Forget Everything You Think You Know About Funnels
Evergreen sales funnels are super complicated way simpler than you think.
We’re flipping the evergreen sales funnel script. Seriously. Forget everything you think you know about funnels.
In this episode of the podcast, Hayley’s on to help me set the record straight about what it takes (and more specifically what it doesn’t take) to create a successful evergreen sales funnel. Spoiler alter: it’s NOT about spending tens of thousands of dollars or buying new expensive software.
Listen in as we geek out about enjoyable evergreen experiences and discuss why you should:
🛑 Implementing tripwires in your evergreen sales funnels
🛑 Using fancy webinar software
🛑 Using crazy expensive email automation software
🛑 Searching for an expert to create a funnel for you
…and why you should
✅ Put your core offering front-row-center in your sales funnel
✅ Use simple, on-demand webinar software
✅ Leverage the software you already use in your business to power your funnel
✅ Create an ENJOYABLE funnel experience, built for real humans
Ready to forget everything you think you know about evergreen sales funnels, in order to have a successful funnel?
At its core, an evergreen sales funnel is a system for selling your course every single day.
You don’t need crazy expensive software (in most cases you can use 90% of the software you’re already using in your biz), you don’t need tripwires (aka, booby traps on your websites to catch customers) and you don’t need to pay an expert thousands of dollars to build your funnel for you.
Stop being brainwashed into thinking funnels are more complicated than they are.
Listen in as we set the record straight! 👇
Evergreen sales funnels
Sales funnel strategy
How (and why) to build your own evergreen sales funnel yourself, DIY style
Email automation software
QUOTES WORTH SHARING
“You have to forget everything you think you know about evergreen funnels” - Mariah
“At its core, an evergreen sales funnel is a system for selling your course every single day” - Hayley
“Tripwires are making your people jump through hoops” - Mariah
“People don’t need to spend $7, $20, $30 with you before they make a decision to spend more money with you” - Mariah
“Incentivize and reward people who take action and buy your product earlier in the funnel” - Mariah
“You have to know how to maintain your funnel yourself. You should know what’s in it and the basics of how it works; what do people see when, what are the links in the chain that can break…” - Hayley & Mariah, on creating your sales funnel yourself
“Test everything, try everything” - Mariah
HOW WE CAN HELP YOU BUILD A SUCCESSFUL EVERGREEN SALES FUNNEL:
If you’re ready to build out your evergreen funnel and need some help, you can:
Enroll in Evergreen Engines, our online course created to simplify the process of creating your own evergreen sales funnel for your online course.
Apply to join Mariah in The Accelerator, our group coaching program where clients are doing anywhere from $10K to $60K in their funnels every single month.
More from Mariah:
This topic is something we're very passionate about and we'll potentially get a little heated about.
So many people come into our programs or come to us with a lot of preconceived notions of what an Evergreen Funnel or an Evergreen Webinar Funnel is, what it's going to look like, and what it needs to be. Basically, all these ideas about evergreen funnels, which aren’t necessarily accurate.
A lot of times, these are people who probably haven't ever created an Evergreen Funnel, but they've seen a lot of other people talk about it. They have seen what other people’s funnels look like, and they have all these ideas like:
“I'm going to need all these fancy software”
“These are the things that I'm going to have to create”
“This is what it's going to have to look like.”
A lot of people are disillusioned about what an Evergreen Funnel even is, and they're thinking, “I don't know if I want to create one” because the way they've seen it done over and over again is bad.
Honestly, I would say a lot of people are wary or afraid or nervous about funnels, or just straight up jaded about them!
So you think to yourself, "I don't want to create that. That's a horrible experience." That’s fine! Most other evergreen funnels ARE a horrible experience.
But ours aren’t.
Don't write the whole idea of an evergreen funnel off just because you've seen other people do it in a bad way that you don't like, or that maybe you've tried it yourself and it didn't work in the past.
Evergreen funnels can seriously totally transform your entire business if you do it in a way that makes sense for you, if you do it in a way that works, and if you do it in a way that feels good.
At its core, an evergreen funnel is really just taking all the best parts of your live launches and the things that people love about you and packaging them up in the right way, so that people can go through and experience them at their own convenience, on their own time. That's it.
I always tell people who come to us, “When you work with us, when you become our client, when you become a student, when you learn Evergreen Funnels from me and from my team, you have to forget everything you think you know about Evergreen Funnels, okay?”
You have to drop every preconceived notion that you have about what an Evergreen Funnel is, and how it has to look, and how the “gurus” say “you have to do it this way and you have to have a tripwire and blah blah.”
