It goes by many names, but the end result is the same: if you have a business, you’re selling or giving something away, and you have customers — you’ve undoubtedly got a funnel on your hands.

To clarify, you may have heard about the (not very) elusive funnel by another name…

  • marketing funnel
  • customer pipeline
  • sales journey
  • marketing process

But in today’s post, we’ll dive into the bread and butter of any marketer hoping to move someone along the journey from prospect to customer.

What Is A Conversion Funnel?

Whether your goal is to acquire new leads, activate existing subscribers, or monetize your list with an offer, there are some core elements that your funnel must include.

And it all starts with an understanding of the system you’re putting together.

Here’s how we at OptimizePress define a conversion funnel:
A multi-step process to attract leads, and educate them about your business and products as they travel to a desired end result.

Typically, a funnel is used to either give something away, build up a relationship with your subscribers, communicate your ideas and strategies, and, eventually, make an offer.

The mistake most marketers fall into is only setting their funnel up to do two things:

  1. Give away something for free
  2. Sell

And because of that, they’re leaving plenty of opportunity on the table.

Your funnel, whether it be a…

  • Book funnel
  • Product launch funnel
  • Webinar Funnel
  • “Real Stuff” funnel
  • Fishbowl funnel
  • Water funnel
  • Plumber funnel
  • Network marketing funnel
  • Fairground ride funnel
  • Tripwire funnel
  • Blackbox funnel
  • Podcast funnel
  • Funnel my kids use for playing with their toy kitchen
  • Two step funnel
  • Invisible funnel

…is a conversion funnel. Forget the fancy names. Fancy names don’t convert more leads and get more customers. Making a good conversion funnel and automating the process will grow your business.

So, what are the core elements of any great conversion funnel? Let’s dive into it, and then we’ll get into building your funnel in seven easy steps.

Know, Like and Trust

If you have heard this old saying many times before, it’s because it’s simply true. Apply it to your own real life scenarios where time and time again you’re making a purchase on or offline.

You buy from companies you know, from companies you like, and from companies you trust.

Ever wonder how you come to trust a company?

They nurtured you. They shared information, built rapport, got your friends to recommend them, got in front of you on social platforms, retargeted you with useful content.

I’m not just talking about today. It’s been happening for months and it happens every day.


Help your customers get to know you. Open up, tell your subscribers who you are, where they can find you and how to contact you.

You can use:

  • Welcome videos
  • YouTube channel
  • Instagram (if it was more personal)
  • Family photos
  • Personal anecdotes that share your reason for having the business you do
  • A break down of your company’s core values and team beliefs

Use email and video so your subscribers get to know who you are. Look at how David Risley includes a family shot in his email.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

It instantly gives a look into his personal life and you begin the process of building trust. This is a great example of getting to know him.


Next, we have to get our subscribers to like us. Be yourself, be honest and help them achieve their goal. If they don’t like you, fine, they’ll move on. Share good valuable tips and resources, so your subscribers start to like you.

Content like:

  • Blog articles
  • Downloads
  • Ebooks
  • Templates
  • In-depth guides to get them results.

David then starts sharing tips and resources right after your signup. This is when you’re meant to start liking him.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Your brain is saying something like: “This guy is sharing great stuff, I like him”

Derek Halpern does the same. A little more aggressively, but it’s still valuable content.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Look at Bryan Harris’ email topics.

He shares valuable content and at the same time builds trust.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

And he continues to educate more than he attempts to sell.


Building trust is where some proof comes in. You can keep sharing valuable content during this stage but building trust with your subscribers takes time.


  • Case studies
  • Social proof of your strategies or products
  • Free courses
  • Free video training
  • Testimonials

Don’t be afraid to make subtle offers. If you’re trying to sell products early in this stage keep them in the lower price range.

Look at the scatter of offer in these emails:

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Try selling high value low price products (under $50) and get your subscribers to make a small monetary commitment, which is key.

Don’t go too low and devalue your products.

That small monetary amount is the start of a long-term customer relationship. If you can get your customer to make a small monetary purchase and you over deliver, you start gaining trust.

Again, you’re building trust so make sure this process goes smooth. Check that payments go through without issues your end. The product is delivered smoothly. Follow-up welcome works as it should. And again, over deliver!

When you build the know, like and trust factor, the selling part really is that much easier.

Working with OptimizePress, it’s my job to research, test, learn, test, learn, test, get results, learn and do some more testing.

Basically, that involves joining a lot of email marketing lists to see how people nurture leads and make offers. This way I get to see a lot of sales pages, landing pages, launch emails, webinar pages and pretty much everything that falls under the category “Marketing” or “Internet Marketing”.

And, while I get to see everything, there are some big holes that even the top marketers make on their own pages and funnels.

