By now, you probably know that sales funnels convert customers on autopilot. But if you haven’t yet created a Facebook sales funnel—you’re missing out on some serious opportunities. We’re talking $250,000 in additional revenue or even tripling your sales conversion rate.
As one of the biggest social media networks, Facebook has an incredible amount of data on each of its users, which marketers can use to better connect with and serve their customers.
Below, I’ll go over how to create a Facebook sales funnel, plus give you some real-life examples (including ones that achieved the very results I mentioned in that first sentence). Let’s dive in!
What Is a Sales Funnel?
Before we begin, let’s briefly go over what a sales funnel is. We talk about sales funnels a lot here at Foundr and we use them in our campaigns. But, if you don’t know what it is, a sales funnel is a marketing tool that moves people along a journey from prospect to customer. There are three main stages:
- Awareness (Top of Funnel) – At this stage, people are just becoming acquainted with your brand. They’re not ready to purchase yet because you’re new to them, and they still need to develop trust. Because these are cold leads, it’s a good idea to build a relationship by offering valuable content for free, such as an ebook, blog post, or digital download.
- Consideration (Middle of Funnel) – Now, these leads are more familiar with your brand and are beginning to trust you. At this point, they’re starting to compare their options before making a purchasing decision.
- Decision (Bottom of Funnel) – This is when leads are most ready to buy. It’s the perfect time to go in with a more aggressive offer, such as a discount or limited-time deal.
If you want more detail on what a sales funnel is, check out this article.
3 Ways to Create a Facebook Sales Funnel
There are multiple ways to create a Facebook sales funnel. What works for you will depend on your skill set and your business type. Below, we’ll go over three types of Facebook sales funnels across different types of businesses—from SaaS to ecommerce. I recommend testing each funnel and then evaluating which one was the most successful for your brand.
The Webinar Facebook Sales Funnel
This is an extremely popular Facebook sales funnel, especially among online businesses and consultants. So if you’re a freelancer, consultant, or online course creator, consider trying the webinar sales funnel.
To illustrate my points, I’m going to use digital marketer Amy Porterfield’s Facebook ads as an example. Why? In 2018, she brought in over $5 million in online course sales—so I think we need to pay attention to her Facebook ad strategy.
I found her ads through the public Facebook Ad Library (an awesome resource for marketers, which I’ll go over in detail at the end of this post), but please note I am making an educated guess at the exact sequence and retargeting settings she’s using.
Step 1: Introduce yourself and invite them to a webinar.
To begin the sales funnel, run a Facebook ad that introduces yourself and invites the audience to your free webinar. At this stage, you can have two ad audiences:
Cold leads – This group is created as a “lookalike audience.” For your cold leads, you’ll need to introduce yourself as they likely have no idea who you are or what you can help them with. Check out how Porterfield’s ad copy accomplishes this beautifully:
She also runs other ads for her top-of-funnel audience that introduces her expertise without inviting them to the webinar just yet, like this one that drives traffic to her podcast:
Warm leads – This ad audience is based on people who have visited your site before or are on your email list. For your warm leads, you don’t need to introduce yourself, as they should already be familiar with your brand. In the example below, Porterfield skips the introduction and dives right into the heart of the matter with ad copy that addresses a pain point:
Step 2: If the lead doesn’t sign up on the first visit, invite them again with retargeting.
Now that your audience has seen your first ads introducing yourself and inviting them to your webinar, they can move from the top of the funnel to the middle. At this stage, your copy can indicate that you’re familiar with them and that this is a “final” opportunity of sorts to get in on your masterclass.
Step 3: Send them to your webinar landing page.
Step 4: Host your webinar.
To host your webinar, you can use one of these tools:
- Strapped for cash? Online course expert Mariah Coz has a great post on how you can combine a few tools to host a webinar for free.
You don’t have to host the webinar live every time; that would be exhausting. Record a live webinar once and then have it auto-repeat at specific times. Just don’t mislead your viewers by telling them it’s live.
Step 4: At the end of the webinar, offer a limited-time bonus.