Or how about the worst offender: “Your webinar has to auto play.” Just don't even get me started. I'm very passionate about not having auto play on your evergreen webinar!
Our Evergreen Funnels look different from other people's. They function differently. They're better. The way that I came up with that was out of pure frustration with the way that other people do Evergreen Funnels.
I came up with by thinking, if I was just starting from scratch, what would I want this to look like? If I didn't have all these preconceived notions crowding my mind, what would I want this to look like?
That’s how I came up with our model for an enjoyable Evergreen experience.
Let’s look through some of the things you DON’T need to have in your webinar:
Get Rid Of Your Tripwire
The first thing, and I know this is going to shock you, is that you don't need a tripwire.
It's a really weird word, and it's a really weird concept. Where this idea comes from is this belief that someone needs to spend a tiny bit of money with you before they're ready to spend a higher amount of money with you.
Gurus will tell you, "Oh well, you should have a $7 tripwire so that people spend $7, and then they maybe will spend $40, and then after that, maybe they'll spend $100, and then maybe after that, they'll spend $500, and then they'll like creep and crawl up your "value ladder" as you force them to spend these tiny amounts of money on essentially bullshit offers.”
When you sell someone a tripwire, you're not actually giving someone the full solution to their problem. You're giving them the $7 Band-Aid, as in “here's something that's not really going to solve your problem, but I was told to put this here. I thought that I had to put this here, so I did.”
I'm not blaming you if you've done this. We actually used to have a $47 offer in our funnel and we took it out and then of course the funnel made more money without it. So, we've tested this in our own funnel and we've obviously tested it in our clients' funnels as well.
How many of you have thought, “Oh, well, I have to find something that I can offer as an affordable offer?” So you are basically puling something out of your butt so you have something at that tiny price point.
YOU DON’T NEED TO DO THIS.
The fundamental idea of a tripwire is it's not a complete solution. It's like a tiny baby solution that's designed to make your customer want to purchase a more robust, the actual solution. But here's the thing. You can do this with something like $7, but you could also just do it with a really great lead magnet.
People don't need to spend $7 or $20 or $30 with you before they make a decision to spend more money with you.
People are actually happy to get the full actual solution that they're looking for, and they don't want to jump through a bunch of hoops, which is what these tripwires are. It's making someone jump through hoops. They will spend $1,000 with you if they believe you will give them the right solution.
I’ve experienced this frustration going through other people’s funnels. I am literally trying to buy your $2,000 course. I am ready. I saw your live stream, I follow you on social media, I am just ready to go buy your full course. I do not want to buy your $7 download PDF. Please don't. Just let me have the main thing. Don't make me go through all these freaking hoops. It's so annoying.
We won't have a tripwire. We're just going to go straight to the meat and potatoes, straight to your core offer, and your main course. And you will be surprised like we get testimonials and people posting in our Facebook groups all the time who set up their Evergreen Funnels with us, and they're like, "I didn't think that this was going to work.”
“I didn't think it was possible for someone to go from zero, they've never bought anything, they're brand new to my audience and my email list, to spending $500 or $1,000 on a course literally within minutes." It surprises our clients all the time, but it's something that if you just never tried it or tested it, you would never know, right?
Ditch the Expensive Evergreen Webinar Software - You Don’t Need It
The other thing you don't need that you're going to need to let go of when you work on your Evergreen Funnels with us is you're going to have to let go of this idea that you need fancy Evergreen webinar software.
When I say on demand webinar software or fancy webinar software, I am talking about the specific “evergreen” webinar software that is set up in a specific way that makes you choose an arbitrary time in the future and you have to attend the webinar “live” in the app even though it isn’t live, and it tries to mimic a live webinar. It allows you to choose the time in the future to “register” for and then it puts you in this webinar room that you have to have a software or log in to open.
Then you watch this webinar on this special webinar software and you're not allowed to pause or come back, and you have to just sit there and watch it all at once, right then. And then at the end, this little button pops up, that's like you can enroll now but you have to wait until the very end of the webinar. Even if you've already made the decision to buy, too bad for you. You have to sit there and watch this and you're not allowed to go pee and like pause it.
It's crazy. It's insane.
When I say to you, “what is the experience? What is the Evergreen experience that you want your customers who you care about, that you want them to feel? How do you want them to feel? What do you want them to experience? How can we create an enjoyable Evergreen experience for normal freaking humans who have to go pee sometimes?”
Guess what doesn't work? Having a webinar, an on demand webinar that only starts twice a day for some reason, even though it's on demand and they could just have it available all the time. And that you can't freaking pause to go pee, it doesn't make any sense.
