Would you like to learn about a complete system that you can easily implement to turn your WordPress website into an automated sales machine – for selling any type of digital product?
Before I get into the details, here’s a quick overview so you can learn how it works before reading the entire article…
Follow these steps to automate how you sell digital products via your WordPress website:
Step 1. Create your digital product using an e-commerce enabled WordPress plugin (like WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads or MemberPress) that allows you easily accept payments and create a checkout page.
Step 2. Create a piece of marketing material that educates your ideal customers and covers: what you do, how it works, how it will help them and what they should do next.
Step 3. Create an opt-in page that captures people’s email address in return for access to your marketing material.
Step 4. Create an automated sequence of educational emails to deliver your marketing material and follow up with people who opt-in.
Step 5. Drive traffic to your opt-in page via Facebook ads, your email list (if you have one), Facebook Groups, Linkedin or a blog post (like this one).
Step 6. Use your marketing material(s) and email sequence to direct traffic to your checkout page.
Step 7. Get existing clients to refer you new clients by giving them an offer they can’t refuse…
I call it the Evergreen WordPress Funnel.
It’s used by all the top Internet sales people (including Tony Robbins, Brian Tracey, Frank Kern – you name em, they use it).
I’ve also tested it thoroughly myself.
And it works (last year it generated $12K for me in a single month).
Here’s how it breaks down..
The Evergreen WordPress Funnel
Let’s start with a very quick definition…
Definition: A sales funnel is a sequence of actions that people follow to go from discovering you to becoming your customer.
For example, 1) they see you ad on facebook, 2) they attend your webinar, 3) they read your follow up emails, 4) they visit your checkout page and 5) purchase your product.
The beautiful thing about the Evergreen WordPress Funnel is that it runs on auto-pilot, all year round.
Another beautiful thing about it is this: it’s a self-generating funnel.
In other words, people who are in your funnel, bring in more people.
Here’s how it looks…
As you can see, the diagram has 3 levels – which breaks your job down into 3 easy-to-manage tasks:
- Find the best place/way of connecting with your audience
- Get them to opt-in for your lead magnet
- Direct them to your sales page and close the sale
All 3 steps pose a problem that only you can solve.
And getting this system to work for your business means you may need to tweak what you offer and how you go about executing each step.
But it’s just 3 steps.
And when you get it figured out – you’ll have a sales machine that runs on auto-pilot.
Keep reading to see a complete breakdown of all 6 steps involved.
Advantages of the Evergreen WordPress Funnel
- It runs all year round – on auto-pilot
- There’s a number of options for driving traffic
- It gives you a singular focus for what to do with that traffic
- Every step can be measured, tested and optimized
- People in your funnel bring in new people for you at zero cost (or even at a profit)
Before we start
Before we jump into the steps, I want you to understand two important things…
Technically, this is way easier than you think!
Building out an automated sales funnel like this with WordPress is not at all difficult from a technical point of view.
You don’t need to redesign your website or buy a new theme.
You don’t need to hire a web developer.
Once you’ve made a small investment in 1 or 2 very inexpensive WordPress plugins, there are no recurring costs.
All you need is your existing WordPress website.
And even if you’ve zero technical experience and don’t know the first thing about WordPress, you can learn all the skills you need in just a few hours.
So technically, it’s easy!
The hard part, is getting your offer just right at 3 critical points – which I’ll explain in a second.
It’s a process, not a magic formula
This sales funnel isn’t a formula, it’s a process.
And it isn’t magic.
There’s nothing worse than seeing people blindly following a formula that they’ve learned from someone else.
These formulas work for the guy selling it – but never work to the same extent for copycats.
When I see “experts” selling swipe emails and pre-designed Facebook ads, it makes me shudder.
“Just paste these emails into mailchimp and watch the money roll in!”
Because every steps needs to carefully considered and authentic and tailored to your specific audience.
Because your digital products is different from everyone else’s (I hope!).
Because your offer and your marketing materials (your emails, blog posts, opt-in pages, ads etc), need to be yours and nobody else’s.
So you’ll need to test things to see what works.
But the process is solid.
As you’ll see below.
Alright, let’s dive in…
Step 1. Create Your Product
This sales funnel can be adapted easily to sell anything – but it’s designed to sell digital products.
Digital products include online courses, software, e-books, membership access, online consultations and stuff like that.
To create a digital product you’ll need an e-commerce-enabled plugin.
