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The AliExpress Sales Funnel [ClickFunnels]

This post was originally going to be a full blown course...

It was supposed to be created in January, then February... and now it's May.

Obviously, the course isn't happening any time soon; so, I figured I could still write an epic blog post that covers 80% of what the course would cover... and just get the dang thing out the door!

So, let's go!

The AliExpress Sales Funnel [ClickFunnels]

There's a huge opportunity right now for individuals to source products from China on a 1-to-1 basis by dropshipping via AliExpress.

This means, you can sell a product to someone in the United States for $10, go to AliExpress, buy the product for $3 and ship it for $2 directly to that individual. Thus, you make $5.

The benefit? You don't have to hold any inventory and you only buy products AFTER you have received payment from a customer. You literally have no expenses (beyond customer acquisition, which we'll get to).

Ultimately, it's a very "cool" model and a lot of people are doing it/want to do it...

We do it here at Crazy Eye Marketing and this post explains our approach.

The "Big Idea"

The "big idea" behind this strategy is that you're going to build a lot of funnels and test a lot of products very quickly.

Most will be losers; however, some will be "OK" and others will be huge winners!

So, the plan is to iterate and build fast.

Since this post is quite long, I figured I should give you an outline of what's covered so you can see where it's going and how it's all connected.

  1. Figure out your niche/audience - You must have people to sell to
  2. Figure out what you're going to sell them
    1. Ultimately, you're going to build a bunch of funnels and test a lot of products - You will test a lot. Most tests will fail and that's OK because the winners will more than make up for it
  3. Build your AliExpress sales funnel with ClickFunnels
    1. Free + Shipping vs. Crazy Discount
  4. Send traffic via Facebook
  5. See if it works
  6. Repeat steps 2-5.

Finding Your Niche/Audience

The very first thing you need to do is figure out your niche or audience... who are you going to sell stuff to?

There are many strategies and methodologies for doing this...

  • Pick a niche you're passionate about - This can be a good idea because you'll likely care more and do a better job
  • Pick a niche with raving fans - Maybe you don't care about the topic; however, there are 3 million other people that love that topic (ie. I <3 Cats!)
  • Pick a niche that has products people NEED - Maybe these people aren't "raving fans"; however, they have a hobby and need certain products to do that hobby (ie. cooking, camping, cars, etc.)

I'm sure there are other strategies as well, but those will help get you going in the right direction.

Now, you also need to make sure...

  • They're willing and able to buy online - There are certain demographics that don't buy online. Whether it's age, location, etc., for some reason, some groups of people simply don't buy online.
    • A good way to test this is to go to Amazon and look up products you believe your potential audience would be interested in. If you see products listed, they have reviews, and look like they're selling... then you're probably OK!
  • The audience is large enough - 1-5 million people. Any less and it's probably too small of a pool. Any more and you're probably going too broad.
    • A good way to check audience size is by going to Facebook and checking...

Precise Interests

  • Precise Interests are those that aren't "made" by someone at Facebook, instead they're made by an algorithm.
  • Basically, if it's something generic/broad and short like "fitness", "hiking", "digital marketing" ... it's NOT precise. If it's longer and specific, it's typically precise.
  • Also, as a general rule of thumb, if the Interest matches the name of a Page, then it's a Precise Interest.
  • Another general rule, Precise Interests typically have less than 1 million people in them.

The "Perfect" Niche

The "perfect" niche is one where all the aforementioned requirements are met.

It's a niche you're passionate about, it has raving fans who will buy stuff "just cuz", and it also has products people need. It has between 1-5 million people, and it has people willing, and able to buy online!

For example, cat lovers is a "perfect" niche (if you also love cats). There are all kinds of trinkets (necklaces, t-shirts, phone cases, etc.) people will buy to show they love their cat. Then, there's practical cat stuff people NEED like litter boxes, toys, treats, etc. that cat lovers also need. Plus, it's a large audience that includes people willing and able to buy online.

