Case Study: Defining The Sales Funnel For an Online Business

Welcome to Day 3 of our case study. If you missed Day 1 and 2, you can find them below:

Today we are defining our sales funnel for our website at

Enjoy the video…

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Watch on YouTube: Creating A Niche Website Sales Funnel

typical sales funnel

What is a sales funnel?

Well, a typical sales funnel is like the one in the image to the right.

It’s a process where you offer a series of products or services in a pre-determined order.

The idea is that you offer a free product (very low barrier of entry) to give the customer a sample of your product and service.

Once they have consumed the free product you would offer a low priced ($27) product or service.

Once they have bought and consumed the $27 product, you would then offer them the $97 mid-priced product… And so on, until you have sold them the big $1,997 product.

The problem I have with this sales funnel, is that a new customer doesn’t get to know about the $1,997 product until they have bought the $27, $97 and $497 products… Some new customers would have probably leap frogged to the $1,997 product, if they knew about it.

product portfolio

The answer is to have a ‘product portfolio’ that you introduce early to the prospect and if they don’t buy the higher priced product, you then follow the typical sales funnel.

That way you give the customer, who wants the biggest and best upfront, what they want immediately…

…And the typical sales funnel then converts the other people that like to test the water and build the relationship, before they commit fully.

So, how do I apply this to my niche website at

Step 1

The first step is to define the affiliate products I could offer immediately, and the products I could create myself later…

Product Offers

  • Clickbank (affiliate) productDeclutter Fast – How To Declutter Your Home! – pays $13.08 per sale.
  • Amazon (affiliate) products – these include books, Kindle books and products (like containers, etc.) – estimate an average payout of $1.00 per sale.
  • eBay (affiliate) products – these include books and products (like containers, etc.) – estimate an average payout of $1.00 per sale.
  • Adsense ads – estimate an average of $0.30 per click.

Potential Products

  • Own short report – $5 per sale.
  • Own eBook – $27 per sale.
  • Membership site  – community of like-minded people – $17/mo, average stay of 6 months = $102 per sale.
  • One-on-one decluttering help – average of $197 per job. I know there are people that offer to go to people’s houses or offices and do the decluttering for them or with them. I could offer a job board type service which connects the service providers with people needing the service for a commission.

Step 2

The next step is to decide which product I am going to offer initially. I like to start with one product and one traffic source, and then scale it from there.

As you can see from the list of affiliate products above, there is not much profit available in any of them. I also don’t like the Clickbank product’s sales page and it would waste a lot of resources testing the conversions of any of the affiliate products.

There is a lot more profit in creating my own products, especially the membership site (estimated $102 per sale) and the one-on-one decluttering service (estimated $197 per job).

I want to get to making $100 a day quickly.

So, it looks like the best way to do this is to create my own ebook, which can eventually be used as the groundwork for the membership site and a lead generator for the one-on-one decluttering service.

Step 3

Step 3 is to finalise the sales funnel. From my research, the most profitable sales funnel is shown in the image below…

declutterhowto sales funnel

What’s Next

The research is done to make sure the niche is worth the effort, and we now have a sales funnel which makes the goal of $100 a day appear to be achievable.

The next step is to configure the website to suit our new sales funnel… It will be very different to the current website that was only designed for Adsense ads.

>> Day 4: How To Configure A Website To Maximise Conversions

Please leave your questions or comments below…

  • Nat

    What a great case study Ian. I can’t wait to see the results.

    • Thanks Nat, we are getting to the exciting stuff now. Cheers Ian

  • David

    I like the idea of having a Product Portfolio and showing it all to the potential customer upfront – I think it’s actually the first time I’ve heard of this approach.

    In your experience have you found many people actually opt for the more expensive product, or is it just the occasional few that do?

    Great work by the way – I’m really finding this case study quite interesting.


    • Thanks David, I’m glad you are finding the case study useful.

      It’s more a case of the occasional few that buy the high priced product upfront. But, just one of these high priced sales can make more profit in one hit than 6 or more of the lower priced products.

      So, it definitely makes it worth implementing.


  • Jim

    Well, I guess that’s it for the case study.

    • No Jim, there is still the site makeover to come and then the traffic strategies… Cheers Ian

  • Alice Wilson

    Dear Ian,

    “I want to make sure that a LARGE amount of people are searching online for information on decluttering…And that they are PAYING for products ONLINE to help them declutter.”

    I’m no expert by any means but I tend to agree with your wife. Why waste all this time doing this on this subject?

    Though, the idea is great and I wish I could’ve come up with it myself, only on a much more relevant topic to new marketers and wannabes like me!

    Thanks, Alice

    • Hi Alice, thanks for your comment.

      I can see where you (and my Wife) are coming from and I considered stopping. But I need to finish this case study to demonstrate what is possible in this “non-money” niche. That’s the stubborn part of my personality raising it’s ugly head… Hopefully I don’t end up with egg on my face 🙂

      I did the same in the model train niche. At the time, there were NO competitors making money, which is a VERY bad sign. But I persisted and made over $300k in 23 months.

      Prior to my model train website I had spent about 3 years selling products in the “money” niches – make money, weight loss, dating, etc. In my best month I made less than $100. The competition is tough in those markets and it gets discouraging very quickly.

      Building an online business requires a strategy that works, persistence and patience. There are HUGE rewards for the people that persevere with one strategy that works.

      In this case study I’m demonstrating a strategy that will work in any niche… The big secret is in the recurring revenue from members. This makes the website very attractive to buyers. Stay tuned for that…

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  • Joe

    This is really good so far.

    I’ve never made my own ebook or product as been scared to start.

    Will you be covering how to make one in this series?


    • Ian McConnell

      Thanks Joe,

      Product creation is essential…

      If you are selling as an affiliate you need your own product as a bonus (to answer the question of why should people buy from you).

      Also, if you are selling your own products, it positions you as an expert. A Kindle book for $2 or $3 is a great place to start.

      There are 4 free reports on product creation at which will help you out.

      You will see from these reports that product creation can be very simple.


      • Joe

        Thanks, will take a look at those reports.

        My current target is to write 50 posts for my site by the end of the year. After that is done I will start on some kind of book/pdf.

        How many pages will this declutter site have?


        • Ian McConnell

          Hi Joe,

          If you are open to suggestions, you should be creating the product first. Focus on conversion first, then traffic.

          The declutter site content is done… Until I get proof that it will make money, there is no sense in adding more content.


  • Joe

    Making the product first is probably a good idea now I think about it.

    Will see how the writing goes. Its much easier to write one 800 word article than think about writing a 10,000+ word book.

    But I guess just because its easy doesn’t mean I should do it.

  • Owen

    Very interesting so far. Every niche is different, I guess.What works with one may not work with another. You need an analytical mind to figure out that. I never ever thought of the money making potential of the declutter niche. Can’t wait for the rest

    • Ian McConnell

      Thanks Owen.

      Not only is every niche different, but your message needs to be adjusted to suit the exact market demographics (age, gender, country, etc).