How To Create A Sales Funnel For FREE: Step-by-Step Tutorial  - Gillian Perkins

How To Create A Sales Funnel For FREE: Step-by-Step Tutorial 

Not too long ago it would have cost THOUSANDS of dollars to set up a successful sales funnel. Even a few years ago you would have had to pay HUNDREDS of dollars for different software tools to create a funnel.

Today?

Well, today is the best time to start an online business. I’ve been playing around with different software options to find the right combination that work well together to create a seamless, professional experience. And, guess what?! It’s FREE! You can now create a smooth sales funnel completely free. 

I thought I would have to use a ton of different software and that the sales funnel would appear very DIY, but I was wrong about that. After messing around with certain tools, I found one software you can use as the backbone to your funnel while including just a couple other smaller ones to complete the package.

Sales funnels have never been easier to build and use! In this article, I’ll walk you step-by-step through the process I found that worked the best for a free, do-it-yourself sales funnel.

Important assets you need to build an effective sales funnel

I love learning new things, and experimenting with different online tools is a hobby of mine. I love knowing how things work, why they do, and what works best together to create the most profitable outcome. 

Before we dive into the creation process, I want to outline the six main assets you need to build an effective funnel and a couple of optional ones. Along with that, I want to share the different software options and which I chose to create the most seamless, free sales funnel:

#1 Website

You need a place that people can go to find out more about you, your business, your products, and – most importantly – enter into your sales funnel.

Options for free website builders: 

  1. Google sites
  2. MailChimp
  3. MailerLite
  4. Square 

What I chose: MailerLite website builder

#2 – Free offer or waitlist

You need something for your website visitors to sign up for in order to enter your sales funnel and begin building a relationship with them.

What I chose: MailerLite landing pages

#3 – Promotional email sequence

Once a lead signs up for your funnel, you want to have something set up to automatically send emails out to them to foster that relationship and promote your product. 

Options for free email marketing:

  1. MailChimp
  2. MailerLite
  3. Convertkit

What I chose: MailerLite

#4 – Webinar (optional)

A teaching webinar can increase your conversion rates. You don’t necessarily need one, but it absolutely adds value to your funnel and can benefit you in the long run.

What I chose: Zoom Conferencing

#5 – Product to sell

You can’t have a sales funnel if you have nothing to sell… enough said.

#6 – Sales page (optional)

A sales page is a way to provide additional information to your potential customers so they can get all the details and make an educated decision. Again, just like the webinar, it can increase the value in your sales funnel, but it’s not entirely necessary. You can send leads directly to your checkout page. 

What I chose: MailerLite website builder

#7 – Shopping cart

You need a way for potential customers to be able to buy your product. 

Options for free payment processors (there are fees when someone purchases your product, but no upfront costs or monthly subscriptions):

  1. Convertkit
  2. Teachable
  3. Square
  4. Stripe

What I chose: Stripe

#8 – Payment processor

This is a way to process credit card payments and actually give your lead a way to purchase your product. 

What I chose: Stripe

Step-by-step tutorial create sales funnel

Needing six to eight assets to build your sales funnel may sound overwhelming, but bear with me. It’s not as difficult as you think, and I’m going to hold your hand the entire process. The good news is that you can mix and match different platforms to create a free sales funnel. 

Granted, I wanted to avoid making something that looks janky and too do-it-yourself. Rather, I wanted it to appear seamless and professional, but also to be easy enough for anyone to operate.

MailerLite checks most of those boxes! It has the best free plan available where you can directly build your website, sell your products, and send email marketing campaigns.

So in this tutorial, we are going to be using MailerLite as the backbone of the funnel while incorporating Stripe and, optionally, a couple of other software options.

Step #1 – Create accounts with MailerLite and Stripe

If you haven’t created an official business name yet, that’s okay! I recommend using your own name because that’s the easiest and most legal way to set up your business

Both MailerLite and Stripe accounts are free and easy to set up. All you need to do is enter your:

  1. Name
  2. Business name
  3. Email
  4. Create password

Step #2 – Create product in Stripe 

It’s fairly easy to create your product in Stripe as well. You will want to add your product name and price as well as a description about your product since you will be using Stripe as your main checkout page.

You can create your product in Stripe with a few simple steps:

  1. Login to your Stripe account
  2. Click “add product”
  3. Add product name
  4. Add product price
  5. Add product description (optional)

Step #3 – Create a checkout page for your product in Stripe

You will create your checkout page in Stripe as well, and here’s how:

  1. Login to your Stripe account
  2. Click “create payment link”
  3. Preview what the checkout will look like
  4. Add product description (if you didn’t when adding product to Stripe)
  5. Click “create link”

Step #4 – Create your website with MailerLite

MailerLite’s website builder is completely free, so it’s a great option to use! You have the choice between creating a website or a landing page, and I recommend using the website feature. All you need initially is a landing page, but as you grow, you’ll want a full website.

