So you want to try your hand at online business? You have heard the term sales funnel and figure you need one, but what is a sales funnel and why do you need one? It sounds hard to build and EXPENSIVE. I am here to tell you a sales funnel is necessary for your online business but it doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, I’ll help you get your sales funnel built and collecting leads with the following FREE or low-cost tools.


build your sales funnel

What is a sales funnel?

One of the most well-known entrepreneurs in the online space is Russell Brunson, creator of ClickFunnels. You MUST read two of his books to help you understand what funnels are and aren’t. You can get a copy of Dotcom Secrets for FREE (but you need to pay shipping). The other book is Expert Secrets. These 2 books are essential for learning marketing an online business.   Russell states, “A sales funnel is just the online process you take someone through to get them to ascend through the different levels of your Value Ladder.” A value ladder is the products or services you offer to move your dream clients from a cold prospect to your high-end services.

A sales funnel starts with a free giveaway like an ebook, email series, video, etc. Something that you are giving away for free in exchange for an email address. It usually addresses a problem that your audience has and positions YOU as the expert to solve their problem.   You send them to a landing page or create a form to collect the email address and then deliver the freebie. They are on your list and now you want to warm them up and create a relationship with your audience. This is usually done through an automated email welcome series which is 3 – 7 emails.

This all is set up and automated so you can grow your email list and make sales on autopilot!   Does this all sound too techie and EXPENSIVE?? It can be. There is software that can do this for $97/month or more, but it doesn’t have too. Follow along as I walk you through the process of building your sales funnel with my favorite FREE tools.

 Lead Magnet / Opt-in / Opt-in Freebie

They can come in the form of an ebook, worksheet, checklist, video, or templates for example. My favorite FREE tool is Canva. Canva has built-in templates. For an ebook, I like their magazine templates.

BUT, for a more custom ebook or workbook, you need to see what Sarah, aka Biz Template Babe has created! She has beautiful Canva templates to help you custom design your opt-in. She has 20-30 designs of EACH page to choose from! So you can pick and choose what cover, inside pages, author page, and call to action pages you want and put them all together in your custom ebook.

They are more flexible than the Canva templates and she even provides videos to walk you through how to do it. You can visit  HERE to get her beautiful templates. She’s amazing at answering questions and the Facebook group is amazing.  Plus she has more than just ebooks. She has a variety of social media templates too. Check her out if you are not the most artistically inclined (like myself!)

Free Images

So you also want to make things pretty so you need images. There are many places you can free images. If you can’t find images in your specific branded colors, each place I recommend has an option to buy images. Some of my favorite places include:

 Landing Page & Thank You Page

Once you have made the opt-in, the next step in your sales funnel is to create a way to capture an email address. This is done through a landing page provided by your email provider   My favorite email provider is MailerLite. It is pretty easy to customize and navigate the drag and drop landing pages. You can also make a sign-up form for your website sidebar or the bottom of your blog post.   Another free and popular email provider is MailChimp.

You may want a pop-up form or a form across the top of your website to capture emails. FREE options to make these include HelloBar and MailMunch. I have used both and love that they are easy to set up. They integrate with your email provider so leads will be added to your email list.

I have since upgraded and love ConvertKit for my email provider.   Once, the sign up is complete, a thank you page pops up. You can customize this page to deliver your lead magnet and a lot more. On the thank you page, you can customize it to ask your subscriber to share your freebie on social media, or offer a free 15-minute consulting call if you sell services (with a free version of a scheduling software such as Acuity).

This can be your “brag page” where you add testimonials to show how awesome you or your product is or add links to your most popular blog posts. But my favorite strategy is to add a tripwire which is your opportunity to sell a low cost product that solves your customer’s problem. It should be a continuation of your lead magnet. I like to sell a $29 offer for $9. I am sure you have come across these before. It has a timer on the page that will give you 12 or 15 minutes to purchase or it goes away. You won’t become rich, but it can pay for ads or some of your business tools. You can set this up for free on your website.

Email Welcome Series

After you have gotten the email address, you need to create an email welcome series. It should be at the minimum 3 emails and the average is between 5-7. This email series is just that, a welcome.  Welcome to get to know you, your brand, and what you are offering. You may not have a product or service to sell yet, but that’s ok. When you meet someone for the first time, are you trying to pitch them something from the get-go? You want to build a relationship so that when it comes time to offer your product or service, they run to purchase because they know you.

If you don’t know what to say for OMG THREE emails, my friend Meera Kothand has a blog post How to Write a Staggeringly Good Welcome Email Series which will help you write your email welcome series. You can sign up for her freebie that is incredibly helpful as to what to say in what email. You may not consider yourself a writer, but Meera is amazing at breaking it all down. I have signed up for everything she has ever offered and bought her workbooks and they are so helpful. I can’t recommend Meera enough.


You have created a beautiful opt-in that people want and a way to collect their emails. But now you need to get your opt-in in front of your ideal audience. That is where social media comes into play. My favorite platform is Pinterest. The next step would be to create multiple pins (again using that free tool, Canva) that drive traffic to your sales page. If you need help with your Pinterest, you may want to take my quiz to find out what your level of Pinterest knowledge is and build from there. I do offer my Pinning Foundations course if you are ready to get started with your Pinterest marketing.

It will take some time. You have to pay with $ or time as with everything, but it doesn’t have to be hard, or complicated. I know your time is precious but I know you can do it! Don’t let the overwhelm creep in. Create the parts one by one and then hook it up!


If you are interested in learning about Clickfunnels, the software that can help build you a funnel without all the different parts or programs, you can sign up for their FREE 14 Day Trial HERE. Clickfunnels is an amazing software that will cut your funnel building time by at least half.

Even if you aren’t interested in Clickfunnels the software, I do highly recommend signing up for the Clickfunnels One Funnel Away Challenge.  Russell Brunson is an amazing teacher and the marketing concepts you will learn are amazing. I have been in business for 3 years and there is just so much to learn and implement that will potentially change the course of your business. It seriously is the BEST $100 you will spend on a course. HANDS DOWN.  I have already taken the challenge twice and learn something new every time.

You can read Is the One Funnel Away Challenge for You? to learn more. And to see what’s in the One Funnel Away Challenge Box, I did a video walkthrough HERE. Just the book alone is worth $100!

SIGN UP TODAY! The next one starts soon!



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Hi, I'm Karrie!

Pinterest Marketing Strategist!


Thanks for stopping by the blog where I write about Pinterest, Productivity, Social Media, & my favorite...Funnels!

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