We don't need to like hold them hostage on your webinar page and force them to watch this thing and like stay there without pausing or fast forwarding.
Think about it like this: how bad is your webinar content that you literally have to hold people hostage in order for them to watch it? How bad is your webinar content that people that the only way to get them to watch it is by being like, "Don't click out of this page or you can’t come back”.
Your webinar content should be good enough that people are just like excited to watch it. Imagine if your webinar was just actually good content so your ideal customers ENJOYED watching it til the end. You wouldn't have to force people to watch it in this very inhumane way.
We definitely have had multiple people come into our program and be like, "Wait, I thought I was going to have to buy this fancy software?," or “Oh, Mariah, I saw that you don't mention using any on demand Evergreen webinar software."
And I'm like, "Correct. No, you don't need that. You literally don't need any of that. That's just not even necessary."
Most people don’t realize they can set up an effective, profitable evergreen funnel with the software they already use and have.
Not only that, but that using those webinar software actually is hurting the experience that you're giving your customers, it's hurting these potential customers who are coming through your funnel, it's not a good experience for them. It's hurting your conversions.
A lot of these “fancy” webinar softwares also do this weird replay thing where you can't just go to that link again and watch the replay. They may not send you a replay at all. Some people have their funnel set up where there is no replay, you just have to sign up for a different time tomorrow. A time which probably doesn’t work for everyone’s schedule!
The reason that I want to mention this specifically is because those softwares are also very expensive. And so you don't need to spend over $2,000 a year for that software that you absolutely do not need to have a successful Evergreen webinar funnel.
I know that this is one of those things where people are like, "But Mariah, veryone else uses that, like, are you sure?" I'm like, "Yes, I'm sure. You're going to have to just forget everything you think you know about Evergreen Funnels, and just start thinking about them in a whole new way.
That whole new way is, how would an actual human want to experience this?
You Don’t Need Crazy Email Automation Software
And then the other part is that you don’t need other kinds of crazy automation software. So, there's the kind of like webinars specific software we talked about above, that you can buy that we don't recommend.
And then there's this other stuff which is like people thinking that they need crazy email automations that are like really complicated.
Yeah, no. This is the one that I like get very heated about because it happened to me like when I was first trying to understand funnels. I was like oh my God, like a funnel is a software. It's like this like weird thing of like, what is a funnel? How do I make it? How do I do it? You think like, Oh my gosh, like I really need to have like a comp, like the email software with like, or the email system with all the bells and whistles that can make me do all the automations and I need ...
The tech is easy. It's not something that you need to hire ... You don't need to hire somebody to do it. You don't need to pay a bunch of money. You don't need to upgrade or change systems or anything like that. For the most part, you can, like 99% of the time, use what you already have. The tech is not what should hold you up. It's like what you want to think about is like, how we keep saying this, like how do you create an enjoyable experience for your customers?
That's what you need to figure out like, what does that mean for my customers? How can I set that up? You can totally do it with all of the tech you currently have. We do ours with Squarespace and Convert Kit. It's not anything crazy. We didn't change our emails, and most of our clients and customers do the exact same thing with all the tech they have right now. They don't need to change it.
I definitely had someone tell me years ago when we were looking at Evergreen Funnel stuff, and looking at the tech and what do we need to invest in, and what do we need to do? I talked to someone who said, like, you're going to absolutely need to be on, you know, insert name of very expensive email platform. You guys know, we use Convert Kit, which is very simple, and anyone can use it. It's definitely what we recommend.
I talked to someone once who said, "Oh yeah, you're definitely going to need to if you want to have an Evergreen Funnel, then you'll never be able to do it with any other email system. You have to use this." You guys might know what I'm talking about. I don't like to name names of software companies, because again, I'm not ... It's nothing against the software company itself. It's just that you don't need something that complicated to do this.
Someone said, "Oh yeah, and it'll be $15,000 to get your automation set up on ... You know, like $15,000 just for me to set up the couple of automations that you need. And you have to migrate all of your emails to this. Only this one platform will allow you to really have an Evergreen Funnel." And I was like, that just can't be like, that is unacceptable to me.
But again, I think there's a whole industry around making this tech seem really complicated, so that people can can say, well, it's so complicated, you can't do it yourself. I'll do it. Obviously, there's plenty of people who are like, I don't want to do it myself. Great, fine, but don't let someone tell you that you can't do it yourself because it's too complicated. And that is going to cost $15,000 literally just to like set the little integration and the automation set up. That's craziness and people just really go overkill with this.