Why Pick A Niche?

You may be thinking to yourself, "Why should I pick a niche? Why not pick random products that are already selling well?"

The reason why you want to hone in on a particular audience is so you can build your lists.

Whether they're leads lists or buyers lists or email lists or retargeting lists or messenger lists... you want lists of people with similar interests so when you launch a new funnel/product, you have a group of people to put it in front of who already know you and your business.

While you could conceivably launch a bunch of funnels with a bunch of different products and still do fine, it's best to have a core audience to go after so you can essentially "recycle" them!

How To Pick A Good Product To Sell

Now that you've figured out your niche/audience, it's time to find some stuff to sell them!

There are a million ways to do this...

... you can find voids in the marketplace, survey your audience, and do a ton of market research. Then, go about finding or developing the product that fills that need. And, this is probably the "right" thing to do if you aren't playing this AliExpress game!

Yes, this is a game.

There is nothing stopping anyone else from setting up funnels and dropshipping from AliExpress.

All you need is a couple hundred bucks to run ads... you will hopefully make back that same day.

It's very much a game and you have to move fast and adjust quickly.

Finding The Initial Product

Since this is a game where speed and agility are keys to success, it's best to use products that you already know sell well.

You can do things like go to Amazon to look at top selling products and then try to find them on AliExpress...

Or, you can pay attention to the marketplace to see what's "hot" right now... like fidget spinners...

Or, the easiest way is to just go to AliExpress and...

  • Search for and/or browse the categories you believe your audience is interested in
  • Keep price under $5 (of course, this is up to you, but I try to sell the initial offer for less than $10, so I need enough to cover the product, shipping, and ad spend)
  • Check 4 stars & up
  • Sort products by "orders"
  • Ensure manufacturer has at least 3 Diamonds
  • Ensure ePacket shipping
  • Double check reviews to see complaints

When you find a product you want to use, add it to a Wishlist that's the name of the funnel.

Finding One-Time-Offer Products

In the last step, you found what you hope is a great Initial Product... one that will sell like hot cakes!

Now, it's time to find some complementary products that customers will want in addition to the initial product they just purchased.

Obviously, the more products they order... the better it is for you!

However, there is a catch...

YOU MUST PICK PRODUCTS FROM THE SAME MANUFACTURER!

Why? So you can save on shipping costs!

Watch this...

The AliExpress Sales Funnel

At this time, you should have three awesome products from the same manufacturer to save on shipping costs.

Now, let's talk about the funnel!

Free + Shipping vs. Crazy Discount

There are two ways to approach this funnel:

  1. Free + Shipping: Give the product away for free, but the customer has to pay shipping costs
  2. Offering a Crazy Discount: 50%+ off with free shipping

Both ways can work incredibly well and ideally, you will want to split test both.

There are also some pros and cons for each:

  • Free + Shipping has the word "free" in it, and people love free
    • This may lead to some viral-ness
    • People will complain about how "it's not free if they have to pay for shipping" - you will have to monitor your ads closely for people calling it a "scam"
    • Pretty much everyone and their mother is following this tactic and it my be "over done"
    • Typically has high cart abandonment rate because people bounce once they see the price of shipping
  • Crazy Discount is pretty straight forward... save a lot of money on Product X.
    • People won't typically call it a "scam"
    • It might not go as viral as a "free" offer
    • You can charge more. People won't believe it cost's $10 to ship a "Cat Paw Necklace"; however, they will believe the true cost of the necklace is $20 and that at $10, it's 50% off!

Personally, I always go with the Crazy Discount first and if it starts to generate sales I will split test that version against a Free + Shipping version.

If it doesn't make any sales, I move onto the next product.

The Funnel Design

This is the structure of the AliExpress Sales Funnel:

Want my AliExpress Sales Funnel in your Clickfunnels account? Click here to learn more!

