[CASE STUDY] Our Free + Shipping Book Sales Funnel Launch

I'm going to cut to the chase because this post is long enough without a fancy pants intro ...

A few weeks ago we launched The Sales Funnel Book as a Free + Shipping funnel.

This post is a breakdown of the funnel, how it worked, what we want to test, and where we're going from here.

Note: This funnel was aimed towards individuals on our list, ie. "warm" traffic. But, with a few tweaks, we will be launching a similar funnel to "cold" traffic via Facebook.

"The Sales Funnel Book" Sales Funnel

Here's the structure of the sales funnel:

Interest Gauging Series

The Interest Gauging Series was a series of 3 emails I sent to my list to ... you guessed it ... gauge interest in the book offer.

We determined if someone was interested by if they clicked the link in one of the emails.

If a link was clicked, they landed on the Confirmation & Sales Page (will cover in a sec), the Interest Gauging Series was immediately stopped because interest was shown, and the individual was automatically added to the Action Series (will cover in 2 secs).

If no links were clicked, they returned to the Main Series (general autoresponder follow up sequence).

Email 1

In Email 1, I offered the opportunity to download 19 Sales Funnel Blueprints - all of the blueprints covered in The Sales Funnel Book.

The thought was, if they were interested in sales funnel blueprints, they'd be interested in the book that explained them all.

Stats:

  • Open Rate: 31.01%
  • CTR: 13.04%
  • Unsubscribes: 0.14%

Email 2

Email 2 made the same offer as Email 1 - to download 19 sales funnel blueprints.

Remember, if they clicked the link in Email 1, they would not receive Email 2. Essentially, this was sent to everyone that didn't click the link in Email 1.

Stats:

  • Open Rate: 16.72%
  • CTR: 4.55%
  • Unsubscribes: 0.00%

Email 3

Email 3 was a direct offer to order The Sales Funnel Book and brought people directly to the sales page (the 19 sales funnel blueprints were not delivered if they clicked the link in this email and they were not added to the Action Series).

This was a last-ditch effort to sell the book.

Stats:

  • Open Rate: 21.17%
  • CTR: 2.58%
  • Unsubscribes: 0.34%

Confirmation & Sales Page

The Confirmation & Sales Page was presented to individuals that clicked the link to receive the 19 sales funnel blueprints in either Email 1 or Email 2 within the Interest Gauging Series.

This is what it looked like:

As you can see, the top portion confirms their request for the 19 sales funnel blueprints, then it rolls straight into the sales page for the book.

Also note, the individual was simultaneously placed into the Action Series ... which we're getting into now...

The Action Series

The Action Series was a series of 4 emails with the objective to sell The Sales Funnel Book.

As you'll notice, the engagement with these emails was over 4.3X that of the Interest Gauging Series.

Why?

Because this group of people expressed interest in sales funnel blueprints. So when we sent more emails about sales funnels, they were excited to open the emails and learn more.

Common sense, right? Show people what they want and they'll be more engaged.

Note: If an individual purchased the book at any time, the Action Series automation was stopped; they did not receive any more emails pitching the book.

Email 1

Email 1 was sent out immediately after the individual clicked the link in Interest Gauging Series Email 1 or Email 2 requesting the 19 sales funnel blueprints.

As you see, all Action Series Email 1 did was directly link to download the 19 Sales Funnel Blueprints PDF, which started and ended with this page:

Of course, beyond giving our subscribers something of value, the intent of this document was to bring people back to The Sales Funnel Book sales page and sell the freakin' book.

By sandwiching the 19 funnel blueprints between pages like the one above, people knew where they could get more information.

Stats:

  • Open Rate: 78.26%
  • CTR: 62.61%
  • Unsubscribes: 0.00%

Email 2

Email 2 was a link to download a PDF of The Sales Funnel Book's introduction section.

I copied and pasted this particular section into a Word Document, added a header and footer that read "TheSalesFunnelBook.com" and linked it to the sales page. I closed out the document with the following statement: Want more? Get The Sales Funnel Book from TheSalesFunnelBook.com!

I felt that sharing content from the book was a great way for individuals to get a feel for how it was written, its quality, and to draw them in to wanting to read more.

Stats:

  • Open Rate: 52.34%
  • CTR: 23.36%
  • Unsubscribes: 1.87%

Email 3

Email 3 included the next section of The Sales Funnel Book.