You don't need crazy email automation software, you do not need to migrate to a super fancy software or anything like that. It's really the automation part, those little zaps, those little whatever you're going to use, those are really the easy part. It's not hard.
The harder part is understanding the strategy and the nuances of all the little pieces. Of course, there's like, oh, the copy matters, and the structure matters, and the flow matters. But the tech part - just keep it simple.
You really have to be able to maintain your own funnels. I mean, you have to be able to. So even if you do hire a VA to set up your Convert Kit automation, like I truly believe that you have to know how to maintain it yourself. You have to know how to tweak things and change things on your own. Because that's what happens after you've created the funnel. You just have to be able to maintain it.
You should know what's in your funnel: you should be very familiar with the content that's in it, what you're delivering to people and the basics of how it works, like, what are they seeing when? Where are the links in the chain that might break? How can you fix those because if you just totally send it off to somebody else and don't have that awareness, then it becomes harder to fix later.
Your Offer Shouldn’t Decrease As Your Funnel Goes On
The other thing we've seen, and again, this is just another like, there's so many little things, but I wanted to mention, some people, again, just they've just been told, well, this is how someone else told me to do a funnel or I read a book or I saw a webinar, and this is what someone else said to do. One thing we've seen that I also don't like about other people's funnel strategy is that they have lower pricing as the funnel goes on.
They'll offer people decreasing pricing, as people go on and as they don't buy. This is the opposite of what you should do. But I've seen this and we've had people, I have had people ask me about it. So that's why I wanted to mention it. People say, "Oh, well, I thought that in a funnel, you're supposed to say, 'Oh, here's my ...'" You know, whatever your mechanism is, whether it's a webinar or a sales page or whatever.
Here's my offer, it's $500. But for those who don't buy, you then like later will be like, "Oh, here's the same offer. But because you didn't buy it, now I'm going to give it to you for $300." And that to me is like so weird and backwards because you're basically rewarding someone who didn't take action, who wasn't really engaging with your stuff, and you're basically saying like, "Well, if you didn't buy it then, maybe you'll buy it now for a lower price."
But think about how that makes the people feel who were super excited about your product and bought it at the full price? So we always want to do the opposite. You always want to incentivize people, you want to incentivize and reward people who buy fast, people who take action, people who are excited and buy your product earlier in the funnel. It'll look different depending on whatever your funnel looks like and if it's an email funnel or a webinar funnel, but you can always incentivize and reward people for buying sooner.
This is the same thing you do in a live launch, guys. It's modeling a live launch where you might have an early bird or pre sale price, and then it'll cost more later towards the end of the launch. That's totally normal, and that's great for rewarding action takers. What I don't want to see is that you continuously discount your course the longer it goes. It just doesn't feel right. You know what I mean?
Forget What You Think You Know About Funnels
Ultimately, you're going to have to drop these preconceived notions that Evergreen Funnels are weird or that you've seen Evergreen Funnels that tried to pretend that they were live, and it probably turned you off from Evergreen Funnels altogether, right? Because you saw someone else do it badly or do it in a way that you didn't like. And so you're like, "Oh, I guess that's how this has to work." And you just kind of walk away and are like, I don't want to do that, which I completely understand.
The problem is that you only saw someone do it badly, and you just haven't seen this really elegant and enjoyable Evergreen experience and the way to do it in a way that feels really good, and that is just really awesome experience. Not a frustrating experience for your potential customers, right?
You probably have these preconceived notions of, “No one's going to like it because it isn't live” when in reality, people actually really prefer the convenience of an Evergreen experience, as long as we actually make it convenient, right? As long as we don't use the crazy software that makes us like, choose a specific time and then doesn't let us go pee, then we're going to be fine. So people want the convenience as long as we actually create that enjoyable experience.
So, altogether, main takeaways, you don't need crazy software guys, save your money. Save your money, and honestly, spend it on the strategy, spend it on doing it the right way, instead of thinking that you need crazy software in order to achieve this. You don't need a $7 tripwire offer, or a random $20 thing. That's not necessary. We don't need to waste time with that.
You don't need any crazy email software either. So, all these things you're just not going to need. Like I said, when you come and work with us, you just have to forget everything you think you know about funnels and everything you've been told. And we're just going to basically like show you what's possible when you kind of have a clean slate. And what would this actually look like if it was an actual enjoyable Evergreen experience for your people.
I hope that this makes Evergreen Funnels feel more approachable and just really gets rid of those misconceptions. And I'm sorry if you've ever gone through someone else's funnel and it was really frustrating and annoying, and I totally understand how you feel.
Evergreen funnels can be enjoyable AND successful. Let’s build one together!