We’re not perfect either. We know of leaks in our own funnels that we want to improve and test new ideas on.

But, being perfect never gets anything done!!

Having a simple system in place that collects leads and follows up automatically is the first hurdle. Having that finished (not perfect) and working is the key to growing your business.

Remember! Don’t make it perfect, just get it done and you to can have a highly engaging lead funnel and get more customers in no time.

When I started mapping out what I wanted to cover in this article, I grabbed my wife’s sharpies and started drawing.

The more I thought about it, I knew I wanted to cover the time period for getting to know your new leads.

This led me to sketching a more detailed lead nurturing funnel.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Let’s take a deeper look.

Marketers come up with some adventurous names for this process, but at the end of the day, it has 5 stages.

  1. Capture
  2. Confirm
  3. Deliver
  4. Educate
  5. Sell

Simple right! We think so!

Lead Nurturing: Capture – Day 1

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

This is the landing page you use to offer your lead magnet. The pop-up form that catches the user attention. The exit intent popup that grabs a user before they leave.

Basically, capture that name and email in exchange for your high-value lead magnet.

Lead Nurturing: Confirm – Day 1

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Confirm what will happen next. Give the webinar date. Show cart opening/closing times. Don’t leave leads wondering what’s about to happen.

Explain clearly what is about to happening, or what they should expect soon.

Lead Nurturing: Deliver – Day 2

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

This stage is where the lead magnet is downloaded. The content is consumed. The video is played. The webinar is watched. You get the drift.

Deliver on your promise! They have just given you their email, so deliver the goods!

Lead Nurturing: Educate – Day 3 – 10

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Use these first 10 days to educate your new subscribers. Schedule a few emails to share your recent blog posts, videos or other content they will find valuable.

Read on and learn how to build some trust.

Lead Nurturing: Sell

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

After you have made at least 7 points of contact (touches) with your audience, it’s safe to make a subtle offer.

If your educational content has been on point then selling shouldn’t be hard. Don’t be afraid to sell. Tell them about your related course, ebook or coaching.

Now, back to the funnel and piecing all this together.

7 Steps To Converting More Customers With A Highly Engaging Funnel

You’ve just learned the stages of a lead funnel, have ideas for content to nurture your subscribers. Now it’s time to build the funnel out.

1. High-Quality Landing Page

Your landing page or pop-up should have a clear message and call to action about what you’re offering. Our MarketPlace has landing page templates if you’re stuck for design ideas.

Look at Marie Forleo’s popup and page.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

and this form:

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

2. Use A Thank You Page

Have a custom ‘thank you page’ after someone submits their details.

NO default mailing provider pages, like this:

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Explain what will happen next (confirm email, download sent via email).

Marie uses a polite tone to thank you, she explains what’s happening, asks for appreciation, oh and some social links if you’re interested!

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Jeff Walker has done the same for his book launch thank you page:

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Never redirect to an offer or sales page after an opt-in.

It’s confusing and rude!

Then again, to contradict the above sentence. If you want to make an offer on your thank you page, acknowledge that they’ve signed up first and then make the offer.

Look how Nomadic Matt does it.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Another use for thank you pages is asking the user to confirm their email. Look how Ramit uses scarcity.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

3. Have A Clear Confirmation Email

If you use a double opt-in then have a clean custom email written, no default email from your mailing list provider.

Most list services allow you to edit the confirmation email message.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

You end up with a message that looks more personalised to what the user signed up for.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

A custom message looks way more engaging.

4. Create A Follow-up Email

The followup email could either link directly download page. Or you follow-up again with another email.

Best to keep it as simple as possible.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

5. Create A Download Page

To add a more personal experience create a download page rather than linking directly to the PDF/Audio download.

Marie, if you’re reading this post, your thank you page needs some love. I don’t mean to call you out, but it was the only page missing your amazing “Forleo Love” design.

It was the only page in Marie’s entire funnel that lost her branding. There could be a reason why this happened on the day, maybe they were redesigning it.

A nicely branded page would keep within her design and she could include links to existing content and products.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

A download page allows you to thank subscribers again, introduce you or your brand, onboard new customers, make an offer or use video to get your message out.

Big commerce makes a free trial offer on their page download page.

This is presented after you signup for some graphics.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

6. The Welcome Email

Create a strong welcome email and introduce yourself and link back to the download page.

This example of Marie’s shows a strong welcome email with all the next steps including the audio link.

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

It goes on further to:

  • offer value
  • Set expectations
  • uses power words
Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

…and then a final little reminder to offer more help.

  • Offer further help
  • Show thanks
  • Show gratitude
  • Share social links
  • and more content
Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

That’s all one email!

Instant impact with value links and gratitude.

