What Is Funnel Hacking?
‘Funnel Hacking’ is a term which refers to the process of examining the online sales funnels used by your competitors and applying what you learn to your own sales funnels to make them more effective.
A sales funnel is a process that takes someone through a series of steps from when they visit a website or click on an online ad, to when they actually buy something from you.
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.
That’s a pretty good definition. Way better than mine.
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. I recommend you sign up, to his free 5 Day Lead Challenge, which teaches many of the best sales funnel building techniques. it’s completely free. Just click on the image below.
‘Quick disclaimer – this review does contain affiliate links to products that I recommend. I only recommend products that I have used and that I think could be beneficial to your business. I receive a small commission if you click on any of the links and sign up for the product or service, but that doesn’t increase the price and may sometimes include special discounts.
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 marketing and sales process and reverse-engineer what they’re up to can give you valuable information about what is working well. You can begin to test their strategies within your very own business.
This is the essence of funnel hacking and it isn’t that difficult to do.
FUNNEL HACKING EXAMPLES.
For example, you may sell online training courses. You may know of someone selling a membership site on the same subject or a course that is aimed at the same market as yours. If that person has a sales funnel that is working well, this would be a good place to start.
- Are they running Facebook ads to a landing page?
- Do they have an email list you could subscribe to? You can then see what they send you. If there are links in the emails, where do they go to?
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.
Do they run Google ads that direct prospects to a landing page with an offer that entices them to take a phone call?
GATHER AS MUCH INFORMATION AS YOU CAN
The first step you need to take is acquiring a screen shotting tool which will allow you to easily screenshot website pages, so you can start saving them to your computer.
This may be as simple as the photo tool on an iPhone or iPad. There is also the Snip tool on the PC.
My tool of choice is called “Awesome Screenshot” which is a Google Chrome extension.
How To Organize Your Funnel Information
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. Landing pages and emails are particularly useful, but you need to capture the whole process or you may miss something important.
Chances are, they have tested their funnels extensively and know what wording and design work best. You can learn from this.
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 didn’t know about, who you can add to your list.
Then click the links and screenshot the steps the 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.
The same applies to Facebook and Instagram ads.
Work out if the most successful ones follow a particular layout or use the same message structure.
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).
FUNNEL HACKING - THINGS TO LOOK FOR
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?
- Do they use an email sequence with follow-ups?
*I recommend two landing page products depending on your budget:
- Leadpages is the lower cost option and is designed purely for creating landing pages. It integrates with email automation tools like Drip and ConvertKit.
- If you want to invest a little more, I recommend Kartra. Kartra has the advantage of being an all-in-one software tool. You can use it to: create landing pages, build email sequences, host memberships, and training courses as well as videos. If you have Kartra, you can build complete sales funnels without buying additional software tools.
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 up-sell on their thank you page.
The Importance of the Email Sequence
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.