The goal of the webinar is to warm up those leads even further by getting them acquainted with your face, your voice, and your expertise. At the end of the webinar, reward them for sticking around by offering a fast-action bonus and an offer to join your paid program or course.
Step 5: Retarget webinar attendees who didn’t convert.
Most of your webinar attendees won’t be ready to buy right then and there, especially if your offer is a high-ticket item, and that’s okay! The beauty of the Facebook pixel is it allows you to retarget the people who watched your webinar but did not convert.
Here’s how Porterfield does it:
Notice how the ad copy hints at a prior relationship with the words “There’s still time.” Clicking on the ad leads you to the List Builders Society’s sales page.
Can you imagine if this had been the very first ad you ever saw from Amy Porterfield? There would be no relationship, so for her to ask you to pay to join her online course would feel out of place. But at this point in the process, thanks to her genius Facebook sales funnel, this is potentially the third time you’ve seen an ad from her, and you’ve already attended her webinar and gotten to see her face and hear her voice. The relationship at this point is much stronger, and you’re probably in the decision stage of the funnel and much more likely to buy.
That’s my best attempt at guessing Porterfield’s sales funnel strategy, based on her publicly available ads. In September 2018, she was on Pat Flynn’s podcast and revealed more details about her sales funnels. You should definitely give that show a listen!
The Content Facebook Sales Funnel
Not a fan of hosting webinars? That’s okay! Maybe the content Facebook sales funnel is a better fit for your business. Let’s use HubSpot’s Facebook ads as an example of how this works.
Step 1: Choose content to give away for free without an ask.
Don’t try to sell on the first touchpoint. If it’s the first time someone is seeing an ad from your brand, you don’t need to ask them to sign up for anything. The goal is to introduce them to your brand and maybe even get them to interact with your ad or visit your site.
For HubSpot’s top-of-funnel Facebook ads, where the user potentially has never heard of HubSpot before, the company runs ads such as this one:
In this Facebook ad, there’s no ask—no free ebook to download, no webinar to sign up for. It’s just a video with a clever caption. But this ad subtly does three things:
- It singles out its target audience by providing information on a niche-specific topic (digital advertising) and using industry jargon “SponCon” (a term that social media marketers will know).
- It encourages engagement by asking at the end, “Would you swipe right for ads on dating apps?”
- It increases brand awareness with its subtle placement of the HubSpot logo in the upper right corner.
Step 2: Retarget those who have already interacted with your Facebook ads.
Now, the power of Facebook ads really kicks in. You can actually target people based on their engagement with your brand on Facebook, including those who watched at least three seconds of your video.
So take a look at this ad:
When you click “Learn More,” you’re directed to this page:
Even though HubSpot is asking for your contact and business information, at this stage, they’re still not asking you to buy anything nor are they directly advertising their product.
This is speculation, as I don’t have access to HubSpot’s marketing strategy, but I assume that HubSpot serves the above ad to those who interacted with previous video ads like the dating app one I mentioned before. Notice how this ad takes it one step further and introduces an offer: a free download of industry interviews about advertising platforms. Because this might be at least the second touchpoint, introducing an offer and an ask (you have to enter your information to access the interviews) is more effective.
HubSpot can then use the email addresses it collects on that landing page to continue to market to these leads via email. They could also retarget these leads or create a lookalike audience on Facebook based on them.
Step 3: Retarget again with a product offer.
Finally, HubSpot has ads that directly promote their product, a CRM. This type of offer ad works well in your sales funnel when it’s the third, fourth, or fifth time that someone has interacted with your brand. While HubSpot’s CRM is free, they do have paid upgrades for those who want more robust sales and marketing tools. HubSpot’s free CRM is a good gateway to their paid products.
When you click that ad, you’re directed to a landing page encouraging you to sign up for HubSpot CRM for free.
It doesn’t have to end there, though. Most people who land on that page still won’t be ready to sign up. But the beauty of the Facebook pixel is that you can retarget people who visited your landing page but didn’t take you up on your offer.
With this type of Facebook sales funnel, you never have to host a webinar or interact one-on-one with any of your leads. You simply warm them up with the free content your business promotes via Facebook ads.
