The “Straight Line” Sales Funnel is where most people begin … actually, I take that back … it's where everyone begins.

It's Sales Funnels 101.

If you can't make emails trigger in a straight line, trying to trigger them based off of actions, events, interests, and intent will be impossible.

You have to start here and understand this concept or you can't move forward, it's that simple.

The “Straight Line” Sales Funnel

Straight Line Sales Funnel

Lead Magnet

The Lead Magnet is the “free gift” you give someone in exchange for their email address – for example a coupon, free shipping, trial, webinar, etc.

If you've been on the Internet for longer than a day, you've seen opt-in or signup forms for Lead Magnets all over the place (you've probably seen a few on this site alone!)

You can learn more about Lead Magnets here.

Emails #1 Through Infinity

Pretty self explanatory. You send emails in an order that makes sense to transform a lead into a paying customer.

This is accomplished by sending emails that follow the 3Es:

  1. Entertain: These emails are meant to entertain. Videos, pictures, stories, etc provide great entertainment.
  2. Educate: Helpful emails that solve problems, answer questions, and provide guidance.
  3. Earn: These emails drive sales by bringing customers back to your business.

Your email series could look something like this:

  1. Thanks for joining, deliver lead magnet, here's what you can expect from us, here's a little about our business
  2. Do you have any questions? (Try and start a conversation)
  3. Introduce best selling product/service – describe features – link to sales page (educate/earn)
  4. Best selling product/service – describe benefits – link to sales page (educate/earn)
  5. Share an interesting user experience of your best selling product/service (entertain/educate/earn)
  6. Best selling product/service – handle top 3 objections – link to sales page (educate/earn)
  7. Send a cheat sheet for solving whatever problem your product/service solves so the customer can still solve their problem even if they don't chose your product (educate/earns trust)
  8. Share a funny cat video, just because you thought it was funny (entertain)
  9. Introduce 2nd best selling product/service – describe features – link to sales page (educate/earn)
  10. On, and on, and on

A “Straight Line” Sales Funnel That's Working Right Now

I'm currently running a paid advertising campaign to a “Straight Line” Sales Funnel that's performing well and below you'll find the overall strategy for it.

For the sake of this example, let's pretend I'm selling cooking utensils.

  1. Thanks for joining, deliver lead magnet, here's what you can expect from us, here's a little about our business
  2. Entertaining story about how finding this soup spoon has greatly improved my life
  3. Link to video on my site of a professional chef using the exact same soup spoon I'm selling. Of course, beneath the video I have a link to buy the soup spoon from me
  4. Features and Benefits of the soup spoon, link to sales page
  5. PDF containing 3 soup recipes that remind me of home. In the PDF I link to the soup spoon in my store
  6. Entertaining story about how I've found this razor sharp knife has improved my life
  7. On, and on, and on

It Has Its Strengths And Weaknesses


  • Easy to understand
  • Easy to setup
  • ALL email autoresponder services can do this, there aren't any special features required to make it work
  • WAAYYY better than nothing
  • It's a foundation for “bigger” things [see Interest Driven Sales Funnels]


  • May promote products and services to a person that has already purchased and therefore wastes time, effort, energy, resources, etc.
  • The content may not pertain to the individual. For example, if you sell vehicles and your top selling product is a car, and your first 4 emails are about the car and the lead is only interested in trucks … the individual won't care about your emails.

In Closing…

If you do not have an email series or sales funnel in place currently or the one you have is lacking – focus on setting up a “Straight Line” Sales Funnel.

Once you grasp this core concept and the technical aspects involved, you'll be able to move on to bigger, better sales funnels.