Sales funnels: the sales copywriter’s favourite guide

Picture of Lewis Folkard

Lewis Folkard

Suffolk-based conversion copywriter.

a guide to sales funnels

Copywriters sell. That’s their job. And in order to sell, copywriters need to understand the process by which people buy. The sales funnel models this. 

You see, audiences are becoming increasingly sceptical – and hesitant – to hand over their money for products and services. So, for some businesses, one sales page might be enough (e.g. low-ticket, low-risk products). Often, it isn’t. If you have multiple personas, a particularly sceptical audience, or you’re selling complex, high-ticket products or services, you’ll need to break your sales process into smaller steps. Persuading your audience to buy your product is going to require more work.

The sales funnel

So you understand what I mean by a sales funnel, here’s how it looks.

The five stages of the sales funnel

As you can see, there are five stages: awareness, consideration, decision, action and retention. Where retention means repeat custom. Your target audience’s commitment to you will increase as they move through the funnel. This is a good proxy for progress.

But remember, the sales funnel is only a model – the stages aren’t rigid with clear indicators of “progress”. Your target audience can flow back and forth between stages. It’s the role of the sales funnel copywriter, however, to ensure they only move in one direction. Down.

What is sales funnel copywriting?

At each of the funnel stages, you’ll have different sales pieces. The image below gives a simplified example of what those sales pieces could be.

A very simple example sales funnel with their respective sales pieces

Sales funnel copywriting is the writing of each of those pieces. Or, in other words, it’s the process of writing copy that takes your target audience from not knowing you to becoming a long-term, repeat customer. 

It starts small with a click, then an email address, then time reading and considering your emails and ultimately handing over money for your products or services.

How do you write copy for a sales funnel?

First, you need to figure out what your sales funnel needs to include. How many:

  • Ads
  • Landing pages (and lead magnets)
  • Email sequences (and emails per)
  • Sales pages

You’ll then write each individual piece, tailoring it to your readers based on what they already know about your business and what they’re sensitive to (e.g. pain points, solutions) – and, of course, your piece’s objective. Remember, each segment might have multiple personas who need to be catered to.

Great sales funnel copywriting meets your prospects where they are, extends its hand and walks them through each stage. In the same breath, all your copy needs to be singing off the same hymn sheet. It needs to have a consistent tone of voice and messaging so it doesn’t raise any “sales defences”. 

And then, as to what you say… well, research is your best friend. For help on how to research for a copywriting project, read this.

Let’s have a look at each type of sales piece and see what you need to do/include/consider.

Note: you should try to use psychological triggers where suitable in each piece.

Writing social media ads that get quality clicks

The aim of the social ads (in the simple example above) is to drive awareness and pull in quality traffic for your landing page. You might also use social media ads to supplement messaging in later stages.

You need an attention-grabbing headline, curiosity-piquing lead, engaging body copy (that promises something) and a clear call-to-action. Your promise should sync up with the landing page it directs to.

Writing landing pages that generate leads

With the traffic from your social ads, you’re now looking to get your foot in the ‘commitment door’. Often, this means exchanging an email address for a (usually free) lead magnet. Remember, the lead magnet isn’t just a means of capturing lead data. It’s also a test run for your lead to see whether you’re a good fit for them.

Your landing page headline should be clear and relevant to the promise in your social ad. Your body copy should be compelling and focused on the benefits of your lead magnet. Add social proof, bullet point lists, urgency and multiple clear call-to-action buttons.

Writing emails that nurture

Now you’ve got leads, you need to nurture them. Your emails will warm them up ready for the later sales page. Once you know your sequence, ensure the components of a complete sales message are covered.

Your initial email should be tailored to your lead magnet and reassure your lead they’ve made the right decision (in getting your lead magnet). Your subject lines should be attention-grabbing and clickworthy. And your body copy should be relevant to their pain points behaviour in your email list. Often your email sequence will handle objections and provide social proof for a smoother sale later.

Alternatively, you can send regular (non-sequenced) emails to nurture your leads. Just keep in mind the sales page will have to do more selling – and acknowledge their awareness.

Writing sales pages that sell

The last type of sales piece is your sales page. Like the others, you might need multiple geared towards each persona type.

To write a great sales page, you need to understand and sync up to prior messaging. In other words, what have they just read before arriving on your sales page? This will influence your sales lead. 

Sales pages are more complex pieces. For a full guide on long-form sales pages, read this article.

Piecing it all together

One of the many benefits of sales funnels is that you can automate the whole process. This includes more complex funnels with multiple upsells, downsells and cross-sells. Everything can respond to triggers. 

Once all your sales pieces are written, you can assemble them in a funnel builder and let them run in the background. 

Some example funnel builders include ClickFunnels, Kartra, Leadpages and ActiveCampaign.

In most of these, you use their respective page builder to build your landing page and sales page. They often integrate with email software where the builders don’t already have their own.

Whilst I don’t build sales funnels, I am a sales funnel copywriter. So I write all the components that make them – I just don’t assemble them. If you need your social ads, landing pages, emails or long-form sales pages written so you can automate your own sales funnel, message me now

Alternatively, here are the best ways to find a reliable UK sales page copywriter. Many will be able to help you with your funnel.

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