7. Now Go To Town.

Send another freebie offer a few days later. Say hi and ask how they are. Next invite them to a webinar or your next online event because you want to build that trust.

Use the first 10 days to build trust and educate your customers with new strategies and tips.

After you have gained trust get to know your subscribers and begin building a community.

Now Go Build Your Engaging Funnel

So, there you have it. A simple setup to engage your new subscriber, build trust and hopefully convert into sales.

Remember, I said at the start that I was drawing a funnel?

Want to know what my funnel is called?

The High Engaging Growth Convertor Funnel!

In short:

The Hengrovertel = The High Engaging Growth Convertor Funnel!

Please don’t take that literally. I’m only joking.

The real name is: The Marketing Funnel

Actually, it doesn’t have a name, it’s just a funnel.


The name of these funnels is driving me insane!!

Here’s the final drawing of my lead thingy!

Convert More Customers With Your Funnel | OptimizePress

Sometimes, sketching out your funnels can make them much much easier to build.

It allows the brain to visualise the process and understand what the customer flows through.

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Tell Us What You Think – Please Comment Below!

Thanks for reading this post. We would love to know more about your sales of lead funnels! Please drop a message below and tell us how you plan to create your own funnels.


    29 replies to "[Updated] Build a Conversion Funnel to Grow, Engage, and Generate More Customers in 7 Steps"

    • Fernando de León

      muchas gracias no tienes idea de lo que tu articulo me ayudo para terminar mi proyecto, de verdad Gracias David Frosdick

    • Annie Wesley

      Excellent informative article. Thank you.

    • Akil Sadkaoui

      A high-quality article, didactic, pedagogical, allowing to understand the methodology to engage the clients in the marketing process

      • David Frosdick

        Thanks for the feedback @akilsadkaoui:disqus lots more to come 😉

    • Alex Ford

      Awesome value here! Explained SO easily 🙂

    • Ed Movius

      I’ve been dabbling with this for years. This really puts it all together for me. Thank you for sharing!

      • David Frosdick

        Excellent! Glad I could jog your memory 😉 @edmovius:disqus

    • David Risley

      Thanks for featuring my welcome email. 🙂 Good article you got here.

      • David Frosdick

        You’re welcome David! It’s such a good examples of building trust that people need to learn from it 😉

        Thanks for taking the time to comment over here.

    • Len J Parker

      Well done.

    • Eric Dahl

      Thanks David-
      My agency builds funnels and runs advertising campaigns for local businesses. This is spot on. The only difference is that I believe you can sell and educate at the same time. So I would still sell during the educate phase. The key is to understand your customer and what your sales cycle looks like. A real estate agent has a much different funnel than a retailer that sells shirts.

      • David Frosdick

        Thanks so much Eric! Yes selling and educating have that cross over synergy.

        Agreed, knowing your audience is key. My wife has a physical business selling children clothes. Sales funnels like this are a completely different setup. It’s a much harder niche to build a funnel in.

    • Alan Mosko

      Perfect Post

    • rikleaf

      very timely and valuable info as I’m building two funnels at the moment! I totally agree with your point of sketching them out first so my mind can visualize what I’m creating, I just got to that point yesterday…so like I said, this was very timely. Miigwetch/Merci!

      • David Frosdick

        Great to hear rikleaf!!! Please post a picture of funnels on social and tag us 😉

    • Sandis Viksna

      One of your best articles in a very, very, I’d say VERY long while. It’s like 3 years of UNI lectures on a single piece of paper.

      Next step is to offer templates to do just that to speed up integrations. Also white-listing instructions would be great, esp as you know persons email, so gmail users would see gmail guide, whilst hot-mailers some hot email white-listing guide 🙂

      • David Frosdick

        Thanks for kind comments Sandis!

        Yes the whitelisting is important so people see your emails in their inbox 😀

        Great idea for adding email guides.

        • Sandis Viksna

          Go for it guys! I’d imagine big % of your customers would appreciate out of box solution for their first projects (I know I would). 🙂

    • KM Lee

      very well explained David. now I know you’ve skills in drawing! 😁

    • Mike Connolly

      Great blueprint for action here — especially the reminder to map things out first. Thanks!

      • David Frosdick

        Yeah, mapping really help for this kind of thing. Seeing a path or process makes it all that much easier to understand. Thanks for stopping by!

    • Ty Lacroix

      David, what a great post, how helpful with simple, real world tips.

    • Ana Paula Fragoso

      David. You just saved me hours and hours of studying Mkt funnels. This is so awesome! Thank you so much for sharing your expertise. I’m definitely going to use your 7 steps in my brand. Tks!! <3

      • David Frosdick

        Ah thanks Ana! Your feedback is well received 🙂 Treat your new subscribers with love and they will love you!

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