E-commerce-enabled plugins allow you to easily create a product, set a price, connect that product to a payment processor (like PayPal or Stripe) and create a checkout page where people can sign up and send you money.
Popular e-commerce plugins for WordPress include WooCommerce, Easy Digital Downloads – and the one I use, MemberPress, which is perfect for selling memberships, ebooks and online courses.
They all work pretty much the same way and allow you to:
- connect the plugin to your payment processor
- give your product a name and a description
- set a price
- create a checkout/sales page where you make the sale
- setup a thank you page where new customers are taken when they make a purchase
Your sales page will be a critical step of your funnel, as you’ll see in Step 2.
Step 2. Create Your Sales Page
Your sales page is where the transaction is completed.
All roads lead to the sales page.
Be sure to include a clear call to action at the end of your marketing material, directing people to the sales page.
You’ll get more chances to close the sale however using your auto-responder as you’ll see below.
Ideally, your sales page will include:
- the benefits of your product
- frequently asked questions (answered!)
- a guarantee of some sort (E.g. 30 day money back if not 100% satisfied)
- your checkout form that accepts payments and redirects customers to the page where they can access your product
That said, if you do it properly, you can close the sale via your marketing material- in which case, all your sales page needs is the checkout form.
The process you’ll follow to create your sales page is covered in step 4, so keep reading.
Step 3. Create Your Marketing Material
The objective of your marketing material is to educate prospects and create demand for your product.
Sometimes they’re called Lead Magnets, because you offer them in return for an email address (i.e. a lead).
That said, with Facebook re-targeting these days, you don’t even need to get someones contact details in order for them to become a lead.
But you pay for Facebook ads while an email costs you nothing – so it’s still best to capture your leads the old fashioned way and ask for an email address.
Examples of lead magnets include:
- Mini-courses (that can be delivered by email or video)
Lead Magnets Considerations
- In my experience, the most effective and best-converting type of lead magnet is a webinar
- Webinars ask for quite a bit of commitment however from your audience (they need to pick a day/time, free up their schedule and actually attend)
- Not everyone is comfortable making presentations. Many highly successful online sellers create PDFs (checklists, mindmaps, cheat-sheets). Downloadable lead magnets like this require less commitment and can be just as effective.
- A mini-course can also make for excellent marketing material – although it’s more work. Because I sell online courses – the mini-course works for me. Some marketers even sell their mini-courses at a highly discounted rate to off-set the cost of promotion.
Regardless of what format you choose for your lead magnet, it should conclude with a strong, clear call to action – directing people to your sales page.
Now that you have a piece of high-quality, educational marketing material – you’re ready to create a new page on your site to promote it (in exchange for an email address)…
Step 4. Create Your Opt-in Page
Now if you’re thinking “why bother with an opt-in page? why not just give it away for free without annoying people by asking for the email?”.
Here’s 3 solid reasons for getting the email address:
- getting the email means you can promote stuff to them in future again for free
- you can test opt-in pages to discover the best way of positioning and framing your offer
- you’re getting them to make a little commitment and say ‘yes’ – i.e. their warm leads
Maybe you’re also thinking “hang on a second, I don’t know the first thing about creating or designing fancy opt-in pages”.
Well, here’s some good news…
Creating opt-in pages with WordPress couldn’t be easier!
There a number of excellent plugins for WordPress that allow you to quickly create new pages on your website using proven, high-converting templates that you can edit using a simple drag and drop editor.
My two favorite options include: Thrive Landing Pages and OptimizePress.
With either of these 2 options, even someone with zero technical or web design experience can create beautiful new pages in minutes.
Last year, I tested a new product and a single opt-in page led to $12,000 in revenue in a single month – using the exact sales funnel you’re learning about now.
The opt-in page that generated $12K in a singe month (see gallery above) was created in minutes using OptimizePress.
Since then however, I’ve switched to the excellent Thrive Landing Page Plugin – which has a number of additional benefits including:
- it’s cheaper than OptimizePress (one payment of $67)
- for every template, there’s a ‘thank you page’ template available – using the same design
- you can use the drag & drop editor to add fancy touches and features to any page or blog post on your site
Both plugins are excellent however and allow you to:
- choose from a large selection of templates
- easily edit your page
- create a professional looking new page on your site in minutes
- connect your opt-in form to an email auto-responder of your choosing
- direct users to a thank you page of your choosing after they’ve opted in
* You’ll see why directing users to a thank you page is important in step 5.
