In this issue of Profitable, I’m going to give you absolute clarity on how to pick the right type of funnel to promote your course.
Because it’s overwhelming.
Should you do a tripwire funnel? Webinar? Appointments? Product launch?
There are gurus for each type of funnel and model, and everyone has arguments to why they are the best.
I’ve made seven figures from each of these and seen firsthand when they work well and when they don’t.
Let’s break it down.
1. HIGH TICKET VERSUS LOW TICKET VERSUS MID-TICKET
This is slightly oversimplifying, but hopefully it gives you some clarity:
- Appointment funnels are best for anything over $3000.
- Webinars and product launches can work for $1000 – $3000.
- Tripwire funnels are best when you have a complete product line to upsell. It’s a loss leader strategy. You sell something cheap to build trust and then gradually sell more expensive things.
If you’re a beginner and you have no audience and you’re working on your first course, you should never start with a tripwire or any low-cost product. In a minute, I’ll explain why.
Also, mid-ticket can scale further than appointment funnels, but it requires incredible copywriting skill to do well. If you’re a master copywriter like me, mid-ticket is typically your most profitable funnel type.
But again, you’re probably not a master copywriter.
This means most beginners should start with an appointment funnel. It’s the simplest funnel, requires the least skill, and it can help you build your audience the fastest.
That doesn’t mean it’s the most profitable. It’s just the right tool for the right situation. More on this in a minute.
2. WHEN LOW TICKET IS SMART
You’ve probably heard a lot of people talking about running ads and selling a cheap book on the front end. You’ve probably also heard stories of people like Dan Koe and Justin Welsh making millions of dollars on $200 courses.
How are they doing it?
It’s all about the traffic source.
If you have a huge audience on social media, or you have a huge email list, low-ticket products will give you the highest profit margins because you have 0 fulfillment costs. No coaching. You just give people the course and it’s the same amount of work whether it’s one student or 1000 students.
The most profitable course I’ve ever sold was on guest blogging – writing for big publications to build your authority and get a link back to your site. It had zero fulfillment costs, sold for 10 years, and made over $2 million of pure profit.
But I also own Smart Blogger, the biggest writing website in the world. We have 6 million readers. I never had to run ads to sell that product. The same is true for everyone making big money selling low-ticket.
So if you have a huge audience, creating a $200 course as your first product is a smart move. Create raving fans, and then release gradually more expensive products to make a fortune.
However, that’s a minority of people. Most course creators don’t have a huge audience. In that case, you either need to write content for years and build your audience OR you need to run ads.
Ads are fast, but they are expensive. So how do people make money giving away books for free plus shipping?
The answer: they typically lose money for the first 30-60 days. To get a five-dollar book buyer, they might pay $30, losing $25 for each and every buyer. But then they have an entire product line of courses and membership programs and software to sell to the book buyer, eventually making up the loss. Some big companies wait six months to make a profit, and they are fine with that.
If you are scaling a mature company, this is the killer funnel. It beats pretty much everything. Problem is, you have to have entire product lines and funnels set up for all of those products, which again, most beginners don’t have.
3. WHAT BEGINNERS SHOULD DO
If you’re a beginner, you don’t have an audience, and you can’t afford to lose money on the front end, so low-ticket is out.
You’re probably not a master copywriter, and you can’t afford to hire one, so mid-ticket is out.
That leaves high-ticket. Start a coaching program or service that costs $5000 or more and sell it one-on-one.
I can tell you from experience this works better than ANYTHING else. Here’s why:
Compared to the other funnels, the appointment funnel is much simpler and much harder to screw up
People that pay high-ticket are much more likely to get results and give you testimonials, which builds your authority
You’ll be able to afford to spend money on ads and grow your audience
Let’s talk about the last one.
You might end up paying $200 for every booked sales call. That might seem like a lot, and it is, but let’s say you convert one out of five into a $5000 client. That means your total cost of acquiring a customer is $1000, leaving you with a $4000 profit before fulfillment costs.
In practice, you’re going to spend money fulfilling the customer. In my experience, at least another 20%, so that takes you down to $3000 in real profit. Still, not too bad if you sign up a couple of clients a week.
What’s more, you’re spending a lot of money on ads and you’ll get thousands of people on your list who are interested but aren’t ready to buy yet. These people become great future customers.
4. SCALING ONCE YOU HAVE A SUCCESSFUL HIGH-TICKET PROGRAM
In my experience, most high-ticket offers can scale to 1-3 million per year with just an appointment funnel. Sometimes more.
However, at some point, it becomes harder to grow further because you’ve already grabbed most of the high ticket buyers in your space.
At this point, you go down the ladder: mid-ticket and then low-ticket.
Mid-ticket webinars and product launches can scale much further than high-ticket, because the markets are much larger. At this point, you’re also making great money, so you can afford to pay copywriters to help you create amazing funnels that will scale. Or you become a master copywriter yourself and know how to do it.
After that, going low ticket unlocks the most long-term scale, because it’s by far the largest market. In this scenario, you are taking a long-term path to build the customer that eventually gives you money for high ticket.
In my most profitable product lines, we will typically have one high ticket, two or three mid ticket supporting it, and then half a dozen low ticket products. All of these have their own funnels.
It’s a huge amount of work, but if you’re in the right market at the right time, and you get customers solid results, having the entire machine built can make tens or even hundreds of millions.
A FUNNEL IS JUST A TOOL IN YOUR TOOLBOX
Hopefully, you realize by now that the real purpose of this issue isn’t to tell you which funnel is best but to explain the different types and when to use each of them.
Think about each funnel as a tool in your toolbox. Which one you pull out depends entirely on the situation.
Ultimately though, the course creators who make the most money master all of them. That’s what I’ve done over the past decade. I’ve made seven figures from each and every one of these funnel types.
Do that, and you put yourself in the best long-term situation.
Until then though, hopefully this gives you some clarity about what type of funnel you should be using and why.
Founder & CEO