Like Email 2 above, it was a simple PDF that included links back to the sales page.

Stats:

  • Open Rate: 48.08%
  • CTR: 13.46%
  • Unsubscribes: 0.00%

Email 4

Yup, Action Series Email 4 is the same exact email as Interest Gauging Series Email 3 - a last-ditch effort to sell the book.

Stats:

  • Open Rate: 38.83%
  • CTR: 10.68%
  • Unsubscribes: 0.00%

The Sales Page

Here's the sales page I used to sell The Sales Funnel Book:

It may look different now than it did during this initial launch, but if you want to check it out, click here ... if it's different, you can watch the old video here.

As you can see, the page consists of video, text, and images. Also, it's not super long, nor really short - it's of moderate length, I'd say! (side note: the video was 4 minutes and 46 seconds long)

I'd also like to point out that we also included instant access to the digital version of the book, so they could begin reading it while they waited for the physical version to arrive.

Stats:

With regard to stats ... they're a little screwed up because I botched Google Analytics... more on that in a minute.

With as much accuracy as possible, the CTR from Sales Page to Order Form was exactly 50.0%.

Order Form w/ Order Bump

We processed orders for The Sales Funnel Book through a new shopping cart platform called ThriveCart.

This was the order form page:

It's pretty self-explanatory; however, I'd like to point out the Order Bump which is the portion in the red-dashed box above the "Ship My Book Now!" button.

That little offer saved us because we lost money on the book.

Yes, we should have broken even on the sale of the book; however, due to some bad estimation with international shipping costs, we lost money. It wasn't much, but the campaign was in the red.

Fortunately, the order bump, which were digital assets to accompany the book, converted very well and brought the campaign into the black.

Stats:

  • Order Form Conversion Rate: 18.52%
  • Bump Conversion Rate: 50.0% (yes, half the people that purchased the book also grabbed the bump!)

One-Time-Offer

After purchasing the book, the individual was presented with a one-time-offer (OTO) to join The Sales Funnel Training Vault.

The offer was presented as a Video Sales Letter (VSL) that was 6 minutes and 31 seconds long. [watch the video here]

The page itself is self-explanatory - watch the video and click the green button if you want to join.

Stats:

  • Conversion Rate: 10.0%

Order Confirmation Page

Whether the individual accepted the OTO or not, they were greeted with the Order Confirmation Page:

And that completes the content within our sales funnel!

Some Numbers & Thoughts...

Ok, so - I screwed up the tracking a little bit.

I switched shopping cart platforms 2 days before going live and apparently didn't test the Google Analytics setup as well as I should have.

The data transfer between CrazyEyeMarketing.com and ThriveCart.com didn't work properly. The user's data wasn't transmitted, making it appear as though everyone that landed on the checkout page landed directly on it. Obviously this was not the case because they came through the sales page.

This "gap" messed up the ability to properly track user flow across the funnel.

Lesson learned - test your tracking.

Anyway, all is not lost because at the end of the day, if you put $X in and get $X+ back out, you're on the right track; however, it is nice to be able to break down the entire funnel, bit by bit, to see what works and what doesn't.

Here are the numbers I have:

The percentages above represent the conversion rate or CTR. (It's the percentage of people that moved on to the next step.)

The green and orange percentages have been discussed previously and they're accurate.

The red 🙁 represents the point where user tracking was lost. The silver lining here is I know how many people were on the Confirmation & Sales Page, how many people were on the Sales Page, and how many people were on the Order Form page, so I was able to compare all those numbers to come up with the 50%. Essentially, 50% of the people that saw the offer, clicked through to the order form.

The black 🙁 is data I did not track. Why not? The first 3 Action Series emails contained direct links to PDF files and then those files linked to the sales page. I should have used Google's UTM parameters to track the click-throughs, but, for some reason or another, I did not. Moving forward the links inside of the PDFs will have tracking.

Let's Run Some Scenarios

Even though some of the tracking was messed up, at the end of the day, the funnel "works" if I get back more than I put into it.

So, let's run a few scenarios!

This first one is the 1,000 person test without making any changes to the funnel:

For every 1,000 people I send through the funnel from my email list, I should expect to receive $539.96. Of course, I have to subtract the price of the book from that, so we're looking at around $410 net.

