We’ve talked before about the importance of backend sales, but how exactly do you make them? One of the keys to consistent (and automatic) backend sales is a well-designed, logical and automated product funnel.
This simply means that instead of creating and launching random products that your audience might like, you need to come up with a strategy that allows you to cross promote everything you create, and maybe even the products you’re an affiliate for, as well.
The best way to design a profitable product funnel that results in lots of backend sales is to map it out, thinking like a buyer, or at least like a member of your audience. What are they trying to accomplish, and what do they need next? Or what do they want to do, read, or watch next?
A simple product funnel might start with a valuable free download that helps your audience achieve something small but important. The next thing you’ll offer them might be another freebie (maybe a video training, or invite to a private – and valuable – Facebook group), or something that is a no-brainer to buy because it is highly affordable, or maybe discounted. For those who buy that product you’ll want to have other, more advanced, and more expensive solutions to offer them.
Designing a product funnel from scratch is actually easier, as you can plan out a freebie, and then other options that build on the free offering and gradually ascend in price as they get more valuable and more advanced. But what if you’re already running a business, with free opt-ins and paid products already available? Then you need to start with the offers and products you already have, and design a funnel where you slowly introduce new subscribers to all your offerings.
Then you’ll want to fill in the blanks of your product funnel with more things you know your audience wants or needs, and get to work creating them, one at a time. It’s ok if this takes some time. Don’t feel like you have to have every single piece in place before you start promoting your opt-ins and offers, and making sales. Add to it over time and keep growing your product funnel.
Every time you finish a new piece of the funnel – be it a paid product, a membership site, some coaching sessions, or a new opt-in freebie – refer back to the funnel you mapped out, and see where you can cross promote.
You’ll also want to find content on your site where you can promote the new offer. Go through your existing posts, products, download pages, and auto-responder messages and find places where you can mention and link to the new piece in your funnel.
When you create a new product, you’ll also want to look at your existing offerings, and figure out what you can cross promote either within the product, or on the download page. Get that set up. Last but not least, write up a series of email messages and load them up as an autoresponder that starts to go out anytime someone buys or downloads this new piece of your funnel. Within these email messages you can promote all your other paid products and services, and also things you’re an affiliate for.
Adding your affiliate offers to your funnel is a great way to make extra money without extra work. For example, within my digital products, I always include a resource list that includes other related and useful products and services that the type of person who bought the original product might like.
My quick guide How to Start a Virtual Assistant Business is a quick introduction for those who want to start a VA business, but I also let buyers know (in the resource list) about a great training for VAs they can access if they decide to grow their VA business (and, of course, I’m an affiliate for that). If you buy my Busy Blogger’s Success Kit, you’ll get some great tools for bloggers, but the kit itself doesn’t include any training in actually writing blog posts. I do, however, recommend the excellent Blog Writer’s Bootcamp (and, yes, you guessed it, I’m an affiliate for that, too).
When including affiliate offers in your product funnel, be sure, as always, that they are extremely high quality and useful. You will be associated forever with the experience your buyers had not just with your product, but also with anything you recommend. That can work in your favor too, of course. Choose to partner with high-quality businesses, that offer excellent high-value resources, and their brilliance rubs off on you.
Consistently working on building your funnel and cross promoting everything that’s a good fit with it, will help you make more sales of your own products, and your affiliate partners.
If you want to know more about building a sales funnel that automatically promotes your relevant offers on the backend, one of my affiliate partners has the perfect (very affordable) online training on that topic, called Funnels That Click. It’s currently available for less than 10 bucks (usually it’s $69.95)! More details here.