Facebook Ad(s)

Most of my Facebook ads look something like this:

If the product performs well, ie. starts making some sales, I will order it, shoot a video demonstration of the product and run that as an ad as well.

Video ads typically outperform image ads... so, if you find a winning product, it's certainly worth trying!

Note: Make sure you're optimizing your Facebook Ad Campaign for Conversions. Having said that, you need to ensure you're tracking conversions in your funnel. I do this by placing the purchase conversion tag on my OTO 1 page.

2-Step Sales Page

I try to keep my sales pages as plain and straight forward as possible...

>> Click Here To View The Page <<

All my pages follow a very similar structure as the one above.

I explain who/what the product is perfect for and then list out some features & benefits.

I re-iterate the FREE Shipping & Handling aspect and also mention that it will take 2-4 weeks for delivery. We want to make sure people know it will take a little while to receive their product... do not deceive people.

On occasion, I will add a few more product images and possibly some reviews/testimonials, if I feel like it will help. I never add more than is necessary.

Step 2 of the order form looks like this:

A couple things to note:

  • I'm giving people the chance to purchase more than one and even incentivizing it by offering even greater discounts. Some of my funnels offer quantities up to 10 - try not to limit anyone who wants to buy a lot!
  • There's a bump offer. In this case, it's for a "cat library" which is a ClickFunnels membership site that has a bunch of cat related information - PLR, YouTube videos, etc. It's a digital product so that $4.95 is essentially pure profit. It's a nice little kicker to increase average order size on the front-end. Think of products, whether physical or digital, that you can offer as a bump and watch your average order size increase!

Cart Abandonment Emails

The great part about the 2-step order form is that as soon as someone fills out their contact information and clicks the button to go to Part 2... their contact information gets stored in ClickFunnels and can be passed to your 3rd party autoresponder tool!

This way, even if someone doesn't buy, you're still able to follow up with them!

I use a very simple cart abandonment series for people that don't buy right away:

Email 1 - Sent 1 hour after abandonment:

Subject Line: Complete Your Purchase

Hey %FIRSTNAME%,

Your shopping cart at Crazy Eye Marketing has been reserved and is waiting for your return!

In your cart, you left: Cat Paw Necklace

Click here to complete your purchase!

Thanks for shopping!

Crazy Eye Marketing

Email 2 - Sent 1 day after abandonment:

Subject Line: Last Reminder About Your Cart!

Hey %FIRSTNAME%,

Your shopping cart at Crazy Eye Marketing has been reserved and is waiting for your return!

In your cart, you left: Cat Paw Necklace

Click here to complete your purchase!

Thanks for shopping!

Crazy Eye Marketing

I then roll those people into my general follow up series where I send great content and other offers in an effort to get them to become a customer.

Order Confirmation Email

After someone purchases the initial offer, they're sent this email:

It's a simple email that thanks them for their order, reminds them it takes 2-4 weeks to receive their order (and gives a reason why it takes this long), tells them where to go if they need help or have questions, and closes with a reminder to checkout another one of our products.

BONUS: Super-Powered 2-Step Order Form

Personally, I run a few "pro tools" on my 2-step order form and I highly recommend them because they optimize your form.

The "pro tools" are from Jaime Smith of CF Pro Tools.

Most are FREE! Which is insane because they provide so much power.

I use:

  • CF USA Only Shipping Hidden - Automatically selects USA as country and then hides the country option (one less field to fill out)
  • CF Best Seller Highlight - Highlight your top selling offer (see image below)
  • CF Select Default - Pre-select a product option (typically pre-select the "most popular" option)
  • CF 2 Step Track Lead - Track leads. Those that fill out Part #1 of the 2-step form.
  • CF State Selector (paid) - "Forces" people to select a State abbreviation. Otherwise people type all sorts of random stuff and misspell their own state. (the less options you give someone, the better)

I'm not a partner, affiliate, or anything for CF Pro Tools. It's simply an awesome resource that I highly recommend!