But, here's the deal - the OTO is 6 payments of $67 which is $402. Let's plug that in:

Doing that doubles the total ... pretty cool!

But, when it comes to planning, I'm a hopeful realist. I hope people that purchase the OTO pay the 6 payments, but I plan for them to only pay the first one.

So, let's bump that $402 back down to $67 and play with some of the rates:

In the above scenario, let's say I was able to increase the Interest Gauging Series CTR from 17.59% to 20%. Let's pretend I did that by adding a 4th email to that series ... simple and reasonable enough, right?

Then, let's say I was able to increase the Purchase Conversion Rate from 18.52% to 20%. Let's pretend I did that by adding a few testimonials to the checkout page.

Those small, simple, realistic tweaks bumped the total from $539.96 to $663.00! (an extra $123.04 per 1,000 people)

Of course, I could sit here and play with this calculator all day running different scenarios, but in the interest of keeping you interested in this post ... I'll stop.

The point is, once you have a funnel and some numbers you can run various scenarios to find your weakest links to determine where you should run split tests, what optimizations you should make, etc.

Where It's Going From Here

I'm making a few changes to the funnel:

  • Fixing the tracking issues
  • Adding a 4th email to the Interest Gauging Series
  • Adding testimonials to the Checkout Page
  • Increasing the Bump price from $37 to $47

And, we'll see what happens!

Paid Facebook Traffic

The funnel is currently setup to approach my subscribers; however, with a few simple tweaks I'll be able to run cold traffic through it as well.

I will do this with Facebook ads for a chance to download 19 sales funnel blueprints. This will essentially place them right into the current setup and I'll see what happens with that and adjust accordingly.

One thing I'm looking forward to is that all individuals that request the 19 sales funnel blueprints will be interested ... I'll essentially bypass the whole Interest Gauging Series because the ad itself will gauge the interest.

I'll also implement retargeting campaigns to continuously stay fresh in their mind!

Conclusion

The Sales Funnel Book's Free + Shipping sales funnel worked very well on the first go! Since it was "free" list traffic, and after covering the cost of producing and shipping the book, it was pure profit!

I did learn a few things along the way:

  • Test, test, test your tracking code setup
  • Be sure to take into account international shipping costs because you never know when a bunch of people from the Netherlands are going to buy your book and it costs $12 to ship to them!
  • Have an order bump. Without this, we likely would have lost money.

All that's left to do now is make the changes, re-launch, and go live with paid Facebook traffic!

For You

I put together a plug & play book funnel using ClickFunnels: Click here to learn more about it!

If you've ever wanted to construct a sales funnel to launch a book, there's no better time than now!

2017-01-16T17:21:31+00:00
  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    I'm one that bought the book so it's great to see this case study!

    Sue

    • Appreciate ya @sueannedunlevie:disqus and I'm glad you enjoyed seeing the case study!

  • Nice analysis Nathan, very helpful. And encouraging that even the expert can manage to screw up a bit of the tracking 🙂
    This is a remarkably complex process to get working (especially the first time) but once a funnel is fully working and converting, just feed it traffic 🙂
    All the best, Keith

    • Thanks Keith! And yeah, the first company that develops some tracking software that tracks across multiple domains, multiple carts, and multiple autoresponder tools is going to be a billion dollar business, because that's a definite void that needs to be filled!

  • Aidan

    How did the changes to funnel go? 37>47 for order bump and testimonials? What is avg customer value and number of new customers per day at? Love your content.

    • Hi Aidan, all very good questions! I do need to come back through and do a pull down of all the new stats after making changes. I will say that sales are reasonably consistent given little to no promotion at this time (just organic traffic) and the average customer value is at $24ish. I hope that answers at least some of your questions and thanks for the reminder to go back in and do some more analysis!

      • Aidan

        Glad to be of help in reminding you 😬 are you not running any paid traffic to the funnel on purpose? Is he monthly organic traffic good? Thanks Again! I've a similar style post > funnel in business fitness niche starting next week

        • Yeah, I'm currently working on a couple other projects and don't have the resources to maintain this book funnel... but, I will likely focus back on it come July. The monthly organic traffic is enough that I'm not stressing about it! And, good luck with your funnel that's starting next week!

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