The Facebook Messenger Sales Funnel
To showcase the power of Facebook Messenger funnels, let’s take a look at a case study of Beddy’s, which sells one-piece, zip-up bedding.
Step 1: Run an ad with a free lead gen or discount code.
For its Memorial Day sale, Beddy’s ran an ad with a call-to-action button that said “Send Message.” To get the sale details, users had to contact the brand via Messenger.
Step 2: Send an offer via Messenger.
Once someone sent a message, the brand responded asking if they’d like a discount code.
Step 3: Ask them to opt in to your email list.
For those who said yes, the brand sent the discount code plus followup information on how they could join the VIP list.
Step 4: Follow up via Messenger.
The day after the Memorial Day sale, Beddy’s sent a sponsored message to people who had previously interacted with them on Messenger. The message let them know that the sale had been extended, and it was personalized with each person’s name and included a discount code.
The results? Beddy’s Memorial Day campaign saw returns 17.8 times the ad spend, while tripling its sales conversion rate!
There are even more creative ways to use Messenger as part of your sales funnel. Beddy’s built automated responses right into their Messenger, so even if you’re just visiting their Facebook page and decide to message them, the brand takes the opportunity to promote their products. You can shop their products without ever leaving the app.
And yet another example of how you can use Facebook Messenger as a sales funnel, without paying for ads, is from Jason Swenk. He sells a program called Agency Playbook as well as high-end services, and by using a Messenger bot, he was able to create a funnel that increased his revenue by $250,000—with zero ad spend!
Other Tips for Creating Your Facebook Sales Funnel
Install the Facebook Pixel on Your Website
The Facebook pixel is invaluable because it tracks visitors to your site and their actions, enabling you to create ads that target those users later. Here are a few ways to do it:
- If you have a developer (or are one yourself), here’s how to manually install the Facebook pixel.
- If you lack the tech skills, though, you can use a plugin to install the Facebook pixel on a WordPress site.
- And here’s how to do it on Shopify.
Create Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audiences
To create the most effective Facebook sales funnels, take advantage of custom audiences and lookalike audiences. They allow you to serve ads to specific groups of people based on your email list, website visitors, and other criteria.
Use Retargeting to Move Your Audience Through the Funnel
As mentioned above, retargeting is a powerful tool that helps you serve ads to people based on their previous actions. This is important because, for example, you don’t want to keep serving an ad offering a 20% discount on your online course to someone who’s already bought it.
Use the Facebook Ad Library to Study Successful Sales Funnels
This is something I wish more digital marketers were talking about: the Facebook Ad Library. It is a goldmine of examples and inspiration for advertisers. In March 2019, in an attempt to be more transparent, Facebook made every page’s advertisements available to the public in its ad library, which means you can look up your competitors and see the details of all the ads they’re running.
While you shouldn’t copy your competitors, I encourage you to use the Facebook Ad Library as a way to study the sales funnels of successful businesses out there and use them as inspiration to create your own.
What Will Your Facebook Sales Funnel Look Like?
After reading this article, I hope you realize the incredible flexibility and vast possibilities available thanks to Facebook ads. The sheer amount of data that the platform has on visitors makes it easier for marketers to get specific in their targeting and increase their conversion rates.
Let’s recap what we went over above:
- If you rock at webinars, creating a webinar Facebook sales funnel can be highly effective.
- Alternatively, you can try giving away free content (such as ebooks, free software trials, and digital downloads), as a way to funnel in leads.
- Also, consider taking advantage of chatbot software and using Facebook Messenger as part of your sales funnel.
- Be sure to install the Facebook pixel on your site to hone in on your ad targeting.
- Create custom and lookalike audiences to improve click-throughs and conversions.
- Use retargeting to serve ads based on your customer’s journey through the sales funnel.
- Study examples from the Facebook Ad Library for inspiration.
This is only the beginning. Once you’ve mastered this marketing tool on Facebook, branch out and learn more about how to create a sales funnel—there are multiple ways of doing it!
Have you started playing with Facebook sales funnels? Comment below with what you’ve learned!