OTO 1

After purchasing the Initial Offer (and hopefully the bump) they're greeted with One-Time-Offer 1 (OTO):

>> Click Here To View The Page <<

Notice that it starts with "WAIT! Your Order Is Being Processed, BUT It Isn't Complete" - this tells the individual that they aren't done. This is important because we don't want people to randomly leave after they submit their order.

As you can see, the page is relatively simple... an image of the product (I would add more if the product needed it) and a few bullets about the features & benefits of the product.

Then, I give people the option to upgrade their order by buying either one or two of the OTO (remember, multi-product is where the money is made!)

I closeout the page by giving the individual a chance to opt-out of the OTO.

OTO 2

The layout of OTO 2 is very similar to OTO 1. Why? It works!

>> Click Here To View The Page <<

You may notice the background color of the very top bar is different than OTO 1. This hopefully draws their attention to the fact this is a different offer.

Beyond that, the concept of OTO 2 is the exact same as OTO 1... try and sell more than one!

Order Confirmation Page

The Order Confirmation Page lets people know their order is complete...

It also recommends other products they might be interested in - which of course leads them to other product funnels!

>> Click Here To View The Page <<

Membership Portal

The Membership Pages are only used when offering digital assets for the Bump on the Initial Offer.

These pages aren't always applicable; however, I include them as often as possible because it only takes a few hours to throw together a membership area and charge $4.95 a head for it... which can make or break your AliExpress Sales Funnel!

This is my Membership Access Page:

And Membership Area:

And...

Those are the pages of the AliExpress Funnel!

Handling Orders

Now that you have this super awesome funnel loaded with products... it's time to start handling orders!

There are many ways to do this and several tools to help you along the way like...

Unfortunately, I've seen both tools order multiples and, in general, screw something up...

So, human intervention is required...

Which leads me to my approach which is mostly manual. (yes, humans screw up too, but why spend money on a tool when you need to have a human engaged anyway? Why not just let a human do it?)

And, this is how I manually submit the orders into AliExpress...

It's pretty self-explanatory; however, I drop a few tips so it will be helpful to watch:

  • Note to seller: Please do not include an invoice or promotional material - thank you!

BONUS Tip! Mike Rocha left a real smart comment below recommending the use of Ebates when you submit your orders to AliExpress. Doing this will help you earn some money back!

How To Tell If It's Working

This topic, in itself, has over 8 million variables. (yes, I counted)

One word could literally make or break a campaign, not to mention your audience targeting, ad, pages, offer, etc.

We try and eliminate the possibility of getting something wrong by using a proven ad structure and funnel. Your chances for success are much higher because you're building on a solid foundation....

However, you can test and tweak and test and tweak until your eyes pop out... or...

You can iterate quickly - ie. start over with a new ad, offer, funnel, etc.

Once you've done it a few times, you'll be able to create these types of funnels in just a few hours... simply duplicate the funnel, swap out the products, make sure all the connections are good, create your ad, and launch! (there might be a few other steps in there, but the point is that it's a fast process)

My Recipe To Measure Success

To test a new funnel I:

  • Take the price of the product I'm selling (what I'm selling it for, say $9.95)
  • Multiply that value by 10 (10 * $9.95 = $99.50)
  • Divide that number by 5 ($99.50 / 5 = $19.90)
  • I launch my ad with a budget of $19.90/day and let it run for 5 days
  • After those 5 days I evaluate
    • If it's profitable, I let that baby run!
    • If it's break-even or close, I will either let it run (Facebook might auto-optimize it into profitability) or I may adjust my targeting by viewing breakdown reports in Facebook (mobile vs. desktop, age ranges, male vs. female). See if there's a cheaper audience/segment that I should focus on.
    • If it lost most money or didn't make a single sale... I kill it and start fresh. I figure, if I can't sell a product by spending 10X its sale price when targeting my ideal audience with proven ad and funnel structures... then I likely chose a bad product and I need to start over.