Website setup:

  1. Login to your MailerLite account
  2. Choose “website”
  3. Give your site a name
  4. Choose a website template (I chose “digital courses”)

Step #5 – Add an email opt-in form to your website

Because you are setting up a sales funnel and not just selling a product on your website (these two things are different), you need to have a way to receive contact information from anyone who visits your site. 

This is important because it allows you to have a way to follow up with potential customers to tell them about your product, help them determine if it’s right for them, and allow them to purchase it. In order to deliver those promotional messages to them, you need their email. To encourage them to give you their email address, they need an incentive.

Ways to incentivize visitors to give you their contact information:

  1. Offer a related free resource (examples: workshop, checklist, guide)
  2. Create a waitlist for product (page to share about a product coming soon)
  3. Promise value in your newsletter if they sign up (what will they learn from newsletter?)

How to set up a form in MailerLite:

  1. Login to your MailerLite account
  2. Go to the “forms” tab in the main menu
  3. Click “embedded forms”
  4. Click “create”
  5. Name your form based off what they are signing up to get (e.g “awesome course waitlist”)
  6. Click “save”

How to create a group for your form:

  1. Click on the form you want to create a group for (e.g. “awesome course waitlist”)
  2. Click “continue”
  3. Design what form looks like 

Once your form is created, you’ll want to copy the HTML code and add it to a part of your website where the form will be displayed and visitors can easily fill it out. 

Step #6 – Create a sales page for your product (optional)

This step is completely optional because you can send potential customers straight to your checkout page. However, if you want them to be able to purchase directly from your website, or you know your leads will want more details, then creating a sales page is a good idea. 

What to add to your sales page:

  1. Picture of your product
  2. Product details
  3. Testimonials
  4. “Buy now” button (linked to your Stripe checkout page)

Step #7 – Create an email campaign that promotes your product

This campaign is a series of emails that are automatically sent out to your subscribers telling them about your product and helping convince them it not only works, but it’s what they want and need. In some of the emails you can link to the sales page for more information or directly to the checkout page. 

How to create an email campaign:

  1. Login to your MailerLite account
  2. Go to “automations”
  3. Create “new automation”
  4. Select the form you want on top of your sales funnel (e.g. “awesome course waitlist”)
  5. Click “save”
  6. Choose “email” from next step workflow
  7. Add a series of emails, and each email will have the following: name of the email, subject line, who it’s from, design email (choose from drag and drop or plain text)

Step #8 – Add a webinar to your funnel (optional)

Do you want to double your conversion rate? That’s exactly what adding a webinar to your automated funnel tends to do. Twice as many people will buy your product if you add a webinar! 

Creating a webinar is a fair amount of work, and it can be added later on, but it’s definitely worth the work.

You have two options for your webinar set up:

  1. Host a live webinar through Zoom conferencing (which is free for up to 40 minutes)
  1. Create a pre-recorded webinar. If you choose this option, I recommend uploading your webinar to Vimeo and embedding that video to a page on your website. Sending leads to your website to view the webinar makes the process appear seamless and professional. Plus, you have full control over what’s on your webinar page, and you can include a link to your paid product so potential customers can purchase directly from there.

You did it!

You just set up your sales funnel – for FREE! How does it feel?

Here are the steps your potential customers will take throughout the sales funnel:

  1. Your target market will find your website (where the funnel starts)
  2. They’ll sign up for one of your opt-in forms
  3. This will add them to your promotional email sequence (which is automated, yay!)
  4. If you have a webinar, make sure to tell them about it so they can register to attend
  5. Your promotional email sequence or webinar will take leads to your checkout page to purchase
  6. Boom! You just made an automated sale!

I created the bones of this free, automated sales funnel in a little under an hour. However, this didn’t include writing the promotional email sequences, sales page, or any other copy you may need. Those parts are typically the most time consuming in the process, but the good news is that, once created, you can set it and forget it (checking periodically for any necessary updates). 

The only thing this setup process will cost you is your time. How cool is that?!

Gillian Perkins

Hi, I’m Gillian! I’m a marketing strategist who helps online entrepreneurs 10X their sales with FB ads + sales funnels. I love combining tech, analytics, and psychology to create powerful marketing systems. When I’m not helping my clients scale their businesses, I’m spending time with my husband and two little boys, exploring new places, or seeking out choice espresso.