but having the systems on the backend in place to get more and more cold leads into this funnel. This relies on consistent content creation. It relies on a constant ad budget in our marketing plan, and it requires constant tracking of how well the ad creatives perform. How many people see the ad and then click on the link, how many people click on the link and then sign up for the class? How many people sign up for the class and then actually attend the class? How many people attend the class and sign up for the academy? How many people watch the replay? How many people sign up in the replay? Email sequences, right? And really trying to optimize every single piece of this.

Want Help Setting Up Your Online Sales Funnel?

If you would like to set this up for yourself, if you wanna discuss what this could mean for you, how much money you could be bringing in for your own business with a system like this, DM me on Instagram, I would love to talk out options for you, because if you want to travel and you want to lift the weight off of your shoulders of having to manually get leads, this is life changing. So feel free to DM me if you need any help. Get started brainstorming those freebie ideas. If you haven’t already, keep me posted with your progress, and I will see you guys in Mexico.

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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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