So, that's how I do it.

Again, there are many ways to skin this "optimization" cat... but, I personally prefer to just kill it and start fresh.

In Closing

You've now seen the strategy and tactics behind the AliExpress Sales Funnel!

There are people that sell this information for $1,000s ...

But, I put it all out there in the open for ya... for free... you're welcome 😉 ha

Anyway, I do have a soft pitch...

If this post helped you "see the light" or gave you insights in anyway...

And/or, you want a copy of my sales funnel...

Click Here to say "Thanks" and to get access to my shared AliExpress Sales Funnel! (note: you need a ClickFunnels for this funnel)

Or...

If you need a ClickFunnels account and register through my link, then forward your "Welcome Email" to [email protected].. I'll send ya the funnel for free!

2017-06-12T14:40:08+00:00
  • Robbin

    I am in the process of building an AliExpress sales funnel myself and picked up some great tips. People are indeed selling this kind of information for hundreds of dollars, so thanks for your generosity of sharing this information for free. I like the content you're putting out. I will keep an eye on your blog.

    • Hi Robbin - I'm happy to hear you enjoyed the post! Best of luck to you and your AliExpress funnel... I hope it's a home run!

  • Randolf Kim

    Well Done Nathan! You're great! I'm just curious about how you send the abandonment email? Does it happen automatically or you do it manually? What if I'm using Aweber?

    • Hi Randolf, I'm glad you like it! With regard to the abandonment emails... I either use Zapier to connect to ActiveCampaign (so, you can do something similar with Aweber), or I'll use the built-in automation function inside of ClickFunnels. But, it's definitely automatic! I hope that helps get you in the right direction!

      • Randolf Kim

        Thanks Nathan! Do you have available video for my case? It seems like easy to setup but triggering the abandoned funnel is hard and cause complications.. I hope I can read your mind. 🙂

  • Mike Rocha

    Dude this info is awesome. Im just starting out in the aliexpress dropshipping world. I started out with shopify. No sales yet but I know my niche is small. Question: Do you ever worry about being ablento cover the monthly clickfunnels fees? If so may I suggest opening aliexpress in ebates first. You get back 4.5% each transaction and that adds up. 🙂

    • Hi Mike, I'm glad you like it and congrats on entering the AliExpress dropshipping world... it can certainly be a fun one! I do not worry about being able to cover the monthly ClickFunnels fees... the tool pays for itself time and again. As for the Ebates "hack" ... that's smart man, much appreciated! I just opened an Ebates account thanks to you and I'm going to update the post with your tip... thanks!

  • Jon

    Hi Nathan,

    Great summary of using Ali Express and Drop Shipping for selling products using Facebook campaigns.

    Are you mostly selling products using landing page/click funnel methods for niche products? Or are you actually setting up an E-commerce store and setting up the Facebook ad to go right to the check out page of that product on your web site?

    Right now in the middle of developing and putting together a E-commerce site and will be setting up FB campaigns that link directly to the web site check out page of the product.

    If you are just doing the click funnel, with just product landing pages without an actual site, its a shorter method for selling items.

    Whereas, if you set-up an actual e-commerce store, then you really have to focus on branding, in addition to the FB ads and deals you are promoting.

    Any experiences with both sides of the platform, for either e-commerce or click funnel landing pages, would love to hear anyones experiences with it, in relation to promoting Ali Express items.

    Cheers,

    Jon

    • Hey Jon,

      Glad you like the post!

      I do both ClickFunnels and Shopify... probably a 50/50 split. How I choose what tool typically comes down to how many variants the product has and if I can find good, complimentary products from the same manufacturer...

      ClickFunnels doesn't do a good job with variants, so if it's a product with multiple variants that I want to use... I run it through Shopify. Otherwise, typically, I'll use ClickFunnels.

      Same with the complimentary products, if I can't find any... I run it through Shopify, otherwise, ClickFunnels.