Step 5. Create Your Email Sequence
Once people opt-in, you can offer them access to your lead magnet right away via your thank you – but it’s also a good idea to send it to them via email.
This can be automated using any auto-responder of your choosing.
Personally, I use MailPoet – which is a free plugin for WordPress.
MailChimp is another popular option, and I use this when I’m sending out large email blasts.
But for sending one email at a time (like we’re doing here) – MailPoet is just as effective and quicker to setup.
Here’s why your auto-responder is so powerful:
- you can create a pre-written sequence of emails to build rapport with your list
- the entire process is automated
- you can advertise special offers and promotions to your entire list, for free
Here’s a quick recap of what we’ve covered so far:
- you’ve created a product and a checkout page for your product that allows you to accepts payments
- you’ve published some marketing material (a lead magnet) that showcases your expertise and solution – and creates demand for your product
- you’ve created an opt-in page to capture email addresses in exchange for your free lead magnet
- both your lead magnet and your auto-responder sequence directs leads to your sales page – where you close the sale and get paid.
Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, it’s time to step out in front of your audience.
It’s time to start driving traffic at your opt-in page…
Step 6. Drive Traffic with Facebook Ads
Right now, the most effective way to drive cheap, automated traffic to your opt-in page is Facebook Ads.
Last year, when testing this funnel, I generated $12K in a single month – with just a $750 ad spend via Facebook ads.
And at that point, I hadn’t even created my digital product yet.
Instead, I delivered my online course live over 8 weeks.
So the whole thing was really just a marketing experiment that resulted in 1600% ROI (if my percentage calculations are correct).
And that’s by no means uncommon (once you’ve fine-tuned all 3 steps in this process and have a healthy price-point for your product).
Here’s how Facebook ads work:
- you grab a little piece of code from Facebook and embed it on your thank you page (where people are directed after they opt-in)
- you select who you want to target (using Facebook’s extremely powerful targeting options)
- you create a bunch of different ads and direct the traffic to your opt-in page
What happens next is pretty cool…
- Facebook randomly selects ads to show to your audience
- Facebook tracks which ads work best (they know when an ad works because they can see who lands on your thank you page)
- You can turn off ineffective ads and test further refinements to ads that are getting traction
- You can see exactly who’s interacting with your ads (their age, sex, location, device etc) and tweak your targeting options to further reduce costs
Now Facebook ads are an investment.
You spend money on Facebook ads – and that’s a little scary for some people.
You’re also putting yourself out there – to be judged and rejected.
And that’s scary for a lot of people too.
But if you want traffic, and you want an online business, then you have to invest either your time or your money into getting traffic.
It’s that simple.
And if you invest your time in SEO and blogging then you may or may not see results.
Sometimes you get lucky, sometimes you don’t.
But the beauty of paid ads is this…
Once you find an ad and some targeting options that work for you, then there’s no further time commitment required.
It’s fully automated.
And it’s the fastest, most effective way of testing your offer.
Step 7. Encourage referrals
Now, until you’ve figured out how to align your advert, lead magnet and digital product so that your funnel is making sales – you should simply focus on the steps 1 through 6 above.
But once you’ve got customers coming in, you can leverage them to bring in more new customers.
The answer of course is word of mouth marketing (i.e. referrals).
And the best way to encourage that is to offer your customers a commission (or some sort of reward) for telling their friends about it.
For this, you’ll need an affiliate program.
Definition: Your affiliate program offers each customer a unique link that they can share with others – and tracks any new sales generated via that unique link.
Commission calculations and payments are handled automatically.
Once you have people buying your digital product on auto-pilot – you can encourage your customers to spread the word by sharing their affiliate link – which will direct their friends and co-workers to your lead magnet – and the process feeds itself.
And that completes the Evergreen WordPress Sales Funnel.
I hope you’ve found this article useful.
We’ve covered a lot and so I’ve put together a few resources that will make this easier for you to remember and execute for your business.
- a video of the funnel in action
- the PDF of this article
- the high-definition sales funnel diagram
- the list of the tools used to create this funnel and marketing material
You can get instant access to the lot for free right here.
So what about you?
Is this the year you get serious about launching a digital product?
There’s never been a better time to do it!
If you have any questions about any of this then please feel free to ask in the comments below.
And if you liked this article, then please share it out with your pals and help me to spread the word.
Thanks for reading,