Industry Insights
Conversion Sales Funnel Optimization 101 with ClickFunnels


Stephen Esketzis
Head of Content Marketing



For those of us not familiar with ClickFunnels, please tell us a little more about your platform. 

ClickFunnels is the very first sales funnel builder to help people sell their product or service online.

Our software helps any business market, sell and deliver their products digitally. In this day and age, a simple website isn’t enough to get people purchasing from you.

You need a strategy and process to take people through when they see your products and services for the first time and that’s why we build sales funnels.


The product seems extremely plug-and-play, where ClickFunnels takes care of website hosting, design, auto-responders, and the shopping cart for an Online Business owner. Exactly how much customization does the product offer in terms of content placement, visuals, messaging, and even payment processing?

ClickFunnels is extremely flexible with what you can do with it and that’s what makes it such an asset to any business that begins using it. You can decide to build out a simple “Optin” funnel to simply capture the name and email of a prospect with a basic lead magnet, or you can build out a 10 pages sales funnel, which might take someone who has never heard of your business before to becoming a loyal customer of your membership site. 

Content placement, visuals, messaging and even payment processing are extremely flexible and completely up to the user. For placement, visuals and messaging you’ve got one of the best drag and drop editors available for every single page you build which allows you to setup the page exactly how you want it to look. Visuals and placements are extremely important when it comes to building a sales funnel as these are what your prospects see before they make a buying decision, so we make sure ClickFunnels users can adjust almost every aspect of the page to their liking.

As for payment processing, we integrate with a variety of payment gateways such as Stripe, Braintree, PayPal, BitCoin (coming soon) as well as other affiliate platforms like Clickbank, JVZoo and more. We want to make sure that wherever you decide to sell and market your product, you’ve got the ability to do so.


What are some of the biggest mistakes online businesses usually make when it comes to their sales funnels?

When it comes to sales funnels, there’s a lot of moving parts involved. However the number one issue I see with people building out a sales funnel for the first time is jumping straight into the “creating and designing” phase before they really deconstruct their customer avatar. You need to know your customer inside out so that when you build your sales funnel the offer, messaging and targeting is extremely specific. Those three ingredients are the recipes to a high converting sales funnel. So make sure you plan your target audience.


Do you have a general framework you can share on typical steps a user should be taking in a sales funnel? (content upgrade or video to get them to sign up, confirmation email, introduction email sending more free content, another email adding value, invitation to join community, email asking to purchase, etc) 

It really depends on the type of sales funnel you’re building. As soon as you join ClickFunnels you’ll notice the pre-built templates and funnels you’ll get in your account, these are a great guide to existing proven funnels which people are using.

In any funnel, you want to make sure you’re giving value to the prospect before you have them take action, whether that be in the form of a PDF, email, blog post or something else, you want to offer up front value to the visitor so they’re inclined to take action. Once you’ve done that, only then will you see visitors responding to your opt-in offer or sales page.


What are some types of customers you usually work with, and use cases for each? 

The users of ClickFunnels vary far and wide. We have best selling authors on the platform who launch their book funnels to help build their email list and acquire leads, all the way to dentists and chiropractors who are looking to grow their client base for their local business. At the end of the day, if you run a business you need a sales funnel at some level. We actually just launched the first ever sales funnel marketplace where people can buy and sell complete sales funnels and landing pages for different industries too.


How does your ‘Backpack’ Affiliate program work to help scale out new users to a funnel?

Backpack is the affiliate management part of the “Etison Suite” which also includes the Actionetics (our automation platform). Backpack is used to bring on affiliates to promote your sales funnel so you can drive extra traffic to your funnel. For example, if you’re selling an eBook and you’ve already tried sending the emails to promote it to your own email list, it would be wise to send it to other partners and websites in the same industry.

Using Backpack you can setup affiliate plans so that other websites can promote your product and receive a commission. You can then track, process and payout those commissions all through Backpack. Having an affiliate program is a very effective way of building your marketing arsenal.


What are some best practices for upselling customers?

Upselling customers are best done after an initial purchase is made. The most effective way we’ve found is doing “OTO”s or a “One Time Offer”. These are offers made immediately after a purchase where a user can add to their purchase with just one click. It’s very little friction and can really add to the average transaction value on a sales funnel.


When it comes to paid traffic, where would you recommend an online business owner first start, and why? (Adwords, Facebook, Twitter, Ad Networks, Publisher Direct Buys, etc) 

That’s a great question; with so many traffic sources out there it’s tough. I’d recommend first starting with who your target audience is and find out where they hang out. E.g. If your targeting predominantly females, you might be better off with Pinterest Ads or Instagram vs. Twitter and Facebook. There’s no right answer, but wherever you start, make sure you master that source before you spend time trying to master another one.

You want to make sure that you’re successful on one before you move on from source to source.


In the context of paid traffic, what are some tools you recommend that can help with the media planning / buying or competitive intelligence process? (Quantcast, SimilarWeb, Ahrefs, Alexa,, KeywordSpy, WhatRunsWhere, Adbeat etc) 

Personally I really enjoy using WhatRunsWhere and AdBeat for display advertising spying. I also enjoy using SEMRush for organic traffic trends as well, however as mentioned earlier, none of this matters unless you figure out your target audience. However, I’m a bit of a geek with online marketing tools myself so it’s important to spend the time choosing your marketing stack carefully so you end up using the right tools.


Lastly, what is your take on the future of Conversion Rate Optimization and Sales Funnel Maximization?

That’s an interesting one. I think two things are going to happen. The first is that marketing will become far more personalized than ever before. With the marketing tools and services available to us today, you can start targeting so specifically and really get the message you want in front of the person you want. So I think on that hand, we’ll start seeing advertising become more and more native in our everyday lives which means our sales funnels will receive more qualified leads and that will help increase EPCs and LTVs on customers.

The second change which will happen is the old school “conversion optimization” and media buying techniques will begin to die and “brands” will begin to take off. I’m already starting to notice people buying into communities more and more. Using paid traffic to sell people goods and services on the front end will become harder than ever as businesses begin to build communities first. 

This is why when you build your sales funnel in this day and age, you need to be super specific with your targeting and offer and also offer a ton of value upfront to the prospect to get them engaged with you, your brand and your vision. 

It’s going to be an exciting couple of years ahead for business owners and entrepreneurs online!



With ClickFunnels, you are just a few simple clicks away from a beautifully-designed website marketing funnel. Because we believe that’s how it should be!

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