      With regard to branding - I guess there are a couple ways to approach it. You could build "brandless" funnels in ClickFunnels and run them that way. Personally, I brand all my funnels the same brand as the ecommerce store... I try and make the whole thing congruous for the customer so they don't know the difference.

      While I could talk all day on this, that's pretty much a broad overview... I do use both platforms, depending on a few variables and I brand them all!

      Hope that helps,
      Nathan

      I love ClickFunnels for 1-off products that don't have any v

  • Jon

    Hi Nathan,

    Actually use WooCommerce, as there is a tool just like Shopify that allows you to see all the "epacket" products and import them over to WooCommerce with one click. Do not have to pay $200 to $300/month. But I can see how Shopify allows you to set quick and easy. If I did not have this plugin to add products/variants/epackets, might have gone through Shopify direction.

    Me personally, I am building a clothing web site with over 1000 products. Already have 300 products loaded and the variants get loaded auto using this plugin that loads the product from Ali Express to Woo Commerce.

    Trying to make a decision if for the main picture, to use either a picture of the person wearing the clothing item or just the clothing item itself. Because Ill have over 1000 products, it will be difficult to buy 1000 products and take high quality pictures of each.

    What I am thinking is just going with using the person wearing the clothes, and even though it will be different models, wearing each product, at least it will be consistent. I am changing around background color to all the same colour and cropping the photos, so the full face does not show. Its a long process, but it has to be done. Paying a free lancer to do that right now, along with doing some title changes for all the different products.

    Secondly,. I am using about 10 to 15 different clothing brands, and not promoting the clothing brand online. Someone of these companies will have branding on the back tag of these clothing items and some won't.

    Thinking about at some point about adding my own branding and logo with a paper tag, but not all suppliers will add a paper tag.

    Dont think people should care to much about buying clothing items from my site, that are from different chinese brands. Do not list any brand name in the product info. Also, secondly, I state in the I go that I am not the manufacturer of the products, and that I am selling other manufacturers products.

    Most of my products will be in the range of $15 to $30 range, with a $10 to $15 profit.

    Thoughts about display pictures and the sewn on tags, on the back of clothing items? Any experience with selling clothes and creating clothing brand?

    Guess at the end of the day, the tags are the tags, that are on the back of the clothes. You can get them removed sometimes and branded yourself, but it's a lot more costly.

    People are just happy to get the product, as long as it gets there within the amount of time you stated and the product is what they described.

    Great to talk to other people with drop shipping and e-commerce experience.

  • Cassie

    How do you handle the shipping turnaround time with AliExpress and your customers? Do you tell your customers delivery can take up to 3 weeks? Curious how you position that. Great article, btw! Very informative!

    • Hi Cassie - if you take a look at the sales page, underneath where it says "FREE Shipping and Handling" it says that orders take 2-4 weeks to be delivered. Also, in their email receipt I mention again that it takes 2-4 weeks. Of course, not everyone reads it and people do email in wondering where their product is to which I reply with something like:

      "Your order has was shipped by our distribution center on May 18th and all orders take between 2-4 weeks to arrive at their destination.

      We know it's a long time to wait and we're working on our logistics; however, it's the best we can do at this time while still offering amazing products at unbeatable prices!

      Please give it a little more time and your order will be there!"

      Hope that helps!

      • Cassie

        Thanks Nathan! Yes it does! I'm sorry I missed that in your example :-p Have a great day!

  • Jarrad Bosenberg

    That's a great post, thanks Nathan. My question is do you integrate domains or are you happy to leave it as https://www.click funnels.com/youaccount/funnelname ? Or do you integrate fuels into your website so that it has your privacy policy, terns of service etc already there?

    • Hi Jarrad, glad you liked the post!

      To answer your question(s), I always use a custom domain. As for Privacy Policy, TOS, etc. I just create pages in ClickFunnels with that content and then link the funnels to those pages.

      Hope that helps!

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